HIST H-580: The Teaching of College History
Professor Arlene Diaz. The idea that a graduate degree instantly equips you to be an effective teacher is no longer sustainable. For one, the student body you are likely to encounter will differ greatly from when you were an undergrad. Most of the new generation of students was educated under the “No Child Left Behind” guidelines which made many teachers focus on preparing students for testing. What effects did that have on the teaching and learning of history? In addition, faculties are under great pressure to assess their courses and report findings to the administration. How can we do such assessments meaningfully and usefully to enhance learning if we are not aware of how we teach, what we can assess and how to use the results? This course will introduce you to the growing field of History pedagogy to help you not only better understand your students, but also to give you a better grasp of historical thinking and learning. With a good understanding of the components of historical thinking, you will be able to teach it more explicitly in your classrooms and to promote students’ competencies in the production of new historical knowledge. What is more, you will know how to better organize a course by being clear about what the learning goals are. In addition, this course will give you the research tools to evaluate how well students have mastered the kind of historical thinking you are teaching and will equip you as you embark on the journey of teaching college history.
HIST H-605/H705: Greek Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides
Professor Eric Robinson.The organization of this graduate course will combine the approaches of a History Department “seminar” and “colloquium,” and thus students will be able to register for it under either rubric. Students will study the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, two of the earliest and greatest of the historians of ancient Greece. The course material will be both historiographical and historical: while much of our time will be spent on the approaches taken by the two writers – their aims, methods, and styles – we will also study key aspects of the monumental conflicts they wrote about, the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. For most of the semester class meetings will be run in a discussion-oriented format with frequent, relatively brief, student reports as we seek a general understanding of the major issues in Herodotean and Thucydidean studies. But this class also requires students to research and write a substantial paper on a topic of their choosing relating to these authors or the historical events they cover. Most of the time in the last third of the course will be given over to discussion of techniques of ancient historical research, specific problems students encounter as they conduct their research, and individual attention to student projects. Knowledge of ancient Greek will be very helpful but is not required for this course.
HIST-H 620/ GER-V 605: Modern Germany
Professor Julia Roos. This course examines major themes and turning points of German history since around 1800. It seeks to trace the interconnections between German developments, on the one hand, and broader European and global trends, on the other hand. Is German history peculiar, and if so, what are its peculiarities? To what extent does the recent historiographic “global turn” challenge notions of German peculiarity? What are other potentially fruitful interpretive approaches to the culture and history of modern Germany? These are some of the broader questions that will help guide our discussion. Individual topics include, for instance, “hometown” identity in the nineteenth-century; tensions of the Second Empire; colonialism and shifting racial imaginaries; class, gender, and nation during World War I; the Weimar Republic as “cultural laboratory”; Nazism and problems of “modernity”; memory and politics in Cold War West Germany; East German communism and its legacies. We will conclude with an assessment of the new challenges democracy in the Federal Republic faces today. Readings cover classics, as well as more recent interventions that have played a major role in reshaping the debate. German historiography engages big questions about the complexities of national identity, ambiguous nature of “progress,” and value of comparative and transnational approaches that are of great relevance to a broad variety of disciplines and areas of historical research. Interested students are welcome to contact the instructor directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HIST H-665: Revolution, Counterrevolution and Neoliberalism – Scholarship and Film
Professor Jeff Gould. During the 1970s, workers, peasants, and students throughout the developing world often came together in informal and formal organizations to challenge existing political, economic, and social hierarchies. Greg Grandin argues that the Latin American left carved out an alternative path to modernity by promoting solidarity among individuals and communities. For Grandin, throughout Latin America, the authoritarian counterrevolutionary violence of the 1980s tore asunder the link between self and community, and between individual dignity and social solidarity, creating the conditions for the triumph of neoliberalism, that is a dramatic reduction of the welfare state and the enshrinement of free market fundamentalism as the dominant ideology. Despite this momentous transformation, scholars are still trying to understand its significance in Latin America and elsewhere. Although the broad contours of the transformation are