Spring 2019 Graduate Courses


3 Cr. Hrs.

Topic: Gnostics and Other Early Christian Heresies

“Gnosticism” was the first great Christian “heresy”; indeed, it prompted the creation of the idea of “heresy.”  But who were the Gnostics?  And what did they teach?  Manuscripts discovered in the twentieth century now enable us to read works from the Gnostics themselves.  This course will explore the writings and teachings of the Gnostic school of thought and related groups in second- and third-century Christianity.  The Gnostics taught that this world is a mistake, created by an evil and ignorant god, and that Jesus has come to rescue people from it.  They presented their teachings in an elaborate myth that drew from the Bible and Platonist philosophy.  Other groups, like the Valentinians, presented their own variations of the Gnostic myth, and “proto-orthodox” Christians developed their theologies and notions of heresy in response to Gnostic views.  We will read such “heretical” works as The Secret Book According to John, The Gospel of Judas, and The Gospel According to Thomas, as well as writings by opponents of the Gnostics, including Irenaeus of Lyons and Origen of Alexandria.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
11:10-12:30             TR                                      Brakke, David

Assigned Readings:
Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures
Plato, Timaeus and Critias
Robert Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons
Marvin Meyer, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures (recommended)

Graduate students will attend the undergraduate section (History 3227) and fulfill its requirements, but also meet separately with the instructor approximately seven times for additional readings.


3 Cr. Hrs.

Topic: Paul & His Influence in Early Christianity

Graduate Piggy-Back of HISTORY 3218.  Students will do all the readings and tests for the undergraduate syllabus—midterm and final exams---plus write a research essay of 20 pages. The research essay can be on any topic, in consultation with the instructor.

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

Assigned Readings:
1.  The HarperCollins Study Bible, Student Edition, fully Revised and Updated, edited by H. W. Attridge and W. A. Meeks et al. (HarperOne, 2006).  You must have this translation.
2.  The Writings of St. Paul, 2nd edition, edited by Wayne A. Meeks and John T. Fitzgerald (W. W. Norton, 2007).
3.  Wayne 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).
5.    Margaret M. Mitchell, Paul, the Corinthians and the Birth of Hermeneutics (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
6.    Dale B. Martin, The Corinthian Body (Yale University Press, 1995).
7.    Paula Fredriksen, The Pagans’ Apostle (Yale University Press, 2017)

Midterm and final exams. Research paper of 20 pages.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Graduate standing.  Advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor.


3 Cr. Hrs.
The South in the Long Nineteenth Century

In this class, we will explore the historical literature on the American South. We will investigate aspects of the region’s history and identity, including how regions are defined in different parts of the United States and how Southerners have perceived or experienced their regional identity. We will consider the process of modernization, how it is defined, and how it has affected life in the South. We will also explore collective memory in the region and how it has represented or misrepresented experience. The class begins with the antebellum era and moves into the twentieth century, and we will discuss the experiences of people of both genders from diverse racial, ethnic, class, and subregional backgrounds.

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

Course requirements:
We will read books by historians, including such authors as James Cobb, Kirk Savage, Jonathan Daniel Wells, and Julie Weise. We will discuss approximately one monograph per week, and there will be occasional article handouts in class and short writing assignments. Students will be asked to participate in the weekly discussions and write one substantial paper on the reading, due at the end of the semester.       


3 Cr. Hrs.

Introduction to the literature of Modern U.S. history since the 1930's.  Emphasis is placed on reading and critiquing some of the most important recent works in various thematic fields such as political, military, diplomatic, African – American, gender, sexuality, immigration, labor, legal, social, religious, urban  and environmental history.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
10:20-1:05             Monday                              Stebenne, David

