Spring Course Descriptions

510:502:01  Historian's Craft: II (Intro Course)
Professor Jennifer Mittelstadt

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.


510:535:01 Colloquium in Science, Technology, Environment and Health
Professor James Delbourgo

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact James Delbourgo at  jdelbourgo@history.rutgers.edu


510:539:01 Colloquium  in the History of Women
Professor Johanna Schoen

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Johanna Schoen at johanna.schoen@rutgers.edu.


510:541:01  Colloquium in World History: Middle Ages in A Global Framework 
Professor Samantha Kelly

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Samantha Kelly at skelly@history.rutgers.edu


510:554:01  Readings in African American History II
Professor Donna Murch

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Donna Murch at dmurch@history.rutgers.edu


510:563:01 Colloquium in African American History: Violence and Vice: Readings in Black Women’s History
Professor Kali Gross

In the past four decades, Black Women’s History has grown exponentially, moving from a few pioneering books to a robust field of study. Historians have explored enslavement, black women’s resistance and activism and have charted labor movements and mapped the lives of everyday African-American women. Yet key areas remain in need of richer exploration—Black Queer histories, expanded studies of the black experience of the carceral state, and examinations of violence and vice. Our course will study works that interrogate these themes to better understand how scholars undertake this research. At the same time, we will consider how these issues play out in the lives of everyday black women—paying particular attention to the ways that black women’s efforts at erotic and bodily sovereignty often collide with the regulatory forces of the state. Relatedly, we will also consider the intersection of sex, sexualities, and the intermingling of brutality and the illicit, to ponder the seemingly inextricable linkages between sex and violence in notions of black womanhood.


510:571 Seminar in Recent American History
Professor David Greenberg

The subject matter, U.S. history, serves as an organizing theme for the class. Readings tend to focus on the post-World War II era because that is my area of expertise. But the course is meant for students in all fields.

As of Spring 2019, the U.S. history caucus in the Rutgers history department has chosen to make this a two-semester course, with a break over the summer. The first half of the course will be designed at writing a proposal and preparing to write a paper. The second half will be devoted to the writing and taught in Fall 2019.  

This seminar is (relatively) light on reading and heavy on research and writing. We proceed through various steps of research: choosing a topic; surveying and critiquing the literature; identifying primary sources; writing drafts; responding to criticisms; revising.  

This course introduces graduate students to the practice of conducting research in U.S. history and turning that research into written work. It is meant for students embarking on the dissertation. Students may choose a paper topic in any area they wish. The course emphasizes the development of skills that students will need as professional scholars, including oral and written presentation, critiquing the work of others, and engaging in spontaneous debate about historical matters.  


510:599:01 Readings in  Modern European History
Professor Seth Koven

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact  Seth Koven at skoven@history.rutgers.edu.


510:615:01  Seminar in Modern European History
Professor Paola Tartakoff

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Paola Tartakoff at paola.tartakoff@rutgers.edu


510:625:01  Colloquium in African History:  New Historical Analyses of Africa and the African Diaspora
Professor Carolyn Brown 

This is a foundational course for the graduate field of Black Atlantic and Diaspora History (the course makes a distinction between the "historic" African diaspora of African-Americans and others and the contemporary diaspora of recent African immigrants with sustained continental connections), Global and comparative History, and the field of African History. It is an introduction to the field of African history using both classic and new literature organized around specific themes. It is designed to bring in varied historiographical perspectives, as well. The course begins in the precolonial period and concludes with the present. Readings are on ALL regions of the continent-North Africa as well as ‘Sub-Saharan’ (a racialized problematic term). East, West and Southern Africa.

Themes include: Sexuality, the spread of Islam and Christianity, the new slave trade research, histories of popular cultures, historical constructions and contestations of gender (males, females and other), the political challenge of ‘youth’, construction and contestations of the colonial state, creating ‘nationalisms’, decolonization and popular struggles in the post-colonial state. The post 1980’s crisis of ‘structural adjustment’ and neoliberalism are foundational factors for the spread of radical Islamic movements like Boko Haram and ISIS as well as the tragic migration across the Mediterranean and the political crisis this greeted in Europe.

The course treats the ideological and political connections between Africa and the ‘historical’ diaspora (i.e. African-American and Afro-Caribbean/Latinos) as a sustained historical processes and does not assume Africa was only a place of origin. The ideological linkage between diasporic and continental African intellectuals and political leaders has persisted until today and coalesced as Pan-Africanism, Négritude and decolonization throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Aspects of these connections occurred in the multiple African diasporas (Europe, Middle East, Asia, the Americas) around anti-slavery in the 19th century, the anti-apartheid movement and Africa’s national liberation movements, and Black Power. As New Jersey has one of the largest African immigrant populations the course concludes with reading on the ‘contemporary’ (diaspora of recent African immigrants) African diaspora of recent immigrants in New Jersey and the U.S. in general.

Course Requirements:

All readings are required. Each time you come to class you should have a one page list of points for the discussion based on your readings and reflections.

Each student will lead discussion.

Discussion leaders must pass out a 1-2 page guide to the discussion that outlines (1) the points for the discussion, (2) explores historical problems identified by the authors and (3) compares these readings with others in the course.

At the conclusion of the course you should write a 10 page paper that explores a historiographical question discussed in the class and/or readings and that relates to your own proposed research.

Background Reading: For a synthesis and Marxist interpretation of African history see Bill Freund, The Making of Contemporary Africa. You can use appropriate sections of the book as background for the weekly readings.

Syllabus Forthcoming

Professor Camilla Townsend
510:631:01  Colloquium in Latin American History

Prospective students who wish to discuss any aspects of the course should contact Camilla Townsend at ctownsend@history.rutgers.edu