Spring 2021 Graduate Course Offerings

Aside from the courses listed in more detail below, these courses fulfill certain requirements for the MA and PhD degrees in History:


Upper Division Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

HIST 330-202 The Papacy in History
Instructor: Neal Pease (pease@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

The Catholic papacy: the most distinctive feature of the world’s largest religious body, the oldest continuously functioning office in the world, an essential and often controversial part of global history for the past two thousand years. Over that time, popes have wielded political as well as spiritual power, and the bishop of Rome, and his church, have experienced dizzying ups and downs, but the pope remains, in our time, the most visible and influential religious leader in the world. Learn about the papacy, from Peter the Apostle to Francis. Requirements include two papers of medium length, and a final exam.


HIST 343-202 Russia Since 1917
Instructor: Christine Evans (evansce@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets TH 11:30 AM -12:45 PM

Amid talk of a “new Cold War” between Russia and the United States, this course will give you the background you need to understand the historic events and figures that have shaped Russia and Eurasia from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to Vladimir Putin. We will view Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history from the conflicting perspectives of the many people whose lives were caught up in Russia’s 20th and 21st centuries: farmers, workers, businessmen, radical artists, professional revolutionaries, Central Asian nomads, hippies, scientists, GULAG prisoners and their guards, Communist Party bosses, and activists and students from around the world.


HIST 348-202 Poland and Its Neighbors, 1945 to the Present
Instructor: Neal Pease (pease@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

Much of the tumultuous history of the 20th century focused on east central Europe, and particularly on Poland, a country that has been called the “laboratory of modern history,” where the great issues of our time have originated, or had their greatest impact, sometimes for better, more often for worse. Subjects include the Second World War, and the Holocaust; the division of Europe after the war, and the imposition of pro-Soviet Communist regimes in east central Europe; the Cold War; the breakup of the Communist order at the end of the

Cold War; and the impressive but not untroubled development of Poland and its neighbors in its post-Communist transition. Requirements include two papers of medium length, and a final exam.


HIST 358-201 The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture
Instructor: Lisa Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

In 1791, France became the first country in Europe to emancipate Jews. So why did it take more than 100 years before all the other European countries offered Jews legal equality? What do Albert Einstein, Hedy Lamarr, Marc Chagall, and Hannah Arendt have in common? And why does it matter? This course covers the history and culture of European Jews from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present. Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, you will learn about Jews in countries like Germany, France, Austria, England, Russia, and Poland through their experiences and responses to political, religious, socioeconomic, and cultural challenges. We will investigate this history using traditional sources as well as alternative perspectives, including books, essays, films, memoirs, tracts, and letters.


HIST 364-201 The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of the Jewish People in Europe, 1933-45
Instructor: Lisa Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

Maybe you have heard about the Holocaust – the term used to denote the systematic destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis and their helpers during World War II – from popular films. Or perhaps you have read about it in high school from books like the Diary of Anne Frank. But just how much about it do you really know? In this course, you will learn about the step-by-step, state-sponsored persecution of the Jews in Europe from primary source documents, images, and eyewitness accounts, as well as secondary sources. We will also cover contemporary interpretations and literary and visual representations of the Holocaust and its meaning, exploring how the construction of history and shaping of memory affect how we learn about these killings and their implications.


HIST 372-202 The Korean War
Instructor: Nan Kim-Paik (ynkp@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

The Korean War is often called the “Forgotten War” or the “Unknown War,” eclipsed in American cultural history and collective memory by World War II and the Vietnam War. Yet, the contemporary world has been indelibly shaped by the Korean War to an extent far greater than widely recognized. The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first large overseas U.S. military conflict waged without a declaration of war, and at the time it provided justification for the rapid expansion of the national security state, enabling the forever wars of ensuing decades. The impact of the Korean War is unquestionably far-reaching, and views on its origins and

implications continue to evolve in light of still-unfolding world events. This course explores the war’s meaning in East Asian, US, and global history, addressing how the war was fought and how local and international conditions had informed what eventually led to the war’s outbreak. Through readings, lectures, visual media, and discussions, this course will examine the Korean War as a complex and devastating civil war on the Korean Peninsula and as a defining period in the global Cold War. Because a permanent peace treaty was never signed, the war on the Korean Peninsula technically has still not ended, and the final part of the course addresses contemporary legacies of Korea’s division and the war’s unresolved nature.


HIST 372-205 West Africa and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Instructor: Rebecca Shumway (shumwayr@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

This course explores the history of West Africa with a focus on how African societies were affected by the transatlantic slave trade from the 15th to 19th century. We will examine the histories of powerful kingdoms like Asante, Dahomey and Oyo, as well as the ways in which smaller-scale societies developed during this tumultuous era. Readings and discussions will also consider how enslaved individuals from these societies contributed to the cultural and political fabric of the Americas and the Caribbean.


