History 701: History in a Global Perspective
*Instructor Consent Required*
Introduction to the ways of thinking characteristic of historical study and to the questions and methods that motivate the research fields in which department faculty work. Required of all graduate students in their first year.
R 12:00-12:50 AM | 5233 Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: TBA
History 705: Modern Jewish History Core
This course immerses students in the major events and questions of modern Jewish history. The emphasis will be on acquiring expert knowledge and facility with major developments in this history. A secondary focus of the course will be on historiographic questions informed by this knowledge. This course is a requirement for History graduate students in the Program in Jewish History (PJH). However, no prior course work in Jewish history is assumed and the seminar is open to all.
W 11:00-12:55 PM | 5255 Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Amos Bitzan
History 705: Political Ecology - Nature, Culture & Histories of Power
*Instructor Consent Required*
Historical political ecology is an approach to investigating the political economies and power relations of environmental change. The field interrogates relationships between ideas of nature and the construction of political subjectivities. From desertification in sub-Saharan Africa to water management in urban Ecuador, it seeks to put contemporary issues of social and environmental justice in historical perspective. Seen through the lens of historical political ecology, environmental problems are never entirely natural, but rather the product of processes that entangle social and natural change—including resource use, commodification, (under)development, knowledge production, and environmental management. Historical political ecologists take a broadly interdisciplinary approach that combines field-based ethnographic and archival research, political economic analysis, ecological studies, and critical attention to the politics of knowledge. This seminar will examine historical political ecology in two senses: first, by looking at the evolution of the field from its roots in development studies and hazards research to current engagements with postcolonial theory and science and technology studies; and second, by analyzing how political ecologists have approached historiography and what is at stake in the way they narrate the past. The seminar will also feature an emphasis on preparing students to do historical political ecology through a focus on methods—including archival research and field-based oral histories—and grant writing.
Recommended for graduate students working across environmental studies, environmental history, geography, anthropology, environmental sociology, STS, and agroecology. The course will also provide grounding for upcoming seminars on the “Plantationocene.”
M 3:30-5:25 PM | 2611 Mosse Humanities | Instructor: Elizabeth Hennessy
History 706: Asian Migration and Diaspora
This seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Asian migration and diaspora since the modern era. We consider how Asia and Asians have been important forces shaping the formation of empires, nations, and economies, rather than simply as sites and groups to which such mobile phenomena have occurred. We explore a variety of alternative framings and scales aimed at critiquing the nation as a basic unit of analysis: transnational, transregional, inter-Asia, trans-Pacific, imperial, global, diaspora, home/homeland, borderland, and seas. We also ask how such approaches help uncover little-known interconnections and interdependencies, as well as unconventional chronologies and geographies. Bringing together East, Southeast, and South Asia, seminar readings include the work of David Ambaras, Sunil Amrith, Fahad Ahmad Bishara, Shelly Chan, James Clifford, Prasenjit Duara, Freddy Gonzalez, Engseng Ho, Yoshikuni Igarashi, Su Lin Lewis, Adam McKeown, Aihwa Ong, Hyun Ok Park, Shu-mei Shih, Elizabeth Sinn, Eric Tagliacozzo, and Emma Teng.
F 1:20-3:15 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities | Instructor: Shelly Chan
History 710: On the Job Market
This seminar introduces tools to search for academic and non-academic positions as historians. We will explore the contours of the contemporary job market, create the components of a sample application dossier, and experiment with strategies for successful interviews. Guests with recent experience on both sides of the search process will be invited to share advice.
M 1:20-3:15 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities | Instructor: April Haynes
History 755: Empire & Revolution--U.S. & European Colonialism in Southeast Asia
*Instructor Consent Required*
The course explores the nature of “empire” in an age of America’s global dominion, starting with the rise of European empires during the era of “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 its history of intense colonization, Southeast Asia is the ideal region for a close, comparative study of imperialism.
