Graduate Courses

Click here to view a tentative list of graduate seminars for Spring 2019. Please note that these seminars will not be confirmed until Fall 2018.

Fall 2018
275D: Survey — United States
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Rebecca M. McLennan
2303 Dwinelle
Tue 9am–12pm
Class #: 21592
275E: Survey — Latin America

This seminar is a selective survey of early Latin American and Caribbean history, c. 1400-1898. Our approach will combine classic texts with new lines of inquiry inspired by the overlapping field of Atlantic history. The goal is to develop a sense of key developments in the historiography of the region, build core knowledge, and identify promising new directions for future research. Topics covered include social, cultural, environmental, and economic ramifications of “the conquest”; capitalism and the world system; cultural encounter and religion; gender, sexuality, and race; indigenous and African slavery and the transatlantic slave trade; Brazil, Angola, and the South Atlantic system; and revolt, rebellion, and the Age of Revolutions.

Elena A. Schneider
2303 Dwinelle
Tue 2–4pm
Class #: 25930
275F: Survey — Asia
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Andrew E. Barshay
3104 Dwinelle
Wed 12–2pm
Class #: 26071
280A: Slavery, Agricultural Labor, and the Economy in the later Roman Empire

Beginning with a discussion of the principal historiographic works and hence the central areas of scholarly controversy regarding slavery and other forms of agricultural labor and the late Roman economy (Harper, Hickey, Sarris, Bransbourg, Grey), the course will then focus on the evidence from legal, literary, and documentary sources, to end with a discussion of Augustine of Hippo's recently discovered letters on slavery and coloni.

Susanna Elm
2231 Dwinelle
Thu 9am–12pm
Class #: 21628
280B: Introduction to Soviet Historiography

The landmarks of Soviet historiography from Leon Trotsky to the latest academic fad, in loose chronological order. Weekly book reviews, no papers.

Yuri Slezkine
2220 Dwinelle
Tue 4–6pm
Class #: 21622
280B: Advanced Studies — Europe
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
James Vernon
2303 Dwinelle
Wed 2–4pm
Class #: 25917
280B/285B: Ancient Israel in the Modern Western Imagination

Spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries this course sets out to explore the way Europeans, Americans and Israelis have imagined and represented Biblical Israel.  Among the topics we will address are: Spinoza’s heresy, the Enlightenment Bible, the politics of archaeology, histories of Ancient Israel, Christian and Jewish representations of Jesus and the Holy Land, Israelite-Sephardic authenticity and Masada and the Zionist imagination.

  • For 280B, use class number 24511
  • For 285B, use class number 21606
John M. Efron
3205 Dwinelle
Thu 3–5pm
Class #: See Course Description
280B/285B: Later Medieval Law: Practice, Literature, Ritual

This course will focus primarily on France and England from the late 12th through the 14th centuries. However, assignments for the last several weeks will remain open, in order to accommodate students’ different interests. The first purpose of the course is simply to introduce some of the basic elements of legal organization and practice. We will therefore cover English writs, eyres, and commissions of oyer et terminer and trailbaston, and French “common law” rules of procedure and proof. A second purpose is to expose the public performative elements of legal procedures, concentrating especially on the ceremonial of the last great judicial circuits of Edward I’s reign and arbitration proceedings in 14th-century Marseille. A third purpose is to examine the highly self-aware literary construction of legal texts and argumentation (for example, Beaumanoir’s Coutumes de Beauvaisis), and some representations of law in literature (such as the English Song of Trailbaston and probably some French fabliaux). Most readings will be available in English or available in English translation.

  • For 280B, use class number 32908
  • For 285B, use class number 22909
Geoffrey Koziol
2231 Dwinelle
Tues 12–3pm
280F: Tomb Manuscripts, Sites, and Artifacts in early China

This course is part 1 of a two-part course, with the second half to be taught by Mark Csikszentmihalyi (EALC) in the spring of 2019.  Every three weeks this course will examine an important tomb site whose manuscripts, layout, and other tomb contents have provided important evidence for the reconstruction of life in early China.  In the fall semester, the tombs whose site and contents will be reviewed will including Liye (Hunan), Zhangjiashan, the tombs of Zhang Anshi (Shaanxi, in Xi'an) and Haihun hou (Jiangsi), Fuyang (Anhui), and Zhangjiashan (Hubei, near modern Jingzhou).  Students will have the opportunity to explore how an object's medium affects its reception, also to compare received texts to those that have been scientifically excavated.

