Vicente Rafael: Areas of Graduate Study

For more on Dr. Rafael's publications, scholarly interests and contact information, please see his faculty page.

Division: Asia--Pre-History to the Present

This field is constructed with an emphasis on island Southeast Asia and the Philippines from 1521 to the present.

Division: United States History

Asian American socio-cultural histories, with an emphasis on Filipino Americans and Filipino overseas workers

Division: Comparative History (Historiography, Comparative Ethnicity & Nationalism, and Comparative Colonialisms)*

A field in Comparative Historiography will include Nationalist and postcolonial conceptions of history, deconstruction, critical theory especially as these relate to the politics of translation, religion, and media technologies. A field in Comparative Colonialisms will carry a focus on United States and Spanish imperialism in Asia and the Pacific. The field in Comparative Nationalism and Ethnicity focuses on the historical and technological conditions for the rise of nationhood, as well as the role of mass media, translation and the languages of power in nationalist discourses.

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



Autumn 2016

HSTCMP 590: Foucault and History

Course Description: In this seminar we will ask about the usefulness of Foucault for thinking about history and thinking historically. We will begin with the question of method, the politics and ethics of critique, and an overview of the relationship among power, knowledge and subjectivity in the context of modernity that undergirds Foucault’s writings. Much of the readings and discussions will focus on a set of the lectures he gave at the College de France on war, race, security, and biopolitics, ethics in the 1970s and early 1980s. Alongside Foucault, we will also read other works that help to contextualize and so engage some of his broader claims about power, subjectivity, truth and different modes of governmentality.

Learning Goals: The course aims to introduce students to the work of Foucault and allow them to think about ways of applying his work to their own specific projects.

Requirements include: completing the assigned readings, attending each class, taking responsibility to lead at least one week’s discussion and providing a short commentary on one or a set of texts for that week, (20% of your grade); writing a research paper on a topic related to the course (80% of your grade). 


Autumn 2015

HSTRY 500: Historical Perspectives

This course is designed to introduce incoming graduate students to a broad range of thematic and methodological questions in the discipline of history. We will read works that that have been influential across fields, geographical contexts, and temporal periods and that demonstrate the diversity of theories and practices in our field.

In keeping with these goals, this class is intended to expose you to scholarship outside your area of expertise. One of the course’s essential functions is to help you broaden your theoretical and historical knowledge, and to encourage you to participate in conversations that extend across and beyond your subfield. 

A key feature of this class will be a series of visits from the faculty of the History Department. Beginning the fourth week, two faculty members will join us every week till Week IX. We will read in advance representative samples of their work alongside the writings of those who have been major influences in their thinking. This part of the course is aimed at introducing students to the broad range of work that our faculty are doing; and to allow them to connect with faculty members they may wish to work with in the future. 


Autumn 2014

HSTRY 500: Historical Perspectives