Graduate Courses

Fall 2015
Africa
285H/280H: Topics In the History of Africa: 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
2231 DWINELLE
Th 10-12
CCN: 40215
Asia
275F: Japan

We shall read and discuss genuinely excellent English-language monographs on Japanese history from the classical period through the early modern (or Edo) period. The canon, as it were. The top hits, old and new, that deserve (and reward) careful attention. Selections will be influenced by the research interests of the group and comparative material (outside the Japan field) will be introduced as appropriate. All welcome (auditors, visitors, old and new friends), as long as you read the work resourcefully and are ready for searching conversation. Selective attendance by auditors is fine. Requirements include weekly reading notes and two historiographical essays.

Mary Elizabeth Berry
2303 DWINELLE
Th 3-6P
CCN: 40079
280F: Advanced Studies in Asian History

The purpose of this course is to introduce graduate students to some of the most influential works, figures and debates within the field of Southeast Asian History.  Most weekly readings are taken from classic texts that have shaped the study of the field (for good or for ill) in important ways.  Early readings will address important efforts to think about Southeast Asian history as a coherent academic field.  Many of the later readings discuss general conceptual formulations put forward by scholars of the region that have been influential in subsequent scholarship.  Examples include Furnivall's plural society, Wolters' ideas about localization and mandala state-craft, Smail's avocacy of autonomous history, Scott's notion of the moral economy of the peasant, Geertz's theses on agricultural involution and the theater state, and Anderson's famous account of the emergence of imagined communities.  Students are expected to do the readings, deliver in-class presentations and write a 20- to 25-page paper.  The course may also be taken as a 285 but with a different writing assignment.

Peter B. Zinoman
3104 DWINELLE
W 12-2P
CCN: 40140
280F: Modern China
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Alexander C. Cook
3104 DWINELLE
F 10-12P
CCN: 40143
280F: Caste, Culture, Religion: The Anthro-History of South Asia

How did Western scholars/missionaries/anthropologists/colonial officials understand the strange world of India they found themselves in from the 17th to the 20th centuries?  What was encountered as a “religion” was unrecognizable to them by the terms of a Western understanding: it was not congregational, confessional or pastoral; it did and did not require belief in a deity; it was and was not scriptural and there was no one revealed book; it did not have prophets and the place and nature of “belief” was alien.  Yet, this religion, such as it was, inspired deep devoutness and faith, which led (or so they thought) to a culture that was deeply hierarchical.  The hierarchy was implemented and maintained in the name of a distinction between peoples that was called caste, it was of putatively ancient origin yet had changed and grown over the millennia with wide regional variations and implementations.  The basis for the so-called caste system was both scriptural and not.   Furthermore, religion and caste contributed centrally to the understanding of “culture” a term invoked interchangeably with “tradition.” 

The divide between caste, religion, and culture, at the same time the difficulty of disaggregating caste, religion, and culture baffled Western scholars and missionaries of the late medieval period, but also later (19th century) colonial officials and anthropologists.  For our purpose, it is vital to recognize that knowledge about India was produced by these various gatherers and compilers of information which was turned into knowledge.  In this course we begin with a 17th century priest and an account of his activities, and will work our way through a selection of writings on the subject of Indian caste, religion, and culture by a mix of political theorists, sociologists, anthropologists, and historians (Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Louis Dumont,  McKim Merriott, Milton Singer, Bernard Cohn, Nicholas Dirks, Diane Mines, Gloria Raheja, Anand Pandian and others) in order to arrive at an understanding of the interdisciplinary and anthropological history of India.

