Spring Semester 2008

Graduate Course Descriptions

History 60260
Late Antiquity
MWF 10:40 – 11:30
Course Reference Number: 27660

This course will explore the transformation of the Roman World from about 300 to 600 AD. We will ask: was the "fall" of the Roman Empire a civilizational catastrophe? Or was it a slow, messy process blending continuity and change? Or was late Antiquity itself a dynamic and creative period? Our emphasis will fall on: The changing shape of Roman public life; the barbarians and their relations with Rome; the emergence of the Catholic Church; the triumph of Christian culture; literature, art, and architecture in the late imperial world. There will be a mid-term and a final. Students will write either one term paper or a series of shorter papers. Readings will emphasize primary sources.

History 83005
Research, Writing, Publishing
T 1:30 – 4:00
Course Reference Number: 27763

In this seminar, students will focus on three skills that are crucial for the professional historian: research, writing, and publishing. The class will center upon the research and writing of a publication-quality seminar paper (in consultation with a faculty adviser), and will be supplemented with the analysis of exemplary works in diverse genres and collaborative peer review.

History 83602
Coll: Americas and Europe, 1680-1820
M 6:00 – 8:30
Course Reference Number: 27766

This colloquium provides an introduction to classic and recent literature on topics related to the European presence in the Americas and the trans-Atlantic connections of
empire, ideas, culture, trade, economics, and social experience. It considers war in its political and social contexts, the global market economy, the environment and disease, race, slavery and anti-slavery, and constitutionalism, among other themes. Students are required to write one comparative review essay (covering four books) during the first half of the semester and a semester-concluding essay on the assigned readings and bibliography for one of the weekly topics (about ten books). All written work must be completed not later than one week from the last class meeting. Students will be graded on the quality of their written work and their active, knowledgeable participation in each weekly discussion.

History 93250
Muslims & Christians in the Medieval Mediterranean World
M 3:00 – 5:30
Course Reference Number: 27767

This course will examine contacts between Christianity and Islam in the period from the seventh century to the fifteenth century. Although issues of religion will be addressed, the course is more concerned with diplomatic, economic, military, cultural, technological, and intellectual encounters and exchange. Special attention will be focused on the regions of Spain, Sicily, and the Crusader States. The course is designed as a survey, based mainly on secondary literature, but students may elect to write either a research paper or three shorter historiographical essays. Regular student presentations will also be required.

History 93407
Totalitarianism in 20th Century Europe
LYANDRES R 6:00 – 8:30
Course Reference Number: 27769

Totalitarianism in all of its major forms -- communism, fascism and national socialism -- has been a central factor in the twentieth century, producing such horrendous tragedies as World War II and a host of lesser wars, the Gulag, and the Holocaust. This graduate colloquium is designed to introduce students to some of the major historical, historiographical, and conceptual issues related to Totalitarianism in its communist, fascist, and national socialist varieties. We will examine the theory and practice of Fascism (as shown by Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany) and of Soviet Communism (including the origins of Marxism and Leninism; the Russian Revolutions; Lenin, Stalin and the totalitarian state; the expansion of Communism to eastern Europe). Attention will also be given to the following questions: What makes totalitarianism distinct from other forms of government, and how are the different forms of totalitarianism distinct from one another? How do totalitarian regimes gain power, and how do they exercise power to reshape society? Why do totalitarian regimes enjoy public support? What forces ultimately undermine those regimes? Is it possible for post-totalitarian societies to recover fully from their bouts with totalitarianism? This course can be used as an introduction to a field for a doctoral exam in Modern European political, intellectual or social history or as a comparative material for the students of the United States or Latin America. Those students who prefer to write a primary research paper should consult with instructor as soon as possible.

History 93413
The European City in the Long Nineteenth Century
W 3:00 – 5:30
Course Reference Number: 27774

The course will discuss issues in European urban history from the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th. Case studies will be drawn from Russia, France, and other European countries. We will focus on key issues in the modernization of European cities (e.g., old-regime urban society, socioeconomic transformations, multiethnic urban communities, changes in cultural sensibilities) and important methodologies.

History 93616
Jim Crow America
W 1:30 – 4:00
Course Reference Number: 27775

"Jim Crow" laws barred African Americans from access to employment and to public places such as restaurants, hotels, and other facilities. In the South especially, Blacks lived in fear of racially motivated violence. The history of Jim Crow encompassed every part of American life, from politics to education to sports. The emergence of segregation in the South began immediately after the Civil War when the formerly enslaved people acted to establish their own churches and schools separate from whites. Many southern states tried to limit the economic and physical freedom of the formerly enslaved by adopting laws known as Black Codes. In Jim Crow America, we will study the vast literature that encompasses the origination, sustenance, resistance, and eventual defeat of Jim Crow along with the lingering effects of the organized infrastructure of inequality in America.

History 93901
Colonial Latin America
R 2:00 – 4:30
Course Reference Number: 27776

This seminar will be an introduction to colonial Latin American history and historiography for graduate students. We will read many of the classics of colonial social history, and examine the ongoing debates around theory and methodology, race and ethnicity, religion, slavery, and gender. We will also examine some recent comparative studies of British and Spanish colonialism as well as new work on the Atlantic world and the slave trade.

History 93983
History and Philosophy of Statistics
MW 3:00 – 4:15
Course Reference Number: 28369

The purpose of this course is to explore a topic that is often dealt with only obliquely in the history and philosophy of science: the dual ideas that in some eras, politics has a direct impact on the process and outputs of science, and that science may perform a role in certain political movements and structures. We begin in the early 20th century with the two phenomena of the Soviet Revolution and the collapse of Weimar, and explore how thse both were justified/blamed on the progress of science. Next, we survey the contrasting positions of J.D. Bernal and Michael Polanyi, as representations of the 'left' planning orientation and the birth of 'neoliberalism.' This leads into a section on treatments of the different meanings of 'liberty' in the postwar era. We wil also briefly survey the effect of science studies on this dicussion, for Ezrahi, to Latuour to modern controviersies over whether 4S should remain 'neutral' in its stance. We wind up with modern arguments over whether science has been 'perverted' in recent political developments, for the Sound Science movement to the attempt to turn stem cells into a partisan issue.