HIST 372G-001Topics in Global History: Water and Environment in the Nuclear Age Instructor: Nan Kim (email@example.com) Meets: TR 12:30pm-1:45pm As climate change becomes increasingly pressing as a global issue to address, so has the debate over nuclear energy. While nuclear power has been hailed by its proponents as a potential answer to the dilemma surrounding greenhouse-gas emissions, critics point to the fallout from implicated risks related to operating nuclear plants and mining for uranium, the global lack of a long-term solution for disposing highly radioactive nuclear waste, and the danger of fueling nuclear proliferation. Another related concern stems from the fact that nuclear energy power plants are tremendously “water-hungry,” heavily dependent on water for cooling and functioning. The required proximity to water sources has impacted the coastal and river ecosystems where reactors are located, as nuclear plants become more vulnerable to drought, flood, and other extreme weather phenomena that recur with greater frequency due to systemic climate change.
In the age of the anthropocene, how have the risks, possibilities, and consequences of nuclear technology since 1945 transformed the human relationship with water as a nonrenewable resource necessary to sustain life? In a semester-long course of study developed in conjunction with the Global Security and Global Sustainability tracks at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this seminar builds upon discussions of classic publications as well as emerging research exploring the nexus between environmental history, nuclear history, and history of technology.
HIST 404G-001Topics in American History: The Hip-Hop Generation Instructor: Gregory T Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) Meets: MW 11am-12:15pm Since the late 1970s, hip-hop has gone from a set of African-American and Latino cultural forms from the Bronx to one of the most profitable and popular styles worldwide. Some assert that hip-hop has been a means to purvey age-old images of blacks as bestial, violent, and criminal, while others praise it as the voice of a generation. At the same time, the United States has undergone transformations easily as significant as those of the previous three decades of the post-World War II period, with some from groups facing racism, sexism, and poverty enjoying civil rights legislation, while others do not. This class will use hip-hop as a lens to examine recent United States history with these trends in mind. Towards this end, we will employ both traditional, historical texts and the latest cultural studies writings. I will provide the bulk of the former during class lectures, and your reading assignments will introduce you to the latter. Our discussions will bring the noise, cross-fading between the two. All the while, issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexuality will repeat themselves like the breaks.
Graduate students enrolled in HIST 404G should meet with me to discuss expectations and plan how this course will help your broader goals.
HIST 449G-201Popular Culture in America, 1800 to the Present Instructor: Richard K Popp (email@example.com) Meets: No Meeting Pattern 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 840-001Colloquium on Global History: Migration and Empire in the Americas Instructor: Rachel I Buff (firstname.lastname@example.org) Meets: W 3:30pm-6:10pm The idea of this class is to historicize empire and migration with an eye to theorizing the ongoing connections between the two. Readings will survey histories of empire and migration in the Americas; writing assignments are designed to creatively theorize the connections between them. Students will also complete a final, historiographic assignment connecting the work of the class to their particular scholarly agendas. Students working in areas outside the Americas are more than welcomed.
HIST 900-001Seminar on U.S. History: The News Media in Modern America Instructor: Richard K Popp (email@example.com) Meets: W 6:30pm-9:10pm Covering everything from the blaring headlines of the tabloid press to the bombastic sounds of talk radio, this course will offer an in-depth exploration of how the news shaped 20th century America. A key precept of the course is that news is an everyday form of sensemaking that is inextricably tied to the larger workings of social, cultural, and political-economic power. We’ll take a wide-angle view of journalism, exploring the many forms it took and the industries, institutions, and people behind its production. Topics will include “Yellow Journalism,” the Black Press, photojournalism, newsreels, radio bulletins, opinion polling, network TV newscasts, underground papers, documentary filmmaking, the “New Journalism,” cable news, and talk radio. Not only will we examine the development and impact of these news genres in their own time, we’ll also think about how these “first drafts” shape the practice of history.