Graduate Course Descriptions
His 506-1 Historiography US History Since 1877
Professor Elizabeth Payne
This course is designed as an over-view of historiographical issues in United States history since 1877 and covers both chronological and topical themes. Students should gain from this course a broad framework for understanding the varieties ofÂ interpretations of American historians from the time of the creation of the American Historical Organization to the present. This course should also prepare students for answering questions on comprehensive exams in American history since 1877.
There will be a final exam which will be based on a single sample question from a previous Ph.D. comprehensive exam that deals with material covered by the class. Those in the Ph.D. program will take a former comprehensive exam.
Schedule of Readings:
James M. Banner, Jr., A Century of American Historiography
Francis G. Couvares, et al, Interpretations of American History, v 2
Thomas Tweed, Retelling U.S. Religious History
Catharine Albanese, Nature Religion in America
Individualized readings for each session.
His 509-1/Aas 509 The New African American Urban History and the Intervention of the Black Southern Diaspora
Professor Maurice J. Hobson
This graduate course entitled “The New African American Urban History and the Intervention of the Black Southern Diaspora” seeks to explore the trends, tensions, and shifts that have emerged in how African Americanists study African Americans in urban spaces. This course will introduce Americanists to the historiographical literature, main themes, methodological approaches and techniques, questions, and historical interpretations to the urban experiences of African Americans. Â A recent development within the new African American Urban History focuses on the importance of agency among African Americans an interpretive thrust that has shaped new writing in the field for a decade or more. In such, this course seeks to convey a sense of active involvement, of empowered people engaged in struggle, living their lives in dignity and shaping their own futures.
In the late 1960s, urban historians surmised that the plight of the “inner city” faced indomitable odds. During this period, when urban problems and racial conflict dominated the public consciousness, scholars and policymakers concluded that African American urban history had become a quagmire of narrowly focused, poorly conceived, or weakly researched studies. However, the recent developments in important new community studies offer a variety of new ways of understanding the urbanization of black populations. African American urban history has taken off in many new directions and utilizes interdisciplinary methodologies that push the field past outdated paradigms by documenting new trends and tensions while juxtaposing the new urban history with older models.
The new African American urban history will examine southern as well as northern, mid-western and western cities and focuses on trends such as agency and resistance, social histories that focused more on grass roots activism and less on black elites. It also focuses on migration and early social movements which produced new ways of looking at the periodization of African American history, examines religion, black theology and the teaching of black liberation, reexamines civil rights and understands the creation of the second ghetto and the underclass.
Kevin Gaines, Uplifting the Race:Black Leadership, Politics and Culture in the 20th Century, Chapel Hill, NC:University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Alton Hornsby, Black Power in Dixie: A Political History of Blacks in Atlanta, Gainesville:University of Florida, 2009.
Tera Hunter, To ‘Joy My Freedom: Black Southern Women’s Lives and Labor After the Civil War, Cambridge, MA:Harvard University Press, 1998.
Erik McDuffie, Soujourning Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of the Black Left Feminism, Durham, NC:Duke University Press, 2011.
His 552-1Historiography of European History since 1789
Professor Chiarella Esposito
This course is an examination of major issues, interpretations and problems in European history since 1789. Examples of the course’s weekly topics are: The French Revolution; the Industrial Revolution; Nationalism; Liberalism; Class Consciousness and Socialism; the German Sonderweg; Imperialism; Racism; Fascism and Nazism; the Holocaust; 20th Century Capitalism; the Reconstruction of Europe after 1945; Americanization; History and Memory, History and Film. It is this instructor’s intention not to limit the course to one type of history e.g. social, or political history but to acquaint the students with various kinds of methodologies, ranging from traditional narrative histories to contemporary cultural histories.
Students are required to read approximately 250 pages each week and write two 10-15 page papers about the historiographical debates covered in class. Students will also make book presentations in class. Â Grading will be based both on written work and participation to discussions.
