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Graduate Program

Courses

Courses currently being offered:

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Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.


Below you will find a list of all graduate courses that have been offered.
NOTE: Not all of these courses are offered in any given year.

HIS 400 The History of Nature

This course explores the history of the idea and condition of nature from ancient times to the present. Drawing on contemporary historical scholarship as well as a range of thinkers and writers from Petrarch to Thoreau and beyond, we will study the many ways in which humans have thought about and treated the natural world around them and how the natural world has shaped human history in turn. Some background in history is recommended.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 401 Modernity and Modernism: Topics course

A study of selected topics in the history of modern thought and culture in Europe and the United States.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

HIS 402 The Power of Print

This course will examine the history of books, readers, and literacy in the United States from the colonial period to the present. It will explore how the printed word shaped both public events (e.g. the Civil War) and private experience (e.g. relationships within the family). The course will consider such topics as: the relationships between gender and reading; the connections between reading and citizenship; the impact of technological change on the book; the social uses of various kinds of reading; and the nature and development of literacy.

HIS 403 International Human Rights

What does it mean to be human? What political, economic, religious, social, or sexual rights might be part of different people's working definitions? This course will look at both a) the historical development of conflicting theories of human rights and b) more contemporary debates about their ideal extent, their exercise, and their enforcement. Special topics will include debates over the meaning of the American and French Revolutions, the fight to design an International Declaration of Human Rights in the aftermath of World War II, the history of organizations such as Amnesty International, and the controversy around UN events such as the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, and the 2000 and 2005 Millennium Summits in New York City.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 404 Readings in Atlantic History

This course surveys recent scholarship on the early modern Atlantic world emphasizing comparative, transnational and connective methodologies. Topics will include imperial rivalries, the emergence of creole cultures, trade and smuggling, oceanic and coastal environments, the circulations of commodities, diseases, print, and ideas, slavery and the slave trade, community studies of Atlantic places, and the promise and limits of an Atlantic perspective. Students will produce an original research paper on an Atlantic topic.

Last Offered: Fall 2010

HIS 405 Maritime Atlantic World

Study of European expansion into Africa and the Americas from the ages of Discovery to Revolution has taken many forms. Some pursued their investigations topically (slavery, migration, economic development, etc.) and others focused on particular colonies or regions. We shift the focus of inquiry to the Atlantic Ocean itself, as the geographic center of an expanding European world. Rather than treat the ocean as peripheral while studying the settlement of the Atlantic coast, we will be primarily concerned with activities that took place upon its watery face, delving into the lives of the tens of thousands of mariners who were catalysts in identity formation, migration, and economic development. Our focus will be on three topics: migration, (forced and free), maritime activities (seafaring, shipping, and fishing), and trade (how merchants did business and integrated regional economies). By the end, you will hopefully appreciate the centrality of the sea to the development of Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

HIS 406 Evolution of the Current World Economic Order from 1500

The course traces the historical origins of the integration and hierarchical structure of the current global economy. It examines specifically the historical forces which produced the unequal international division of labor between industrial and non-industrial nations, starting with the British Industrial Revolution which occurred within the Atlantic world economy. The rise and fall of the USSR and the command economies of Eastern Europe are examined in the context of efforts by underdeveloped countries to improve their performance and location within the global economy. The more recent successes of some Asian countries and the continuing external debt problems of Latin American and African countries are also examined with the conceptual framework of international political economy to predict the probable future of all poor peoples both in the poor and in the rich countries.

HIS 407 Socioeconomic Development of the Atlantic World

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2010

HIS 408 The Global City

As of 2007, the majority of the world population has lived in cities. This course explores the development of global urbanism since 1945. Placing the global city in the historical context of urban settlement, we will focus on new forms of urban political and social organization, both formal and informal, as they have developed in the contemporary city. We will engage a range of complex policy issues confronting the global city, including issues of environmental and social justice, global markets and migrant labor, the infrastructural challenges of large-scale urban settlement, squatter communities and informal urbanism, and urban planning and governance. 

