Autumn 2018 Graduate Courses


3 Cr. Hrs.

Topic: Non-Plantation Slavery during the Antebellum Era

It is probably the case that when most people think about antebellum slavery, the image of a plantation comes to mind.  It is not an illogical image given the critical participation of slaves in the production of American agricultural products, especially cotton, tobatto, rice, corn, wheat, indigo, hemp, and sugar.  Directly and indirectly, agricultural slave labor generated a substantial (often the largest) portion of wealth in nineteenth century America, but this course take a different tack.  It looks at slavery in non-plantation/agricultural contexts and the slave experience beyond the plantation.  These individuals worked in cities, in mines, in factories, on rivers and in homes.  And they came in contact with urban environments in diverse ways, beyond their efforts to earn a wage.  Thus, the focus here is urban, industrial and commercial slavery.  In particular, we will pay especial attention to the diverse ways historians have discussed these slaves, their lives, and their labors, and how these discussions have changed over the last hundred years.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
12:45-3:30           Wednesday                        Shaw, Stephanie


3 Cr. Hrs.

Jesus Christ is a major religious figure about which there is considerable academic and theological debate.  This course examines this debate and thus explores the problem of how historical facts and religious persuasion are related where a religion, such as Christianity, lays claim to historical truth.  Since the Enlightenment this has been a matter of considerable intellectual and cultural interest.  The basic questions are:  Who was Jesus?  What can we know about him that will satisfy ordinary standards of historical knowledge?  What difference does it make?  Attempts to answer these questions have resulted in what is usually called the "quests" for the "historical Jesus."  This course will study those previous quests for the historical Jesus and their analyses of the early Christian Gospels.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
12:45-2:05           TR                                           Harrill, Bert

Assigned Readings:

1.  Burton H. Throckmorton Jr., Gospel Parallels, 5th revised edition (Thomas Nelson, 1992).

2.  E. P. Sanders, The Historical Figure of Jesus (Penguin Books, 1996).

3.  Paula Fredriksen, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews: A Jewish Life and the Emergence of Early Christianity (Vintage Books, 2000).

4.  Bart D. Ehrman, Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (Oxford University Press, 2001).

5.  David R. Cartlidge and David L. Dungan, eds., Documents and Images for the Study of the Gospels, 3d edition (Fortress Press, 2015).

6.  Joan E. Taylor, ed., Jesus and Brian: Exploring the Historical Jesus and his Times via Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015).

7.  Dale C. Allison Jr., Constructing Jesus: Memory, Imagination, and History (Baker Academic, 2010)

Graduate Piggy-Back of HIST 3219.   Students will do all the readings and tests for the undergraduate syllabus––midterm and final exams––plus meet separately in a bi-weekly seminar, and write a research essay of 20 pages.  The research essay can be on any topic, in consultation with the instructor.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


3 Cr. Hrs.

Material Culture and the Study of History

In this class, we will explore the literature on material culture and how its methods can be applied to the study of history.  The class covers the time period from the American colonial era through the Civil War generation, and we will discuss the experiences of people from various ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds, in all regions of the country.  In the last generation, scholars in many fields have embraced the “material turn,” in which they examine the material aspects of human existence, including how people acquired and used objects; how they deployed objects to prove their social status, express their aspirations, and convey their political loyalties; folk culture; consumer culture; and change over time.  We will discuss these topics, as well as the work of Bruno Latour, his ideas about material agency, and the work of his critics.  Our goal is to understand how material culture methods can inspire new ways to conceptualize historical topics; new sources for historians to investigate; and new ways to deepen our understanding of the past.     

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
12:45-3:30           Tuesday                               Cashin, Joan

We will read books and articles by historians and by scholars in other fields, discussing approximately one book and/or article per week.  We will also visit at least one of the museums on campus.  Students will be asked to participate in the weekly discussions and write one paper on the reading, due at the end of the semester.       


3 Cr. Hrs.

This is a graduate seminar designed to introduce students to the recent “spatial turn” in metropolitan and political history.   The course treats suburbs and cities as interrelated phenomena to ask larger questions about U.S. politics and culture since World War II.  Some of the key topics covered in the class include the role of the state in promoting suburban growth, the urban crisis, the rise of the Sunbelt, political realignment and the New Right, the limits of liberal reform, immigration, popular culture, and urban gentrification.  Some of the key questions we will ask include: Did suburbanization cause the urban crisis?  Did suburbanization cause the New Right?  How has gentrification reshaped cities like Brooklyn and transformed American liberalism?  Is American (sub)urban development exceptional, and how have similar processes played out around the globe?

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
9:35-12:20           Monday                               Howard, Clay

This class is designed to help students accomplish four goals: 1) Introduce them to some of the key texts in urban and suburban history.  2) Encourage them to see space as an analytic category that intersects with other categories like race, class, gender, sexuality, the market, and the state.  3) Push them to think historiographically about how ideas about urban history have changed over time.  4) Help them identify their own interests in this growing subfield.


