The following advanced seminar courses are special topics that are not described inside the undergraduate or graduate calendars. For the regular course descriptions, please refer to the official graduate calendar.
HIST 600/2 AA - Historical Theories/Methods
Dr. Sarah Ghabrial W 17:45-20:15
In this seminar, we will explore "history" as a field of knowledge, a critical orientation, an instrument, a praxis, and a philosophy. Our weekly trajectory follows major issues and shifts in historiography since the mid-20th century. Topics will include: social history and the influence of Marxism; cultural and linguistic turns provoked by poststructuralist, postcolonial, feminist, queer, and race-critical theory; environmental history in the midst of ecological breakdown; as well as methods and critiques in public and oral history. This course is challenging - with a heavy reading load and strong emphasis on engagement - but also rewarding. Students will leave this course with a solid foundational understanding of the most salient theoretical and methodological questions and approaches in this discipline; they will be able to use this knowledge to assess and critique different works of historical writing and apply these approaches to their own work.
HIST 620/2 A – Quebec Society and Culture
Dr. Peter Gossage W 14:45-17:30
Participants in this seminar will explore a series of themes in the social and cultural history of Quebec in the 19th and 20th centuries. They will develop and deepen their appreciation of the issues and perspectives that have stimulated research and debate among Quebec historians in recent years. Themes such as modernity, social regulation, family, gender, sexuality, religion, work, neighbourhood, social class, ethnicity, and immigration will be among those considered. While not neglecting rural society or the regions, participants will have the opportunity to focus on the diverse and dynamic social and cultural experiences of Montrealers in the long period from 1840 to 1980.
HIST 665/2 AA – Perspectives on War of 1812
Dr. Bimadoshka Pucan J 17:45-20:15
This discussion-based course will review primary documents and secondary sources to understand the various perspectives of the many Nations that fought in the War of 1812. This course is unique in that we privilege's Indigenous perspectives to provide new knowledge to tired history in Canada. As a class, we seek to unearth the reasons for varying participation of Indigenous peoples in the War of 1812. We will consider the continued fallout for Indigenous peoples today. Guest speakers include Elders and Traditional Knowledge Carriers.
HIST 670/2 A: Advanced Topics in History – Intelligence in World War II
Dr. Frank Chalk M 14:45-17:30
The craft of intelligence played a determining role in Hitler’s disastrous decision to invade the Soviet Union, Japan’s decimating the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, the Allies knowledge of the Holocaust, the Red Army’s victory in the decisive Battle of Stalingrad, the success of the Normandy landings, the failures of German counter-intelligence on the eastern front, the Soviet Union’s early acquisition of the atomic bomb, and the coming of the Cold War. In this seminar we will examine these and other instances illustrating the critical role which intelligence played in shaping our world and learn more about the analytical skills that contributed to accurate intelligence collection and the effective use of intelligence by policy makers.
HIST 670/ 2 AA – Mid East/ Imperialism/ Oil 1901
Dr. Wilson Jacob T 11:45-14:30
As human and other life on the planet hangs in the balance, fossil fuel extraction and consumption continue apace. Indeed, fossil fuel consumption is still increasing, which it has done so by around eight-fold since 1950, roughly doubling since 1980. Though fossil fuels encompass coal, oil, and gas, we will ask specifically, why oil. In this seminar we examine the geopolitical history behind the rise of oil and its emergence as a natural resource that humans ostensibly cannot do without. Rather than focus on the physical properties that make its burning and its transformation indispensable to life, we will inquire into how oil and power are connected via social and political networks. We will do this by mostly tracing the connections through 20th-century Middle Eastern history, but we will take detours to consider the global scale of oil’s geopolitics and political-economy, as well as global cultures of oil in the present.
