Fall Semester 2011
Fall 2011 Graduate Course Descriptions
The Historian’s Craft
T 8:15 AM – 10:45 AM
Course Reference Number: 10199
The colloquium is about what, if anything, distinguishes history from other disciplines. After a brief, introductory look at some of the conflicting ways in which the subject has been understood in the Western tradition, we’ll compare it week by week with a selection of other disciplines, including relatively ‘hard’ sciences, especially physics, biology, primatology, ecology, and ethology, as well as subjects commonly seen as allied or opposed in what are usually classed as humanities or social sciences. Readings will be drawn from Chinese. Native American, Islamic, and Indian historical writing as well as from the Western tradition.
The Historical Profession
M 4:00 – 6:30
Course Reference Number: 11352
This seminar serves as an introduction to balancing the range of professional commitments pursuant to a career as an academic historian. Topics will vary from semester to semester, but some of those covered include research, teaching, administrative responsibilities, classroom and student problems, conduct, publication, seeking employment, career alternatives, and time management. All second-year graduate students in history are required to pass this course in the fall semester as they become teaching assistants. Attendance, preparation, and participation are required.
Introduction to Medieval Studies
M 5:00 – 5:30
Course Reference Number: 13554
A one-credit-hour course designed to introduce students to the basic bibliographies, handbooks, and research tools in medieval studies. Professors from various disciplines will participate.
Proseminar 2: High Middle Ages
VAN ENGEN R 3:30 – 6:00
Course Reference Number: 18435
This course is designed to introduce students to major topics under discussion in the history of the high and later middle ages, roughly the years 1100-1400. Among the topics to be treated, with the historians now at work on them, are: law, government and literacy; the church as an institutional and cultural force; social class and mobility as economic realities and cultural images; the university in society and culture; and the cultivation of the human person in literary sensibility and religious devotion. Most of the course will consist of intensive secondary readings, with regular written reports, occasional primary readings, and a major bibliographical paper at the end.
Proseminar: The Medieval Islamic World
M 1:30 – 4:00
Course Reference Number: 18436
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major historiographical issues and modern scholarly interpretations of the medieval Islamic world, from the rise of Islam in the early 7th century until the Mongol conquests in the 13th. Such issues will include the rise of Islam and the official biography of the Prophet Muhammad; the early formation of the religion; the meaning and role of the Caliphate at different periods; the 'Abbasid Revolution; the respective role of the various ethnic groups, Arab, Persian and Turkish, in Islamic history; military slavery; the break-up of Islamic political unity and the rise of the autonomous Persianate dynasties; and the transition from Persian to Turkish political primary in the Seljuq period.
Colloquium: 19th-Century US
T 5:00 – 7:30
Course Reference Number: 19483
This colloquium is designed to acquaint graduate students with United States history and historiography from roughly 1790 to 1890. The course will revolve around discussion of common assigned readings. Essays, based on these readings, will also be required. The course is required of doctoral students in American history, who will normally take it in their first or second year of graduate study. Undergraduates will NOT be admitted without prior written permission of the instructor, which will be given only in very exceptional cases.
Latin American History to the 18th Century
W 6:30 – 9:00
Course Reference Number: 18439
The purpose of the course, which focuses on the period c.1450 - 1700, is twofold. First, to understand the history of Latin America as viewed by some of the major historians who wrote during that period. And second, to examine methodologies and directions in historical scholarship bearing on Latin America as formulated during the last fifty years or so. These two approaches intersect. Recent historians have stressed the importance of archival documents in their work, which has led to the emergence of entirely new fields of historical enquiry, especially in social history. But early modern historians also used archives, sometimes with great skill. In what sense were their methods and aims distinct from those of our own time? A related issue concerns the link between the work of any given historian and the culture and political culture within which that historian writes. Most early modern historians of Latin America were soldiers, officials or members of the clergy, and some were, and were appreciated as stylists. Most historians of this present time, by contrast, work as members of the historical profession, and issues of style, of literary beauty and elegance now play a different role. What does all this mean for the manner in which we now view the history of Latin America? And also, how do Latin American self perceptions differ from those emanating from abroad?
History of Science, Technology, and Medicine to 1750
M 3:00 – 5:30
Course Reference Number: 19128
This course will be the first half of a two-semester survey of the main events in the history of natural philosophy and science from Greek antiquity to the early Enlightenment. The first half, taught by Prof. Robert Goulding, will begin with Presocratic reflections and carry the course to the Renaissance. The second half, taught by Prof. Sloan, will deal with the science of Galileo, Descartes, Boyle and Newton. The course is open to HPS graduate students, graduate students in History and Philosophy, and upper level undergraduates by permission.
Colonialism and Its Legacies
W 3:30 – 6:00
Course Reference Number: 19019
This course examines western colonialism since the early 19th century and its effects on contemporary issues of political orders, socio-economic conditions and conflicts in post-colonial states and societies. The course will be divided into three sections. First, we will conceptually discuss colonialism (and imperialism to a lesser extent) in order to define its
meanings and ambiguities. Second, we will look at select case studies from the Middle East and Africa in order to study the colonial past and its contemporary legacies. Here we will explore issues such as the Orientalism debate and its relations to the colonial past of the Middle East, the Algerian war of Independence and the emergence of “Third Worldism” in the 1960s, post-colonial political orders in certain states in Africa, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. We will also investigate American power in the Middle East from WWII to the present and the recent “Empire” debate concerning American aspired or purported hegemony in the world. The third section of the course will be led by the students themselves who will bring to class case studies of their own interest that explore the connection between the colonial past and its legacies.
Topics in Reformation History
T 7:00 – 9:30
Course Reference Number: 18440
This colloquium is designed to acquaint students with important classic and recent scholarship on select issues in early modern Christianity, from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. Emphasis will be placed on understanding Catholic, magisterial Protestant, and radical Protestant traditions comparatively and contextually, across national and linguistic boundaries, and may include primary texts. Students will lead discussions each week and will write either a substantial historiographical essay or a research paper based on primary sources in original languages.
WWII Europe: Resistance & Retribution in WWII Europe
R 5:00 – 7:30
Course Reference Number: 18441
From 1939 to 1945 nearly all European countries experienced military occupation by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, and/or other powers. These occupations posed to the subject people the dilemma of whether to accommodate or oppose the occupation forces. For the politically committed, the dilemma was to decide between active collaboration and active resistance. As a consequence, nations were split by internal conflicts and civil wars that profoundly affected postwar history. In the course of the semester, we will examine guerrilla warfare, the conditions of military occupation, the political and intellectual atmosphere in Europe that encouraged both collaboration and resistance, and finally, the wartime and postwar retribution meted out for collaboration and war crimes.
Catholics & Protestants in American History
M 7:00 – 9:30
Course Reference Number: 18443
This seminar will concentrate on books featuring American Protestants who engaged with Catholics and books on Catholics who were responding to their situation in America, especially the Protestant influences in American life. The reading list will include older classics like Ray Allen Billington, The Protestant Crusade, 1800-1860 (1938) and Jenny Franchot, Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism (1994) as well as more recent classics like John McGreevy, Catholicism and American Freedom (2003) and (for those who can handle German) Michael Hochgeschwender, Wahrheit, Einheit, Ordnung: Die Sklavenfrage und der amerikanische Katholizismus, 1835-1870 (2006). Student writing will include brief responses week-by-week to assigned texts and a more extensive historiographical or research paper.