Assigned Readings:
Jefferson Cowie, The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (2016)
Emily Hobson, Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left (2016)
Antulio J. Echevarria II, Reconsidering the American Way of War: U.S. Military Practice from the Revolution to Afghanistan (2014)
Kate Brown, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (2015)
Lily Geismer, Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party (2014)
Brian Balogh, The Associational State: American Governance in the Twentieth Century
Kunal Parker, Making Foreigners: Immigration and Citizenship Law in America, 1600-2000 (2015)
Barbara J. Keys, Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (2014)
Daniel Rodgers, Age of Fracture (2012)
James Whitman, Hitler's American Model: The United States and the Making of the Nazi Race Law (2017)
Mark Wilson, Destructive Creation: Business and the Winning of World War II (2016)
Joel Dinnerstein, The Origins of Cool in Postwar America (2017)
Stacie Taranto, Kitchen Table Politics: Conservative Women and Family Values in New York (2017)
Frances Fitzgerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America (2018)

A 25-page historiographical paper, due at the end of the semester.


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, David

Tentative list of readings:
Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution, 3rd edition
Francine Hirsch, Empire of Nations
Lynne Viola, The Unknown Gulag
Jochen Hellbeck, Revolution on My Mind
Anna Krylova, Soviet Women in Combat
Alfred Rieber, Stalin and the Struggle for Supremacy in Eurasia
Slava Gerovitch, Soviet Space Mythologies
Stephen Kotkin, Armageddon Averted, updated edition

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


3 Cr. Hrs.

Third World Politics

This course will consider the broad politics of the Third World and efforts made by Asian, African, and Latin American countries to challenge the traditional political/economic preponderance of the global North. From the 1940s into the 1980s, postcolonial leaders tried to build a solidarity within the Global South to empower newly independent states and create a more peaceful, egalitarian global system. Though increasingly radical visions failed to navigate a Third way between the Euro-centric cultures of Western capitalism and Eastern Marxist-Leninism, they persist as wistful alternatives to the contemporary international system. Focusing on the 1950s to 1970s, we’ll consider sample texts sketching out the political philosophies that informed these Third World projects and discuss emerging historical scholarship on this topic. Themes will include the emergence of Third World identities and political ideologies along with their relationship to Western philosophies, visions of the international system, intersection with the Cold War, and impact on minority populations in the global North.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
12:45-3:30            Tuesday                             Parrott, Joe

Assigned Readings (tentative):
Writings from: Guevara, Nkrumah, Fanon, Cabral, Nasser, Nehru, Sukarno, and/or others
Vijay Prashad, The Darker Nations
Anne-Garland Mahler, From the Tricontinental to the Global South
Christopher J. Lee, Making a World After Empire (chapters)
Cynthia Young, Soul Power
Sohail Daulatzai, Black Star, Crescent Moon
Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Radicals on the Road
Greg Brazinksy, Winning the Third World
Jonathan C. Brown, Cuba’s Revolutionary World
Christopher Dietrich, Oil Revolution
Jeffrey Byrne, Mecca of Revolution
Jeremy Freidman, Shadow Cold War
Gary Wilder, Freedom Time
Quinn Slobodian, Foreign Front
Brian Russell Roberts and Keith Foulcher, Indonesian Notebook


Short Review Essay on Prashad (600 words)
Brief Oral Presentation and Book Review Essay (1,000 words)
Definitions Paper on Third World, Global South, etc. (1,000 words)
Essay on Third World Project topic related to specific region, movement, etc. (3,000 words)


3 Cr. Hrs.

Spaces of War (19th Century-Present)

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, his seminar examines modern warfare as a spatial experience, including the transformation of modern battlefields, the impact of war on the global environment, the soldiers’ mental spaces, the boundaries between the frontline and the home front, the militarization of public spaces, and the changing spaces of war commemoration.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
9:35-12:20            Wednesday                       Cabanes, Bruno

Assigned Readings (TBD):
John Keegan, The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme
Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity and German Occupation in World War I
Carlos Jerez-Farran, Unearthing Franco’s Legacy. Mass Graves and the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain.
Edward B. Westermann, Hitler’s Ostkrieg and the Indian Wars.
Eugene Sledge, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa
Judith Bennett, Natives and Exotics: World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific
Robert Jay Lifton, Death in Life. Survivors of Hiroshima.
Sarah Farmer, Martyred Village: Commemorating the 1944 Massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane
Kenneth T. MacLeish, Making War at Fort Hood

Students should come to class prepared, and participate actively in discussions.  Each student will  present a book and lead class discussion ONCE during the semester and write THREE book reviews. Each of the book reviews will be five double-spaced pages.

