Graduate Courses

Spring 2016
275B: Twentieth Century Europe
  • Note new room.

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
M 200-400
CCN: 39735
275F: The Song Dynasty

This seminar will examine recent secondary scholarship (in English) on the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Cambridge History of China, volume 5, part 2, which came out last spring, includes ten topical chapters that will provide a good starting point for the course. (This volume is, by the way, available for free download to all UC-affiliated individuals.) Students should expect to prepare short weekly written assignments, occasional presentations, and one longer historiographic essay.

Nicolas Tackett
W 1000-1200
CCN: 39759
275F: Japan and the World, 1850-1950

This course is an introductory survey of the historiography of modern Japan. Its major theme is the transformation of Japanese life in the modern era. Reading a book (or a book +) per week, we will cover major, essential questions of the century from the opening of Japan’s ports to the aftermath of defeat in the Pacific War. Specific themes will include the nature and course of the Restoration, political and ideological struggles of the Meiji era and subsequent incipient democratization; cultural transformations, including religious conversion and innovation and the emergence of new, even unprecedented literary forms; epochal shifts in economic structure and forms of everyday life; the formation of the Japanese empire, its expansion and ultimate collapse.

Andrew E. Barshay
W 12-2P
CCN: 39756
275S: Graduate Seminar: The History of Science

This seminar will provide an advanced introduction to the study of science and technology as objects of historical and sociological inquiry. What does it mean to think historically about notions such as the scientific method, objectivity, truth, and technological efficiency? We shall discuss exemplary research in the history of science and science studies, from the Scientific Revolution to contemporary technoscience, and critically engage with key themes and methodologies in these fields. We shall pay particular attention to the ways in which locally produced knowledge and artifacts can travel and achieve universal credibility. By the end of the seminar students will be familiar with the main approaches used by historians and sociologists to reconstruct the complex interaction of science, technology, and society in the making of the modern world. 

Massimo Mazzotti
470 Stephens
Tu 400-600
CCN: 39852
280A: Introduction to Byzantine Studies

This seminar offers a general introduction to Byzantine studies and an investigation of special topics within the discipline. Weeks 1-9 cover the period from the 7th until the 15th centuries in chronological sequence. The remaining weeks are 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 literary culture; recent approaches Byzantine art, archeology, and material culture. Students are expected to become familiar with a narrative of events in Byzantine history as well as think about particular problems that modern historians face in their attempt to study and interpret these events.

Maria Mavroudi
Tu 200-500
CCN: 39768
280A: Comparative Urbanism in the Ancient World

Note that this course is cross-listed as AHMA 210 and NES 296 .  It is co-taught by Carlos Noreña (History) and Carol Redmount (Near Eastern Studies).

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar will examine the nature, form, and functions of cities in the ancient Mediterranean world, with a particular focus on urbanism in Egypt and in the western Roman empire.  The course will be organized around a set of topics to be investigated from an explicitly comparative perspective, including settlement patterns and urban demography; the supply and provisionment of cities; neighborhoods, residential zones, and domestic spaces; cities and hinterlands; cities, towns, and urban networks; capital cities; urban services and administrative functions; public building, monumental architecture, urban space, and cityscapes; and urban leisure and sociability.  One goal of the seminar is to gain a deeper understanding of urbanism not only in Egypt and in the western Roman empire, but also in the ancient world more generally.  To that end, we will consider various theoretical works on cities, urban forms and functions, and urbanization as an historical process, and may, where appropriate, refer to case studies from outside the Mediterranean region (e.g., China and Mesoamerica).

Carlos F. Noreña
252 Barrows
F 200-500
CCN: 39771
280B: The History of Emotions, Late Modern Europe

The history of emotions has become a trend in recent years. What stands behind it?  This course pursues two parallel agendas.  One, it introduces students to recent literature and methodologies, surveying some of the most widely cited names in the field, including Lucien Febvre, Barbara Rosenwein, and William Reddy. How have historians approached “the emotions”, and what kinds of historical questions have they sought to answer using this category? Two, it delves more deeply into three core affects— sympathy, fear, and melancholy—and the intellectual and cultural concepts attached to them, to see how they may have helped organize social and political behavior. Clustering secondary sources around each of these concepts allows us to trace their conceptual development over time. Here, too, we investigate the broader historical questions that historians have sought to answer using either “sympathy”, “fear”, and “melancholy” or their cognates as tools of analysis.  The course spans the 18th century through early 20th century. 

