The History Department will offer the following 6000 and 7000/8000-level courses in the Summer 2022 semester. The attached descriptions are designed to provide a clear conception of course content. It should be noted that while 6000 courses also include undergraduate students (4000 level), a distinct set of reading, writing, and grading expectations is maintained for graduate students.
On Campus Course Descriptions
This course will explore the history of Russia from the 1917 revolution to the present day, including the formation of the Soviet Union, its development, dissolution in 1991, and the current state of Russia. The major themes of the course include World War I and the ascent of Soviet communism in the 1920s, Stalin's rule (1930s-1950s), Cold War, Putin's regime policies, culture and everyday life in the Soviet Union and present-day Russia. Since the Soviet Union/Russia is a multiethnic society, we will also approach its history as the interaction of vastly different Eurasian nationalities and cultures.- Back.
This course examines the construction of racial, ethnic and class identities in Latin America from the colonial times to the present. This course explores the Native Americans’ struggle for survival and assimilation; forced migration of Africans; their racially mixed descendants; African Americans’ central economic and political role during the colonial, early republic and contemporary Latin America; Race and Racism; state-race relations; social movements and demands for territorial autonomy by the native communities. - Back
The New Kingdom era (1550-1100 BCE) transformed pharaonic Egypt and its relations with the outside world. During this imperial age, warrior pharaohs forged an empire stretching from Sudan in Africa to Syria and the borders of Turkey. Intensive military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural interactions with other civilizations transformed Egyptian society and culture. With new military technologies like the horse drawn chariot and composite bow, Egypt became a military superpower. An influx of foreign peoples brought religious, cultural, and economic change to the land along the Nile. We will explore the major historical issues and problems of this age, and the methodologies used by Egyptologists to reconstruct the history of this civilization. - Back.
Early North America: Home to millions of Indigenous people, large cities, far-flung
empires, vast trade networks, and thousands of earthen and stone pyramids. Into this
world came European invaders from overseas, bent on forging empires of their own.
For centuries, they all vied for control of the continent. Some waged war with weapons
of stone and steel. Others were diplomats who wielded words as skillfully as an assassin
handles a blade. None lasted forever but four great early North American empires stood
out above the rest—Aztec, Spanish, English, Iroquois—and their societies and cultures
will be the focus of this course. While their names have resounded through the ages,
other nations who played the imperial game were utterly forgotten. We’ll explore,
too, the lost American empires that barely left a trace—Vikings in Vinland, Swedes
and Finns on the Delaware River—and the empires of the imagination, flights of fancy
like Francis Bacon’s mysterious Island of Bensalem and the utopian Margravate of Azilia.
And we’ll visit the places like Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, a town of free
Black soldiers and their families in Florida, that arose on the edges of empires.
Experience a truly “New World” this fall. Uncover the secrets of early North America’s
empires and find out:
- The location of Memphis’s hidden ancient pyramids.
- Why hunter-gatherers built a city in Louisiana three thousand years ago that was bigger than the first cities in Mesopotamia.
- Why the raw materials of chocolate became a currency in one North American empire.
- Why some early modern writers believed the Caribbean islands were the ruins of the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
- How the origins of the science-fiction concept of “terraforming” may date back to the colonization of the Americas.
- Why some scholars credit a sixteenth-century wizard with “inventing” the British Empire.
- How the first Thanksgiving in 1621 actually started with beer-drinking and target shooting.
- How an off-hand remark by an Onondaga diplomat may have led to the creation of the United States.
This course surveys American political, economic, social, and cultural life from 1945 to the present. It explores such topics as the impact of the Cold War upon the United States at home and abroad, movements to promote racial and gender equality, major economic and demographic developments, and profound transformations in American politics. - Back.
This course examines the history of children and youth from the colonial period to the present. In this course, we will outline changing ideas about children and childhood: who is a child? What role do children play in society? We will also consider this history from children’s point of view: how have children’s lives, experiences, games, and expectations changed? Finally, we will explore the changing politics of childhood: who speaks for children and has authority over them? What is the relationship between children/childhood and citizenship? - Back.
