Spring 2023 Graduate Course Syllabi

Spring 2023 Undergraduate Course Syllabi

  • HIST 358G-201 The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture
    Instructor: Lisa D Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    This asynchronous, online course examines the experiences of the Jews in Europe from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present from the perspective of cultural history via lectures, films, and readings from primary and secondary sources. Central themes of the course include challenges to traditional religious and social structures by communities and individuals, as well as the varied responses by Jews and others to these challenges. Assignments for graduate students include quizzes, discussion group posts, and a substantial research paper. No prior background in Jewish history or religion is expected.

  • HIST 364G-202 The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of Jewish People in Europe, 1933-45
    Instructor: Lisa D Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    This asynchronous, online course examines the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis and their helpers during World War II within the contexts of twentieth-century European and Jewish history via lectures, films, and readings from primary and secondary sources. This course analyzes the steps leading to the genocide of the Jews in Europe as well as the economic, social, and political factors that enabled its implementation, focusing on the on the interaction of victims, perpetrators, and witnesses/bystanders. Assignments for graduate students include quizzes, discussion group posts, and a substantial research paper. No prior background in Jewish history or religion is expected.

  • HIST 418G-001 America in Prosperity, Depression and War, 1921-1945
    Instructor: Richard K Popp (popp@uwm.edu)
    Meets: MW 1pm-2:15pm
    In the wake of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938, researchers fanned out across the United States to figure out why substantial numbers of listeners had believed the program’s reports of a Martian invasion. “In this troubled world of ours,” one California man responded, “there are so many things that have happened and are happening that the people are believing that nothing is impossible.” The statement captured the tumult of the times. Beginning with the onset of Prohibition and ending with the birth of the atomic age, the quarter century examined in this course was perhaps the most momentous in the nation’s history. Even a short list of major developments would have to include the Great Migration, the second Ku Klux Klan, the Dust Bowl, the crash of 1929, the Depression, the New Deal, the Labor Movement, and the Second World War. We will pay especially close attention to the era’s cultural artifacts, including its films, music, sports, fashions, popular print, literature, and art, using them as windows into the social, political, and economic transformations of the day. We’ll use two books for this course. Both offer succinct, engagingly written overviews of major developments of the interwar years. Eric Rauchway, Why the New Deal Matters (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2021). Available as a library eBook. Michael C. C. Adams, The Best War Ever: America and World War II, 2nd ed. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015). Available used for less than $10. • Note: You can buy the 1st edition if it’s significantly cheaper.

  • HIST 596G-001 Maps as Historical Sources
    Instructor: Richard K Popp (popp@uwm.edu)
    Meets: MW 10am-11:15am
    The purpose of this course is to: (a) develop your ability to think historically about maps and; (b) develop your ability to use maps as a means of presenting history. Drawing on maps from all over the world and from different ages, we’ll explore how maps work, how they were created, how their use and appearance developed over time, and the different roles they played in various eras. We’ll place a heavy emphasis on learning how to use maps as evidence, how to analyze them, and how to connect them to larger processes of historical change. In addition, we’ll learn the foundational concepts and methods of geographic information systems (GIS) in order to make our own maps. This will be a very hands-on course. We’ll spend a lot of time working with actual things: maps, globes, atlases, and more. It will also be hands-on in the sense that we’ll devote a lot of time to using GIS programs (free and open-source) to create digital maps that depict bygone places and historical transformations.

  • HIST 712-001 Historiography and Theory of History
    Instructor: Rachel I Buff (rbuff@uwm.edu)
    Meets: W 4pm-6:40pm
    This course prepares students to produce new historical knowledge by exploring theoretical approaches to, and practical and ethical problems of, historical research, source interpretation, and writing. In addition to short weekly written assignments, this course requires a final literature review in a field of the students' choosing. Syllabus forthcoming; interested students or those with questions are invited to consult the instructor: rbuff@uwm.edu

  • HIST 840-001 Colloquium on Global History: African Roots of American Cultures
    Instructor: Rebecca Shumway (shumwayr@uwm.edu)
    Meets: M 4pm-6:40pm
    This seminar 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 assess this historical phenomenon and seek to locate African history in an Atlantic World context. Requirements include weekly discussion of readings, several short papers (3-4 pages), and a final paper (8-10 pages) analyzing the material covered in this course in the form of an historiographical essay.

  • HIST 841-001 Colloquium on Modern Studies: Emotions in History
    Instructor: Nan Kim (ynkp@uwm.edu)
    Meets: T 4pm-6:40pm
    Do emotions have a history? How have historians addressed emotions in their interpretations of cultural phenomena and social change? What are the possibilities and limitations of making emotions an object of critical inquiry? This seminar will provide an introduction to scholarship and debates in an interdisciplinary field which has fostered new connections between the humanities, social sciences, and cognitive sciences. Course readings will focus on recent research in the history of emotions across a range of subfields, including social, cultural, and intellectual history, and the environmental humanities. Students will also undertake independent research on a chosen topic as historiographical groundwork for their respective projects. Required assignments will include weekly discussion questions and a final paper (17-20 pages) with preparatory research tasks during the term. NB: This is a hybrid course. It will begin as a virtual class with a synchronous weekly seminar for the first four weeks, after which point an in-person meeting will be available as an option. Students may choose to continue participating online for the remainder of the course, but they should try to attend those sessions in which they are scheduled to facilitate discussion or present on their own research.

  • HIST 900-201 Seminar on U.S. History: U.S. Constitutional History
    Instructor: Lex Renda (renlex@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    This section of History 900 is taught online. It provides the opportunity for an in-depth investigation of some aspect of U.S. constitutional history. Students' principal task is to write an original research paper that is based preponderantly on primary sources (but with secondary sources utilized as well). Students negotiate their research topics with me, but they have considerable latitude. Papers may address the historical evolution of specific constitutional issues (for example, "freedom of religion," "the rights of the accused," "equal protection," "federal commerce power") by focusing on a specific case or a set of related cases. Other papers may focus on political developments surrounding constitutional questions (such as the ratification of specific constitutional amendments, or the “Constitutional Revolution” of 1937). Papers might also involve a comparison of some specific aspect of constitutional development at different points in time (for example, a paper which compares levels of partisanship on the Supreme Court in the 1870s and the 2010s). Your paper should be broad enough in its implications to be meaningful, but sufficiently narrow (in its research and analytic focus) so as to be manageable.

  • HIST 940-001 Seminar on Global History: Buddhism in the West
    Instructor: David M Divalerio (divaleri@uwm.edu)
    Meets: T 7pm-9:40pm
    An exercise in the academic study of religion in the modern world, this graduate-level seminar is intended for those with no prior knowledge of Buddhism. Through our reading of a series of monographs, we will explore the past, the present, and the future of Buddhism in the West, which is at once a question of how Buddhism has changed the Euro-American world and how Buddhism has been changed by it. Our analysis focuses on both the practice and perceptions of Buddhism by Euro-Americans or by Asians living in the West. Major themes include the tensions between tradition and adaptation, and between elite and popular engagement. The reading materials for this course will include works of scholarship theorizing trends in the Euro-American engagement with Buddhism; accounts of the Euro-American practice of Buddhism; and presentations of Buddhism by traditional Buddhists, articulated for modern Euro-American audiences.