Humanities Quadrangle, 2nd floor, 203.432.1366
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Lauren Benton (203.432.1361)
Professors Sunil Amrith, Lauren Benton, Paola Bertucci, Ned Blackhawk, David Blight, Daniel Botsman, Paul Bushkovitch, Deborah Coen, Stephen Davis, Carolyn Dean, Fabian Drixler, Carlos Eire, Omnia El Shakry, David Engerman, Paul Freedman, Joanne Freeman, John Gaddis, Beverly Gage, Bruce Gordon, Greg Grandin, Valerie Hansen, Robert Harms, Elizabeth Hinton, Matthew Jacobson, Paul Kennedy, Jennifer Klein, Regina Kunzel, Noel Lenski, Kathryn Lofton, Mary Lui, Daniel Magaziner, J.G. Manning, Ivan Marcus, Joanne Meyerowitz, Alan Mikhail, Samuel Moyn, Nicholas Parrillo, Mark Peterson, Stephen Pitti, Claire Priest, Naomi Rogers, Edward Rugemer, Paul Sabin, Stuart Schwartz, Timothy Snyder, David Sorkin, John Harley Warner, Arne Westad, John Witt, Taisu Zhang
Associate Professors Jennifer Allen, Rohit De, Marcela Echeverri Muñoz, Anne Eller, Hussein Fancy, Crystal Feimster, Denise Ho, Andrew Johnston, Isaac Nakhimovsky, Vanessa Ogle, Joanna Radin, William Rankin, Marci Shore, Elli Stern, Jonathan Wyrtzen
Assistant Professors Alvita Akiboh, Sergei Antonov, Maura Dykstra, Benedito Machava, Nana Osei Quarshie, Carolyn Roberts, Hannah Shepherd, Nurfadzilah Yahaya
Senior Lecturer Jay Gitlin
Fields of Study
Fields include ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern Europe (including Britain, Russia, and Eastern Europe), United States, Latin America, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Jewish history; and diplomatic, environmental, ethnic, intellectual, labor, military, political, religious, social, and women’s history, as well as the history of science and medicine (see the section in this bulletin on the History of Science and Medicine).
Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree
All students must pass examinations in at least one foreign language by the end of the first year. Students are urged to do everything in their power to acquire adequate linguistic training before they enter Yale and should at a minimum be prepared to be examined in at least one language upon arrival. Typical language requirements for major subfields are as follows:
African Either (1) French and German or Portuguese or Dutch-Afrikaans; or (2) French or German or Portuguese and Arabic; or (3) French or German or Portuguese or Dutch-Afrikaans and an African language approved by the director of graduate studies (DGS) and the faculty adviser.
American One language relevant to the student’s research interests.
Ancient German and either French or Italian and two ancient languages, one of which must be Greek or Latin and the second of which can be either the second classical language or another ancient language (e.g., Hebrew, Aramaic/Syriac, Demotic, Coptic, Classical Armenian, Sanskrit).
Chinese Chinese and Japanese; additional languages like French, Russian, or German may be necessary for certain dissertation topics.
East European The language of the country of the student’s concentration plus two of the following: French, German, Russian, or an approved substitution.
Global/International Two languages to be determined by the DGS in consultation with the adviser.
Japanese Japanese and one additional language, as approved by the student’s adviser and the DGS.
Jewish Modern Hebrew and German, and additional languages such as Latin, Arabic, Yiddish, Russian, or Polish, as required by the student’s areas of specialization.
Latin American Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Medieval French, German, and Latin.
Middle East Arabic, Persian, or Turkish (or modern Hebrew, depending on area of research) and a major European research language (French, German, Russian, or an approved substitute).
Modern Western European (including British) French and German; substitutions are permitted with the approval of the DGS.
Russian Russian plus French or German with other languages as required.
South Asia One South Asian language and a second relevant research language, whether another South Asian or a European or Asian language.
Southeast Asian Choice of Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Sanskrit, or Arabic, plus one or more Southeast Asian language (e.g., Bahasa Indonesian, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Thai, Tetum, or Vietnamese). In certain cases, Ph.D. dissertation research on Southeast Asia may also require knowledge of a regional or local language, e.g., Balinese or Cham.
Foreign students whose native language is not English may receive permission during their first year to hand in some written work in their own language. Since, however, the dissertation must be in English, they are advised to bring their writing skills up to the necessary level at the earliest opportunity.
During the first year of study, students normally take six term courses, including Approaching History (HIST 500), which is required of first-year students. During the second year of study, they may opt to take four to six term courses, with the approval of their adviser and the DGS. One of these courses must be the Prospectus Seminar (HIST 501), which is required of second-year students. The ten courses taken during the first two years should normally include at least six chosen from those offered by the department. Students must achieve Honors in at least two courses in the first year, and Honors in at least four courses by the end of the second year, with a High Pass average overall. Courses graded in the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory mode (HIST 998) count toward the course work requirement but do not count toward the Honors requirement. Courses that count for less than one full credit per term do not count toward the coursework requirement.