3 Cr. Hrs.

Despite the (misleading) official title, this graduate readings course will focus principally on 18th, 19th, and 20th -century European expansion overseas, and some of the many different kinds of colonial encounters that this expansion could produce.  The readings are designed to introduce students, first, to the latest thinking about modern empires as a global phenomenon, and, second, to a limited selection of different methodological approaches to the history of colonialism. This course will provide excellent background to those of you currently teaching, or intending to teach, Global History or Comparative Empires. Course requirements include completing all assigned readings, and two review essays (or a single longer essay). 

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
5:30-8:10              Wednesday                        Conklin, Alice

Tentative Readings (to be supplemented by articles):
Stephen Howe, Empire: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2002)
Sebastian Conrad, What is Global History? (Princeont, 2015)
Jennifer Pitts, Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire (Harvard, 2018)
Lauren Benton and Lisa Ford, A Rage for Order (Harvard, 2016)   
Mary Lewis, Divided Rule: Sovereignty and Empire in Tunisia,1881-1938 (UCal, 2013)
J.P. Daughton, An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism (Oxford, 2006)
Eric Jennings, Escape from Vichy: The Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean (Harvard, 2018)
Erik Linstrum, Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Harvard, 2016)
Ann Laura Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Duke, 2002)
Isabel Hull, Absolute Destruction:  Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany (Cornell, 2000)
Antoinette Burton, The Trouble with Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism (Oxford, 2015)

Prerequisites and Special Comments
Graduate standing.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This graduate seminar will explore recent scholarship on Eastern Europe focused on several topics: 1) nationalism, state-building, and national identity; 2) mobility and migration; 3) communism and the Cold War; and 4) material culture and everyday life.  The goal is to explore Eastern Europe as a category of analysis and to consider different ways of “bring Eastern Europe back to Europe.”

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
2:15-5:00              Thursday                             Dragostinova, Theodora

Assigned Readings:
About ten monographs, combining classics with recent publications of upcoming scholars.

Discussion and participation 30%
Two book reviews 20%
18-to-20-page final paper 50%

Prerequisites and Special Comments
Graduate standing.


3 Cr. Hrs.                  

This course covers premodern periods of Chinese history, from pre-imperial era to the Qing dynasty.  We will read and discuss monographs and articles covering the fundamental historiographical and historical questions for the study of premodern Chinese history.  In addition to political, cultural and social institutions, we will explore new scholarship on the frontier, religion, environment, and economics.  We will explore new methodologies, including interdisciplinary methods employed by China historians in recent years.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
4:30-7:00              Wednesday                        Zhang, Ying

Prerequisites and Special Comments
Graduate standing.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This semester we will focus on issues related to Japanese environmental history, the history of disasters and disaster responses and the history of science, technology and medicine.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
2:15-5:00              Monday                               Brown, Philip

Assigned Readings:
Expect the equivalent of a book a week, however, readings will be diverse, including articles, interview transcripts with victims and service personnel who responded to the Great Northeastern Triple Disaster of 2011 (engineers, physicians, etc.).  A major focus will be examining the ways in which human beings generate “natural” disasters in a broad spectrum of ways.  Other broad issues include the meaning of “resilience” in historical practice, assessment and toleration of “risk” and similar conceptual/theoretical themes.

Exemplary readings:
J. Charles Schencking. The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Chimera of National Reconstruction in Japan 
Ulrich Beck. Risk Society
Gregory Clancey. Earthquake Nation
Kazuto Tatsuta. Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Critical reviews of monographic readings
A summary bibliographic essay.
Leading discussions

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Undergraduates need instructor permission; no background in Japanese history required.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This readings and discussions course will examine the political, economic, diplomatic and military relations between and among the Great Powers from the mid-nineteenth century up to the origins of the Second World War.  We will trace the development of the Great Power system within the context of the foundations of State power.  Over the course of the quarter, we will examine a number of broad topics, including: (1) the diplomacy of the individual Great Powers; (2) imperialism and the "New Imperialism"; (3) the military strategies of the Great Powers in peacetime and war; (4) the relationship between continental commitments and world power; (5) the relationship between domestic politics and foreign affairs; (6) and the relationship between economic stability and diplomacy in the international system. 

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
2:15-5:00              Tuesday                               Siegel, Jennifer

Assigned Readings: (tentative)
The reading list may include:
Bell, P.M.H.  The Origins of the Second World War in Europe.
Cain and Hopkins.  British Imperialism.
Hobson, Imperialism: A Study.
Iriye, Akira.  The Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific.
Joll, James.  The Origins of the First World War.
Kennedy, Paul.  The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.
Lenin, V. I.  Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism.
Miller, Steven E.  (Editor), Sean M. Lynn-Jones (Editor), and Stephen Van Evera (Editor).  Military Strategy and the Origins of the First World War.
Mommsen, W.J.  Theories of Imperialism.
Robinson and Gallagher.  Africa and the Victorians.
Schroeder, Paul W.  The Transformation of European Politics, 1763-1848,
Steiner, Zara.  The Lights that Failed.
Taylor, A.J.P.  The Struggle for Mastery in Europe.
Wehler,  H.U.  "Bismarck's Imperialism."

Weekly readings and class discussions
One historiographical paper.

Prerequisites and Special Comments
Graduate standing.