In this survey of European empires, the seminar will focus closely on U.S. colonial rule in the Philippines from 1898-1946, an important but forgotten chapter in American history. Indeed, in two centuries of American history, the U.S. conquest and colonization of the Philippines is the only experience comparable to our current involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. By exploring this juxtaposition of past and present in the history of America’s foreign adventures, the seminar will, in its opening and closing sessions, explore the way the past bears upon the present.
More broadly, the course will explore issues central to the character of global empires—including, the causes of imperial expansion, the drive for military security, the psychology of colonial dominion, ecological and economic transformations, the rise of nationalist resistance, and the dynamics of imperial decline. In its closing sessions, the seminar will apply these historical lessons to analyzing the future course of U.S. global power.
Instead of transferring a fund of facts about European empires and anti-colonial revolutions, the seminar seeks to understand the dynamics of global dominion and the changing character of geopolitical power.
This course meets with History 600-007.
T 11:00-12:55 PM | 5257 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Al McCoy
History 800: Research Seminar in History
*Instructor Consent Required*
Research seminar designed for students in all fields of history. Seminar is structured to enable students to complete the research paper requirement for the MA. It will introduce students to the life of a professional historian, to different styles and methods of history, and give them the opportunity to present their findings in a conference-type setting.
W 1:20-3:15 PM | 5255 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Emily Callaci
History 857: Empires of the East: Eurasia, Indian Ocean
Recent events in South Asia C from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 to the development of global jihadism or “terrorism” and the rise of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban have taken almost everyone by surprise. They have also sparked a new and intense interest in the historical evolution of a region that until recently most Americans were quite unfamiliar with and regarded as of little relevance for themselves. In the daily press, in foreign policy journals, and in academic books on the subject, what is now often called the new great game for empire became a hotly debated subject. Parallels have been drawn between the Cold War engagements of recent decades and the nineteenth-century contest between Russia and Great Britain for power and influence in the same region. The struggle for empire in South Asia has been depicted as something that was historically inevitable and of all ages – proof, if any were needed, of the old adage that “geography is destiny”. But where does this inevitability come from? And what does it bode for the future of the region? Will America, now that it has been drawn into it, be just another, the latest, empire to become the arbiter of the East? In this seminar we will explore these, and related issues in five parts.
W 1:20-3:15 PM | 5257 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructors: André Wink
History 891: Gender and War in the Twentieth Century
*Instructor Consent Required*
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: 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? How does the procuration and preparation of food—a traditionally female task—assume new meaning during wartime? Finally, we will devote an entire section of the course to the role of sexuality in war, including prostitution and sexual violence. What is the “body” of war? How does the possession of women’s bodies delineate spheres of power in the male contest for territory?
T 3:30-5:25 PM | 5257 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructors: Mary Louise Roberts
History 900: Introduction to History for U.S. Historians
*Instructor Consent Required*
This seminar introduces incoming graduate students of North American/U.S. history to the ideas, practices, and professional cultures that shape “Americanist” scholarship. We will examine the development of U.S. history as a distinct area of inquiry, analyze its contested internal traditions, and consider a few major challenges to the field itself. The seminar also introduces students to practices that currently define the historical profession. Students will learn about the archives, publication processes, teaching commitments, career arcs, politics, and issues of public memory that necessarily influence the intellectual contributions of both academic and public historians. Faculty guests will visit the seminar to discuss their areas of specialization and offer wisdom about doing U.S. history today. Overall, the course prepares emerging scholars to become historians and encourages them to envision the best possible future of the historical profession.
T 8:50-10:45 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: April Haynes
History 901: African American Women, Freedom, and Identity
According to scholar and activist Pauli Murray, “If anyone should ask a Negro woman what is her greatest achievement, her honest answer would be, ‘I survived.’” This graduate seminar explores the quests of African American women from a variety of communities to achieve social equality and recognition throughout the twentieth century. Focusing on social movements, professional engagements, and private lives, we will interrogate the opposition and opportunities that black women faced in their efforts for individual as well as group advancement. We will study intra-racial support and conflict as well as alliances across racial and class lines. Overall, this course will examine the social, political, cultural, and economic hurdles that stymied black women’s efforts to thrive in the United States and locate their diverse and dynamic strategies for survival, resistance, and growth. Among the assigned texts are How It Feels to Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement (Feldstein 2013), Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray (Rosenberg 2017), and At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (McGuire 2011).