Two of the ten courses must be research seminars in which the student produces an original research paper from primary sources. The Prospectus Seminar (HIST 501) does not count as a research seminar. All graduate students, regardless of field, will be required to take two seminar courses in a time period other than their period of specialty.
Students in their second year should choose their courses so that at least one course will prepare them for a comprehensive examination field in their third year. Some fields offer reading seminars specifically designed to help prepare students for examination; others encourage students to sign up for Directed Reading (HIST 998) with one of their examiners. Students should, in consultation with their major field examiner and the DGS, register for Field Studies (HIST 525), which is a half-credit course and does not count toward the coursework requirements.
By the end of their fifth term, students are strongly recommended to take comprehensive examinations. Students will have a choice of selecting three or four fields of concentration: a major field and either two or three minor fields. The examination must contain one minor field that deals fifty percent or more with the historiography of a region of the world other than the area of the student’s major field. The examination will have a written component that will be completed before the oral component. For their major field, students will either write a historiographical essay of 8,000 words, maximum, or prepare a syllabus for an undergraduate lecture class in the field; this is to be decided in consultation with the major field examiner. For each of the minor fields, the student will prepare a syllabus for an undergraduate lecture class in the field. All of these are to be written over the course of the examination preparation process and will be due not less than two weeks prior to the oral portion of the examination. The oral examination examines the students on their fields and will, additionally, include discussion of the materials produced for the written component of the examination. For those students who choose two minor fields, the major field will be examined for sixty minutes and the minor fields will be examined for thirty minutes each. For those students who choose three minor fields, each field will be examined for thirty minutes.
In order to advance to candidacy, all students must pass a prospectus colloquium. This should be completed by the end of the sixth term. The prospectus colloquium offers students an opportunity to discuss the dissertation prospectus with their dissertation committee in order to gain the committee’s advice on the research and writing of the dissertation and its approval for the project. The dissertation prospectus provides the basis of grant proposals.
Both the comprehensive examinations and the prospectus colloquium must be held by the end of the sixth term.
Completion of ten term courses (including HIST 500 and HIST 501), the language requirements of the relevant field, the comprehensive examinations, and the prospectus colloquium will qualify a student for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D., which must take place by the end of the third year of study.
It is also possible for students who have completed extensive graduate work prior to entering the Yale Ph.D. program to complete course work sooner. Students may petition for course waivers based on previous graduate work (up to four term courses) only after successful completion of the first year.
Students normally serve as teaching fellows during four-six terms to acquire professional training. Ordinarily, students teach in their third year and two subsequent years. During their first term of teaching, students must attend training sessions run by the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning and work with the associate director of graduate studies to discuss any matters of concern. Students in more advanced years may have the opportunity to teach as associates in teaching (ATs), in conjunction with a faculty member, or by leading discipline-specific writing seminars on their own. Both options are available only through a competitive process. Interested students should consult with their advisers and the DGS for further information.
By the end of their ninth term, students are required to submit a chapter of their dissertation to the dissertation committee. This chapter will then be discussed with the student by the committee, in a chapter conference, to give the student additional advice and counsel on the progress of the dissertation. This conference is designed to be an extension of the conversation begun in the prospectus colloquium and is not intended as a defense. Its aim is to give students early feedback on the research, argument, and style of the first writing accomplished on the dissertation.
No less than one month before students plan to submit their dissertations, a relatively polished full draft of the dissertation should be discussed with the student by the dissertation committee, in a dissertation defense of one to two hours, to give the students additional advice and counsel on completing the dissertation or on turning it into a book, as appropriate. Students are required to submit the draft to their committee in sufficient time for the committee to be able to read it (approximately one month). This defense is designed to give students advice on the overall arguments and the final shape of the dissertation or book, and to leave time for adjustments coming out of the discussion.
The fellowship package offered to Ph.D. students normally includes twelve months of fellowship support for two terms of research and writing without any teaching duties. With the approval of the academic advisor and the DGS, students may choose to take the fellowship terms at any point after they have advanced to candidacy and before the end of their sixth year. Students are prohibited from teaching during research and writing fellowship terms.
Students who have not submitted the dissertation by the end of the sixth year need not register in order to submit. If, however, students wish to register for a seventh year for good academic reasons, they may petition for extended registration. The petition, submitted to the History DGS, will explain the academic reasons for the request. Only students who have completed the first chapter conference will be considered for extended registration.
Evaluation of First- and Second-Year Graduate Students
At the end of each term, the DGS will ask faculty members whether they have serious concerns about the academic progress of any first- or second-year students in the Ph.D. program. Faculty members who have such concerns will provide written feedback to the DGS at the DGS’s request. The DGS will use discretion in ensuring that feedback is provided in a clear and effective manner to any students about whom there are concerns. We expect such concerns to be rare.
