Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2017

 

HIS 516 – H001 World War II

Professor Allison Abra

Reg. Code 7205

TTH 9:30-10:45

From the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, people of all sexes, ages, backgrounds, and regions of the world, were gripped by the dangers, deprivations, and duties that accompanied a “total war.” Millions took on new roles and responsibilities on the home and battle fronts, and endured the horrors of aerial bombardment, occupation, and genocide. At the same time, the war inspired remarkable acts of compassion and feats of heroism. The effects of this global conflict were profound and enduring, and more than seventy years later it continues to fascinate historians and the general public alike.

This course will survey the history of the Second World War, with attention being paid to social, cultural, political, and military contexts and perspectives. We will examine a wide array of primary and secondary material, including scholarly writing, diaries and memoirs, novels, public papers, photographs, music, and film.  An over-arching goal of the course will be to get you to question established truths, deviating from a vision of warfare that highlights winners and losers. Rather, we will consider the impact and trauma of global war in a more holistic sense, considering different nations and social groups, popular culture and everyday life, and victims and perpetrators on all sides of the battlefield.

Required Books:

  • Diana Lary, The Chinese People at War: Human Suffering and Social Transformation, 1937-1945, (Cambridge, 2010). ISBN: 978-0521144100
  • Christopher Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993. ISBN: 978-0060995065
  • J. Samuel Walker, Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan, (UNC Press, 2004). ISBN: 978-0807856079
  • Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz, (Touchstone, 1996). ISBN: 978-0684826806
  • Mary Louise Roberts, What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France, Chicago:  Chicago University Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0226923116

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HIS 552 – H001 Muscovy and Imperial Russia

Professor Brian LaPierre

Reg. Code 

MWF 12:00-12:50

This course will explore the history of Muscovite and Imperial Russia from the reign of Ivan III to the death of Alexander III. Through a close reading of a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, students will learn the basic outline of medieval and modern Russian history, be introduced to the period’s pivotal people, movements and ideas and develop an understanding of Russia’s diverse ethnic, religious and gender hierarchies. Topics to be covered include Russia’s Byzantine and Mongol legacy; the triumph of Muscovy in Russia’s competitive city-state system; the development and abolition of serfdom in Russia; the empire’s encounter and exchange with the Islamic world and the rise of revolutionary radicalism and political terrorism. 

Course Texts:

Christian Raffensperger, Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World, 988-1146 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), ISBN: 978-0674063846.

Charles J. Halperin, Muscovy and the Golden Horde: The Mongol Impact on Medieval Russian History (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1987), ISBN: 978-0253204455.

Valerie Kivelson, Desperate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Muscovy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2013), ISBN: 978-0801479168.

Ernest A. Zitser, The Transfigured Kingdom: Sacred Parody and Charismatic Authority in the Court of Peter the Great (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004), ISBN: 978-0801441479.

David Moon, The Plough that Broke the Steppe: Agriculture and Environment on Russia’s Grasslands, 1700-1914 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), ISBN: 978 0198722878.

Michael Khodarkovsky, Bitter Choices: Loyalty and Betrayal in the Russian Conquest of the North Caucasus (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014), ISBN:  978-0801479526.

Eileen Kane, Russian Hajj: Empire and Pilgrimage to Mecca (Ithaca, NY: Cornell  University Press, 2015), ISBN: 978-0-8014-5423-3

Ekaterina Pravilova, A Public Empire: Property and the Quest for the Common Good in Imperial Russia (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014), ISBN: 9780691159058.

Course Requirements:

Eight Papers

Final Exam

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HIS 561 – H001 The American Revolution

Professor Joshua Haynes

Reg. Code 8767

MWF 1:00-1:50

When Americans seek to define the United States and American identity, they often turn to the American Revolution. Americans’ highest ideals can be found in that spellbinding story, yet so can some of Americans’ most glaring failures. To understand the United States and American identity, this course will plumb the political, military, social, and economic history the American colonies and the United States, 1754-1800. Students will read a wide range of primary and secondary works that present contrasting interpretations of the Revolution. People experienced the Revolution in many different ways, yet all were American. Students will also conduct original research on a topic of their choosing to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the moment that defined America.

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HIS 585 – H001 Topics War & Society

Professor Andrew Wiest

Reg. Code 8070

TTH 1:00-2:15

The very idea of leadership is a hot topic both inside and outside of the academy, in areas as diverse as politics, religion, business, and conflict.  Nowhere in history, though, is the question of leadership more laser focused than in wartime.  Suitable for History majors and non majors alike HIS 485 investigates the concept of leadership as it applies to both warfare and combat.  History is replete with the notion that great leaders such as Hannibal or Napoleon win battles and wars, while poor leaders like Hooker or Westmoreland lose battles and wars.  This course will investigate the topic of leadership in conflict across the span of history and at a variety of levels.  Students will investigate wartime leadership at its highest level as a philosophic vision through accessing Sun Tzu and Carl von Clausewitz.  Students will investigate leadership at the political level, looking at leaders as diverse as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mao, and Anwar Sadat.  Students will learn of leadership at the field level with Robert E. Lee, Vo Nguyen Giap, and Scipio Africanus.  Finally students will access leadership at perhaps its most meaningful level of young lieutenants and sergeants leading men who had become their brothers into battle.

