Graduate Level Courses

Fall 2022

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 course is also listed as LASP 501-02. 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.

A graduate-level introduction to key historical problems and perspectives on modern Latin American. It opens exploring revolutionary and non-revolutionary routes out of early modern empires and into the era of nations. It then turns to three case histories: Cuba as it remained a Spanish colony, kept slavery, and attempted liberations into the 1890s, to face U.S. power and a turn to revolution in 1959, rattling the hemisphere; Brazil as it became an independent empire and preserved slavery to 1888-89, to industrialize, generate persistent social marginalities, and face endless political struggles—turning from from military rule to labor radicalism to right-wing populism; and Mexico as it lived endless political and social conflicts, culminating in the 1910 revolution that led to social redistributions and political consolidation in the 1930s—to grapple with unprecedented challenges of urbanization and globalization since. Throughout, we explore power and production, race, ethnicity, and culture—and gender as it shaped everything.

This seminar explores some of the major themes that dominate Africanist historiography of the colonial and postcolonial periods, loosely covering the twentieth century (with a couple decades on either side). It is designed to enable students both to gain a broad overview of the field of contemporary African history and to begin to dig more deeply into particular topics relevant to their own research and intellectual interests.

For those in other fields, the class offers an introduction to some of the novel methods pioneered by African historians, who have always had to work around a dearth of written, official archives. It also will provide a useful comparative framework for histories of colonialism and decolonization, gender and sexuality, science and technology, health and medicine, the environment, religion, and race.  The class will offer a foundation for those who are considering Africa as a minor field or a component of a research field for comps, or who simply want to learn more about how African historians approach topics that interest you.

Students will define their final project for the class around their particular interests. You could write a historiographical review that situates one of our readings in a longer scholarly conversation; look comparatively at the historiographical treatment of a theme in Africa and in another place; consider transnational aspects of African history that link back to other places you study; or develop an annotated syllabus and accompanying essay for a proposed thematic course on Africa.