Graduate Courses

Fall 2021

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History 701: History in a Global Perspective

History in a Global Perspective

An introduction to history as a graduate and professional discipline. Comprises practical and intellectual discussions of historical study and research, including questions of how to be a graduate student in the department, how to “do” history, and how to become a professional in the field. Includes talks from department faculty, staff, and outside lecturers. Required for all History graduate students in their first year.

W 3:30PM – 4:20PM | Pending Room | Instructor: Daniel Ussishkin

History 705: Topics in Global History

Environmental Politics, Empire, and Capitalism

This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the intersection between Political Ecology and Environmental History, dealing with three historical topics: Empires, Nations, and Capitalism. This exercise implies a multiscale vision that combines global, hemispheric, and Latin American scales. In the second part of the course, the global scale is studied in “friction” with the Amazon region. This exercise will help students understand contemporary Amazon history, in a period when the Amazon has become not only a globalized region, but also a region strongly defined in environmental or ecological terms. In brief, this course will think on political ecology with historical density. The field of Political Ecology provides a critical vision of natural sciences, and it is nurtured from political economy, geography and anthropology. It can also be seen as environmental history with a political perspective.

R 3:30PM – 5:25PM | Pending Room | Instructor: German Palacio

History 710-002: Professional Development Seminar

Dissertation Chapter Writing

This writing workshop is designed to support students at all levels of the dissertation process.  The key requirement is that participants must present a chapter for peer-review at some point during the semester.  Together, we will learn how to offer fair, productive, and challenging critiques of each other’s work.

The core objective of the seminar is for students to transform their research into compelling pieces of writing.  Our readings will be short and will focus on writing strategies, methods, and techniques.  We will discuss how to write powerful introductions, and pen conclusions that go beyond mere summaries.  We’ll think about how to write with confidence, make strong arguments, and discuss strategies to communicate effectively with scholars outside our fields of specialization.  We will address how to use evidence convincingly – how much evidence is enough and how should it be framed?  And we’ll pay close attention to how to conceptualize a lengthy piece of research.  Some attention will be also devoted to discussing the differences between chapters and journal articles, and dissertations and books.  We’ll look at examples of chapters that later became articles, and dissertations that became field-changing books.  The seminar structure is flexible and will be adjusted to meet the needs of participants.  The goal is to provide structure, encouragement, and feedback to enable students to make steady progress on their writing.

T 3:30PM – 5:25PM | Pending Room | Instructor: Laird Boswell

History 725: Seminar in East Asian History

Seminar in East Asian History

Designed as a discussion-driven seminar for graduate students, we will examine emerging scholarship and major debates in modern Korean history dealing with topics as varied as historiography, gender and women’s history, colonial modernity, the Korean War, and postwar developments in both North and South Korea. The course includes treatment of Korea beyond its geographic borders to include transnational movements of people, culture, and capital, such as the Korean diaspora and the Korean Wave. Although we will question concepts such as “modern,” modern Korean history generally refers to the “opening” of Korea in the late 19th century to the present. Readings will be drawn from a variety of disciplines and topics depending on recent publications in the field, but a solid grounding in historical methodology will drive analysis and discussion, in order to facilitate the completion of the final research project based on primary sources.

R 3:30PM – 5:25PM |Pending Room | Instructor: Charles Kim

History 734: Introduction to Archives and Records Management

Introduction to Archives and Records Management

An introduction to the archives profession and basic theory and practice of archives and records administration, including the uses of primary sources in research, appraisal, access, and preservation.

R 1:30PM – 4:00PM | Helen White 4191F| Instructor: Amanda Smith

History 752: Seminar in Transnational Gender History

Transnational Gender History

This graduate seminar is designed as an introduction to the field of Gender and Women’s History but is not restricted to students affiliated with the History Department’s Program in Gender and Women’s History. We have at least three learning outcomes on our agenda. First, we will begin a conversation about the field of Gender and Women’s History: what is it, where does it come from, where is it going, and when and where do questions of sexuality appear in its debates? Second, we expect the work in seminar to provoke questions, and suggest a few answers, about how gender, sex and feminism are discussed and employed as analytical concepts in recent historical works. We will examine closely how gender and sexuality is imbricated with other categories of difference such as race, class, generation, nation, tribe, religion etc. and broach the possibilities and limits of feminist historical writing. Third, the seminar will, hopefully, fashion intellectual capacity to work on questions of gender and sexuality in historical narratives and analyses.

