History

Academic Year 2022 – 2023

General Information

Address
Dickinson Hall
Phone

Program Offerings:

  • Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:

Leanne Horinko ((Graduate Assistant))

Overview

The graduate program in history values an approach to scholarship grounded in the particular while retaining a sense of the whole. The faculty encourage students to take as comprehensive a view of history as possible with the goal of cultivating a far-reaching understanding of the past. Throughout their enrollment, students develop the necessary skills to conduct discipline-defining research.

Vibrant intellectual communities within the department and across campus encourage students to engage in interdisciplinary conversations with faculty, other students, and visiting scholars. Faculty advisers supervise the progress of each student and closely oversee the research and writing of the dissertation. Deep departmental commitment to professional development aids students in becoming expert historians and effective teachers.

Apply

Application deadline
December 1, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (This deadline is for applications for enrollment beginning in fall 2023)
Program length
5 years
Fee
$75
GRE
General Test optional

Additional departmental requirements

Ph.D. applicants are required to select a subplan when applying.

Sample of written work.

Optional: Applicants may submit a statement with their application, briefly describing how their academic interests, background, or life experiences would advance Princeton’s commitment to diversity within the Graduate School and to training individuals in an increasingly diverse society. Please submit a succinct statement of no more than 500 words.

Program Offerings

Courses

First-year students are expected to enroll in three courses each semester (including HIS 500 in the fall). Second-year students ordinarily enroll in two courses the first semester and one course the second semester. Courses include: graduate seminars offered by the history department; graduate seminars in other departments; undergraduate courses; supervised research papers; and supervised general reading. Although much of each student's program will be aimed at preparing for the general examination, students are strongly advised to take some courses in the first two years that do not fall within their general examination fields. For most students, the first two years of graduate school will provide the last opportunity to receive systematic instruction in subjects outside their specialized interests.

Language(s)

The minimum requirement of the department is a reading knowledge of either French or German (or Spanish in the case of American history). Within each field, the faculty decides which additional languages are required and the degree of proficiency that is required. In rare cases when the student, the student's adviser, and the director of graduate studies all agree that the substitution of another language is reasonable, appropriate, and academically sound, some other language may be used in place of French or German. The following field requirements typically apply, although some sub-fields may require additional languages (applicants should check with the department if in doubt):

  • American history—proficiency in either Spanish, French, or German; a high level of proficiency is required.
  • British history—proficiency in either French or German; a high level of proficiency is required.
  • East Asian history—proficiency in one East Asian language and one European language.
  • European history—proficiency in two languages other than English, one of which is either French or German. Students in medieval history are normally expected to be proficient in Latin, French, and German. Students in Byzantine history should be proficient in ancient/medieval Greek, French, and German, and preferably Latin or one other ancient language.
  • Latin American history—proficiency in two of the following: Spanish, Portuguese, French, or an indigenous language subject to faculty approval.
  • Middle East history—proficiency in one Middle East language and one European language.
  • Russian history—proficiency in Russian and either French or German.
  • South Asian history—proficiency in one South Asian language and one European language.

The faculty of the history department set most of the language examinations. Examinations in some languages, however, may be administered by appropriate language departments at Princeton. Normally the examination consists of two passages to be translated, one with and one without a dictionary. Language examinations will be announced at the beginning of each semester. Other examinations should be scheduled in consultation with the director of graduate studies and (if appropriate) the department involved.

Entering students should arrange one language examination early in their first term. The department expects students to pass at least one language examination before enrolling for the second year. It is expected that all students fulfill the language requirement before taking the general examination and enrolling for a fifth term. In fields that demand more than two languages, all but one of them must be passed prior to enrolling for a third term. Second-year students who fail the language exam at the regularly scheduled time may petition the director of graduate studies and receive a second chance to take the exam in the same term, in order to fulfill the language obligation at a time that interferes less with generals preparation.

Additional pre-generals requirements

Students are required to write two research papers based on primary sources before sitting for the general examination.  Students often write one of these research papers in the context of a graduate seminar, and another based on independent research.  The first must be completed and certified by June 15 of the first year of enrollment, and the second by April 1 of the second year.

