SPRING 2019

26:510:504 Narrative History
James Goodman
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. We shall also read a wide range of non-fiction, but not an enormous number of pages per week.  I do not want your reading to interfere with the writing you are doing for this workshop or for the poetry or fiction workshop you may be taking at the same time. Permission of the instructor is required for registration (goodmanj@andromeda.rutgers.edu).

26:510:526 Readings in African American History
Melissa Cooper
Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm
This course explores foundational and groundbreaking historical monographs in African American history and histories that explore the intersection of race and “place” in America. Paying close attention to methodological approaches and strategies, this course examines the making of historical monographs about race and the black past.

26:510:549 Topics in Latin American History: “Latin America and the World”
Karen Caplan

Wednesdays, 5:00-7:40pm
In this course, we will investigate the multifaceted relationship between Latin American places, nations, and people and the rest of the world. How has that relationship shaped Latin America, and how has Latin America shaped the history of other places? Beginning with the colonial era and bringing the story up to the present, we will ask how the culture, politics, and economics of Latin American society fit into a global narrative. In the process, we will define and interrogate concepts like “influence,” “exploitation,” “imperialism,” and “cooperation.” We will at times ask very specific questions about particular kinds of relationships—between Spain and its American colonies, between the United States and Latin America, or between Latin American nations and their neighbors.  But will also constantly be exploring how we might build a narrative of Latin American history that both is globally informed and informs the global.

26:510:551 American Intellectual and Cultural History: “The Art of Cultural Criticism”
Salamishah Tillet

Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm
"The best critics are engaged in a conversation -- a dialogue, a debate -- with changing standards of taste, with their audience, with their own convictions and emotions," says writer Margo Jefferson. And "The best criticism is part of a larger cultural conversation. It spurs readers to ask questions rather than accept answers about art and society." In this class,we take up Jefferson's idea and examine how African-American artists have turned to critical writing as a way of examining specific works of art as well as examine themselves and their position, historical and subjective, within the larger world. We will read essays by writers on a variety of subjects: literature; film; music; theatre and performance; visual art; sports and dance. At the term's end, students will craft essays that consider the negotiations between artist, critic, fan; reviews, profiles and interviews, essays, and critical memoirs; and popular culture and high art. The reading list will include such writers as Alice Walker, James Baldwin, Hilton Als, Margo Jefferson, Gerald Early, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Gaadzi Ghansah, and Teju Cole and others.

26:510:552 American Intellectual and Cultural History: “U.S. Cultural History”
Ruth Feldstein

Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm
This graduate seminar will explore cultural history from a variety of perspectives. We ask how scholars from different disciplinary and interdisciplinary “homes” have made sense of cultural history, and consider older and more recent debates in (and about) cultural history as an approach and method. We will also consider relationships between U.S. cultural history, American Studies and cultural studies.

26:510:565 Public History: “Place, Community and Public Humanities”
Mary Rizzo
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this experiential, project-based public humanities class, students will become conversant with the history, theories, and methods of place-based public humanities and community engagement. We will partner with the Humanities Action Lab (HAL), an international consortium of universities headquartered at Rutgers-Newark, which is producing a traveling exhibition on environmental justice that will open in fall 2019 in Newark. Our focus will be to develop programming for the opening. This class is ideal for students who want grounding in public history or humanities, are interested in Newark history or environmental justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, or want to learn about program development.

26:510:586 American Immigration: Past Present and Future
Steven Diner
Thursdays, 2:30-5:20pm

This course examines immigration to cities and urban areas of the United States since the nineteenth century. It will consider the causes of immigration, the social, cultural and economic adaptation of various groups, return migration, the significance of race, the varied experience of different immigrant groups, the development of ethnic group identities, changing American policy and attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic groups , and the impact of immigration and ethnicity on American society and culture. The class will consist of weekly discussions of assigned books. Students will be required to write a bibliographic essay on the scholarly literature of a particular immigrant group, a specific time period, some aspect of the immigrant experience, the impact of immigration on a particular city or how immigration has shaped America’s economy, political system, social institutions or culture.

48:510:640 The Urban Environment: Research Seminar
Kyle Riismandel
Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00pm

This research seminar will focus on the study of American cities and suburbs in the 20th century. Together we will read classic and cutting-edge scholarship while each student will complete a historical research project based on archival research.

 


FALL 2018

26:510:533 Topics in American History: Black Digital Humanities
Mary Rizzo
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate course will explore the growing field of Black Digital Humanities. What is the relationship between digital humanities and African American Studies? What can each field learn from each other? In addition to readings, in lab sessions students will learn digital technologies, which may include blogging, social media, mapping, and archiving, applying theory to praxis.

26:510:538 Problems in the Ancient World: the Late Roman Republic
Gary Farney
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course will explore various issues that impacted Roman society and politics from the end of the Second Punic War to the end of the Republic (i.e. from ca. 200 to 30 BCE). Among issues to be explored: Rome’s acquisition of a pan-Mediterranean empire; the nature of Roman imperialism; the Gracchi and the Roman Revolution; the civil wars; Spartacus’ slave rebellion; the rise of dynastic figures; sexuality and gender; and the fall of the Roman Republic.

26:510:543 Topics in World History: World War II in Asia
Daniel Asen
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

World War II (1939-1945) was unprecedented in its global scope, its mobilization of and impact on civilians, and its destructiveness. This conflict transformed the technologies and organization of warfare and ushered in a new era of international politics defined by powerful ideological rifts and the threat of nuclear war. From the perspective of many in Asia, the outbreak of WWII was inseparable from earlier trends surrounding Japan’s stunningly successful industrialization and the country’s expanding political and economic influence over other societies in East Asia and Southeast Asia. For Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and others, WWII was thus connected to deeper conflicts and tensions of modernity, colonialism, race, and pan-Asian ideology.

In this graduate reading seminar, we will read journal articles and books that have transformed scholarly understandings of the contexts, meaning, and consequences of WWII as it unfolded in Asia and globally. Some of the themes that we will explore include the rise and decline of empires, the relationship between national, regional, and global scales of human activity, the social, political, and ideological dimensions of war, and critical approaches to the study of race, ethnicity, and identity.

26:510:551 American Intellectual and Cultural History: Introduction to American Studies
Kornel Chang
Mondays, 5:00-7:40pm

This reading and discussion seminar provides an introduction to the methods, approaches, and interpretations that have significantly shaped the field of American Studies. Reading a selection of established and more recently published texts, we will examine broad themes—for example, slavery, westward expansion, empire, industrialization, immigration, civil rights—and pay close attention to the different analytical categories—race, class, political economy, gender, sexuality—that practitioners in the field have employed in the study of U.S. history, culture, and society. Readings average 250 pages per week and students will be expected to write and turn in a short response paper each week.

