Spring 2014: Special Topics and Seminar Courses


HST 591:  Comparative Colonialism  “Wartime Occupations and Colonial Wars”
Instructors:  Mark Von Hagen and Aaron Moore
Sp 2014   Class#  26957    T 4:30-7:15

In the context of the United States' recent wars in Iraq, Afganistan, and elsewhere, we shall survey some of the literature on wartime occupations, colonial wars and armies, including France's wars in Algeria and Vietnam, US in Afghanistan and Vietnam, Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Germany and eastern Europe in WWI and WWII, and others.


HST 591:  Writing and Publishing Nonfiction
Instructor: Christine Szuter
Sp 2014   Class#  26319   F  9:00-11:45

Success in graduate school and success in one’s chosen career requires good writing skills.  Students should graduate with peer-reviewed publications and the ability to conceptualize and plan for turning their dissertation into a book. In addition, students require the knowledge to showcase, explain, discuss, and write about their research for broad and diverse audiences. In this course, students will prepare a journal article for publication, write a book proposal, and write a piece of scholarship intended for a broad, diverse audience. They will also gain basic knowledge of the journal, book, and commercial publishing world. Students are required to have already written a twenty- to thirty-page research paper that will be used as the basis for all written course assignments. Students may also write and revise chapters of their dissertation and master’s thesis. This course is writing-intensive. It is open to all graduate students and will be adapted to the different disciplines represented by the students’ course of study. 


HST 591:  Humanities in the Digital Age
Instructor: Mark Tebeau
Sp 2014   Class#  19693    M  4:30-7:15

No description to date


HST 598: The New “New Western History”
Instructor: Katherine Osburn
Sp 2014   Class #  22800    F 12:00-2:45

Roughly twenty years ago the so-called “New Western History” burst onto the academic scene. This genre echoed the call of the (then) New Social History to reframe historical narratives around the categories of race, class, and gender, and to include the natural world as a participant in history. The result was a flurry of monographs and articles that challenged the old triumphalist narrative of rugged white men “winning” the west. In the last decade or so, however, the New Western History has moved beyond bashing the mythic west and produced many award-winning “intersectional” studies. These works explore the relationships between race, class, and gender and how these variables link the west to larger narratives of American and global history: industrialization, modernity, and globalization (including European views of the West); racialized citizenship and power; and the formation of nation states and national identity.


This seminar looks at the best examples of these recent trends with an eye toward understanding how our own research interests fit into the latest scholarship. We will discuss a common core of readings (including the most recent Bancroft Award winners) and analyze the monographs and ideas that inform our own work, emphasizing how our scholarship contributes to the broader studies of the West. The goal is to help each other refine our ideas and better understand our unique contribution to history.


HST 598: North American Core II
Instructor: Kyle Longley
Sp 2014   Class #  23877   W  4:30-7:15

This course will be an overview of the historiography of U.S. history, 1877-present.  It will be designed to prepare students for exams, teaching surveys, and give the students a deeper understanding of American politics, foreign policy, social and cultural history, and economics. 


HST 598:  Religion in America
Instructor: Catherine O’Donnell
Sp 2014   Class # 17912    F 9:00-11:45

This course explores the varied world of American religion and spirituality from the era just before European settlement through to the current day.   We will read classic and new works of history, anthropology, and religious studies, and ponder religious beliefs and practices in settings ranging from contemporary evangelical churches to the “Native American Great Awakening” of the eighteenth century and beyond.  The course is intended both for students with a research interest in American religion and for those who simply (and brilliantly!) wish to enrich their scholarship and teaching by deepening their understanding of religion’s role in shaping lives and societies.  Please feel free to contact Catherine O’Donnell (codonnell@asu.edu) with any questions


HST 598:  European Core II
Instructor: Rachel Fuchs
Sp 2014   Class #  23878   F 9:00-11:45

This course introduces graduate students to some of the classic or cutting-edge historiography on modern Europe, with a particular focus on comparative and theoretical perspectives. Topics for this year’s course include, but are not limited to: urban history, national and international politics, categories of gender and gender history, daily life under democratic and totalitarian regimes, the Holocaust and some theoretical bases for historical work.  All readings will be on the list of required readings for PhD students in modern European history.    Students will be required to write short essays, book reviews, give oral presentations, actively participate in class discussions, and write a comprehensive essay at the end of the semester.  One of the goals of this course is to prepare doctoral students for exams; another goal is to provide a broad base of knowledge in modern European history to anyone who takes the course.