M 3:30-5:25 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Ashley Brown
History 907: Seminar-Cities, Schools, and the “Urban Crisis”
Recent events in cities such as Ferguson, Baltimore, and Madison have painfully exposed the racial, ethnic, and class disparities that plague the modern American metropolis. This seminar explores the history of those disparities with an emphasis urban and suburban public schools. To that end, students will examine the relationship between metropolitan change and the construction of race, how those processes affected schools and school systems, and how schools and school policies in turn shaped the modern American metropolis and meaning of race.
The course is structured to provide students with an opportunity to explore the intersections and gaps between urban/metropolitan history, the history of education, and the history of race in order to identify new directions for research on the history of metropolitan opportunity and inequality in general and metropolitan schooling in particular. While the idea of an “urban crisis” figures prominently in the literature on twentieth-century and particularly postwar metropolitan change, course readings and discussions will allow students to question the utility of this concept and to consider alternative models for understanding the origins of the modern American metropolis.
R 2:25-5:25 PM | L173 Education Building | Instructor: Walter Stern
History 938: Queer History, Queer Theory
*Instructor Consent Required*
This seminar centrally explores the interdisciplinary historiographic, methodological and theoretical insights offered by queer history and queer and transgender theory. Readings include path-breaking works that analyze sex and gender heuristically, and simultaneously shed light on historical processes of racialization, settler colonialism, class distinction, urbanization, nationalism, citizenship, imperialism, and so forth. We also critically examine concepts such as “the archive,” memory, narration and history. The seminar may include North American, European, Latin American, South African, Middle Eastern, South Asian and transnational contexts and perspectives, falling mainly but not exclusively in the 19th and 20th centuries with some ventures into the more distant past.
R 1:20-3:15 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Finn Enke
History 951: Seminar-Intellectual History of America
This course introduces graduate students to the scholarship in U.S. intellectual and cultural history. Our syllabus will include both classic and cutting-edge studies in U.S. thought and culture, aiming to provide students a foundation in the diverse subjects, competing theories, and contested modes of interpretation that have defined the field for well over a half century. We will investigate what many regard as the inherent interdisciplinarity of the field, examining how developments in philosophy, anthropology, political theory, and cultural studies have influenced the ways in which historians of thought and culture have understood their own enterprise.
Because intellectual historians like to think about thinking, this course will have its fair share of theory. However, all of the readings, both theoretical and historical, will raise questions of general concern: How to understand the agency of historical actors, ideas, and ideologies? How to measure intellectual and cultural influence? How to access the felt experience and the moral world views of people from the past? How to apprehend the meanings of particular cultural discourses in their own time and place? By asking questions about the creation, transmission, power, and influence of ideas, beliefs, and cultural sensibilities, we will address issues that not only have defined the field, but also have broader applicability to the discipline as a whole.
W 7:45-10:45 AM | 5257 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen
History 978: Teaching College History – Introduction to Undergraduate Pedagogy
Embracing the art of teaching as one of the key skills of a good historian, and acknowledging that the desire to teach is one of the main motivations for graduate study, this new two-credit course aims to translate passion for history and humanities education into practical skills for classroom success.
We will explore research on student learning with the aim of developing sound techniques for effective undergraduate education. Special emphasis is placed on how to:
- create welcoming and inclusive classroom environments that enable all students to achieve academic excellence
- teach to multiple student levels in an educationally diverse classroom
- foster student engagement
- create active learning experiences
- lead effective discussion sections
- develop fair and efficient grading systems
- create effective assignments and exams
- lecture clearly and effectively
Assignments will include leading discussions, creating syllabi, developing model assignments and grading rubrics.
