Graduate Courses

Fall 2014
275F: Asia
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
The Staff
CCN: 39843
275F: Subaltern Studies

This is a beginning graduate seminar course designed to introduce history students to Subaltern Studies, considered a major intervention in both Indian nationalist history and the wider discipline of history itself.

Subaltern Studies as a collective was brought together by Ranajit Guha in the late 1970s with the explicit aim of generating a new kind of history writing which would, in the immediate context of Indian nationalist history, put the peasant back into the narrative of a nationalist history s/he had actively produced. However, this proved no meagre task. Within India Subaltern Studies had to challenge not just bourgeois elite (and conventional) Indian nationalist historiography that focused on the great nationalist figures (Gandhi, Nehru) to the exclusion of all else, but also take on a dominant Marxist orthodoxy and its grip on rural and economic history. Outside India, Subaltern Studies located itself in opposition to the vastly influential Cambridge School that saw all of Indian nationalism as a “loaves and fish” contest for local power and patronage, as well as the hegemonic understanding within the professional world of the discipline of history, of both the concept of “history” and the concept of the “archive.” Subaltern Studies brought together a group of scholars who combined theoretical acumen with interdisciplinary methodologies, borrowing from the work of social history, social anthropology, structuralism, linguistics and semiotics in particular.

This course will revisit (rather than merely retrace) some moments in the history of the making of the Subaltern Studies problematic, with a focus on the relationship between method, the archives, and the craft of history writing. It will also introduce the class to some new works in the field of folklore, the intersection of gender and popular culture, varieties of approaching ‘the popular’, and the writing of ‘popular’ and ‘alternative histories’ with special attention to caste.

Janaki Bakhle
2303 Dwinelle
Tu 2-4P
CCN: 39848
280F: Research in the History of the People's Republic of China
  • This course has been cancelled.

Professor Cook will instead teach History 280U listed under comparative.

Alexander C. Cook

280F: Vietnam War Controversies

This course explores interpretive conflicts over the Vietnam War.   We will examine the major "schools" that have dominated the scholarship including the orthodox school, the revisionist school and the new Vietnam-centric school.  We will look at contrasting explanations for the origins, escalation and outcome of the conflict.  Other issues addressed in the course include the significance of the Geneva Accords (were they formally binding or not?), the character of the southern Vietnamese state (was it a puppet or not?), the character of the northern Vietnamese state (was it animated by communism or nationalism?), the origins of the southern insurgency (was it a response to southern grievances or a product of northern manipulation?), the nature of different phases of the military conflict and the impact of the war on non-combatants.  We will also look at the complex dynamics and impact of the American intervention as well as the role in the conflict of China and the Soviet Union.  Some attention will be paid to the large body of scholarship on atrocities and war crimes and to the legacy of the War in the post-war era.   Assignments include weekly readings, a research paper and several in-class presentations.  The course may also be taken as a 285 seminar with the permission of the instructor.

Peter B. Zinoman
W 4-6P
CCN: 39905
281: Paleography and Other Auxiliary Sciences

This course is designed as a general introduction to the use of primary documents pertinent to Mediterranean history and culture during the ancient and medieval periods.  It will address issues of paleography, codicology, textual tradition, and the critical edition of sources. The main focus will be on Greek and Arabic documents,  but the issues covered will be of interest to anyone interested in the manuscript culture of the medieval Mediterranean even beyond these two languages. We will mainly study books, but will also refer to administrative documents. Though the bulk our material will be medieval, the course is of potential interest to clacissists, since the works of ancient authors survive mostly in medieval manuscripts.  The unifying theme for covering such a great chronological, geographical, cultural, and linguistic gamut will be the common developments regarding the technology of book production and the logic of authoring, editing, and reproducing texts before the advent of printing, though differences will also be discussed.

Maria Mavroudi
3104 Dwinelle
W 10-12P
CCN: 39932
280/285A: The Making of Roman Law
CCN for 280A002is: 39855
CCN for 285A is: 39938
This seminar examines the “making” of Roman law in three distinct but interrelated senses: (i) as the institutional enactment and promulgation of new laws (statutory law); (ii) as the lived experience of Roman law in its social and cultural contexts (“law in action”); and (iii) as the official compilation of Roman laws in comprehensive and authoritative form (codification).  We will explore each of these topics in turn, focusing, respectively, on the middle and late Republic, the early and middle empire, and the late empire.  Emphasis throughout will be on public law, institutions, and collectivities.  This is not, then, a course on Roman private law (we will not have much to do with the jurists), but an investigation of law as a framework for structuring the relationship between state and society in the Roman world.  Central themes will include Republican political culture and the workings of the legislative assemblies; the language, dissemination, and archiving of statutes; the evolution of Roman public law in relation to imperial expansion; the impact of monarchy on the machinery of Roman law; the adjudication of disputes, especially in the provinces; the complex relationship between Roman law and local law; the politics of, and procedures behind, the late Roman compilation of laws, and the implications for the study of Roman laws as historical sources.
The seminar is intended for graduate students in ancient Greek and Roman History (and related disciplines, especially Classics), who will be expected to do some of the reading in Greek and Latin, and at least one modern foreign language (German, French, Italian).  
Carlos F. Noreña
2303 Dwinelle
F 2-5P
280C: The Renaissance before the Secular

