Graduate Courses

Spring 2014
C231: Japanese Studies: Past, Present and....Future?

Ths is a new two unit proseminar.  

This course will have both pedagogical and practical goals.  Its chief purpose is to acquaint graduate students at every level and across various disciplines with the history and current state of the field of Japanese studies.   In addition to the faculty coordinator, three or four faculty members from different departments will make presentations on their respective fields, incorporating a selection of key works for joint reading along with discussion of their own research and related issues of methodology.  On the more practical side, in cooperation with the East Asian Library staff, proseminar presenters will introduce resources available on campus for graduate level research, and devote substantial attention to the “how-to” of making research contacts and navigating archives and other facilities in Japan.   In this way, the proseminar will leave graduate students with an enhanced understanding of the field they have chosen and prepare them for the challenges of fieldwork, which remains – digitalization notwithstanding – the core experience of our field.


Course Requirements: in addition to weekly reading and participation in discussion, students will be asked to prepare a draft proposal of no more than 15 pp. for their own future research.

Andrew E. Barshay
102 Latimer
Thursday 2-3P
CCN: 39737
275F: Readings in the History of Chinese Socialism
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Alexander C. Cook
Th 12-2
CCN: 39765
280F.002: Chinese Bibliography
This course uses Endymion Wilkinson's comprehensive Chinese History: A Manual (3rd edition) as a convenient guide to the available materials. Weekly exercises will illustrate the nature and use of the main research tools discussed in Wilkinson, and will thereby gradually build a flexible apparatus of resources. The weekly three-hour seminar will serve as a place for discussion, not only of the practical exercises but of hermeneutics and of other methodological and academic matters. What kind of questions can we answer with the research tools at our disposal? How do the research tools influence the questions we ask? How can we use the different kinds of sources for historical research? How do our categories, concerns, and epistemologies relate to those of the primary sources? How do we distinguish between primary and secondary materials, and what is the relationship between them?
Michael Nylan
Th 2-4P
CCN: 39840
280G: Continuation of Reading the <Documents>

Contact Prof. Nylan for scheduling.

See Fall 2013 description.

Michael Nylan
CCN: 39852
280A/285A.001: The Third-Century Crisis of the Roman Empire
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
  • CCN for 280A.001: 39777
  • CCN for 285A.001: 39885

This seminar investigates the complex transition from the middle to the later Roman empire, with a focus on the turbulent middle decades of third century CE(235-284).  Readings and discussion will be oriented towards macroscopic problems, and in particular to system-level analyses of how the Roman empire, as a particular configuration of social power, developed over the course of the "long" third century, from the Severan dynasty through the Tetrarchic and Constantinian restoration.  Central topics include the formal apparatus of state and empire during this period, especially fiscal regimes, military machinery, and other instruments of coercion; rulership, monarchic ideology, and the twin problems of imperial legitimacy and usurpation; imperial fragmentation and the decentralization of decision-making authority; juridical status, citizenship, and competing conceptions of community and ways of belonging; shifting frontiers and emerging provincial identities; Christianity, prosecution, and martyrdom; money, finance, and inflation; demographic trends, patterns in urbanization, changes in material culture, and other indices of quality of life.  Throughout the seminar we will pay close attention to the nature of the evidence and to chronological and regional variation in the intensity of changes associated with the third-century crisis, all with a view to assessing the recent revisionist scholarship that has called the very idea of "crisis" into question. 

The seminar is intended primarily for graduate students in ancient Greek and Roman history (and related disciplines), who will be expected to do some of the reading in Greek and Latin, and in at least one modern foreign language (German, French, Italian, Spanish).  

Carlos F. Noreña
F 2-5P
280/285U.002: The Atlantic World

Formerly listed as 280/285E

  • CCN for 280U.002: 39870
  • CCN for 285U.002: 39959
This seminar offers a selective introduction to recent literature on the history of the Atlantic world, c. 1400-1888.  We will explore the linked histories between and among the various “Atlantic worlds” scholars have identified operating in this vast region, ranging from Europe and West Africa to North and South America and the Caribbean.  Topics include empires and states; war, trade, and slavery; maritime history; capitalism and Atlantic economies; environmental history; migration, identity, and diaspora; cultural encounter and religion; the interrelated histories of gender, sexuality, and race; and revolt, rebellion, and revolution.  
Elena A. Schneider
W 4-6p
285U.001: Worlds After Wars
This research seminar has two aims, one technical and aesthetic, the other having to do with a set of particular historical issues.  First we hope to help students advance their skills in the craft of writing history. We will look carefully at such matters as posing an intellectually exigent question, writing a first paragraph, structuring an argument, and positioning ones own work in relation to that of other writers. We will propose some exemplary solutions to these tasks and ask you to provide some of your own.  As the semester progresses we will ask you to write a fragestellung, a first paragraph, an annotated bibliography, etc. 
Our second aim is to explore the history of the aftermath of war. The Great two World Wars will be of especial interest but we welcome students from any period or area. Topics might include: revanchism and irredentism; narrating and remembering the war in intimate and public contexts; counting the civilian and military dead; remaking the built and natural landscape; occupations; trials; reparations; population movements; demobilization; gender in post war societies. These are of course only suggestions and cues.  
Thomas W. Laqueur, Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann
201 Giannini
W 2-4P
CCN: 39957
275B: Early Modern Europe

History 275B is the foundational course in the history of early modern Europe from roughly 1400 to 1800, or from the Renaissance through the French Revolution. Its multiple purposes include the following: to examine the major themes, trajectories, and methods of the discipline as they have evolved since the nineteenth century; to read and analyze some of the major classics and current texts in the fields; and to develop the skills of historical criticism, writing, and collaborative work. The course is open to majors and minors in early modern Europe and to graduate students in other fields of history and other disciplines as space allows. It cannot be audited. This is a required course for EME students and highly recommended for students taking EME as a second field.