Our approach is comparative and transnational. We will mix regions of the world, using one region to trouble or rethink another. We will consciously work on understanding the methods and claims of different disciplines, including history, anthropology, literature and cultural studies, as well as distinct intellectual traditions like post-colonial and feminist theory.

The credit standard for this 3-credit course is met by an expectation of a total of 135 hours of student engagement with the course’s learning activities (at least 45 hours per credit or 9 hours per week), which include regularly scheduled meeting times (group seminar meetings of 115 minutes per week), reading, writing, and other student work as described in the syllabus.

W 1:20PM – 3:15PM | Pending Room | Instructor: Emily Callaci and Pernille Ipsen

History 755: Proseminar in Southeast Asian History

Empire & Revolution: U.S. & European Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia

The course explores the nature of “empire” in an age of America’s global dominion, starting with the rise of European empires during the “high colonialism” in the late 19th century and ending with U.S. global hegemony in the early 21st century. After reviewing the literature on the rise of modern empires, the course will explore both the expansion of European colonialism into Southeast Asia and the region’s response. With the world’s most diverse array of imperial powers and a history of intense colonization, Southeast Asia is the ideal region for a close, comparative study of imperialism. The course concludes by applying insights gained from exploring the end of European empires to the ongoing decline of U.S. global power.

T 11:00AM – 12:55PM |Pending Room | Instructor: Alfred McCoy

History 764: Dimensions of Material Culture

Dimensions of Material Culture

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of material culture studies. It is intended for students interested in any professional endeavor related to material culture, including careers in museums, galleries, historical societies, historic preservation organizations, and academic institutions. During the semester, students have varied opportunities to engage with and contemplate the material world to which people give meaning and which, in turn, influences their lives. Sessions combine in some way the following: presentations from faculty members and professionals who lecture on a phase of material culture related to his/her own scholarship or other professional work; discussion of foundational readings in the field; visits to collections and sites on campus and around Madison; discussion of readings assigned by visiting presenters or the professors; and exams and short papers that engage material culture topics.

TR 2:30PM – 3:45PM | Pending Room| Instructor: Marina Moskowitz

History 800: Research Seminar in History

Research Seminar in History

This class has two main goals: for you to substantially complete an MA thesis, dissertation chapter, or article, and for you to learn processes for writing easily and efficiently.  Life happens in time.  Writing successfully within the constraints of a time-bound existence requires learning how to focus a naturally unruly creative process into manageable concrete steps.  We will explore methods and strategies for 1) making the basics of writing simple and automatic, 2) managing large-scale research & writing projects, 3) self-regulation and self-assessment.  Simultaneously we will support each other in our immediate work of producing our theses and chapters.

R 3:30PM – 5:25PM |Pending Room | Instructor: Leonora Neville

History 804: Interdisciplinary Western European Area Studies Seminar

Interdisciplinary Western European Area Studies Seminar

What is an archive? What does it mean to “do” archival research? This interdisciplinary seminar approaches these questions by examining the archive both as a site of scholarly practice and as a theoretical mode of collecting, classifying, and disseminating information. We will consider a wide range of archival sites (museums, personal libraries, state institutions, etc.), investigating how these spaces produce knowledge, curate memories, elicit affective responses, and establish national narratives. We will also examine questions of visibility, accessibility, and digitization, and think about how different voices are marginalized or excluded from the archive. Students will pursue final papers using archival sources germane to their subjects. Readings may include work by Carolyn Steedman, Michel Foucault, Saidiya Hartman, Joan Scott, S.D. Goitein, Jacque Derrida, and S.Y. Agnon.

T 4:00PM – 6:30PM | Pending Room | Instructor: Sunny Yudkoff

History 805: Seminar-Medieval History

Seminar – Medieval History

This seminar will provide an introduction to the four Crusader States, focusing on the Kingdom of Jerusalem, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. We will begin by an examination of the foundational moment of the First Crusade before advancing towards Crusader States proper. Crusader States were unique frontier societies, in which Latin Christians, Eastern Christians, Muslims and Jews lived side-by-side. We will pay particular attention to how this society operated and what was the lived experience of the people inhabiting it. Significant part of the course will be dedicated to the variety of sources that we have at our disposal to learn about Crusader States (chronicles, literary sources, material culture, etc.) and on the most recent approaches to these sources. Assessment will be based on participation in the seminar discussions, a written review of one of the books assigned, and a final essay in which students will apply knowledge that have gained in the class to their own field.