This course offers an introduction to Renaissance and early modern studies, focusing on debates about secularism as they pertain to four topics: the state, the human, literature, and society. We will read works by Dante, Luther, and Savonarola, Las Casas, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, Ann Halkett, and Giambattista Vico. The course will be co-taught by a historian and literary scholar and the methodological differences between these approaches will be one of the main topics of the seminar. The course satisfies the Intellectual History requirement of the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

Victoria Kahn
Ethan H. Shagan
3205 Dwinelle
Tu 2-5P
CCN: 39876
200X: Revolution: From the Fictitious to the Real -TOWNSEND CENTER SEMINAR WITH EELCO RUNIA

CCN will be published pending final approval of the course by the academic senate in May.

Victor Hugo remarked that “a revolution is a return from the fictitious to the real.” Hugo’s words not only fundamentally question what might be called the realist project but also contain a rudimentary yet thought-provoking theory about how sublime historical events come about.
Hugo’s remark leads to four suppositions that are each well worth examining: that the here-and-now may be less “real” than we like to think; that, conversely, the past may not be solely something of the past; that creating something as radically new as a revolution is an instance of moving forward by moving backward; and, finally, that the desire to reestablish contact with, or immersion in, “reality” (whatever that may be) is an important mainspring for groundbreaking human action. Exploring Hugo’s words is, in fact, a very timely exercise: it may – when the 19th century word “fictitious” is substituted by its 21st century equivalent “virtual” - shed light on how present-day homo Google relates to “the real.”  
Session I
* Eelco Runia, Moved by the past (NY 2014), Chapters 3 & 4 (pp 49-105)
* W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz (London 2001)
Session II
* Moved by the past, Chapter 5 & 6 (pp 106-143)
* Modris Eksteins, Rites of spring (NY 1989), Chapters I &II (pp 1-94)
Session III
* Moved by the past, Chapter 7 (pp 144-157)
* Karl Marx, The eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte (available at:
Session IV
* Moved by the past, Chapter 8 & 9 (pp 158-202)
* Slavoj Žižek, ‘Robespierre, or, the ‘divine violence’ of terror’’. In: Maximilien Robespierre, Virtue and terror (London & New York 2007), pp vii-xxxix.
Dr. Eelco H. Runia is a historian, psychologist and novelist. He studied at Leiden University, worked for some years as a psychologist at the Faculty of Medicine of the Erasmus University Rotterdam and was a visiting scholar at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies. Since 1999 he has had a private practice as coach/supervisor for medical doctors. In 2002, his research project Committing History was awarded with a 5-year grant by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research – and he became a full time historian at the Department of History of Groningen University and (since 2004) chair of the Centre for Metahistory. Among his books are: De pathologie van de veldslag (The Pathology of Battle. History and Historiography in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, 1995), Waterloo Verdun Auschwitz. De liquidatie van het verleden (The liquidation of the past, 1999), Moved by the Past (2014) and two novels, including  Inkomend vuur (Incoming Fire)
Alan Tansman
210 Stephens
W 5-8P
CCN: 39807
Fall 2014 - Graduate Graduate 280U: Global History through the Age of Revolutions

Co-taught by Professors Brian DeLay and Daniel Sargent, History 280X is the first in a two-part series of graduate reading seminars in modern global history. (Part two, Global History Since the Age of Revolutions, will be taught in Spring 2015). This course will be of use to students writing on transnational or international topics, and, more generally, to anyone interested in learning to frame their own work in broader contexts. Graduate students from across the regional fields are welcome. Central themes will include the early history of globalization and the origins of the modern world economy; the rise of the European state and of the states system; European expansion and relations with the wider world; non-state polities and early modern borderlands; global population movements; and the transformation of the Atlantic world with the age of revolutions. Students will be expected to read 2 substantive books per week. Requirements include weekly book summaries, to be shared among participants in the course, a wikipedia entry, and a historiographical paper of approximately 15-20 pages. 