3 Cr. Hrs.

The Making of Strategy from Classical Greece to the Iraq War

This course analyzes the making of strategy, with emphasis on grand strategy, through a number of case studies from ancient times to the present, among them Athenian and Spartan strategies during the Peloponnesian War, the grand strategy of Rome and the Carthaginian empire during the Punic Wars, Edward III’s strategy in the Hundred Years War, the strategy of Hapsburg Spain, strategy in the Seven Years’ War, British strategy during the American War for Independence, the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, strategy in the U.S. Civil War, strategy in World War II, and American strategy in the Iraq War.

Time                                      Meeting Day                      Instructors
5:30-8:25 pm                     Tuesday                               Mansoor, Pete

Assigned Readings
Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766
Henry Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812-22
Piers Mackesy, The War for America, 1775-1783
Peter Mansoor, Surge: My Journey with General David Petraeus and the Remaking of the Iraq War
Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, eds., Military Effectiveness, Vol. 3: The Second World War
Williamson Murray, Alvin Bernstein, and MacGregor Knox (eds.), The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States, and War
Williamson Murray and Wayne We-Siang Hsieh, A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War
Geoffrey Parker, The Grand Strategy of Phillip II
Clifford Rogers, War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, 1327-1360
Donald Stoker, The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War
Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

Nine short (2-3 page) book reviews on selected course readings.
A 12-15-page paper that examines a case study in strategy not covered in class. The topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Graduate standing or permission of the instructor (granted only in exceptional circumstances)


3 Cr. Hrs.

This course will require students to analyze a number of works, both articles and books, that are either established as classic studies or have otherwise proven to be very influential in the study of world history.  Students are responsible for reading each of these volumes by the dates assigned and attending the seminar prepared to discuss the material.  On several occasions during the semester students will be required to present the material to the class.  Special attention will be given to the individual authors’ arguments, their use of primary sources to substantiate those arguments, their debts to earlier scholarship, and the developing historiography of the field.  At the end of the semester, students will submit a thorough historiographical analysis summarizing our work during the semester.  Students’ grades will be determined by their command of the sources as demonstrated through his participation in our meetings (50 percent), and the quality of their final papers (50 percent).

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
9:35-12:20           Wednesday                        Levi, Scott

Assigned Readings:
To be assigned.  Readings will be available on reserve.

Prerequisites and Special Comments
Graduate students only.


3 Cr. Hrs.

Over the past four decades, environmental historians have reimagined human history within the context of nature and the environment. Scholars influenced by a sudden upsurge in environmental awareness in the 1960s and 1970s began rethinking history from an ecological perspective. They asked whether including nature – by which they meant both physical nature in all of its multiple diversities and the many ideas, cultures, religions and so on by which humans have come to understand that physical nature – might shed new light on historical causes. The resulting scholarship has changed the way we think and write about the past and has spawned one of the most exciting and innovative fields in historical studies today. This seminar is designed to be a survey of the major themes, ideas, interpretations, and revisions that have emerged in the field of environmental history. Because many of the earliest works came from North American scholars, there will be a slight bias toward North American history, but we will also include and follow global themes as well. Students will be encouraged to develop a specific focus on themes, periods, or regions that are of most interest to them.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
12:45-3:30           Monday                               Curtis, Kip

Assigned Readings: TBA

Weekly response papers, two thematic book reviews; one historiographical essay.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Graduate Standing.                                                                                                                                                                                                         


3 Cr. Hrs.

History 7905 is the first of two required courses in professional development for graduate students in history (the other is 7910).  It introduces students to various objectives, strategies, and techniques for the teaching of college history and readies them for teaching their own independent classes after passing general examinations.  The course also helps students acclimate to the professional culture of academe and provides them with the tools for successful grant writing.  First year graduate students are strongly encouraged to take 7905 during their first semester.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
2:15-5:00              Wednesday                        Judd, Robin

Research database, CV, syllabus, short teaching exercise, budget, abstract, and project narrative (if relevant).


3 Cr. Hrs.

This research/writing seminar provides an opportunity to undertake an original research project that could serve as a thesis chapter or, perhaps, be revised for publication in a refereed journal, related to the field of military history, broadly defined. 

Our course will begin by discussing how to
1) conceptualize a viable research topic;
2) identify appropriate sources; and
3) develop the practical skills, methodological approaches, and interpretive frameworks required to deploy these materials to optimal effect. 

The remainder of the course will allow time for research, writing, and rewriting.  Seminarians will also receive regular constructive feedback from both the course instructor and each other.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
5:30-8:25              Monday                               Parker, Geoffrey

Assigned Readings:
Common readings will reflect the research interests of those who enroll.


  • Attend and participate in all group discussions;
  • Read and discuss all assigned readings;
  • Submit a research-based paper of between 25 and 50 pages by December 10, 2018.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Completion of a 7000 course (preferably but not necessarily in military history) is required, unless exempted by the course instructor.

Those who enroll are strongly encouraged to discuss their research topic with the course instructor before the end of spring semester, 2018, so that they can carry out some research over the summer.




To find course availability and times, please visit the Ohio State Course Catalog and Master Schedule.