HIST-H 601 Introduction to the Professional Study of History
Tu 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM WH 118 with Konstantin Dierks; Tu 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM WH 108 Jonathan Schlesinger
This colloquium is an introduction to the professional study of history from multiple standpoints. It works outward from the writings of historians to consider the nature of historical scholarship, trends in historiography, and the vocation of history. We will start by reading examples of historical research representing several different approaches and fields alongside key conceptual essays. In addition to honing your analytical skills, these readings will encourage you to think further about the kinds of history you enjoy and want to practice. Then, we will focus on the development of the historical profession, trends in employment (types of, fields, etc.), and the ways historians have thought about their work. Finally, we will learn and practice some of the fundamentals of professionalization.
HIST-H 605/705 Greek Democracies: Athens and Beyond
W 6:50 PM - 8:50 PM BH 012 with Eric Robinson
Students will study the origins and development of Greek democracy, from the first seeds of egalitarianism in Greece to demokratia’s full fruition in many city-states during the Archaic and Classical periods (c. 750 – 323 BCE). We will focus not just on Athens — antiquity’s most famous democracy — but on the democratic experiences of other Greek city-states as well. Ancient democracy’s definition, beginnings, expansion, and functioning in different settings will be explored. Whether students’ ultimate interests in this topic lie with the classical world or with comparisons to political regimes and philosophies of later eras, students in this course will acquire a useful grounding in the ancient sources for the history of Greek democracy and in important scholarly trends in its study. For most of the semester classes will be run in a discussion-oriented format with frequent, relatively brief, student reports as we grapple with the topics as listed above and seek a general understanding of the major issues in ancient Greek democracy. But this class also requires students to research and write a substantial paper on a topic of their choosing relating to this subject. Most of our 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. All students will have substantial freedom to choose their research topics; students registering under the 705 (seminar) rubric will be given extra consideration in terms of choosing a research paper topic suitable to any ongoing program of research they are pursuing outside the class.
HIST-H 610/710 Medieval Historiography
Tu 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM BH 135 with Deborah Deliyannis
Hellenes? Barbarians? Romans? Goths? Christians? Muslims? Jews? Heretics? English? French? How did people in the ancient and medieval worlds think of themselves, and how did they categorize others? Since the 1980s, scholars have explored these questions in a variety of ways, using both written and material sources, and applying theories from sociology and anthropology. Group identity is based on a perception of a set of distinguishing characteristics, whether real or imagined; identity can be internally constituted, or it can be applied by others, and in the pre-modern world, it is not always easy to distinguish the two. In this course we will examine the various types of evidence for ethnicity and identity, and the ways that they are used to define and understand identities in antiquity and the Middle Ages. We will consider three components in the definition of medieval ethnicity: how did individuals and groups identify themselves; how were they defined by contemporaries; and how and for what reasons do we define them today. In addition to weekly readings, students will write one book review, and will produce a final paper with a class presentation.
HIST-H 615 Intellectual Cultures in Early Modern Europe: The Republic of Letters
Th 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM BH 317 with Robert Schneider
This course will focus chronologically mostly on the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and thematically on the many aspects that made up the evolving intellectual culture of Western Europe in this period. It will thus traverse such textbook categories as the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution , but will do so in terms of the production, cultivation, exchange and circulation of ideas, values and concepts that are fundamental to understanding these periods. Topics will include: printing and the history of the book; academies and learned societies; courtly cultures; the development of national languages; rising levels of literacy; the creation of vernacular literatures; the enduring importance of erudition; the impact of the exploration of non-Western lands; and the emergence of public spheres. While designed as a graduate course in history, students are welcome from all disciplines.