Brian DeLay, Daniel Sargent
2231 Dwinelle
W 4-6P
CCN: 39927
Fall 2014 - Graduate Graduate 280U: Asymmetrical Conflict

Reading and research in the history of asymmetrical conflict, including case studies in topics such as domination and resistance or guerrilla warfare and counter-insurgency, with special attention to historical sources and methods. Students will develop a research project on a relevant topic of their choice.

Alexander C. Cook
3104 Dwinelle
W 12-2P
CCN: 39930
285U: Digital Approaches to History

Digital Approaches to History. This seminar will explore digital approaches to history, with an emphasis on application. Rather than learning how to use technologies, we will focus on how technologies can help historians resolve specific historical questions. There will be no assigned weekly readings. However, each week, one or two students will present to the seminar's participants a book (or set of articles) that makes interesting use of digital tools to resolve a historical problem; we will then discuss together the possible portability of the tools to other fields and other questions. Over the course of the semester, each student will be responsible for one or two presentations, as well as a substantial seminar paper. Because this seminar requires participants from a number of different fields in order to be useful, the seminar may be cancelled if there is insufficient enrollment as of mid July.

Nicolas Tackett
204 Dwinelle
F 10-12P
CCN: 39972
275B: Europe

This course aims to stimulate conversation on a series of provocative questions relating to the history of modern Europe, a continent alternately coming together and tearing itself apart, reminiscent of the old oscillating universe theory. Remarkable is the persistence of the national question and its power to overwhelm every agenda – including that of social welfare – until its demands seem satisfied. Course readings touch upon following issues:

Total War and its causes
Revolutionary era: socialism and national self-determination
Enemies of democracy and their programs
Leninist and fascist "civilizations"
Submersion of the world wars in European collective memory
Collaboration: "Victims" as collaborators.
Collaborators as "democrats"
Intellectuals and the Cold War: totalitarian temptation?
The dialectics of German unity in a divided Europe
Revolutionary era: 1989 and the era of "democratization"
Europe unified and divided: the Bosnian crisis

Throughout the emphasis is on readability and new questions, rather than on panoramic view or systematic geographic and thematic coverage. Students write one twenty page paper on a subject of their choice, as well as a number of short reviews, and make one presentation to the class (on a book of their choice).

John Connelly
115 Barrows
W 4-6P
CCN: 39819
280: Modern German History

This course is a reading seminar intended for graduate students who are specializing in Modern German History. Its purpose is to introduce students to some of the key topics, questions, problems, controversies, and debates that have characterized this field.

We will discuss classic accounts as well as the latest research aiming at a systematic account of German history in the 19th and 20th century. Central to our conversations will be the changing way in which historical problems and issues have been framed and reframed by different generations of scholars. This course should help you to prepare for future research, as well as for oral examinations in this field. – Reading proficiency in German is required.

Andrea A. Sinn
2303 Dwinelle
W 10-12
CCN: 39867
280B: The Substance of Things Unseen: Matter and Spirit, 1650-1800

Between 1650 and 1800, matter, spirit, and their relationship, became subjects of unprecedented attention in Europe. Mechanism, the development of a science of forces, new forms of religious imagination, new spiritualisms, the rise of sensationalist psychology, the development of an aesthetics of the sublime, fascination with legal and political abstraction, new materialist ethics, the discovery of “real” immaterial things (public opinion, society, the economy, e.g.): all of these together fundamentally structured what we might broadly call modern immanence and transcendence. Primary readings will likely include: Descartes, Hobbes, Newton, Bekker, Hume, Diderot, Rousseau, Smith, and Kant

Jonathan Sheehan
204 Dwinelle
M 10-12P
CCN: 29858
280B: Critical Theory Writ Small

This seminar will be devoted to exploring various exemplars of the small forms, literary as much as philosophical, employed by Critical Theorists in their attempt to make sense of the modern world: aphorisms, Denkbilder, dialectical images, miniatures, etc. We will read works by Walter Benjamin (One-Way Street), Ernst Bloch (Traces), Horkheimer (Dawn and Decline) and Adorno (Minima Moralia), as well as such secondary texts as Gerhard Richter, Thought-Images. We will consider comparable examples in the work of Lichtenberg, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kraus and Kracauer.

Martin E. Jay
3205 Dwinelle
F 10-12P
CCN: 39864
285B: Research Topics in Soviet History

Several class meetings devoted to discussions of possible topics, bibliographies, and outlines followed by individual meetings with instructor and general discussions of final drafts. Knowledge of Russian is preferred but not required.

