Richard Johnson: Areas of Graduate Study
United States: Early American history
The field encompasses the history of North America from its beginnings to around 1790. It centers on the 17th and 18th centuries and the emergence of what became the United States, but may be broadened or sharpened to encourage study of such topics as race relations, labor systems, reformed religion, comparative revolutions and state-formation, and the shaping of an early modern Atlantic world--or other such topics as would help students to further their overall research and teaching goals. Students undertaking this field will generally be required to master its main themes, materials, and methodological approaches by completing HSTAA 501, the early American field course offered each fall quarter. They would then further define their particular interests within the field in preparation for the examination through consultation with the supervising faculty and a course of directed readings.
The field centers on the colonialisms of the early modern world, and
particularly those that developed in the Americas between the 15th and
19th centuries. It gives particular attention to such issues as the value
and methodology of comparative history, the theory and practice of empire,
core and periphery interactions, race relations, slave and bound labor,
and the development of staple economies and settler societies. Students
would be expected to take the relevant courses offered by faculty in the
early modern field; and then work with the supervising faculty to define
their particular interests in the field and take one or more credit/non-credit
courses of directed reading and writing.
*Students may not offer a field in the Comparative History division as a first field.