His 605-1Readings in American History to 1877
Isom Center Conference Room
Professor Sheila Skemp
This course will focus on America in the Revolutionary age roughly from 1740-1789. Readings will examine topics a variety of topics, enabling students to gain a better understanding of both the history and the historiography of the period. They will read and come to class prepared to discuss a book each week, as well as a couple of articles. Written assignments will include two or three short papers, plus a 20-25 page historiographical essay, due at the end of the semester. Books will include the following, some of which are clearly “old classics” and others of which represent the newest scholarship:
Bernard Bailyn, Ideological Origins of the American RevolutionÂ
Timothy H. Breen, Market Place of Revolution
Brandon McConville, The King’s Three Faces University of North Carolina Press
Woody Holton,Â Forced Founders
Timothy H. Breen, Market Place of Revolution
Clare A. Lyons, Sex Among the Rabble:An Intimate History of Gender and Power in the Age of Revolution, Philadelphia
Susan Klepp, Revolutionary Conceptions
Eliga Gould, The Persistence of Empire
Rhys Isaac, Landon Carter’s Uneasy Kingdom
David Waldstreicher, In the Midst of Perpetual Fetes
Timothy Hall, Contested Boundaries
Gordon Wood, The Creation of the American Republic
His 605-2 American Sectionalism and Regional Conflict, 1676-1877
Professor April Holm
In his farewell address, George Washington confessed a “serious concern” about “geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western,” and warned of their potential to destroy the Union. Indeed, hostility between a variety of sections and regions not just the North and South are a prevailing theme in American history. Sectional conflict predated the founding of the United States, shaped the structure of national government, and presented the greatest challenges to federal authority. This course revolves around the problem of sectionalism and regionalism in America, from colonial clashes between the backcountry and the coast, to struggles between the West and the East, to the enduring conflict between North and South. Readings and discussions will cover a range of topics including:the historical problem of sectionalism, defining American regions, sectionalism and politics, regional cultures, separatist and secessionist movements, and the West as a region. The course is structured chronologically and also provides a narrative framework for understanding American history to 1877.
His 606-1 The History of the Rural South since the 1860s
Barnard Obs 108
Professor Ted Ownby
This graduate readings class takes a broad view to the study of the rural South since the 1860s. Topics include labor, several migrations, the environment, technological change, government policy, various political movements, rural and small-town segregation and desegregation efforts, music, imagery. Some reading assignments will emphasize breadth and connections between the rural South and national and world events, and others will consider the possible strengths and limitations of local studies.
Written assignments include several book reviews, a historiographic essay, and a mid-semester project using census records.
His 606-2 Readings in US History since the Civil War
Professor Charles Ross
His 606 is a reading course focusing on but not exclusively confined to African American cultural history since 1865. This course will focus on how African American history has been and is being written. Topics include Reconstruction and post-emancipation, race, class, gender, migration, urbanization, the media, and cultural development. The major theme by which we will examine many of these topics will be the evolution of sports in the 20th century.
Each week students will be assigned a book on a rotating basis and are expected to present a ten-to-fifteen minute oral report on the book. In addition, a three to four-page book review must be submitted. The oral report should include the following topics:
1. Present the author’s thesis or major arguments along with conclusions given.
2. Evaluate sources, documentation, and methodology used.
3. Evaluate/criticize writing style, organization, and mode of presentation.
4. Report on book reviews, both scholarly and popular.
5. Describe the personal and professional background of the author.
At the end of the semester, each student must submit a fifteen to twenty page bibliographical essay examining the literature on some relevant historical problem in African American history. Topics should be approved by the instructor.
Method of Determining Final Course Grade:
Oral Reports/Review 55%
Bibliographical essay 45%
Selected works will include but are not limited to:
Papa Jack, Randy Roberts
Unforgivable Blackness, Geoffrey C. Ward
Fritz Pollard, John M. Carroll
Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, Michael E. Lomax
Invisible Men, Donn Rogosin
Only the Ball Was White, Robert Peterson
Fleet Walker’s Divided Heart, David Zang
Eight Men Out, Eliot Asinof
Breaking Through, Milton S. Katz
Elevating the Game, Nelson George
Shattering the Glass, Pamela Gundy & Susan Shackleford
Lisa Leslie, Larry Burnett
They Cleared the Lane, Ron Thomas
Game of Shadows, Mark Fanaru-Wuda & Lance Williams
Goal Dust, Woody Strode
The First Black Quarterback, Marlin Briscoe
Darwin’s Athletes, John Hoberman
Muhammad Ali, Elliott Gorn
His 652-1Graduate Colloquium:Empires and Nationalism in Modern Europe
Professor Joshua First
This colloquium explores the rise and fall of the great empires of Central and Eastern Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on the Hapsburg, German, Ottoman and Russian Empires, but also making forays into the other, more well-known empires of Western Europe. With the decline of these empires in the late-19th century, we see a rise in nationalism in the Czech lands, Hungary, Poland, the Baltic States, the Balkans, Finland, and within the imperial metropoles themselves, which rose up to further challenge Vienna, Berlin, Constantinople and Moscow. We will address different models for how each of these empires disintegrated, and how nation-states emerged in their places. The final third of the colloquium will address the fates of these new nation-states after the Nazis took power in Central Europe, and the Bolsheviks in Eastern Europe, where these definitively modern states attempted a final stage of empire-building during the late-1930s and early-1940s. This Colloquium will explore various theories of empire, imperialism, nation-building and nationalism.
