The Department of History

College of Arts & Sciences


Graduate Courses

The following list of graduate courses is taken from the Department of History section of the Graduate Catalog. Not all courses are offered every semester.

History 510: Introduction to Graduate Studies
Dr. Andersen
The purpose of this course is to introduce new graduate students to the historical
profession. In this course students will learn about the history of the discipline by looking
at some of the major developments and prominent historians who have redefined how
we study history. Students will also be introduced to some of the major theoretical and
methodological approaches to the study of history.

History 532: Knowledge, Economics and the Environment in Europe, 1600-1900
Dr. Phillips
In the period between 1600 and 1900, European societies grew markedly in size and
productive capacity, with corresponding results for the natural spaces in which
Europeans lived, worked and traded. This class will explore the broad literature that
deals with these developments. In particular, the aim of the course is to bring together
three different historiographies that have not always been in strong conversation with
each other: work on the history of European capitalism, environmental history, and the
history of science.

History 551: America and the World
Dr. Olsson
This graduate readings course examines U.S. history in global context since roughly 1865.
It has two primary objectives. First, the course explores methodological approaches to
writing history beyond the container of the nation-state, whether through comparative,
international, global, diplomatic, or transnational perspectives. Second, it grapples with
the growing historiography of “America and the World” since the Civil War, revealing
how Americans have impacted the world beyond their borders, and how the world
outside the United States has shaped American history. Central topics include
exceptionalism, empire, race, gender, migration, capitalism, war and diplomacy,
globalization, and citizenship, among others.

History 563: Africa, Europe, and the Americas
Dr. Higgs
Did Africans reach the Americas before Columbus? Why did Europeans begin sailing
down the coast of West Africa in the early 1400s? Who set the terms of the Atlantic slave
trade and what was the impact of that trade on the African continent? How have African
cultures shaped and continue to shape the Americas? These are among the scholarly
controversies and debates we will examine in this course. The African continent is huge
and its literature increasingly so. We will focus for the most part on sub-Saharan Africa
and trace the path of European traders down the west coast, around the Cape of Good
Hope and into the Indian Ocean. We will consider both the images of Africa that
Europeans constructed of the peoples they encountered and the African response to the
arrival of Europeans. Slave trading and slavery are central to the (Western) reading of
African history and we will explore how these institutions linked Africa, Europe and the
Americas. We will consider the impact of European colonialism in Africa from the late
nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Finally, we will trace the late twentieth
and early twenty-first century global African diaspora to Europe, to the Americas, and
increasingly, to China.

History 580: Readings in Native American History
Dr. Reed
This seminar will introduce graduate students to the field of Native American history and
to the methodology of ethnohistory. The course will focus on the a number of key themes
including War and Empire, Trade and Economics, Gender, Race and Slavery, Religion,
Education, Removal, Identity. This readings seminar will also orient students to Euro-
American Indian policies over time. In addition to leading class discussion and weekly
book reviews, participants will design an undergraduate syllabus for a Native American
History Course.

History 630: War and Peace in the Middle Ages
Dr. Rubenstein
This class will examine the interactions between the ubiquitous warfare of the Middle
Ages and the equally important search for peace. For research projects, students may
choose topics in military history, social history, or theology (remembering that spiritual
warfare was a fundamental motif in medieval religious thought). Seminar meetings will
divide into three sections: 1/3 for common readings, 1/3 for readings of source materials
chosen from individual research projects, and 1/3 for workshop readings of one another’s
essays. The culmination of the course will be an article-length, publishable research
paper related to the course’s central theme.


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