The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall


Course Designators

Below are descriptions of courses with the following ‘designators’ (the 3 letter code in front of the course number):

Course Prefix Department
HIS Department of History
JHP Joint History and Political Science
(administered by Political Science Department, Room 3018, Sidney Smith Hall)
NMC Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
(administered by the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue)

NOTE: All courses shown on this page are accepted towards a History program. However, as shown above, they are not all administered by the Department of History.

Course Nomenclature

NOTE: All courses shown on this page are accepted towards a History program. However, as shown above, they are not all administered by the Department of History.

  • Y1-Y is a full course, both terms
  • Y1-F is a full course, first term (fall session)
  • Y1-S is a full course, second term (winter session)
  • H1-F is a half course, first term (fall session)
  • H1-S is a half course, second term (winter session)

400 Level Courses (2018-2019)

400-level HIS courses are two-hour seminars that deal with very specialized subjects and are often closely connected to a professor’s research. Most have specific course pre-requisites and require extensive reading, research, writing, and seminar discussion, and in most you will have the opportunity to do a major research paper. All 400-level HIS courses have enrolment restrictions during the FIRST ROUND (must have completed 14 or more full courses, be enrolled in a HIS Major, Specialist or Joint Specialist program and have the appropriate Prerequisites). During the SECOND ROUND of enrolment, access to 400-level seminars is open to all 3rd and 4th year students with the appropriate Prerequisite.

IMPORTANT: Due to significant enrolment pressure on 4th year seminars, during the first round of enrolment, the Department of History reserves the right to REMOVE STUDENTS who enrol in more than the required number for program completion (Specialists – 2; Majors, Joint Specialists – 1) without consultation.

Students in 400-level seminars MUST ATTEND THE FIRST CLASS, or contact the professor to explain their absence. Failure to do so may result in the Department withdrawing the student from the seminar in order to “free up” space for other interested students. Additional 400-level seminars for the 2018-2019 Fall/Winter Session may be added at a later date. To fulfill History program requirements, students may also use 400- level courses offered by other Departments at the U of T that are designated as ‘Related Courses’.

The Department also offers a few joint undergraduate-graduate seminars. These are indicated in the course description. Undergraduate enrolment in joint seminars is restricted, and the expected level of performance is high.

HIS 401Y1-Y, L0101 History of the Cold War

This course is jointly taught by professors Margaret MacMillan and Robert Bothwell. It covers the rivalry between West and East, or between liberal capitalism and communism, from the 1940s until 1991. We will pay particular attention to the principal protagonists, the United States and the Soviet Union, but because the Cold War engaged all parts of the world, we plan to take a broad approach to the subject. We will discuss alliance systems and the nuclear weapons they wielded, as well as the slow disintegration of the economies and political structures of the Soviet Union and its European satellites.

Prerequisite: HIS311Y1/HIS344H1/HIS344Y1/HIS377Y1

Exclusion: HIS401H1, HIS306H5

Instructor: R. Johnson
Seminar: Tuesday 10-12
Division:  III

HIS 404H1-F, L0101 Topics in U.S. History: Choosing War: U.S. Experiences, 1812-2009

The United States has gone to war regularly over the past two centuries and this course will consider how decisions to do so have changed — or not changed — over time. Key case studies will include the War of 1812, the Mexican War (1846-48), the Spanish-American-Cuban War (1898), World War I (1917-18), World War II (1941-45), the Korean War (1950-53), Vietnam (1954-73), and Iraq and Afghanistan in the early 21st century.”

Prerequisite: HIS271Y1

Instructor: R. Pruessen
Lecture: Thursday 12-2
Division: II

HIS 405Y1-Y Canadian Foreign Relations
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS405Y1/HIS1142Y

The first term will examine incidents or events in Canadian international relations that illustrate the interaction between Canada and foreign powers or international entities. Using that as a base, in the second term the course will look at specific topics examined in recent historical literature, in political, economic, and military history form about 1960 to the present. Examples would be the refusal to join in the Iraq war in 2003, the Afghan intervention, 2001-11, the Free Trade agreement wit h the United States, 1985-9, the Nixon shokku of 1971 and its resemblance to the NAFTA negotiations with the United States, 2017-8. These topics will become the basis for a research essay.

