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Seminars: Fall 2016

AMH 6290: Modern America, Professor Pearlman, Monday, periods 8-10. The main goal of this course is to introduce graduate students to some of the key issues and debates that have shaped the historiography of the 20th century. To do so, we will read standards in the field as well as newer works in political, social, cultural, intellectual, labor, and gender history. Assignments will be geared toward helping you with professional development, including review essays and the creation of a qualifying exam reading list. The expectation is that you will become broadly familiar with scholarship on the era and be better positioned to analyze (and teach) the transformations that shaped and reshaped American society from the late 19th century forward. This is a foundation seminar that is required of all AMH PhD students, and would count as one of the two foundation seminars that AMH MA students must take.

EUH 5934: History of Human Rights, Professor Finkel, Wednesday, periods 8-10 The belief that human beings of both genders and all races and creeds possess the same “inalienable rights” is a modern concept.  Just how recently it has developed is, in fact, a matter of considerable debate among historians: while many trace its origins back to the Enlightenment and French Revolution, others insist that the notion of international human rights as we currently understand them is no more than half a century old.  At stake in this debate is the very essence of what we mean by “Human Rights,” how this concept has been applied, and its pertinence in the contemporary global arena. Did human rights originate, as Lynn Hunt suggests, with the development of “shared empathy” and the Declaration of the Rights of Man in the late 18th century? Or, on the other hand, does the international human rights movement of the late 20th century represent something qualitatively altogether different, as Samuel Moyn would argue? The recent historiography of human rights has been rich and sharply contested, and students will read and debate the variety of interpretations and approaches that have recently emerged.  This course will count toward the World History minor field.

EUH 6289: Readings in Modern Europe, Professor Goda, Tuesday, periods 8-10 This graduate seminar will acquaint students with the essential trends in European thought and politics during the twentieth century. We will examine the major challenges to the Enlightenment tradition, including irrationalism, colonialism, communism, fascism, and postmodernism. Students completing the seminar will have a grasp of the major European thinkers and a good start toward mastering major European political events during the period in question, ranging from imperialism to the liquidation of World War I to the Holocaust to the Cold War and decolonization. Requirements include brief weekly papers, weekly discussions, and a major historiographical paper.

HIS 6061: Historiography, Professor Hart, Thursday, periods 8-10 This course introduces beginning graduate students to some of the key issues and challenges involved in reading, researching, and writing history at the professional level.  The books for this particular course will focus primarily on cultural and intellectual history, and will be limited geographically to Europe and North America.  This course is required of all History graduate students (MA and PhD).

AMH 5930/EUH5934/LAH5934: Digital History, Professor Dale, Thursday, periods 8-10 This course is an introduction to digital history. The seminar will be centered around three modules in which we focus on a different digital approach to history for 3-4 weeks. In the first module, we will be looking at mapping history in space and time. In the second, we will look at digital tools that we can use to trace networks and intersections. In the third, we will consider some hypertext tools and consider whether and how they help us do nonlinear history. During the semester we will also explore what, if anything, digital tools add to our thinking about historical research and presentation. This course counts towards the Digital Humanities Certificate.

LAH 6934: Seminar in Colonial Spanish America, Professor Altman, Tuesday, periods 8-10 The seminar focuses on Spanish American history to around 1800 with emphasis on the development of scholarship in the field over time, approaches and sources. Topics include early contacts, colonial society and institutions, Indians and Africans under Spanish rule, Christianity and conversion, economic development, urbanism, women and gender, and late colonial reforms and revolts. All required readings are in English.