Undergraduate Courses

The United States in the World

This survey course explores the United States’ changing relationships to global history from the late 18th century through the recent past. Themes include early American encounters with indigenous peoples and polities, struggles against European colonial powers in North America, Manifest Destiny and settler colonialism, overseas military intervention and colonial conquest after 1898, the projection of corporate and commercial power in the early 20th century, Cold War militarization and neo-colonial warfare in Asia, the politics of unipolarity following the collapse of communism, and the post-9/11 invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Transnational America, 1880-1940

This course explores the ways that a diverse array of transnational processes shaped modern American society between Reconstruction and World War II. Topics include immigration and nativist movements, diaspora politics, overseas warfare and governance, the export of U. S. consumer culture, international reform movements, and American participation in World War I.

Transnational America, 1940-2010

This course explores the ways that a diverse array of transnational processed shaped modern American society between World War II and the recent past. Topics include World War II, the impact of the Cold War on American politics, global dimensions of the black freedom struggle, the new immigration, the transnationalizing of corporations, the globalization of American popular culture, and post-9/11 American foreign policy.

Making Modern America, 1880-1945

This survey course covers majors themes in American society, culture and politics between the end of Reconstruction and World War II. Themes include the invention of the modern corporation, the rise of labor and populist politics, the consolidation of Jim Crow, immigration and nativist politics, colonialism and the birth of U. S. global power, suffrage and feminist movements, cultural radicalism and modernism, U. S. responses to the Great Depression, and U. S. participation in World War I and World War II.

Making Modern America, 1945-2010

This survey course covers majors themes in American society, culture and politics between end of World War II and the recent past, with an emphasis on back-and-forth interactions between “domestic” and “foreign” dynamics in the shaping of 20th century American society. Themes include Cold War militarization, struggles for equality by women and people of color, the rise and decline of liberal politics, suburbanization and urban crisis, and the intensification of economic globalization.

Immigration, the United States and the World

This course explores the historical linkages between US immigration policy, and the United States’ shifting presence and power in the world across the long 20th century, from the origins of Chinese exclusion to the “war on terror.” While often studied apart, immigration politics have long influenced the United States’ foreign relations, as revealed in the global reactions to restriction, the international politics of refugee admission, and the intersections of immigration policy and war.

Debating the United States in the World, 1890-2010

This course enlists the tools of intellectual and cultural history to track major debates about the United States’ changing place in the world in the 20th century. Major themes include arguments over the rise of American power in the early 20th century—exemplified by the seizure of overseas colonies—the intensifying, global traffic in American goods and cultural forms; the US’s participation and non-participation in multilateral institutions; the international implications of the United States’ racialized state and society; and the contested meanings of US global dominance during and after the Cold War.

Class, Culture and Power in 20th Century America

This course examines 20th century U. S. history through the lens of class: how American society, culture and politics during this period were shaped by struggles over material inequality and social stratification. Themes include the labor movement, radical politics, the building of the welfare state, urbanization and suburbanization, consumer culture, the resurgence of conservative politics, exceptionalist ideologies of classlessness and the impact of corporate power on U. S. politics.

The Craft of History

The course introduces students to the skills, methods and practices of historical inquiry, research and writing, as a way to both cultivate historical consciousness and prepare students for senior thesis research. Topics include the close reading of primary documents, the identification and critical evaluation of secondary sources, the uses of evidence, the process of historical argument, and methodologies of social history, cultural history, environmental history, gender history and comparative history. The course also explores historians’ engagements in public debate, and the variety of careers available to students with historical training.

American Masculinities

The course explores the politics of gender in American society from the colonial period through the recent past through the lens of changing definitions of manhood and masculinity. Themes include the nature of patriarchal authority during the colonial era, manhood and republican citizenship, masculinity and slavery, the gendered politics of Manifest Destiny and colonialism, changes in the meanings of fatherhood, militarization and manhood in the 20th century, and the politics of heteronormativity.

Race, Modernity and Power

This course explores race as a modern system of power and knowledge from comparative, transnational and global perspectives; while centered on the 19th and 20th century United States, it juxtaposes American histories of race those of other societies. Themes include race and labor, colonialism, immigration and nativism, consumer culture, sexuality, the eugenics movement, race war and genocide, and anti-racial social movements.

Race, Gender and U. S. International History

This course looks at both racialized and gendered dimensions of 20th century U. S. engagements with the world and the participation of women and people of color in the making of U. S. foreign relations. Themes include African-American perspectives on colonialism and world war, women’s participation in peace movements, the impact of decolonization on U. S. racial politics, gendered dimensions of Cold War ideology, and the remaking of race and gender in the post-9/11 period.

Modern Colonialism in Global History

The course explores the global phenomenon of modern colonialism in the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the mutual and uneven transformations of metropolitan and colonial societies. Themes include imperial capitalism, colonial governance and law, the politics of racial difference, colonial sexual politics, the role of science and technology, anti-colonial movements and decolonization, and colonialism’s contemporary legacies.


Graduate Courses

The Historiography of Modern America

This historiography course introduces students to core themes and innovative works in the writing of modern American history, including discussions of the politics of industrial capitalism, the making of the welfare state, movements for racial, gender and sexual equality, cultures of consumption, the remaking of urban and suburban spaces, and militarization and empire.

The United States in the World since the Civil War

This historiography course explores methodological innovations that are allowing U. S. historians to reframe historical research “beyond the nation-state.” Topics include new transnational approaches to the history of migration, social movements, cultural transfers, consumer culture and empire.

Transnational, Imperial and Global Histories

This historiography course explores methodological innovations that are allowing historians of numerous societies to reframe historical research “beyond the nation-state.” The course explores the strengths and weaknesses of transnational, imperial and global approaches and compares advances occurring within a variety of national-historical traditions.

Immigration in U. S. History

The course explores the history and historiography of immigration to the United States. Topics include immigrants in U. S. politics, changing American attitudes towards immigration, European immigrants and whiteness, regimes of border control, immigrant popular culture, immigration and colonialism and the Cold War and refugee politics.

Space, Sovereignty, and History

This historiography course explores recent and emerging efforts to thematize and analyze spatial dynamics in the writing of history. Topics include spatiality and capitalism, space and imperial boundary-making, the politics of territoriality, regimes of segregation, and the spatial politics of social justice.