Graduate Level Courses

HIST 501 is required for and restricted to first-year doctoral students in the History Department. The course is an introduction to the theory and practice of history as an academic discipline. The major goals of the course are (1) to acquaint the incoming cohort of doctoral students with major historiographical approaches; (2) to encourage careful reading, thoughtful discussion, and cogent written analysis of historical scholarship; and (3) to provide some common intellectual denominators for the incoming cohort and to foster habits of collegial engagement.

Explores key historical developments across the world since about 1500 through comparative perspectives. Emphases include the rise and fall of empires, revolutions, industrialization, state making, and nationalism.

This class aims to introduce graduate students to diverse approaches to understanding the histories of Latin America’s diverse nations and peoples. We begin examining the origins of the region’s new nations around 1800, with an emphasis on conflicts over slavery and freedom. We will explore Cuba from 1860 to 1960 as its peoples fought to end slavery, become a nation, and faced a turn to revolution. We will engage Brazil’s twentieth-century struggles with race and poverty, development and urbanization. And we will conclude with an exploration of Mexico’s drive for national development, its experiences with urbanization, and the turn to globalization.

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of the History in the Latin American Studies Master’s Program and for students in the Ph.D. program in the History Department. It is designed to be interdisciplinary and provide students a good overview of recent production on historical topics on Latin America.

The theme of the course is on the making of the nation-states in Latin America. This topic is especially important not just because this is the theme that has warranted a great deal of attention over the past decade or so. It also incorporates new perspectives such as Gramscian and postmodern analysis, resistance studies, and the old modernization paradigm. Arguably, this topic remains on the cutting edge of the field and is the subject of many of the newest and most innovative works in Latin American History broadly defined. Since it is impossible to cover Latin American History as a whole, students will receive an intensive preparation on a topic that should be of interest to those who will work in other disciplines as well.

In addition to gaining a profound understanding of nation-state formation in Latin America and subaltern participation in this formation, the course is designed to expose students to historical thinking in ways that can be used in other disciplines as well. The course emphasizes the construction of arguments, the use of evidence, and evaluating the types and validity of evidence used for arguments.