Toward the end of the academic year, the History faculty will hold a special meeting to review each first- and second-year student in the program. The purpose of the meeting is to assess students’ academic progress. In order for second-year students to proceed to the third year, they must demonstrate through written work, classroom performance, and participation in departmental activities that they have the ability to: (a) speak and write clearly; (b) conduct independent research at a high level; and (c) develop coherent scholarly arguments. A faculty vote will be taken at the conclusion of the review meeting to decide whether each second-year student may stay in the program. In the unusual case that a majority of faculty present and voting determine that a student may not continue, the student will be informed in writing and withdrawn from the program. The review meeting must be a full faculty meeting, but faculty members with no knowledge of the students under review may abstain from the vote, and their abstentions will not count in the total. Those members of the faculty who have worked with or know the students being evaluated are required to attend. In the event that any necessary faculty members absolutely cannot be present, they may send their views in writing to the DGS, who will read them at the meeting.
A student informed of a vote of dismissal from the program may submit a formal letter of appeal within two weeks, accompanied by supporting documentation (research or other scholarly work), to the Graduate Advisory Committee. The Graduate Advisory Committee will render a final decision within two weeks of receipt of the appeal. Any members of the Graduate Advisory Committee who have worked directly with the student will recuse themselves from the final vote on the case.
Combined Ph.D. Programs
History and African American Studies
The Department of History offers, in conjunction with the Department of African American Studies, a combined Ph.D. in History and African American Studies. For further details, see African American Studies.
History and Classics
The Department of History offers, in conjunction with the Department of Classics, a combined Ph.D. in History and Classics, with a concentration in Ancient History. For further details, see Classics.
History and Early Modern Studies
The Department of History offers, in conjunction with the Early Modern Studies Program, a combined Ph.D. in History and Early Modern Studies. For further details, see Early Modern Studies.
M.Phil. Students who have completed all requirements for admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. may receive the M.Phil. degree.
M.A. (en route to the Ph.D.) Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program may qualify for the M.A. degree upon completion of a minimum of seven graduate term courses at Yale, of which two must have earned Honors grades and the other five courses must average High Pass overall. Students must also pass an examination in one foreign language.
A student in the Ph.D. program in American Studies who wishes to obtain an M.A. degree in History, rather than an M.A. in American Studies, must include in the courses completed at least two research seminars in the History department.
Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Political Science may qualify for the M.A. degree in History, rather than an M.A. in Political Science, upon completion of a minimum of six graduate term courses in History at Yale, of which two must have earned Honors grades and the other four courses must average High Pass overall. A student must include in the six courses completed at least two research seminars in the History department.
Terminal Master’s Degree Program For this terminal master’s degree, students must pass seven term courses, four of which must be in History; substantial written work must be submitted in conjunction with at least two of these courses, and Honors grades are expected in two courses, with a High Pass average overall. An undergraduate language course, statistics course, or other applicable course in a technological “language” may count for one course credit toward the graduate degree. All students in this program must pass an examination in one foreign language. Financial aid is not available for this program.
More information is available on the department’s website, http://history.yale.edu.
HIST 500a, Approaching History: Problems, Methods, and Theory Greg Grandin and Omnia El Shakry
An introduction to the professional study of history, which offers new doctoral students an opportunity to explore (and learn from each other about) the diversity of the field, while also addressing issues of shared concern and importance for the future of the discipline. By the end of the term participants have been exposed to some of the key methodological and theoretical approaches historians have developed for studying different time periods, places, and aspects of the human past. Required of and restricted to first-term History Ph.D. students.
HIST 501b, Prospectus Seminar Lauren Benton and Sunil Amrith
This course provides students with information, support, and exercises to guide and assist them in writing the dissertation prospectus. It also introduces students to other common forms of academic writing such as conference papers and journal articles. By the end of the term, each student will have produced a preliminary draft of the dissertation prospectus.
HIST 503b / CLSS 861b, Recent Trends, Current Problems, and New Approaches to Ancient History Joseph Manning
Current trends in the field and an examination of recent work, new theory, and new material. An overview of theory and method in ancient history. Each week is devoted to a case study or a recent monograph in the field.
HIST 521a / CLSS 880a, Roman Law Noel Lenski
A graduate-level extension of CLCV 236/HIST 225. The course inculcates the basic principles of Roman law while training students in advanced topics in the subject and initiating them into research methods.
