Graduate Courses

Spring 2015
Spring 2015 - Graduate Graduate 280H: Advanced Studies In African History: Decolonization And Nationalism In Post 1945 Africa

The transfer of power from European colonizers to African leaders was a “tangled and controversial” process. In some colonies it was done in a precipitate haste while in others like Angola, Mozambique, Algeria, Namibia, Kenya and Guinea Bissau, decolonization was preceded by protracted armed struggles. This seminar will focus on the diverse dynamics which shaped the nationalist and decolonization processes in Africa. Differences in colonial systems, the nature of African political consciousness and mobilization, the role of the elite, peasantry, youth, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, economic rationalization/ pragmatism, imperial revisionism and devolution of empire, and international pressure among other topics will be discussed in an effort to explain the end of empire in Africa.


Tabitha Kanogo
F 10-12P
CCN: 39843
280/285A: Augustine of Hippo: The City of God

280A.001 CCN: 39768

285A.001 CCN: 39873

This course will focus on Augustine of Hippo’s City of God, De Civitate Dei, in its North African context. We will plan to read the entire work (in translation, but with the Latin at our side) emphasizing three avenues of approach (or three themes).
  1. Citizenship and status: How does Augustine understand and construct citizenship? This theme will require a fairly in-depth investigation of issues of citizenship debated at the time; that is, the tax implications, privileges and obligations resulting from one’s status and similar issues pertaining to economic history.
  2. Display: How does Augustine describe display? What forms of display do appear? What might they mean? What notions of masculinity (gender in general but masculinity foremost) are called upon in Augustine’s description of display?
  3. History: Is the City of God a history? What notions of historiography are employed in reaching an answer to that question? What are the implications?

The course will require in-class presentations of individual books of the CD and a final paper.

Susanna Elm
204 Wheeler
Th 10-12
280A: Ancient Boiotia: History, Epigraphy, and Culture

Crosslisted with AHMA 210.

Boiotia in central Greece played a prominent role throughout antiquity in the political and cultural developments of the Greek world. It was always a complex and in many ways atypical region, and its inhabitants were the objects of derision on the part of their Athenian neighbors. It is perhaps for these two very different reasons that study of the region has tended to remain in the hands of specialists. But a rich and rapidly growing body of archaeological, textual, and epigraphic evidence is available to support research on the area and its many communities and sanctuaries. This seminar will introduce students to the history and material culture of the region and delve deeply enough into the primary and secondary sources to allow students to write a research paper by the end of the semester. We hope to bring a number of visitors to present on areas of individual research and expertise, with the result that the seminar will offer a truly interdisciplinary approach to the study of a core region of the ancient Greek world.

Students will be expected to write a brief (1p.) response paper each week; to write one book review; and to formulate a research project that will be the basis of both an oral presentation toward the end of the semester and a fully elaborated research paper, which will be reviewed in both draft and final form. We will emphasize scholarly process as much as outcome.

Nikolaos Papazarkadas
Emily Mackil
308C Doe Library
F 1-4P
CCN: 39771
285C/285U.001: Advanced Research In History

CCN for 285C: 39900

CCN for 285U: 39945

Although my own competency is in the area of modern British history, broadly conceived to include the British world, the purpose of this course is to enable you to write a research paper on a topic of your choice.  Accordingly the focus is not on a particular thematic or problem but on the process of research and writing itself.  We will also use the class to discuss more general matters such as the state of the profession, the discipline of History, and your own professional development - looking forward to presenting your own work at conferences, developing a dissertation project, publishing and getting a job.  

James Vernon
M 2-4P
280U.001: Politics, Culture and the City at the Dawn of the Modern World

What is the relationship between the built environment of the city, the cultures of its inhabitants, and the practices of their politics? How did cities around the world become the crucible in which modern political regimes were forged? This course examines these questions through the study of the politics and cultures of the early modern city. It has two related objectives. We will study the ways in which historians have narrated the history of early modern cities; in this way, we will seek to  understand differing paths to the modern world through the city as both spatial and conceptual entity. As part of this inquiry we will read a wide variety of historical studies of early modern cities around the globe, paying close attention to themes of both comparison and connection. This course will require regular weekly responses from all participants and culminate in a twenty-page final research paper on either a city or a theme of particular interest.

