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Fall 2017 Graduate Course Descriptions

 510:500    Historians Craft: 1 (Intro Course)
                     Professor Walter Rucker

Introduction to the professional study of history, to the diverse methodological approaches of current historiography, and to the place of historical scholarship in both academic and non-academic spheres.  First-year graduate students only.

 

510:511   Colloquium in Comparative History: Cultural Memory 
                  Professor Yael Zerubavel

The seminar introduces an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of memory drawing on historical, sociological, anthropological, and literary perspectives. The course is designed to provide a broad framework to explore major theoretical and methodological issues and key concepts related to memory studies. Readings and class discussions address various aspects of the relations between history and memory; commemorative narratives and plot structures; national memories and invented traditions; public memory and the media; trauma and silences; testimonies and oral histories; memory and art; rituals, memorial sites, and monuments; diasporic communities, nostalgia, and heritage tourism. Students’ own research projects are an important component of the course. Students choose their topic in consultation with me and pursue their research project during the semester. The project culminates in the writing of a final paper (20-25 pages including notes and bibliography). The course concludes with students’ oral presentations of their research in our own “mini-conference” on cultural memory.

 

510:515   Colloquium in U.S. Foreign Relations: The United States in the World Since 1898
                  Professor David Foglesong

Course Description and Objectives

        This graduate course will focus on how social, cultural, and political changes inside the United States have influenced and been affected by events, forces, and processes outside the country’s borders since the United States emerged as a world power and acquired an overseas empire. The central premises of the course are: (1) that many important movements and developments inside the United States in the twentieth century cannot be understood solely within the frame of the nation and (2) that our understanding of such movements and developments can be enriched by transnational, international, global, and comparative perspectives.

        The course is intended especially for: (1) graduate students in U.S. history who may be asked to teach broad surveys in which they will need to lecture on U.S. foreign relations; (2) graduate students in global history who may be asked to teach world history courses in which they will need to integrate U.S. history into broader global narratives; (3) graduate students in Latin American, European, Asian, or African history who are interested in learning more about how the United States has interacted with nations in those continents.

        The major objectives of the course are: (1) to help students build foundations for teaching survey courses in U.S. history and world history at the college level; (2) to stimulate thinking about interconnections between specialized fields of American history; (3) to promote critical analysis of the strengths and limitations of existing historical studies; and (4) to encourage creative thinking about directions for future research.

Course Requirements

        1. Completion of all required readings and active participation in discussions of the works at the class meetings.

        2. Two brief (5-10 minute) oral presentations to the class. The primary purpose of each presentation will be to open discussion of the required readings by raising questions about their strengths, weaknesses, methodologies, and persuasiveness, and by commenting on their historiographical contexts and significance. The presenters should circulate lists of questions about the readings to other members of the seminar one week before their scheduled presentations.

        3. Weekly short (500-750 word) review essays which will develop critical perspectives on the assigned reading by summarizing major arguments, addressing the persuasiveness of those arguments, commenting on the strengths and weaknesses of the authors' approaches or methods, and (as far as possible) setting the works in their historiographical contexts. Students must send their essays by e-mail to other members of the class at least 24 hours before the discussion of the reading.

        4. One longer (12 to 15 page) essay, based on extensive reading (at least three books) on one of the topics addressed in the course or on another topic approved by the instructor. The books and articles listed as supplemental reading on the course syllabus may serve as initial suggestions of sources for this historiographic essay. In addition to concisely summarizing, comparing, and criticizing specific books and articles, the essay should seek to develop a wider critical perspective on “the state of the debate” in a particular field or subfield and/or an agenda for new research on the topic.

 

510:535   Colloquium in  History of Technology and Nature (Envirotech)
                  Professor Jamie Pietruska

Course Description

This STEH graduate colloquium will examine the historical intersections of nature and technology and trace the historiographical emergence of an area of inquiry recently identified as “envirotech.” The entangled histories of nature and technology have been examined across multiple disciplines and fields, especially environmental history and the history of technology, but also STS, sociology, and geography, among others. We will read widely across time and place, with an emphasis on monographs and articles that adopt global, comparative, transnational, and US-in-the-world perspectives. This course is designed for graduate students in History who are preparing for a major or minor field in STEH, as well as students concentrating in US, European, Global/Comparative, and other fields whose interests relate broadly to industrialization and its ecological consequences, capitalism and the commodification of nature, agriculture, empire, energy, discourses of modernization, networks of technoscientific and commercial exchange, knowledge production, and embodied experiences of technologies. (Our reading list is not comprehensive but rather designed to introduce a range of approaches and topics that students may pursue in more depth in their qualifying exam lists and/or their own research.)