HIST 525a or b / HSHM 525a or b, Field Studies Lauren Benton and Staff
This course does not count toward the coursework requirements for the Ph.D. or M.A. ½ Course cr
HIST 570b / AMST 836b, American Religion in the Archives Tisa Wenger
An advanced seminar on archival research methods for historians of American religion. The class begins with readings that theorize the archive, particularly for the study of American religion. What counts as an archive? How are archives constituted and by whom? What are the limits and pitfalls of archives—and the construct of “the archive”—for research in this field? Over the course of the term, students are guided through the process of writing an archivally grounded research paper using Yale Divinity School Library Special Collections and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Enrollment capped at fifteen; meets at YDS Library L104.
HIST 574a, Methods and Sources of Religious History Bruce Gordon
This course introduces students to the historiography of religious history; to the history of methods, approaches, and problems in the field; and to techniques for using and citing primary and secondary sources in the study of religion. Seminars include lectures, common readings, writing exercises, and presentations by students and visiting scholars. Students develop research proposals related to their specific areas of interest.
HIST 590b / JDST 764b / MDVL 590b / RLST 777b, Jews in Muslim Lands from the Seventh through the Sixteenth Century Ivan Marcus
Introduction to Jewish culture and society in Muslim lands from the Prophet Muhammad to Suleiman the Magnificent. Topics include Islam and Judaism; Jerusalem as a holy site; rabbinic leadership and literature in Baghdad; Jewish courtiers, poets, and philosophers in Muslim Spain; and the Jews in the Ottoman Empire.
HIST 596a / JDST 761a / MDVL 596a / RLST 773a, Jews and the World: From the Bible through Early Modern Times Ivan Marcus
A broad introduction to the history of the Jews from biblical beginnings until the European Reformation and the Ottoman Empire. Focus on the formative period of classical rabbinic Judaism and on the symbiotic relationships among Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Jewish society and culture in its biblical, rabbinic, and medieval settings.
HIST 597b / JDST 861b / RLST 797b, Twentieth-Century Jewish Politics David Sorkin
This seminar explores major aspects of twentieth-century Jewish politics with an emphasis on new forms of political practice.
HIST 603b / JDST 806b / MDVL 603b / RLST 616b, How the West Became Antisemitic: Jews and the Formation of Europe, 800–1500 Ivan Marcus
This seminar explores how medieval Jews and Christians interacted as religious societies between 800 and 1500.
HIST 616a, History of British Empire Nurfadzilah Yahaya
This reading and discussion seminar focuses on the history of British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We explore recently published works and older texts that have significantly shaped the field. Major themes include law, mobility, race, labor, and gender across time and space.
HIST 622a, Global Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Early Modern Era Stuart Schwartz
An examination of the encounters between Europeans and other peoples of the world, c. 1450–1850, with attention to the role of perception, preconceptions, and events on both sides of such meetings. Both the history of such encounters as well as the historical methods best used for the study of a global history of alterity and cultural perceptions are discussed.
HIST 654a / FREN 700a, Readings in Modern European Cultural History Carolyn Dean
This course covers readings in European cultural history from 1789 to the present, with a focus on Western Europe.
HIST 667b / FREN 900b / WGSS 667b, History of Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe Carolyn Dean
An introduction to the various lines of inquiry informing the history of sexuality. The course asks how historians and others constitute sexuality as an object of inquiry and addresses different arguments about the evolution of sexuality in Europe, including the relationship between sexuality and the state and sexuality and gender.
HIST 669a, European Empires and Law Lauren Benton
Empires used law to structure conquest, establish the legitimacy of rule, justify violence, and absorb new populations and territories. Imperial interactions with conquered populations developed in important ways through the medium of law. The conflicts in and among empires helped to shape the global legal order and to mold the contents of international law. This course considers these and other topics and problems. Readings include selections from the works of key European jurists but focus mainly on providing students with a firm grasp of trends in the secondary literature on empire and law. The emphasis is on the legal history of European empires between 1500 and 1900, but students are encouraged to explore topics and interests in other imperial historiographies.
HIST 677a, Russia in the Age of Peter the Great Paul Bushkovitch
An introduction to the principal events and issues during the transformation of Russia in the years 1650 to 1725. Topics include political change and the court; Russia in Europe and Asia; religion and the revolution in Russian culture.
HIST 682b, Mass Incarceration in the Soviet Union and the United States Timothy Snyder
An investigation of the experience and purposes of mass incarceration in the Soviet Union and the United States in the twentieth century. Incarceration is central to the understanding, if not usually to the self-understanding, of a society. It is thus a crucial aperture into basic questions of values and practices. This course proposes a frontal approach to the subject, by investigating two of the major carceral systems of the twentieth century, the Soviet and the American. Intensive reading includes first-person accounts of the Gulag and American prison as well as scholarly monographs on the causes of mass incarceration in different contexts. Brief account is taken of important comparative cases, such as Nazi Germany and communist China. Guest lectures and guest appearances are an important element of our teaching.
HIST 683a, Global History of Eastern Europe Timothy Snyder
A thematic survey of major issues in modern east European history, with emphasis on recent historiography. A reading course with multiple brief writing assignments.