HIST-H 620 Holocaust in Comparative Perspective
W 5:45 PM - 7:45 PM BH 317 with Mark Roseman
Over the last twenty years, the Holocaust has been the site of some of the most exciting and innovative writing in modern historiography. Work on the Holocaust has challenged and changed the way we do history and has created new intersections between history and other disciplines. It has cast into doubt our wider narratives about the development and character of the modern world, as well as transforming our understanding of the Holocaust itself. Beyond and partly by dint of these intellectual intersections, the Holocaust raises a series of questions about boundaries and limits, many of which continue to be morally charged. How German is it? How far does it implicate the fundamentals of modern society? Which victims belong to the heart of the story of the Holocaust proper, and what aspects of Nazi violence and murder should be considered separately? Even the boundaries of the term “Holocaust” itself remain contested. It is after all, a post-war label, and exactly what it means, and how it should be delimited, are open to discussion. The lower-case term holocaust was used increasingly from the 19th century onwards to describe massacres, atrocities, or sometimes just general political conflagration (it is surprising now, for example, to see a 1919 book carrying the simple title “The Holocaust” on its frontispiece and discover inside a subtitle of “Italy’s struggle against the Hapsburg”.) Its transformation from adjectival to capitalized proper noun for a single catastrophe took place only from the late 1950s. This course thus seeks to engage in a double demarcation – approaching the Holocaust both as intellectual history and as part of the real history of violence. It explores the ways in which a variety of seminal studies – both classics and important recent work– have sought to draw meaning from or demarcate the Holocaust. And it uses influential entangled and comparative histories to help locate the Holocaust in larger stories of genocide and violence. Readings will be a monograph and one or two articles per week Assessment will be based on a review article and class participation
HIST-H 645/699/745 Comparative Memory in Eastern European Historiography
Tu 6:15 PM - 8:15 PM BH 317 with Maria Bucur-Deckard
The course serves as a survey of 15 important themes in East European historiography, with emphasis on some new exciting work published in the last decade on themes pertaining to the 19th and 20th century. We will look at nationalism, urbanization, the Cold War, anti-Semitism, gender roles, consumerism, and the European Union, among other topics of historical research. Assignments will include a historiographic survey of a theme, bibliographical searches, in-class presentations, and book reviews. H745: for those taking the course as a research seminar, their writing assignment will be producing a research paper based on the use of primary sources in addition to relevant secondary sources.
HIST-H 650 U.S. History Colloquium
Tu 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM, location TBA, with Karen Inouye
This course is designed to introduce you to basic readings in American Studies. By the end of the semester, you should be able answer the following questions: (1) Who were some of the major scholars that started the field and why? (2) What, when and why did major shifts in the field occur? (3) Does American Studies employ a particular method? If so, what is it? (4) What are the current trends in the field? (5) What books exemplify American Studies scholarship?
HIST-H 650The Nineteenth-Century United States
with Wendy Gamber
This colloquium offers an overview of the history and historiography of the United States in the so-called “long nineteenth century.” While it doesn’t cover every possible topic or subfield (an impossible task in a single semester), its goal is to familiarize students with both the subject matter of nineteenth-century US history and the ways in which it has been studied and explained. This course requires students to read both intensively and broadly by focusing on a wide range of subjects and a variety of scholarly approaches. Our reading (tba) will include traditional academic monographs, essays, and articles as well as books intended to appeal to broader audiences. Our discussions will focus on evaluating these readings critically and situating them within larger historiographical contexts and scholarly debates. We’ll also examine issues such as periodization, method, organization, style, audience, scale, and scope. Finally, we’ll consider which (if any) overarching themes best capture the time and place under study. Each student will: be responsible for leading one class session; undertake short weekly critiques of common readings; contribute a final project, developed in consultation with me, which can take a variety of forms, including a historiographical or bibliographical essay, short research paper, course syllabus, grant proposal, podcast, blog, exhibition, or webpage.
HIST-H 675 Modern East Asia: History and Historiography
M 3:35 PM - 5:30 PM WY 111 with Fei Hsien Wang
Historians like to argue with each other, so a good way to familiarize oneself with a particular field of study is to look at what issues historians choose to study and debate on. Using this approach, this course aims to introduce beginning graduate students major historiographical debates and developments that have shaped the field of modern East Asian history. By reading critically the noticeable works in the field, students will not only become familiar with the key historical developments of East Asia as a region since the mid-19th century, but also examine the national and regional politics behind different research approaches and writing strategies historians have taken in their works. Topics to be covered include: nationalism, national history, and nationalist historiography, tradition-modernity transition, state building, anti-imperialism and imperial legacy, Pan-Asianism and transnational history, developmental states, politics and memories of empire, war, and authoritarian regimes, East Asia in the Cold War, etc. All readings will be in English. Background knowledge in East Asian history will be helpful but not necessary.
HIST-H 697 History of Collections and Museums
Th 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM AC C107 with Eric Sandweiss
The history of collections, and of museums as institutions devoted to them. Covers the evolving practice of collection and material culture display, as well as the intellectual history of theoretical approaches to the use of images and artifacts, with an emphasis on European and North American traditions since the Renaissance.
HIST-H 699 Nations and Nationalism
M 3:35 PM - 5:30 PM BH 229 with Peter Guardino
The development of national states and national identities was one of the key features of the modern age. This course will consider relatively recent books by historians about how and why nations came to be the primary focus of so many people's loyalties and how national states came to be the most important form of political organization. We will use readings on different parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Although we will read selections from some theorists, the focus here will be on how working historians have approached the problems of studying nations.