HST 598:  Nuclear Weapons:  Lessons from History
Instructors: Sybil Francis and Gregg Zachary
Sp 2014   Class #  25782    T 1:30-4:15

This graduate course explores the history and major geo-political, techno-scientific and socio-cultural themes of the nuclear weapons era starting with World War II and the Manhattan Project through contemporary issues of nuclear-weapons proliferation and control. Readings from primary and secondary sources will focus on the development of the first nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Russia; the arms race between the two “superpowers” in the 1950s; the environmental “fallout” of above-ground nuclear testing and new forms of political protest inspired by the “ban the bomb” movement; the Cuban Missile Crisis and the “test ban” treaty of 1963; and the dramatic shift in the geo-politics of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. Student papers, presentations and class discussions will explore such questions as the ethical and moral responsibility of scientists; the interrelationship of technology and politics; the question of why states seek nuclear weapons capability; unintended environmental, social and cultural consequences of nuclear technology; and the future of nuclear weapons. Student assignments will include class presentations on the readings, written papers and a class presentation on a contemporary topic.


HST 598:  World and Global History
Instructor: Kent Wright
Sp 2014    Class#  25098    F 12:00-2:45

No description to date


HST 598/ PUB 598  Digital Marketing for Authors and Publishers Short Course
Instructor:  Dr. Christine Szuter
Sp 2014   Class#  18861    Spring Break, March 10-14    M T W TH F  8:00am – 5:00pm

Jeff Colosino from The National Academies Press will be the visiting faculty for this scholarly publishing and public history short course. The topics for this week-long course include: social media strategies; data, web, and mobile analytics; e-mail marketing; and writing copy for different media.


PUB 510:  Research in Scholarly Publishing
Instructor: Dr. Christine Szuter
Sp 2014   Class#  19808   Th  4:30-7:15

Publishing is a collaborative, interactive, and dynamic process and the work in this class will reflect that process. Students will create a nonprofit cultural institution (publishing or historical) for e-book publishing. The course topics include content creation and development; mission, vision, and value statements; strategic planning; copyright and intellectual property; contracts, law, and permissions; marketing, publicity, and social media; budgets and financials; design and production; fundraising and grant writing; and board management. Students will attend The Tucson Festival of Books in March. The final research project will be a portfolio of the creation of a nonprofit cultural publishing or historical institution that focuses on e-book publishing.



PHI 591:  Free Will in Ancient Philosophy  (Link to syllabus - http://tab.faculty.asu.edu/Frede/Fredesyll.html)
Instructor:  Tom Blackson
Sp 2014   Class #  25179   W  3:00-5:20

In 1997-98, Michael Frede was the Sather Professor of Philosophy of Classical Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. It is a requirement of the professorship that its holder give lectures later to be published by the University of California Press. Frede's death in 2007 prevented him from putting the lectures in their final form, but they now have been edited and published as A Free Will. Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought, University of California Press, 2011.

Professor Frede's Sather Classical Lectures are the primary focus of this seminar. In addition to reading the lectures in A Free Will, we shall read some of Frede's papers on rationality and the soul in ancient philosophy. Finally, we shall read (in translation) selections from the ancient texts that constitute the evidence for Frede's investigation into the origin of the notion of a free will.


PHI 591:  Kant’s Practical Philosophy
Instructor:  Elizabeth Brake
Sp 2014    Class #  25177    T  3:00-5:20

This course is a close study of Kant’s ethics.  We will begin with the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785), which sets out the structure of Kant’s moral theory and his most important arguments for it.  We will discuss developments of Kant’s views in the Critique of Practical Reason (1788).  We will consider different interpretations and criticisms of Kant’s theory in the secondary literature.  In the second half of the course, we will read portions of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797-98), which applies Kant’s theory in the realms of justice and virtue.  Here we will consider specific topics such as property, marriage, lying, and the virtues. 


PHI 591:  Constitutional Law and Rights
Instructor:  Rebecca Tsosie
Sp 2014     Class# 25181     M  3:00-5:20

This course explores the structure and practice of the U.S. Constitution’s protection of individual civil rights and civil liberties.  We will read Supreme Court cases, both historic and contemporary, as well as selected works from ethics and political theory.  We will discuss modes of constitutional interpretation and explore comparative constitutionalism as an additional means to interrogate the U.S. Constitution.  The seminar focuses on the concepts of due process, equal protection, freedom of speech and press, associational rights and religious liberty embedded within the First Amendment, Fifth Amendment, and Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.


PHI 591:  Topics in Epistemology:  Probabilism
Instructor: Brad Armendt
Sp 2014   Class#   28035   W  3:00-5:20

This seminar will focus on recent work concerning the status of norms for updating rational belief in the light of new experience, new information. In recent philosophical literature, normative principles for rational belief change are taken to be: a) strict and well-understood, at least in a wide variety of well-defined circumstances; b) sometimes relevant, but sparse and defeasible; and c) superfluous corollaries of more fundamental norms for synchronic beliefs

(time-slice epistemology). We will strive to develop and evaluate these positions. Along the way we will consider candidate norms for belief change (conditionalization, generalized conditionalization, reflection) and for synchronic belief (consistency, coherence, minimization of expected inaccuracy), as well as the various lines of argument that seek to support them.


