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Fall 2013

Hist. 80000-Literature of American History l
GC: W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 5 credits, Prof. Martin Burke


Hist. 84900-Seminar in American History l
GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 5 credits, Prof. Andrew Robertson

This seminar is designed to train incoming graduate students in the craft of historical research and writing. Over the course of the term, each student will formulate a research topic, prepare a bibliography of relevant primary and secondary sources, write an historiographic essay, and present and defend a formal project proposal for the substantial research paper that is to be completed in the second semester seminar. Weekly meetings will discuss common readings, share and critique written work, and develop and refine the research proposals. We will also be devoting some time to methods and issues involved in undergraduate teaching.


Hist. 75200-The Civil War
GC: T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. James Oakes

 This course will introduce students to the major issues—social, political, economic, and military--related to the origins and prosecution of the Civil War.  Readings will consist of classic debates as well as some of the latest monographs.  Grades will be based on three short papers as well as participation in weekly discussions.
NOTE:  In preparation for the class, as essential background, students should already have read James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom. 

Hist. 75700- Paths, Detours, and Barriers to Citizenship: Immigrants, Refugees, Aliens and Outsiders in US history, Law and Culture
GC: M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. David Nasaw

We will interrogate the sometimes conflicting, sometimes consonant, but always changing relationships between notions of citizenship—and its cultural significance, political resonance, and legal entitlements—and American immigration policy.  While attentive to European migrations from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries, we will focus on twentieth and twenty-first century border crossings from Mexico, immigrations from Asia, the discordant and unintended consequences of post-World War II legislation.     
The readings will explore the separate but entwined historical literatures on “citizenship” and “immigration.”  I have designed them to be global in reach and interdisciplinary in perspective. 
Students may be asked to write short papers in the course of the semester and a major final paper in the form of a “lecture” to undergraduates on the themes and issues discussed in the readings. 


Hist. 75800- The Environmental History of Urban America
GC: R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Michael Rawson

Americans often think of cities and nature as being mutually exclusive. “As the pavement spreads,” wrote the great urbanist Lewis Mumford, “nature is pushed farther away.” But in recent years, scholars in the growing field of urban environmental history have been challenging this view and arguing instead that cities and the natural world have deep connections and shared histories. With urbanization a central theme of the American story, and over eighty percent of present-day Americans living in urban areas, we cannot fully understand the American past or even the places that most of us call home today without understanding how nature and cities have shaped each other. Over the course of the semester, students will explore such topics as early reactions to industrialization and urbanization; relationships between cities and their hinterlands; urban interactions with water; moral environmentalism and the development of public parks and suburbs; concerns about pollution, public health, and environmental justice; and the consequences of contemporary urban sprawl. Readings will include William Cronon, Nature’s Metropolis; Michael Rawson, Eden on the Charles; Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear; Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside; and others.

Hist. 80000-Literature of European History I
6:30-8:30 p.m., 5 credits, Prof. Allison Kavey
This course focuses on the major historical events, intellectual currents, and cultural movements that defined Europe between the late medieval period and the seventeenth century. We will read both primary and secondary sources to better understand this period in its own context and through its defining structures.


Hist. 84000-Seminar in European and non-American History I
GC: M, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 5 credits, Prof. Barbara Naddeo

This course seminar will provide an introduction to the nuts and bolts of historical research as well as an introduction to a number of metropolitan area libraries, archives and documentation centers, which students will selectively explore. In the context of this seminar students will be expected to formulate their own research paper topics and produce a paper prospectus, which they will have the opportunity to present to their peers for feedback and constructive criticism. 


