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Fall 2024 MA Program Course Descriptions

HIST 75400: Contemporary Europe
Elidor Mëhilli
Tuesday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

This seminar offers an introduction to the subject of contemporary history though classic and recent sources in European history. It also serves as an introduction to the craft of the historian, by discussing how scholars use a wide range of sources, how they make sense of different kinds of evidence, and how they challenge one another’s interpretations. Students are expected to actively participate in weekly discussions and produce a review essay and a piece of original research.

HIST 74412: Topics and Themes in Non-US History: Debating the “Rise of the West”
Rick Belsky
Monday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

One of the most consequential developments in history was the so-called “Rise of the West”, the confluence of economic, intellectual, and technological, military and state developments reflected in Europe's scientific and industrial revolutions and exploitative colonial expansion. Historians have long debated the causes of, and indeed, the very nature of that phenomenon. Why did it occur when and where it did? What were the key factors? In this course we will familiarize ourselves some of the most influential attempts to answer these questions, while also critiquing concepts such as “rise” and “the west” and considering alternative formulations.

HIST 77218: LGBT History and Am Narrative
Daniel Hurewitz
Thursday, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

This class is an opportunity to examine recent work in LGBT American history and think about the ways that this material fits into the larger narrative of U.S history. Whether you are taking this course as part of your teacher training, or as part of an effort to deepen your understanding of American history, we will regularly be thinking about how LGBT history can be treated as part of the fabric of the larger narrative, and not just a sidebar to it.

As a field, this is a wide and still expanding area of historical research, and we will focus principally on the 20th-century. Because historians have been approaching these topics from a mix of cultural, social, and political perspectives, there is a lot of interesting work for us to investigate.

We'll usually focus in on a different decade or era each week, and the readings will draw from a variety of sources. The sequence of material is chronological, starting from the late 19th century and going to the late 20th century. By the end of the semester, we should have both a stronger sense of the history of the 20th century in terms of sexuality, and a greater sense of the kinds of questions historians have been pursuing to further that understanding.

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