Students will read four books linked to the broad scope of military leadership.  The books include: Sun Tzu, The Art of War (the classic study of wartime leadership), Elliot Cohen, Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (the leading modern study of leadership and war) John Keegan, The Mask of Command (the groundbreaking study of leadership from Alexander to the nuclear age), and Michael Bilton, Four Hours in My Lai (a study of a crisis in small unit leadership).

Each student will also research and make a presentation to the class on a specific case of military leadership, or lack thereof.  The presentations will take place the last two weeks of the semester.

 

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HIS 710 – H001 Philosophy & Methods of Research

Professor Andrew Haley

Reg. Code 1376

Monday 6:30-9:15

History 710 exposes graduate students to the techniques that professional historians employ to frame historical problems, collect and analyze sources, and develop an argument.  The course will introduce graduate students to the theoretical approaches historians employ; explore of the methodological approaches historians use; and consider the historical profession and what it demands of its practitioners.

This course is a graduate seminar and all students must come to class willing to discuss the assigned topics.  It is expected that you will have done the reading and will be prepared to raise questions.  In addition to an extensive collection of articles provided through the course website, the following books are required reading.

The Houses of History        Anna Green and Kathleen Troup, Second Edition, Manchester University Press, 2016  978-0719096211

From Reliable Sources    Howell and Prevenir, Cornell University Press, 2001  978-0801485602

The Return of Martin Guerre      Natalie Zemon Davis, Harvard, 1983    978-0674766914

In addition to several small essay assignments due throughout the semester, students in the class will prepare a research prospectus that will set the stage for a future MA thesis or PhD dissertation.

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HIS 711 – H001 Seminar in American History

Professor Susannah Ural

Reg. Code 5926

Monday 3:30-6:15

This course focuses on the craft of historical research and writing at the graduate level.  All 711/712 students have at least one year of master's studies behind them, so I assume you already understand the basics of good grammar, proper citations, and the concept of a thesis-driven study (the need to have a historical argument incorporated throughout your work). Students will spend most class time critiquing each other's small assignments, which you will revise & resubmit on Fridays. All assignments are designed as small part of your thesis, intro, or a chapter. Handling the work in manageable pieces, we will have your abstract, title page, bibliography, and introduction done by the end of October and a second chapter done by the end of November. You will also have a full and short version of your CV (the short one perfect for conference proposals) as well as have practiced delivering a conference presentation (a short version of your chapter). That schedule allows you to have over half of your thesis completed when this class ends.

Required Textbook:

University of Chicago Press Staff, ed. The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0226104201

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HIS 712 – H001 Seminar in European History

Professor Susannah Ural

Reg. Code 5927

Monday 3:30-6:15

This course focuses on the craft of historical research and writing at the graduate level.  All 711/712 students have at least one year of master's studies behind them, so I assume you already understand the basics of good grammar, proper citations, and the concept of a thesis-driven study (the need to have a historical argument incorporated throughout your work). Students will spend most class time critiquing each other's small assignments, which you will revise & resubmit on Fridays. All assignments are designed as small part of your thesis, intro, or a chapter. Handling the work in manageable pieces, we will have your abstract, title page, bibliography, and introduction done by the end of October and a second chapter done by the end of November. You will also have a full and short version of your CV (the short one perfect for conference proposals) as well as have practiced delivering a conference presentation (a short version of your chapter). That schedule allows you to have over half of your thesis completed when this class ends.

Required Textbook:

University of Chicago Press Staff, ed. The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0226104201

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HIS 725 – H001 U.S. Historiography I Seminar

Professor Kyle Zelner

Reg. Code 1377

Wednesday 6:30-9:15

Historiographic study, or the study of the study of history, is an incredibly important part of being a historian.  Historians do not begin a single project without first learning what came before—what other historians have said on the topic, how they said it, and what the state of the field is at the moment.  As beginning professional historians, students will be expected to talk about the historical debates surrounding their topics and how their work intersects with those debates.  Students will be expected in their classes, and especially during their comprehensive exams, not only to know what happened in the past and why, but who argued what and the methods they used to come up with those arguments.  This course will start you down the historiographical road.  We will examine some of the main debates in early American history as a way to “jump start” each student’s historiographical knowledge.  Once students have successfully completed this course, they will know some of the important highlights of the field—but also come to the realization that they have just started what will likely be a lifelong task.

