Current Courses

The Department of History is conducting these courses for graduate students during Spring 2017.

This list is subject to change. All courses are restricted to History Graduate Students. If you are from outside the department, please contact Grace Woods at for further information.

Graduate Courses for Spring 2017

HIS 201X-001: World History

Introduction to World History


W 4:10-7:00, 2202 SSH

This course is a broad introduction to the growing field of world history.  It aims to provide students with a survey of the key debates and methods in the field.  In particular, it is one of two courses required for the graduate minor field in world history.  Upon completing this course, students will have sufficient background in the field to grasp the debates in a subsequent 201/202 focusing on world or comparative history; to develop a basic undergraduate syllabus on modern world history; and to apply arguments and methods from the field to their own research.


The course will proceed in two parts.  The first five weeks will treat broad questions of scope and scale:  what is the "world" of "world history"?  We will explore these issues through the classic works of Fernand Braudel, Immanuel Wallerstein, Eric Wolf, and David Christian.  In the second five weeks we will work thematically, seeing how global historians approach such issues as migration, environmental history, and commodity exchange.  Key texts here will include work by Sven Beckert, Kerry Ward, Lauren Benton, and Mike Davis.


Students will be responsible for weekly book summaries posted to Canvas, two book reviews, and a final assignment (either writing a 15-page historiographical essay or developing an undergraduate world history syllabus).

HIS 201X-002: World History

Nationalism, Transnationalism, and Late Capitalism


W 1:10-4:00, 2202 SSH

Cross-listed with CST 208.

What are the critical spaces between forms of subjection and politics of resistance that have emerged over the long 20th century in response to the fragmentary forces of decolonization, post-industrial capitalism, and the redistribution of working bodies across physical, virtual and dispersed sites of production? How have they eviscerated and reassembled traditional belongings and imaginaries? What are the subaltern, protean or multitudinous forms of association or opposition left in our new, pointillist global order where the sovereign subject has been set adrift, once again, by the unforeseen compulsions of history and capital? This course is introduction to the contemporary theories of nation, nationalism, post-colonialism, transnationalism and resistance in the late capitalist and postmodern era.

HIS 202H-001: United States

Slavery and Capitalism


R 3:10-6:00, 2202 SSH

This course examines the development of two crucial systems that shaped the 19th century Americas: chattel slavery and Atlantic capitalism. For more than a century, scholars have debated whether we should see these two developments as intertwined or as antithetical, whether we should see 19th century slavery as central to the development of contemporary capitalism, or as a vestigial remnant of an older economic system, or as a spur to capitalist development eventually shed by an expansive capitalist system. At stake in these debate are fundamental questions about the nature of capitalism and of slavery, central issues for understanding both 19th century historical development and also our contemporary world. Starting with now-classic works by Eric Williams, Eugene Genovese, and Robert Fogel, this class examines formative debates about the relationship between capitalist development and the expansion of slavery, then concludes with discussion of so-called Second Slavery in the U.S., Cuba, and Brazil, and the controversy among historians and economists over recent works by Sven Beckert, Ed Baptist, and others.

Books (some in total, some selections):
Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery
Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power
Fogel and Engerman, TIme on the Cross
Eugene Genovese, The Political Economy of Slavery
Pomeranz, The Great Divergence
Parthasarathi, Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not
Gavin Wright, Slavery and American Economic Development
Manisha Sinha, the Slave's Cause
Robin Blackburn, The American Crucible
Ada Ferrer, Freedom's Mirror
Walter Johnson, River of Dark Dreams
Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton
Ed Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told
Greg Grandin, Empire of Necessity
Aisha Finch, Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba
Beckert and Rothman, eds., Slavery's Capitalism
Marquese, Slavery and Politics: Brazil and Cuba
Marques, The United States and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Daina Ramey Berry, The Price for Their Pound of Flesh


HIS 202H-002: United States

The U.S. and the World, 1930s to the Present


T 2:10-5:00, 2202 SSH
This seminar is designed to help students explore possible dissertation topics and prepare for their comprehensive exams. We will read major scholarly works on U.S. political and foreign policy history. The first half will focus on domestic policy and politics; the second will look abroad. Our major questions will be: What was the “New Deal order,” and what were the consequences of its successes and failures? When, where, and why did working-class Americans leave the New Deal coalition? What were the effects of the Cold War on Americans at home? What are the latest trends in political and foreign policy history, and how could they shape your research and teaching?