Last Offered: Fall 2013

HIS 409 The Mediterranean World, 1400-1800

As the meeting point between three continents—Africa, Asia, and Europe—the Mediterranean Sea has been a forum for conflict and acculturation for millennia. In the first part of this course, we will examine the work of historians who have understood the Mediterranean as a region both set apart and unified by its geography and networks of exchange. We will then test these ideas by taking a close look at issues of interconnectedness, boundary-crossing, and relations between Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Mediterranean world during the late medieval and early modern period.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 410 The Political Economy of Food in Africa

By the middle of the 19th c. a highly integrated economic system, called the Atlantic Economic Order, had emerged, linking together through a web of multilateral trade the economies of the Atlantic basin that remained unconnected in the late 15th c. The economies of Africa occupied the lowest position within this Economic Order. We examine the extent to which the Transatlantic Slave Trade could help explain this weak position. Beginning with a general view of the level of socioeconomic development in Africa by the late 15th c., relative to other regions in the Atlantic basin, we will proceed to examine the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on the competitive development of commodity production in Africa for the evolving Atlantic market of the period, as well as the socioeconomic and political consequences of the export slave trade within Africa. One major theme of the course is the extent to which the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade limited the development of capitalism in Africa during the period in question.

Last Offered: Fall 2011

HIS 411 The Atlantic Slave Trade and Africa, 1650-1851

By the middle of the 19th c. a highly integrated economic system, called the Atlantic Economic Order, had emerged, linking together through a web of multilateral trade the economies of the Atlantic basin that remained unconnected in the late 15th c. The economies of Africa occupied the lowest position within this Economic Order. We examine the extent to which the Transatlantic Slave Trade could help explain this weak position. Beginning with a general view of the level of socioeconomic development in Africa by the late 15th c., relative to other regions in the Atlantic basin, we will proceed to examine the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on the competitive development of commodity production in Africa for the evolving Atlantic market of the period, as well as the socioeconomic and political consequences of the export slave trade within Africa. One major theme of the course is the extent to which the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade limited the development of capitalism in Africa during the period in question.

HIS 412 Global Crime and Detection

This course will examine on how detective and police fiction reveals the political and cultural tensions and conflicts of a society. Our focus will be global and comparative, concentrating on post-World War II (1945 - ) life. Among the issues at the heart of the exploration are explore the limitations of social democracy and neutrality in Scandinavia, which has of late excelled in the genre, the domination of landholding families in Sicily, the corporate domination of Barcelona, the oppressiveness of apartheid in Natal, South Africa, the undemocratic rule of the ruling PRI in Mexico, the ideological blindness and bureaucratic inefficiency of Communism in China and the strange combination of capitalism and feudal structure in Japan. Supplementing each story of crime and detection will be short historical readings.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 413 N/A

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HIS 414 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 415 N/A

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HIS 416 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2012

HIS 417 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 418 N/A

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Last Offered: Fall 2011

HIS 419 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 420 Topics in Medieval European History

Selected problems in the political, social, and intellectual history of the Middle Ages.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 421 Topics in Early Modern European History

Although most people in early modern Europe lived in rural settings, cities assumed new importance during this period. We will examine these cities as capitols for newly centralized empires and as engines of commerce while also considering how urban communities responded to challenges such as poverty, crime, demographic change, and social unrest. Through case studies including Venice, Amsterdam, London, Seville, and Constantinople, we will also explore how cities brought together elite values and the ‘culture of the street’ and thus played a key role in transitions from medieval to modern society.

Last Offered: Fall 2013

HIS 422 Topics in European Cultural History

Novels, plays, music, dance, poetry, painting ... How can we use individual artistic creations as a way of learning about the politics, economics, social structures, and psychological attitudes of the past? This course will answer that question by focusing on a series of modern European examples from the French Revolution through the Second World War.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 423 World War II: Eastern Front

This course is centered on class discussion of the readings. There will be little lecture time. We will focus on the history of the Soviet Union's struggle with Nazi Germany from 1941-1945, the largest and bloodiest military conflict in human history. Readings will deal with the Holocaust, the history of military operations, the Red Army's "learning curve" in its battle with the Wehrmacht, and everyday life on Nazi-occupied territory as well as the Soviet "home front." Viewing and discussion of documentary and fictional films will be a significant part of the class.

Last Offered: Fall 2013

HIS 424 19th Century City

In seminar format, this course explores the development and character of both large and small cities in modern Europe, with more extended (but not exclusive) attention to the central European experience. We will consider the transformation of urban space during the epochal era from the late eighteenth through the late-twentieth centuries, looking at the processes of nation-building, industrialization, and commercialization, the development of mass or class cultures, and the urban dynamics of integration vs. fragmentation, private vs. public spaces, and control vs. freedom. Cities have played a crucial role in the development of European societies, often encapsulating the differences among them, while at the same time providing a space of mixing across ethnic, national, and class lines.

