Graduate Courses

Fall 2024

Problems in Ancient History: The Senses in the Ancient Mediterranean
Subject associations
CLA 547 / PAW 503 / HLS 547 / HIS 557 / ART 527

An interdisciplinary, diachronic, and critical study of the senses in the ancient world. Explores how a variety of senses might be recovered from the past and assesses the possibilities and limitations of sensory approaches. Surveys the types of primary evidence that might be used, weighs the possibilities for objective interpretation, and considers the reasons for regional and chronological variation. Senses examined in their social, political, and cultural contexts and with attention to conceptions of bodies, perception, and ontology. Strengths and weaknesses of the secondary literature on the topic evaluated.

Instructors
Nathan T. Arrington
Michael A. Flower
Japanese Philosophy: A Modern History, 1600-1945
Subject associations
EAS 527 / HIS 522

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.

Instructors
Federico Marcon
Readings in Ancient and Medieval Japanese History
Subject associations
EAS 568 / HIS 568

This course is designed to introduce fundamental themes and debates about ancient and medieval Japanese history, and how conceptualizations of Japan have changed over time from the third century CE through 1600. Approximately two books, or a comparable number of articles, are required each week, and wherever possible, a brief passage of Japanese scholarship is presented as well. Reading knowledge of modern Japanese is desirable.

Instructors
Thomas D. Conlan
Introduction to the Professional Study of History
Subject associations
HIS 500

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.

Instructors
Linda J. Colley
Matthew J. Karp
Colonial Latin America to 1810
Subject associations
HIS 504 / LAS 524

We cover the history, historiography and theory of Latin America's early modernity. Canonical works are compared to recent literature in economic, social, political, environmental, and cultural history. Key questions: Why and how do historiographical modes change? Is colonization a class, national, or ethnic phenomenon? Why does Spanish colonization in the Americas differ from French, English, and Portuguese? Why did the peasantry survive in Latin America and not elsewhere in the continent? Was race structuring? How did Latin America become capitalist? Welcome, students of early modernity, empires, the Americas, global history, and pedagogy.

Instructors
Vera S. Candiani
Environmental History: Plural Global and Local Narratives
Subject associations
HIS 507

The course assesses the paradigms and models underlying the analysis and description of environmental change and explores alternative ways of understanding environmental change beyond the current linear and homogenizing Nature-to-Culture conceptualizations.

Instructors
Emmanuel H. Kreike
Modern African History: Society, Violence, Displacement, and Memory
Subject associations
HIS 515

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.

Instructors
Emmanuel H. Kreike
20th-Century Japanese History
Subject associations
HIS 527 / EAS 522

Readings in Japanese political, social, and economic history. Topics include transwar continuity and change, political economy, labor, gender issues, culture and state, religion, Japanese expansion and colonialism, the Allied Occupation of Japan and "social management." Some readings in Japanese (optional for those who do not specialize in Japanese history).

Instructors
Sheldon M. Garon
Modern China
Subject associations
HIS 530 / EAS 520

This seminar introduces students to major historiographical issues and methodological issues in China's twentieth-century history. The content is divided evenly between the Republic period and PRC history, with occasional forays back to the Qing dynasty. Topics reflect theoretical debates and empirical questions, including: nationalism, civil society, urban life, gender and sexuality, war and revolution, science, law.

Instructors
Janet Y. Chen
Muslims Across the Indian Ocean
Subject associations
HIS 537

This seminar considers Islam and mobility across the Indian Ocean, discussing ways that Southeast Asians, Africans, and Indians have created their distinct communities while nonetheless declaring themselves to be of one discrete entity: the Umma. Alongside discussions of knowledge creation, orientalism and nationalism, the seminar also explores issues relating to global projects for religious and political reform, using Indonesia as a primary example.

Instructors
Michael F. Laffan
Modern Middle East
Subject associations
HIS 538 / NES 517

This intensive reading seminar situates recent monographs from a variety of disciplines against the backdrop of extant scholarly literature and broader intellectual debates that continue to shape the field of Middle East studies, in general, and Middle East history, in particular.

Instructors
Max D. Weiss
Problems in Byzantine History
Subject associations
HIS 545 / HLS 542

This course introduces and engages with historiographical questions central to our understanding of the Byzantine Empire from its inauguration in the fourth century to its fall in the fifteenth century. Sample sources - available in original and translation - are examined and analyzed using a variety of current methodological approaches. We consider aspects of political, economic, social, and cultural and intellectual history. The main areas of focus in a specific year will depend on the interests of the group. The aim is to provide students with concrete tools that will inform and strengthen their own research and teaching.

