Fall Semester 2007

Graduate Course Descriptions

History 83000
The Historian’s Craft
W 1:30 – 4:00
Course Reference Number 10290

The course has four sections. After an introductory meeting about Marc Bloch, from one of whose books, by long established tradition in our department, this course derives its title, we turn to the historiographical legacies of Greece and Rome. The voices of Herodotus, Thucydides and Tacitus, whether we read them or not, remain alive in the themes and preoccupations of historians writing today. While considering them, we also look at more recent historical work, most especially Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall. The second section, moving on in time, focuses on the impact of Christianity after Rome's fall as seen by the Venerable Bede, whose influence extends as far as early modern Latin America. Next, we turn to historiographical traditions in Islam. The earliest Muslim historians developed categories of enquiry and methods of establishing historical veracity that bore little resemblance to those current in the Mediterranean world that came under Muslim control in the seventh century. But in due course, in Islam also, Greek ideas surfaced once more, but in a new guise and in pursuit of different arguments. The fourth section contends with modernity, focusing on intellectual and social history. Social historians work in archives. Thucydides also consulted documents, and we can ask whether his purposes were the same as or different from those of archival researchers of our own time. Finally, we will read about near contemporary and contemporary history.

History 83002
The Historical Profession
R 8:00 – 10:30
Course Reference Number 11613

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.

History 83200
Introduction to Medieval Studies I
NOBLE M 5:00 – 5:50
Course Reference Number 15105
1 credit course

Led by Thomas Noble, and members of the medieval studies faculty, HIST 83200/MI 60001 is a systematic introduction to the sources, research tools, and methodologies for medieval studies in the widest possible sense of the term. The course if offered on a non-graded basis but active participation in the hour-long weekly sessions is expected.

History 83202
Prosem: High Middle Ages
T 6:30 – 9:00
Course Reference Number 17596

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.

History 83603
Colloquium: The US in the Nineteenth Century
W 5:00 – 7:30
Course Reference Number 17597

History 83603 is a colloquium designed to acquaint graduate students with United States history and historiography from roughly 1815 to 1900. 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.

History 93350
Topics in Reformation History
R 6:00 – 8:30
Course Reference Number 15003

A colloquium that will both acquaint students with recent scholarship on select issues in the history of early modern Christianity, and devote attention to the intensive reading of select primary sources in their original languages (Latin, German, or French, besides English). Students whose language skills are less than proficient may use English translations of primary sources together with the original texts. Students will lead discussions of scholarly books and articles as well as primary texts, and write either a substantial historiographical essay or a research paper.

History 93408
Modern Germany
M 3:00 – 5:30
Course Reference Number 17851

Readings in the history of modern Germany from 1815 to the present day. The course will consider topics such as the 1848 revolution, the 1871 unification under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, German colonization, WWI, the culture of Weimar Germany, National Socialism, WWII, and post-war Europe. Class discussion and three critical essays.

History 93615
Interpreting American Religious History
T 2:00 – 4:30
Course Reference Number 17599

This course features careful reading and critical analysis of many of the “greatest hits” in American religious history. A “greatest hit” is defined as a book that offers unusual illumination for its subject, showcases an innovative historical approach, or pioneers in exploring a previously understudied group. (The emphasis will lie on books not dealing with evangelical or fundamentalist topics.) Weekly class discussion will be based on assigned reading on which students are to prepare brief reviews. Students will be required to write two historiographical papers each critically surveying the history of how a topic has been interpreted. (As an alternative to this last assignment, students may elect to prepare one full-orbed, longer historiographical paper aimed at publication.)

History 93909
Latin America, the United States and the Atlantic World
M 6:30 – 9:00
Course Reference Number 18601

This course examines problems in the social and economic development of Latin America and the Atlantic world with a particular focus on the long nineteenth century (ca. 1750-1950). Topics vary, but may include colonialism, slavery and free labor, peasant production, nation building, rural estates, technological change, trade, dependency/ies, protectionism, growth vs development, and unionism. Advanced undergraduates with an interest in Latin American history are welcome to apply.