The course will focus on these major questions: How have the concepts of technology and nature changed over time, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries? How have the historical interactions of technology and nature unfolded differently across time and place? How have technologies historically reshaped non-human nature, and how has the natural world resisted and redirected technological change? How and why have scholars shifted away from a binary opposition between technology and nature toward a hybrid framework of envirotech? How do national, comparative, and global frameworks shape narratives of ecological and technological change? How is the history of envirotech narrated differently at different scales, from the macro-level of the infrastructural to the meso-level of the institutional to the micro-level of the individual organism? How have histories of race, class, and gender intersected with histories of technology and nature?

The course is divided into four thematic units (on energy, agriculture, knowledge production, and bodies), and specific topics will include energy infrastructures; nuclear power and toxicity; industrialization and public health; industrial agriculture and discourses of modernization; climate modeling; technologies of war and empire; timekeeping; seismology and citizen science; pharmaceutical production; mobilities and innovation; and race, gender, sexuality, and technologies of the quotidian.

Course Requirements

Coursework consists of weekly readings, short weekly response papers of 500 words (to be posted to our course Sakai blog by 7 PM each Sunday), thoughtful and sustained engagement in our class discussions, a short book review (4-5 pages), and a final historiographical essay (12-15 pages). In addition, students will take turns introducing the readings and starting discussion each week.

 

510:536   Colloquium in the History of Medicine
                  Professor Johanna Schoen

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professor Johanna Schoen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

510:539   Colloquium in Women's and Gender History
                  Professor Belinda Davis               

This course provides an introduction to major debates in modern European history, and examines a range of forms of historical inquiry, methodology, and use of evidence. A key focus of the readings is the challenge to existing narratives and paradigms, as we attempt to trace the longer trajectory of dominant discussions, examining such issues as modernity and modernities; paradigms,"peculiarities," and what constitutes “Europe”; continuities and ruptures; identity, belonging, and difference; and to revisit categories of analysis, such as the nation state. The course can provide only a sampling of recent discussions and their backgrounds, inevitably leaving major lacunae in important subjects, earlier literatures, various methodologies, and non-Anglophone historiography. I will provide a broader perspective and indications for further reading in class (for use e.g. in exam study) each week. Areas insufficiently covered in class offer ideal topics for the historiographical review (ca. 20 pp.) that you will write for this course. Students may opt to read a suggested alternative non-Anglophone texts for one class or another. Class members will also have the opportunity to lead discussion. Careful reading of assigned texts and readiness to discuss them is naturally a premier responsibility of all class members.

 

510:541   Colloquium in Global History: History of Capitalism
                  Professors Jackson Lears and Johan Mathew

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professors Lears and Mathew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 510:549  Seminar in the History of Women I
                  Professor Chie Ikeya

This two-semester seminar gives graduate students the opportunity to design their own independent research projects related to women’s and gender history—any time period, region or methodological approach within the field of women’s and gender history is welcome. Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the seminar should contact Professor Chie Ikeya, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

  510:555 Readings in American History I
                  Professor Camilla Townsend

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professor Camilla Townsend at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

510:563:01 Colloquium in African American History
                      Professor Walter Rucker

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professor  Walter Rucker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 510:563:02 Colloquium in African American History: Race, Place and Space in African American History
                        Professor Mia Bay

This course is dedicated to exploring the interplay of social, historical, and spatial forces that have shaped post-emancipation African American life. Although primarily focused on race, place and space as they figure in the African-American experience, the course readings also address American racial configurations as they affect other Americans: from Euro-Americans to Native Americans. Many readings also figure gender as a central feature of racial stratification and racial thought. 

Chronologically arranged, the course readings cover the migration and remigration of black Southerners after emancipation; the history of Jim Crow segregation in the South and  black urbanization in the North;  impact of immigration on African American communities; racial conflicts over residential and recreation spaces; the racial geographies of deindustrialization  and incarceration;  and the political effects of suburbanization.

 

 510:597  Readings in Early Modern European History
                   Professor Jennifer Jones

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professor Jennifer Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

510:601   Colloquium in European History
                   Professor Melissa Feinberg

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Professor Melissa Feinberg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

510:616   Seminar  in European History II
                   Professor Samantha Kelly

Continuation of year long course; no new participants.

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