Students are required to fulfill the mandatory Responsible Conduct of Research seminar over the course of their first year.

General exam

The general examination tests the candidate’s knowledge of three distinct fields of historical study, one to be offered as the major field, and two as minors. To be eligible to complete the general examination, students must have fulfilled the appropriate language requirements and completed all of the work in the courses in which they have enrolled. No student with an incomplete from a course taken in the first three semesters will be permitted to complete the general examination until the outstanding course work has been finished.

The general examination consists of three written papers, one in each field, and an oral examination of not more than two hours. All three fields must normally be completed by May of the second year of study.

Examination fields are individually defined, in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Each field must be defined closely enough to permit the candidate to show evidence of intensive study, and broadly enough to have major historical significance. Common examples of examination fields include: Europe since 1870; the Ancien Régime and the Revolution in France; Tudor-Stuart England; Colonial and Revolutionary America; the United States, 1815–1920; Modern Japan; Modern Latin America; and the Atlantic world. Students are encouraged, if they wish, to choose a minor field in a subject from a discipline other than history. In all cases, candidates submit the titles of their fields to the director of graduate studies in the spring of their second year of study.

A student who completes all departmental requirements (coursework, language exams, and research papers, with no incompletes from the first year and first semester of the second year) but fails one or two of the general examination fields may take the exam a second time. A student who fails one or two of the examination fields needs to retake only the field(s) in which the student failed. If a student fails all three general examination fields, the Director of Graduate Studies will consult with the examining committee to determine whether the student should be reenrolled and given the opportunity to retake the exam or should be awarded the terminal M.A. degree and have his or her enrollment terminated. If the student fails the general examination a second time, Ph.D. candidacy is automatically terminated. The student must resolve any incompletes from the final semester’s coursework before the terminal M.A. degree may be awarded.

Qualifying for the M.A.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy, awarded after the student has completed the general exam, but also may be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program. Students who have satisfactorily passed all required coursework (with all incompletes resolved), fulfilled the language requirements in their field of study, and completed the two required research papers may be awarded an M.A. degree.

Teaching

The Department of History tries to provide part-time teaching experience for most of the advanced graduate students who desire it. Funding is not dependent on teaching. Teaching assistantships generally involve two to four classroom hours a week and should not interfere with progress toward completing the dissertation. Appointments are made by the department chair, according to the needs of the undergraduate teaching schedule, to post-generals students.

Post-Generals requirements

Prospectus: Students will normally participate in the department's mandatory Dissertation Prospectus Workshop in June of the second year.

To be eligible, students must have passed their general examinations and have done so no later than their fourth semester of enrollment, or have special permission from the Director of Graduate Studies to participate. Passing the Prospectus Seminar is a required part of degree work in the department. Students are expected to participate actively and devote their time and effort to completing a fully shaped prospectus before the summer is over.

Continuation as an enrolled student into the spring semester  of the G 3 year will be contingent upon approval of the prospectus. Students are required to have a meeting together with their adviser and first reader (or with their two co-advisers) in the weeks following the seminar. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for the student to benefit from informal conversation with their key mentors regarding the intellectual and practical plans for the project. Their formal agreement is then given with the approval form, which should be signed by both the adviser and the first reader following the meeting, and which must be filed with the Graduate Office before December 1 of the student’s third year, or within six months of completing the general examination for students whose exams are split or delayed. 

Dissertation and FPO

Students are expected to complete the research and writing of the dissertation by the end of their fifth year of graduate study; earlier completion is certainly feasible in many cases.

The scope and length of the dissertation should be defined so that the dissertation can be completed in no more than three years of research and writing. The scope of the dissertation and its length vary from student to student; the decision scope and length, reached in consultation between the student and the supervisor, is based on the nature of the problem and the documentation. The completed dissertation may be as short as 75 pages or as long as 300. Only in exceptional circumstances should it exceed 300 pages. Whatever the scope or length, the dissertation must be capable of being developed for publication as a book or a series of articles in scholarly journals.

When the dissertation is completed, it is read by three readers in addition to the adviser; one of these three readers is normally not a faculty member of the Princeton history department. After the dissertation has been accepted, the candidate must pass a final public oral examination, which normally is conducted by a board consisting of the student’s adviser and the three readers.