Requirements:  A good deal of reading, weekly response papers, one presentation in class, and one research paper

Janaki Bakhle
3205 DWINELLE
Tu 2-5P
CCN: 40134
285F: Southeast Asia
  • A complete description is forthcoming. Please check back.
Peter B. Zinoman
3104 DWINELLE
W 12-2P
CCN: 40212
Ancient
280A: Property and Power in the Ancient Greek World

Property occupies a curious place in both the ideology and the practice of ancient Greek states. With a deep admiration for landed property that extended to an ideological opposition to the sale of land, the Greeks nevertheless had a thriving market for land in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. They distinguished sharply between public and private property, but the ways in which such properties were used suggests that the boundary between the two was in practice quite problematically blurry. Property rights were jealously guarded for citizens, and extended to foreigners only in cases of benefaction. While democratic regimes emphasized the political and legal equality of all citizens, regardless of their wealth, oligarchic cities retained property qualifications for many magistracies and for bouleutic service. Greek states committed themselves to protecting the property of their citizens, but the process by which that power was created is highly implicated in the protection of elite interests.

Two radically divergent conceptions of property linger beneath the surface of most modern discussions. The first, embraced primarily by economists and lawyers, is that property serves as the material basis of self-directed activity. The function of property on this view is that it gives people control over things, and with it both freedom and security. The second, embraced by sociologists, is that property is a form of social organization, defining relationships between people with regard to and through things. The function of property on this view is that it gives some people control over others, and with it social power.  This seminar will explore the radically divergent implications of adopting these two different views for our understanding of the significance of property in the ancient Greek world. Historians utilizing the insights of the new institutional economics, for instance, now argue that secure property rights were one of the cornerstones of the economic growth that is clearly visible in the Greek world from c. 800-400 BCE, and they develop a highly optimistic picture of the emergence of states that protected private property. Yet property in the ancient Greek world was actually rather more precarious than these models assume, and the way in which states privileged property owners yields a social picture that is much less attractive. Attempts to distribute land equally in colonial and cleruchic contexts, and periodic revolutionary calls for a radical redistribution of property (often tied with a call for the blanket cancellation of debts) suggest that property was closely bound up with power of all kinds in the Greek world—political, economic, and social—and it will be the task of this seminar to explore those interconnections and their implications.

We will, in the process, read major contributions in the theoretical literature on property from a variety of different perspectives, including the new institutional economics, political theory, anthropology, and law. We will also dig into the primary sources, epigraphic and literary, for property rights, property insecurity, property distribution and redistribution, mortgage, sale, and inheritance, alongside the modern historiography on these topics.

Emily Mackil
2231 DWINELLE
W 2-5
CCN: 40089
280A/285A: Advanced Studies in Ancient History

On Wealth.  As exemplified by the publication of Peter Brown's Through the Eye of a Needle, questions relating to the conceptualization and treatment of poverty and the poor in a Christianized later Roman Empire have been of considerable importance in recent scholarship.  A closer look -- for example at the subtitle fo Brown's work -- makes it clear that wealth rather than poverty lies at the heart of these issues.  Phrased differently, since most of our sources were written by persons who possessed things, who were in fact wealthy, both in relative and absolute terms, at stake was not so much the issue of how to be Christian and poor, but how to be Christian and wealthy.  How should wealth be managed and distributed in a Christian imperial context?  What did it mean to be Christian and wealthy -- given that wealth included obligations with regard to governance, both in one's own household and within the empire, for example through the administration of justice, but also through engagement in military affairs?  Who were the poor to whom wealth should be distributed and who made those decisions?  Who owned the churches?  How should wealth be appropriately displayed?  Such questions were of particular concern to bishops, but not only to them:  every member of the Christian Roman elite, male and female, was confronted with the issue of "Christian" wealth management.  We will focus on the anonymous treaty On Wealth, the anonymous writing On Military Problems, and on the Salvian of Marseilles' To the Church and On the Government of God, augmented by works of Ambrose and Augustine, to address such questions, taking our cues from Peter Brown's magnum opus.