Abhishek Kaicker
Tu 2-4P
CCN: 39855
280U.003: Rhetoric of History, with a Focus on Kingship and Legitimacy
The writing of history is always a rhetorical act, an attempt to make something happen with words.  The means and modes of such writing differ from culture to culture, of course.  In this seminar, we propose a comparative study of ancient historiography in the Mediterranean and in the China.  Our materials for study will include the fifth-century BC Greek historian, Thucydides, the 1st century AD Judaeo-Roman Josephus, and two famous Chinese historians: Sima Qian, whose monumental Shiji or "Archivists' Records" (comp. 100 BC) of 130 chapters about the entire "the known world" is usually considered the history of history most comparable with that of Thucydides; and Ban Gu, author of the Hanshu or "Han History" (comp. AD 100), whose one hundred chapters represent a fine attempt to recast the basis for Han dynastic legitimacy. 
Two mammoth compilations that became part of the state-sponsored Classics in China during the early empires will also be consulted: the Zuo Traditions, which claims to supply the behind-the-scenes motivations for kings and nobles during the tumultuous centuries leading up to the time of Confucius (551-479 BC), and the Documents classic, which purports to provide the most exemplary speeches from the pre-unification (pre-221 BC) period in the form of "canons," "counsels," "oaths," and "proclamations."
All texts will be available in English but those capable of reading the Greek ones in Greek and the Chinese ones in Chinese are invited to do so.  
Daniel Boyarin
Michael Nylan
Tu 4-7
CCN: 39861
280U.004: The Making of the Modern World since the Age of Revolutions

Full description coming soon.  

Daniel Sargent, Brian DeLay
M 10-12P
CCN: 39863
280U.005: Private Lives in the Public Eye: Men, Women, and Children in Western History

This course will provide a broad focus examination of how matters relating to gender, childhood and family have been integral to western development since the Reformation.  We will be reading books and articles that examine the political, social and cultural dimensions of matters relating to private lives and focus especially on how private lives have been affected by and also altered public life, including religion, economics, and politics.

The readings include some that cover the period overall and others that focus on some smaller period of time or specific nation or problem.  One of our objectives is to understand how the West has operated as a single region for some purposes, and how its has created quite distinct histories in others.

Paula S. Fass
M 12-2P
CCN: 40140
280U.008: North American Borderlands
  • Note new room.
This reading seminar will introduce students to important historical work on North American borderlands regions, defined as regions where people interact across independent legal and political regimes. Put differently, borderlands are zones of plural sovereignty. Readings will include work on native polities and empires in colonial-era borderlands; borderlands and the rise of nation-state projects in the nineteenth century; and key problems in the US-Mexican and US-Canadian borderlands in the twentieth century. To sharpen our conversations, we will make occasional forays into key conceptual and comparative works that transcend the North American context. Most weeks we will discuss a monograph in common as well as an article or two. 
Brian DeLay
332 Giannini
W 2-4P
CCN: 40155
275B: History of 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 to 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.

Jan De Vries
Tu 12-2
CCN: 39735
280B.003/285B: Modern Jewish History
  • Note new room.

CCN for 280: 39780

CCN for 285: 39885

This course will examine various trends in Jewish historical scholarship, focusing on the theme of the Jewish confrontation with modernity—especially politics and culture.  We will approach the subject matter by looking at the emergence of historical consciousness among modern Jews and then fan out to look at newer developments, adopting a more thematic rather than traditional, geographic approach. 

John M. Efron
M 10-12P
280B.002: State and Religion in Imperial Russia, 1700-1917

This course will balance between two parallel tracks. 1) It is designed as an introduction to the historiography of Imperial Russia, spanning the eighteenth and nineteenth century, based on some of the most influential historical works , specifically those pertaining to the modernization of the Russian state and its incursion into the lives of Russian subjects, as well those pertaining to the diverse forms of spirituality that flourished within the Russian Empire. 2) It will investigate the relationship between the state and religion, including the manner in which the Imperial state regulated religions, its ideological connections with Russian Orthodoxy, and the real or imagined challenges leveled against it by different forms of heterodoxy and unbelief.