26:510:564 History of Urban Education
Steven Diner
Thursdays, 2:30-5:20pm

This course examines the history of urban education in the United States, and provides an historical foundation for understanding urban educational policy today. The course is taught as a colloquium. Each week we will discuss an assigned book. Class attendance and active participation in discussions is required of all students.  Our class discussions will examine the major issues addressed by scholars of the history of urban education, how these issues reflect the changing views in America of the purpose and quality of schools in cities, and the implications of historical scholarship for contemporary urban education policy. Students will write a research paper based on some aspect of the history of public education in Newark or some other local community, or an historiographic essay on some aspect of the historical literature on urban education.

26:510:565 Public History: Public Histories of Slavery for the 21st Century
Lyra Monteiro
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In the past several years, there has been a resurgence in cultural production in the United States around the history of slavery, as the film "12 Years A Slave" won the Oscar for Best Picture; the Smithsonian Institution opened its National Museum of African American History and Culture featuring a major exhibition on slavery; and Colson Whitehead’s best-selling Underground Railroad won both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. This increased attention to the history and legacy of slavery in the United States is part of a larger international trend, which this course explores. By looking at the various ways in which the history of African enslavement in the New World has been remembered and interpreted in contexts ranging from historic sites and museum exhibitions to children’s literature and film, students will build towards developing their own proposals for new public interpretations of the history of slavery. We will use the history of African enslavement in the New World—a history that touches all of Western Europe, Western and Southern Africa, and the Americas—as a lens into the ways in which different countries and regions have publicly remembered a difficult past. Some of the issues we will explore in this class include: how the method, time, and place in which the past is narrated affect the story that can be told; the tensions between histories created for different kinds of audiences, including locals, tourists, and various descendant communities; and the ways in which the narration of slavery’s history changes over time.

In order to address this topic, we will focus on the “primary documents” of public memory, including specific monuments, exhibitions, blogs, and plays. We will supplement this study with readings from the growing body of scholarship on the public history and public memory of slavery, coming out of disciplines including History, Archaeology, Sociology, and American Studies. As a final project, students will develop and present grant proposals for new public interpretations of the history and legacy of slavery, in a physical venue or digital platform of their choice.

48:510:654 Research Seminar: The 1960s – 1980s
Neil Maher
Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00pm

This research seminar will focus on the turbulent decades of the 1960s era, which spanned from the late 1950s through the early 1980s.  Our class meetings will be divided into two parts, and will result in the writing of a final paper based on primary historical research.  During the first half of the semester, we will first familiarize ourselves with this period by undertaking shared readings on the political, cultural, and social history of the era involving not only grassroots movements (civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, and the hippie counterculture), but also more national, mainstream phenomenon (the space race to the moon, the Cold War, and the rise of the New Right under President Ronald Reagan).  The second half of the semester will be a research and writing workshop that teaches students how to locate and collect primary source materials, trains them to analyze and organize these materials, and finally allows them to share their writing with one another in an effort to improve drafts before submitting their final paper.  Prior knowledge of the 1960s period is NOT necessary for taking this course.

 


SPRING 2018

26:510:505 History in Fiction and Fact
James Goodman
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. We shall also read a wide range of non-fiction, but not an enormous number of pages per week.  I do not want your reading to interfere with the writing you are doing for this workshop or for the poetry or fiction workshop you may be taking at the same time. Permission of the instructor is required for registration (goodmanj@rutgers.edu).

26:510:533 Topics in American History: “Writing for the General Public”
Robert Snyder
Mondays 5:30-8:10pm

In “Writing for the General Public,” students will turn their graduate research into clear, compelling , and authoritative prose. Our goal is for each student to submit their work for publication. To improve the odds of success, we will survey the landscape of possible outlets, explore what readers expect from writers, weigh the demands of writing in different genres, develop literary tactics and strategies, and undertake reading and writing exercises. Students in the course are expected to arrive with either a body of research that they want to convey to a broad public or a willingness to become very knowledgeable about something very quickly. The course will be run as a workshop in which we all learn from each other.

26:510:534 Topics in American History: African American History Research Seminar
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this graduate research seminar, students will learn how (or continue) to research and write a primary source-based original essay on any aspect of African American history.  For the first half of the semester we will focus on common readings from different time periods and subdisciplines—with a general focus on historicizing recent black lives matter activism; the second half of the semester will be oriented toward the research and writing process.

26:510:550 Topics in Latin American History: Making of Race in Latin America, 1492-
Karen Caplan
Wednesdays, 5:00-7:40pm

Since 1492, Latin America has been the site of intense encounters between indigenous people, people of European descent, and people of African descent. In turn, Latin Americans have developed complex and perhaps unique ways of conceiving of distinctions among and between themselves. Beginning with the pre-history of European conquest and ending in the late twentieth century, this course asks how and why such distinctions developed, and what impact they have had on politics and culture in Latin America. Many historians have argued that Latin Americans, because of the high degree of intermixture between people of different backgrounds, have developed notions of difference based less on a concept of “race” than on one of “color.” This course will examine this claim and ask what—if anything—is indeed unique about Latin American social distinctions.

Moreover, as we approach the modern period, the course will also focus on questions about Latin America and the United States. First, is it useful to compare Latin American racial constructions with those of the U.S., given their shared histories of conquest and colonial encounter? And second, we will begin to discuss what has happened when Latin Americans, as part of a massive influx of immigrants, have brought their racial ideas and experiences to the U.S. with them.

26:510:585 American History, 1945-Present
Beryl Satter
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course surveys histories of the U.S., 1945 to the present.  Topics covered include cultural, domestic, and racial tensions of the 1940s and 1950s; anti-Communist networks of the 1950s; the Civil Rights, New Left, Women's Liberation and Gay Liberation movements; the Vietnam War; the1970s erosion of the U.S. white working class; Puerto Rican labor migrations; the New Right; the rise of the carceral state (or “prison-industrial complex); and the culture and economics of Wall Street.

26:510:586 American Immigration
Steven Diner
Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20pm

This course examines the history of immigration to cities and urban areas of the United States since the nineteenth century. It will consider the causes of immigration, the social, cultural and economic adaptation of various groups, return migration, the significance of race, the varied experience of different immigrant groups, the development of ethnic group identities, changing American policy and attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic groups, and the impact of immigration and ethnicity on American society and culture. Class will consist of weekly discussions of assigned books. Students will be required to write an essay on the historiography of a particular immigrant group, a specific time period, some aspect of the immigrant experience, the impact of immigration on a particular city or how immigration has shaped America’s economy, political system, social institutions or culture.

48:510:657 Topics in Environmental History: Power, Inequality, and Nature in the US
Neil Maher
Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm

Throughout human history, people’s relationship to nature has always been influenced by power. While some groups of people have the authority to gain access to nature, to transform it into natural resources for profit, and then to distance themselves from the negative consequences of such use, other groups do not. Such environmental inequalities can stem from obvious differences involving race, class, and gender, but are also often based on more subtle distinctions involving age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, physical disability, and cultural practice. In all cases, however, while the powerful tend to reap nature’s benefits, the weak pay the price. This seminar in environmental history examines this longstanding, unequal relationship to nature in the United States and abroad. Over the course of the semester students will explore environmental inequality as it relates to such topics as bodily health, outdoor recreation, urban pollution, food and agriculture, toxic waste, the environmental justice movement, and the uneven impact of climate change in both the United States and the developing world.