HIS 425 Microhistory

Microhistorians focus on the everyday experiences of ordinary people and uses these to illuminate larger issues. In doing so, microhistory has challenged traditional notions of what matters within history: by choosing “little” people and events instead of seemingly more important political events and actors, by emphasizing marginalized groups usually left out of depictions of normative human experience, and by showing the limits within which individuals have been able to make meaningful choices in their lives. In this course, we’ll read several examples of microhistory, as well as critiques of the method, in order to explore some basic questions of historical study. Can we ever truly represent past lives? Where’s the boundary between history and fiction? What’s the relationship between past and present? Which is more convincing (or truthful): qualitative or quantitative evidence? Since our emphasis will be on the method itself, students will be free to choose research topics from any time period or region.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 426 HISTORY OF ADVENTURE

Why do people climb high mountains, traverse torrid desserts, and sail icy polar seas at mortal peril to themselves and often to no particular purpose? With an emphasis on mountaineering and the exploration of extreme environments, this seminar traces the history of the persistent human tendency to engage in that dangerous and exciting form of activity that we call adventure. Readings will largely consist of classic accounts and memoirs, ranging from Christopher Columbus's journals to Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air." Course requirements to include consistent participation in seminar discussions and a final research project.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

HIS 427 REAL EXISTING SOCIALISM

This course examines the diverse history of socialist ideology as lived-experience across Europe. It beings with the first theorists of socialism and places their ideas in the context of a rapidly industrializing Europe in Germany, France, and Great Britain. From the Paris Commune to the Iron Curtain, the course explores the surprising varieties of socialist socieites that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. This course asks students to consider: how were these societies ruled and why did they fail? To what extent were they influenced by the political philosophies of the 19th century? To what extent were they a product of geo-political conflicts and the failures of capitalism in the 20th? How did socialist leaders and citizens imagine the future of socialist development? What was the every-day lived experience of secret police and state force, but also of food, fashion, music, literature, and film?

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 428 N/A

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Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 429 HISTORY OF FRIENDSHIP

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Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 430 British Imperialism

This seminar is an upper-level introduction to the history of British imperialism and colonialism from the 17th century to the present. Drawing on a variety of primary and secondary materials, we will explore such subjects as geographical exploration (from the South Seas to the Himalaya), colonial settlement and trade, the effects of empire on nature and environment, imperial psychology, imperial culture, gender and empire, decolonization, and the legacy of the British empire in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. Readings will include classic works by Hobson and Lenin as well as novels, colonial memoirs, and histories. Our format will consist of a mix of informal lectures and discussions and the occasional documentary film. Short response papers and a final research paper (or alternative project) are required.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 431 Europe in 1215

Three events taking place in 1215 provide windows for close looks into the Medieval world of Western Europe. (1) The movement for a measure of control over the rapidly expanding royal power in England produced the Magna Carta. (2) The Fourth Lateran Council legislated important elements for the centralizing and papal-directed church and stimulated the creation of a theology to reach the laity more fully. (3) Poets began writing the vast prose cycle of Arthurian, chivalric romances that we know as the Vulgate or Lancelot-Grail cycle. In short, the course considers politics, law and constitutionalism in the growth of medieval monarchy, the centralizing clerical church and its relationship with the laity, and the world of Arthurian romance. We will take up each subject in turn before each student selects a theme within one of the topics for a research paper.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 432 Stalinism

In the early 1930s Joseph Stalin consolidated his one-man dictatorship in the USSR. He and his lieutenants revolutionized Soviet society and created a new and unique political and economic system, in large part through the use of state terror. In 1941-1945 Stalin led the Soviet Union in its death struggle with Nazi Germany; in the late 1940s and early 1950s he was one of the architects of the Cold War. In this class we will study social, political, economic and cultural aspects of Stalinism. The course will be focused on discussion of readings and writing of an original research paper, about 20 pages long.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

HIS 433 Russia in East Asia

We begin with the study of various approaches to analyzing the relations between society’s balance of power realism, world systems theory, and anthropological/cultural analyses. We then use these analytical tools to examine relations between Russia and neighboring societies in East Asia over the last 150 years, beginning with the Chinese cession of the Amur region to Russia in 1858 and concluding with discussion of current competition for access to fossil fuel resources in the region. We will discuss episodes such as the Russian-Chinese-Japanese competition for influence in Korea in the 1880s, the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Russo-Japanese War, Soviet border policy and the undeclared war with Japan in the 1930s, the Soviet deportation of 700,000 Koreans from border regions in 1937-1938, the Korean War of 1950-1953, and Sino-Soviet relations after the victory of the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949. Class will be mostly devoted to discussion of readings and preparation of a final paper.

