Graduate Courses

Spring 2020

EAS 517/HIS 531 Qing History: Working with Archival Documents This graduate seminar introduces the methodology of working with archival documents created by the Qing imperial state (1644-1911), with chronological extensions into both the pre-Conquest period and the early Republican era. Through a close analysis of primary sources, students achieve a better understanding of the organizational logic of centralized government, as well as the culture of information management in the official world. This course also trains students to read Manchu-language documents and facilitate original research using Princeton East Asian Library's collections. Instructor(s): He Bian
EAS 527/HIS 522 Japanese Philosophy: A Modern History, 1600-1945 This seminar has two main goals. The first is to offer a survey of the philosophical production of Japan from the Tokugawa period to the end of the Second World War, with a focus on the socio-political and intellectual conditions that favored the development of sophisticated philosophical discourses, their terminology, recurring themes, and changing authorizing/legitimating strategies. The second is to investigate on the heuristic adequacy of the Western term "philosophy" to understand forms and style of speculative thinking in Japan. Instructor(s): Federico Marcon
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 508 Readings in Modern American Political Economy The goal of the course is to familiarize you 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. Instructor(s): Meg Jacobs
HIS 512/EAS 512/CLA 510/NES 522 Warfare, State and Society in Eastern and Western Eurasia, 600-1600 CE Using both general questions and some case-studies, this seminar introduces students to some aspects of the ways in which different state systems and social formations in the medieval Eurasian world, from western Europe to China and Japan - have managed their resources in respect of warfare, different organizational practices, and attitudes to violence, fighting and armed conflict. The role and status of the individual fighting man or soldier, the technologies of warfare and their application, and questions of morale and identity are also examined. Instructor(s): Thomas Donald Conlan, John Frederick Haldon
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 542 Marx and the Marxist Method of Analysis Common statements about Marxism: economic determinism at its worst; simplistically teleological; The Communist Manifesto sums it all up. Such assessments are common not just in the public sphere but also in learned environments. Let's test them. Let's take Karl Marx seriously, reading fundamental works by him and others to understand the method and properly assess it. This course first focuses on key works by Marx, Frederick Engels, Rosa Luxemburg and V.I. Lenin. After that, we investigate how scholars in different fields of history as well as in other disciplines have used the Marxist method to explain key processes in their domains. Instructor(s): Vera Silvina Candiani
HIS 543/HLS 543 The Origins of the Middle Ages The seminar explores the transition from the late ancient to the medieval world in the Merovingian kingdoms, the most successful successor state of the Western Roman empire. We study the various efforts to find order and orientation in a quickly and constantly changing world that was shaped by its continuing connections to the Mediterranean as well as by its interaction with the European North and Northwest. We particularly focus on how the intellectual, social, and spiritual resources and models of the late Roman world were adopted and adapted in an ongoing bricolage which some of the baselines of medieval Europe were created. Instructor(s): Helmut Reimitz
HIS 544/MED 544 Seminar in Medieval History: Rural Society This course is an investigation of rural society in northern Europe during the High Middle Ages, covering issues like land clearance, agricultural technology, labor (including serfdom), crime, agricultural crises, etc.. Instructor(s): William Chester Jordan
HIS 548 Histories of Language and Communication How should we think about the history of language and communication, especially in light of the digital revolution of our own time? This course considers the different themes, approaches, and conclusions of recent scholars of history and related fields. Reading and discussion of one or two books each week. All readings in English. No prior knowledge required. Instructor(s): Fara Dabhoiwala
HIS 561 Rethinking the Global Early Modern: India, 1400-1900 This class critically approaches the idea of a trans-regionally or globally constituted early modern age. It does so by reading methodological interventions as well as studies that advocate, exemplify, complicate, or challenge the global approach. The course engages with the idea of pre-modern and non-European cosmopolitanisms as well as exchanges between South Asia on the one hand and other world regions on the other. It reflects on the use of terms like "encounter", "circulation", "flow", and "network" in this historiography with the aim of exploring the roots, stakes, possibilities, and limits of the idea of an early modern world. Instructor(s): Divya Cherian
HIS 562 British Histories and Global Histories, c.1750-1950 This seminar explores the inter-connected histories of Britain and the British Empire from the even broader perspective of global history, and in so doing examines the rise and fall of the British nation and empire as world hegemon. Topics to be covered include industrial revolutions, citizens, subjects and constitutions, empire and race, the First and Second World Wars as imperial conflicts, and the collapse of British world power thereafter. Instructor(s): David Nicholas Cannadine, Linda Jane Colley