Instructors
Teresa Shawcross
International Financial History
Subject associations
HIS 552

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?

Instructors
Harold James
The Russian Empire: 1672-1917
Subject associations
HIS 556

This seminar covers major topics of Russian history from the late 17th century to 1917: political cultures and the institutions of autocracy; Russia in the age of Enlightenment; Nationalism and the policy toward non-Russian nationalities; Russian Empire in comparative perspective; Church and State in Imperial Russia; Russian village before and after the emancipation of peasants; social, legal, and cultural reforms; revolutionary movement and the development of Russian political thought.

Instructors
Ekaterina Pravilova
Roman Law & Society
Subject associations
HIS 558

Through its governmental institutions, the Roman state developed one of the first complex systems of civil law and formal adjudication in which the law was interpreted and applied. It is this systemic law that lies at the basis of most European and Common law jurisdictions today. The seminar places emphasis on understanding the developed structure of the Roman civil law, the development of its legal principles and arguments, and with how the law was applied in daily life.

Instructors
Brent D. Shaw
Modern Eastern Europe: Concepts and Interpretations
Subject associations
HIS 570

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.

Instructors
Iryna Vushko
Topics in American Legal History: American Legal Thought
Subject associations
HIS 572

This course gives students an overview of the historiography and historical issues in the field of legal history, with an emphasis on: the relationship between law and society; the influence of scholarship in women's history, African American history, and labor history on legal history; the ways that legal historians have conceived of the exercise of power; and the relationship of people to law and legal institutions.

Instructors
Laura F. Edwards
Comparative Race/Ethnicity in the United States
Subject associations
HIS 576

This course examines the historical approaches to multiracial and multiethnic interactions in the United States. By focusing on the constructions of race and ethnicity through a comparative lens, privileges and societal hierarchy becomes more pronounced and difference more nuanced. Some of the central themes of the course are identity, empire, citizenship, and migration. The majority of readings are from 1850 to the present.

Instructors
Rosina A. Lozano
Topics in African Diaspora History: Emancipation, Migration, Decolonization
Subject associations
HIS 578 / AAS 578

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.

Instructors
Joshua B. Guild
Law, Empire, and International Order
Subject associations
HIS 583

This seminar surveys dynamic new research on the role of law in imperial and international orders. If recent scholarship has recast empires as forms of international ordering, and, conversely, international orders as adaptions of imperial governance, law has figured prominently in these interpretive departures. Ranging across the modern period, the seminar's themes include sovereignty and quasi-sovereignty; legal pluralism and extraterritoriality; citizenship and colonial subjecthood; imperial constitutions and international organizations; human rights and "juridical humanity"; self-determination, decolonization, post-imperial worldmaking.

Instructors
Natasha G. Wheatley
Readings in American History: Reconstruction to World War I
Subject associations
HIS 589

A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American History from the end of the Civil War through the 1920s.

Instructors
Beth Lew-Williams
Emily Thompson
From Democracy to Autocracy: The Lessons of Medieval Italy
Subject associations
HIS 591

In the face of a power vacuum caused by the struggle between the German Empire and the Papacy, dozens of cities of medieval Italy formed autonomous communes governed by popularly elected assemblies. These flourished for centuries, laying the foundations for the culture of humanism and the Renaissance. In the later Middle Ages, however, most of these communes were taken over by autocrats - only a few survived as self-governing republics into the modern era. A comparison of these examples can offer a basis for understanding the fate of democratic governments in succeeding periods and today.

Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine: Information-Computing-Infrastructure
Subject associations
HOS 599 / HIS 599

The course introduces some major works in the history of computing, digital media, and information technologies, with particular attention to transformative and methodologically important texts, often at loggerheads with one another. Students are likewise introduced to some major current works in the history of technology and media studies. The course along the way provides an outline of the development of computing from the late nineteenth century. Authors include Kelty, Kline, Medina, Seaver, Haigh, Chun, Brunton, Mahoney, Nakamura, Nooney, Turner, Philip, Lécuyer, Rankin, Hicks, Diaz, among others.

Instructors
Matthew L. Jones

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