HIST 687b, Russia, the USSR, and the World, 1855–1945 Paul Bushkovitch
Political and economic relations of Russia/Soviet Union with Europe, the United States, and Asia from tsarism to socialism.
HIST 688a, New Approaches to Russian and Eurasian History: The Archival Revolution Sergei Antonov
A reading seminar addressing recent work on Russian and Soviet history grounded in the ongoing “archival revolution” that began in the late 1980s. After reviewing the major earlier paradigms, we examine how they were overturned or significantly modified by archival-based evidence. Topics include the development of government and the law; historical actors and places marginalized by the earlier historiography, such as non-capital regions, the middle classes, conservatism, religion, and (more generally) non-state structures; and Russia’s position in the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods as a vast and complex multiethnic political entity. Class discussions in English. Readings in English with Russian options available.
HIST 700b / AMST 801b, U.S. Colonial Present Lisa Lowe
Settler colonialism, slavery, racialized immigration, and military empire have been integral to the emergence of the U.S. nation, state, and economy, and their historical consequences continue today. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we study the relevance of these historical and ongoing formations to the founding and development of the United States, giving attention to the independence of each, as well as to their differences, convergences, and contestations. We consider the strengths and limits of given analytic frames for understanding our current historical crises of public health, economic austerity, and racial state violence. Despite the differentiated histories of settler colonialism, slavery, and empire, contemporary struggles and solidarities can identify links and convergences that colonial logics may disallow. The seminar includes readings in history, anthropology, political theory, and literature, as well as films and other media. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required.
HIST 715a / AFAM 764a / AMST 715a, Readings in Nineteenth-Century America David Blight
The course explores recent trends and historiography on several problems through the middle of the nineteenth century: sectionalism, expansion; slavery and the Old South; northern society and reform movements; Civil War causation; the meaning of the Confederacy; why the North won the Civil War; the political, constitutional, and social meanings of emancipation and Reconstruction; violence in Reconstruction society; the relationships between social/cultural and military/political history; problems in historical memory; the tension between narrative and analytical history writing; and the ways in which race and gender have reshaped research and interpretive agendas.
HIST 720b, U.S. Empire Alvita Akiboh
One of the most cherished pieces of national mythology is that the United States, while an incredibly powerful country, has never been an empire. Scholars in the fields of U.S. diplomatic history, U.S. foreign relations, and U.S. and the World have made it their mission to debunk that myth. This course does not seek to settle the issue of whether the United States ever was or still remains an empire. Rather, it seeks to better understand the particular ways in which the United States has historically projected power abroad since its founding and how scholars have chosen to approach this history.
HIST 725a, Topics, Themes, and Methods in U.S. History Paul Sabin and Mark Peterson
Exploring key readings in U.S. history, this seminar introduces important areas of research, members of the Yale faculty, and resources for research at Yale and beyond. Highly recommended for first and second year doctoral students in US History. Open to other interested graduate students with permission of the instructors.
HIST 729a / AFAM 771a / AMST 830a, The American Carceral State Elizabeth Hinton
This readings course examines the historical development of the U.S. carceral state, focusing on policing practices, crime control policies, prison conditions, and the production of scientific knowledge in the twentieth century. Key works are considered to understand the connections between race and the development of legal and penal systems over time, as well as how scholars have explained the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in America. Drawing from key insights from new histories in the field of American carceral studies, we trace the multifaceted ways in which policymakers and officials at all levels of government have used criminal law, policing, and imprisonment as proxies for exerting social control in communities of color throughout U.S. history.
HIST 731b / AMST 835b, Research in Recent U.S. History Joanne Meyerowitz
Students conduct research in primary sources and write original essays on post-1945 U.S. history. Readings include scholarly articles that might serve as models for students’ research projects.
HIST 734b / AMST 780b / WGSS 734b, Class and Capitalism in the Twentieth-Century United States Jennifer Klein
Reading course on class formation, labor, and political economy in the twentieth-century United States; how regionalism, race, and class power shaped development of American capitalism. The course reconsiders the relationships between economic structure and American politics and political ideologies, and between global and domestic political economy. Readings include primary texts and secondary literature (social, intellectual, and political history; geography).
HIST 738a, Writing Political History Joanne Freeman
A graduate research seminar focused on the craft of writing political history (writ large—chronologically and otherwise), geared at producing an academic journal-friendly article. Early weeks focus on the ins and outs, inclusions and exclusions, challenges, cultures, styles, modes, and strengths of political history; later weeks center on workshopping student articles in process.
HIST 740b / AFAM 774b, Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World Edward Rugemer
This course explores the history and historiography of racial slavery in the Atlantic World from its emergence in the fifteenth century through its formal abolition in the nineteenth century and the processes of emancipation that followed.