Hist. 74000- History and Literature in Early Modern England and Ireland
GC: M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Profs. Sarah Covington & Clare Carroll

We will examine the possibilities and the limitations of disciplinary boundaries regarding the interpretation of late sixteenth and seventeenth-century writing   We will give special consideration to the rhetorical and narrative aspects of historical documents (such as the state papers, letters, and depositions) and the historical dimensions of literary works. Discussion will focus on texts written at moments of particular crisis in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when England and Ireland were undergoing episodes of extreme political upheaval and armed conflict –the Nine Years’ War (“The Blood of the English Crying Out of the Earth for Revenge,” Spenser’s A View, Shakespeare’s Henry V, bardic poetry), the War of the Three Kingdoms (the 1641 Depositions, John Temple’s Irish Rebellion, the pamphlet wars, Milton’s prose works, Cromwell’s letters, lyric poetry, and its aftermath, (William Petty’s Political Arithmetic, Marvell’s “Horatian Ode”).  Readings will also include historiographical, theoretical and critical texts by Nicholas Canny, Andrew Hadfield, John Pocock, James Shapiro, Nigel Smith, Hayden White.


Hist. 73900- Britain and the World, 1750 to the present
GC: W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Timothy Alborn

This course explores different channels of intercourse between Great Britain and the rest of the world between 1750 and the present. It opens with a survey of Britain as a member of Europe, as an imperial power through 1960, and as former empire since then. It then discusses commodities, spaces, and people that have travelled, framed, and settled in and among British territories and trade partners: including colonial America and the United States, China, India, Ireland, Jamaica, and Canada.  Each section will draw connections between foreign and colonial practices and policies and their counterparts in the British Isles. Three assignments will accompany these three final sections of the course, each of which will enable students to learn and apply a specific skill to the study of British history: historiography, fluency with electronic databases, and constructive criticism.


Hist. 79000- Introduction to Modern European Jewish History
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. David Sorkin

This course aims to introduce students to the major issues of modern European Jewish history (1648-1950).  Through extensive reading in the scholarship students will learn the history and the historiography.  In seminar we will discuss both the events, developments and trends of the period and the categories and concepts we use to think about them. 


Hist. 76900- Colonial Latin American History from the Pre-Colombian Period to Independence
GC: Th, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Laird Bergad

This course will examine the historiography of Latin America and the Caribbean during the colonial period of Latin American history.  Its emphasis will be on how historical research methods used to work with primary source documentation have changed from the 1940s to the present, and how thematic focal points have shifted as research methodologies have been transformed. It will also consider the major themes of colonial Latin American history.

Hist. 87950- Literature of 19th Century Middle East History
GC: R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 5 credits, Prof. Beth Baron
[Cross-listed with MES 73900]


Hist. 78000- The Iranian Revolution in Comparative Perspective.
GC: M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Ervand Abrahamian
[Cross-listed with MES 73900]

The course will explore how diverse theoretical approaches—Structural, Cultural, Weberian-Durkheimian, Behavioral, Intellectual, Discourse, Mobilization (Tillian) Feminist, and Marxist--have been used to explain the causes of the 1979 Revolution in Iran.


Hist. 71900- Colonial Africa
GC: W, 2 - 4 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Megan Vaughan

Colonial rule was a relatively brief episode in the longer history of the African continent. How significant was this ‘moment’? Is Fred Cooper correct to argue that ‘colonialism’ itself is an over-determining word that obscures more than it illuminates? In this course we will begin by examining theories of colonialism in Africa – both scholarly theories  (from within and outside the continent) and those formulated by the architects of colonial rule. We will then go on to examine in some detail the variety of practices that characterised colonial rule in Africa, exploring the differences between the European colonial powers and between different colonial political economies.  We’ll study colonial economies and labour regimes, legal and administrative systems, ideologies of race, gender and sexuality, religious change, colonial ‘intermediaries’, the developmental state, nationalisms, colonial violence and the ending of colonial rule. Throughout the course our emphasis will be on the lived experience of colonialism and the complex and uneven impact of colonial rule on African societies.  In studying the literature on the colonial Africa we will also address some key questions around the creation of knowledge, historiography and its political contexts, source materials and methods. We’ll ask who creates the colonial archive and whether the Africanist historian’s practice of going to the ‘field’ liberates us from its constraints or just presents us with another set of knotty political problems.