 

Susanna Elm
2231 DWINELLE
Thursdays 2-5
CCN: 40092
285A: Research Seminar in Ancient History

On Wealth.  As exemplified by the publication of Peter Brown's Through the Eye of a Needle, questions relating to the conceptualization and treatment of poverty and the poor in a Christianized later Roman Empire have been of considerable importance in recent scholarship.  A closer look -- for example at the subtitle fo Brown's work -- makes it clear that wealth rather than poverty lies at the heart of these issues.  Phrased differently, since most of our sources were written by persons who possessed things, who were in fact wealthy, both in relative and absolute terms, at stake was not so much the issue of how to be Christian and poor, but how to be Christian and wealthy.  How should wealth be managed and distributed in a Christian imperial context?  What did it mean to be Christian and wealthy -- given that wealth included obligations with regard to governance, both in one's own household and within the empire, for example through the administration of justice, but also through engagement in military affairs?  Who were the poor to whom wealth should be distributed and who made those decisions?  Who owned the churches?  How should wealth be appropriately displayed?  Such questions were of particular concern to bishops, but not only to them:  every member of the Christian Roman elite, male and female, was confronted with the issue of "Christian" wealth management.  We will focus on the anonymous treaty On Wealth, the anonymous writing On Military Problems, and on the Salvian of Marseilles' To the Church and On the Government of God, augmented by works of Ambrose and Augustine, to address such questions, taking our cues from Peter Brown's magnum opus.

Susanna Elm
2231 DWINELLE
Th 2-5p
CCN: 40182
Europe
275B: Introduction to the Long Nineteenth Century in Global Perspective

            This course is intended as an introduction to the challenges posed by the French and the Industrial Revolutions to the political, cultural and economic order of early modern Europe and of the world that Europeans increasingly came to dominate. We will concentrate on five topics, each of which has European as well global resonances: Revolution as a theoretical problem and as process; nationality and nationalism from the Abbe Sieyes to the claims made for the nation at Versailles; Religion as a domain of conflict with the state, as an important part of popular culture, and as the broad domain out of which came late nineteenth and early twentieth century modernist movements like Theosophy, spiritualism, and the occult in its many forms; the international order as refracted in an imperial expansion, in global science and technology, in the creation of new legal codes; and finally an introduction to the histories of work, of money and financial institutions, and of trade drawing both on modern studies and on classical works by Simmel, Marx, Weber and others. The emphasis will be less on covering a certain literature-- although we will do that-- than on developing the skills needed to ask and answer intellectually exigent historical questions. The final paper, one that I hope will be useful to other students as they prepare for the Masters and Comprehensive examination, asks you to pose and answer such a question.

Thomas W. Laqueur
3104 DWINELLE
Tu 3-6P
CCN: 40056
275B: The Middle Ages

An introduction to the historiography of medieval Europe, emphasizing breadth of coverage and targeted to basic frames of knowledge. The course is therefore geared to those whose first, second, or outside field is medieval history. Readings include works on early and later medieval Christianity, Christianization, monasticism, and heresy; social and economic history; political and institutional history (Merovingians, Carolingians, France, England); and literacy and popular culture. Special attention is also given to ways one can read books and take notes productively. Requirements: 1) periodic class presentations; 2) two short written assignments on individual readings modelled on book reviews; 3) a longer essay applying core readings to a small set of supplementary readings chosen by the student.

Geoffrey Koziol
2303 DWINELLE
Tu 3-6P
CCN: 40059
280B: Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe: Microhistorical Approaches

This graduate seminar considers several topics in the study of European popular culture(s) during the long early modern period (14th-19th centuries), relying on the methodologies of microhistory.  In an age that increasingly values “Big History” and “The Long Duration,” this course focuses on a methodological approach widely practiced since the 1970s that seeks to make sense of discrete and unusual moments (often scandals or judicial trials) in the lives and activities of a single person or small group of people who have been marginalized in more traditional accounts of early modern European history.  Focusing on the lives, beliefs, and behaviors of (mostly) marginal people in peripheral places, microhistorians seek to uncover the everyday worlds of ordinary people in a society transformed by religious reformation, the rise of literacy, the growth of state power, and economic transformation.   After some preliminary reflections on microhistory and popular culture, we focus on four themes: gender, sexuality, and identity; religious heterodoxy; politics and rebellion; and translocal microhistory (involving movement across space and cultural boundaries).  Readings include classical works by Carlo Ginzburg, Natalie Zemon Davis, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Michel de Certeau, and others, alongside methodological reflections on the question of scale in historical analysis. 