Michael Nylan
2231 Dwinelle
Wed 2–5pm
Class #: 21599
280F: Advanced Studies — Asia
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Peter B. Zinoman
2303 Dwinelle
Wed 10am–12pm
Class #: 24510
280H: Advanced Studies — Africa

This course will focus on recent innovative approaches to African history published within the last ten years.

Bruce Hall
2231 Dwinelle
Tues 10-12pm
Class #: 21595
280M: World War One in the Ottoman Empire

We will be reading the emerging scholarship on World War One in the Ottoman Empire in light of a) the larger concerns of scholarship on World War One in European and Russian historiography, and b) the existing patterns and disjunctures in Ottoman and Modern MIddle East/Balkan historiography. Topics will include constitutionalism, Balkan Wars, ethnic/confessional conflict, genocide, peace settlements, and divergences and convergences in the "post-Ottoman" space. A paper involving a critique of historiography and/or a research paper based on primary sources will be required, depending on whether students take the class as a 280 or 285 (in consultation with the professor).

Christine Philliou
2303 Dwinelle
Thu 10am–12pm
Class #: 32389
283: Historical Method and Theory

This course, now required of first-semester graduate students in History (who will be given priority in enrolling), is a survey of the craft, both in its premodern and contemporary iterations. The first half focuses on canonical works of historical writing in the Western and non-Western traditions, while the second half treats a sampling of themes and topics in the modern and premodern worlds as a way of introducing a range of approaches and methods practiced at Berkeley and beyond, introducing students to the varieties of historical writing and building a shared vocabulary (about class, race, and gender for example; about borders and frontiers; about the scale of history; and about archives). Requirements include all weekly reading to be done before each class (including the first one); regular short writing assignments posted on bCourses (reading prompts and responses); and a term paper (~30 pp.) on a historiographical topic (approved in advance by the instructor).

Peter Sahlins
3205 Dwinelle
Fri 12–3pm
Class #: 21580
285D: Research Seminar — United States

This research seminar is for students working on all topics in American history. We'll begin by considering important aspects of the historian's craft, including the relationship between sources and questions; formulating topics; mapping out research programs; and effectively situating one's work within the historiography. Most especially, the seminar will be devoted to the planning, drafting, and refinement of your article-length seminar papers. We will meet regularly at the start of the semester and then reconvene near the end of the term for peer-review of drafts. All students should work to develop a mature paper topic before the start of the term, and come prepared to discuss it during our first session.

Brian DeLay
2303 Dwinelle
Mon 10am–12pm
Class #: 21637
290: Historical Colloquium

Colloquium on topics of current research

Massimo Mazzotti
470 Stephens
Thu 4–6pm
Class #: 21581
375: Teaching History at the University

This class will introduce graduate students to a variety of techniques and theories used in teaching history at the university level. It will examine readings dealing with a range of classroom situations, opportunities, and challenges, with the goal of enabling future college teachers of history to understand the learning process of their students and to develop and improve their own teaching skills. The course will have two primary goals: (1) to train graduate students to work more effectively as graduate student instructors in history classes at Berkeley; and (2) to introduce students to techniques of designing and running their own classes that they will use when they become independent instructors and, ultimately, professors of history in their own right. 

3205 Dwinelle
Tue 12–2pm
Class #: 21609
C250: Topics in Science and Technology Studies

This course provides a strong foundation for graduate work in STS, a multidisciplinary field with a signature capacity to rethink the relationship among science, technology, and political and social life. From climate change to population genomics, access to medicines and the impact of new media, the problems of our time are simultaneously scientific and social, technological and political, ethical and economic. 

Massimo Mazzotti
470 Stephens
Tue 4–6pm
Class #: 21696