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History Department Graduate Seminars, Spring 2018

AMH 5930: Race and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective (Wed, 3-6 pm).

This graduate seminar explores the invention and reinvention(s) of race and ethnicity keying in on questions of power, resistance, and the fluidity of identities in the modern world from the Age of Revolution to the present. Scholars have proven that race is a fiction; nonetheless, it continues to dominate discourses of consumption, state surveillance, and citizenship–among other areas–while shaping relations between individuals and nations such as Haiti, Mexico, and the United States.
Drawing on “classic” literature as well as emerging scholarship in race and ethnicity we will explore a broad array of topics and research questions that can be greatly enriched by use of race and ethnicity as a comparative lens of historical analysis including: the invention of race and modernity; Empire and Orientalism; Comparative revolutions; Racial capitalism; Indigeneity and Decolonization; the Black Radical Tradition in the Americas; Gender and Sexuality; Segregation and re-segregation; Liberation and social movements; immigration, forced migration, and non-citizenship; Critical Latino Studies; Neoliberalism and economic crises; Whiteness studies; policing and mass incarceration in a transatlantic context; relational and intercultural approaches to the study of race and ethnicity.
Dr. Paul Ortiz (

AMH 6199, US 19th Century History. Dr. Jeffrey Adler. (Tues 4:00-7:00 pm)

This course serves as one of the department’s three “foundation courses” in U.S. history. This will be a reading-intensive seminar, designed to introduce graduate students to the core scholarly debates in nineteenth-century United States history. We will read a blend of classic works and new perspectives on a wide range of topics spanning the “long nineteenth century” — from the post-Revolutionary period to the Progressive era. There will be no “research” component of the class. Instead, our weekly discussions and the assigned papers will explore the ways in which historians have approached, framed, and analyzed the major themes of scholarship on nineteenth-century America.
Dr. Jeffrey Adler (

EUH 5934: Nationalism (Thurs 3:00-6:00 pm)

Nationalism has arguably been the most potent force for identity formation, at the individual and collective levels, over the past three centuries. This seminar on comparative nationalisms introduces students to some of the major works and foundational debates around nations and nationalism. What is a nation? When do nations begin? What is patriotism, and how does it differ from nationalism? What is the relationship between different forms of nationalism and other crucial historical categories such as gender, race, religion, and class?
Dr. Mitch Hart (

HIS 6061, Historiography. Dr. Nancy Hunt (Mon 3:00-6:00).

This course will introduce graduate students to historiography as an object of general study, as well as to present them with pathways into understanding the debates within their own fields. It is intended to provide a survey of some of the key stages in the development of the historical profession in the modern era, as well as understanding different approaches and controversies in recent years and today. The object of the course is both to familiarize students with key conceptions that will be essential for their graduate studies and possible careers as historians, and also to consider historiography as a field of study in its own right. Along the way, we will read various “exemplary” texts (in particular from the past half century) that helped shape the fields, and, in some cases, contributed to changing historical study more broadly. These texts will be from a diverse array of geographical and conceptual fields. Along with accompanying background readings, they will help introduce a range of developing approaches–the shift toward social history in the 1960s-1970s; the “linguistic turn” and poststructuralism in the 1980s-1990s; as well as the challenge to many traditional assumptions and the introduction of new methods and fields of study that helped broaden the object of historical study.
Dr. Nancy Hunt (

LAH 6938, Modern Spanish America. Dr. Heather Vrana. (Tues 3:00-6:00 p.m.)

This course will explore political, social, and cultural developments in modern Spanish America, with particular focus on Central America, Mexico, and the Southern Cone. We will examine complex changes within the region in the post-independence period while emphasizing historiographical developments in the field over the last twenty years alongside earlier foundational works. Among the topics the course will explore are revolutions and social movements and their causes; crime and policing; gender and sex’ culture exchange and contestation; political violence, historical memory, and transitional justice; the evolution of concepts of race, ethnicity and social class; and environmental and technological expertise.
Dr. Heather Vrana (