Last Offered: Fall 2012

HIS 434 The Soviet Union and the Cold War

This seminar, based around discussion of readings and a major research paper, will be focused on the Soviet side of the Cold War, including the conflict's impact on Soviet culture, society, daily life, and the economy.

Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 435 The Age of Great Cities: Europe in the Nineteenth Century

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HIS 436 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2015

HIS 437 George Orwell and the Twentieth Century

This course will approach the tortured history of the 20th century by way of the life and writings of George Orwell. Best known for his late dystopian novels 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell wrote many other memorable books and essays commenting on the signal events of his time. He experienced first hand (among other things): India, the British Empire, the Depression, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, post-war austerity and affluence, and the Cold War. And he wrote about them all with unrivaled clarity and force. Students will immerse themselves in Orwell’s life, work, and times and write a substantial research paper on a relevant topic of their own choice and design

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 438 N/A

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Last Offered: Fall 2011

HIS 439 N/A

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HIS 440 Modernity through East Asian Eyes

What is modernity? What does it mean in China, Japan, and Korea? These are vital questions---but let’s not be scared away just because they seem abstract. We will seek answers together through history, literature, and film. Each week we will discuss a theme (such as WAR, POWER, TIME, and RESISTANCE) through films and readings that help us see the puzzle one piece at a time. Our goal is to uncover how modernity has been experienced and pictured on the other side of the globe. In the process, we may gain not only a better understanding of East Asia, but also of ourselves. Note: this seminar assumes at least some basic knowledge of Asian history or society. Contact the instructor if you have not taken at least one course on Asia.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 441 Culture and Religion of the Indian Ocean

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HIS 442 Rich China, Poor China

The modern Chinese state has been shaped by its efforts to tackle economic strains. Imperial China collapsed in the throes of foreign imperialism and trade deficits. Republican China, being one of the few silver-standard countries in a gold-standard world, ran out of luck in fighting inflation. Socialist China became obsessed with a self-reliant economy, and established a state industry at the costs of impoverishing the entire rural population. And today, while China holds gigantic foreign reserves and launches spectacular Olympics and space ships, social welfare and individual rights have receded into a dim future. After toiling for gross economic surplus, will the Chinese people finally be the masters that share the fortune of the state? Come join me in this century-long and still ongoing journey, and learn the story of modern China’s search for wealth and power.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 443 N/A

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HIS 444 N/A

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HIS 445 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2012

HIS 446 Digital History: Topics on Capitalism

Interested in learning about global trade and making maps at the same time? In this class we will look at fifteen major commodities that shaped the economic landscape of the modern world: chocolate, coffee, cotton, fur, opium, oil, porcelain, silver and gold, spices, sugar, tea, timber, tobacco, wheat, and wine. Then we will take one step further, using ArcGIS to translate our book knowledge into creative digital maps. There are no prerequisites required; just bring your curiosity.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 447 N/A

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Last Offered: Spring 2010

HIS 448 N/A

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Last Offered: Fall 2010

HIS 449 N/A

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HIS 450 Captives: Past, Present, and Future (1500-2100)

Who or what is a captive? Traditionally, the term describes a person unwillingly held by colonial pirates, invading soldiers and slave traders. This advanced seminar challenges us to consider the continued practice of captivity in our present-day societies. How do prisons, migrant detention centers, and guerrillas draw on former strategies of coercion and control? How integral is the denial of personhood to these practices, past and present? What of non-human captives? This course focuses on Latin American countries (Mexico, Brazil, Colombia) and the United States, but our readings will include comparisons to Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean. We will explore how historical narratives of captivity are crafted, voiced, but also silenced. The following themes (and others) will be studied this semester: ransom, captive migrants, captive animals, sexual trafficking and imprisonment. Students will produce one short essay and a research paper on a topic of their choice. The seminar meets once a week.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 451 Urban History in Latin America, 1850-present