 


FALL 2017

26:510:533 Topics in American History: “United States and Empire”
Kornel Chang
Wednesdays 5:00-7:40pm

This reading-intensive seminar focuses on U.S. empire-building, examining how it evolved from a white settler society to a global hegemon in the twentieth century. Drawing on both canonical and more recent scholarship, the course pays close attention to the ideals, rationales, and policies that animated and justified American imperialism over the course of two centuries. Students will track the evolution of American power, comprehending its shifting logic and contradictions, and examining how it has changed over time and space. This will involve studying the American Empire from the vantage point of class and political economy, race and gender, policing, public health, development, and the environment.

26:510:551 American Intellectual and Cultural History: “Introduction to American Studies”
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate seminar will introduce students to scholarship in American Studies, as we explore together where the field has been and where it is going. We will be reading influential older articles and books; theoretical work that has had a particularly significant impact on American Studies; and newer studies which suggest the issues with which scholars of American Studies are currently engaged.

26:510:553 American Political and Legal History: “Radical Politics in U.S. History” (RESEARCH SEMINAR)
Whitney Strub
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course is a research seminar that will begin with readings offering a basic overview of U.S. radical politics, with an emphasis on Left radicalism. Among possible topics will be early populism, free love, the labor movement, communists, socialists, Black Power, the antiwar movement and 1960s student left, feminism, gay liberation, revolutionary groups of the 1970s, anti-nuclear activism, AIDS activism, anti-globalization efforts, environmentalism, and such recent movements as Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter. We will spend the first half of the semester in focused readings, and then in the second half students will pursue individual research projects related to their particular interests from this history.

26:510:565 Public History: “Place, Community and Public Humanities”
Mary Rizzo
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this public humanities/history graduate seminar, students will work with a community partner on a project about local history for the public. The class will ground students in the history, theory, and methods of place-based public history and community engagement. Students will also engage in original research, using archival collections, digitized materials, and/or oral history, over the semester to develop the class' public project.

48:510:632 Technology, Culture, and History
Elizabeth Petrick
307 Cullimore Hall, NJIT Campus
Tuesdays, 6:00-9:00pm

This course concerns the relationship between technology and culture, and how it has been studied over time. We will examine how each has shaped the other in various historical contexts. We will analyze methods of researching and understanding technology and culture through key texts in the historiography, as well as new approaches. Themes include: the use of technology; gender, race, and technology; technological determinism; labor and technology; imperialism and technology.

Key texts include:

  • Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America. (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 1964.
  • Francesca Bray, Technology and Gender: Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), 1997.
  • Gregory J. Downey, Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography, 1850-1950. (New York: Routledge), 2002.
  • Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile. (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 2014.

 


SPRING 2017

26:510:505 History in Fiction and Fact
James Goodman
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. We shall also read a wide range of non-fiction, but not an enormous number of pages per week.  I do not want your reading to interfere with the writing you are doing for this workshop or for the poetry or fiction workshop you may be taking at the same time. Permission of the instructor is required for registration (goodmanj@andromeda.rutgers.edu).

26:510:526 Readings in African American History
Melissa Cooper
Mondays 5:30-8:10pm

This course explores foundational and groundbreaking historical monographs in African American history. Paying close attention to methodological approaches and strategies, this course examines both African American history and the making of historical monographs about the black past.

26:510:533 Introduction to Digital Public Humanities
Mary Rizzo
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

What happens when we make digital humanities public? What about when we take the public humanities and make them digital? This course will explore the history, theory and methods of the digital humanities and the public humanities and, especially, their intersection. We will use and critically examine digital tools like Omeka, mapping software, content management systems, and social media to put theory into practice. By the end of the semester, students will have conceptualized a digital public humanities project, written a grant application for potential funding, and built a prototype.

26:510:534 Sexuality and Sexual Politics (Research Seminar)
Timothy Stewart-Winter
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate research seminar will examine classic and more recent texts dealing with sexuality and power, primarily in the U.S. but with attention to transnational phenomena and experiences. Readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines and will attend closely to the intersections of sexuality with gender and gender identity, science, race, class, social movements, literature, and urban and suburban cultures and politics. Students will also gain experience analyzing primary documents related to histories of sexuality and gender.

26:510:543 Topics in World History: Global Africa
Habtamu Tegegne
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate seminar encourages students to (re)conceptualize and (re)think world history as global. It is a course organized around themes, topics, and processes that transcend national and cultural specificity and boundary and lend themselves to global history method. As such, going beyond a focus on discrete nations/regions, its main concerns is with human interconnections from the 1300 through the present, focusing on vast networks and system(s) that bound different regions and distant peoples together. The course’s geographic focus is Africa. It requires students to engage world/global history in its interaction with Africa. The continent lies within the locus of global historical processes: Africa has always been closely linked to the wider world and participated, sometime directly, other time indirectly, in broader historical developments and changes affecting the global world. The transformative political, economic, and social institutions, ideas, and processes underlying global history were shaped through Africa’s various encounter with the rest of the world. The literature that will be explored places African historical developments in global and transnational context and traces the broader implications of Africa’s history on global history. Topics that the course will cover include travel, migration and cross-cultural encounters, slavery and the slave trade, global capitalism and trade flows, empire, expansion and transnationalism, economic dependency, and globalization, among others.

26:510:564 History of Urban Education
Steven Diner
Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20pm

This course examines the history of urban education in the United States. It provides an historical foundation for understanding urban educational policy today. Assigned readings explore the development of urban school systems in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the rise of school reform movements and the development of urban educational policies designed to improve urban schools; the recruitment and training of urban school teachers; the role of race, immigration, ethnicity and class in educational performance; the rise of bureaucracy and scientific management; suburbanization and its effects on urban schools; desegregation and its impact; the effect of deindustrialization on urban schools; and the debate over  equity versus excellence. The course is taught as a colloquium. Each week we will discuss an assigned book. Class attendance and active participation in discussions is required of all students. Students must prepare a research paper based on some aspect of history of public education in Newark or some other local community, and present the findings in class during the last two weeks.

48:510:622 Culture and Science in the History of American Medicine
Stephen Pemberton
307 Cullimore Hall, NJIT Campus
Thursdays 5:30-8:10 pm

This seminar provides an overview of U.S. medical history from the 1880 to 2010, and introduces the student to various approaches that historians and other historical thinkers have used to understand the complex relationships between medicine, science and culture. Of particular focus will be the extent to which medicine is or has been scientific; the ways science became vital to the medical and health professions; and the degrees to which medicine’s professional culture both mirrors and informs American society and popular culture. Our readings will allow us to link interactions between medicine, science and culture to the changing moral and political economies of health in the U.S. and analyze a variety of issues, including the growing role of technology in medicine, the roles of business and government in managing health, and the historical effects of specific disease problems, including polio and cancer. Students will also have the opportunity to explore how issues of class, race, gender and sexuality have impacted cultural interactions between medical professionals, scientists, patients, and the public.

