Spring 2017 Graduate Courses



3 Cr. Hrs.

This readings course introduces graduate students to the major questions, themes, and texts in United States history since 1945.  The readings will include classics in the field and newer works that have changed the ways historians have thought about older topics.  Some of the subjects explored in the class will include the fate of organized labor, U.S. empire and the Cold War, segregation and the Black Freedom Struggle, debates over reproductive rights, gay politics, the War on Drugs, and immigration.  Assigned readings will likely include Elizabeth Hinton’s From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, Cindy Hahamovitch’s No Man’s Land: Jamaican Guestworkers in America and the Global History of Deportable Labor, Bethany Moreton’s To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise, and Sara Dubow’s Ourselves Unborn: A History of the Fetus in Modern America.  This course is meant to be a sequel to a course on U.S. history prior to World War II (currently being taught by Professor Katherine Marino).  Students do not need to have taken this earlier class to enroll in this seminar, but it will pick up where the earlier class left off.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

2:15-5:00         Monday                       Howard, C.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This reading intensive and discussion driven graduate seminar examines the African American experience during the 20th and 21st centuries. Each week we will read and discuss a historical monograph that focuses on a particular period of African American life and culture since the turn of the 20th century. The readings are arranged chronologically, beginning with a monograph on black protest at the start of last century. In addition, there will be a particular emphasis on the multiple ways that African Americans fought for civil and human rights during this period.

This course is designed for graduate history and humanities students, especially those preparing major and minor fields in African-American and American history. Upon completing this course, students should have a clear understanding of the general history of African Americans during the 20th and 21st centuries; African American life during the Jim Crow era; African Americans’ transition from farm laborers to factory workers; and African American protest during the conventional civil rights and Black Power eras. Students should also have gained keen insight into the diverse array of questions, sources, and methods that have helped uncover African American history, and developed the skills necessary for critically reading and reviewing any work of history.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

10:20-1:05       Monday                       Jeffries, H.

Assigned Readings:

One historical monograph per week. Titles to be announced.


Each student will be assigned to one of three groups (A, B, or C) and will write a book review for each of the four books assigned to his or her group. The reviews will range in length from 750 to 1,000 words. On those weeks when a student is not writing a book review, he or she is to write a stream-of-consciousness reaction to the week’s reading that is not to exceed one single spaced page. The reflection should include a general impression of the book. An annotated bibliographic essay of approximately 15 pages is due during finals week. The essay must be based on one of the weekly discussion themes, such as the African American experience during World War II. The assigned reading for the weekly discussion theme that you select will serve as the starting point for your essay. Further instructions will be given at a later date.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This course is a graduate colloquium on selected topics in Soviet history.  The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the most influential works and approaches in the field.  Each week we will discuss a major book on Soviet history with attention both to the historical events discussed and the historiographical approach utilized by the author.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

9:10-11:55       Wednesday                 Hoffmann, D.

Tentative list of Readings:

Martin Malia, The Soviet Tragedy

Peter Holquist, Making War, Forging Revolution

Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire

Stephen Kotkin, Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as a Civilization

Elena Shulman, Stalinism on the Frontier of Empire

Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat

Alfred Rieber, Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia

Ronald Suny, The Revenge of the Past

Alexei Yurchak, Everything was Forever, Until it was No More


Students will be expected to complete all readings and participate in weekly discussions.  Class participation will account for 50% of the final grade.  The only written assignment for the course will be a take-home essay at the end of the quarter.  At the last class meeting, the instructor will give students several topics, and students should choose one as the basis of the essay.  Students will then have two weeks to write a 12-page (typed and double-spaced) essay based on the readings for the course.  No additional reading or research will be required.  This format is designed to encourage students to give maximum attention and thought to the assigned readings during the quarter.  Such attention will provide the best preparation for the final essay.

Prerequisites & Special Comments:  This course is open to all graduate students.                                                                                                                                                           


3 Cr. Hrs.

This graduate reading course will survey a range of topics in (late) modern Chinese history, defined as the period from the 19th to the 20th centuries up to 1949, as seen through comparative, national, and local studies. Readings will include both classics in the field and new historical works. In advance of the course, students are welcome to suggest book- or article-length readings for inclusion in the shared reading.

 Time               Meeting Days              Instructor

3:30-6:15         Monday                       Reed, C.

Assigned Readings:

Selected monographs and articles (see comment about suggestions above).