This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students to some of the most important ideas and debates in the field of modern Middle Eastern history and place those ideas and debates within the context of general historiographic trends. Each week there will be one or two books and/or one or more articles on important themes addressed in historiographic debates: orientalism, modernity, nationalism, imperialism, gender, revolution, religion, state formation, among others. This course can serve as a general foundation for students studying for their comprehensive examinations with a minor field in modern Middle Eastern history. This class does not provide a narrative of modern Middle Eastern history, nor do the topics necessarily follow in chronological order (though we will mostly focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Students are expected to have already acquired at least a rudimentary knowledge of modern Middle Eastern history from previous coursework (HIST 4272/6272, for example) or from their own reading. Students will write two book reviews, participate in every class discussion, make two presentations on course readings, review a world history textbook or build a sample syllabus, and write a 14–16-page review essay on important scholarship in a particular field of modern Middle Eastern history. This seminar will be of interest to students of all historical fields and related academic disciplines seeking to develop comparative historical models in their own areas of research. While a one-semester course cannot fully cover such a large field, our material will introduce students to major themes and approaches in Middle Eastern history. Most of our case studies focus on the Arab world of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Arabian Peninsula, though a few will refer to other regions including western North Africa, Zionist areas, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire, and Iran. This class is in person on Mondays from 2:30-5:30pm. - Back.
This class will focus on the gendered experience in ancient Egypt. Through readings and seminar presentations, students will explore various aspects of ancient Egyptian life, from the home to politics, and what role sex/gender played in the experience of Egyptians from all social groups. - Back.
This course offers an introduction to some of the current themes and debates in east central European historiography. Most of the assigned readings focus on the Habsburg Monarchy and its successor states from the Enlightenment to the present. This course will also include readings on the history of Poland and Ukraine. - Back.
In this course, we will examine the nature of historiography, how historians tackle their subjects and sources, the question of objectivity in historical research and writing, and philosophical and methodological approaches in 19th century African American History. Course readings include seminal as well as recent scholarship organized around a range of topics including the nature of Historiography, Trends in Historical Research and Writing in African American history, Atlantic History, Slavery Studies, Civil War to Segregation, Late 19th Century Migration, Urban Experiences, and African American/Native American Interactions. - Back.
Fall 2022 Online Course Descriptions
This combined upper division undergraduate and graduate History course has no prerequisites, and consists of discussions in the history of modern medicine and health through chronological and comparative analysis of themes, events, individuals, and movements of world historical significance from the ancient world to the present with a focus on cross-cultural exchange and key periods of rupture with the past including the rise of early modern empires, imperialism and colonialism, the Cold War, decolonization, and globalization. We will briefly cover major historical turning points before the 15th century, and then focus on cultural, political, and economic aspects of communities in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas since the 18th century. We will address conceptual problems in dealing with the past as well as historiographic debates about perspectives and sources. The class uses a global history of medicine textbook and excerpts of more in-depth historical research as well as interdisciplinary components through film, literature, and social science research. While the course is mainly focused on the world outside of the United States, there is some material on US medical history including case studies in scientific racism, various epidemics, the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Graduate students will have additional assignments including presentations on course readings and more in-depth research papers. - Back.
In this course, we consider women’s experiences throughout American history, from the colonial period to modern times, with an emphasis on changes in women’s working, family, personal, and political lives. We will re-imagine US history by centering women’s stories, not as merely contributors to big events, but as historical agents whose fears, concerns, and desires shaped the past and how we understand it as scholars. Using a variety of selected primary and secondary sources, including monographs, essays, literature, and film, you will explore the ways in which women’s public and private lives intersected with, and were often defined by, changing ideals of gender, race, and class. - Back.
This course will explore classic texts and current methodological problems in modern U.S. cultural history. We will take a capacious approach to “culture” itself; in some cases, we’ll focus on culture in the sense of aesthetics: high and low, visual and textual, vernacular and commercial, and so forth. But at other moments, we’ll look at culture in the broader anthropological senses of customs, traditions, values, and localized meaning-making. Finally, we’ll explore the “cultural” as an evolving set of methodological approaches, many of which are now being applied to sources and subjects previously understood as the exclusive provinces of other historical subfields. The course has five primary objectives: 1) to introduce you to some of the most influential texts in U.S. cultural history, American Studies, and British cultural studies over the past half century; 2) to expose you to recent scholarship that is reshaping conventional wisdom in the field; 3) to teach you how to analyze a variety of cultural sources as historical evidence; 4) to sharpen your skills at integrating theoretical concepts from a wide range of cultural critics; 5) and to help you to define your own interests within the evolving subfield. - Back.