Current Courses

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

HIS 201I: General Lit. of History, Latin America Since 1810

Rethinking Mexico's History


W 9:00-11:50, 4202 SSH

The purpose of this seminar is to explore Mexico’s historiography and deal with selected topics of Mexico’s history such as conquest and survival of indigenous polities, the emergence of the nation, the incorporation of hinterlands and frontiers, the environment, the history of gender relations, and others.  While we will focus on recent works, we will keep “the classics” in sight to gain an appreciation of the ways in which the field has evolved in the last decades and gain a better understanding of current scholarly debates.


Your final grade will be determined by:

1) Class participation and doing the required reading (30%).

2) Two historiographical papers of about 10 typewritten pages each (35% for each paper for a total of 70%). They will be due on the last day of class .

HIS 201Q: Gen. Lit. of History, Women's & Gender History


W 2:10-5:00, 2202 SSH

This year's iteration of the Cross-Cultural Women's and Gender History seminar focuses on the intersection of law and gender. What are the functions of law? An instrument of rule? A buttress of existing social hierarchy? A weapon of the weak? A generator of social and cultural differences? And how do these systems construct, interact with, and contest gender regimes? This course is wide-ranging and moves broadly across time and place. Among the topics we will consider are wife-selling in Qing China; gay life in pre-WWII New York and Berlin; prisons and American sexuality; indigenous women's sovereignty in American borderlands; prostitution and markets in early modern Japan; sexuality and colonialism in Nigeria; slavery, gender, and state formation in the Caribbean; and sexual morality in 20th-century Brazil.

HIS 201W-001: Gen. Lit. of History: World History

Mediterranean Passages: The Theory and Practice of a Regional History


R 12:10-3:00, 2202 SSH

The Mediterranean has been called the navel of the world. Since ancient times, it has been a sea of passage, adventure, trade, and conflict. In this seminar, we shall examine the many ways in which the Mediterranean has been imagined, represented, mapped, painted, and written about from ancient times until the present.  We shall explore various themes framed by the idea of the Mediterranean, beginning with the fundamental issue of the viability of the Mediterranean as an historical, geographical, and cultural unit. From there we shall move on to topical matters, such as cities and routes, war, piracy, trade, the ideas of honor and shame,  gender relations, bandits and the mafia, ethnic cleansing and nationalism, migration and displacement. We shall also look  at paintings and film, poetry, fiction and travel writing as exemplars of a Mediterranean consciousness. Finally, we shall consider how historical evidence has been deployed to undergird the narratives that define this region that is so elemental in world history.


HIS 201W-002: Gen. Lit of History: World History


T 3:10-6:00, 4202 SSH

History 201W will provide a chronological and historiographical survey of some of the most important works in modern European history from the French Revolution to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Subjects covered include industrialization, nationalism, imperialism, and armed conflict. Works considered include: Karl Polyani, The Great Transformation; François Furet, Interpreting the French Revolution; EP Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class; Joan Scott, Gender and the Politics of History; and Tony Judt, Postwar.


HIS 202H-001: Major Issues in Historical Interpret., U.S.

Creole Identities in the Atlantic World


W 5:10-8:00, 4202 SSH

This class will examine the ways in which the European colonization of the Americas reshaped conceptions of identity and community on four continents, paying particular attention to the creation of “creole” societies throughout the Atlantic rim. The term creole has had a long and contested history, referring at times to peoples of European or African descent and at other times to the mixed-race peoples and hybrid cultures born under colonial role. To many Europeans, creole-ness signified degeneracy, while many Americans embraced the term. During this course we will examine the development of these new identities in the British, Spanish, French, and Portuguese empires in the Americas. We will also examine the ways in which colonization reshaped “Old World” identities in Europe, particularly as Europeans learned about America, consumed American goods, and reshaped established legal and political institutions to accommodate new imperial subjects.

Required Readings:

  • Toby Green, The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

  • María Elena Martínez, Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza De Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2008).

  • Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996)

  • Sean McEnroe, From Colony to Nationhood (Cambridge Press, 2014)

  • David Silverman, Faith and Boundaries (Cambridge Press, 2005)

  • James H. Sweet, Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011).

  • David Wheat, Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

  • John D. Garrigus, Before Haiti: Race and Citizenship in French Saint-Domingue (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)

  • Shannon Lee Dawdy, Building the Devil’s Empire: French Colonial New Orleans (University of Chicago Press)


HIS 202H-002: Major Issues in Historical Interpret., U.S.

Violence, Colonialism, and the Making of the Settler State


R 4:10-7:00, 4202 SSH

The last two decades have seen an explosion of scholarship on Native American and indigenous histories. How can these works help us to better understand the history of the North American West and the Pacific?  As we explore colonialism, capitalism, and their attendant violence against human and natural communities, we shall consider the role of violence and justice in the unsettling and resettling of the West and the Pacific by Anglos, Mexicans, Filipinos, Chinese, and other immigrants. Putting this work into conversation with studies of interracial violence in frontier Los Angeles, the violence of the state against rural Hispanos, and the legal violence done to Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican immigrants will provide us with grist for an ongoing conversation about the making and remaking of western, American, Native American, and Native Hawaiian histories.

Prospective Reading List

  • Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West
  • James Brooks, Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat'ovi Massacre
  • David Chang, The World and All the Things Upon It
  • William Cronon, Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West
  • John Mack Faragher, Eternity Street: Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles
  • Jake Kosek, Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico
  • Patricia Limerick, Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West
  • Benjamin Madley, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-73
  • Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America
  • Richard White, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America
  • Kornel Chang, Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S. Canadian Borderlands
  • Andres Resendez, The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Slavery in the Americas

HIS 203B: Research Seminar


Meetings as needed.

Second course in the series for the department's year-long research seminar project for second year students.