clear enough, fundamental conceptual problems still remain. Are the transformations of the subjectivities permanent, or, on the contrary, are the new alternatives to neo liberalism in Bolivia, for example, in some way built upon or continue those communal experiences and subjectivities born in the 1960s and 1970s. Similarly, movements rooted among ethnic groups gained tremendous strength following the defeat of the Left and Labor. Some scholars such as Charles Hale argue that such movements are largely congruent with neoliberal programs. A comparative global study of these momentous shifts in the relationships of individuals to communities has yet to be accomplished. As a preliminary step towards the creation of such a global framework, our colloquium proposes to examine the 1960s-1990 revolutionary defeats and the transition to neoliberalism. One of the keys to understanding this transition will be to grasp the subaltern and elite efforts to apprehend the new realities with existing language and concepts and to track the emergence of new words and meanings. This course will be unique because of its reliance on film to gain access, however mediated, to subaltern consciousness. Films will also allow students to imagine and in so doing gain some understanding of what Raymond Williams a “structure of feeling.” However, the course will not be one of film studies. Issue related to aesthetics will not be a focus, rather the films will be discussed as historical sources. Scholarly readings and film screenings will be intermingled and weekly discussions will concern both. Some of the films will include The Battle of Algiers, State of Siege, Scenes from the Class Struggle, Grin Without a Cat, The Battle of Chile, and Güeros. Assigned writings will include historically-informed reviews and short essays that relate film to scholarship.
HIST H-680: Cultural History: Empire / Imperialism
Professor Michael Dodson.Empire is not only a ubiquitous political form, but also an overlapping and contested series of cultural, ideological, and intellectual dynamics. This course will survey recent trends in the historiography of the cultural elements of modern empires – including those of Britain, France, Spain, and America, as well as a variety of non-European empires, such as China and Japan (and arguably Russia). It is expected that such a course of reading in empire / imperialism (within a broad contextual purview) will be of benefit to graduate students interested in cultural history generally, but also specifically in any variety of colonial/imperial relationships, postcoloniality, and comparative history.
Necessarily some of our readings and discussion on postcolonial approaches to the cultural history of empire will be introductory in nature. The bulk of the course, however, will include recent literature, and often the topics will be addressed within a comparative perspective (that is, we will read and discuss each topic from a variety of national/regional historiographical traditions). Specific topics of study will include cultures of violence and “otherness”; the role of the “collaborator” in facilitating imperialism; gender, sexuality, and the body in imperial culture; citizenship and imperial identities; the art and architecture of the imperial state; perspectives on the quality and nature of colonial state power; possibilities for resistance and an imperial counter-culture; and contested imperial legacies.
Students will be evaluated in equal measure according to the quality of their participation, short reading response papers, and a final essay.
HIST H-695: West African history
Professor John H. Hanson.This course surveys the literature concerning West African history from the emergence of complex societies to the late twentieth century. The emphasis is on occupational specialization, commerce, state power, slavery and its abolition, and religious transformations over the centuries. The focus is on West African dynamism and initiatives, even as the region came under the influence of the Islamic world, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and European colonial domination and its aftermath. The aim is to explore core concepts, key issues, and current research trends in the historical literature. The course provides comprehensive grounding in the literature on West African history and discussion of key themes that link the region to other African and global contexts. History students may replace the second analytical essay with an annotated bibliography relevant to PhD qualifying exam preparation. Non-history students may replace the second analytical essay with a draft grant proposal for extramural funding of their PhD dissertation research.
HIST H-750: Seminar in U.S. History
Professor Wendy Gamber. This course provides you with an opportunity to pursue your own research and writing, whether to make progress toward framing a dissertation topic, publishing an article, or both. While papers should generally focus on some phase of American/US history, there is no prescribed theme or topic. Instead, the emphasis is on developing your own research agenda; the more diverse the topics, the better. From the beginning of the course, you will be able to focus on your research and writing in a collaborative setting so that you can successfully complete your paper by the end of the semester. You are expected to participate fully in class discussion, read classmates’ work, and offer thoughtful and constructive suggestions. In addition, you will write a brief topic description, a two-page statement of plans, a first version of the research paper, and then a final version (approximately 25-30 pages).