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History Graduate Seminars for Spring 2008Descriptions of next quarter’s graduate seminars are now available.

The following History graduate seminars will be offered in Spring 2008. For more information on a particular seminar, please contact its instructor.


History 201E: The Roman Revolution.
Prof. Digeser, Time and room TBA.
Students will be required to sit in on 112B of the same title. The course will be devoted to modern interpretations of the fall of the Roman Republic in the 2-1C BCE and the character of the Roman Empire in the first two centuries CE.

History 213B: The Age of Constantine.
Prof. Drake
This is the second quarter of a two-quarter seminar, open only to students enrolled in 213A in the winter quarter.

Middle East

History 201ME: Seminar on the History of the Modern Middle East
Prof. Gallagher, W 1-3:30 p.m.
This seminar will examine major themes and historiographic debates on the history of the Middle East, ca. 1750-present. Topics will include discussions of political, social and economic changes in the Ottoman Empire, the Arabian peninsula, and Qajar Iran, the impact of French and British imperial rule, gender and empire, representations of the other in the metropole, and the interrelationships of nationalism, socialism, and Islamism. This is a reading seminar and no paper is required, but students will prepare critiques of the weekly readings.

Modern Europe

History 201E: Commodities, Objects, and Other Things: Victorian Material Culture
Prof. Rappaport, W 1-4 p.m.
It has been nearly two decades since Asa Briggs first published Victorian Things, in which he considered what the Victorian fascination with things can tell us about the culture and society of the nineteenth century. Since then scholars who have taken up this challenge have variously considered how Victorian objects reveal Britain’s domestic and global histories and the peculiar nature of Victorian modernity. This seminar is an interdisciplinary exploration of the material culture of Victorian Britain and its Empire which will introduce students to some of the key works in this field from history, anthropology, art history and literary criticism.

History 201E: Intercampus Seminar on Soviet History
Professors Hasegawa (UCSB) and Edelman (UCSD), M 2-5 p.m.
This is an intercampus seminar, taught through teleconferencing, featuring the leading specialists on Soviet history in Southern California. Participating faculty will include: Choi Chatterjee (Cal State Los Angeles), Adrienne Edgar (UCSB), Robert Edelman (UCSD), Arch Getty (UCLA), Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (UCSB), Kiri Tomoff (UC Riverside),and Stephen Bittner (Sanoma State University). The topics covered will include gender, ethnicity, popular culture, Stalin’s terror, foreign policy, religion, and art.

History of Science

History 201HS: The History of the Book and the History of Early Modern Science
Prof. Guerrini, Time TBA
This seminar will look at the impact of printing on early modern science, the truth-status of books in the 17th century, and the relationship between books and patronage. The reading will be mainly from recent historiography, with some primary texts. Students will be required to lead one discussion and to produce a written product to be negotiated.

History 247/MCDB 247: The Social Life of Stem Cells
Prof. Osborne,T 3-5:50
This graduate reading seminar historicizes activities surrounding human embryonic stem cells, which are frequently presented as flash points of debates over the “New Eugenics” and “Reproductive Rights.” Students examine the principles of contemporary biomedical ethics, particularly as regards the social and political status of embryological research. The class equips students with tools needed to engage the larger extra-clinical and extra-laboratory issues of the topic including intellectual property, California Proposition 71, science policy, and contemporary issues in the life sciences.

United States

History 292C: Foundations of U.S. History, 1917-Present
Professor O’Connor, W 9-11:50
History 292C provides a broad (and necessarily selective) overview of the major themes, issues, and interpretive debates in U.S. history since circa 1917. Its emphasis is historiographical and hence it assumes that students have a basic knowledge of historical developments, events, as well as of the broad conceptual and chronological categories U.S. historians use to teach and write about the 20th century U.S. (although part of our task will be to see how these categories are continually being challenged and rethought). Its central aims are to introduce students to important recent as well as “classic” literature; to cultivate a core base of reading and knowledge among cohorts, that will serve students well in their more advanced and specialized research, readings, future seminars, and teaching; and to help history grad students to prepare for comprehensive exams. 292C has the added advantage of a format that introduces students to a number of faculty in and affiliated with the History Department. Most important, it aims to engage students in ongoing conversations with one another and with faculty members: about this broad field of study; about various approaches to doing, writing, thinking about, and debating history and historical issues; and ultimately about how we as individual historians and as members of communities of scholars seek to position ourselves within a larger historical discourse.