Study of Ideas

Interpretive Methods
56:606:601:01
Cross-Listed with 56:163:691:01
T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Silver

This course delves into the philosophical, theoretical and practical aspects of what many call “qualitative” research methods. A number of specific methods will be examined, with particular emphasis on researching the lives and experiences of children.

Studies of the Arts and Literature

Shakespeare
56:606:608:01
Cross-Listed With: 56:350:545:01
Th 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Fitter

Historians have long recognized that the 1590s, with their disastrous wars, catastrophic harvests, spiraling inflation, economic dislocation, and intermittent impositions of martial law, were one of the harshest periods for commoners in English history. The first decade under the new king was but slightly better. In these conditions, Shakespeare rejected the possibility of life as a poet of aristocratic patronage to write instead for the popular theater, which was paradoxically thriving in the margins of an authoritarian society. Defining his dramatic meanings in terms of stage, not page, this course will seek to discover how Shakespeare outwitted the censor through the potentialities of contemporary stagecraft. Each student will be asked to choose one play and think it through in historicized terms.

Romantic Childhood
56:606:609:01
Cross-Listed With: 56:350:581:01, 56:842:565:01
T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Barbese

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, children were often thought of as “defective adults”; but the 18th century and the rise of Romanticism changed all that. The course explores Romanticism’s idealization of the child and its influence on the emergence of Children’s Literature as an distinct literary genre in the 19th century and its explosive growth through the Victorian and Modern eras. Beginning with Blake’s poetic advocacy of the child and Wordsworth’s celebration of childhood, the course looks at selections from Grimm’s’ Tales and Hans Christian Andersen, longer works by Alcott, Stevenson and Twain, and 20th-century classics such as The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables, concluding with work by Babbitt, Rowling and Pullman. Complementing the readings will be screenings of film adaptations of many (if not most) of the assigned texts. Two short papers, one a text-to-cinema comparison.

Posthuman to Nonhuman in Theory and Literature    CANCELLED on 6/20/18
56:606:610:01
Cross-Listed With: 56:350:595:01

M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Sayre

Moving from theories of technological and biological hybridity to nonhuman rhetorics, this seminar studies the ways that contemporary theorists and creative writers think beyond the human. From monsters to machines to mushrooms, we will be reading and thinking with criticism and theory as well as creative work like literature and music that revise traditional notions of being and being-in-relation. Readings will include critical and creative work, and students will be encouraged to tailor the class assignments to their capstone projects or areas of study.

Studies of Culture and Criticism

Visual and Material Cultures
56:606:631:01
W 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Bak

This seminar is both about what children see and manipulate and how they are seen (and perhaps manipulated) by adult culture. The seminar asks each student to look carefully and critically at representations of children and of children’s things and to question how these images and things are constructed and what they might mean (their ideological underpinnings). By putting image and ideology, history and context together, we aim to attain a deeper understanding of children and childhoods.

Gender and Sexuality

Girlhood Studies
56:606:661:01
Cross-Listed With: 56:163:581:01
M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Cairns

This course explores key scholarly debates within the field of girlhood studies. Students will engage with multiple disciplinary perspectives to examine historical, cultural, social, and political dynamics shaping the way girlhood is imagined and experienced. The course asks how ‘the girl’ is figured as a site of both promise and peril, inspiring various forms of celebration, regulation, and intervention. Particular attention will be devoted to the relationship between representations of girlhood and the diverse experiences of girls’ lives. We will explore how girls inhabit, rework, and resist notions of girlhood at the intersection of race, class, sexuality and disability.

Studies in Historical Analysis

Readings in US, 1945 to Present
56:606:671:01
Cross-Listed With: 56:512:508:01
T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Kapur

This course will investigate recent scholarship on the major developments in US and world history from the end of World War II up to the present day. In addition to considering the civil rights movement, the global revolution of the 1960s, the rise of feminism and environmentalism, and the conservative backlash, we will also consider the effects of globalization and financialization, the rise of multi-national corporations and NGOs, the triumph of neoliberalism, and the ongoing emergence of post-neoliberal world “populism.”

Issues in Public History
56:606:672:01
Cross-Listed With: 50:512:382:01/50:989:390:40/56:512:531:01
M 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Mires

This seminar will go behind the scenes of the production and communication of history in settings such as museums, historic sites, and archives, and in the digital realm. We will examine issues in public history through controversies such as the display of the Enola Gay at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and the creation of the President’s House site exhibit in Philadelphia. Readings and discussion also will examine how civic engagement techniques and the interpretation of diverse, multiple narratives of history have come to the forefront of public history practice. (This seminar meets concurrently with the undergraduate course Introduction to Public History. Graduate students will gain familiarity with the literature of the field by developing a paper about a selected public history issue; the seminar also will offer a realistic examination of the job market and opportunities to begin to create a professional network.)

Readings, Cultural History of Capitalism
56:606:673:01
TH 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
Professor Woloson

The solidification of American capitalism during the 19th century was far from seamless and uncontested. This class focuses on how capitalism as an economic system was articulated through and came to influence American culture and society. In addition to being a source of financial gain for some and exploitation for others, how did capitalism change the way people acted, how they felt, and what they believed in? Further, how did economic, cultural, and social systems overlap and intertwine, becoming contingent upon one another? We will read key works of scholarship in the emerging field of the cultural history of capitalism. Topics covered will include: counterfeiters plying their trade on the northern border with Canada; low‐end labor markets in Baltimore; land speculation in the southwest; the birth of life insurance; evolving concepts of risk; the rise of advertising; self‐fashioning and identity; opportunistic con-men; and more.

Matriculation Continuation

56:606:800:01
By Arrangement Professor Charme

Continuous registration may be accomplished by enrolling for at least three credits in standard course offerings, including research courses, or by enrolling in this course for 0 credits. Students actively engaged in study toward their degree who are using university facilities and faculty time are expected to enroll for the appropriate credits.