The twentieth century saw widespread urbanization throughout the world. As a region, Latin America experienced the most complete transition from rural to urban society during the century. This course explores the conflicts, challenges and advantages of urbanization. It also examines the role that the actual city played in local and national politics. Students will explore themes of immigration, informality and celebration through a combination of primary and secondary sources, film and literature. Prior knowledge of Latin American history is not required.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

HIS 452 Racial Democracies: Mexico vs. Brazil

Mexico and Brazil are countries with complex cultural, racial and ethnic histories. This seminar will explore the process by which these two countries grappled with their diverse populations during the modern era and how policies and attitudes impacted citizens, residents and perceptions. The course will investigate the limitations that arose from Mexico’s pursuit of a “cosmic race” and how the myth of Brazil’s “racial democracy” was created and debunked. We will debate the durability of these constructions and the limitations that arise from cross-country comparisons.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 453 N/A

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HIS 454 N/A

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HIS 455 N/A

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HIS 456 N/A

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Last Offered: Fall 2012

HIS 457 America and the Holocaust

This seminar considers both the role of the United States as a "bystander" nation during the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis in World War II and the place of the Holocaust in postwar American culture. Readings and films include The Diary of Anne Frank, Maus, Judgment at Nuremberg, Sophie's Choice, and Schindler's List. Two short papers and one substantial research paper.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 458 Women's Lives and Letters: America 1830-1880

Using manuscript correspondence of women from upstate New York in the mid-19th century, students will explore the historical themes contained in the letters--literature and reading, the creation of epistolary selves, readership and authorship, friendship, marriage, motherhood, illness and death, child-rearing, education, spirituality and religion, medical practice, and reform, including abolitionism and women's rights, among other public and domestic themes. Reading in secondary sources will historicize the letters' content; research projects will draw on other primary sources in UR's collections. Students will each transcribe and annotate about ten letters, identifying people and places named in them, and learn text encoding in order to tag the letters for the Seward Family Archive website.

Last Offered: Fall 2016

HIS 459 Birth in the Nation: A History of Reproduction in the United States

Childbirth is often viewed as a “natural”female biological function. As a result, many people assume that birthing is essentially the same acrosshistorical eras and cultures. In this class, we will take theopposite approach to the topicsof childbirth andreproductive health.Ourobjective will be to explore how women’s reproductive experiences and the meanings attached to such experiences have changed over time and why. We will consider topics such asthe evolutionof the field of obstetrics, the decline and resurgence of midwifery,politics and policies surrounding infant and maternal mortality, and the development and availabilityof various reproductive technologies. This is a research seminar, so students will further explore these issues through their own research and writing on some aspect of the history of reproduction. Readings anddiscussions will focus on the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but students may explore the location and period of their choice in their papers.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 460 America and the World to 1865

An introductory course for graduate students planning to take a teaching field in American History. It is about the age of Europe's empires (c.1500-1865) and the rise of their global hegemony. It is about the causes, consequences, and spread of an international market economy as both the impulse (cause) of European political expansion and the partner (sponsor) of imperialism. About 400 pages of reading per week, two essays and a final exam.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 461 American and the World since 1865

Explores the major interpretations of American history from Reconstruction to the late 20th c. resurgence of conservatism. Senior history majors may register by invitation only.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 462 American Thought: Topics course

Selected topics in American thought, treating it in its social, political, and cultural context.

HIS 463 American Culture in the Great Depression and World War II

This course is an investigation of American cultural life during the Great Depression and Second World War (1929-1945). Emphasis on the interpretation of primary resources. Class will examine a range of material: autobiography, reportage, novels, movies, art, architecture, material culture, photography, social thought, and music. No prerequisites, though HIS 148 and/or HIS 252 would be helpful. Reading and discussion; two short papers and one longer paper.

Last Offered: Spring 2010

HIS 464 The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom

After a discussion of the Moynihan Report controversy and an assessment of the literature on the black family, the readings will investigate why and how stable black families were encouraged, and how they developed under slavery. The impact of factors such as economics, politics, religion, gender, medicine, and the proximity of free families, on the structure of the black family will be given special attention. In this way, the structure of the slave family on the eve of Emancipation, and its preparedness for freedom, will be tested and assessed. Students will be encouraged to identify persistent links between the "history" of slavery and the black family, and the development of social policy.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

HIS 465 Topics in Early American History

This seminar introduces students to recent scholarship in the study of early America. Topics and approaches may include slavery and the formation of African-American culture, Revolutionary resistance, Euro-Indian encounters, religion and witchcraft, micro-history, gender roles, warfare, and environmental history. Using selected monographs, we will not only examine various interpretations of past events, but also dissect texts to discern how historians use evidence from the past to construct historical narratives - how historians "make" history.