Readings will include ten books, including:

  • Anne Fadiman. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
  • Leslie Reagan. Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America
  • David Oshinsky. Polio: An American Story
  • Nancy Tomes. The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women, and the Microbe in American Life
  • Rebecca Skloot. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Keith Wailoo. Pain: A Political History

 


FALL 2016

26:510:533 Topics in American History: Race and Labor in the Americas (Research Seminar)
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm
Kornel Chang

The spread of capitalist relations introduced a spectrum of "free" and "unfree labor" in the Americas beginning with the seventeenth century. The different labor systems--slavery, indentured, wage labor, guest worker programs--produced, and were produced by, racial knowledge and systems of meaning. This research seminar will focus on how race and class were co-constituted in the Americas and how they evolved with changing modes of production. The first half of the course will be spent familiarizing ourselves with the established scholarly literature (i.e. the historiography). Students will devote the second half of the semester conducting independent research and writing (and re-writing). Students are expected to produce a research paper that combines primary and secondary sources on topics related to the main themes of the course.

26:510:543 Topics in World History: World War II in Asia
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm
Daniel Asen

World War II (1939-1945) was unprecedented in its global scope, its mobilization of and impact on civilians, and its destructiveness. This conflict transformed the technologies and organization of warfare and ushered in a new era of international politics defined by powerful ideological rifts and the threat of nuclear war. From the perspective of many in Asia, the outbreak of WWII was inseparable from earlier trends surrounding Japan’s stunningly successful industrialization and the country’s expanding political and economic influence over other societies in East Asia and Southeast Asia. For Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, and others, WWII was thus connected to deeper conflicts and tensions of modernity, colonialism, race, and pan-Asian ideology.

In this graduate reading seminar, we will read journal articles and books that have transformed scholarly understandings of the contexts, meaning, and consequences of WWII as it unfolded in Asia and globally. Some of the themes that we will explore include the rise and decline of empires, the relationship between national, regional, and global scales of human activity, the social, political, and ideological dimensions of war, and critical approaches to the study of race, ethnicity, and identity.

26:510:551 American Intellectual and Cultural History: Introduction to American Studies
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm
Ruth Feldstein

This graduate seminar will introduce students to scholarship in American Studies, as we explore together where the field has been and where it is going. We will be reading influential older articles and books; theoretical work that has had a particularly significant impact on American Studies; and newer studies which suggest the issues with which scholars of American Studies are currently engaged.

26:510:552 American Intellectual and Cultural History: American Art and Its Publics
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm
Mark Krasovic

This graduate reading course will meet regularly at the Newark Museum and use its artistic and archival collections as a launching pad to an exploration of a broad, oftentimes contentious, debate over the role of art in American society. We will begin with a consideration of museum and library pioneer John Cotton Dana’s arguments for art’s crucial place in the early-twentieth-century modern city and watch as such ideas are spun out, expanded, and contested over the next hundred years. Topics will likely include the introduction of modern art to America; state funding for the arts during the New Deal and Great Society eras; art’s uses during the Cold War; debates over artistic representation, especially as informed by racial, gender, and sexual politics; and the commercial market’s role in shaping American art in an era of increasing economic inequality. Throughout, our discussions will be informed by specific artists and exhibitions (the 1913 Armory exhibition, Harlem on My Mind (1969), Robert Mapplethorpe, e.g.) as they both shape and are shaped by key developments in twentieth-century American history.

26:510:565 Public History: Community, Place and Public Humanities
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm
Mary Rizzo

In this public humanities/history graduate seminar, students will work with a community partner on a project about local history for the public. The class will ground students in the history, theory, and methods of place-based public history and community engagement. Students will also engage in original research, using archival collections, digitized materials, and/or oral history, over the semester to develop the class' public project.

26:510:586 Immigration in the United States
Tuesdays, 2:30-5:20pm
Steven Diner

This course examines the history of immigration to cities and urban areas of the United States since the nineteenth century. It will consider the causes of immigration, the social, cultural and economic adaptation of various groups, return migration, the significance of race, the varied experience of different immigrant groups, the development of ethnic group identities, changing American policy and attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic groups , and the impact of immigration and ethnicity  on American society and culture. Class will consist of weekly discussions of assigned books. Class members will take turns leading these discussions. Students will be required to write an essay on the historiography of a particular immigrant group, a specific time period, some aspect of the immigrant experience, the impact of immigration on a particular city or how immigration has shaped America’s economy, political system, social institutions or culture.  A final essay discussing the broad issues considered in class is also required.

48:510:657 Topics in Environmental History: Food in American Society
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm
Neil Maher

We often think of food as simply something we eat.  Yet in recent years scholars in the growing field of environmental history have challenged this view, arguing instead that food forges and dramatically alters relationships between people and nature. These relationships can be biological, economic, political, cultural, and deeply personal.  Moreover, while we may believe that we lose some of these connections to the environment soon after we grow and harvest our food, process and package it, and then consume it, in undertaking those actions we are actually connecting ourselves to nature, and other people, in new ways.  Food, in other words, is much more than about what we put into our mouths.  This reading course will serve as an introduction to food history within the field of environmental history.  Over the course of the semester students will explore such topics as the rise of agribusiness, our increasing dependence on processed food and its health implications, and the birth of the organic food movement.  We will also analyze food through the broader historical the themes of labor, gender, ethnicity, politics, and cultural identity.

 


SUMMER 2016

26:510:618 Seminar in Teaching History
Emily Straus
Session II (July 11-Aug. 17), Mondays and Wednesdays 5:30-9:00pm

This course challenges students to investigate, reflect upon, and demonstrate exploration of current best practices in research and teaching history at the secondary level. It is aimed at those enrolled in the Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) program and/or those already engaged in teaching. The goal is to guide and challenge teachers in how to integrate cutting-edge historical scholarship into their teaching. To that end, readings and activities in graduate-level historical scholarship, modern pedagogy and educational research, teaching methods and contemporary education issues as they relate to the teaching of history will be the focus of readings, discussion, activities, writing assignments, and assessments.

 


SPRING 2016

26:510:504 Narrative History: Creative/Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
James Goodman
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. We shall also read a wide range of non-fiction, but not an enormous number of pages per week.  I do not want your reading to interfere with the writing you are doing for this workshop or for the poetry or fiction workshop you may be taking at the same time. Permission of the instructor is required for registration (goodmanj@andromeda.rutgers.edu).

26:510:526 African American History Research Seminar
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this graduate research seminar, students will learn how (or continue) to research and write a primary source-based original essay on any aspect of African American history.  For the first half of the semester we will focus on common readings from different time periods and subdisciplines—with a general focus on historicizing recent black lives matter activism; the second half of the semester will be oriented toward the research and writing process.

26:510:533 Introduction to Digital Public Humanities
Mary Rizzo
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

What happens when we make digital humanities public? What about when we take the public humanities and make them digital? This course will explore the history, theory and methods of the digital humanities and the public humanities and, especially, their intersection. We will use and critically examine digital tools like Omeka, mapping software, content management systems, and social media to put theory into practice. By the end of the semester, students will have conceptualized a digital public humanities project, written a grant application for potential funding, and built a prototype.