Victoria Frede
Th 1000-1200
CCN: 39777
280B/285B: The Medieval Episcopate in Italy and Beyond: Sources and Studies
  • Note new room.

This is also 285B.002, CCN 39900.


This seminar is designed as an introduction to the wide variety of historical sources produced by bishops from roughly the fifth to the fifteenth centuries as well as to the ways historians have used them to explore the medieval past. Among the sources we may consider are letters, wills and tombs, liturgical ordines and vestments, charters and registers, visitation records, hagiographical (vitae, miracle collections) and other biographical sources: the Roman Liber pontificalis and its echoes in episcopal gesta, sagas, etc. General histories and theological tracts will not be treated, but the particularly sophisticated records of the Roman see will be in order to explore papal influence and episcopal independence over the Middle Ages. While Italian examples will feature prominently, the geographical interests of students registered in the seminar will determine the final syllabus (those intending to register are encouraged to email the instructor). Doctoral candidates in history have the option of developing a research (285) paper through the seminar. A reading knowledge of Latin and either French or German is required.

Maureen C. Miller
W 200-400
CCN: 39774
280D: Slavery and Servitude in the United States

This course will serve as a selective overview of the most recent scholarship, which explores systems of captivity and coerced labor in (British) North America and the United States. We will explore indigenous systems of bondage, indigenous enslavement at the hands of European settlers, the transport and indentured servitude of European migrants, the British inter-colonial slave trade, and the indentured and sexual servitude of Chinese migrants and indigenous women in the 19th century. The overwhelming majority of our readings will explore the captivity and enslavement of African-descended people in the New World. In this vein, a number of weeks examine the experiences of African-descended people before leaving the West Coast of Africa, their passage to the New World, and their bondage, resistance and freedom after settlement. The class concludes with readings that examine the development of the penal state, and the criminalization and mass incarceration of black people, and modern systems of slavery in the United States. Many of the required readings will be attentive to the role that the law played in constructing and maintaining systems of American bondage and will examine the ways that gender and sexuality shaped the experiences of bound people as well. 

Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
Tu 1200-200
CCN: 39807
280D: Making American Culture(s)

We will analyze selected readings in US cultural history, with an emphasis on the complexity and diversity of American culture(s). In addition, we will necessarily examine issues of difference, identity and power and their relationship to the history of American culture(s). Texts will likely include: James W. Cook, et. al. ,eds., The Cultural Turn in U.S. History; Lawrence W. Levine, Black Culture and Black Consciousness; Jean M. O’Brien, Firsting and Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England; Michael Denning, The Cultural Front, Catherine S. Ramirez, The Woman in the Zoot Suit; Karl Hagstrom Miller, Segregating Sound: Inventing Folk and Pop Music in the Age of Jim Crow. Requirements will include at least two papers, one of which will be a historiographical essay (15pp.). The other can be an exploratory essay on a possible dissertation idea.

Waldo E. Martin
Tu 200-400
CCN: 39810
280F: The Ottoman Empire and its Rivals

This research seminar is intended for doctoral students, although M. A. candidates are welcome to seek instructor approval to enroll.  We will consider the “early modern” and “modernizing” Ottoman Empire in light of two kinds of rivals: rival empires, such as Iran, Russia, Britain and France, and rival movements that arose within Ottoman domains, one of which ultimately supplanted the empire itself. We will proceed chronologically and examine the relationships between internal and external rivalries and their effects on the workings of Ottoman governance. Major sets of issues include: methods and frameworks for comparing empires; political participation and allegiances of borderland populations between Ottoman and rival empires; 19th-century movements for reform and nationalism that linked external and internal rivals; and analogous mechanisms of governance that arose in rival empires such as Russia and Iran. Along with weekly readings students are expected to develop a prospectus for a research project of their own, presenting it to the class in the closing weeks of the semester.  The Ottoman Empire will serve as a touchstone for our ongoing comparative discussion of empires. Consequently, while the emphasis will be on the Ottoman Empire and its geographically contiguous rivals such as Russia and Iran, I welcome students’ expertise and comments on other empires such as those in South Asia, East Asia, central/western Europe, etc. and hope that student presentations of weekly readings will include such perspectives.

Christine Philliou
3104 Dwinelle
F 1200-200
CCN: 39834
280F: Modern China

This course is intended for graduate students interested in recent and emerging scholarship concerning late imperial and modern China.  