R 3:30-5:25 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Leonora Neville
History 983: The History of Africa
This course provides a setting for graduate students to consider Africa – as an idea, field of study, and subject for teaching – from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It is available to students as African Cultural Studies 983, Anthropology 983, Economics 983, Geography 983, History 983, or Political Science 983. The course will explore a variety of themes and topics in order to consider not just what to think about the history, cultures, and politics of Africa but also how to think and teach about this part of the world. In other words, we will both focus on the state of scholarship on Africa in various disciplines and also discuss how to approach teaching about Africa, including course design, the use of digital technologies, etc. Since one goal of this course is to introduce you to Africa from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives, the course may incorporate other Wisconsin faculty members and also visitors to campus engaged in the study of Africa.
R 1:20-3:15 PM | 5257 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Neil Kodesh
History of Science 720: Proseminar in Historiography and Methods in the History of Science
This course provides an introduction to the scholarly field that is the history of science. It gives a brief overview of some of the major themes and issues that occupy the field, and the diﬀerent approaches scholars have used to address their questions. In the first section of the course, we will read texts that were formative in the development of the history of science, as well as texts that are representative of diﬀerent approaches that are paradigmatic in the field. The second section of the course is comprised of clusters of readings that represent diﬀerent subfields or areas of research interest with the history of science, and each of these weeks will be co-led by a guest instructor from the program who works in that area. This section of the course has a dual purpose: to introduce you to faculty members and their research strengths, and to give you a sampling of the variety of topics and issues that are currently animating scholarship in the field. The interests of the students enrolled in the class will also direct readings in this section of the course. The last class meeting will be reserved for a discussion of your final paper assignments and the observations and/or issues you are encountering in your writing. Requirements for the course include active participation in seminar, weekly reading responses, and a final historiographic essay (15 pages).
F 9:00-11:30 PM | 5245 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Lynn Nyhart
History of Science 903/911: Seminar: Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Century Science/Eighteenth Century Science
“Globalizing the Scientific Revolution”
The seventeenth-century Scientific Revolution has long provided a foundational master narrative for the history of science, albeit one much challenged in recent literature. With its ostensibly revolutionary character under attack since the late 19th century, more recent critiques have focused on its assertion of European exceptionalism as well as its related emphases on scientific theories, great texts, and the mathematical and physical sciences, premises that gained particular resonance during the Cold War and with the emergence of modernization theory.
This seminar seeks to provincialize and pluralize ‘the Scientific Revolution’ by taking up a number of recent methodological and conceptual proposals. What does it look like to adopt vantage points on early modern natural knowledge from Goa and Madrid as well as Paris and London, on board a ship sailing the trade winds across the Indian Ocean and in a Venetian printer’s workshop as well as from a quiet study in Oxford? Can we better integrate the global dimensions of scientific investigation into commercial and colonial ventures in this period? How might we go about widening our use of non-textual as well as textual evidence for early modern enquiries into the natural world?
This seminar will be run in parallel at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the auspices of the George L. Mosse Program in History, and will feature seminar visits by Professors Raz Chen-Morris (HUJI) and Florence Hsia (UW-Madison). Secondary source readings will represent a range of disciplinary perspectives and the writing requirement for this seminar will be tailored to students’ particular needs in their respective programs of study. Seminar participants will also be asked to examine primary sources from the period held in Special Collections at UW-Madison and at the National Library in Jerusalem.
T 1:20-3:15 PM | 5255 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Florence Hsia
History of Science 950: History of Science Colloquium
*Instructor Consent Required*
Intended for graduate majors in History of Science and required of graduate majors in History of Science during their first two semesters. Enroll Info: History of Science major; Grad st.
F 11:50 AM – 1:20 PM | 5233 Mosse Humanities Bldg. | Instructor: Lynn Nyhart
Current and past syllabi, arranged by course number, can be found in the History Syllabi Library.
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:
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.)
Class Search is the real-time, online listing of course sections offered each term. Students can click on course sections to add them to their enrollment shopping cart.