26:510:537 Problems in Ancient History: Athenian Democracy
Gary Farney
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course will examine the history and development of the Classical Athenian Democracy (primarily of the fifth and fourth centuries BC). Special attention will be paid to: the origins of Greek democracy; the precise functioning of the Athenian democracy; the relationship between democracy and empire in the Greek world; and Greek intellectual opinion of democracy. We will be examining a variety of ancient sources as our primary sources (in English translation): works of Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Euripides, Plutarch, Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle will be among these.

26:510:549 Latin America and the World
Karen Caplan
Wednesdays, 5:00-7:40pm

In this course, we will investigate the multifaceted relationship between Latin American places, nations, and people and the rest of the world. How has that relationship shaped Latin America, and how has Latin America shaped the history of other places? Beginning with the colonial era and bringing the story up to the present, we will ask how the culture, politics, and economics of Latin American society fit into a global narrative. In the process, we will define and interrogate concepts like “influence,” “exploitation,” “imperialism,” and “cooperation.” We will at times ask very specific questions about particular kinds of relationships—between Spain and its American colonies, between the United States and Latin America, or between Latin American nations and their neighbors.  But will also constantly be exploring how we might build a narrative of Latin American history that both is globally informed and informs the global.

26:510:565 Public History: Community Engagement and Site-Specific Storytelling
Lyra Monteiro
Wednesdays, 2:00-4:40pm

As part of the Rutgers—Newark Newest Americans project, students in this graduate course will work together to create, from start to finish, a site-specific public humanities project. The course will begin with foundational reading in the field of public humanities and in the history of Newark. Students will then perform archival and audience research in the University Heights neighborhood and the RBHS campus, using a range of techniques, including the Stanford d.school’s Design Thinking framework, as well as methods for creating community-based projects developed by the Laundromat Project and The Museum On Site. The final product of this course will be a site-specific exhibition or performance, located on the RBHS campus and the surrounding community, which shares information about the past and present of the area and the communities that inhabit it.

 


FALL 2015

26:510:533:01 Radical Film History (Research Seminar)
Whitney Strub
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This research seminar will begin with an historical overview of efforts to link film to a radical praxis, from the silent era through digital production. While primarily centered on the United States, the scope will be global, ranging from Latin American Third Cinema to Chris Marker’s attempts to create a participatory workers’ cinema in post-1968 France. Other topics might include films of the Popular Front era, the Hollywood Ten, Black filmmaking and the “L.A. Rebellion” school, Newsreel and the New Left, queer and feminist film, and the cinema of postcolonial resistance movements. While close textual analysis will mark our studies, we will also foreground historical questions of production, distribution, and reception. Students will write an original research paper engaging with a specific history of radical film.

26:510:551:01 Introduction to American Studies
Timothy Stewart-Winter
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate seminar will introduce students to scholarship in American Studies, as we explore together where the field has been and where it is going.  We will be reading influential older articles and books; theoretical work that has had a particularly significant impact on American Studies; newer studies which suggest the issues with which scholars of American Studies are currently engaged, and collections of articles addressing the state and future of the field.

26:510:551:02 Cultural History and Cultural Studies
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Beginning from the premise that “culture matters,” this graduate seminar will explore when, how, and in what specific ways scholars working from various disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives have engaged with culture, cultural history, and cultural studies as categories and as methods.

26:510:552:01 The American Modern and Postmodern
Mark Krasovic
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate reading seminar will track the intellectual and cultural history of notions of the modern and postmodern in the United States. We will consider various applications of these terms across time, not so much to settle on definitions, but in order to gain greater understanding of their history and the uses (and abuses) to which they have been put, and in order to use them in our own work more deliberately.

Though we will visit other times and places as the flows of language and ideas dictate, our focus will be on the United States since the late nineteenth century. We will consider notions of the modern rooted deep in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, explore debates about how applicable those ideas are in other national and historical contexts, and then turn to America at the turn of the twentieth century. Why do we call that period America’s modern era? What does that have to do with culture? The economy? Politics? Can we locate a corresponding postmodern era of American history? If so, what are its contours and defining characteristics in terms of, again, culture, the economy, and politics? What does it have to do with postmodern theory? What is that anyway, where did it come from, and why did it gain such influence in the U.S.? And since, as we will see, notions of the modern and postmodern are so intertwined with those of “the human,” what does this all mean for the broad field in which we work: the humanities? In that way, the course will offer a broad survey of American art and thought since the late nineteenth century.

In our attempt to address such questions and put some meat on the terms “modern” and “postmodern,” we will look closely at a range of primary and secondary sources, including historical scholarship, films, paintings, fiction, critical theory, and the urban landscape.

26:510:543:01 Body Politics in Modern China
Daniel Asen
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

From the early 20th-century notion of China as the “Sick Man of East Asia” to the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games, the body has been integral to Chinese conceptions of nationalism, race and ethnicity, population, and power. China’s unequal engagements with industrializing Europe, United States, and Japan during the mid-late 1800s gave rise to new perceptions of the Chinese body as “pathological,” a potent symbol of national weakness which was connected to broader discourses of race and civilization. Over the 20th century, China’s drive to modernize has likewise involved a series of attempts to control and “improve” bodies by implementing a modern healthcare system, new regimes of physical training and sport, population control policies, and even eugenics. In the process, some traditional ideas about the body have been displaced while others – for example, Traditional Chinese Medicine – have been successfully adapted to modernity.

In this class, we will draw on methods and insights from the history and anthropology of the body to rethink core narratives of 19th and 20th-century Chinese history and, more broadly, global history. Our readings and class discussions will touch on an eclectic set of concerns drawn from social and political history, history of science, technology, and medicine, and critical approaches to the study of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. This reading seminar will address questions of broad relevance for students who work in different regional fields and with varied thematic interests. Given that the “body politics” examined in this class have parallels in many other modern societies, students will be encouraged to think about comparative cases and transnational connections.

26:510:565:01 Public History and Mass Incarceration
Mary Rizzo
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

How can we start a public conversation about mass incarceration? Public history is the co-creation of historical knowledge between historians and the public. This course will ground students in the theory, methods, and practices of public history and the public humanities to consider how to engage the public with the history of mass incarceration. Using case studies, we will examine how public historians have delved into the challenges and opportunities that arise when dealing with, in James and Lois Horton's words, "the tough stuff of American memory," including slavery, trauma, violence, and structural inequality. We will also examine the broader scholarship on mass incarceration, but because much public history work is local, our focus will be on the Elizabeth Detention Center. This course is part of an international project, the Humanities Action Lab (HAL), which uses public history and the public humanities to raise critical conversations about contemporary issues. Among other activities, students will create a panel on the Elizabeth Detention Center for a traveling exhibition on mass incarceration, blog for HAL's website, and potentially engage in cross-campus collaboration with students in other HAL courses nationwide.

