Division: United States
Environmental History of the United States--Chronologically the field ranges from contact to the present and includes the material history of environmental change as well as changing cultural constructions of nature and environment. Students are expected both to engage methodological issues and to familiarize themselves with important historical themes. Within that broad framework, possible topics of specialization include urban environmental history, theoretical approaches to nature/space, gender and race, environmental politics, consumption and consumerism, the U.S. and the global environment, the history of ecology. It is also possible to construct an environmental history field that is geographically comparative and/or that engages relevant literature in geography and anthropology.
Western U.S.--History of the trans-Mississippi West, emphasizing social and cultural history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In addition, students are expected to address the methodological issues posed by regional (versus national and transnational) approaches to history. Among the possible emphases are nineteenth-century colonialism, race and racial ideology, women and gender, environment and land use, representations of the West, politics and the state.
Twentieth Century U.S.-- a broad chronological field that covers major developments in social and cultural history and politics since 1880.