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Department Of History Images In History

GRADUATE STUDY

Comparative History

The University of Washington's Department of History is hospitable to the study of comparative history at the graduate level, in part because many faculty in the department focus their own research on trans-regional, trans-national, and other comparative topics. Graduate students interested in exploring comparative historical approaches have the option of mastering literature in one of four sub-fields: "Historiography," "Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism," "Comparative Gender," and "Comparative Colonialisms." Each of these fields allows graduate students to situate their own focused research in broadly conceived historiographies.

Historiography

Historiography has two related definitions: the writing of history and the study of the history of historical writing. Both aspects are the subjects of fields offered by historians whose fields range in time from antiquity to the present and in place from the Mediterranean to the southeast Pacific. Students in these seminars examine techniques and assumptions employed in historical research, studying the
relationship between history and other scholarly disciplines as well as the uses of social science methodology and literary theory in the interpretation of historical sources. Specific topics vary with the individual offerings. They can include the nature of oral tradition, the reckoning of time, and the significance of historicism, Marxism, poststructuralism, feminism, and globalization for historical research. Students build their reading lists in consultation with their field advisors.

Associated Faculty

Purnima Dhavan
Assistant Professor
Mughal and Post-Mughal South Asia

Uta Poiger
Associate Professor
Modern Germany

Vicente Rafael
Professor
Philippine History; Filipino History

Laurie Sears
Professor
Indonesia

Carol Thomas
Professor
Ancient Greece

John Toews
Professor
Modern European Intellectual History

Joel Walker
Associate Professor
Late Antiquity

Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism

This field prepares graduate students to analyze the historical formation of ethnic and national identities across time and space. Students will explore the ways in which race, ethnicity, and nation are shaped in conversation with gendered, class-based, political, and regional senses of self. Those focusing on this field will be expected to study relevant theoretical literatures emanating from various sub-fields of History. In addition, they may choose to concentrate on particular case studies related to their areas of interest.

Associated Faculty

Madeleine Yue Dong
Associate Professor
Modern China

Susan Glenn
Professor
Twentieth Century U.S.; Cultural and Social History; Gender

Moon-Ho Jung
Associate Professor
Asian American History

Terje Leiren (adjunct, Scandinavian Studies)
Professor
Scandinavian History and Literature

Vicente Rafael
Professor
Philippine History; Filipino History

Sarah Abrevaya Stein
Associate Professor
Modern Jewish History

Nikhil Singh
Associate Professor
African American Intellectual History

Adam Warren
Assistant Professor
Latin America

Comparative Gender

The field introduces students to gender as category of historical analysis, examining the impact of feminist theory within the discipline of history. Students trace historiographical debates in women's and gender history and explore, through cross-cultural comparisons, how scholars have conceived their analysis of femininity and masculinity as well as the relationship between gender and categories such as class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. Students will normally work with a primary field advisor and consult with a second faculty member to determine the comparative dimensions of their studies.

Associated Faculty

Jordanna Bailkin
Associate Professor
Modern Britain, France, European Cultural History

Purnima Dhavan
Assistant Professor
Mughal and Post-Mughal South Asia

Madeleine Yue Dong
Associate Professor
Modern China

Susan Glenn
Professor
Twentieth Century U.S.; Cultural and Social History; Gender

Shaun Lopez
Assistant Professor
Modern Middle East and North Africa

Uta Poiger
Professor
Modern Germany

Ileana Rodriguez-Silva
Assistant Professor
Latin America and the Carribean

Lynn Thomas
Associate Professor
Africa Since 1500

John Toews
Professor
Modern European Intellectual History

Joel Walker
Associate Professor
Late Antiquity

Comparative Colonialisms

This field approaches the comparative study of colonialisms through debates about the past by turning to the spatial and temporal constructions of modernity and what is sometimes called postmodernity. One manner in which this can happen is to draw cultural critics and historians of Europe, and the U.S., but also Latin America and Africa into comparative historical conversations about non-western studies. Continuing the dialogues with the social sciences that comparative studies have always entailed, this field seeks to integrate literary, historiographical, postcolonial, and psychoanalytic theories into these discussions by questioning the development of nations and identities, and the disciplinary constructions of modernity, ethnicity, gender, and culture.

For the purposes of this area of study, we will avoid positing a past time of tradition that has been overcome by modernity. “Tradition” and “modernity” both come into focus at the same time, and scholars can only recognize tradition in the light of modernity. What we must call “culture,” for lack of a better term, cannot be separated from the colonial moment and posited as an unchanging part of non-European civilization waiting for Europeans to uncover, interpret, document, or eventually reconstruct it. What social scientists call “tradition” developed within an atmosphere in which 19th century discourses of progress and science were percolating, both contributing and drawing from European, African, and Asian intellectual exchanges. This course will strive towards a re-envisioning of European histories that show the influence of Asian, African, and New World knowledges on the constitution of European mentalities.

Associated Faculty

Jordanna Bailkin
Associate Professor
Modern Britain, France, European Cultural History

George Behlmer
Professor
Modern Britain

Richard Johnson
Professor
Colonial America

Shaun Lopez
Assistant Professor
Modern Middle East and North Africa

Hwasook Nam
Assistant Professor
Modern Korea

Ileana Rodriguez-Silva
Assistant Professor
Latin America and the Carribean

Vicente Rafael
Professor
Philippine History; Filipino History

Florian Schwarz
Assistant Professor
Medieval and Early Modern Middle East

Laurie Sears
Professor
Indonesia

Stephanie Smallwood
Associate Professor
Atlantic World

Sarah Abrevaya Stein
Associate Professor
Modern Jewish History

Lynn Thomas
Associate Professor
Africa Since 1500

Adam Warren
Assistant Professor
Latin America