Graduate Courses

Fall 2017

CLA 547/PAW 503/HLS 547/HIS 557 Problems in Ancient History: Transformations of Culture in Late Antiquity Relying on material and textual evidence, the seminar explores the cultural history of the Mediterranean World in the Late Antique period by focusing on continuities and transformations in fields such as literate education, transmission of knowledge, religious change, formation of identity, and legal practice. We discuss key concepts such as Romanization, paideia, religious conversion, democratization of culture, centre and periphery from the early Empire to the emergence of post-Roman cultures and societies. Attention is paid to past scholarship as well as to innovative approaches based on new evidence and methods. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz, Alberto Rigolio
EAS 528/HIS 548 Readings in Ancient Japanese History This course is devoted to understanding the varied and unique sources of Ancient Japan, focusing on the seventh through eleventh centuries. Instruction is focused on reading and translating a variety of documentary genres, and court chronicles. Each week entails the translation of several short documents. Some research resources and methods are also introduced. In addition to weekly assignments, a presentation of the final research paper is required during the final class and a 12-15 page research paper is due on Dean's Day. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan, Shinji Yoshikawa
HIS 500 Introduction to the Professional Study of History A colloquium to introduce the beginning graduate student to the great traditions in historical writing, a variety of techniques and analytical tools recently developed by historians, and the nature of history as a profession. Instructor(s): Katja Guenther, Wendy Warren
HIS 501 Global History (1850s - Present) This seminar offers a history of global interactions roughly since the 1850s, combining an analytical framework with an overarching narrative. It singles out geopolitics, political economy, empire, networks and exchange, warfare and welfare, and oil. Key themes include the Anglo-German antagonism, the U.S.-Japan clash, the rise and fall of global communism, the German story and the European Union, the fall and rise of China, and America's global predominance and partnerships. Instructor(s): Stephen Kotkin
HIS 504/LAS 524 Colonial Latin America to 1810 Covers the history, historiography and theory of Latin America's early modernity. Readings offer a vehicle to discuss questions such as why some types of historical questions seem more urgent than others at different times and what are the origins and meanings of historiographical shifts over the evolution of the field. To explore such questions and find out what problems of past historiographical traditions remain unsolved and deserve a new look, both classic texts and more recent works that display new approaches are read, often in counterpoint. Students of early modernity, colonial empires and world history will profit from the course. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 506/LAS 526 Modern Latin American History Since 1810 Course examines interactions between states and citizens since Latin American independence with an additional consideration of the region's integration into global economic and political systems. Instructor(s): Robert A. Karl
HIS 508 Readings in Modern American Political Economy The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the big questions of American political economy in the 20th century and how scholars have thought about them over the last half-century or so. We read a combination of classic and new works that explore the relationship between business and government in the modern era. Along with the list of books below, we also read seminal articles that helped to define new fields, raise new questions, or synthesize the literature. Instructor(s): Meg Jacobs
HIS 515 Modern African History: Society, Violence, Displacement, and Memory Topics include the relationship between society and warfare in pre-modern and modern Africa, the impact of violence on society (for example, population displacement, disease, and genocide) and post-conflict recovery (i.e. demobilization, return and resettlement of internally displaced persons and refugees, the transition from emergency aid to development aid) and reconciliation (for example, truth- and/or reconciliation commissions and war crimes/humanitarian courts) as well as the memorialisation of the violence and peace-building. Instructor(s): Emmanuel H. P. M. Kreike
HIS 519/GSS 519/HOS 519 Topics in the History of Sex and Gender: Gender and Science The seminar begins by exploring classic scholarship centered on four historical periods, each posited as important moments in the origin of gendered science: medieval Christianity, the scientific revolution, the professionalization of scientists in the late-19th century, and 20th-century second-wave feminism. We then turn to a series of well-developed analytical tools employed by historians of science and gender, and finally to recent scholarship. In all cases, we will analyze the imbricated processes by which science as a social enterprise has been fundamentally gendered and the implicit gendering of the sciences of sex and sexuality. Instructor(s): Erika Lorraine Milam
HIS 526/EAS 521 Readings in Early Modern Japanese History A survey of major issues in the historiography of early modern Japan and Meiji Japan (1600-1890). Instructor(s): Federico Marcon
HIS 534 Problems and Sources in the Study of Late Antique Iran: Sasanian History This graduate seminar is meant as both an overview of Sasanian history as well as an introduction to its historiography. It is organized based on the study of sources and addresses the issue of the diversity of languages, types of evidence, and variety of approaches. It additionally aims at connecting Sasanian history to the greater issues of late antique and world history and emphasizes similarities and mutual influences with other late antique civilizations and entities. Instructor(s): Khodadad Rezakhani
HIS 535 History of the U.S. State This course surveys classic and recent literature on the history of the U.S. state. The bulk of the readings concentrate on the 20th Century U.S., but with some attention to earlier periods, other parts of the world, and key theoretical texts. Over the arc of the semester we work toward an understanding of what the state is, and what the concept of the state conveys that is not simply contained in the word "government". Instructor(s): Margot Canaday
