Fall 2015

University of Waterloo

HIST 601, Canadian History I (G. Hayes) – Tuesdays, 10:30-12:20 – PAS 2084

This course will introduce students to the currents of Canadian history over the last six decades. Using the Canadian Historical Review as a baseline, we will trace the (r)evolution of the Canadian historical profession from the 1950s to the present. Potential topics may include the rise and fall of Canadian political history; biography; women; labour; aboriginal peoples; the environment; ethnicity; and Canadian culture. Is J.L. Granatstein correct: was Canadian history killed somewhere along the way? Students will be responsible for leading the weekly readings, for several short position papers throughout the term and a longer historiographical paper due at term’s end.


HIST 604, Theory and Practice of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: Historical and Contemporary Issues (A. Statiev) – Tuesdays, 2:30-4:20 – RCH 209

This seminar offers a comparative analysis of insurgency and counterinsurgency from the 19th century to the present. It examines resistance to foreign invaders in Europe, the century of rebellion in Mexico in 1810-1917, anti-colonial wars of national liberation, Marxist revolutionary movements in South-East Asia and Latin America, the upsurge of Islamic fundamentalism and urban guerrilla warfare. The course will focus on the sources of insurgencies, their nature and the support they drew from various social groups. In each case, the government’s response will also be investigated. We will analyze theories of guerrilla thinkers and pacification models and pay particular attention to the gap between intended and actual policies, and the plight of civilians caught in crossfire.


HIST 612, Indigenous Rights: A Global Perspective (S. Roy) – Tuesdays, 12:30-2:20 – PAS 2084

This course examines the historical and political background of Indigenous rights in comparative and global perspective. It will consider the patterns of Indigenous-Newcomer relations, the nature and origins of treaties, and Indigenous protests against external incursions into traditional territories. The course will focus on developments around the world in the period after World War II, and will examine such themes as the emergence of Indigenous rights movements, the origins and status of legal claims, political accommodations and international efforts to address Indigenous aspirations. Particular attention will be paid to the development of international Indigenous organizations, coordinated protests and challenges to national governments, and the engagement of international organizations (i.e., through the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).


HIST 620, Early Modern History I (G. Kroeker) – Wednesdays, 10:30-12:20 – HH-124

This seminar will explore the relationship between religion and violence in Early Modern Europe and will focus on the interaction of religion and violence in the contexts of the European Witch Craze, transatlantic encounters, and the Reformations. Students will be expected to read deeply in the historiography, write analyses of assigned works, lead discussions, and produce a historiographical paper.


HIST 632, US History (J. Sbardellati) – Wednesdays 12:30-2:20, HH-123

This M.A. reading seminar on modern U.S. history offers an introduction to recent literature on 20th century American political, social, cultural, and diplomatic history.  Key themes include: U.S. empire and the “American Century”; the long civil rights movement; religion and American exceptionalism; the shifting fortunes (and definitions) of liberalism and conservatism; the politics of gender and the family; and contested definitions of citizenship.  Students will be assessed based on participation in weekly discussions, a book review, and a 15 page historiography paper on a topic related to one or more of the course themes.  Students can expect to read one core book per week for group discussion, plus additional works for their book review and historiography papers.  Students are expected to attend every session, and to make thoughtful contributions in discussion and in their papers.


HIST 660, Transnational and Global History: Old Problems and New Directions (D. Peers) – Wednesdays, 6:30-8:20  – Location TBA

Please click here for the HIST 660 course syllabus.

History as a profession and a discipline is intimately linked to the rise of the nation-state.  Not surprisingly, historians have  tended to employ the nation-state as their  fundamental referent, or at least used the nation-state as a convenient framing device. Intellectual trends, such as post-modernism and post-colonialism, and historical events, such as the ending of the Cold War, globalization, environmental degradation that knows no political boundaries, and mass migrations and the ensuing diasporas, have called into question conventional teleology as well as the practice of constraining ourselves to national boundaries, and provoked historians to think through and across the national and regional boundaries that have hitherto occupied our attention.