With the fall of the Qing and the founding of the Republic in 1911, political arrangements in China underwent significant changes.  The Qing Empire transformed into a Chinese Republic.  The Chinese Republic contained frontiers and borderlands that defied the unifying and standardizing constructions of a Republican Chinese citizenship.  Tension between the heartland and the frontier poses major challenges to 20th-century Chinese aspirations for the building of a coherent Chinese nation-state.  Modern Chinese nation-building and state-building took place, meanwhile, in the broader context of border-crossing processes and connections that were redefining the socio-political significance of spatial units such as the nation or the city.  

In this seminar we use “governance” as a venue to engage with issues and conditions concerning China and the Chinese people in late imperial and modern times.  Readings are clustered around a selection of topics, broadly understood, concerning “the Chinese world order,” “the human subject of Chinese history,” and “locating ‘China’ in modern history.”  The syllabus is designed to capture recent and emerging scholarship concerning China.  The selections are to be read against seminal texts from within as well as outside the China field.

Wen-hsin Yeh
Tu 1200-200
CCN: 39831
280H: Africa in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

This introductory seminar investigates major themes and historiographic debates of African history from about 1800 to the end of the twentieth century. It begins with an exploration of the making and transformation of 19th century communities. Some of the topics in this section include processes of political formation and administration; social-cultural organization; production, commerce and accumulation; Western exploration, conquest and the missionary factor. Regarding the colonial encounter and its aftermath, topics will include a re-evaluation of colonial systems of administration; reflections on African intermediaries; colonialism and multiracial subjectivities; idioms of health, disease and colonial medicine; gender, religion, education and notions of respectability; land, migrant labor and colonial economies; contested nationalism and decolonization; ethnicity, religion and the makings of genocide; nation states, civil wars and democratic crises.

Tabitha Kanogo
Th 200-400
CCN: 39846
280S: History of Quantification
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Cathryn Carson
W 1200-200
CCN: 39855
280U: Britain and the World since 1750

In recent decades the old conceit that Britain made the modern world has been challenged by the contention that the world made Britain.  This class will examine how this historiographical shift has occurred and what it means to those who consider themselves historians of Britain, as well as those who consider themselves historians of the modern world.   In passing it will rehearse the various debates that those preparing for qualifying exams need to know about the foundational debates of British history, its extension into the Atlantic and British worlds, the imperial turn in European history more generally, the history of globality and the provincialized place of Britain (and Europe) in world history, and the still little understood dynamics of late imperialism, decolonization and the Cold War in the formation of our neoliberal present.  Or that is the absurd ambition.  There will be a lot of reading but no writing. Your charge will be to produce a syllabus of a class you could and would want to teach.

James Vernon
W 400-600
CCN: 39861
280U: When Empires Come Home: Postcolonial Migrations to Europe

Through the lens of migration studies, this course introduces participants to a key aspect of twentieth-century European history: namely, the profound impact that the End of Empire after World War II had on the societies, politics, and cultures of Europe’s colonial powers. Perhaps ironically, the independence of former colonies did not stop the diverse movements of people from Africa and Asia into France, Great Britain, Portugal, Holland, and Italy, but rather increased existing migration flows and created new ones.  These movements both assisted and complicated the ongoing transition from imperial metropoles to post-colonial nation-states, and they are among the most obvious, significant, and conflict-producing legacies of colonialism in Europe.  We will focus on a particular type of these population shifts: the “return migrations” or “decolonization  migrations,” characterized by the movement of white settlers back to the nations from which they or their forebears had come. From the 1940s through the 1970s, between 10 and 14 million individuals abandoned ‘their’ colonies when they became independent and headed for ‘their’ respective colonial centers. The most notorious of these return migrations was that of the approximately one million so-called pieds noirs who crossed the Mediterranean into France when Algeria became independent in 1962. We will cover the Italian, Dutch, and British cases, but will give special attention to the return migrations to France and Portugal, which were the largest and most controversial. The ability to read French and/or Portuguese will be useful, but not required.

Christoph Kalter is a Visiting Assistant Professor from the Free University of Berlin. His research is occupied with the afterlives of empire in Europe. His first book dealt with the interconnection between the rise of the concept of the “Third World” and that of the New Radical Left in France; his current project is on postcolonial migrations to Portugal.