48:510:656: Topics in the History of Health: Race, Culture, and Medicine in the Twentieth Century
Stephen Pemberton
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

“Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” - Martin Luther King, Jr., 1966

Even as medicine and public health have witnessed unprecedented advances in the management of disease and health over the past hundred years, there remains a persistent gap between those who benefit from such “progress” and those who do not. This gap is not sufficiently explained by socio-economic factors alone, but requires recognition of racial and ethnic disparities that are deeply ingrained in the history and cultures of modernizing societies.

This graduate seminar in comparative medical and health history examines how race, culture, and science have figured prominently in the management of disease and health in the past century. The course readings and assignments will focus on the health status of “non-white” peoples during the twentieth century, with particular attention to the persistent disparities that people of color have experienced in health outcomes in the United States and other parts of the world.  Of critical concern in this course is the contested question of organized medicine’s status as form of “social control” in modernizing societies. Another interpretive focus is the ways that the organization of medical care has confronted, or failed to confront, social justice in medical treatment and research as well as in public health.

There will be at least ten books to read over the course of the semester with a selection of additional essays.  Among the authors we will be reading are Warwick Anderson, Franz Fanon, Julie Livingston, Richard Keller, Jonathan Metzl, Alondra Nelson, Rebecca Skloot, Keith Wailoo, and Harriet A. Washington.

 


SUMMER 2015

26:510:546 Twentieth-Century Europe
Jon Cowans
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:00-9:30pm (5/26-7/02)

Examining Europe’s twentieth century through the lenses of political, economic, intellectual, social, and cultural history, this course uses relatively short primary- and secondary-source readings to explore topics such as the two world wars; the advent of radio; the Spanish Civil War; the ideology and practice of communism and fascism; postwar reconstruction and human-rights trials; conflicts over decolonization and immigration; rebellion and rock music in the 1960s; the fall of communism; and collective memories of an often-traumatic but fascinating century.

 


SPRING 2015

26:510:504 Narrative History: CREATIVE/NON-FICTION WRITING WORKSHOP
James Goodman
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. We shall also read a wide range of non-fiction, but not an enormous number of pages per week.  I do not want your reading to interfere with the writing you are doing for this workshop or for the poetry or fiction workshop you may be taking at the same time. Permission of the instructor is required for registration.

26:510:543 Topics in World History: POSTWAR: AFTERMATHS OF WORLD WAR II
Susan Carruthers
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

World War II claimed in excess of 60 million lives: victims of combat, aerial bombardment, disease, famine, and calculated annihilation. When it ended, the victorious Allies quickly disagreed over how best to tackle questions of humanitarian relief and political reconstruction that confronted their own societies as well as those of the defeated Axis powers and their former empires. The tumultuous years immediately after the war saw the birth of the nuclear age; the division of Europe; the onset of the Cold War; the reconstitution of colonial empires in Asia and Africa; and the inauguration of the United Nations. This course examines the period from 1945 to 1950 by adopting a thematic approach to wartime legacies and postwar challenges. Topics will include: hunger and the politics of food; sexual violence; demobilization and homecoming; refugee politics; military occupation; the atomic era; and human rights. Weekly readings will generally comprise a number of scholarly articles rather than single monographs. These will be studied alongside selected primary source materials, including films, diaries, letters, and fiction from the late 1940s. The overall objective is to gain a multi-faceted appreciation of both "postwar" and the multiple optics that historians have applied to this period's interpretation. We will thus read new scholarship in the fields of transnational history; the history of gender and sexuality; the history of emotions; refugee and Holocaust studies, and works of cultural critique drawn from disciplines outside History.

Assessment will be based on class participation; two short response papers, and a final longer paper.

26:510:585 American History 1945-: RESEARCH SEMINAR ON U.S. HISTORY, 1945-1990
Beryl Satter
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This seminar is devoted to researching and writing a substantial, footnoted research paper (approximately thirty pages in length, typed and double spaced, approximately 250 words per page) on some aspect of U.S. history between 1945 and 1990. We will spend the first few weeks reading influential historical work on this period.  Class meetings will lead you through the step-by-step process of writing a research paper, including primary source research and analysis, the presentation of polished project proposals and the creation of outlines of your thesis. Some class sessions will be set aside for individual conferences, and others for group discussion.

Your research paper will be due in draft form well before the end of the seminar, so that it can go through several major revisions. Since revision is a process that is crucial to effective historical research and writing, we will devote class time to discussion of each of two drafts of your research project that you must complete a few days before the dates indicated in the syllabus below. Students will meet with the professor on an individual basis to discuss their projects and revisions and also work together on their papers, meeting in small groups with other students to discuss and critique each other's work.

48:510:628 Gender, Science, and Technology in the Modern World
Alison Lefkowitz
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Historians have repeatedly reminded us that science is not value-neutral. Instead it inevitably reflects the context in which scientists work. This course examines the history of science with particular attention to the critical insights of historians of gender and sexuality. We will consider not only how and why women were marginalized in scientific and technological fields, but also the broader relationship between science and structures of gendered power. Finally we will consider how science helped create and recreate our gender and sexual identities. The course is primarily US-based. Readings will focus on birth control, Darwin, household technology, eugenics, the nature of sexual desire, scientific management, ecofeminism, and other topics.

48:510:638 Social History of Communication
Richard Sher
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course examines communication as a social and historical phenomenon, subject to variation according to time and place, yet always central to human activity. Themes will include orality and literacy; the rise of printing; the information revolution of the Enlightenment; the emergence of electric and electronic communication technologies; and specialized uses of communication such as propaganda.


FALL 2014

26:510:506 Poetics of History: The Place of the Author in Her or His Story
James Goodman
5:30-8:10pm

In this graduate seminar (which like all the courses in my history writing sequence of courses is part graduate reading course and part graduate writing workshop) we shall explore the author’s place in historical narrative and interpretation (and in narrative and creative non-fiction more generally). Everyone knows, everyone understands, that the author is there – that the author is everywhere -- choosing the topic, planning and carrying out the research, deciding what approach to take, where to begin and where to end, what to include and what to leave out, and writing the book from introduction to conclusion. Why is it, then, that academic authors (and a great many non-academic authors of history and general non-fiction) have been absent from their texts for more than a century now (and to this day remain scarce)?   If they appear anywhere it is in their acknowledgments. What does it mean that today more and more authors are writing themselves into their narratives and interpretations in the first-person singular: “I.”  Perhaps we’ll start with the great Gibbon, who called “I” the “most disgusting of pronouns,” though in his Decline and Fall he himself used that pronoun (and wrote himself into his story) countless times.

26:510:533 Topics in American History: Race and Labor in the Americas
Kornel Chang
Mondays, 5:00-7:40pm

The late Stuart Hall once wrote that race is “the modality in which class is lived,” the medium through which class relations are experienced and “fought through.” Using Hall’s insights as a point of departure, this reading intensive course examines the modern history of race, labor, and capitalism in the Americas. The spread of capitalist relations introduced a spectrum of “free” and “unfree” labor between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. Our readings will focus on how different labor systems—slavery, indentured, wage labor, and guestworker programs—produced, and were produced by, racial knowledge and systems of meaning. Through a series of case studies, students will trace the ways race and class were co-constituted in the Americas and how they evolved with changing modes of capitalist production. In doing so, students will also explore the ways race and class intersected with gender, nation, region, sex, and empire. Students will be expected to read a book monograph and an article per week, amounting to about 250 pages of reading per week.

