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Spring 2020

HIS 503: His of Roman Empire
MWF 9:00-9:50
Daniel J Gargola

A study of the foundation of the Roman Empire, the development of Imperial institutions, social and intellectual developments of the Graeco-Roman world. The decline of Rome and the barbarian invasions of the fourth century.


HIS 510: Medieval Law
TR 2:00-3:15
Abigail Firey

This course examines the development of the various legal systems to which people in western Europe had recourse between the fourth century and the fourteenth century. Topics to be covered include the shift from oral to written law, the problems small communities faced in dealing with transgressors, the competition between various authorities for jurisdiction, the ways in which Judaeo-Christian values and beliefs affected the orientation of medieval law, the use of procedures such as ordeals and inquisitions, the evolution of ideas about natural rights, and how law reflects the massive social and political reorganization of the west that occurred after the Roman Empire.


HIS 554: British History 1815-1901
TR 12:30-1:45
Tammy Whitlock

A detailed study of Britain's political, social, diplomatic and industrial development in the 19th century.


HIS 564: History of Brazil
MWF 12:00-12:50
Erik L. Myrup

Study of Brazilian history from 1500 to the present, stressing the multiethnic dynamics of colonial society, the political transformations of independence, and the contemporary legacies of race, slavery, abolition, and gender.


HIS 577: Frontier America, 1869-Present
MWF 11:00-11:50
Mark W. Summers

A survey of the many Westerners, women as well as men, Native Americans, Chinese, and Hispanics as well as whites, sodbusters as well as six-shooters, and of the many Wests, wild and not-so-wild, from the prairie homesteaders to the Sagebrush Rebellion; and how they made, inherited, and were imprisoned by the frontier heritage.


HIS 584: Health and Disease in U.S.
TR 3:30-4:45
E.H. Christianson

A survey of the emergence of modern professional medicine in America, from colonial time to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the social and scientific context of medical thought, education, organization, and regulation.


HIS 595: Studies in History
W 3:00-5:30
George Carlton Wright

Professors will offer lecture and discussion courses in areas in which they have special teaching interest. May be repeated to a maximum of six credits.


HIS 606: Historical Criticism
W 4:00-6:30
Stephen Davis

Required of every entering graduate student in history. For history graduate students only.


HIS 641: Readings in American History since 1877
T 4:30-7:00
Instructor TBD



HIS 654: Readings in Modern African-American History
W 1:00-3:30
Anastasia Curwood

The scholarly field of African-American History is distinguished by its rendering of black historical actors as full participants, and by centering the perspectives of those historical actors, along with blunt analysis of power relationships within the United States and investigation into the workings of other aspects of identity (gender, class, sexuality) as they mediate the experiences of black Americans. This course takes up those topics in the period since the Civil War. 



HIS 700-001
War and Memory
Instructor: Akiko Takenaka
Time: Tuesdays 2-4:30 pm
Location: 1745 POT

This course explores how war is remembered both by the individuals who lived through them and those who have come after them. Central to our inquiry are representation and transmission of memory, and how memory is shaped and reshaped over time. The forms of memorialization we investigate include: testimonies, oral history narratives, memoirs, popular media, visual and material culture, museum exhibits, and daily life. We will study various categories of memory such as collective memory, official memory, counter memory, and postmemory. We will investigate the impact of trauma on memory. We will discuss the relationship between memory and history. The course focuses on wars and catastrophes in the modern period drawing case studies from around the world. 


HIS 700-002
Atlantic World
Instructor: Scott Taylor
Time: Monday 5:00-7:30
Location: Kastle Hall 210

“The Atlantic World” is a colloquium intended to introduce students to the burgeoning field of the Atlantic World, in the era approximately 1600-1850. The course aims to familiarize specialists in US history with broader trends in the world during the period of colonial and early national American history and to decenter the United States and Britain in familiar stories such as slavery and revolution. The course aims to offer students in other specializations like Europe or Latin America with an introduction to the content and most current analytical tools of Atlantic World history.


HIS 700-003
Empires: The US and the Rest
Instructor: Phill Harling
Time: R 4:30-7:00
Location: Whitehall Classroom Bldg 203

One important way to try to understand the period between 1815 and 1945 (or indeed, perhaps in some ways even 1815 to the present) is to think of it as an “age of empires.” This was an age in which the industrializing nations of the West exercised unprecedented power over vast stretches of the globe – not only military power, but economic and cultural power, as well. What did empires look like and feel like – to colonized as well as colonizing peoples? What forms did imperial power take, and how were they negotiated and contested? How were empires not merely “strong” but also “weak”? What accounts for the waxing and waning of empires? How “imperial” was the United States, in comparison with nations that we more typically associate with imperialism (pre-eminently Britain, but also France, Germany, Russia, and even Belgium)? These are some of the broader thematic questions we’ll explore.

We’ll focus on conceptually broad and comparative readings for roughly the first half of the semester. (The readings assigned will depend on the stated interests of enrolled students, and will likely focus most closely on American and British experience). The second half of the semester will be largely devoted to a mini-research paper (15-20 pages) on a pertinent topic of your choice. That topic needs to be related to imperialism/colonialism in some discernible way – but in a way that enhances your own broader course of study.



HIS 700-004
Appalachian Understories: New Directions in Mountain South and Global Commons History
Instructor: Kathy Newfont
Time: F 12:00-2:30
Location: TBA


In this course we use the Appalachian Studies Association 2020 conference, to be held at UK March 12-15, as a   point of entree into Mountain South and global commons history. Students will engage recent scholarship in these fields through a number of means. We read works by key conference presenters and architects, and by other leading scholars in our core fields. Conference presenters and collaborators visit our course. We attend and reflect on the conference itself. And we pursue independent projects related to the Mountain South and/or global commons. The course offers students a unique opportunity to engage deeply with a large on-site professional conference and the scholarship beneath it.


HIS 701

Research Seminar

Instructor: Amy Murrell Taylor

Time: R 2:00-4:30

Location: Patterson Hall 221


This class is a research seminar—designed to assist students in the creation of an original piece of scholarship—but also a writing seminar. It is built on the assumption that good writing is a learned skill, rather than an inherent trait possessed only by some people. We will tackle subjects ranging from the organization and structure of effective historical narratives, to the importance of finding one’s “voice,” the characteristics of good prose, and the daily habits of productive writers. The class will be collaborative, with peer review as an essential building block, since writing is a more of a collective enterprise than often assumed. In the end, each student will aim to leave the class not only with sharpened writing skills, but also with a 25-page, article-length paper that should be on its way toward publication in a historical journal. The class is open to all graduate students, regardless of time and geographic specialty.