Final grades will be based on the following components: 25 POINTS FOR CLASS PARTICIPATION; 30 POINTS FOR THE BOOK PRESENTATION; 15 POINTS FOR EACH BOOK REVIEW.                                                                                   


3 Cr. Hrs.

This course focuses on the American Civil War and addresses such issues as whether the conflict can accurately be called the first modern and/or total war, the reasons for the persistence of restraint in the midst of a highly destructive war (one that killed 2 percent of the US population and 8 percent of the men of military age), the conditions under which restraint broke down, and the impact of the war on the physical environment.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
2:15-5:00              Monday                              Grimsley, Mark

Assigned Readings:

Ten books and two articles, including:

Lisa Brady, War Upon the Land: Military Strategy and the Transformation of Southern Landscapes During the American Civil War
Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering:  Death and the American Civil War.
Lisa Tendrich Frank, The Civilian War: Confederate Women and Union Soldiers during Sherman's March.
Mark Grimsley, The Hard Hand of War:  Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865
Charles Royster, The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans.
Daniel E. Sutherland, A Savage Conflict:  The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War.

Course requirements include class participation, two book reviews (800 words each) and a 5,000 word analytical paper.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
Graduate students only.


3 Cr. Hrs.

Gender, Class and Politics: European Women’s History 18-20th Centuries

This intensive readings course is designed to provide graduate students from a range of academic disciplines with a broad introduction to the history of women and gender in Modern Europe, and to the theoretical approaches and methodologies employed by scholars working in this field.  Our readings will be clustered around a number of topics including cultural constructions of women and gender; female sexuality and life course options; labor and consumption; social movements, and feminism.  Additional topics will be determined by the specific interests of seminar participants.

All students interested in the course should contact Prof. Søland (soland.1@osu.edu) no later than December 4, 2018 for a discussion of specific interests.

Time                      Meeting Days                    Instructor
7:00-9:45              Thursday                            Soland, Birgitte


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 the various bodies of theory, which have informed the ways historians try to recover and represent past experiences.  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, Greg

Grade based on preparation of readings; classroom participation and term paper

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
History graduate student or by permission of instructor.


3 Cr. Hrs.

This course is designed to help History graduate students produce dissertation prospectuses.   In the course of the semester, you will progress from conceptualization of a topic through a research plan and organizational strategy to the finished product.  Presentation or your drafts and constructive critique of classmates’ drafts will be key parts of the course, as will the instructor’s feedback on drafts.

Time                Meeting Days              Instructor
11:10-1:55         Wednesday                 Hathaway, Jane

Topic description, dissertation outline, prospectus rough draft, prospectus final draft, several presentations, peer reviews of classmates’ work.

Prerequisites and Special Comments:
This course is for History graduate students the semester of or the semester before their Ph.D. Candidacy exams.   


3 Cr. Hrs.

This research/writing seminar provides an opportunity to begin and complete a research project (such as an M.A. paper, dissertation chapter, substantive conference paper, or article) related to the field of European history. Our course will begin by examining a selection of historical writings to help us conceptualize a viable research topic, identify appropriate sources, and develop methodological approaches to analyze these materials.  The remainder of the course will allow time for research, writing, rewriting, and for engaging with practical issues in academic life. Students will gain the benefit of receiving regular constructive feedback from a supportive and collegial intellectual community. 

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

Assigned Readings:
Readings will be determined later this Fall to fit the needs of the seminar participants.

Proposal, working bibliography, draft, final paper                                                                                                                                                         



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