Tentative Course Requirements: two seminar presentations, one preliminary research exercise, a take-home test,  a major research paper and a final exam. Participation is worth 30% of the grade.

Prerequisite: HIS311Y1/POL312Y1

Instructor: R. Bothwell
Seminar: Wednesday 10-12
Division: II

HIS 407H1-S Imperial Germany 1871-1918
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course - HIS407H1/HIS1275H)

This seminar combines an examination of historiographical controversies and the study of primary documents in translation. We focus on broad-gauged social, cultural, and political change under Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Specific topics include nation-building, localism and regionalism, antisemitism, gender and sexuality, radical nationalism, working-class culture, and the First World War. A 1951 East German film, The Kaiser’s Lackey, will be shown at the end of term. Seminars will incorporate short student presentations each week. Most primary sources will be accessed from the German History in Documents and Images project on the website of the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. A historiographical or research essay of 20-25 pages will count for 50% of the final grade. Textbooks include James Retallack, ed., Imperial Germany 1871-1918: The Short Oxford History of Germany (OUP, 2008); and Helmut Walser Smith, The Butcher’s Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town (Norton, 2003).

Prerequisite: HIS317H1 or permission of the instructor

Exclusion: HIS407Y1/HIS407H5

Instructor: J. Retallack
Seminar: Wednesday 11-1
Division: III

HIS 416H1-F Orientalism and Nationalism in 19th Century Germany

From the philosophy of Johann Gottfried Herder to the early twentieth-century novels of Thomas Mann and Hermann Hesse, German writers explored the substance and place of national culture in their writings on the Orient and “the East.” For them, exploring the Orient/East was a powerful way to answer the question “what is German?” The question or “who/what is German?” is one of the most pressing in the country today. In 2015 Germany became a center of Europe’s refugee movements and conceptions of what “Germany” is and “who belongs” are changing rapidly, as is the image and reality of “who is German” and what constitutes “German culture.” This is currently a lively and contentious debate. During the semester we will explore both of these issues. We will ask whether the cultural legacy of German orientalism offers concepts and tools for cultural understanding today. How does this intellectual tradition provide ways to think about migration and integration?
Active participation in tutorial discussions and the preparation of an individual term research paper and/or project are the core components of this course.

Prerequisite: HIS241H, 242H1/317H1/Y1

Instructor: J. Jenkins
Seminar: Monday 3-5
Division: III

HIS 417Y1-Y The Oldest Profession in Canada: Sex Work in Comparative Historical Contexts
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS417Y1/HIS1168Y)

This seminar explores the historical effects of the “world’s oldest profession” in Canada and beyond. Using a range of texts, including film, memoirs, oral history and visual culture, it seeks to enhance both historical and contemporary discussions of the sex trade by examining its rich, difficult and problematic pasts. Seminar readings and discussions will examine the lives and experiences of multiple sex trade involved populations, from affluent 19th-century madams to streetwalkers and queer and trans communities. Students in this seminar will develop their own original research project and have the opportunity to contribute to a new public history initiative on the history of sex work in Toronto.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1

Exclusion: HIS417H1

Instructor: L. Bertram
Seminar: Monday 12-2
Division: II

HIS 419H1-F Canada By Treaty: Alliances, Title Transfers and Land Claims
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS419H1/HIS1118H)

This intensive joint graduate/undergraduate research seminar provides opportunity for detailed study of the treaty processes between Indigenous peoples and newcomers in Canadian history, examining the shift from alliance treaties to land surrender agreements during the colonial period through to the signing of recent treaties including the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and the Nisga’a Final Agreement. We will consider the history of Canada as a negotiated place, mapping the changing contexts of these agreements over more than four centuries through readings and seminar discussions. The first six weeks will be devoted to an intensive study of more than four centuries of negotiated agreements between Indigenous peoples and newcomers to the lands that would become the Dominion of Canada. At least one field trip, to the Royal Ontario Museum, Woodland Cultural Centre or other similar site. For the major assignment, students will select a treaty of personal relevance to them and conduct detailed research (guided by the professor), contributing their findings to a web resource on Canada's treaties. Students in this year's Canada By Treaty will have the opportunity to learn about digital curation and website design. Primary source analysis, seminar participation, digital content, research essay.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1

Instructor: H. Bohaker
Seminar: W 1-3
Division: II

HIS 423H1-F The Social History of Medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS423H1/1269H)

The seminar, designed to inform students about developments in this emerging scholarly field, will include topics such as the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship, the impact of medical care upon health, the evolution of various medical and surgical specialties as internal medicine, neurology and psychiatry, the relationship between culture and the presentation of illness, and the history of medical therapeutics.