 
 
Peter Sahlins
2303 DWINELLE
W 12-2P
CCN: 40097
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
3401 DWINELLE
Wednesday 4-6P
CCN: 40098
280B: The Idea of Reason

This course will follow the fortunes of the idea of “reason” in the work of Kant, Hegel and Marx. We will also examine several 20th-century assessments of their legacy, including work by Frankfurt School theorists.

Martin E. Jay
3205 DWINELLE
Wednesdays 12-2p
CCN: 40095
Latin America
280E: Advanced Studies in Latin American History
  • Note new room.

This seminar will survey the diverse academic literatures that situate the history of modern Latin America in transnational, international and global contexts.  Rather than form one coherent body of scholarship, the “Latin America in the World” umbrella encompasses work by scholars trained in distinct fields and features different methodological approaches, perspectives and source bases.  Our discussions will focus on historiographical trends across generations of scholarship on topics including diplomacy, political economy, culture, race, gender and the environment.  Though readings will survey literature from the mid-20th century onward, we will be particularly attentive to innovations in this scholarship that gained ground in the 1990s, as well as current trends in the most recently published work in this field.

Rebecca Herman
2303 Dwinelle
Tu 10-12
CCN: 40128
Methodology
283: Historical Method and Theory

This introduction to historical method and theory will emphasize breadth and fundamental questions. What do historians do? How have the subjects of historical inquiry changed over time? What claims to historical knowledge are tenable? How have historians defined and analyzed sources? Why does the past matter? Half the term will be devoted to theories and practices of history writing from classical antiquity to Leopold von Ranke; the other half to the impact of the Annales School, the rise of cultural history, and contemporary trends. "Critical Theory" will not be a focus, so students strongly interested in this area may wish to enroll in a 283 offered another term. Required readings will be in English.

Maureen C. Miller
211 Dwinelle
M 10-12p
CCN: 40176
Science
280S: The Darwinian Revolution
Two scientific concepts – more than others – have radically reconfigured humanity's place in the natural world: Galileo Galilei's heliocentrism and Charles Darwin's natural selection. Darwin's theory of evolution remains pervasive in modern thought and has become a frequent flashpoint for religious controversy. This seminar will provide a chronological analysis of the development of evolutionary theories from 1800 until 1950. The reading list includes much of the evolutionary canon in order to develop skills for interpreting historical materials in scholarly debate. Some focus will also be paid to evolutionary theory's social and intellectual legacies, such as the Scopes Trial and the emergence of sociobiology. The blend between primary and secondary literature should allow both historians and non-historians to develop and in-depth familiarity with the history of evolutionary thought.
 
Rodolfo John Alaniz
2303 DWINELLE
F 12-2P
CCN: 40161
290: History Colloquium

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: http://cstms.berkeley.edu). 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.

Massimo Mazzotti
2231 DWINELLE
10-12P
CCN: 40224
United States
275D: Survey-US/North American History Since 1607
 
 
A rapid immersion class, this is the orientation course for entering graduate students intending to study the history of North America, whether as a first or second field. Graduate students from all fields are welcome. A reading intensive class, 275D surveys the state of most of the key fields of North American History and introduces students to Berkeley’s North Americanist faculty, each of whom will visit the class for a face-to-face discussion of their work and respective field/s of research. In preparation, students will read a mix of classic and leading edge texts with a view to orienting themselves in the various historiographies. These include the Atlantic World, History of Slavery, History of Capitalism, and Legal, Cultural, Borderlands, Gender and Sexuality, Civil Rights, African American, Intellectual, and International History. As well as reading widely in the North American field, students will have the opportunity to dig more deeply into two subfields of their choice through their written work and in-class presentations.
 
 
Rebecca M. McLennan
3104 DWINELLE
Th 2-4P
CCN: 40068
280D: Readings in Slavery, History, and Law

The seminar addresses the history of slavery and of the law of enslavement, primarily in mainland North America but also in comparative perspective. Our emphasis will be on slavery as a labor system, but we will also examine slavery as a social condition, and the laws that applied in both respects. We will attempt to understand slavery’s North American origins, its legal and moral justifications, its expansion, its politics, its demise, and its aftermath. Our goal will be to achieve a thorough and complete grounding in the field’s formative literatures through reading and extended discussion.