HIST 670/2 B – Advanced Topics in History – Pandemics over 14th C world
Dr. Shannon McSheffrey M 11:45-14:30
A seminar focusing on pandemic disease and its effects in the fourteenth-century world. Taking a global approach, we will explore on the one hand the current state of the scholarship on the bubonic plague pandemic (the "Black Death") that first struck Asia, Europe, and Africa in the 1340s, and on the other hand the effects of epidemic disease in the Americas in the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The history of pandemic disease in the late medieval period offers the opportunity to think about how different parts of the world connected to one another in prosaic economic terms and in lofty intellectual exchange; how animal ecology and climate change affected human populations; and how people in different cultures conceptualized the relationship between bodies and sickness, between the natural and the supernatural.
HIST 601/4 A – Historical Research Methods
Dr. Nora Jaffary W 14:45-14:30
History 601 is a seminar-workshop in which students frame and develop their MA thesis. Framing a topic, developing a bibliography, identifying a primary source base, placing your main arguments in the context of an existing body of historiography, and planning for writing and revision, will all be important themes. The end product of the course will be a thesis proposal, including an annotated bibliography, that will guide your research in subsequent semester.
HIST 610/ 4 AA – World War I in European History
Dr. Norman Ingram W 17:45-20:15
This seminar examines in some detail certain aspects of the Great War which was arguably the defining event of the last century. The twentieth century may be said really to have begun in August 1914 as the nations of the old continent lined up in two opposing blocs, pitting German Kultur against French civilisation.1917 marked the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of mutinies in the French army on the western front. March 1918 saw the 100th anniversary of the great German spring offensive, the failure of which spelled the end of the hopes for victory in Germany. Along the road to 11 November 1918, three European empires disintegrated and fell, the Bolshevik Revolution engulfed Russia, and the United States emerged as a power on the world stage.
HIST 650/4 A - Adv. Study/ Human Rights/ Justice/ Histories of Nationalism
Dr. Max Bergholz T 11:45-14:30
This seminar offers advanced undergraduate and graduate students an introduction to the study of nationalism, a subject that has attracted wide interest during the past two decades from historians, sociologists, political scientists, and other scholars. This reading intensive course will provide a forum for the critical reflection about a number of key works (both theoretical and empirical) that have shaped this field. Subjects to be addressed in this study of nationalism include the role of historical memory, economic and political change, religion, and violence.
HIST 665/4 A – Historical Nonfiction
Dr. Elena Razlogova Th 14:45-17:30
This course will teach students how to write rigorous history for a broader public. Participants will begin by examining books and articles that have bridged the divide between academic and popular audiences. The main part of the course will teach strategies drawn from literary non-fiction, such as narrative structure, voice, and point of view. The course will provide opportunities to meet with local writers and learn how to pitch your writing to general-interest publications. In the course of the semester students will workshop and complete an article of their own. To prepare for the course, please read Stephen J. Pyne, Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Nonfiction (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011).
HIST 670/4 A – Advanced Topics in History, Deindustrialization & Politics
Dr. Steven High T 14:45-17:30
Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as US President, and the rise of right-wing populism across continental Europe have refocused attention on the connections between race, gender and class in deindustrialized working-class communities. These volatile events have prompted debate and conjecture about the root causes and timing of the current social and political upheaval but little sustained historical research into those “left behind.” This course will consider the politics of deindustrialization in transnational perspective.
HIST 670/4 B – History and the ClimateCrisis
Dr. Anya Zilberstein W 11:45-14:30
How has the ongoing, global crisis of climate change forced all historians to reconsider the questions, methods, and theories that shape research about the past? Must historians—no matter what period, place, people, or subject is their focus—think and write differently in the age of the Anthropocene? Our collective readings will be wide-ranging and will include, but not be limited to, environmental history. Instead, we will consider how the abiding changes in nature resulting from human activities since roughly the 18th century (unbridled resource extraction, global trade, uncontainable consumer and industrial waste, increasing reliance on fossil fuels, and much more) have had disparate direct and indirect social, political, economic, and cultural consequences for different communities around the world. Students will have the opportunity to craft and complete a research paper that reframes a putatively non-environmental topic of their choosing, in terms of its connection to the history of climate change.