Stephanie Smallwood: Areas of Graduate Study

Division: Africa & the Middle East

Students may work with Professor Smallwood to develop a field in African history focused on sub-Saharan Africa in the pre-colonial period. The field broadly encompasses the economic, political, and socio-cultural history of African societies before c. 1880, with special attention to Africa's evolving relationship to the West, and slavery and slave trading both within sub-Saharan Africa and across desert/ocean boundaries. Students will work in consultation with Professor Smallwood to develop a course of study that balances historiographic coverage and thematic/conceptual agendas specific to their individual needs and interests.

Division: United States

Students preparing a field in United States history with Professor Smallwood will focus on the territory's social and cultural history in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Major themes students are expected to explore in depth include European exploration, cartographic representation, cultural interactions among Native American, European, and African peoples, and racial slavery.

Division: Comparative History (Comparative Colonialisms)*

Students may work with Professor Smallwood to develop a field in Comparative Colonialisms that focuses on early modern Atlantic history. The field examines European colonial regimes in the Americas, commercial and cultural ties between Europe, Africa, and the Americas, and free and coerced migrations within the Atlantic arena. Special attention is given also to methodological and theoretical discourses relating to the study of comparative history and epistemological critiques of "modernity."

Students working in this field are encouraged to consult with other appropriate faculty specialists in African history, early modern European history, colonial Latin American history, as well as those offering other specialized fields within the Comparative Colonialisms rubric.

*Students may not offer a field in the Comparative History division as a first field.



Winter 2015

HSTAA 521: American History: Writings and Interpretations

HSTAA 521 is the first of a two-quarter sequence whose primary goal is to introduce the variety of methods and conceptual and theoretical approaches that shape U.S. history scholarship.  HSTAA 521 aims to foreground some of the key historiographic conversations framing scholarship on the four centuries from the start of European colonization in the Americas through the nineteenth century.  Without pretending provide a comprehensive survey of the colonial period and nineteenth century, this course uses both older and newer canonical texts to explore central themes including colonialism and empire; nation formation; the construction and intersection of race, gender, and class-based axes of power and identity; and the social relations that shaped everday experiences in the early American past.