C. L. Tomlins
102 2240 PIEDMNT
M 9-12P
CCN: 40127
280D: African American Legal History

This seminar explores scholarship about African Americans’ encounter with law. It looks at how debates over the place of African Americans in a democratic society have shaped important aspects of state and federal law. And it explores the impact of law on the lives of African Americans. We will put special emphasis on questions of citizenship and rights, exploring how struggles to define rights for African Americans helped give rise to new legal categories (such as the business corporation), new models of legal practice (most famously the variant of “cause lawyering” pioneered by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), and modes of reasoning (such as “reasoning from race”). The readings will include a mix of “classic” and newer works in this field.

Dylan Penningroth
102 2240 PIEDMNT
Th 10-1P
CCN: 40437
280D: From the New Deal to the New Gilded Age

This graduate reading seminar will examine cutting edge United States historiography on political economy (and, in many instances, its intersections with race and gender). Taken together, this scholarship traces an arc of United States history that runs from New Deal liberalism, racial and gender liberalism, and the “great compression” of income distribution in the middle third of the twentieth century to New Right conservatism, New Gilded Age “neoliberalism,” and the “great divergence” of income distribution in the last third of the twentieth century. How have historians interpreted this period of American history (and the chapters within it), including the initial convergence (and relative success) of the pursuits of greater racial and economic equality and their subsequent divergence with economic inequality reverting to Gilded Age proportions? These are some of the questions this course will seek to answer.

Mark Brilliant
2303 DWINELLE
W 2-4P
CCN: 40116
285D: America to 1900
  • Note new room.

This research seminar is for students working on American history prior to 1900. This is not a reading seminar. We will spend some time discussing critical elements of the historian's craft (formulating topics; mapping out research programs; situating one's work within the historiography; designing, writing, and re-writing article length essays; etc.). But from very early in the semester the seminar will be devoted to the drafting, production, and refinement of seminar papers. 

Brian DeLay
3205 DWINELLE
W 10a-12p
CCN: 40197
285D: America since 1900
  • Note new room.

This research seminar is for students working on American history since 1900. This is not a reading seminar. We will spend some time discussing critical elements of the historian's craft (formulating topics; mapping out research programs; situating one's work within the historiography; designing, writing, and re-writing article length essays; etc.). But from very early in the semester the seminar will be devoted to the drafting, production, and refinement of seminar papers. 

Daniel Sargent
39 EVANS
W 12-2
CCN: 40200
Research and Teaching Credit
375: Teaching History

History 300 is a brief introduction to the art of teaching, required of first-time GSIs in the Department of History.  It is open to graduate students from other departments with permission of the instructor.  As it is a 2-unit course, weekly assignments will be modest.  Your most important tasks in this course are therefore: 1. To participate vigorously in our discussions; and 2. To share your own experiences in the classroom during the semester so that we can learn from one another. You will also submit short writing assignments, most notably a syllabus on a topic you are likely to teach in the future. Ideally, this syllabus and the related assignments will become part of your permanent teaching portfolio, and may even serve as the basis for a course that you will propose to teach in this department in the future. Most readings will come from GSI Teaching & Resource Center’s Teaching Guide for GSIs: http://gsi.berkeley.edu/teachingguide/tghome.html. A few other reading assignments available on the Resources page of our bCourses web site, and you will occasionally be asked to upload documents to bCourses for your peers to read. Attendance and participation will be worth 50 % of the total grade. The syllabus will be worth 40% and the other assignments will be worth 10%.

Victoria Frede
100 WHEELER
M 2-4P
CCN: 40350
601: Individual Study for Master's Exam Margaret Chowning
100 WHEELER
M 2-4P
CCN: 40353
602: Individual Study for Doctoral Students Margaret Chowning
NO FACILITY
UNSCHED
CCN: 40356