HIS 536/HLS 536/MED 536 Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean The littoral of the Great Sea has long been viewed as a major place of contact, conflict and exchange for groups belonging to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course approaches the encounters of different religions and ethnicities in such a manner as to introduce students not only to the classic historiography on the subject, but also to the main controversies and debates now current in scholarship. Our analysis and evaluation of the connections that developed between individuals and communities will focus on the High Middle Ages. Instructor(s): Teresa Shawcross
HIS 552 International Financial History The course examines financial innovation and its consequences from the early modern period to present: it examines the evolution of trading practices, bills of exchange, government bonds, equities, banking activity, derivatives markets, securitization. How do these evolve in particular state or national settings, how are the practices regulated, how do they relate to broader processes of economic development and to state formation? What happens as financial instruments are traded across state boundaries, and how does an international financial order evolve? What are the effects of international capital mobility? Instructor(s): Harold James
HIS 555/HLS 555 Monotheism and Society from Constantine to Harun al-Rashid The goal of this seminar will be to introduce students to some of the most important ideas and debates surrounding the two major religious revolutions of Late Antiquity: the triumph of Christianity and the subsequent emergence and world conquests of Islam. The course will focus on extensive reading in both primary and secondary literature and students will be introduced to and trained in using major instrumenta studiorum for this period; texts may also be read in Greek, Syriac, and Arabic. No prior knowledge of Late Antiquity, Christianity, or Islam will be assumed. Instructor(s): Jack Boulos Victor Tannous
HIS 559 The Soviet Empire and Successor States This seminar covers the history of the Soviet Union from inception until dissolution and slightly beyond. The readings are exhaustive and comprehensive, with particular attention paid to institutions, empire, the cultural foundations of politics, and the world context. Instructor(s): Stephen Kotkin
HIS 560 After Empire This graduate seminar explores the postcolonial world in the aftermath of World War II, a period convulsed by the aftereffects of wartime upheavals, nationalist insurgencies, imperial retreat, and the onset of the Cold War. Focusing on the period from the end of World War II to Bandung and treating it as a distinct and bounded historical conjuncture, we examine decolonization as a global phenomenon, caught between the no longer and not yet, and sparking changes in imperial and anticolonial projects. Instructor(s): Gyan Prakash
HIS 564 The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century This course examines how historians have employed the notion of crisis in the study of the past in particular and the seventeenth century in particular. While the majority of our readings emerge from scholarship on crisis in seventeenth-century Europe, we also look at examples from other times and places. What insights does the notion of crisis release into the historical study of the past? What insights does it inhibit? Instructor(s): Yaacob Dweck
HIS 567 Topics in English History: Working with Early Modern Documents This research and writing course introduces students to working with archival documents. It is designed to expose students to a variety of early modern archival materials, especially manuscript (letters, state papers, parish registers, criminal proceedings, account books, legal depositions, etc.) and to explore how historians use different materials. Instructor(s): Eleanor Kathryn Hubbard
HIS 578/AAS 578 Topics in African Diaspora History: Emancipation, Migration, Decolonization This readings course considers the dispersals, political movements, cultural production, social bonds, and intellectual labors that together have constituted and continually re-configured the modern African diaspora, from the emergence and collapse of the Atlantic slave system through the late twentieth century. The course tracks the evolution of diaspora as an idea and analytical framework, highlighting its intersections with concepts of Pan-Africanism, black nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and citizenship. Instructor(s): Joshua B. Guild
HIS 586/HOS 586 American Technological History This reading course introduces History Dept. graduate students to historical literature on American technology from the Colonial Era through the Twentieth Century. A chronological survey of technological development highlights the variety of ways scholars have understood technology and its interactions with society and culture from a historical perspective. Instructor(s): Emily Thompson
HIS 587 Readings in Early American History This course provides an introduction to the historiography of early North America and the Caribbean. Discussions of Native American history, comparative colonialism, labor, violence, race, slavery, and more. Instructor(s): Wendy Warren
HIS 748 Abolition and Antislavery Politics in the United States No description available Instructor(s): Matthew Jason Karp
HOS 595/MOD 564/HIS 595 Introduction to Historiography of Science This course is designed to introduce beginning graduate students to the central problems and principle literature of the history of science from the Enlightenment into the 20th century. Instructor(s): Angela N. H. Creager
NES 547/HIS 546 Introduction to Arabic Documents Introduction to hands-on work with Arabic documentary sources from the first six Islamic centuries in their original manuscript form. Students learn some of the existing repertory, how to decipher documentary hands in Arabic script, how to make professional-quality diplomatic editions and how to explain the content, form and survival of documents historically. Students also gain experience with the growing body of printed and digital resources for Arabic papyrology. By the end of the course, students may also be able to date documents by sight to within a century. This iteration of the course focuses on Arabic documents of state. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow


Director of Graduate Studies, History
220 Dickinson Hall
Graduate Program Administrator
108 Dickinson Hall