26:510:537 Problems in Ancient History: Ancient Historians and Historiography
Gary Farney
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course will examine the process of writing history in the Greek and Roman worlds, and the value of the works of ancient historians for studying ancient history. We will read a wide variety of history in its sub-genres (annalistic, ethnography, geography, biography and contemporary history) and various historians in the course of the class, including Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenpohon, Polybius, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, Plutarch, Ammianus Marcellinus and Procopius. We will also examine a large selection of modern secondary literature about ancient historiography.

26:510:551 Introduction to American Studies
Timothy Stewart-Winter
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate seminar will introduce students to scholarship in American Studies, as we explore together where the field has been and where it is going.  We will be reading influential older articles and books; theoretical work that has had a particularly significant impact on American Studies; newer studies which suggest the issues with which scholars of American Studies are currently engaged, and collections of articles addressing the state and future of the field.

26:510:552 American Intellectual and Cultural History: Cultures of US Capitalism
Mark Krasovic
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

The history of capitalism has become, lately, a hot field in American history. Yet for many years – maybe since Karl Marx wrote about base and superstructure, and certainly since Raymond Williams offered cultural materialism as a valuable revision to Marx’s model – cultural historians and critics have grappled with the relationship among capitalist development and the world of art and thought. Now seems a particularly fruitful moment to take stock of the new boom in historical writing about U.S. capitalism and to consider what it contributes to a much longer consideration of the relationship between economics and American thought and culture.

In this graduate reading seminar, therefore, we will study some of the classic models of thought on that relationship (including Marx and Williams) before reading a range of monographs that, in one way or another, dynamically consider that relationship in an American context. Readings will span a broad swath of American history, from the Revolution, through the early and late industrial periods, and into whatever we might call today.

26:510:565 Presenting the Past: Public Histories of Slavery for the Twenty-First Century
Lyra Monteiro
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

The Best Picture win of "12 Years A Slave" at the 2014 Oscars came just over a year before the Smithsonian plans to open the National Museum of African American History and Culture, located between the Washington Monument and the White House. This increased attention to the history and legacy of slavery in the United States is part of a larger international trend, which this course explores. By looking at the various ways in which the history of African enslavement in the New World has been remembered and interpreted in contexts ranging from historic sites and museum exhibitions to children’s literature and film, students will build towards developing their own proposals for new public interpretations of the history of slavery. We will use the history of African enslavement in the New World—a history that touches all of Western Europe, Western and Southern Africa, and the Americas—as a lens into the ways in which different countries and regions have publicly remembered a difficult past. Some of the issues we will explore in this class include: how the method, time, and place in which the past is narrated affect the story that can be told; the tensions between histories created for different kinds of audiences, including locals, tourists, and various descendant communities; and the ways in which the narration of slavery’s history changes over time.

In order to address this topic, we will focus on the “primary documents” of public memory, including specific monuments, exhibitions, blogs, and plays. We will supplement this study with readings from the growing body of scholarship on the public history and public memory of slavery, coming out of disciplines including History, Archaeology, Sociology, and American Studies. As a final project, students will develop and present grant proposals for new public interpretations of the history and legacy of slavery, in a venue of their choice.

26:510:583 U.S. History, 1890-1945
Beryl Satter
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

During the first half of the twentieth century the U.S. made the transition from a Victorian producer culture to a modern consumer culture.  This transition entailed dramatic shifts in U.S. racial ideologies, gender relations, immigration trends, and patterns of labor, leisure, and sexuality.  During these same years Americans engaged in two major periods of political reform (the Progressive Era, 1890-1920, and the New Deal, 1933-38), and participated in two world wars as well as several lesser known wars and interventions.  To understand how historians have interpreted these complex changes and events, we will read studies that utilize a wide variety of approaches, including religious history, political history, biography, labor history, legal history, diplomatic history, social and cultural history, and histories of gender and sexuality.

26:510:585 America in the 1960s and 1970s: Research Seminar
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this research seminar, we will explore a range of subjects that concern scholars of the 1960s and 70s and consider the methods that these scholars use to research and write about this period in U.S. history. Graduate students will then research and write original scholarship on this period.

During the first half of the semester, we will read secondary sources intensively.  During the second half of the semester, we will focus more on process. In workshops and one-on-one meetings, we will consider how to develop research questions and define research topics, how to find sources, and how to work with documents and interpret these sources.  We will also focus on how to outline, draft, write, and revise seminar papers in ways that that incorporate these research techniques.

26:510:586 American Immigration
Steven Diner
Thursdays, 2:00-4:40pm

This course examines the history of immigration to cities and urban areas of the United States since the nineteenth century. It will consider the causes of immigration, the social, cultural and economic adaptation of various groups, return migration, the significance of race, the varied experience of different immigrant groups, the development of ethnic group identities, changing American policy and attitudes towards immigrants and ethnic groups, and the impact of immigration and ethnicity on American society and culture. Class will consist of weekly discussions of assigned books. Students will be required to write an essay on the historiography of a particular immigrant group, a specific time period, some aspect of the immigrant experience, the impact of immigration on a particular city or how immigration has shaped America’s economy, political system, social institutions or culture.

48:510:657 Topics in Environmental History: The American City
Neil Maher
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Americans often think of cities as being devoid of nature.  Yet in recent years, scholars in the growing field of urban environmental history have challenged this view, arguing instead that cities and the natural environment have deep connections and shared histories.  With urbanization a central theme of the American story, and more than eighty percent of present-day Americans living in urban areas, we cannot fully understand America’s past without understanding how nature and cities have shaped one another, and in doing so influenced the people living both within and beyond city limits.  Over the course of the semester, students will explore such topics as the role nature played in geographically situating cities across the American landscape; early cultural reactions to industrialization and urbanization; the important economic relationship between cities and their hinterlands; the development of public parks for recreation and the migration of wealthier, and usually white, citizens to the suburbs; political activism over pollution, public health, and urban sprawl; and the rise of the urban environmental justice movement.  Readings will include William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis (Chicago); Andrew Hurley, Environmental Inequalities (Gary, Indiana); Michael Rawson, Eden on the Charles (Boston); Mike Davis, Ecology of Fear (Los Angeles); Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside (suburbia); and others.


SUMMER 2014

26:510:503 Historiography: Historiography of the African Diaspora
Andrew Daily
Mondays and Wednesdays, 6:00-9:15pm

Since the 1993 publication of Paul Gilroy's "The Black Atlantic," Black Diaspora has emerged as a significant historiographical field. Thinking of the Atlantic as a space of movement and exchange - both unfree and free - the diasporic perspective has led to reconsiderations of the slave trade, New World black cultures, black nationalism and consciousness, new understandings of culture, music, and religion, and transnational approaches to both politics and the subject. This course draws on literatures from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States, as well as the emerging literature on 'Black Europe,' in order to introduce the major questions and methods that structure the study of the Black Diaspora, and to show how this course of study has reshaped the historiography in many fields ranging from religious studies to anthropology, from Mexican history to French history, from studies of slavery to studies of capitalism. This course proposes that understanding the historiography of Black Disapora is vital to understanding the emergence and expansion of transnational and transcultural studies across the humanities.