Last Offered: Fall 2010

HIS 466 18th Century Anglo-America

Readings on the history and historiography of 18th c. Great Britain, the European Empires, and North America from the Glorious Revolution through the American Revolution, adoption of the US Constitution, and the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams. The readings will address social, political, intellectual, and cultural issues, the history of slavery, race relations, religion, the environment, immigration, and American Indians.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

HIS 467 Topics in Revolutionary America

This course explores the roots of the American Revolution and uses recent scholarship to consider how the war affected a wide array of Americans. We will also situate the American Revolution in its Atlantic and global contexts as we examine the course of the war and its enduring legacies.

HIS 468 American Culture at Mid-Twentieth Century, 1946-1975

The seminar addresses the central themes of American cultural life in the mid-twentieth century -- the growing importance of psychological explanation, the emphasis on remaking norms, and the difficulties in maintaining or find oneself. Among the issues considered are the contributions of Jews and African-Americans, abstract expressionism, the rise of youth as cultural producers, the new sexuality, and feminism.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

HIS 469 Global America, 1865-Present

This course is a study of the rise of the United States to international hegemony in the century and a half after the Civil War. It explores the impact of American power and ideology beyond its shores and the manner in which domestic politics and culture have, in turn, been shaped by the interdependent world that its imperial project has done so much to foster.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

HIS 470 Topics in 19th Century American Cultural History

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HIS 471 Topics in 20th Century American Cultural History

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Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 472 Topics in 20th Century US History

A research seminar in 20th century American history. Some common reading in recent work in the field will be coupled with independent, individualized student research projects.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

HIS 473 American Health Policy and Politics

This course examines the formation and evolution of American health policy from a political and historical perspective. Concentrating primarily on developments from 1932 to the mid-1990s, readings and seminar discussions focus on political forces and institutions and on historical and cultural contexts. Among the topics covered are periodic campaigns for national health insurance, efforts to rationalize and regionalize health care institutions, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid and the further evolution of these programs, the rise of dominance of economists and economic analysis in the shaping of health policy, incremental and state-based vs. universal and federal initiatives, and the formation and failure of the Clinton administration's health reform agenda.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 474 N/A

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HIS 475 Benjamin Franklin's America

This research seminar explores political, cultural, intellectual, and scientific topics in colonial America, circa 1710 to 1790 through the multifaceted figure of Benjamin Franklin.

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 476 Plantation Societies in the Americas

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HIS 477 Emergence of the Modern Congress

Through intensive reading and discussion, we will analyze the major institutional features of Congress, with an emphasis on historical development. We will examine the basic institutions of the House and Senate--committees, parties, leaders, and rules. In doing this, we will consider the rise of careerism, the seniority system, agenda-setting, electoral concerns, divided government, efforts at institutional reform, party polarization, gridlock, and the Senate filibuster.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 478 The Seward Family's Civil War

A hands-on introduction to web-design and historical editing using the Papers of William Henry Seward (1801-1872), Governor of New York, US Senator, and Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. The Rush Rhees Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation Department holds the collection, which contains Seward’s public and private correspondence, and that of family members, including his wife, five children, and their extended family. The course will include background reading on the Civil War era, technical instruction on web design in a computer lab, transcribing, editing, annotating historical manuscripts using the original documents, and participation in construction of a website for a digital edition of the papers. This course is a prerequisite for HIS 320: Seward Family in Peace and War, and internships working on the Seward Family digital editorial project.

Last Offered: Fall 2014

HIS 479 The Seward Family in Peace and War

A history class in the digital studies curriculum that assumes no background in either one. It is a hands-on introduction to the history of the family, gender, and the antebellum and Civil War eras, to historical editing, and to website design and creation, using the Papers of William Henry Seward (1801-1872), Governor of New York, US Senator, and Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. This semester, we will focus on the family’s correspondence from the 1830s, when Seward was away in Albany much of the time, first as a state senator and then as the governor of New York. Topics include the cholera epidemic of 1832, romantic love, and household economy.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 480 The Visual Culture of Heritage and Identity

