Margaret O'Mara: Areas of Graduate Study

Division: United States

Twentieth Century - Development of the United States during the "very long" twentieth century, from 1877 to the present, with particular emphasis on the changing relationship between state and society, economic and technological shifts, and struggles for civil and economic rights.

Urban History - Urbanization and the suburbanization of the United States from the colonial era to the present, including consideration of comparative examples from outside the US. Students will read seminal works from the urban historiography and key contributions to the field from social history, intellectual history, and political history, as well as from the disciplines of urban planning, public policy, and sociology.

Policy and Political History - Development of the American state and political culture, with particular emphasis on the twentieth century. Readings will consider the role of the federal government, contested and dynamic definitions of citizenship, expansion and contraction of the national state, the role of extra-governmental institutions, and grassroots activism on the left and the right.

History of Capitalism - Development of capitalism as a political economic form in the United States and globally since the early nineteenth century.  Readings will be both historiographic (examining the evolution of economic and business history and changing interpretations of the role of market institutitions in society) and thematic (addressing topics such as: the state-market relationship, business organization and power, labor and capital, economic globalization, technological change, economic thought and policy, the effect of economic structures on individual and group opportunity and mobility).