This course examines transnational and global historical processes, focusing on temporal and geographic scales of analysis outside of traditional national histories, and promotes  problematizing conventional categories of analysis such as the nation state, as well as geographical and chronological conventions such as ‘modern’ or ‘Europe’.  It looks at global forces and processes influencing particular societies and encourages students to place themselves outside conventional local, regional, and national boundaries, and will critically consider a number of the metanarratives that have informed and continue to inform historiography, particularly ideas such as modernity, progress, and the ongoing preoccupation with the ‘rise of the west’. Given these questions, and the almost endless scope of a course that purports to take the world as its focal point, weekly seminars will begin with a discussion of the possibilities offered by as well as the limits to transnational/global/world history, as well as the sometimes ill-defined differences between them, the various interpretative frameworks in use and their proponents as well as the challenges that transnational/global/world history poses. We will then focus on particular case studies or themes so as to promote discussion that is as much historiographical as it is historical. Such themes/case studies may include: feminism and imperialism, famine and climatic change, disease and ecology, military technology and governmentality, global trade and the rise of consumer society(s), colonial knowledge, and definitions of race and identity. The course assumes no prior grounding in world/global/transnational history and is intended for students from diverse historical backgrounds.


Wilfrid Laurier University

HI 696N Gender and Sexuality in the Modern West I (M. Sibalis) – Mon., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

This reading course examines the history of gender relations and sexuality in the Western world (Western Europe and North America) since 1750. The weekly readings will introduce students to a number of books and articles dealing with various aspects of gender and sex. Topics will include the social construction of masculinity and femininity, changing patterns of sexual behaviour, prostitution, the sexual revolution of the 1960s-70s, and homosexuality and lesbianism. Class discussions, short response papers and a final historiographical essay will help students to formulate the research topics on which they will work in the second-term research seminar.



HI696V Coming Home: Military Veterans and their Families I (M. Humprhies) — Thurs., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

What obligations does a nation have to its military veterans? It’s a question that has been asked after every conflict over the past 200 years. In this course we will explore the lived experience of veterans and their families and examine how western societies have addressed veterans’ issues from the land settlement schemes of the early 19th century to the anti-war protests of the Vietnam era. Readings will focus on Canada and the rest of the English-speaking world with comparative pieces on France and Germany. Weekly themes will include disability and physical health, mental health and PTSD, political activism, personal versus collective memory, official policy, and the military family. Students will read books and articles each week, participate in leading a seminar discussion, and write an historiographical paper.



HI 696Q Following the “River of Dark Dreams”: Debating U.S. Slavery and Emancipation I (D. Weiner) – Tues., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

By 1860, slavery spanned the southern United States from the east coast to Texas, and dominated those states’ economies, societies, and politics. Cotton was the unjust king, and slaveholders forced millions of slaves to serve this tyrant. It had not always been thus; indeed, slavery had spread from surprisingly diverse origins in all thirteen original colonies all the way across the Mississippi Valley, via what Walter Johnson calls the “river of dark dreams.” This historiography seminar will take up major debates in the history of U.S. slavery from 1619 to 1877, for historians have argued about all aspects of slavery, from its origins to its relationship with the concept of race, and to whether and how slaves could resist the institution from within. They have debated slave culture and emancipation’s effects. They have asked—and we will discuss—what legacy has the institution left the modern world?



University of Guelph

HIST*6000 Historiography I (S. Ferreira) – Thur., 11:30am – 2:20pm, MCKN 318

“Writings which do not have the utility of instruction, besides wasting time, which is the most precious thing in life, fill the mind with dust from the torrents of words and deeds they convey”—João de Barros Asia, (1545).

Humans have written and studied history for millennia. Their understanding of History and its uses frames the historical content and the ‘truth’ that they claim to describe. This course examines the historiography of Western culture (Europe and North America) from the classical era up until the early twentieth century. By studying Western historiography from Thucydides to Frederick Jackson Turner, we will analyze a variety of political and intellectual contexts that produced some of the best known historical works in the West, and in doing so provide an awareness of the underlying biases that affect what we perceive to be ‘historical fact’. Over the course of the semester, we will read and discuss classical histories (eg. Thucydides);   monastic chronicles (eg. Gregory of Tours) royal chronicles (Froissart) humanist histories (Machiavelli) and the birth of modern history (Edward Gibbon). Special emphasis will be places on the professionalization of the historical profession and the emergence of History as an academic discipline in the late nineteenth century.

This course is relevant to all students doing graduate work in history, including those whose interests lie in the twentieth century. Traditions of historical writing, stretching as far back as the classical period profoundly shaped the way in which history was written in the twentieth century. More specifically, to fully appreciate the historiographical development of the twentieth century (Historiography II) students need to understand the nature (as well as the richness and variety) of the so-called ‘traditional’ histories that came before.


