Downloadable Spring 2023 Course Offerings (PDF)
READINGS IN EARLY AMERICA TO 1763
TH 6:00 PM – 8:50 PM
History 504 examines the principal economic, political, social, and cultural developments in North America for pre-contact to 1763.
RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM: THE UNITED STATES AND THE WORLD SINCE 1945
T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
This graduate course is an intensive collaborative research seminar designed to help students produce an original research paper on the United States and the world since 1945.
READINGS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1877
M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
This course examines the principal themes and developments in African American History from the 1600s to 1877 (the end of Reconstruction). The course explores the rise and fall of slavery, resistance to slavery and the evolution of black leadership, African American roles in Reconstruction and the development of the New South.
READINGS IN MIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION
W 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
In this course, we will examine the many dimensions of immigration and transnationalism in the 20th century United States. Our readings will focus on the comparative history of immigrant groups and diasporas, though we will also explore the experience of refugees and deportees and the policies that regulated them across the 20th century.
GENOCIDE IN GLOBAL HISTORY
T 2:00 PM – 4:50 PM
In this graduate global readings course, we will consider the phenomenon of genocide in modern history from an explicitly global perspective. The core case study at the center of the course is the Holocaust, but we will think deeply about its historical connections to its primary precedents – the colonial genocides in German Southwest Africa in the early 1900s and the Armenian genocide during World War I. We will also explore how Holocaust memory has shaped our understanding of subsequent genocides in Cambodia, the Balkans, Rwanda, and elsewhere. Finally, we will examine the history and politics of labeling mass killings and atrocities as genocide in the past and the present.
In collaboration with an on-campus center engaged in public humanities, each student will devise and carry out a project that builds knowledge and skills needed for independent historical consulting. This is an individualized experience, by arrangement. Students who intend to enroll should contact Professor Mires immediately to begin a discussion of project proposals.
MATERIAL CULTURE IN AMERICA
W 2:05 PM – 5:00 PM
In this course, we will take a closer look at the physical world that surrounds us, studying things that seem, by turns, trivial and significant, whether George Washington’s false teeth, beaded pillows from Niagara Falls, or limited-edition Beanie Babies. What kinds of interpretive lenses should we use when trying to understand material artifacts as primary source evidence, and what can we learn from examining objects over time and their place in our society today?
We will place American material culture in a broader historical context, discussing the role of objects in the history of cultural, economic, and political life. And we will also talk about the intersection of material culture and capitalism, including the nature of commodities and the impact of commodity culture. In addition, we will explore and develop innovative frameworks that will help us better understand material culture today.
Reading assignments will consist of case studies underpinned by relevant theories. Topics will include, among others things: trash, garbage, and reuse; souvenirs and nostalgia; the nature of value; rituals of collecting; objects and identity creation; kitsch, taste, and culture; hoarding and asceticism; and commodification.
Students will have the opportunity to design their own semester-long major project, centered on some aspect of material/commodity culture. This might include, for example, crafting an article-length work of original research, revisiting your previous scholarship to include a substantial material culture component, writing an extensive literature review, or curating an exhibition.
INTERNSHIP IN PUBLIC HISTORY
Supervised work experience in a public history office or private institutional setting, involving project work for one semester or a summer.