Victoria Frede
W 4-6P
CCN: 39777
285B: Thresholds of the Modern Age

The period between 1500 and 1800 was the staging ground for many of the formations characteristic of what we understand to be European modernity: science, capitalism, social leveling, secularism, the disciplines of knowledge, and much more. This research seminar will offer students interested in the period a semester-long opportunity for intensive primary research and the writing of a substantial work of historical analysis on a topic in the field. It will also serve as a complement to this semester's History 280 “Substance of Things Unseen: Matter and Spirit, 1650-1800.” Course is open to all.

Jonathan Sheehan
2231 Dwinelle
Th 4-6p
CCN: 39888
Latin America
280E.001: Recent Works on Modern Mexico in Historiographical Perspective
  • Note new room.

The common reading in this course consists of recently-published books or articles that are either very good, representing current approaches to historical analysis of the period from independence to the 1970s, or newly-published books the professor would like to read (in the hopes that they, too, are good books).  Each week there will be supplementary reading that will represent the some of the “historiographical background” to the week’s common reading.  “Historiography” means in part the classic works by Mexican and U.S. scholars from the nineteenth century through the 1950s.  “Historiography” will also be taken to mean books published in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s that more recently-published books build on or revise.  The professor will ordinarily pontificate for 20 minutes or so at the beginning of each class on the general historiographical context into which the week’s readings fit.  The course is thus ideally suited to preparing an orals field in modern Mexico.  Students will write two 7-10 page review essays, based on the readings for one week plus 3-4 extra books from the supplemental reading.  They will also lead the discussion that week.  

Margaret Chowning
W 2-4P
CCN: 39822
285E.001: The Atlantic World

Full description coming soon.

Elena A. Schneider
W 4-6p
CCN: 39918
280/285B: Writing History in the Middle Ages

CCN for 280B.001: 39774

CCN for 285B.001: 39879

The amount of history written in the European middle ages is staggering, dwarfing the number histories from contemporary Byzantium, China, and Islam. The diversity of the genres and the creativity with which writers adapted them is equally staggering. There are Latin histories and vernacular histories, prose histories and verse histories. There are histories of kingdoms and peoples, of cities, monasteries, and bishoprics, histories of reigns, histories of events, histories of the world and histories of individual families, even histories of fictions (e.g., Geoffrey of Monmouth's history of Arthur). Sometimes people (Salimbene, for instance) seem to write history just because they want to write history without caring much whether it's a history of anything at all. Because historians and literary scholars need to specialize in order to get any research done, too often they use particular histories relevant to their work without much awareness of what is or is not distinctive about them, and they make broad generalizations drawn from outmoded scholarship or limited reading. The purpose of this course is simply to read a small but representative sample of interesting histories from the middle ages, along with a small but representative selection of the most important recent scholarship. We will begin with four fundamental histories: Eusebius' History of the Church; Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People; the Royal Frankish  Annals; and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (concentrating especially on the "A" version). Because students are likely to have quite varied interests and needs, subsequent readings will be determined in the first class, according to a consensus within the class. I anticipate that the majority of the readings after the first four will be drawn from the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries (e.g., choosing from among Raoul Glaber, Lampert of Hersfeld, Berthold of Reichenau, Suger of Saint-Denis, Orderic Vitalis, Galbert of Bruges, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry of Huntingdon, Roger of Wendoever, Otto of Freising, Matthew Paris, Salimbene…). Almost all readings will be in English translation. Students who wish to take the seminar as a 285 will need to write a paper that demonstrates research ability using research languages. Much of the most important scholarship is in German, though only two such works will be assigned. For students who cannot read German, alternative assignments in French will be arranged. 

Geoffrey Koziol
Tu 4-6P
CCN: 39879
283: Historical Method and Theory

 We will read reflections on the writing and practice of history by authors from antiquity to the twentieth century.