The Ph.D. is awarded after the candidate’s doctoral dissertation has been accepted and the final public oral examination sustained.

Faculty

  • Chair

    • Angela N. Creager
  • Associate Chair

    • Margot Canaday
  • Director of Graduate Studies

    • Beth Lew-Williams
    • Erika L. Milam
    • Jack B. Tannous (acting)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies

    • Janet Y. Chen
  • Professor

    • Jeremy I. Adelman
    • David A. Bell
    • D. Graham Burnett
    • Margot Canaday
    • David N. Cannadine
    • Janet Y. Chen
    • Linda J. Colley
    • Thomas D. Conlan
    • Angela N. Creager
    • Yaacob Dweck
    • Laura F. Edwards
    • Sheldon M. Garon
    • Michael D. Gordin
    • Anthony T. Grafton
    • Molly Greene
    • Katja Guenther
    • Tera W. Hunter
    • Alison E. Isenberg
    • Harold James
    • William C. Jordan
    • Emmanuel H. Kreike
    • Kevin M. Kruse
    • Michael F. Laffan
    • Erika L. Milam
    • Yair Mintzker
    • Gyan Prakash
    • Ekaterina Pravilova
    • Helmut Reimitz
    • Marina Rustow
    • Emily Thompson
    • Keith A. Wailoo
    • Sean Wilentz
    • Julian E. Zelizer
  • Associate Professor

    • Edward G. Baring
    • He Bian
    • Vera S. Candiani
    • Jacob S. Dlamini
    • Joshua B. Guild
    • Matthew J. Karp
    • Beth Lew-Williams
    • Rosina A. Lozano
    • Federico Marcon
    • Jennifer M. Rampling
    • Teresa Shawcross
    • Jack B. Tannous
    • Wendy Warren
    • Max D. Weiss
  • Assistant Professor

    • Rhae Lynn Barnes
    • Michael A. Blaakman
    • Divya Cherian
    • Elizabeth Ellis
    • Isadora M. Mota
    • Iryna Vushko
    • Xin Wen
    • Natasha G. Wheatley
    • Trenton W. Wilson
    • Peter Wirzbicki
    • Corinna Zeltsman
  • Associated Faculty

    • Wallace D. Best, Religion
    • Michael A. Cook, Near Eastern Studies
    • M. Sükrü Hanioglu, Near Eastern Studies
    • Bernard A. Haykel, Near Eastern Studies
    • Eileen A. Reeves, Comparative Literature
    • Nigel Smith, English
  • Lecturer

    • James A. Dun
    • Joseph M. Fronczak

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

CLA 547 - Problems in Ancient History (also HIS 557/HLS 547/PAW 503)

Study of a topic involving both ancient Greece and ancient Rome, such as imperialism or slavery, from a comparative perspective.

EAS 518 - Qing History (also HIS 532)

Topics in Chinese social and cultural history, 1600-1900, ranging from material culture, popular religion, and education to the history of science.

EAS 568 - Readings in Ancient and Medieval Japanese History (also HIS 568)

This course is designed to introduce fundamental themes and debates about ancient and medieval Japanese history, and how conceptualizations of Japan have changed from the third century CE through 1600. Approximately two books, or a comparable number of articles, are required each week, and wherever possible, a brief passage of Japanese scholarship will be presented as well. Reading knowledge of modern Japanese is desirable.

HIS 500 - Introduction to the Professional Study of History

A colloquium to introduce the beginning graduate student to the great traditions in historical writing, a variety of techniques and analytical tools recently developed by historians, and the nature of history as a profession.

HIS 501 - Global History (1850s - Present)

This seminar offers a history of global interactions roughly since the 1850s, combining an analytical framework with an overarching narrative. It singles out geopolitics, political economy, empire, networks and exchange, warfare and welfare, and oil. Key themes include the Anglo-German antagonism, the U.S.-Japan clash, the rise and fall of global communism, the German story and the European Union, the fall and rise of China, and America's global predominance and partnerships.

