Graduate Courses

Spring 2024

Classics, Commentaries, and Contexts in Chinese Intellectual History: Ritual Classics
Subject associations
EAS 506 / HIS 531

This course examines classical Chinese texts and their commentary traditions, with commentary selections and additional readings from the earliest periods through the early twentieth century. Readings are selected from the three ritual classics (so-called San Li), historical writings, and excavated manuscripts relating to ritual, broadly construed. Secondary readings selected from the theory of ritual and the use of ritual texts and commentaries in Chinese intellectual, social, and cultural history.

Instructors
Trenton W. Wilson
Race and Empire, c. 1500-c.1950
Subject associations
HIS 501

This course examines historical research and scholarship about the role of empires in creating or remaking global hierarchies and the role that racial and other practices and categories of difference played in shaping the history of empires. The period we cover arcs from the clustered formation of Mughal, Ottoman, Qing, and Atlantic and Indian Ocean empires starting in the fifteenth century to the mid 20th century.

Instructors
Molly Greene
Gyan Prakash
Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean
Subject associations
HIS 536 / HLS 536 / MED 536

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.

Instructors
Teresa Shawcross
Topics in Latin American History: Afro-Atlantic Lives: Slavery in Latin America
Subject associations
HIS 539

This course explores readings in the history of Latin America, covering both South America and the Caribbean from the Colonial period to modern day. Topics include African slavery in Latin America, abolitionism, politics in Latin America, labor history, and U.S.-Latin American relations.

Instructors
Isadora M. Mota
Seminar in Medieval History: Thirteenth-Century France
Subject associations
HIS 544 / MED 544

Reading and research seminar on thirteenth-century France.

Instructors
William C. Jordan
Histories of Language and Communication
Subject associations
HIS 548

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.

Instructors
Fara Dabhoiwala
Rethinking the Global Early Modern: India, 1400-1900
Subject associations
HIS 561

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.

Instructors
Divya Cherian
British Histories and Global Histories, c.1750-1950
Subject associations
HIS 562

This seminar explores the history of Britain and its empire after 1700 from the broader and necessary perspectives of global history. Topics include the complexities and tensions of British and Irish unions, industrial, urban and cultural revolutions, citizenship and constitutions, warfare, empire, ideologies and race, and the shifting nature of imperial linkages and decline.

Instructors
Linda J. Colley
Research Seminar in American History
Subject associations
HIS 581

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.

Instructors
Peter Wirzbicki
Topics in Indigenous and Western American History: Crafting Indigenous Histories
Subject associations
HIS 582

This readings course focuses on the central problems engaged by recent scholarship on Indigenous and Western American history. The seminar explores topics including borders, migration, slavery, and politics from the 17th-20th centuries.

Instructors
Elizabeth Ellis
Readings in American History: The Early Republic through Reconstruction, 1815-1877
Subject associations
HIS 588

A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the Era of Good Feelings through Reconstruction.

Instructors
Matthew J. Karp
Sean Wilentz
History of Medicine: Freud to fMRI - Readings in the Histories of Mind and Brain
Subject associations
HOS 594 / HIS 594

This course offers an historical survey through the medicine and science of the brain - from psychoanalysis (and a little before) to modern neuroimaging. It pays particular attention to the ways in which the mind and brain sciences have played a role in "making up people" (Hacking). Amongst others, it examines the birth of the asylum; the psyche in the secularizing politics of 19th c. France; how a discourse of nerves fed into a discourse on modernity; the role of the laboratory in the formation of 19th c. psychological sciences; the origins and reception of psychoanalysis; and the various cultures of contemporary neuroscience.

Instructors
Katja Guenther
Introduction to Historiography of Science
Subject associations
HOS 595 / MOD 564 / HIS 595

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.

Instructors
D. Graham Burnett
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

Contacts

Kristy Novak
Graduate Program Administrator, History and History of Science
Office Phone
Office
108 Dickinson Hall
Beth Lew-Williams
Office Phone
Office
222 Dickinson Hall
Director of Graduate Studies, History