HIST 449-202 Popular Culture in America, 1800 to the Present
Instructor: Richard Popp (popp@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets M/W 9:45 AM -11:00 AM

This class explores the development of popular culture in the United States. Surveying more than 200 years, we’ll cover everything from the music of enslaved people in the Early Republic to the early years of social media in our own digital age. In between, we’ll examine the rise (and sometimes fall) of such phenomena as the popular theater, the saloon, daily newspapers, spectator sports, the circus, urban amusements, comics, magazines, advertising, film, music, radio, television, and video games.

A key precept of the course is that the commercialization of pop culture over the course of more than two centuries has been one of the most important long-term historical processes in the nation’s formation, influencing everything from its political culture to its social and economic structures. A second key idea is that popular culture has long served as a resource through which ordinary people have laid claim to a sense of dignity, happiness, and self-concept in everyday life and that it is a site upon which power has been contested at a societal level. As such we’ll pay very close attention to how popular culture has indelibly shaped conceptions of class, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality in dynamic ways across various eras.

Though the focus will be on the US, the course will pay close attention to how American culture took shape in a transnational context, whether it be through the hybridized influence of dozens of immigrant cultures to the global export of American films, fashion, music, and television.


HIST 463-202 History of the American City
Instructor: Amanda Seligman (seligman@uwm.edu)
Online Section, no designated virtual meeting time.

This course provides an overview of the history of American cities from Indigenous settlement to the present. It is arranged in roughly chronological fashion, but topics are introduced thematically—so the discussion on any given day may range over hundreds of years. Major course themes include urban demographics; the development of the planned city; infrastructure networks; regulations and services; city culture; and the urban form. Because of UWM’s location, Milwaukee and Chicago receive special attention throughout the semester. Short paper assignments cultivate students’ ability to use primary sources to explore the past. The exams focus on synthesizing broad course themes and summarizing major topics explored in lecture.


Graduate Colloquia and Seminars

HIST 800-202 Colloquium on U.S. History: African Americans and Central Cities, 1940 – 1970
Instructor: Joe Austin (jaustin@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets M 6:30 PM – 9:10 PM

In 1910, approximately 80% of the African American population lived in rural areas, and 90% in the south. Approximately 1.5 million African Americans migrated to the north and west during the First Great Migration (1910-1930) and 5 million more during the Second Great Migration (1940-1970). By 1970, almost half of the African American population no longer lived in the south, and 80% of African Americans lived in cities. This is a graduate-level readings course on the Second Great Migration with particular emphasis on the central cities. Requirements include one page of notes and questions for each class meeting; two 5-page critical responses to readings; a 25-page final project based on secondary literature, with the form and topic to be negotiated with JOe A. Final project might be a draft of an introductory chapter for thesis/dissertation, a grant proposal, a historiographic essay or an exhibition plan, among other options. Readings will likely include: The Southern Diaspora: How the Great Migrations of Black and White Southerners Transformed America, James Gregory, 2005; Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City, St. Clair Drake and Horace Cayton, 1945; a selection of essays by James Baldwin; Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC, Paula Austin, 2019; and Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York, Carl Suddler, 2019, among others. Questions? jaustin@uwm.edu


HIST 840-202 Colloquium on Global History: African Roots of American Cultures
Instructor: Rebecca Shumway (shumwayr@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets W 3:00 PM – 5:40 PM

This course explores the historical background of African societies from which millions of people were forcibly relocated to the Americas during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, with a view to better understanding elements of African cultural features in societies of the western hemisphere. We will critically review some of the theoretical frameworks that scholars have used to analyze the creation of the African Diaspora and seek to locate pre-colonial West and West-Central African history in an Atlantic World context.


Hist 900-203: Seminar on U.S. History: Empire(s) and Migration(s)
Instructor: Rachel Buff (rbuff@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets TH 3:00 PM – 5:40 PM

We tend to study the arcs of empire and the trajectories of migrants differently, as though the sudden arrival of thousands displaced from their homelands did not respond to the exigencies of history. In this class, we will view them as entwined historical narratives. The creation of empires draws far flung populations to metropolitan centers of power; imperial contractions, represented by wars and their attendant disasters, generate cohorts of refugees fleeing the instability. While this class leans heavily on North American histories of the 19th-21st centuries, students interested in all places and times are welcome to join the class.


HIST 900-204: Seminar on U.S. History: History of the University
Instructor: Joseph Rodriguez (joerod@uwm.edu)
Online Section, Meets T 6:30 PM – 9:10 PM

This online graduate course covers the history of American universities and colleges. We’ll read about the religious origins and economic boosterism in the 19th century, Historic Black Colleges, the expansion of universities after WWII, the Cold War and the research university, the rise of ethnic studies/gender/sex equality movements, and public policy issues over affirmative action, freedom of speech, sports, increased dependence on adjuncts, privatization, and online instruction. Students will write a 20-25 page research paper on a particular issue/debate or the history of a university/college of their choice.