HIS 503 - Research Ethics and the Dissertation Prospectus (also HOS 503)

The course includes an intensive two-day, 12-hour training program in eight sessions designed to introduce post-generals students in History and History of Science to key issues of responsibility in research, including: problems in sources, data collection and processing; responsible authorship and peer review; human subjects, oral history, and intellectual property; collaborative research; research misconduct; and history in society. Each session is introduced by one or more faculty members. Students are assigned readings as well as on line resources. The dissertation prospectus part of the course includes eight additional 3-hour sessions.

HIS 504 - Colonial Latin America to 1810 (also LAS 524)

An examination of selected subjects in early Latin American history from the apogees of the great Amerindian civilizations, through the years of Spanish and Portuguese imperial control to the rebellions preceding independence. The course emphasizes social and cultural change, explores developments in historiography, and treats a variety of major problems in the field.

HIS 506 - Modern Latin American History Since 1810 (also LAS 526)

This course covers some of the major themes in Latin American historiography. It centers on the formation and contestation of different levels of community, from the local to the national, and gives additional consideration to Latin America's integration into global economic and political processes.

HIS 507 - Environmental History: Plural Global and Local Narratives

The course critically assesses the paradigms and models underlying the analysis and description of environmental change and explores alternative ways of understanding and narrating environmental change beyond the constraints of the current linear, singular, and homogenizing Nature-to-Culture conceptualizations. The class readings draw from different historical periods and different parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.

HIS 513 - Themes in World History, 1300-1850

This seminar attempts to understand the historical processes that have divided the modern world into the West and the non-West. While it emphasizes the study of non-Western regions, its aim is to highlight global transformations that have connected their histories with the formation and dominance of the West.

HIS 514 - Colonization and Spaces of Urban Modernity: Readings

This graduate seminar focuses on the varied and discrepant historical experiences and representations of urban modernity. Drawing on a wide variety of literature from different disciplines and regions, we critically examine some of the major approaches in the study of modern cities, and engage with the concept of modernity in its different historical locations. A central theme of the seminar is to examine urban modernity as a mode of colonization of everyday life, an examination that will take the class to the history of modern cities across the world and different historical periods.

HIS 515 - Modern African History: Society, Violence, Displacement, and Memory

Reading and research on Africa from the partition to independence are the focus of this course. Topics include the forces that impelled Europe to partition Africa in the 1880s, the impact of Europe on Africa, modernization, resistance, nationalism, and decolonialization. The first nine weeks are devoted to general readings introducing these topics; for the remainder of the term, students work on a research project of their own choosing.

HIS 516 - Comparative Slavery

This graduate level readings seminar introduces students to the historiography of Atlantic slavery, largely but not exclusively focused on the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Indigenous slavery, imperial slavery, chattel slavery, and other forms of bonded labor are covered. Comparative readings also may introduce alternate trajectories and models of slavery in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

HIS 517 - Southeast Asian Islams

This seminar explores topics ranging from the Islamization of Insular Southeast Asia, the development of Muslim polities, reactions to colonialism, and transnational critiques of everyday praxis. It evaluates the role of indigenous informants in creating the body of knowledge about Islam in Southeast Asia among scholars, and looks at how that knowledge informs our present day discourse on the region and its relations with the rest of the Muslim World.

HIS 518 - Topics in Middle East History (also NES 519)

This graduate seminar examines key historiographical and methodological issues in modern Middle Eastern history. Based on student interest, themes and materials may vary. Based on student interest, readings in Arabic will be added where appropriate.

HIS 519 - Topics in the History of Sex and Gender (also GSS 519/HOS 519)

A study of the historical connections linking sex and gender to major social, political, and economic transformations. Comparative approaches are taken either in time or by region, or both. Topics may include family, gender, and the economy; gender, religion, and political movements; gender and the state; and gender and cultural representation.

HIS 523 - Topics in Modern South Asia

This course explores special topics in modern South Asian history. The precise topic varies from year to year.

HIS 526 - Readings in Early Modern Japanese History (also EAS 521)

Selected topics in the institutional and intellectual history of Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. Students attend the meetings of 321 and take part in a special graduate discussion group.