Yuri Slezkine
2303 Dwinelle
W 12-2P
CCN: 39939
280B: Medieval Italy: An Introduction to the Sources and Historiography

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students to the study of Italy during the Middle Ages (c. 500-1300). Key debates and developments in medieval Italian history – such as the phenomenon of incastellamento, the origins of the communes, and differences between north and south – are introduced through the reading of important monographs (e.g., Pierre Toubert's Les structures du Latium médiéval, Cinzio Violante's La società milanese nell’età precomunale, Ron Witt's Two Latin Cultures). This historiographical exploration is combined with an introduction to medieval Italian charters and charter collections. Readings will be in English, Latin, Italian, and French (students must have a reading knowledge of at least three of these to enroll).

Maureen C. Miller
2231 Dwinelle
M 10-12P
CCN: 39861
283: Historical Method and Theory
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Kerwin L. Klein
321 Haviland
M 10-12P
CCN: 39933
C250: Science and Technology Research Seminar
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Massimo Mazzotti
470 Stephens
Tu 4-6PM
CCN: 39813
United States
275D: Introduction to U.S. History and Historiography

This is the introductory course for entering graduate students intending to study the history of the United States, from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. Students will meet faculty working in American history, broadly defined. We will read key texts in the field and also discuss the practice of historical research, from prospectus to dissertation to book.

Caitlin C. Rosenthal
3104 Dwinelle
Tu 2-4P
CCN: 39831
280D: From the New Deal to Neo-Liberalism: United States Historiography and History from the 1930's to the 1980's
  • This course has been cancelled.

Professor Delay and Professor Sargent will instead be teaching 280U - Global History through the Age of Revolutions.

Brian DeLay
2303 Dwinelle
W 2-4P
CCN: 39879
280D: North American Legal History to 1861
This course is designed especially for graduate students pursuing a second field or dissertation topic in American Legal History, but it is also open to graduate students from other fields and disciplines. It introduces recent and some classic historical scholarship in the field of North American Legal History—broadly defined as histories of legal culture, epistemology, institutions, discourse, practice, instrument of rule, and ideology in British America, the United States, and North America’s colonial borderlands—between 1492 and the Civil War. Of particular concern are the proliferation and decline of contending formations of “law” and constitutionalism in the three centuries before the Civil War, and law’s contradictory and constitutive role in the processes of empire-building, colonization (both pre- and post- revolutionary), the so-called “civilizing process,” environm ental transformation, and the shift from mercantile to industrial capitalism. Although our geographic focus, like that of much recent historiography, is primarily British colonial America, th e antebellum United States, and North America’s colonial borderlands, we will explore these places’ legal cultures in the context of the larger flows of peoples, trade, ideas, and power that shaped (and were shaped by) them.
Along with a significant reading load (one to two books per week), the requirements for this class include thoughtful, respectful, and consistent participation in all class discussions; at least one short writing assignment on one of the common readings; one, brief, in-class presentation and write-up of a recommended text; and a 20-25 page historiography review on a major theme or question in the field. 
Readings include work by Patricia Seed, Lauren Benton, Daniel Hulsebosch, Eliga H. Gould, Pierre Bourdieu, Woody Holton, Larry Kramer, Christopher L. Tomlins, Sally Engle Merry, Stephen Wilf, Laura Edwards, Robert Cover, Morton J. Horwitz, Ariela J. Gross, and Dylan Penningroth.
Rebecca M. McLennan
2303 Dwinelle
Th 10-12P
CCN: 39882
280D: Reading and Writing in Early America

This seminar is offered both as an introduction to the social and cultural history of America between 1700 and 1900 and as an exploration of recent scholarship in the history of literate practice.  Overarching thematic concerns include the spread and meaning of literacy, the historical relationship between writing and print, the form and content of news transmission, the proliferation of life writing and personal correspondence, and the rise of new media of inscription.   Along the way, we will also cover such topics as slave literacy, intellectual property, education, white-Indian relations, literary entertainment, and the performance of gender identities.

David Henkin
2303 Dwinelle
Tu 4-6P
CCN: 39885
285D: Difference, Identity, and Power—The US From 1800-2000
This seminar will allow students to pursue research projects in US History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The guiding emphases are threefold and interrelated: (1) the development and impact of specific  forms of difference (i.e., race, gender, sexuality, class, place/region); (2) how these differences come to be expressed as identities; and (3) the role of power in these various, at times overlapping, histories of difference and identity formation. I anticipate that research topics will range across social, intellectual, political, and cultural history. Interdisciplinary and research projects are encouraged. As an integral part of the seminar, we will discuss selected interpretive, theoretical, and methodological issues generated by a limited number of core readings, in part to be designed by the participants.
Note: James W. Cook, et. al., eds., The Cultural Turn in US History, will be a principal core reading.
Waldo E. Martin
Research and Teaching Credit
375: Teaching History at the University
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Kerwin L. Klein
3205 Dwinelle
M 2-4P
CCN: 40104