Spring 2024 Graduate Courses

History 5255 - Europe since 1989: Multiple Europes after the Cold War

Instructor: Theodora Dragostinova

Days/Time: WF, 11:10am – 12:30pm


This class explores the contemporary history of Europe since the end of the Cold War. We will read and debate studies of the political, economic, social, cultural, and demographic transformations in the old continent connected to the birth and expansion of the European Union, the collapse of the communist regimes, and the effects of the 2008 economic recession, paying attention to developments in Western, Eastern, and Southern Europe. We will also explore European attempts to accommodate the presence of diverse populations in an increasingly multicultural continent, including the treatment of migrants and refugees and  attitudes to Muslims and Black Europeans.

Assigned Readings:

  • Kristen Ghodsee and Mitchell Orenstein, Taking Stock of the Shock: Social Consequences of the 1989 Revolutions (Oxford University Press, 2021).
  • Joe Sacco, Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995 (Fantagraphics, 2002).
  • Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: Liberal Europe, Islam, and the Limits of Tolerance (Penguin, 2007).
  • Grada Kilomba, Plantation Memories: Episodes of Everyday Racism (Between the Lines, 2021).
  • Kapka Kassabova, Border: A Journey to the Edge of Europe (Greywolf Press, 2017).


  1. Weekly reflection papers: 30%
  2. Two 2-page media or book reports: 20% (10% each)
  3. Self-evaluation of student class engagement: 10%
  4. Final research project: 30%
  5. Attendance: 10%

Prerequisites and Special Comments:

Graduate students will follow the same assignments but will write longer media/book reports and final research projects. Instead of self-evaluation, they will meet with the instructor.

History 5229

Instructor: Harrill, Bert

Days/Time: TR, 12:45pm – 2:05pm

Description:  Dual-career course (offered both for graduate credit and undergraduate credit), the piggy-back of HIST 3218.  Students will attend the lectures of HIST 3218, do its readings and exams, but also meet with the instructor for a bimonthly seminar with a supplemental syllabus. 

This course investigates the Apostle Paul through a historical, critical study of his own letters and the later legends that grew up around the figure.  We look at the significance of Paul's life and the competing ways its story was retold, appropriated, or resisted in late antiquity. Our historical approach means attention to questions concerning the past.  How did Paul create a new religious and social world for his congregations?  What were the conflicts that he aimed to resolve in those nascent communities?  And what kinds of trouble did Paul create for his later interpreters (ancient, medieval, and modern)?  Asking such answers involves careful study of ancient Judaism, Hellenistic culture, and the Roman imperial society in which Paul lived and wrote.  It also involves a critical look at the traditional history of Western culture about Paul from a host of modern thinkers from Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud.

Assigned Readings:

Supplemental texts:

  1. Margaret M. Mitchell, Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Hermeneutics (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  2. Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body (Yale University Press, 1995)
  3. Paula Fredriksen, Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle (Yale University Press, 2017).

Texts in HIST 3218:

  1. The SBL Study Bible, Student Edition, fully Revised and Updated, edited by The Society of Biblical Literature (HarperCollins, 2023).
  2. The Writings of St. Paul, 2nd edition, edited by Wayne A. Meeks and John T. Fitzgerald (W. W. Norton, 2007).
  3. 3Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians, 2d Edition (Yale University Press, 2003).
  4. J. Albert Harrill, Paul the Apostle: His Life and Legacy in Their Roman Contexts (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

Assignments: Two short essays, midterm and final examinations, research paper of 20 pages.

Prerequisites and Special Comments: Any 3000-level History course, and English 1110.xx; or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.

History 7350 – Studies in Islamic History

Instructor: Sahin, Kaya

Description: Graduate reading seminar on a topic in Islamic history, stressing topical coverage and/or historiography. May be repeated for credited when the topic changes.

Prereq: Grad standing. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.

History 7500 – Studies in International History

Topic: US Grand Strategy, Conflict and Diplomacy in the Long Twentieth Century

Instructor: Nichols, Chris

Days/Time: R, 2:15pm – 5:00pm


This course is an advanced exploration of the United States’ developing diplomacy and grand strategy during periods of conflict and war throughout the long twentieth century. Bringing together a wide range of perspectives on modern U.S. international relations, the seminar examines how a range of U.S. policymakers along with different transnational actors and international figures sought to define, advance, protect, reject, adapt, or otherwise shape U.S. national interests and policies. Dimensions of diplomatic historical analysis will include hard and soft power, racial and gender ideologies, culture, commerce, public health, religion, international institutions and law, humanitarianism, counter-insurgency, and more. The class examines where and why those efforts succeeded, failed, and oftentimes resulted in unintended consequences at home and abroad. To do so, the course revolves around five signature moments of conflict and diplomacy: the 1890s and the dawn of the 20th Century, the WWI Era, the WWII Era, the Cold War, and the Post-Cold War. The focus is on both the history and historiography of diplomacy and grand strategy during these pivotal periods of conflict and crisis. Assigned books and essays emphasize the best recent work and new approaches, with an eye to preparing students to understand, research, and write on specific areas within this dynamic field.