HIST 746b / AMST 903b / PHUM 903b, Introduction to Public Humanities Dicky Yangzom
What is the relationship between knowledge produced in the university and the circulation of ideas among a broader public, between academic expertise on the one hand and nonprofessionalized ways of knowing and thinking on the other? What is possible? This seminar provides an introduction to various institutional relations and to the modes of inquiry, interpretation, and presentation by which practitioners in the humanities seek to invigorate the flow of information and ideas among a public more broadly conceived than the academy, its classrooms, and its exclusive readership of specialists. Topics include public history, museum studies, oral and community history, public art, documentary film and photography, public writing and educational outreach, the socially conscious performing arts, and fundraising. In addition to core readings and discussions, the seminar includes presentations by several practitioners who are currently engaged in different aspects of the Public Humanities. With the help of Yale faculty and affiliated institutions, participants collaborate in developing and executing a Public Humanities project of their own definition and design. Possibilities might include, but are not limited to, an exhibit or installation, a documentary, a set of walking tours, a website, a documents collection for use in public schools.
HIST 749b / AMST 838b / HSHM 753b, Research in Environmental History Paul Sabin
Students conduct advanced research in primary sources and write original essays over the course of the term. Readings and library activities inform students’ research projects. Interested graduate students should contact the instructor with proposed research topics.
HIST 751a / AFAM 687a / AMST 701a, Race in American Studies Matthew Jacobson
This reading-intensive seminar examines influential scholarship across disciplines on “the race concept” and racialized relations in American culture and society. Major topics include the cultural construction of race; race as both an instrument of oppressions and an idiom of resistance in American politics; the centrality of race in literary, anthropological, and legal discourse; the racialization of U.S. foreign policy; “race mixing” and “passing,” vicissitudes of “whiteness” in American politics; the centrality of race in American political culture; and “race” in the realm of popular cultural representation. Writings under investigation include classic formulations by such scholars as Lawrence Levine and Ronald Takaki, as well as more recent work by Saidiya Hartman, Robin Kelley, and Ann Fabian. Seminar papers give students an opportunity to explore in depth the themes, periods, and methods that most interest them. Permission of the instructor required.
HIST 754b, Indigenous Activism in North America Ned Blackhawk
This seminar explores the outpouring of recent scholarly work in the field of Native American activism and invites students to contribute to it. Organized on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, this seminar expands current approaches within Native American and Indigenous Studies that often emphasize questions of structure vs. agency; domination vs. resistance; or continuity over adaptation. It seeks to explore alternative possibilities to the binaries that occasionally obscure the under-recognized intellectual traditions motivating Native American and Indigenous activism.
HIST 758a, Advanced Property and Legal History: Directed Research Claire Priest
This course is an opportunity for students individually to write research papers on topics of their choice within the areas of property (broadly defined) or legal history. Students have periodic individual meetings with the instructor through the fall to develop their projects. Students meet as a group between three to five times during the term to brainstorm topics and workshop each other’s drafts. Admission to the course is by permission of the instructor. Course Application Information: In addition to listing this course among permission-of-instructor selections, students should submit a one- to two-paragraph statement explaining their topic for the research paper. Please do not email the instructor about the course prior to August 15.
HIST 763a, Readings in Latinx History Stephen Pitti
Histories of Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Central American, Dominican, and Cuban American communities in the United States, with a focus on transnational and labor politics, cultural expression, print culture, and social movements. Many readings locate Latinx historical experiences alongside African American and Asian American histories and within broader patterns of U.S. and Latin American history.
HIST 779a, Readings in Economic History, Capitalism, and Political Economy Vanessa Ogle
In this graduate reading seminar, we explore different actors and institutions that shaped the formation of the global economy since the early modern period. The readings focus on a number of forces and their interplay with the economic lives of both ordinary men and women and more elite figures: states/political institutions, the environment, law, war, empire, companies, and capitalists. The seminar provides students with a solid knowledge of the questions currently discussed in the burgeoning subfield of the so-called “new history of capitalism.” We pay particular attention to the contours of these debates beyond the history of the United States, and to the international and global dimensions of economic history. No familiarity with economics or economic history required. While this is a reading seminar, students looking to write a research paper on related topics are welcome to pursue this option as part of the course. The course is designed for history Ph.D. students and others who have had previous exposure to history classes at the university level. Basic familiarity with broader historical developments since the eighteenth century is expected.
HIST 794b, Histories of Global Development David Engerman
This is a graduate reading seminar that explores recent approaches to the history of global development. While the focus is on scholarship written by historians, we also examine works in the social sciences that have shaped—or should shape—historical scholarship. The seminar is designed for students pursuing graduate work in history; undergraduates and students outside the History Department should meet with the instructor by the end of the first week of the semester to discuss their interests.