Prerequisites & Special Comments:

Graduate standing or permission of the instructor. Knowledge of Chinese language is desirable but not required.  Students who had not read Wakeman’s Fall of Imperial China and Bianco’s Origins of the Chinese Revolution should do so before the first meeting.  In addition, every student is urged to familiarize him/herself with a standard textbook account of the period (Schirokauer; Fairbank Reishauer & Craig; Murphey; Spence; or Hsu).  This class will be held in Room 235 Dulles Hall.                                                                      


3 Cr. Hrs.

This graduate readings course introduces students to the history of medicine and health as a historical field. Each student is expected to bring his or her own chronological, geographical and thematic strengths in history to our discussions in order to explore how work in the history of medicine and health intersects with scholarly insights in other areas. Our readings range broadly across time and space. All of the books chosen for discussion were awarded the Welch Prize from the American Association of the History of Medicine, and so represent the discipline’s consensus on the best single author publications in this area over the past thirty years.

 Time               Meeting Days              Instructor

12:45-3:30       Wednesday                 Lawrence, S.

Assigned Readings:

Anderson, Warwick. The Collectors of Lost Souls: Turning Kuru Scientists into Whitemen. The Johns Hopkins University Press: 2008.

Curtin, Philip Death by Migration. Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Evans, Richard J., Death in Hamburg: Society and Politics in the Cholera Years, 1830-1910. Oxford University Press, 1987.

Geison, Gerald L. The Private Science of Louis Pasteur. New York: Princeton Univ. Press, 1995.

Kuriyama, Shigehisa. The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine. New York: Zone Books, 1999.

McVaugh, Michael R. Medicine Before the Plague: Practitioners and Their Patients in the Crown of Aragon, 1285-1345. Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Pressman, Jack D.  Last Resort: Psychosurgery & the Limits of Medicine. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998.

Tomes, Nancy. The Gospel of Germs: Men, Women and the Microbe in American Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife’s Tale. NY: Knopf, distributed by Random House, 1990.

Warner, John Harley. The Therapeutic Perspective: Medical Practice, Knowledge, and Identity in America, 1820-1885. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.

Willrich, Michael. Pox: An American History. New York: Penguin Press, 2011.                                                                                                                                                          


3  Cr. Hrs.

In recent years our understanding of literacy and its relationships to ongoing societies and social change has been challenged and revised. The challenge came from many directions. The “new literacy studies,” as they are often called, together attest to transformations of approaches and knowledge and a search for new understandings. Many traditional notions about literacy and its presumed importance no longer influence scholarly and critical conceptions. The gap that too often exists between scholarly and more popular and applied conceptions is one of the topics we will consider.

Among a number of important currents, historical scholarship and critical theories stand out, both by themselves and together. Historical research on literacy has been unusually important in encouraging a reconstruction of the fields that contribute to literacy studies, the design and conduct of research, the role of theory and generalization in efforts to comprehend literacy and, as we say increasingly, literacies (plural). It has insisted on new understandings of “literacy in context,” including historical context, as a requirement for making general statements about literacy, and for testing them, and carries great implications for new critical theories relating to literacy.

This seminar investigates these and related changes. Taking a historical approach, we will seek a general understanding of the history of literacy primarily but not exclusively in the West since classical antiquity but with an emphasis on the early modern and modern eras. At the same time, we examine critically literacy’s contributions to the shaping of the modern world and the impacts on literacy from fundamental historical social changes. Among many topics, we will explore communications, language, family and demographic behavior, economic development, urbanization, institutions, literacy campaigns, both political and personal changes, and the uses of reading and writing. A new understanding of the place of literacy and literacies in social development is our overarching goal.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

1:50-4:50         Tuesday                       Graff, H.

Assigned Readings:

William V. Harris, Ancient Literacy; Michael T Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England, 1066-1307; Carlo Ginzburg, The Cheese and the Worms; Harvey J. Graff, The Literacy Myth; Carl Kaestle, et al, Literacy in the United States: Readers and Reading Since 1880; Deborah Brandt, Literacy in American Lives, and articles on Canvas


Regular reading, attendance, and preparation for each class meeting; brief commentary papers; leadership of one or more seminar sessions, two short essays. There may also be opportunities to work on Graff’s LiteracyStudies a@OSU “initiative”

Prerequisites and Special Comments:

This course meets a core course requirement for the GIS in Literacy Studies.