Preliminary Book List (subject and likely to change)
John Brueilly, Nationalism and the State (1982)
Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (1983)
Eric Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition (1984)
Ron Suny, Revenge of the Past:Nationalism, Revolution and the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1993)
Geoff Eley and Ron Suny, eds., Becoming National:A Reader (1996)
Karen Barkey and Mark von Hagen, After Empire:Multi-Ethnic Societies and Nation-Building:The Soviet Union, and the Russian, Ottoman and Habsburg Empires (1997)
Wendy Lower, Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (2005)
Jane Burbank, Mark von Hagen, and Anatolyi Remnev, eds., Russian Empire:Space, People, Power, 1700-1930 (2007)
What is a Nation? “Modernist” and Other Perspectives
Pre-Modern Empires in Europe and Eurasia
The Imperial Project in Modern Europe
Defining and Managing the Imperial Borderlands
Modernization and Imperial Decline
Empires, Nations and the Language Question
The Rise of Ethnic Nationalism in Central-Eastern Europe
Nationalism and Conceptions of the Land
Anti-Semitism and Jewish Nationalism
Socialism, Nationalism and the Persistence of Empire
Fascism and Empire
Nations and Empires in Europe Today
His 687-1 Readings in the Social Movements of Modern Latin America
Professor Douglass Sullivan-GonzÃ¡lez
The principal purpose of this course is to sharpen our ability to think critically about the historical writing of the nineteenth century in Latin America. We will focus on both substantive and methodological issues, and delve into the authors’ presuppositions about humanity and society. We will examine the transition moments during Independence, try to understand the nature of centralizing and fragmenting forces in the new nations, look at the impact of new modes of transportation, and probe the relationship between race/ethnicity and class. Readings will cover Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, and the Andean region.
Students will be required to read two books for a general chronological background; submit a short 2-page essay on seven of the eight assigned books; conduct 1seminar based on one of the books; and turn in an extended review-essay centering on the same book for which they conducted the seminar discussion.
His 695-1 Readings in the History of Late Imperial & Modern China Since 1800
Professor Joshua Howard
This seminar introduces the main themes in Western-language scholarly literature on China during the 19th and 20th century. The course revolves around several influential paradigms used to explain China’s recent past, especially the question of revolution versus modernization. Topics include foreign imperialism, the Chinese “gentry,” peasant rebellions, women in society, environmental history, urbanization, state-making, colonial modernity, origins of Chinese Communism, the Anti-Japanese War, Maoism, and the Cultural Revolution. Intended for graduate students planning to minor in the field of East Asian history, this course will provide a foundation to incorporate Chinese history in a “world history” course taught at the high school or college level. Requirements include several presentations, three short reviews on the reading, and a 20-page historiographical paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. For the first meeting, please read and be prepared to discuss Paul A. Cohen’s Discovering History in China:American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past and Arif Dirlik’s “The historiography of colonial modernity:Chinese history between Eurocentric hegemony and nationalism” in Journal of Modern Chinese History Vol.1 no.1 (Aug.2007):97-115. The instructor is open to choosing readings that may complement or stimulate student’s research interests in their respective major fields; please contact him as soon as convenient to discuss your interests. For students without previous coursework in Chinese history, textbook knowledge of late imperial and modern China is recommended.
His 698-1 Research Seminar
Professor Lester Field
This seminar allows students to do research in consultation with the instructor of record and other professors as needed. The final paper accounts for 50% of the grade; seminar discussion and the research prospectus account for 25% apiece. The seminar will also require formal presentation of both the prospectus and the final paper, that is, within the context of conventions that govern twenty-minute conference papers. These presentations will be open to the public.
His 702-1 Research in American History since Reconstruction
Professor Charles Reagan Wilson
The goal of History 702 is to produce a 30 page paper based in extensive research in primary sources. The content will focus on the cultural history of the U.S. South, with readings in articles and a few books that will serve as models of research, writing, and historiographical
interpretation. Class will meet a few times as a group, but it will mostly involve students doing their own research and writing, submitting various drafts through the semester. Â Anyone interested in taking the course should consult with the instructor to discuss possible research topics before registering.