Cultural critic Stuart Hall has observed that Heritage is a discursive practice. It is one of the ways in which the nation slowly constructs for itself a sort of collective social memory. This upper level seminar will look at case studies of how people (through the collectivities of gender, ethnicity, race, or nation) construct visual narratives about the past. Among the topics for consideration are Holocaust memorials, Native American and Polynesian museums and cultural centers, African American quilt histories, and even individual artists projects of the last few decades (Judy Chicago, Fred Wilson, Silvia Gruner, José Bedia, and Jolene Rickard, among others). We will see how various constituencies have borrowed from what Arjun Appadurai has called a warehouse of cultural scenarios in order to construct a useable past that supplies what is needed in the present, irrespective of its relationship to the verifiable realities of the past.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 481 Just and Unjust Wars

The seminar considers the concept of just war and the application of just war theory to specific historical cases. Together we will discuss several models Arendt, Augustine, Clausewitz, and Waltzer at the beginning of the semester, and at least one scholars application of theory to a specific case. Students will identify the specific war on which they intend to focus their research, primary and secondary sources they will consult, and the questions they will ask. At different stages we will meet to discuss shared readings, one-page research proposals, bibliographies, thesis statements, first paragraphs, and first drafts of research papers.

HIS 482 Apocalypse Now...and Then: A History of Apocalyptic Thought

This seminar examines the history of beliefs about the end of the world in the western Judeo-Christian tradition. We will examine such topics as the birth of apocalyptic thought, the medieval development of various aspects of traditions about the End (such as the figure of Antichrist and millenarian traditions), millennial influences on the discovery and colonization of the New World, millennial movements of the last two centuries (such as the Millerites and the Mormons), and contemporary apocalyptic scenarios. A major theme of the course will be the flexibility of apocalyptic language, its ability to interpret various historical situations, and its power to move people to acceptance or action.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 483 Disease and Society from Antiquity to the Present

What is the relationship between disease and the society in which it strikes? How do societies define disease, and how does culture affect the treatment of the sick? How have scholars written the history of disease? In this research seminar, students will explore such questions by examining interactions between disease and society in western cultures from antiquity through the present, at the same time pondering what this insight can tell us as we face the frightening prospect of new killers like Ebola and resistant strains of old diseases like tuberculosis. Throughout, the course will insist that the experience of disease is not simply a biological fact, but is conditioned by the culture in which we live.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 484 The Family in History

Family history is a sub-field of study that grew over the past fifty years as an aspect of social and cultural history. During the first half of the semester, we will discuss shared foundational readings as students define their individual research project and present a proposal, bibliography, and thesis statement. All students will research and write two drafts of a primary-source based research paper in the range of 20-30 pages in length in addition to footnotes or endnotes and bibliography according to the Chicago Manual of Style. Students may, if they are interested, focus their research on the Seward Family Papers, of which a substantial number of letters have been transcribed over the past two years. This documentary editing project draws on the correspondence of the Seward family of Auburn, New York during the period 1817-1872.

Last Offered: Spring 2015

HIS 485 Digital History: Building a Virtual St. George's

Students will conduct guided research using a variety of software and historical sources to help create a Virtual Digital St. George's - a 400-year-old town with approximately 250 properties and historic buildings. We will build multi-layer 2D and selective 3D computer models of the oldest town in English America (founded 1612). Work will include integrating different types of historical data into databases, independent research on specific buildings and property owners using digital newspaper archives, and "building" individual 3D houses within the town. The course will culminate with each student designing a game or simulation that helps the general public understand history better or designing a mobile device app to educate and enhance the experiences of modern visitors to the town.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

HIS 486 The Other Atlantic: Ethnohistory, Chronicle, and Memory

This seminar engages the experiences, writings and political ambitions of individuals typically excluded from discussions of the “Atlantic.” Key concepts such as “Atlantic creoles” and the “Black Atlantic” will be debated in light of recent studies on Sephardic merchants, African healers and Native American intellectuals. In order to contextualize their lives, this course will focus on the Iberian and South Atlantic from the early sixteenth to the late nineteenth century. Our initial readings will center on the circulation of Native American commoners and elites to Spain and will be complemented by seminal ethnohistorical studies. The second part of the course will take on the construction of a South or “Lusophone ocean” that weaves together the histories of Brazilian, Angolan and Portuguese actors. In the closing weeks of the course, students will produce an original research paper on a topic of their choice.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

