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Fall 2022 Graduate Courses

(Tentative schedule; subject to change)

Course No. & Name Professor/Lecturer Day/Time Course Description
HIST C200F: Getting Rich in Modern Africa and South Asia H. Wint/Frederick W 9-11:50 The quest for wealth in many ways defines our experiences of the contemporary, capitalist world. But what exactly is wealth? And how does one get it? Does the wealth of the few depend on the poverty of others? These are questions that have long concerned economists, anthropologists, and historians, as well as, of course, historical actors. Yet the ways of getting rich in non-Western societies are often assumed to differ greatly from those in the “advanced”, capitalist West. Indeed, the recent interest in histories of capitalism that was spurred by the 2008 financial crisis has largely neglected perspectives from the Global South. In this course, then, we examine these large questions about wealth, capital and capitalism from the perspective of two comparable and historically connected spaces. This course, then, is also designed to introduce the comparative methods used by historians and anthropologists.
HIST 201E : Theories of Diaspora, Immigration, and Migration G. Penny W 2-4:50 This graduate level course explores the vexed notion of diaspora(s) and the challenge of understanding and writing histories of immigration and migration during the modern era. One of the central questions we will explore is the difficulty of tracking things in motion: individuals, families, groups, and ever‐elusive cultural traits as they flow through local, national, and international contexts that are themselves in flux. These questions perplex the histories written about many parts of the world. By drawing on a set of foundational studies, and by engaging some of the latest research devoted to different global situations, our goal will be to ferret out consistent patterns across time and space and to think through the applicability of general theories to the particular contexts that interest each of us.
HIST C201K: Modern Afghanistan: Islam, Modernism & Transnationalism N. Green W 2-4:50 Aimed at students with no previous knowledge of Afghanistan, this course examines key moments in modern Afghan history from around 1880 to 1980. The seminar focuses on tensions between attempts to create a stable Afghan nation state and factors that destabilized the nation‐building project. While paying due attention to political and institutional developments, the course pays special attention to religious, literary and cultural factors during a period that saw Afghanistan transformed from one of the most remote regions in the world to a country with remarkably broad transnational connections. Surveying a century that saw Afghans become increasingly integrated into global affairs, the seminar plays special attention to interactions with the wider world that culminated in the Afghan communist coup and Soviet invasion of 1979. This seminar work involves weekly readings, in‐class discussions, and preparation of a research paper on based primary source/s.
HIST C201K: Issues and Debates in South Asian Historiography S. Subrahmanym M 10-12:50 This course is meant to provide a selective introduction into some of the key debates that have marked South Asian historiography over the past some decades. As such, it does not intend to be comprehensive either in its coverage of themes or of the figures and 'schools' (real and mythical) that were involved. The field itself is one that is already vast and still growing, even if it tends to develop in fits and starts and is today extremely uneven in both quality and coverage. However, the intention here is to provide some perspective not merely on varied positions and 'ideologies', but also on the methods and techniques used. Journal articles have been given particular importance here, over monographs and other forms of essays (those these too are drawn upon). Regular class attendance, participation and oral presentations will count in fair measure towards the grade. All students will also be required to complete a historiographical paper (either on one or more of the themes in the syllabus, or on any other theme that they alight upon, with the agreement of the instructor). The paper should be about 25 pages, or 9,000 to 10,000 words in length. One draft can be submitted for consideration.
HIST 201R: Narrative, Negotiation, and Mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Past Lessons and Future Opportunities D. Myers M 1-3:50 This seminar has two major goals: to examine the way in which the history of Israel and Palestine has been narrated, with particular emphasis on the dual lenses through which Israelis and Palestinians have observed their relationship and the resulting conflict; and to analyze the largely unsuccessful efforts to achieve a negotiated solution to the conflict. This seminar will be conducted in parallel to a similar course taught by Prof. Nadim Rouhana at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The two classes will participate jointly in an end-of-term role-presentation of key issues.