W 4:00PM – 6:00PM | Pending Room| Instructor: Elizabeth Lapina

History 861: Seminar – The History of Africa

Seminar – The History of Africa

This course will provide an introduction to some of the principal methods, theories, and historiographic trends that characterize African history.  The principal objective of the course is to provide a critical foundation for your further research on Africa.  Throughout the course we will engage questions surrounding the use of non-traditional historical methodologies and the importance of context in the creation of historical sources.  The methods and interpretive insights that we discuss will hopefully prove useful for historians studying other parts of the world, as well as for students from other disciplines.

F 11:00AM – 12:55PM | Pending Room| Instructor: Neil Kodesh

History 891: Proseminar in Modern European History

Proseminar in Modern European History

This graduate seminar will explore how gender shapes and is shaped by the experience of the two world wars of the twentieth century.  We will read both primary and secondary sources.  While the geographical emphasis will be on Europe, we will also examine the encounter with total war in the United States and Southeast Asia.  Our approach throughout will be transnational and comparative.   Some questions we will ask are:  What was the relationship between the “homefront  and the “battlefront ?  Were these two gendered, if at all?  How do cultural notions of masculinity figure in the recruitment of soldiers and the construction of military comradeship?  How does “wounded masculinity become a trope of war’s effects? How did women in the United States and Russia adapt to military life and combat? What role did women play in resistance movements?  What did “survival mean for women on the homefront, in concentration camps? Finally, we will devote a section of the course to the role of sexuality in war, including prostitution and sexual violence.  How does the possession of women’s bodies delineate spheres of power in the male contest for territory?

 T 1:20PM – 3:15PM | Pending Room | Instructor: Mary Lou Roberts

History 901: Studies in American History

Studies in American History

U.S. Urban History from 1619-Present will cover major social, cultural, political, environmental, and physical transformations in U.S. metropolitan areas. Readings will consist of articles and books that broadly fall under the field of urban history. The class builds in flexible assignment options to make the class useful to students at any stage of their graduate program and professional training. Readings are forthcoming. Professor Glotzer values student collaboration and encourages those interested in the course to suggest topics they want to learn about so they can be represented on the syllabus.

R 11:00AM – 12:55PM |Online | Instructor: Paige Glotzer

History 982: Interdepartmental Seminar in the Latin-American Area

Interdepartmental Seminar in the Latin-American Area

In this seminar, we will introduce a series of topics and issues that are central to an interdisciplinary understanding of the Latin American region. We will consider the region’s political systems, media systems, cultural change, economic challenges, environmental challenges, education, and habitat challenges. We will pay particular attention to the empirical observations of the emerging phenomena and to their historical grounding, shedding light on social change in the context of global dynamics.

T 3:30PM – 5:30PM | Ingraham 206 | Instructor: Katarzyna Beilin

History of Science 720: Proseminar: Historiography and Methods

Proseminar: Historiography and Methods

This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the history of science, medicine, and technology (HSMT).  It gives a brief overview of the field’s major themes and issues, both historical and current, as well as introducing you to the range of approaches scholars have used to address their questions.  Major themes in recent years:  Landmark moments in the history of the history of science, from Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions to the globalization of HSTM; relations with neighboring disciplines; agents of change in STM; systems of power/knowledge in STM.

T 3:30PM – 5:25PM | Pending Room| Instructor: Lynn Nyhart

Syllabi Library

Current and past syllabi, arranged by course number, can be found in the History Syllabi Library.

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Course Guide

Graduate courses at UW-Madison are numbered 700 and above, and History graduate students typically take courses at the 700 or higher level. Subject to program restrictions and by prior arrangement with the instructor, however, students may take 300-600 level course that carry the graduate attribute for graduate credit. For details, see the Graduate Program Handbook – Registration – Level of Course Credits.

The Course Guide lists all courses offered at UW-Madison. It is an online, searchable catalog that provides a broad spectrum of course information and enables browsing the course sections offered each term. It is updated six times per day. You may reach the Course Guide in two ways:

  • Public version of the Course Guide
  • Version for UW students available through My UW (requires UW NetID login)

For graduate students, there is no practical difference between the two points of entry. (The only difference that the My UW version enables undergraduates to use the Degree Planner tool.)