Christoph Kalter
M 1200-200
CCN: 39873
280U: Economic History and Economic Culture of the Early Modern Atlantic World

This course explores the development of European economies and the creation of new Atlantic economic systems during the era of European contact with and expansion into the "new worlds" of sub-Saharahan Africa and the Americas.  In doing so, it also attend to distinctive features of economic life emerging in this era -- new theories of political economy, experiments in monetary systems and credit networks, radical new forms of slavery and labor commodofication, the rise of cultures of consumption -- that helped to create the modern world.  It is intended for graduate students in history and related disciplines, working in any relevant geographical areas, whose interests pertain to this subject.

Mark A. Peterson, Jan DeVries
3205 Dwinelle
W 200-400
CCN: 39867
280U: Comparative Genocides

This graduate seminar is an introduction to the field of genocide studies from a comparative perspective.  It will not focus on any single genocide; instead, it will try to provide a good understanding of the extreme diversity of this form of mass killing. Even though it will emphasize twentieth-century cases, it will also cover earlier occurrences. 

The seminar will start with a broad survey of genocides or genocidal killings in world history.  We will continue with readings on the concept of genocide and the discontents this concept generates.  We will then focus on the main twentieth-century cases of mass killings and genocides: the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Stalin’s Soviet mass killings and the Cambodian genocide, and finally the Rwandan genocide.  We will conclude the seminar with an acclaimed book written by a French political scientist, which provides a good analytical and comparative perspective on this phenomenon. 

Among other things, this seminar will focus on the motivations of the killers and the processes leading to the mass murder of various groups. Grading will be based on three papers (eight to ten pages each) that will discuss the readings and on participation.

Stephan H. Astourian
W 1000-1200
CCN: 39864
283: What is Cultural History?

Critics and practitioners speak confidently (if not always approvingly) of recent turns toward and away from cultural history, but it remains unclear what exactly the term designates. Is cultural history a field, a subject matter, a scholarly methodology, a theory about the world, an interpretive stance toward texts and images, a rhetorical posture, a set of aesthetic preferences? Is it comparable to and neatly distinguishable from social history and intellectual history? This reading seminar explores some of the antecedents, foundations, and varieties of what is labeled cultural in contemporary historical scholarship in North America and Western Europe.

David Henkin
M 200-400
CCN: 39885
285B: Research Workshop with an Emphasis on Institutions of Culture and Structures of Cultural Exchange

This is a workshop course on cultural history. All are welcome. But I invite especially projects that examine the institutional infrastructure for the making, transformation, and exchange of knowledge,  art, technology, or ethical norms: printing and publishing; education; translation; travel; museums and concert halls; law and intellectual property, for example. I offer step-by- step guidance through the process of identifying, researching, and presenting the fruits of a manageable research project.  In the first few weeks we will concentrate on basic structural and esthetic choices: a first paragraph, a last paragraph, deciding on an audience and on a narrative voice. Later, the seminar will constitute itself as an editorial collective that will read rough drafts and suggest revisions aimed at making the paper acceptable to our imaginary “journal.” The aim is to have a draft of a publishable paper for a real journal by May. Work on any time period or era is appropriate. For those many topics on which I can offer no expertise we will rely, as I have in the past in my 285s, on the expertise of colleagues in this and other departments.  Small grants-in-aid for research material will be available as needed.

Thomas W. Laqueur
Thu 330-500
CCN: 39897
285E: Latin America

This is a research seminar on Latin American topics.

Margaret Chowning
Th 1200-200
CCN: 39936
290: Historical Colloquium: History of Science

This is a 1-credit S/U graduate course in history of science, accompanying the CSTMS Colloquium. The meetings consist of invited lectures by leading researchers in the field of history of science and science studies, followed by an extended session of questions and answers (the calendar will be available on the CSTMS website in August: Additionally, students will meet the speakers in informal roundtable discussions ("master classes"). The course will bring you up to the research front in these areas, facilitating interactions with faculty and graduate students from across campus who share an interest in the social dimension of science and technology. Attendance is compulsory.

Cathryn Carson
Th 400-600
CCN: 39972
296: Dissertation Research and Writing

-filler credit

CCN: 39978
298: Employment Credits

-filler credit

CCN: 39981
601: M.A. Prep

-filler credit

CCN: 40077
602: PhD Orals Prep

-filler credit

CCN: 40080