HIS 527 - 20th-Century Japanese History (also EAS 522)

Selected topics in Japanese social and economic history since 1900.

HIS 530 - Modern China (also EAS 520)

This seminar will examine the major historiographical and methodological issues in Chinese history for the period 1600-1900. We will read and evaluate the most important historians and consider the issues that seem especially provocative or interesting.

HIS 534 - Russian Lies: Forgeries and Mystifications in History and Culture (also SLA 534)

This course explores how the boundaries between the fake and the authentic were established, contested, and employed in Russian literature, art, politics, and historiography. In a series of scholarly investigations of major forgeries and mystifications, the course tests various methodologies of working with (seemingly) "unreliable sources" (Lotman). The topics include: values and dangers of mystifications; ethics and art of forgery; political impostors and con men, imaginary works and personalities, pseudo-translations, etc.

HIS 536 - Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean (also HLS 536/MED 536)

The littoral of the Mediterranean Sea has long been viewed as a major place of contact, conflict and exchange for groups belonging to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course approaches the encounters of different religions and ethnicities in such a manner as to introduce students not only to the classic historiography on the subject, but also to the main controversies and debates current in scholarship. Our discussions involve forays into the fields of transnational and global history.

HIS 537 - Islam Across the Indian Ocean

This seminar will consider Islam and mobility across the Indian Ocean, discussing ways that Southeast Asians, Africans, and Indians have created their distinct communities while nonetheless declaring themselves to be of one discrete entity: the Umma. Alongside discussions of knowledge creation, orientalism and nationalism, the seminar will also explore issues relating to global projects for religious and political reform, using Indonesia as a primary example.

HIS 538 - Modern Middle East (also NES 517)

This graduate reading seminar explores important works in the history of the modern and contemporary Middle East. Weekly readings consist of scholarly monographs on a particular theme, to be read and discussed in conjunction with related articles and other readings. Students are evaluated on active oral participation, two presentations, one critical book review as well as a longer historiographical essay.

HIS 540 - Themes in World History, 1300-1850: Ottoman History (also HLS 545/NES 548)

This course introduces students to the recent theoretical literature on the history of the sea as well as the current historiography on the early modern (1300-1850) Mediterranean. The Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic and North Africa all feature prominently. Students must be able to write a paper based on primary sources. Wide latitude is given in order to accommodate student interest.

HIS 543 - The Origins of the Middle Ages (also HLS 543)

Reading and research on the transition of ancient into medieval society, religion, and culture are the focus of the course.

HIS 544 - Seminar in Medieval History (also MED 544)

Selected problems in the social, administrative, and legal history of Western Europe in the Middle Ages, primarily during the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries.

HIS 547 - Revolutionary Lives in the Atlantic World

This course will take a new approach to the "Age of Democratic Revolutions," looking at the French, American and Haitian Revolutions through the prism of biography, and notions of selfhood. It will explore how individuals attempted to construct and reconstruct their lives during his period of unprecedented tumult. It will also examine how we can recapture those lives,and how individual biographies can illuminate the period's larger events.

HIS 548 - Histories of Language and Communication

How should we think about the history of language and communication, especially in light of the digital revolution of our own time? This course considers the different themes, approaches, and conclusions of recent scholars of history and related fields. Reading and discussion of one or two books each week. All readings in English. No prior knowledge required.

HIS 549 - Enlightenment and Revolution in France

A survey of the main themes (social, political, and intellectual) in the development of France since the last years of Louis XIV, followed by intensive study of the Revolution. A reading knowledge of French is required.

HIS 550 - Topics in Historical Studies

This course offers students an opportunity to explore topics related to the Davis Center Seminar. Topics studied vary as the Davis Center theme changes every two years.

HIS 551 - Problems in French History

Topics in French history from the Napoleonic era to the present. Political volatility, imperial grandeur, artistic creativity: how do these facets of modern French life fit together and mutually interact? Topics will vary from year to year.

HIS 552 - International Financial History

The course examines financial innovation and its consequences from the early modern period to present: it examines the evolution of trading practices, bills of exchange, government bonds, equities, banking activity, derivatives markets, securitization. How do these evolve in particular state or national settings, how are the practices regulated, how do they relate to broader processes of economic development and to state formation? What happens as financial instruments are traded across state boundaries, and how does an international financial order evolve? What are the effects of international capital mobility?

