Courses

The following are courses offered in 2017 by semester. To register for classes, visit InsideND.

Fall 2017 Courses

Topics in Reformation History - 93350 - Mon. 6:00-8:30 - Brad Gregory

A colloquium to acquaint graduate students with significant scholarship on early modern Christianity, both geographically and thematically, in its political, social, and cultural contexts. Students will lead class discussions, write book reviews, and produce a historiographical essay on a topic of their choice. Reading ability in languages other than English desirable but not required.

Medieval History Seminar: Politics, Reform, and Intellectuals between Emperor Henry III and Pope Innocent III - 93205 - Tue. 6:00 - 8:30 - John Van Engen

This course treats the era of twelfth-century reform by way of some of the great political battles over a century and a half. It will proceed by way of reading key primary sources in Latin and a range of secondary sources mostly in English. Students will be expected to keep up with the readings which will be discussed in class, and to write a seminar paper based on research in primary documents.

The History of American Capitalism - 93601 - Tue. 3:30 - 6:30 - Emily Remus

This graduate seminar explores the history of American capitalism, reaching from the colonial era to the late twentieth century. It focuses particularly on the social and cultural dimensions of capitalism as revealed through classic scholarship as well as cutting-edge contributions to the field. Although our primary focus will be on the American experience, we will take comparative glances to other nations and regions of the world. Over the course of the semester, we will consider how the development of capitalism shaped conceptions of selfhood, morality, citizenship, and freedom. We will also investigate how changes in market relations influenced human relationships and divisions of race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, and religion. The seminar highlights key turning points in American capitalist development: the market revolution and the spread of wage labor; the defeat of slavery; the rise of mass production and mass consumption; the emergence of corporate and managerial capitalism; deindustrialization and capital flight; the growth of the service economy; and globalization.

The Global Sixties - 93903 - Wed. 2:00 - 4:30 - Jaime Pensado

This graduate course examines the “Sixties” (c.1956—c.1976) with particular attention to politics, culture and religion. Attention will be given to the United States and Western Europe, but the emphasis will be primarily from the perspective (and influence) of the “Global South.”  Work for the first part of the semester will consist of discussing the foundational texts, influential figures/ideas, and key events that shaped leftist as well as conservative movements during this period. Work for the second part of the semester will consist of evaluating key studies recently published in the field.

Language and Scholarly Culture in the Medieval Mediterranean - 93206 - Wed. 2:00 - 4:30 - Thomas Burman

This is a seminar on what medieval-Mediterranean scholars did: write texts, interpret texts, and argue about those texts and their interpretations.  We will focus on scholars and scholarly culture throughout the Mediterranean region, with special emphasis on the Latinate and Arabic regions.   We will read both a range of modern scholarly literature  as well as primary texts from across the region.  From the beginning of the course on we will ground our thinking about medieval scholars in what we know about their basic tool:  language (its profoundly complex nature, its cultural meanings, the scandal of its variety, its huge potential as a model for understanding culture).   Intermediate knowledge of Latin and/or Arabic would be helpful, but all graduate students are welcome.
 

Spring 2017 Courses

Religions in Africa- 93051 - Tue. 2:00-4:30 - Marianna Candido & Yacine Daddi Addoun

This is a graduate course in the history of religions in Africa designed to introduce you to the historiography of religions in this continent. The course covers the religious dynamics on the African continent from earliest times to the present. This is not a comprehensive survey of African religions, but a survey of recent scholarship and trends in historical research. Readings focus on traditional African religions, witchcraft and sorcery and the representations of the cosmos, life and thereafter to establish their historicity. It contains an examination of Christianity and its long presence in the continent and its different aspects, including its revival with the European intervention, and its expansion during independence period. This course will also examine Islam in Africa, its expansion and Africanization. We will discuss the various Islamic kingdoms and empires and reform movements, and their impact on African societies. Missionary movements (Christian and Muslim) will be examined as well, specifically under the relationship of the so-called religions of the book with local African religions, beyond the prism of conversion, syncretism, or adaptation. Lastly, we will examine the internal dynamics African societies insufflated to religions, and its consequent development of myriads of religious movements in Africa, such as Evangelical Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in Christianity and sufi and salafi movements in Islam in the context of the “global revival of faith”.

Byzantium and the Crusades - 93290 - Tue. 5:00-7:30 - Alexander Beihammer

This course explores crucial aspects of the encounter between the Frankish West, Byzantium, and the Muslim East in the time of the early crusades in the eleventh and twelfth century. It mainly focuses on the analysis of primary sources referring to topics of cross-cultural encounter, exchange, and perception in the period under discussion. In an interdisciplinary approach, we will compare Latin, Byzantine, and Arabic primary sources of the period with respect to their intellectual background and intended audience, their ideological framework, thought world, and the ways different authors belonging to the three spheres perceived and conceptualized the other in their historical writings. This course invites graduate students, who are interested in the medieval West, Byzantium, or Islam, to work together, juxtaposing and comparing the particularities of each sphere, and thus to arrive at exciting new conclusions.

The Medieval University: In Search of New Narratives- 93203 - Wed. 2:00 - 4:30 - Daniel Hobbins

Around the year 1200 a new institution appeared on the map of Europe: the university, which institutionalized learning in a radical new way. This process involved not merely the formal organization of learning but new oral and written literary genres such as lectures and academic disputations; new modes of thinking, speaking, and writing (scholastic method); and even a new sociological category: the intellectual. This graduate-level seminar investigates the history of the medieval university and its relationship with the broader society that nourished it. Major themes will include institutional structure; the content of education; the material context (cities and the manuscript book); and resistance to the university, including humanism. We will read primary sources in English translation and in the original Latin. At least one other modern language is desirable. The course requirements include weekly reports and a final seminar paper of 25-40 pages.

Colloquium: US History since 1890 - 83604 - Wed. 5:00 - 7:30 - Darren Dochuk

The colloquium is an intensive survey of recent historical writing on the United States from the late nineteenth century forward. Topics will include Progressive reform, gender and the early 20th century State, the culture of consumption, the new environmental history, the meaning of bohemia, the character of New Deal liberalism, the origins of the cold war and the shifting nature of American race relations.

Iberian Atlantic Empires - 93263 - Thur. 3:00- 5:30 - Karen Graubart

This seminar examines the empires of the Iberian Atlantic world through the framework of law and politics. We will begin with the big picture: a look at John Elliott's classic study of early modern Spain and its empire, with updating from more recent scholarship, to consider the impact of political thinking on the peninsula for the American possessions, and vice versa. From there we will move to understanding how theories of legal jurisdiction and political participation were exported, received, and re-imported in the loop between various metropolises and peripheries. Of central importance will be a consideration of how indigenous and enslaved African peoples participated in this political and legal relationship. We end with the movement of another institution across imperial boundaries, the cult of the Virgin Mary, from Castile, to New Spain, to New Mexico. Students interested in empires other than the Iberian one are encouraged to sign up and discuss with me topics and readings: the syllabus is somewhat open to negotiation, through the first class meeting. The course is partially organized around a number of scholarly events, including a workshop at the Newberry Library and at least two visitors to the History department this fall. Participants will be expected to attend those events, sometimes in lieu of class.