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HIST 380     Crimes and Scandals in the Historical Imagination, 18th–20th Centuries  (4)

An investigation of the ways historians read past crimes and scandals for evidence of broader social, political, and cultural anxieties and desires. Focusing less on details of incidents themselves than on the debates and public interpretation surrounding them, this seminar deals with crimes such as those committed by Jack the Ripper or French murderesses at the end of the nineteenth century. In addition to analyzing secondary sources dealing with crime and scandal, students scrutinize a variety of primary documents such as trial records, medical and judicial debates, scientific analysis of criminality, memoirs of notorious criminals and detective novels. Prerequisite: One course with attribute G4 including AP or IB credit.