HIS 554 - Global History of Capitalism, c. 1850-Present

This course surveys capitalism's beginning. It asks students to think about comparative responses to global economic integration. Topics include: European free trade and the "opening" of Asia and Africa, the gold standard and international finance, and commodity chains. We examine the economic consequences of world war and the Great Depression, the reconstruction and the experiment in multilateralism with the Bretton Woods system and its breakdown in the 1970s and origins of recent globalization. There are three running themes: the history of commodities, the changes in global finance, and the role of institutions.

HIS 555 - Monotheism and Society from Constantine to Harun al-Rashid (also HLS 555)

This seminar introduces students to some of the most important ideas and debates surrounding the major religious revolutions of Late Antiquity, including the triumph of Christianity over paganism and the advent of Islam followed by astonishing world conquests. The course focuses on reading both primary and secondary literature; texts may also be read in Greek, Syriac, and Arabic. No prior knowledge of Late Antiquity, Christianity, or Islam will be assumed in the course.

HIS 556 - The Russian Empire: 1672-1917

This seminar covers major topics of Russian history from the late 17th century to 1917: political cultures and the institutions of autocracy; Russia in the age of Enlightenment; Nationalism and the policy toward non-Russian nationalities; Russian Empire in comparative perspective; Church and State in Imperial Russia; Russian village before and after the emancipation of peasants; social, legal, and cultural reforms; revolutionary movement and the development of Russian political thought.

HIS 559 - The Soviet Empire and Successor States

Readings and research in the culture, society, economy, and politics of the Soviet empire and successor states are the focus of this course. This course explores the possible approaches and strategies as well as the availability and the use of sources, with an eye to the formulation or further refining of a topic and preparation for fieldwork.

HIS 560 - After Empire

This graduate seminar explores the postcolonial world in the aftermath of World War II - a period convulsed by the aftereffects of wartime upheavals, nationalist insurgencies, imperial retreat, and the onset of the Cold War. Focusing on this tumultuous period from the end of World War II to Bandung and treating it as a distinct and bounded historical conjuncture, this seminar examines decolonization as a global phenomenon, caught between the no longer and not yet, and sparking changes in imperial and anticolonial projects.

HIS 561 - Rethinking the Global Early Modern: India, 1400-1900

This class critically approaches the idea of a trans-regionally or globally constituted early modern age. It does so by reading methodological interventions as well as studies that advocate, exemplify, complicate, or challenge the global approach. The course engages with the idea of pre-modern and non-European cosmopolitanisms as well as exchanges between South Asia on the one hand and other world regions on the other. It reflects on the use of terms like "encounter", "circulation", "flow", and "network" in this historiography with the aim of exploring the roots, stakes, possibilities, and limits of the idea of an early modern world.

HIS 562 - British Histories and Global Histories, c.1750-1950

This seminar explores the inter-connected histories of Britain and the British Empire from the even broader perspective of global history, and in so doing examines the rise and fall of the British nation and empire as world hegemon. Topics to be covered include industrial revolutions, citizens, subjects and constitutions, empire and race, the First and Second World Wars as imperial conflicts, and the collapse of British world power thereafter.

HIS 564 - The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century

This course examines how historians have employed the notion of crisis in the study of the past in particular and the seventeenth century in particular. While the majority of our readings emerge from scholarship on crisis in seventeenth-century Europe, we also look at examples from other times and places. What insights does the notion of crisis release into the historical study of the past? What insights does it inhibit?

HIS 565 - Early Modern Europe

A survey of classic and recent scholarship in the social and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, ca. 1400-1800. Topics covered include: The Renaissance; The Reformation; Transatlantic Empires; Court Society; The Enlightenment; and the French Revolution.

HIS 566 - Work and Inequality

This seminar surveys classic and more recent works in the labor history of the United States, a recently re-invented and newly invigorated field. Pathbreaking works to be considered include studies that are imbricated with histories of capitalism as well as those that emphasize transnational approaches.