Hist. 72100- Pedagogy and Theory of Global History
GC: T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Dagmar Herzog

The aim of this class is triple: to provide you with the opportunity to read and discuss with your peers important secondary scholarship in global history – whether in specific preparation for oral exams or simply to enhance your range as a teacher; to provide you with the opportunity to experiment with and discuss pedagogical challenges and successful teaching strategies on a continuous basis (including how to talk with your students about cultural differences, perspectivalism, theories of causation, and the relationship between arguments and evidence); and to develop more confident mastery of the terms of debate surrounding major world-historical issues that continue to have ramifications in our present.
Themes to be considered include: labor, commerce, and migration; power, diplomacy, and violence; faith, belief, and knowledge; social movements and cultural diffusion; disease, drugs, and the environment; desire, love, and pleasure. Critical thinking about gender relations will be integrated throughout.


IDS 81660- Re-visiting the Black Atlantic: Knowledge, Disciplinarity & Diasporic Formations
GC and NYU: T, 11 a.m. – 2p.m., 4 credits, Profs. Herman Bennett and Jennifer L. Morgan 

Twenty years after the publication of Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1993) American scholarship no longer simply posits the relationship between blackness and modernity as an irreconcilable problem.  Though Gilroy posited The Black Atlantic as a ‘heuristic’ work, the ideas associated with the book engendered scholarly inquiry into disparate sites of knowledge production, most notably history, anthropology, and literary studies but also in fields (philosophy and political thought) once perceived as the exclusive domain of an organic and hermetically sealed Western tradition.  By insisting that blackness figures as a constitutive element of modernity, Gilroy effected a lasting transformation in knowledge production.  He, of course, built on the black radical tradition that included the enslaved and free blacks, Abolitionists and Nationalists along with W.E.B. Dubois, Claudia Jones, and C.L.R. James.  But Gilroy’s insistence on framing black writings as thought and seeing the experiences of blacks as a social phenomenon with powerful consequences for the history of modernity re-configured the scholarly agenda on various disciplinary fonts. 
As part of a Graduate Center initiative, The Black Atlantic @ Twenty, and in collaboration with New York University, “Re-visiting the Black Atlantic: Knowledge, Disciplinarity & Diasporic Formations” Professors Bennett (GC, History) and Morgan (NYU, Social & Cultural Analysis and History) will offer a seminar that examines how Gilroy work has influenced scholars to re-configure their theorization of the past and the writing of history.  For this reason, the course is not strictly configured as an exercise in historiography—the effort to historicize scholarly writings on a particular theme or event in the past.  Even as this course analyzes selective historiographies related to slavery, race making, and freedom, our attention will always be directed at the ways that scholars since Gilroy’s intervention have approached these aforementioned themes in relation to the narrative of modernity.  Stated differently, how have writers related experiences of violence, difference, and an emergent liberty to modernity prior to and in the aftermath of The Black Atlantic’s appearance?
In preparation for the seminar, the participants are asked to read Cedric J. Robinson, Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000 [1983]).
Finally, participants should know that the seminar meetings will alternate between the Graduate Center and New York University.  The first meeting will be held on the NYU campus (20 Cooper Square, Room 471, the Department of Social Cultural Analysis) on September 3, 2013.


PPDEV. 81690 - Colloquium on College Teaching
GC: M, 2:00-4:00 p.m., 0 credits, Prof. Cahn, [21620]

Professor Steven Cahn will again offer the Colloquium on College Teaching, intended to help doctoral students develop strategies for success in their academic careers, including advice about teaching, publishing, and searching for academic positions. The course is free and open to all graduate students. Over the years these workshops have been extremely well-received and have filled quickly. The course meets during the early weeks of the semester, and students register through on-line course registration. Any questions can be addressed to Professor Cahn at<>.