Students in the class will read deeply and widely on each debate and will come to class prepared to debate the topic at hand.  NOTE: Students should come to the first class before purchasing any books for the various weeks, as we will choose individual books for the course during the first class meeting.  Students may purchase:

Required text: 

Francis G. Couvares, et. al., Interpretations of American History: Patterns and Perspectives, Vol. 1 Through Reconstruction:, 8th ed.  Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2009.

Assignments: students will write numerous book reviews, write a short historiographical paper, lead a few and participate in all class discussions, and write a comprehensive exam-type answer for their final exam.   

 

Some of the topics we will explore:

  • Indians, Contact, and Ethnohistory
  • The Puritans and Colonial New England
  • The Colonial South and Slavery
  • Colonial Witchcraft
  • Coming of the Revolution
  • Women in the Early Republic
  • The Market Revolution
  • Antebellum Slavery
  • The Sectional Crisis
  • The Civil War: Who Fought and Why?

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HIS 732 – H001 British History

Professor Allison Abra

Reg. Code 8765

Tuesday 6:30-9:15

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the history and historiography of modern Britain, with a particular focus on scholarship from the sub-field of war and society. We will begin by establishing some important foundations by looking at classic works on Britain and its empire in the 18th and 19thcenturies. However, the bulk of the course will focus on 20th century British history, and especially the two World Wars and era of decolonization. The readings will be broad in scope, but the course should be particularly useful to students with interests in gender history, cultural history, and the histories of imperialism and nationalism. 

Required Books:

  • Adrian Gregory, The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War, Cambridge University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0521728836
  • Priya Satia, Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain’s Covert Empire in the Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0199734801
  • Jordanna Bailkin, The Afterlife of Empire, University of California Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0520289475
  • Emma Vickers, Queen and Country: Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945, Manchester University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1784991180

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HIS 736 – H001 Modern War and Society

Professor Allison Abra

Reg. Code 5493

Tuesday 6:30-9:15

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the history and historiography of modern Britain, with a particular focus on scholarship from the sub-field of war and society. We will begin by establishing some important foundations by looking at classic works on Britain and its empire in the 18th and 19thcenturies. However, the bulk of the course will focus on 20th century British history, and especially the two World Wars and era of decolonization. The readings will be broad in scope, but the course should be particularly useful to students with interests in gender history, cultural history, and the histories of imperialism and nationalism. 

Required Books

  • Adrian Gregory, The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War, Cambridge University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0521728836
  • Priya Satia, Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain’s Covert Empire in the Middle East, Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN: 978-0199734801
  • Jordanna Bailkin, The Afterlife of Empire, University of California Press, 2012. ISBN: 978-0520289475
  • Emma Vickers, Queen and Country: Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945, Manchester University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1784991180

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HIS 771 – H001 Seminar in US History to 1877

Professor Joshua Haynes

Reg. Code 5653

Thursday 6:30-9:15

Ethnohistory. This course introduces some of the methodological problems, divergent approaches, and political debates that make up ethnohistory. In the interest of exposing students to a broad swath of ethnohistory, the readings move widely across time and space, across disciplines, and from theory to practice.

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HIS 785 – H001 Oral History Seminar

Professor Kevin Greene

Reg. Code 8774

Tuesday 2:25-5:10

This course is about the theory and practice of oral history. You will learn basic methodological techniques and study the special characteristics and possible uses of oral history interviews. We will address how to critically evaluate oral evidence and integrate it with other forms of historical evidence. We will explore the ways oral history sources have provided new perspectives on old historical debates and how they can bring neglected subjects to the light of historical investigation.  Lectures, readings, and discussions will emphasize the theory of and practical issues influencing oral history as well as the legal and ethical issues involved in this methodology. We will examine a variety of historical works based on oral sources in order to explore the ways they can be put to use in, for example, scholarly monographs, documentaries, radio shows, exhibits, and other forms of public presentation. Each student will conduct fieldwork entailing the entire process of oral history, including conceptualization, research, interviewing, transcribing, editing, evaluating the historical significance of the work, and writing/designing a presentation of that work.

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HIS 796 – H001 Practicum in the Teaching of History in Colleges and Universities

Professor Kyle Zelner

Reg. Code 1378

Thursday 4:00-6:00

Required for all first-time teaching and graduate assistants, this class is designed to encourage MA and PhD history graduate students to think about the major issues of teaching at the college level, both as Teaching Assistants and as independent instructors. Different faculty members of the History Department will visit to lead discussions on a different topic each class period.  The course covers basic issues of teaching and learning strategies, classroom philosophy and management, technology in the classroom, testing and other assignments, issues of diversity, effective classroom presentation, and how to construct one’s own course.

Required text:

Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching, 2nd edition, Jossey-Bass, 2009.  ISBN-13: 978-0787965679