HIST 798a and HIST 799b, Global and International History Workshop Vanessa Ogle
This workshop offers graduate students opportunities for guided interactions with a community of scholars in global and international history. Students comment on the research of leading scholars and refine their abilities in historical analysis and research presentation. The seminar runs in conjunction with the Global and International History Workshop (GIHW), which brings between six and eight scholars to present their work each year. Presenters represent different temporal and geographical specializations but share an international orientation and methodology in their work. The workshop is open to any student whose research is, broadly speaking, situated within global and international history. ½ Course cr per term
HIST 808a, Readings in Modern Latin American History Greg Grandin
A readings course for doctoral students. It is geared especially for students in preparation for their exams or who are writing their prospectuses. Readings are selected according to the students' interests, geared to help them move forward in the program.
HIST 821a / AFAM 820a, A Greater Caribbean: New Approaches to Caribbean History Anne Eller
We engage with new work emerging about the Greater Caribbean in the context of Latin America, the African diaspora, Atlantic history, global history, comparative emancipation from chattel slavery, and the study of global revolutions. Students make in-class presentations that locate these titles in a deeper historiography with classic texts. This course crosses imperial boundaries of archives and historiography in order to consider the intersecting allegiances, identities, itineraries, and diaspora of peoples, in local, hemispheric, and global context. Some central questions include: What is the lived geography of the Caribbean at different moments, and how does using different geographic and temporary frameworks help approach the region’s history? What role did people living in this amorphously demarcated region play in major historical transformations of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? How did the varied but interconnected processes of Caribbean emancipation impact economic and political systems throughout the Atlantic and beyond?
HIST 833a, Agrarian History of Africa Robert Harms
The course examines changes in African rural life from precolonial times to the present. Issues to be examined include land use systems, rural modes of production, gender roles, markets and trade, the impact of colonialism, cash cropping, rural-urban migration, and development schemes.
HIST 852b, Egypt since 1500 Alan Mikhail
Topics in the historiography of early modern and modern Egypt. Readings include classics in the field as well as examples of recent trends and innovative new works. Emphasis is placed on methodology, source usage, questions of periodization, and other interpretive problems. Open to advanced undergraduate with permission of the instructor.
HIST 868a, Documents in Tang, Song, and Yuan Dynasties Valerie Hansen
A survey of the historical genres of premodern China: the dynastic histories, other chronicles, gazetteers, literati notes, and Buddhist and Daoist canons. How to determine what different information these sources contain for research topics in different fields. Prerequisite: at least one term of classical Chinese.
HIST 872a, Sources and Methods in the History of the People's Republic of China Denise Ho
This graduate research seminar introduces students to archival and other sources used in PRC history. Students learn how to read and use such sources and complete an independent research paper. Chinese reading knowledge and instructor permission required.
HIST 876a / EAST 676, Empires of the Ming and Qing Maura Dykstra
This seminar is an introduction to the logistics, strategy, and rationale of the China's late empires. Readings on the political economy, organization, and administration of the Ming Empire and former Ming territories later ruled by the Qing will introduce participants to the general considerations of the last two dynasties to rule over the territory now known as China. A working knowledge of both classical Chinese and modern academic Chinese will be necessary to participate in the course.
HIST 878a, Readings in Japanese History to 1900 Fabian Drixler
A critical introduction to debates in the history of Japan up to about 1900, with particular emphasis on the Tokugawa period but some coverage of earlier times as well. Readings are in English but, depending on student interest, supplemental materials may also be assigned in Japanese.
HIST 881b, China’s Age of Exploration Valerie Hansen
Study of China’s maritime history focusing on the period 1000–1500, culminating with the Zheng He voyages and their cancellation. English-language readings in secondary sources and primary sources in translation; examination of relevant maps in Beinecke’s collection. Separate section for those with a reading knowledge of classical Chinese.
HIST 883a, Urban Japan Workshop: Cities and Society, c. 1500–2000 Daniel Botsman
Japan is not only home to the largest and, by some measures, most livable, city in the world today, but also it boasts one of the richest archives for the study of urban history. The Urban Japan Workshop offers graduate students and advanced undergraduates the opportunity to explore the rich scholarly literature on Japanese cities across time, while also developing their own individual research projects.
HIST 884a, Readings in the History of Modern Japan Hannah Shepherd
This course offers students an opportunity to explore recent English-language scholarship on the history of modern Japan (post-1868).
HIST 925a or b / HSHM 749a or b, Visual and Material Cultures of Science Paola Bertucci
The seminar discusses recent works that address the visual and material cultures of science. Visits to Yale collections, with a particular emphasis on the History of Science and Technology Division of the Peabody Museum. Students may take the course as a reading or research seminar.