Thomas James Dandelet
W 12-2P
CCN: 39747
280/285B.001: The Spanish Empire
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.

280B.001 CCN: 39783

285B.001 CCN: 39891

Thomas James Dandelet
F 12-2P
280/285B: Introduction to Byzantine Studies
  • CCN for 280B.002 39786
  • CCN for 285B.002 39894

This seminar will offer both a general introduction to and an investigation of special topics within Byzantine studies.  The weekly seminar discussions will be organized as follows: weeks 1-9 covered the period from the 7th until the 15th centuries in chronological sequence.  Students will be expected to become familiar with the sequence of events in Byzantine history through reading G. Ostrogorsky, History of the Byzantine State;at the same time, through reading additional secondary bibliography, they will be expected to think about particular problems that modern historians face in their attempt to study and interpret these events. Weeks 10-15 will be dedicated to particular aspects of Byzantine studies: the survival of Byzantine culture after the political end of the empire in 1453; Byzantium and the Slavs; Byzantine economy; Byzantine learned and vernacular literature; Byzantine epic poetry and the expression of collective identity, in the Middle Ages and now; the study of Byzantine art; Byzantine studies as a modern discipline. Students taking this seminar as 285 will be required to identify a research topic early in the semester, on which they will present a research report and produce a final paper.

Maria Mavroudi
Th 2-5P
280B/285B.004: Modern Jewish Scholarship: History and Practice
280B.004 CCN: 39792
285B.004 CCN: 39897
This seminar will offer an in-depth introduction to some of the central trends and personalities in modern Jewish historiography. We begin by reading (and reading about) the founders of modern Jewish historiography.  The enterprise of critical Jewish historical scholarship has often been criticized for its atomizing effect on traditional Jewish memory.  And yet, despite the absorption of modern historicist currents, Jewish historians have often attempted to construct overarching and holistic accounts of the Jewish past.  As such, we will examine the various and competing historiographical visions of major Jewish historians.  We will then examine a number of important themes as they pertain to the modern Jewish experience. Among them are: modes of history writing, emancipation, gender, new historiography, Holocaust and Zionism.
John M. Efron
M 10-12P
281: History, Numbers, Numeracy
  • Note new room.
Quantitative history, as it is currently practiced, exists almost entirely outside of history departments—in economics and, to a lesser extent, political science and sociology. At the same time, scholars in history and the humanities have developed new and innovative ways of close-reading quantitative documents. This graduate seminar, a broad based numerical methods course, will explore the rise and fall of quantitative history and the new ways historians are putting numbers to use. In addition to reading both histories of numbers and quantitative histories, you can expect to review or learn basic statistical practices and to increase your familiarity with major historical databases.
The course will be divided into three sections. During the first weeks of class we will discuss the historiography of quantification during the second half of the twentieth century, including a case study of the reception of Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross. In the second module we will review basic quantitative skills and critique econometric studies. In the final third of the course, we will read an array of recent historical work on the history of numbers.
No prior quantitative background is required for this course. However, students should expect to conduct research drawing on numerical or partially numerical sources.


Caitlin C. Rosenthal
T 4-6P
CCN: 39876
283: Historiography and Methodology

What does, and what can, history as an academic discipline claim to do?  This seminar will examine these questions by examining the contemporary practice of historians (historiographical, methodological) and pondering the claims made by historians (epistemological, philosophical).  The scope for these investigations will be limited, in the main, to developments in history and related disciplines in the past 60 years.  

Jan De Vries
F 2-4P
CCN: 39879
285S: History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine
This is a research seminar for any student looking to write a graduate-level independent research paper in the history of science, technology, environment, or medicine. All time periods and themes are possible. Students from outside the Department of History should email the instructor to discuss whether the course suits their needs and they are adequately prepared.
Cathryn Carson
F 12-2P
CCN: 39954
United States
280D.001: The United States and the World since 1865

This course is a reading seminar, intended for graduate students in History who are preparing to take an oral examination in the history of the United States and the World. This course focuses, for the most part, on the United States since 1865 and on the making of U.S. foreign policy. 

Daniel Sargent
Th 10-12P
CCN: 39816
285D.001: Nineteenth-Century America

This seminar will serve as a writing workshop for students engaged in independent historical research projects in U.S. History between the American Revolution and the First World War.  

David Henkin
W 4-6p
CCN: 39915
285D.002: Living Law, Legalizing Life: Cultural Histories of Law in the Long 19th Century
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Rebecca M. McLennan
Th 4-6P
CCN: 39918
Research and Teaching Credit
296: Directed Dissertation Research Margaret Chowning
CCN: 39966
298: Employment Credits Margaret Chowning
CCN: 39969
601: Individual Study for Master's Exam Margaret Chowning
CCN: 40065