HIS 487 Wives, Witches, and Wenches: Women in American History

This course surveys American history through the words and work of women. Well-known historical events and developments--including but not limited to the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, the Great Depression, and the protest movements of the 1960s—look different when considered from the perspective of women. The course will further examine how social categories such as race, class, sexuality, and religion have shaped women’s historical experiences. Broad in chronological scope, this course is not intended to be comprehensive. Rather, we will utilize primary and secondary sources to delve into important historical moments and to explore questions about the practice and politics of studying women’s history.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 488 Research Colloquium: Lewis Henry Morgan's Bicentennial

This colloquium will focus on the life, works and contested legacies of Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881), a Rochester attorney and founding figure of American anthropology. Students will conduct original research using archival materials and museum collections on campus and at local cultural institutions. This research will provide content for exhibitions, events, and a website to be planned in connection with the bicentennial of Morgan’s birth.

Last Offered: Spring 2018

HIS 489 Archaeology Field and Research Methods

Using Smiths Island, Bermuda, as a historical laboratory, this course trains students in archival research and archaeological survey, excavation, and lab analysis techniques and prepares them for professional work as historical archaeologists. Students will also learn about Bermudian and Atlantic historical developments, trade relations, and slavery and the African diaspora since 1610. Participants will also be introduced to archaeological conservation, museum studies, and underwater archaeological techniques. No prior archaeology experience is necessary.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

HIS 491 Reading Course at the Master's Level

Individual, specialized reading courses; topics, relevant to student's program, chosen in consultation with faculty member.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 495 Research at the Master's Level

Graduate level research course for the M.A. level.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 496 Extended Reading at the M.A.

Individual, specialized extended reading courses; topics, relevant to student's program, chosen in consultation with faculty member.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 498 ARCH FIELD&RESEARCH METHODS

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2015

HIS 499 FIELD & RES METHODS BERMUDA

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2018

HIS 500 Problems in Historical Analysis

This course addresses questions of interest to beginning graduate students in history. These may include: the history of the historical profession, styles of historical writing, relations between history and literature, ethno-history, and the functions of history as criticism and as social memory.

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 501 Worlds of Inquiry

Introduces students to the interests of the Rochester faculty, which fall into three spheres of inquiry -- the world of nations, which emphasizes the complications of government, nationalism, war, and power; the world of goods, which concentrates on commerce and trade, the supporting institutions and the consequence of various modes of production and consumption, and students will read a sequence of exemplary works in each world — works that will acquaint them with the rudiments of each sphere, the problems under investigation and some of the solutions offered.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 502 N/A

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 503 N/A

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2013

HIS 510 Advanced Historical Studies

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 511 Readings in 19th Century American History

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 512 Research in 19th Century American Intellectual History

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 513 Readings in 20th Century American Intellectual History

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2013

HIS 514 Research in 20th Century American Intellectual History

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

HIS 520 Advanced Historical Studies

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 530 Advanced Historical Studies

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 590 Supervised Teaching in History

Individual instruction in the teaching of history under the supervision of a faculty member. For first-year Ph.D. students.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 591 Reading Course at the PhD Level

Individual, specialized reading courses; topics, relevant to student's program, chosen in consultation with faculty member.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 592 Independent Reading Course

Individual, specialized independent reading courses; topics, relevant to student's program, chosen in consultation with faculty member.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 593 Apprentice Teaching in History

Apprentice teachers act as participant-observers in an undergraduate course under the close supervision of a member of the faculty. Ordinarily, students will attend the course; hold weekly meetings with the professor to discuss the progress of the course, and, in many cases, consider strategies for teaching the week’s assigned reading, assist the professor in preparing examination questions, paper topics, and other written assignments; gain experience in evaluating undergraduates’ work by reading and commenting on (but not grading) exams and essays; and prepare a lecture or lead a class discussion.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 595 Research at the PhD Level

Graduate level research course for the Ph.D. level.

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 595A N/A

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 596 N/A

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 890 N/A

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011

HIS 895 Continuation of MA Enrollment

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 897 Master's Thesis in Absentia

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 899 Master's Thesis

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 899A N/A

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2018

HIS 899B N/A

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 985 Leave of Absence

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 986V FULL TIME VISITING STUDENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 990 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011

HIS 995 Continuation of PhD Enrollment

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 997 PhD Dissertation

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 997A PhD Dissertation In-Absentia

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 999 PhD Dissertation

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 999A Doctoral Dissertation in Absentia

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019

HIS 999B PhD Dissertation In-Absentia Abroad

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2019