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: The English Revolutions What has happened to the English Revolutions? The English political turmoil of the seventeenth century once took pride of place as one of history's most important events. Since the 1970s, however, a revisionist movement has left the field wiser, but in considerable disarray, with the political history of the period largely divorced from the social history of the same era. In recent years, scholars have been picking up the pieces, and trying once again to fit English (and British) developments into larger historiographies of revolution. This course examines these remarkable upheavals and their unsettled legacy in historical scholarship. Instructor(s): Eleanor Kathryn Hubbard
HIS 570 Modern Eastern Europe: Concepts and Interpretations This seminar introduces students to some of the major themes and debates in the history and historiography of modern Eastern Europe. The focus of the class is upon Eastern Europe generally defined as a space in- and between the Russian and the Austrian Empires and territories that today constitute Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Readings include scholarly monographs and primary sources but the focus is upon recent studies that have influenced the field. Instructor(s): Iryna Vushko
HIS 573 Peasants and Farmers in the Modern World This course offers readings in multidisciplinary literature on peasant/agrarian studies. It combines anthropological, sociological, and historical approaches and analyzes how peasant communities interact with the world of rising capitalism, nation states, standardization, colonialism, and postcolonial global order. The main themes discussed in the classes include: peasants as "the others" for educated elites, peasant economy and the way of life in comparative prospective, and forms and languages of domination, passive, and active resistance.
HIS 575 Readings in German History This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of German History from 1700 to the mid-20th century. Instructor(s): Yair Mintzker
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 581 Research Seminar in American History This course is intended to guide U.S. history PhD students through the research and writing of a scholarly paper. During the semester, each student writes one article-length research paper that might serve as the basis for a later publication. Along the way we discuss the historian's craft: how to go about initial research, create an argument, and write engaging narratives. Chiefly, students work closely with each other as well as with the instructor, offering comments and suggestions from the selection of a topic to revising the final draft. Instructor(s): Robert Sean Wilentz
HIS 582 Readings in Western American History This readings course focuses on the central problems engaged by recent scholarship on the American West, with particular attention given to how this regional history intersects with the larger thematic concerns of national history. Readings address topics ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries, including environmental history, Native American history, race, gender, urban history, and popular culture. Instructor(s): Martha A. Sandweiss
HIS 584 Topics in Urban History: City, Region, Nation, Place Intensive readings course surveying rich recent scholarship on history of cities and their regions, intersecting with disciplines such as geography, sociology, political science, art history, built environment, planning, policy, architecture, and public humanities-as well as with historical fields of research in race, ethnicity, gender, class, capitalism, business, and culture. Seminar covers field's evolution from 1960s to recent multidisciplinary, comparative, national, and transnational studies, addressing problems of place, social processes, human experience, methods, and archives. Includes short research assignments. Instructor(s): Alison Ellen Isenberg
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 588 Readings in American History: The Early Republic through Reconstruction, 1815-1877 A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the Era of Good Feelings through Reconstruction. Instructor(s): Robert Sean Wilentz
HOS 595/MOD 564/HIS 595 Introduction to Historiography of Science The seminar introduces graduate students to central problems, themes, concepts and methodologies in the history of science and neighboring fields. We explore past and recent developments including the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge, Actor-Network Theory, the study of practice and experimentation, the role of quantification, the concept of paradigms, gender, sexuality and the body, environmental history of science, the global history of science, and the role of labor and industry, amongst others. Instructor(s): Katja Guenther
HOS 599/HIS 599 Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine: Law & Science This seminar focuses on the relationship of law to science. Legal regimes have both enabled and constrained science, from colonial exploration to the regulation of human subjects research. Scientists, along with their knowledge and tools, have also been drawn into the legal arenas, from expert witnesses to paternity tests. Course topics include ideas of natural law, intellectual property and patent law, regulation of research, history of forensics, environmental protection, and the law and biology of human difference. This graduate seminar coincides with the ongoing Davis Center theme of 'Law & Legalities' this year. Instructor(s): Angela N. H. Creager
NES 549/HIS 509 Documents and Institutions in the Medieval Middle East Intensive study of the documentary sources and document-based historiography of the medieval Middle East. The course covers the scholarship to date. Focus is typically on the Cairo Geniza, but varies according to student interest. Students read diplomatic editions, translations and commentaries, familiarizing themselves with genres such as letters, decrees, memoranda, petitions, lists, deeds, registers, receipts and accounts. The approach combines diplomatics with social and institutional history. Reading knowledge of classical Arabic, Aramaic and/or Hebrew required depending on the semester. Instructor(s): Marina Rustow


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