HIST*6190 Topics in Scottish History (J. Fraser)

This course will introduce students to selected aspects of medieval and early modern Scottish history and historiography, including the use of source materials, and practical training involving manuscripts in the University Archives.


HIST*6230 Canada: Culture and Society (M. Hayday) – Wed., 2:30pm – 5:20pm, MCKN 314

“Nationalisms and Identities, Commemorations and Celebrations”

One of the great conundrums of Canadian history has been the struggle to define its identity. Indeed, it is probably more accurate to speak in the plural about identities, since region, language, culture, ethnicity, gender and many other factors have all contributed to the fashioning of both national and subnational identities in Canada, and have also, over time, contributed to competing nationalisms. This course will focus on the evolution of nationalisms and identities in Canadian history, with an emphasis on how competing nationalisms and identities have shaped the country’s politics, society and culture. It will start with an examination of some of the major scholarly literature on nationalism. We will then turn to an examination of how different nationalisms have arisen and competed in Canada since Confederation, including British-Canadian nationalism, French-Canadian conceptions of dualism and biculturalism, Québécois neo-nationalism and separatism, Aboriginal nationalisms, and provincial/regional identities. We will also be considering how issues such as gender, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation have interacted with and shaped these nationalisms. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural and political manifestations of these identities and how they have evolved over time. We will examine such cultural phenomena as commemorations (the tercentenary of Quebec, Canada’s 1967 centennial, provincial anniversaries etc.), holidays (Canada Day, Quebec’s Fête Nationale/St-Jean-Baptiste Day, Victoria Day, Empire Day, Acadian National Day (Aug 15), Labour Day, etc.), flag debates, anthems, parades, monuments and other public manifestations of national and regional identities. Through this, we will explore the various ways in which Canada’s national, regional and other identities have evolved, interacted and competed through its history, and consider the impacts that nationalisms and identity politics have had on the country’s development.


HIST*6370: Topics in Cultural History (N. Smith) – Mon., 2:30pm – 5:20pm, MACS 301

Gender and Sexuality in China

This course examines constructs of gender and sexuality in Chinese societies, focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Objectives include in-depth examination of historical constructs of “Chinese” understandings of gender and sexuality, and, when relevant, comparison with other national and ethnic contexts. The syllabus adopts a largely diachronic structure, with different foci for each week. There are no language requirements; all material will be provided either in English or in Chinese with English translation. While coursework focuses on Chinese contexts, students may submit a term paper relating to a non-Chinese context.

Topics include: theorizing woman; negotiating masculinities; new women; tongzhi / same-sex / sexual minorities; footbinding / queues; literature; revolution; war.


Winter 2016

University of Waterloo

HIST 602, Canadian History II (I. Milligan) – Mon., 2:30pm – 4:30pm, PAS 2084

History 602 is an applied research course in Canadian history. Students will receive an introduction to research methods: archives, digital methods, and other primary source repositories in the field. We will also cover dissemination methods, from conventional scholarly publications to digital platforms. Students will then have a choice of two options to demonstrate their grasp of research methods:

(a) A 25-30 page research essay based on primary sources;

(b) Or a group project which will research, write, and produce a digital game or exhibit focused on a specific event in Canadian history.

Both options will be graded on an individual basis.


HIST 621, Early Modern History II (G. Kroeker) – Tues., 10:30am – 12:30pm, HH 123

This seminar will build on the work students have done in 620 on religion and violence in Early Modern Europe.  Students will write an original research papers connected to the historiographies produced in 620 and present their work to the class.


Wilfrid Laurier University

HI696P: Gender and Sexuality in the Modern West II (M. Sibalis) – Mon., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

In this research seminar, students will use primary sources to produce an article-length paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The class will meet at the start of term to discuss the process of research and writing. Toward the end of term, we will meet so that students can present drafts of their papers to the class for general discussion and constructive criticism. PREREQUISITE: HI696N


HI696W: Coming Home: Military Veterans and their Families II (M. Humphries) — Thurs., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

In this research seminar, students will write an original paper based on primary and secondary sources that develops logically from the historiographical essay produced in the first half of the course in Fall 2015. Students will also participate in peer-review workshops and present their papers to the class during the course’s final weeks. PREREQUISITE: HI696V


