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Faculty Profiles

Department: History

Levey, MatthewMatthew Levey

Professor of History

Office:

HC 217

Contact Information:

Birmingham-Southern College
Box 549031
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-4867
Office Fax: (205) 226-3099
E-mail: mlevey@bsc.edu

Brief Career Background:

1989-1991: University of Puget Sound (Visiting Assistant Professor of History)
1991-1993: College of William and Mary (Visiting Assistant Professor of History)
1993-1998: Birmingham-Southern College (Assistant Professor of History)
1998- : Birmingham-Southern College (Professor of History)

Educational Background:

1978: Clark University (BA in History)
1980: University of Michigan (MA in Chinese Studies)
1984: University of Chicago (MA in East Asian Studies)
1991: University of Chicago (PhD in East Asian
Civilizations and Cultures)

Areas of Academic Interest:

  • Chinese and Japanese History
  • History of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist Traditions Memory of World War II--in Europe and the Holocaust and the Wars in Asia and the Pacific

Courses Taught:

HI 102 European Civilization I (1)
The historical development of European social and political attitudes and institutions through the Age of Enlightenment.

HI 103 European Civilization II (1)
The historical development of European social and political attitudes and institutions from the French Revolution to the late twentieth century.

HI 151 History of the American People I (1)
The evolution of the American people to 1865, as reflected in their political and economic development, social practices, and philosophy with particular reference to the interaction between ideas and social structure.

HI 152 History of the American People II (1)
A continuation of History of the American People I, dealing with the changes in American society since 1865 as reflected in the industrialization of the nation with emphasis on the interaction between traditional concepts and contemporary social structure.

HI 181 East Asian Civilization I: Introduction to Chinese Civilization (1)
A comprehensive introduction to the history of Chinese civilization from its beginnings to the 17 th century. Key topics include the formation of ancient Chinese civilization, the growth and development of the three main traditions of learning and religion (Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism), the evolution of China's imperial system of government, patterns of land tenure, the development of commercialized agriculture and urban centers, and the ways in which Chinese historians have written about their national past (an IC designated course). Fall; offered as a First-Year Foundations course in even-numbered years.

HI 182 East Asian Civilization II: Introduction to Japanese Civilization (1)
A comprehensive introduction to the history of Japanese civilization from its beginnings to the 17 th century. Key topics include the formation and evolution of Japan's imperial system, the "way of the warrior" (bushido), the evolution of Buddhism and Confucianism in relation to the native "Shinto" tradition, patterns of land tenure, the transition from rule by civilian aristocrats to the emergence of military rule, and the ways in which Japanese historians have written about their national past (an IC designated course). Spring; offered as a First-Year Foundations course in odd-numbered years.

HI 270 Practice of History Seminar (1)
A study of what history is and what the historian does. Through an examination of some of the classics of historical writing, attention is given to perspectives of the various historians and to the changing nature of the questions they have sought to answer. By preparing their own research paper, students are also exposed to contemporary methods and techniques of historical writing and research. Prerequisite: sophomore or junior standing or consent.

HI 283 [383] Modern China (1)
An introduction to Chinese history from the Manchu conquest in the seventeenth century to the People's Republic. Emphasis is on the changing social, economic, and political structure of Chinese society and how the Chinese explained to themselves the changes taking place in their society.

HI 284 [384] Modern Japan (1)
An introduction to Japanese history from the emergence of military rule in the thirteenth century to the post-World War II democratic experience. Emphasis is on the changing social, economic, and political structure of Japanese society and how the Japanese explained to themselves the changes taking place in their society.

HI 287 [387] Western Images of Asia (1)
A multimedia exploration of Western attitudes about the “orient.” Through scholarly and fictional texts and a careful viewing of visual arts, this course analyzes the development of Western attitudes toward the “east,” beginning with medieval explorers and concluding with our present concerns with the Japanese and Chinese (an IC designated course). Also listed as HON 287, this course may be counted by Honors Program students toward fulfillment of their course requirements. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing.

HI 288 [388] Remembering World War II (A): The War in Asia and the Pacific (1)
How World War II in Asia and the Pacific is remembered in several countries, including China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Using a variety of literary (novels, poetry, and memoirs), artistic (film and painting), and architectural (monuments, memorials, and museums) evidence, we explore the legacy and memories of World War II in these various countries, consider some of the many issues related to self-representation and historical memory, and examine how different cultures with widely divergent pasts and traditions come to shape memory and guilt (an IC designated course). Also listed as HON 288, this course may be counted by Honors Program students toward fulfillment of their course requirements.

HI 289 [389] Remembering World War II (B): The War in Europe and the Holocaust (1)
How World War II in Europe and the Holocaust are remembered in several countries. Using a variety of literary (novels, poetry and memoirs), artistic (film and painting), and architectural (monuments, memorials, and museums) evidence, we explore the legacy and memories of World War II in these various countries, consider some of the many issues related to self-representation and historical memory, and examine how different cultures with widely divergent pasts and traditions come to shape memory and guilt. Countries to be studied are chosen from among the following: Germany, France, Poland, Russia/Soviet Union, and the United States (an IC designated course). Also listed as HON 289, this course may be counted by Honors Program students toward fulfillment of their course requirements.

HI 385 The People's Republic of China (1)
An assessment of the history of the Chinese Communist Revolutionary movement from its inception to the present. Key topics include the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the Democracy Movement, and various attempts by the Chinese Communist Party to transform the economic, social, intellectual, and political landscape of “traditional” China according to the competing visions–within the Party–of the nature, means, and goals of Marxist-Leninist Revolution. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing.

HI 386 Japan in the Twentieth Century (1)
An analysis of the political, social, and economic history of “Showa” (1912-1989) Japan, and an attempt to place Japan's recent economic and political emergence on the world stage in the context of the problem and process of modernization. Also a strong focus on Japan's wars in Asia and the Pacific, their consequences on Japan and their meaning for Japanese today. Prerequisite: at least sophomore standing.

HI 470 Senior Research Symposium (1)
The senior capstone seminar, in which students write a major research paper on a topic of their choice with approval by the history faculty. Students will present their research in a senior conference, fulfilling the Scholarship Foundations graduation requirement. Prerequisite: approval of research topic by history faculty.