It also complements a number of constellations from Power to Religion to REN.                                                                                                                                                          


3 Cr. Hrs.                                                                                          

The course is an advanced introduction to the professional practice of history.  Its primary aim is to provide students with a functional literacy in contemporary historical methodology.  Following a broadly chronological scheme, it traces the evolution of history as a discipline, from its formation as a professional field in the early nineteenth century up to the present day.  Course readings (both theoretical and applied) will focus in particular on methodological developments since World War II, exploring the nature and influence of e.g., Marxist historiography, the various Annales paradigms, and approaches informed by anthropology, postmodernism, and postcolonial theory.  Along the way, important questions raised include: Why does the past matter? How do societies use history? Is it possible to write a truly objective historical account? Does history need to be "relevant" to present-day concerns?

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

2:15-5:00         Wednesday                 Anderson, G.

Assigned Readings:

L. Kramer and S. Maza, eds., A Companion to Western Historical Thought (Malden, Mass, 2002).

Readings on Carmen


Weekly readings

Short in-class reports on readings

Research paper

Prerequisites and Special Comments:

History graduate student or by permission of instructor                                                                                                                                                          


3 Cr. Hrs.

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 (including archival) and secondary sources; organization; time table; research plan; funding; and 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’ll 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.           

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

12:45-3:30       Thursday                     Smith, S.

Assigned Readings: TBA

Assignments:   TBA

Prerequisites & Special Comments: Graduate Standing                                                                                                                                                          


3 Cr. Hrs.

The goal of this seminar is to provide experience in the research and writing of scholarly papers based on primary sources on a subject in American history and culture through 1877.  Ideally, each student will produce a 25-30 pp. research paper (or MA thesis/dissertation chapter) of publishable quality.  During the first weeks, participants will define their topics, identify relevant sources and create a research plan, shape a preliminary argument, and place that argument within a historiographical framework.  In class, we will spend these first weeks of the course discussing issues of historical inquiry, method, interpretation, and expression.  In addition, we will study the tools of historical research and explore available manuscript, online and print sources, bibliographies, and finding aids. As part of this process, each student will be responsible for leading a discussion on his/her planned project.  This will include selecting some relevant readings for the class and presenting a prospectus for criticism.  In the middle of the semester, seminar members will focus on researching and writing their papers.  Toward the end of the term each student will submit a rough draft for consideration by the seminar and the chief critic and present their projects over the succeeding two weeks. 

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

1:30-4:15         Monday                       Newell, M.


Each student will be responsible for the following written assignments: a bibliography of primary and secondary sources; a 4-8 pp. project proposal that could serve a dissertation prospectus or grant proposal; a first draft of the final paper and a revised final draft.  In addition to his or her own paper, each student will be responsible for a careful reading and written critique of the work of fellow seminar members.  Assume that you are a referee reviewing the paper for publication in a journal; note its strengths and weaknesses, and provide detailed suggestions for improvement.                                                                                                                                                            


3 Cr. Hrs.

This research seminar is designed to give graduate students experience in the research and writing of scholarly papers, and the techniques of scholarly review/assessment. The goal of the seminar will be to provide the opportunity to produce a major research paper; for example, a M.A. thesis, article, dissertation chapter(s), conference presentations, and/or major grant applications (with budgets and other materials). At the beginning of the course, the students will create a “contract” that will state their goals for the class.

Additionally, the seminar will provide students with the space to discuss scholarly matters and share valuable advice on academic and practical issues, such as researching in archives, submitting an article, the revising process, applying for jobs and grants, and others. Students also will offer and receive constructive feedback from their peers that will help them improve their work in a productive and positive manner.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

ARR                 ARR                             Smith, S.                                                                                                                                                          


3 Cr. Hrs.

This research and 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 international history, broadly defined.  

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor

2:15-5:00         Tuesday                       Siegel, J.

Our course will begin by discussing how to conceptualize a viable research topic;

  1. identify appropriate sources; and
  2. 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.  Members of the seminar will receive regular constructive feedback from both the course instructor and each other.

Assigned Readings (tentative):

Rabiner, Susan.  Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction and Get It Published.  (selections)

Gaddis, John Lewis.  The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past.  (selections)

Carr, E. H.  What is History? (selections)

Hunt, Lynn.  Writing History in the Global Era.  (selections)             

Additional common readings will reflect the research interests of those who enroll.


Attend and participate in all group discussions;

  • Read and discuss all assigned readings;
  • Read and respond to assigned peer produced work;
  • Submit a research-based paper of between 25 and 50 pages.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:

Completion of a 7000 course is required, unless exempted by the course instructor.  Students are strongly encouraged to use winter break to explore the library and online databases to identify possible topics and sources.   Those who plan to enroll are strongly encouraged to discuss their research topic with the course instructor before the end of autumn semester, 2016.



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