 Assigned Readings:

  • Benjamin Coates, Legalist Empire: The United States, Civilization, and International Law in the Early Twentieth Century (OUP, 2016)
  •  Brian McAllister Linn, The Philippine War, 1899-1902  (Kansas, 2000)
  • Kristin L. Hoganson, Fighting for American Manhood: How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (Yale, 2000)
  • Robert E. Hannigan, The Great War and American Foreign Policy, 1914-24 (UPenn, 2017
  • Adriane Lentz-Smith, Freedom Struggles: African Americans and WWI (Harvard, 2009)
  •  Charlie Laderman, Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention, and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order (OUP, 2019)
  • Rebecca Herman, Cooperating with Colossus: A Social and Political History of US Military Bases in World War II Latin America (Oxford, 2022)
  • Zach Fredman, The Tormented Alliance: American Servicemen and the Occupation of China, 1941-1949 (UNC Press, 2022)
  • Odd Arne Westad, Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (CUP, 2005)
  • Mary Sarotte, 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe (Princeton, 2015)
  • Monica Kim, The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War, the untold story (Princeton, 2019)
  • Mark Mazower, No Enchanted Palace: The End of Empire and the Ideological Origins of the United Nations (Princeton, 2009)
  • Fredrik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (Random House, 2012)
  • Mary Dudziak, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford, 2012)
  • Horace A. Bartilow, Drug War Pathologies: Embedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas (UNC, 2019)
  • Bob H. Reinhardt, The End of a Global Pox: America and the Eradication of Smallpox in the Cold War Era (UNC, 2018)
  • Nichols, Borgwardt, and Preston, eds., Rethinking American Grand Strategy (Oxford, 2021).
  •  George C. Herring, From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776 (Oxford, 2008)


Leading one class session; two book reviews; one op-ed; choice of one op-ed or one draft syllabus; final historiographical essay.

Prerequisites and Special Comments: Grad Standing

History 7550 – Studies in Military History

Instructor: Mansoor, Peter

Days/Time: W, 5:30pm – 8:15pm


This graduate reading course will examine various aspects of the history of World War I and World War II – the largest and most destructive wars in human history. Through readings and small group discussion, the class will study the military leadership and characteristics of major adversaries; the national and theater strategies of the various major combatants; the military operations that led to victory or defeat on battlefields spanning the globe; war crimes; and other factors such as leadership, economics, military doctrine and effectiveness, technology, ideology, and racism that impacted the outcome of the wars.

Assigned Readings: (Tentative)

  • Eric Bergerud, Touched with Fire: The Land War in the South Pacific
  • Tami Davis Biddle, Rhetoric and Reality in Air Warfare
  • Stephen Budiansky, Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II
  • Robert Citino, Death of the Wehrmacht
  • Robert A. Doughty, The Breaking Point: Sedan and the Fall of France, 1940
  • Richard Frank, Downfall
  • Andrew Gordon, The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command
  • Isabel V. Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany
  • Peter Mansoor, The GI Offensive in Europe
  • Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, Military Effectiveness, vols. I and III
  • Marc Milner, Battle of the Atlantic
  • Clark G. Reynolds, The Fast Carriers: The Forging of an Air Navy
  • Dan Todman, The Great War: Myth and Memory


Weekly short (2 page) book reviews on assigned readings.

One 10-15 page research paper that examines some aspect of World War I or World War II. The topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Prerequisites and Special Comments: Graduate Standing

History 7600 – Studies in the History of Women and Gender

Instructor: Soland, Birgitte

Days/Time: M, 7:00pm – 9:45pm          

Description: Readings course for graduate students focusing on the history of women and gender.  The course content will be international, emphasizing cross-cultural comparisons.

Prereq: Grad standing. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs or 5 completions.

History 7800 – Introduction to Public History

Instructor: Staley, David

Days/Time: M, 2:15pm – 5:00pm

Description: Survey of the field of Public History.

Prereq: Grad standing. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs or 5 completions.

History 7900 – Colloquium in the Philosophy of History, Historiography, and the Historian’s Skills

Instructor: Anderson, Greg

Days/Time: T, 2:15pm – 5:00pm

History 7910 – Prospectus Writing & Professional Development

Instructor: Smith, Stephanie

Days/Time: R, 5:30pm – 8:15pm


This seminar is dedicated to researching and writing your dissertation prospectus. Throughout the semester we will focus on the craft of historical writing, strategies, and the practicalities of launching a research project. As we move through the class, you will analyze various issues, including your topic/questions/significance; your argument/thesis; historiography; method and theory; primary and secondary sources; organization; timetable; research plan; funding; writing an abstract, and your bibliography. We also will consider such matters as grammar and style. By the end of this course, you will have produced a dissertation prospectus that you will present to your committee members.

In preparing your prospectus you will draw particularly on three areas of support:

  • First, your fellow students are a valuable source for feedback. In this course you will help each other launch your projects.
  • Second, I will read your drafts and offer advice.
  • Third, your advisor and members of your dissertation committee are the experts to whom you will turn for substantive advice about archives, resources, and the feasibility of your project.       

Assigned Readings




Prerequisites: Graduate Standing