HIST 930a / HSHM 701a, Problems in the History of Medicine and Public Health John Warner
An examination of the variety of approaches to the social and cultural history of medicine and public health. Readings are drawn from recent literature in the field, sampling writings on health care, illness experiences, and medical cultures in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States from antiquity through the twenty-first century. Topics include the role of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and region in the experience of sickness and healing; the intersection of lay and professional understandings of the body; and the role of the marketplace in shaping cultural authority, professional identities, and patient expectations.
HIST 931a / HSHM 702a, Problems in the History of Science Deborah Coen
Surveys current methodologies through key theoretical and critical works. Students encounter major twentieth-century methodological moments that have left lasting imprints on the field: positivism and anti-positivism, the sociology of knowledge, actor-network theory, and historical epistemology, as well as newer approaches focusing on space, infrastructure, translation, and exchange. We also consider central conceptual problems for the field, such as the demarcation of science from pseudoscience; the definition of modernity and the narrative of the Scientific Revolution; vernacular science, the colonial archive, and non-textual sources.
HIST 937b / AFAM 752b / HSHM 761b, Medicine and Empire Carolyn Roberts
This graduate research course is limited to a small number of graduate students who are currently involved in research projects that touch on any issues related to health, medicine, and the body in the context of slavery, colonialism, or neocolonialism. The course includes visits to diverse archives on campus, discussions of archival best practices, and digital organizational tools. The course provides graduate students with a balance of support and independence as they carry out their research. Graduate students in any discipline are warmly welcomed to participate in a compassion-based research community that prioritizes values of deep listening, presence, and care.
HIST 943b / HSHM 736b / WGSS 730b, Health Politics, Body Politics Naomi Rogers
A reading seminar on struggles to control, pathologize, and normalize human bodies, with a particular focus on science, medicine, and the state, both in North America and in a broader global health context. Topics include disease, race, and politics; repression and regulation of birth control; the politics of adoption; domestic and global population control; feminist health movements; and the pathologizing and identity politics of disabled people.
HIST 950b / HSHM 765b, Workshop for Article Publication Bill Rankin
Writing a seminar paper is something quite different from revising it, polishing it, incorporating feedback, and ultimately publishing it. These are crucial skills, especially given the benefits of having a stand-alone article in press before the dissertation is complete. This writing seminar is open to all students in History, HSHM, and allied fields who have previously written an article-length research paper. Working together and individually, the goal of the term is to revise the paper in preparation for submission to an academic journal (of the student’s choice). We address common writing dilemmas—including structure, argument, introductions, scale, evidence, and intervention—as well as strategies for choosing a journal, writing within and beyond a subfield, and (eventually) responding to peer review. Similar to the Mellon writing-in-residence program, we prioritize collegial support and constructive exchange. Open to all topics, time periods, and methodological approaches.
HIST 963a and HIST 964b / ANTH 963a and ANTH 964b / HSAR 841a and HSAR 842b / HSHM 691a and HSHM 692b, Topics in the Environmental Humanities Paul Sabin and Sunil Amrith
This is the required workshop for the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities. The workshop meets six times per term to explore concepts, methods, and pedagogy in the environmental humanities, and to share student and faculty research. Each student pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities must complete both a fall term and a spring term of the workshop, but the two terms of student participation need not be consecutive. The fall term each year emphasizes key concepts and major intellectual currents. The spring term each year emphasizes pedagogy, methods, and public practice. Specific topics vary each year. Students who have previously enrolled in the course may audit the course in a subsequent year. This course does not count toward the coursework requirement in history. Open only to students pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Humanities. ½ Course cr per term
HIST 965a / ANTH 541a / ENV 836a / PLSC 779a / SOCY 617a, Agrarian Societies: Culture, Society, History, and Development Jonathan Wyrtzen and Marcela Echeverri Munoz
An interdisciplinary examination of agrarian societies, contemporary and historical, Western and non-Western. Major analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, political science, and environmental studies are used to develop a meaning-centered and historically grounded account of the transformations of rural society. Team-taught.
HIST 971a / EMST 671a, Research Seminar in Intellectual History Isaac Nakhimovsky
The primary aim of this seminar is to provide a venue for writing research papers on individually chosen topics. While most of the term is devoted to the research and writing process, discussion of select readings will examine approaches to intellectual history methodologically but also historiographically, asking when and why inquiries into ways of thinking in the past have taken the forms they have. The seminar is intended not only for those with direct interests in early modern or modern intellectual history but also for those pursuing other areas of historical inquiry who would like to explore further conceptual resources for interpreting their sources.
HIST 997a or b / HSHM 997a or b, Pedagogy Seminar Staff
Faculty members instruct their Teaching Fellows on the pedagogical methods for teaching specific subject matter. 0 Course cr
HIST 998a or b, Directed Readings Staff
Offered by permission of the instructor and DGS to meet special requirements not covered by regular courses. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
HIST 999a or b, Directed Research Staff
Offered by arrangement with the instructor and permission of DGS to meet special requirements.