Fall 2017, Graduate Courses
Updated July 14, 2017. If you see any discrepancies between times listed below and the YES schedule please notify Susan Hilderbrand. The YES schedule is always correct.
If you would like additional information on the following courses, please contact the instructor by clicking the email link beside their name.
HISTORY 6100 Introduction to History Methods and Research, Tuesday, 9:10-noon, Benson 200. Professor William Caferro
This course examines major trends in historical writing, from ancient to recent times. It seeks to introduce students to the “historian’s task” and the various ways scholars/writers have approached it.
HISTORY 8055 Methods in Legal History, Monday, 12:10-3:00 pm, Benson 200. Professors Sarah Igo and Kimberly Welch
For many years, the study of legal history has been the study of doctrine and/or doctrinal shifts. In recent years, however, historians interested in law have moved beyond doctrine to consider how social and cultural forces influence law and the way law manifests itself “in action.” This comparative and interdisciplinary graduate readings course provides an overview of the leading approaches to and themes in legal history. It reaches across time-period and region to examine the intersection of law and society.
This is also a methods course. In this course, you will learn something about person-hood, citizenship, and legal consciousness, certainly. But you will also learn to use legal history as a theoretical, methodological, and analytical tool so that you can apply it to your own work (in any field). Thus, in the last weeks of the class, students will read legal histories in their own fields (in consultation with the professors) in order to apply such methods to their own research.
HISTORY 8200 Third Year Dissertation Seminar, Tuesday, 6:10 – 9:00 pm, Benson 200. Professor Catherine Molineux
Note that this course meets intensively during May 2017 and then on Tuesday evenings August - October up to VU Fall break.
HISTORY 8350 Studies in Early Modern England: Religion and Politics before the English Civil War. Wednesday, 6:10 – 9:00 pm, Benson 200. Professor Peter Lake
The course will examine the central stains in English religion from the late sixteenth century to the early 1640s. The focus will be on religious change amongst both Catholics and Protestants and on relations between the, but due attention will be paid to the links between religion and politics and the course will take the form of something like a political narrative, with thematic issues and themes embedded in a story about who was doing what to whom.
HISTORY 8400 Studies in Modern England: British Identities: Home and Away. Wednesday, 3:10 – 6:00 pm, Buttrick Hall room 312. Professors Jim Epstein and Alistair Sponsel
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to recent works of British social, cultural, imperial, and literary studies during the “long” 19th century. Particular emphasis is placed on how individual and collective identities were shaped through interchange between metropolitan and colonial sites. The course also seeks to link secondary works to the reading and interpreting of contemporary texts (essays, novels, etc.).
HISTORY 8475 United States in the World. Wednesday, 12:10 – 3:00 pm, Benson 200. Professor Paul Kramer
Recent trends in internationalizing the historiography of the modern United States, both to deepen the study of the past and to identify alternative, non-national frames of historical analysis. Immigration and nativism, transnational social movements, cultural borrowings, colonialism, war, missionary projects, and international dimensions of civil rights politics. Repeat credit for students who completed 381 in spring 2011, spring 2013, or fall 2014. 
HISTORY 8610 Atlantic World History. Tuesday, 12:30 – 3:30 pm, Featheringill Hall room 200. Professor Jane Landers
Interdisciplinary readings examining disparate colonizations and the creation of an Atlantic world system. Major themes include the consequences of Atlantic expansion on indigenous societies, the African slave trade and the rise of Atlantic economics, the circulation of peoples, ideas, and material culture throughout the Atlantic and how imperial competition, political ideologies, and subaltern resistance shaped the Atlantic revolutions. Optional instruction in early modern paleography.
HISTORY 8615 Readings in African History: Historiographical Debates and Turns. Thursday, 12:10 – 3:00 pm, Garland Hall room 119D. Professor Moses Ochonu
This seminar will introduce students to the key themes, sources, debates, and methods in the historiography of pre-modern and modern Africa. This is a readings seminar, so the approach will be a rigorous analysis of texts, oral, written, and visual, dealing with select, important themes and topics. We will analyze the contentions, methods, and stylistic choices of such texts, as well as the historiographical tradition(s) they map onto and/or depart from. Students will receive support and guidance from me and from their peers as they engage in the task of interpreting, analyzing, and comparing texts. The main assignments of the course consist of writing exercises designed to train students in the techniques for making sense of historical texts, for evaluating such texts in relation to others, for engaging in historiographical debate, and for writing state-of-the field historiographical essays of the type published in major journals of our field.