HIS 567 - The Enlightenment in History

How the Enlightenment has been understood and judged, from the eighteenth century to the present. Readings include both classic Enlightenment texts, and historical and philosophical works from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first.

HIS 569 - Global Marxisms

During the twentieth century, Marxism became a powerful social and political force in countries across the world. This international success, however, was by no means preordained. Tailored to the conditions of a rapidly industrializing Western Europe, Marxist ideas were not easily applied elsewhere. This course examines how theorists sought to revise and adapt Marxist theory to fit the requirements of their time and place. The course pays attention to the way in which intellectuals from a range of countries challenged some of the core principles of Marxism, proposing new ideas about the role of the nation, religion, and race.

HIS 571 - American Cultural History

Historians and critics argue that since the 1980s there was a turn towards "cultural history" but it often remains unclear what exactly cultural history entails. Even more recent scholarship pits the cultural and the digital turns against each other while ironically arguing both democratize the voices heard in historical accounts. This course explores classic texts and current methodological problems in U.S. cultural history in a global context.

HIS 572 - Topics in American Legal History

This seminar explores a changing array of topics in legal history. Subjects explored in a particular year might include transnational legal history, constitutional conflicts and rights discourses, the legal history of the family, labor history and the history of the corporation, the history of legal thought, or the history of international law and of international legal institutions

HIS 573 - Peasants and Farmers in the Modern World

This course offers readings in multidisciplinary literature on peasant/agrarian studies. It combines anthropological, sociological, and historical approaches and analyzes how peasant communities interact with the world of rising capitalism, nation states, standardization, colonialism, and postcolonial global order. The main themes discussed in the classes include: peasants as "the others" for educated elites, peasant economy and the way of life in comparative prospective, and forms and languages of domination, passive, and active resistance.

HIS 574 - Race, Racism, and Politics in the United States, 1877-present

A reading seminar focusing on race and ethnicity in modern American politics and society. Readings in topics including segregation, immigration, citizenship, assimilation, World War II, Cold War, the civil rights movement, economic rights, Black Power, mass incarceration, white backlash, etc.

HIS 575 - Readings in German History

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of German History from 1700 to the mid-20th century.

HIS 576 - Comparative Race/Ethnicity in the United States

This course examines the historical approaches to multiracial and multiethnic interactions in the United States. By focusing on the constructions of race and ethnicity through a comparative lens, privileges and societal hierarchy becomes more pronounced and difference more nuanced. Some of the central themes of the course are identity, empire, citizenship, and migration. The majority of readings are from 1850 to the present.

HIS 577 - Readings in African American History (also AAS 577)

Course examines significant themes in the evolution of African American life and culture since about 1619 and ending with the signing of the Emanicipation Proclamation. Some attention will be paid to historiographical issues and to pedagogical approaches.

HIS 578 - Topics in African Diaspora History (also AAS 578)

This readings course considers the dispersals, political movements, cultural production, social bonds, and intellectual labors that together have constituted and continually re-configured the modern African diaspora, from the emergence and collapse of the Atlantic slave system through the late twentieth century. The course tracks the evolution of diaspora as an idea and analytical framework, highlighting its intersections with concepts of Pan-Africanism, black nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and citizenship.

HIS 581 - Research Seminar in American History

This course is an intensive research seminar on the political history of the United States from the Revolutionary era to the present. Students work closely with the instructor and with each other in defining and developing original research topics, and then in drafting and revising research papers. During open weeks, we cover readings that either discuss or exemplify changing trends in the writing of American political history. Emphasis falls on the history of formal politics and government, but topics may include matters such as political culture and the interplay of government and social movements.

HIS 582 - Readings in Western American History

This readings course focuses on the central problems engaged by recent scholarship on the American West, with particular attention given to how this regional history intersects with the larger thematic concerns of North American history. Readings address topics ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries, including environmental history, Native American history, race, gender, urban history and popular culture.

HIS 583 - Readings in American Political History

An introduction to the field of U.S. political history. Readings are divided into four primary areas of scholarship: institutions, public policy, social movements, and political culture. Primary goal of the course is for students to come away with a strong working knowledge of the methodological and substantive trends in the field.