HI696R: Following the “River of Dark Dreams”: Debating U.S. Slavery and Emancipation II (D. Weiner) – Tues., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

In History 6XX students will write a research paper on the topic of their choice related to slavery and/or emancipation in U.S. history from 1619 to 1877. These papers are primarily works of independent research, but all students will consult with the professor extensively, both on topic selection and throughout the term. This 30-page paper will centre on primary sources, but each student must also situate the analysis within the specific topic’s historiography. Students will attend scheduled individual meetings during the term to discuss research and writing progress. The class will meet as a group in the first week, and then reconvene toward the end of the term to present working drafts and to provide feedback to one another. PREREQUISITE: HI696Q


HI 617A  The War at Home: Home Fronts in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain (C. Comacchio) – Wed., 11:30am – 2:20pm, DAWB 4-106

The concept of a “home front” was first articulated during the Great War, with reference to the required participation of civilians to support the war effort, ideologically and materially. The war at home, consequently, was integral to military victory while greatly affecting the everyday lives of home front participants and their customary community practices in diverse ways, and with lasting impact. This historiography seminar considers the sociocultural, economic and political aspects of the two world wars in relation to Canada, with comparative discussion of the experiences of Great Britain and the United States.  Such themes and concepts as class, gender, race, age, generation, family, sexuality, popular culture, and collective memory will be explored through select readings.  Particular attention will be paid to the subject’s development through the recently-established interdisciplinary field of “home front studies”.


HI625A: Canada’s First Nations (S. Neylan) – Fri., 9:30am – 12:20pm, DAWB 4-106

This historiography course focuses on recent trends in Canadian Aboriginal historiography, from tales of since time immemorial to the (post) colonial gaze. A selected number of themes and approaches will be considered with special attention given to understanding how Native History is (re)interpreted by a variety of disciplines and by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal historians.



University of Guelph

HIST*6280 Canada: Community and Identity (Rural History) – (C. Wilson) – Wed., 2:30pm – 5:20pm, MacKinnon 119

The countryside was not the city in overalls; it had its own complex trajectory intersecting with the rest of society in interesting and surprising ways. This seminar course introduces students to the social, cultural and economic themes of rural history. Readings come from a variety of disciplines and explore the environment, gender, cultural traditions, material artifacts, consumption and production – and how these relate to community and identity.

This is your chance to delve into old diaries and encounter daily life. You will learn the value of micro-historical analysis in revising our understanding of the past. You will also join others in making the public more aware of these valuable primary sources by creating a radio show. Staff members at our campus radio station, CFRU, are excited to teach you the skills and air your program.

In your weekly seminars you will engage in important debates in the New Rural History and hone your skills of critical analysis and writing. You will take your reading skills to new levels as you encounter some of the best work in the field and probe how authors develop their thesis and make their case studies relevant to larger historical narratives. These are valuable skills that you can apply to your essay assignment and take with you into your MRP or MA thesis work.


HIST*6300 Topics in Modern Europe I (A. McDougall) – Mondays 3:30-6:30 (location TBD)

Deep Play: Sport, State, and Society in Modern Europe

Since the later nineteenth century, sport has played a major role in reflecting and shaping the development of modern European societies. This course examines how games and leisure time activities have been mobilised by states, both authoritarian and liberal, for political purposes – and how sport has at times been able to subvert or defy such intentions. In the process it discusses sport’s centrality to the cultural and social lives of millions of ordinary Europeans.

Topics include: the origins and early development of association football in Britain; the cultural and social history of the Tour de France; the 1936 Berlin Olympics; football under Italian fascism and the Francoist regime in Spain; sport and Cold War politics; doping and the East German ‘sports miracle’; and football hooliganism on both sides of the Iron Curtain.


HIST*6191 Scottish History I Research (J. Fraser) – (scheduling tbd)

Continuation of HIST*6190 in which students prepare an in-depth research paper based on primary sources.

Prerequisite: HIST*6190 and instructor consent.


HIST*6231 Canada: Culture and Society Research (M. Hayday) – (scheduling tbd)

Continuation of HIST*6230 in which students prepare an in-depth research paper based on primary sources.

Prerequisite: HIST*6230 and instructor consent.


HIST*6371 Cultural History Research (N. Smith)

Continuation of HIST*6370 in which students prepare an in-depth research paper based on primary sources.

Prerequisite: HIST*6370 and instructor consent.