Maria Mavroudi
180 Barrows
M 2-4P
CCN: 39867
280S.001: Science and the Atlantic World, 1500-1850.
  • Note new room.
The discovery and colonization of the Americas radically changed the ways we understand the natural world. European mariners charted unexplored continents, colonial administrators learned about commercially-valuable flora from indigenous peoples, and an impressive volume of new objects flowed both ways across the Atlantic Oceans. This context of exploration, domination, and exchange framed – and perhaps caused – the scientific revolution. This seminar will provide entryway into the “Atlantic critique” in the history of science. How does knowledge move across space? In what way did scientific knowledge shape the Atlantic social world and vice versa? Historians of the 1500 – 1850 Atlantic will gain tools for studying the intellectual and scientific world of their actors. Historians of science will explore new historical techniques, such as geographies of science, mobility of knowledge, and transatlantic scientific networks.
Alaniz, John
F 12-2P
CCN: 39848
280S.003: Data science - History, philosophy, sociology
This is a graduate reading seminar querying the intellectual,  institutional, and social bases of the rise of "data science,"  understood as a platform drawing from computer science, statistics, and  research domain questions around working with new or large sets and  streams of data. The seminar is directed to graduate students in the 
humanities and social sciences. It is open to advanced undergraduates  and to graduate students outside the humanities and social sciences with permission of the instructor. The seminar focuses on data science within the research university, though there will be space to discuss data  science in other settings (industry, public/civic uses, open source communities, etc.).
Cathryn Carson
W 12-2P
CCN: 39852
290: Historical Colloquium

This is a 1-credit S/U graduate course in history of science, accompanying the history of science colloquium and the brownbag series. It meets every Thursday, 4-6 pm. Meetings consist of: invited lecture on a special topics, followed by an extended session of questions and answers; informal discussions over the work of affiliated scholars; and roundtable sessions on broader methodological issues in the history of science and technology. The course brings you up to the research front in these topics, interacting with historians on subjects that currently engage their scholarship. Attendance is compulsory.

Massimo Mazzotti
Th 4-6P
CCN: 39951
United States
280/285D: Colonial America and the Atlantic World to 1848

CCN for 280D.001: 39807

CCN for 285D.001: 39903

This seminar offers graduate students in history and related fields the opportunity to explore original research and in-depth readings in current issues in this rapidly expanding scholarly field.  Potential topics include European colonization and conquest; indigenous peoples' histories and their entanglement with Europeans; the development of Atlantic world trade including the slave trade; the making of new American polities, economies, and the rise of capitalism; war and revolution; intellectual and cultural histories.  Students will be expected to produce a significant work of original scholarship, or a series of review essays, depending on whether the course is taken as a 285 or 280. 

Mark A. Peterson
W 12-2P
280D.002: American Legal History
American Legal History is a reading and discussion seminar.  It is also the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Law and History Foundation Seminar.
Considered as a field of study, legal history is as much history as it is law, and history is primarily a discipline of the book.  For this reason I have chosen to make this a course that focuses on books, particularly books about the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Our goal will be to achieve a thorough and complete grounding in American legal history’s formative literatures by reading a wide selection of the field’s best work, ranging from the classics that have structured the field, stirred controversy and inspired generations of scholars (like James Willard Hurst’s Law and the Conditions of Freedom and Morton Horwitz’s Transformation of American Law), to the best work of the current generation (like Laura Edwards’ The People and their Peace and William Novak’s The People’s Welfare), to notable recent work by younger scholars (like Margot Canaday’s The Straight State and Ken Mack’s Representing the Race).  Our objective will be not only to accumulate considerable knowledge of American legal history, but also to examine the very different ways in which historians have chosen to write the history of American law (and the very different subjects they have considered appropriate to write about).
C. L. Tomlins
Selznick Seminar Room, 2240 Piedmont Avenue
Tu 2-5P
CCN: 39809
Research and Teaching Credit
Spring 2015 - Graduate Graduate 296: Directed Dissertation Research Margaret Chowning
CCN: 39957
298: Employment Credits Margaret Chowning
CCN: 39960
601: Individual Study for Master's Exam Margaret Chowning
CCN: 40056
602: Orals Preparation Margaret Chowning
CCN: 40059