204A - Departmental Seminar: Approaches, Methods, Debates, Practices TBD F 2:00-4:50 Seminar, three hours. Required of all first-year departmental graduate students. Introduction to range of important methodological approaches and theoretical debates about writing of history that are influential across fields, geographical contexts, and temporal periods to stimulate conversation and connection across fields, inviting students to think collectively and expansively about study and praxis of history. Introduction to sampling of scholarship produced by department faculty members with whom students may work. S/U or letter grading.
246A - Introduction to U.S. History: Colonial Period M. Meranze W 2:00-4:50 History 246A is the first quarter of a three-quarter sequence in the history of the United States. We will be considering a wide range of works, old and new, that address some of the fundamental questions in understanding 17th and 18th century American history. Although this is the first quarter in a sequence of US history, one of the questions I hope that we will address is whether or not early American history can best be understood in terms of the later development of the United States. In other words, we will be concerned with understanding the complexities not only of early American history but of colonial and revolutionary American history. In particular, the seminar will address the central problems of transition, periodization, and structure in early American history. One of the most challenging problems facing scholars of early America is the multiplicity of transitions (of space and time; between social and political regimes; systems of ideas and values, etc). Unlike later periods which have the advantage of relatively clear (and relatively agreed upon) points of crisis and transition (e.g. the Civil War, the New Deal, the Cold War), early America is too disparate and intertwined with too many histories to allow this sort of consensus. At the same time, the fact that “early” America existed in a world organized by empires (both European and Native) raises spatial as well as temporal. In particular, the field has been grappling with the implications of “Atlantic” and “Continental” approaches. As a result, Early American history has been a field in a state of intense transformation and that transformation will be a central question of the seminar. Beyond the general seminar discussions, your response papers (discussed below) will allow you a chance to think through these issues relative to each week’s readings (and hopefully bring your concerns to the seminar discussion). Again, I hope that we can use the time not only to begin to develop an understanding of the historiography of early America but also to discuss how “fields” can be defined, altered, re-thought, etc.
HIST 275A: Theory and Method in African History A. Apter W 2:00-4:50 Is the first quarter of the two-quarter African History Colloquium (HIST 275 A and B) which addresses key theoretical and methodological issues that are central to African historical research but also resonate throughout multiple fields. Students who take only the first quarter of the sequence will give class presentations on the readings (to stimulate discussion) and produce a 12-18 page paper. Students taking both quarters will collect data and give class presentations during the first quarter, and will write a substantial research paper for the second quarter.
HIST 282A: Constructing Urban Spaces in Early Modern Chinese Empire and Modern China B. Wong T 2-4:50 Unlike early modern Western Europe where cities figured prominently in the construction of political order and the emergence of national states, the political order of the early modern Chinese empire was centered on creating and sustaining social order across a vast agrarian space. After considering the ideological and institutional bases of this agrarian political and social order, the course considers how urban spaces emerged and how they were ordered in an agrarian empire, mindful that urban spaces had diverse activities and functions. The second half of the course moves to consider the transformations in political and social order in treaty port cities. Since these cities have become a persistent and prominent focus in Western historiography of modern China for more than a half century, the topic deserves particular attention. By covering both the early modern and modern eras, the course hopes to encourage a deeper historical perspective for students of modern history and a sense of the possibilities that early modern practices offered to later generations for those who specialize in this period. The course will include a mix of primary and secondary sources with weekly paragraph-length written reaction statements as part of class preparation.
HIST 285A: Seminar: Japanese History W. Marotti M 4-6:50 This is a two-term seminar focusing on the relation of writing, form, and content--namely, given a particular object of analysis, what mode or modes of exposition might be adequate to all of its complexities? We will read widely and intensively, from historiographical texts to unpublished drafts by instructor and students alike. Over the terms of the course, students will develop a substantial piece of writing, one which will benefit from group discussions, reviewed drafts, and comparative analysis