SPRING 2014

26:510:504 Narrative History: Non-Fiction Writing Workshop
James Goodman
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Workshop in the art and craft of non-fiction writing. Students working in the widest variety of forms--essay and personal essay; creative non-fiction; narrative and other literary forms of academic history; popular history; literary journalism; biography; memoir; and more--will present work-in-progress for discussion and criticism. Every student will present work at least twice a term and shortly after each presentation meet independently with their instructor. Permission of the instructor is required for registration.

26:510:533 Topics in American History: Sexuality and Sexual Politics
Timothy Stewart-Winter
Wednesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This graduate seminar will examine classic and more recent texts dealing with sexuality and power, primarily in the U.S. but with attention to transnational phenomena and experiences. Readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines and will attend closely to the intersections of sexuality with gender and gender identity, science, race, class, social movements, literature, and urban and suburban cultures and politics. Students will also gain experience in analyzing of primary documents in relation to histories of sexuality and gender.

26:510:534 Topics in American History: Cities and Suburbs in American Culture
Robert Snyder
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

In this research seminar, we will explore cities, suburbs and their relationship in everything from the arts to intellectual history to ways of life. We’ll being by reading some theoretical works and then move on to illuminating books. We’ll also visit archives in Newark, New York City and online where you can begin to pursue your research. In the second half of the semester you’ll work more independently on researching, drafting and revising your essays. The seminar is designed to accommodate a wide range of topics, perspectives and methodological approaches. Our only core requirement is that that you treat a city, a suburb or their relationship as a significant dimension of your analysis. Seminar participants are expected to finish the semester with a well-developed essay that can become a conference presentation, a published article or a chapter in an MA thesis or doctoral dissertation.

26:510:543 Topics in World History: Cities and the Urban in China, 1800-present
Daniel Asen
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Cities have played an essential role in China’s transformation from an advanced early modern empire into a modern nation-state and rising global superpower. Under the old imperial system cities served as centers of trade, cosmopolitan culture, and ritual practice. Beginning in the mid-19th century, China’s integration into a global system dominated by Western countries transformed many coastal and inland Chinese cities into sites of rapid economic and technological transformation and political and social upheaval. Following the 1949 communist revolution and reengagement with the global economy in the post-Mao period, cities have once again emerged as crucial sites for a developmental drive that has been as destructive and displacing as it has been transformative.

This graduate reading seminar explores urban history in China from the perspectives of comparative and global history. Many of the questions that we will explore have broad relevance, especially for students with an interest in urban history of other regions and periods: How are boundaries of class, race, and ethnicity established, consolidated, or challenged in urban spaces and institutions? How have the meanings of everyday life, work, and leisure changed in industrial societies? How has modern globalization impacted the well-being and health of urban communities? Who are the winners and losers of urbanization and “development”? How are modern cities policed and what are the politics of “orderly” urban spaces? Students will be encouraged to think about these questions comparatively, to explore connections between China and other world regions, and to think critically about the interplay between historiography, critical theory, and specific cases in the study of history.

26:510:545 Nineteenth-Century Europe: the History of Emotions
Eva Giloi
Mondays 5:00-7:40pm

Love, hate, fear: these seem to be universal emotions. Yet as historians are increasingly discovering, emotions have a history: people have not always felt as they do now. This begs the question: how do large-scale changes in emotional experience come about? If people aren’t born with ‘natural’ emotions, how do they learn to feel? Or more fundamentally: how are emotions generated – through the brain’s chemistry; through the body’s movement in the everyday environment; through conscious and semi-conscious social interactions? Such questions preoccupy scholars who study emotions from a wide range of disciplines.

Against this background, this course examines the newly emerging field of the ‘history of emotions,’ and asks a further meta-question: how do historical subfields develop? As historians break new methodological ground, their work sometimes coalesces into recognized subfields, for instance, recently, in ‘environmental history’ or ‘trans-border history.’ Some thirty years ago, ‘cultural history’ was a newly rising field, displacing social history in what Lynn Hunt then called the Cultural Turn. This methodological move inspired further sub-fields, from the ‘spatial turn’ to the ‘visual turn’ to the ‘history of everyday life.’ Most recently, the ‘history of emotions’ has become one of the hottest new cultural fields, but one that, in its newness, is both amorphous and hotly contested.

In sum: this course focuses on the methodologies historians use to excavate the history of emotions, and the controversies that have arisen from these new methodologies. Its center of gravity lies in modern Europe, but it also draws on influential texts from other regions (for instance the USA) and other scholarly disciplines (neuroscience, anthropology, queer studies) where appropriate.

26:510:551 American Intellectual and Cultural History: From Cultural History to Cultural Studies
Ruth Feldstein
Tuesdays, 5:30-8:10pm

Beginning from the premise that "culture matters," this graduate seminar will explore when, how, and in what specific ways scholars working from various disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives have engaged with culture, cultural history, and cultural studies as categories and as methods. Students have the option of writing a research paper, though doing so is not a requirement of the seminar.

26:510:563 Topics in Health History: The Black Death: Disease, Society, and History
Nukhet Varlik
Wednesdays, 5:00-7:40pm

This course is devoted to the study of the Black Death, one of the greatest pandemics in human history. We will keep the geographical and temporal scope of the course as broad as possible but the main focus will be Eurasia in the late medieval and early modern era. In this course, we will read and discuss the available historical scholarship on this pandemic and learn how to incorporate research findings produced in fields, such as bioarcheology, microbiology, and archeozoology into historical research. No previous background in sciences is required.

26:510:618 Seminar in Teaching History
Elizabeth Aaron
Thursdays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course challenges students to investigate, reflect upon, and demonstrate exploration of current best practices in research and teaching history at the secondary level.  It is aimed at those enrolled in the Master of Arts for Teachers (MAT) program and/or those already engaged in teaching.  The goal is to guide and challenge teachers in how to integrate cutting-edge historical scholarship into their teaching.  To that end, readings and activities in graduate-level historical scholarship, modern pedagogy and educational research,  teaching methods and contemporary education issues as they relate to the teaching of history will be the focus of readings, discussion, activities, writing assignments, and assessments

48:510:632 Technology, Culture, and History
Richard Sher
Mondays, 5:30-8:10pm

This course will treat the relationships between technology and culture in a variety of historical and geographical settings. It will examine the ways in which cultural ideals, conceptions, and preconceptions serve to influence the rate and manner of technological change, as well as the ways in which technology affects social and cultural life and the ways that technologies are adapted and exchanged by different societies. It will also consider environmental and organic factors underlying technological developments; connections between technology and concepts of time and space; technology in relation to the study of 20th-century global history; and the culture of “technological communities” – both historical and fictional.