HIS 584 - Topics in Urban History

Course surveys the rich recent scholarship on the history of cities and their regions, which intersects with many disciplines¿including geography, political science, visual studies, the built environment, planning, policy, and architecture--as well as with established historical fields of research in race, ethnicity, gender, class, and culture. Seminar covers evolution of the field from detailed community studies of the 1960s to recent interdisciplinary and national studies, addressing problems of place, social processes, and human experience. Students focus on methods, frameworks, and narrative strategies.

HIS 585 - United States Intellectual History: Method and Historiography

Issues and methods in the interpretation of American intellectual and cultural history, through the study of topics ranging chronologically from Puritanism to the present, are the focus of this course. Students may elect to take the course either as a reading or a research seminar.

HIS 586 - American Technological History (also HOS 586)

This reading course introduces History Department graduate students to historical literature on American technology from the Colonial Era through the Twentieth Century. A chronological survey of technological development highlights the variety of ways scholars have understood technology from a historical perspective. A small number of students from other departments may be admitted with the Professor's approval. These students must meet with the Professor prior to the first class meeting to review their qualifications.

HIS 587 - Readings in Early American History

A comprehensive introduction to the historical literature and problems of American history from the Great Awakening of the 1740s through the War of 1812.

HIS 588 - Readings in American History: The Early Republic through Reconstruction, 1815-1877

A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the Era of Good Feelings to the conclusion of the Civil War and Reconstruction.

HIS 589 - Readings in American History: Reconstruction to World War I

A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the end of the Civil War to the United States entry into World War I.

HIS 590 - Readings in American History: World War I to the Present

A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history in the most recent period.

HOS 594 - History of Medicine (also HIS 594)

Problems in the history of medicine and the medical sciences. Topic varies from year to year. Representative subjects would include the history of health and disease, medicine and the body, and the history of the mind and mental illness.

HOS 595 - Introduction to Historiography of Science (also HIS 595/MOD 564)

Introduces beginning graduate students to the central problems and principal literature of the history of science from the Enlightenment to the 20th century. Course is organized around several different methodological approaches, and readings include important works by anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers, as well as by historians of science.

HOS 599 - Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (also HIS 599)

This course explores special topics in the history of science. The precise topic varies from year to year.

HOS 599A - Special Topics in the History of Science, Technology, & Medicine (also HIS 599A)

This course explores special topics in the history of science.

NES 523 - Readings in Judeo-Arabic (also HIS 563)

An introduction to the reading of Arabic texts written by medieval Jews in the Hebrew script, especially documents from the Cairo Geniza.

NES 535 - Recovering the Voices of the Oppressed in Middle East and North Africa (also HIS 505)

Historians of modern North Africa have frequently complained about the scarcity or absence of "local" sources for writing its history. Instead they have often relied on European colonial sources. This course explores this in the context of the voices and testimonies of the oppressed. We first discuss theoretical approaches that aim to recover the voices of such people during pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial times and then focus on specific North African cases, such as slaves, women, "queers", and victims of authoritarian postcolonial regimes.

NES 547 - Introduction to Arabic Documents (also HIS 546)

An introduction to hands-on work with medieval Arabic documentary sources in their original manuscript form. Between 100,000 and 200,000 such documents have survived, making this an exciting new area of research with plenty of discoveries still to be made. Students learn how to handle the existing repertory of editions, documentary hands, Middle Arabic, transcription, digital resources and original manuscripts, including Geniza texts currently on loan to Firestone from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The syllabus varies according to the interests of the students and the instructor.

NES 549 - Documents and Institutions in the Medieval Middle East (also HIS 509)

Seminar is part of a multi-year collaborative project devoted to reading Arabic documents from the medieval Middle East in Hebrew and Arabic script. Students contribute to a corpus of diplomatic editions, translations and commentaries to be published in the project's collection of texts. We introduce the most common legal and administrative genres: letters, lists, deeds, contracts, decrees and petitions. Our goal is to make this material legible as historical sources by combining philology, diplomatics, attention to the material text, and institutional and social history. Prerequisite: good reading knowledge of classical Arabic.