Europe and the Mediterranean World

The Europe and the Mediterranean World concentration offers students the opportunity to explore the histories of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, and connections between these places and the larger world. We look at the continual flow of ideas, people, and material goods across this region, from the earliest states in the ancient world until today. We examine how empires, colonialism, religion, culture, the environment, and social and economic forces, including the development of capitalism and of the nation-state, shaped these interactions in profound ways. Collectively, we trace over 5000 years of intersecting histories, examining linkages and conflicts forged by geography, trade, war, migration, imperial aspirations, colonial violence, religious and ethnic minorities, and struggles for liberation.

The caucus includes intensive study of the histories of Europe, Russia, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as imperial, colonial, and transnational histories that trace the changing relations among these places. Major periods and areas of focus include the ancient and medieval worlds, oceanic empires in the early modern period (1450-1800), modern imperialism and colonialism, and decolonization and postcolonial states in the twentieth century.


Major Requirements

The history major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses. At least eight of the 12 required courses must be upper-division (HIS 100-199). A maximum of four courses, including the introductory survey course, may be lower-division (HIS 1-99).

Region of Concentration: Europe and the Mediterranean World (6 courses)

I. One lower-division introductory survey course:

  • HIS 41, The Making of the Modern Middle East
  • HIS 65A, Medieval Europe: 200-1000
  • HIS 70A, Modern European History, 1500-1815
  • HIS 70B, Modern European History, 1815-Present

All of the above courses satisfy the Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC) general education requirement.

II. Four additional Europe and the Mediterranean World courses, three of which must be upper-division

III. One Europe and the Mediterranean World exit seminar: HIS 190-series, HIS 194-series, or HIS 196-series

Historical Skills and Methods (1 course)

IV. HIS 100, Historical Skills and Methods

HIS 100 introduce history majors to historical methods and provides preparation for advanced historical research. Students develop critical reading, historical analysis, research, and disciplinary writing skills. HIS 100 also satisfies the Textual Analysis and Interpretation (TA) general education requirement.

Students who enter UCSC as frosh are expected to complete HIS 100 by the end of their second year. Transfer students are expected to complete HIS 100 no later than their second term at UCSC.

Catalog of Course Requirements

The History Catalog of Course Requirements indicates what region(s) of concentration and what chronological distribution requirement(s) individual history courses may apply toward.

Breadth Requirements (4 courses)

V. Two courses from each of the remaining two regions of concentration:

Upper-Division Elective (1 course)

One additional upper-division history course of your choice from any of the three regions of concentration

Distribution Requirements

Of the 12 courses required for the major, at least three must meet chronological distribution requirements. One must be set before 600 A.D., and two must be set in periods prior to the year 1800 A.D.

Intensive Major Option

The intensive history major offers students a pathway to enrich their study of history, refine their skills in writing and research, and receive a designation on their transcripts that signals their ambition and accomplishment to potential employers and graduate schools. All history majors are eligible to declare the intensive track, including junior transfers. If a student attempts but does not complete the intensive track they may still graduate with a standard history degree, provided the appropriate major coursework has been completed.

Maya K. Peterson
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History Department
  • Affiliations Environmental Studies Department
  • Phone
    831-459-4915 (office), 831-459-2555 (message)
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Stevenson College Academic Building, 216
  • Office Hours Winter 2020: Tues., 3:30-5:00 and by appt.
  • Mail Stop Stevenson Academic Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High Street
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Environmental History, History, Water, Colonialism, European Studies, History of Science, Russia, Soviet and Post Soviet Studies, Environmental Studies, Asian Studies
  • Courses HIS 152 Trade and Travel on the Silk Roads, HIS 152C Islam in Eurasia, HIS 173B Imperial Russia, HIS 173C The Soviet Union, HIS 177 Environment in the 19th Century, HIS 196F Environment and Empire, HIS 196V The Soviet Experience, HIS 196W Brave New World: Visions of Utopia in the Soviet Union, HIS 202 Practicing World History, HIS 251A Readings in Modern European History: Environment and Technology
  • Advisees, Grad Students, Researchers Andrei Tcacenco

Summary of Expertise

Russian History
European History of the 19th and 20th centuries
Environmental History
Central Asia

Research Interests

Imperial Russian and Soviet history
Comparative empire/colonialism
Central Asian history
Water
Environmental History
History of engineering
History of frontiers and borderlands

Biography, Education and Training

Ph.D. in History, Harvard University, 2011
A.M. in Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Harvard University, 2005
B.A. with High Honors in History (major), Russian (minor), and German Studies (concentration), Swarthmore College, 2002

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • UCSC Digital Instruction Project Fellow, 2018-2019
  • Visiting Researcher, Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, Germany (Fall 2018)
  • UCHRI Junior Faculty Manuscript Workshop award, 2017
  • UCSC IHR Faculty Fellowship, 2016
  • Carson Center Fellowship, 2012-13 (Rachel Carson Center, LMU, Munich, Germany)
  • College Fellowship, 2011-12 (Dept. of the History of Science, Harvard University)
  • Social Science Research Council Eurasia Dissertation Support Fellowship, 2010-11
  • American Society for Environmental History Travel Grant, 2009
  • Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, 2008-09
  • Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship, 2008-09
  • Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, 2007
  • Merle Fainsod Prize, 2005-06; 2003-04 (Harvard University)
  • Roger Martin Travel and Research Grant, 2005-06 (Harvard University)
  • Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship (Russian), 2004-05; 2003-04
  • Abby and George O'Neill Graduate Research Travel Grant, 2004 (Harvard University)
  • Fulbright IIE Fellowship, 2002-03 (Berlin, Germany)  
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2002                                                                                

Selected Publications

Pipe Dreams: Water and Empire in Central Asia's Aral Sea Basin (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019).

 

"US to USSR: American Experts, Irrigation, and Cotton in Soviet Central Asia, 1929-32," Environmental History 21, 3 (2016): 442-466.

 

"Engineering Empire: Russian and Foreign Hydraulic Experts in Central Asia, 1887-1917." Cahiers du Monde Russe, Special Issue: “Land, soil and people. Agricultural expertise and power (19th-20th centuries),” 57, 1 (January-March 2016): 125-146.

 

Marks, Peterson, Gao, and Worster, roundtable on Ling Zhang, The River, the Plain, and the State: An Environmental Drama in Northern Song China, 1048–1128, ed. Chris F. Jones. H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 8, 4 (2018)

Teaching Interests

Russian and Soviet history
Modern European history
Environmental History
History of Science and Technology
History of the Silk Roads
Comparative empire/colonialism
Comparative borderlands