PHI 591:  Knowledge and Luck
Instructor: Nestor Pinillos
Sp 2014   Class#  25180   F 12:00-2:45

The concept of knowledge is central to our cognitive lives. In this class, we will discuss some unsolved paradoxes. Many of these puzzles involve the notion of luck where luck can sometimes undermine or sometimes even preserve knowledge. Along the way we will cover the major theories of knowledge in epistemology. And finally, we will also look at the psychological mechanisms behind our ability to attribute (or deny) knowledge to others. As a guide, we will focus on John Hawthorne's seminal book "Knowledge and Lotteries" (OUP). 



REL 598:  Religion and Science
Instructor:  Norbert Samuelson
SP 2014    Class # 25251    W 4:30-7:15

This course introduces the students to the study of the correlation between science and religion as an interdisciplinary study from a historical perspective.  Session topics fall into three distinct units.  The first correlates the physical sciences with Western religious theology; the second explores the consequences of the life sciences on religious psychology; and the third examines the impact of the interconnection between sciences and religions in society.  Each unit will be studied through specific readings, film, lectures, and discussion.  No specific knowledge of any discipline discussed is pre-requisite for the course.  The only requirements are genuine interest in inter-disciplinary studies and considerable intellectual curiosity.


REL 598:  Stalinism in Literature and Film
Instructor: Ileana Orlich
SP 2014     Class#  27249  T TH  1:30-2:45

To understand the cultural sphere and the order of things in the former Soviet Union and in Central Eastern Europe after WWII, we need to examine the politics and ideology that led to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and to focus on the cultural aspects of the early twentieth century.   We will then analyze the Stalinist era and we will take a closer look at the countries of the Communist block, a region viewed as monolithic in spite of its cultural past and religious diversity.  Its complexity, which opens a new area of study, complicates our theoretical sophistication and invites an openness to dialogue across academic specializations, from literature through anthropology, political science, religious studies, history and sociology, to the plastic and performing arts, gender studies and cultural geography.  Above all, an examination of Stalinism proves the growing need to cross academic disciplines and engage in discursive “contact zones.”

Defining Europe: “Geographic Europe,” the smallest continent which extends from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains, was always divided into two halves that evolved separately: one tied to ancient Rome and the Catholic Church, the other anchored in Byzantium and the Orthodox Church.  After WWII ended in 1945, there were THREE Europes: Western, Eastern and CENTRAL or The Other Europe, which was geographically in the center: culturally in the West and politically in the East as it had to look to a new master, the Soviet Union or USSR.

Defining the Other Europe: the multi-lingual region situated between Germany and Russia, at the heart of the struggle between Western and Eastern Christianity, Habsburg domination and Ottoman rule.  Labeled Central Europe, or Mitteleuropa by the German statesman and publicist Friedrich Naumann in his influential book Mitteleuropa (1915), this space fell under the Soviet sphere of influence after WWII and came to be known as the Soviet bloc.


REL 691:  Religion and Colonialism
Instructor: Jason Bruner
Sp 2014     Class#  26009   F  9:00-11:45

The global religious landscape has experienced many much discussed shifts in the past 150 years, perhaps none more significant for Christianity than the demographic shift of its center of adherents to the "Global South" (i.e., Africa, Asia, and Latin America). Sub-Saharan Africa has been the site of some of the most remarkable developments, as the Christian population today approaches half of a billion believers across a fascinating array of Christian belief and practice. At the same time, the history of modern Africa (including its religious history) is interwoven with the legacies of its European imperial encounters. This course examines the relationship between British imperialism and religion in Africa. To illuminate the range of ways in which religion influenced the British imperial project, this course will examine dimensions of these exchanges from western, southern, and eastern Africa, giving attention to issues such as health and medicine, translation, and conversion, among others. The goal of these examinations is to illuminate how religion(s), British imperialism, and Africans understood, interacted with, and affected one another. Far from merely being co-opted into the imperial project, religion(s) often provided esources with which European presence was understood, accepted, subverted, and resisted by Africans. This course aims to challenge students to develop more nuanced and stereoscopic assessments of the relationships between religion(s) and European empires.


REL598/REL 461:  Different Voices within Contemporary Islamic Discourse
Instructor: Abdullahi Gallab
Sp 2014   Class#  (would have to be taken as a Reading and Conference course)  Th  3:00-4:15

Different Voices within contemporary Islamic discourse course examines some major issues with which Muslim thinkers and scholars of our time have been concerned with. The primary focus of the course is on contemporary Islamic discourses as presented through the works and intellectual contributions of a selected group of major Muslim thinkers and scholars as they deal with Islam and different contemporary issues. These issues include-but are not limited to-revival and reform of Shari'a, the nature and meaning of Jihad, secularism, capitalism, the status of women, violence, Islamism, liberation theology, race, civil rights and democracy.

Close reading and discussion of primary texts will constitute a major part of this course. The course focuses in particular on the contemporary period of Islamic history.