Following the campus guidelines for Coronavirus all UC Davis classes, lectures, seminars, labs and discussion sections will move to virtual instruction and remain virtual through the end of fall quarter 2020, including final exams. Given this, the department’s administrative functions have moved to remote work conditions. To contact staff members of the department via e-mail or phone, please go to our administrative staff contact page. 

Current Courses (Fall 2021)

The Department of History is offering these courses for graduate students during Fall 2021.

This list is subject to change. All courses are restricted to History graduate students during registration. If you are from outside the department and wish to register in a course, please contact  for further information.

HIS 201I

The Americas and the Pacific World

Instructor: Andres Resendez

4 units, CRN: 53245

Schedule: Tuesdays 3:10-6:00pm

Course Description

The history of the American continent has long been told from an Atlantic perspective. Beginning with Columbus, Europeans and Africans traveled across the Atlantic while the spoils of colonialism flowed back. Historians are very used to discussing and even taking for granted the “Atlantic World.” In this seminar, we will sample the fast-developing scholarship that links the Americas with the Pacific from Magellan to 1900. Pacific studies have lagged well behind those centered on the Atlantic, but they are finally gaining momentum. As we live in a world increasingly centered on the Pacific, it is imperative that we understand how we got here. 


Your final grade will be determined by:

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

2) Two historiographical papers due on the sixth and tenth weeks of about 10 typewritten pages each (35% for each paper for a total of 70%). Alternatively, one research paper due on week ten.

Reading Schedule


HIS 202H

Readings in African American History

Instructor: Justin Leroy

4 units, CRN: 36849

Schedule: Thursdays, 3:10pm-6:00pm

Course Description

In this course we will focus on recently published work in the field of African American history, covering the 17th-20th centuries. Paying careful attention to questions of method and archive, we will focus on topics such as slavery and its afterlives, policing, racial capitalism, and black feminism.

HIS 204


Instructor: Corrie Decker

4 units, CRN: 36853

Schedule: Wednesdays 3:10pm-6:00pm

Course Description

This seminar introduces incoming grad students to major debates in the discipline of history. Rather than providing a neat chronological overview of historiographical trends, this seminar is organized around particular methodological problems: How do we construct a narrative from thin sources? How do we reconcile discrepancies in our sources or in people’s memories of the past? Is there such a thing as collective consciousness? How do we acknowledge the assumptions we bring to our interpretations of the past? What ethical responsibilities do we as historians have toward our students, colleagues, and the public? These and other questions correlate with the methodological “problems” we will explore in the course: Narrative, Memory, Consciousness, Representation, Power/Knowledge, Epistemology, Emotions, and Essentialism. We will also discuss methodological tools that will help us take a more rigorous, self-aware, and imaginative approach to our research subjects.

In addition to exploring some theoretical and ethical questions related to different historical methodologies, this seminar offers some practical training for success in the profession and beyond. First, in addition to discussion papers, everyone will write two formal book reviews modeled after those published in history journals. Second, everyone present dense material succinctly and generate discussion that bridges multiple texts and contexts in their seminar presentations. Third, the final historiographical paper allows one to explore a particular methodological or theoretical approach relevant to their own research as well as to other geographic fields. For this paper, one could unpack major debates in social history, cultural history, the history of gender or sexuality, environmental history, modernity and periodization, oral history, quantitative vs. qualitative studies, or literature as history – to name a few possibilities. And finally, interspersed within the syllabus are readings on pedagogy and pubic history in order to generate discussions about teaching methods, history outside academia, and the broader implications of our research and writing.

Required Books

Natalie Zemon Davis, Return of Martin Guerre (Harvard University Press, 1984)

Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Vol.1 (Penguin, 1990)

Ndubueze L. Mbah, Emergent Masculinities: Gendered Power and Social Change in the Biafran Atlantic Age (Ohio University Press, 2019)

Nara B. Milanich, Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Sowande’ M. Mustakeem, Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (University of Illinois Press, 2016)

Lorena Oropeza, The King of Adobe: Reies López Tijerina, The Lost Prophet of the Chicano Movement (University of North Carolina Press, 2019)

Edward Said, Orientalism (Penguin, 1979)

E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (Knopf Doubleday, 1967)

HIS 203A

Research Seminar

Instructor: Ian Campbell

4 units, CRN: 36852

Schedule: Mondays, 4:10pm-7:00pm

Required course for second-year History graduate students.