Textbook: Edward Shorter, Doctors and Their Patients: A Social History.

Tentative Course Requirements: A major historiographical research paper (60%), outline for research paper (25%), participation (15%).

Prerequisite: A minimum of one course in HIS/PSY/SOC

Exclusion: HIS423Y1

Instructor: E. Shorter
Seminar: Thursday 4-6
Division: III

HIS 426H1-S Medieval Italy, 400-1000

Italy serves as an excellent yardstick to measure the transition from the ancient world to the Middle Ages. This course examines major developments in Italy from the fifth to the tenth century, a period which saw the collapse of Roman rule, the establishment of several barbarian successor kingdoms, the splintering of the peninsula along geo-political lines, and finally the collapse of any form of centralized government.

Instructor: N. Everett
Seminar: Wednesday 10-12
Division: III
Pre-Modern: ½ credit

HIS 428H1-F The Institutes of Perfection
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS428H1/HIS1213H)

In order to understand a society, it is necessary to study its ideals. Religious regular life was perceived in Western Europe as the most perfect form of existence. This seminar will try to understand why such was the case, as well as how the monastic ideal evolved from its origin to the 12th C. The daily life, internal structures and relationships with the outside world of the most significant regular communities of the Middle Ages will be studied. The sources studied will be primarily hagiographical (lives of saints and collections of miracles) and normative (rules and customaries).

Textbooks:  C.H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages; Sourcebook: RB 1980, The Rule of Saint Benedict in English

Prerequisite: a course specifically on the Middle ages such as HIS220Y1.

Instructor: I. Cochelin
Seminar: Thursday 2-4
Division: III
Pre-Modern: ½ credit

HIS 435H1-S Themes in Toronto History

This course will examine aspects of Toronto’s history. It is not a general survey of Toronto history; instead, the course will normally revolve around a specific theme or group of themes. Specific themes vary by year, depending on the focus of the instructor. Strong emphasis will be placed on reading and research.

Prerequisite: Any second year Canadian history course or permission of the instructor

Instructor: S. Mills
Seminar: Wednesday 1-3
Division: II

HIS 436H1-S Stalinist Terror

This research seminar explores topics and issues of violence in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, beginning with forced collectivization and ending with the Great Terror. The seminar focuses on new archivally-based research and aims to contextualize Stalinist terror within larger theories of political and social violence.

Prerequisite: HIS250Y1 or HIS351Y1

Instructor: L. Viola
Seminar: Tuesday 3-5
Division: III

HIS 444H1-F Topics in Jewish History: 20th Century Jewish Migration

During the 20th century, millions of Jews were uprooted from their homes as a result of war, persecution and economic distress. This seminar explores the impact of displacement on Jewish life in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. It covers the major Jewish refugee and migration movements, starting with the exodus from Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and concluding with post-soviet emigration. It investigates the relationships between displacement and such issues as gender, nationalist sentiment and Jewish and human solidarity, taking into account the perspectives of various actors, including states, voluntary organizations and the migrants themselves.

Prerequisite: A course in modern European or Jewish history

Recommended Preparation: A course in Jewish history

Instructor: O. Yehudai
Seminar: Monday 2-4
Division: III

HIS 446H1-S Gender & Slavery in the Atlantic World
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS446H1/HIS1555H1)

The course examines the relationship between gender and the experience of slavery and emancipating several Atlantic world societies from the 17th-19th centuries. Areas to be covered are the Caribbean, Brazil, the U.S. South, West and South Africa and Western Europe.

Prerequisite: HIS291H1/HIS294Y1/HIS230H1,231H1/HIS295Y1

Exclusion: HIS446Y1

Instructor: D. Challenger
Seminar: Wednesday 10-12
Division: I/II/III

HIS 451H1-F World War II in East Central Europe
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS451H1/1279H1)

World War II was much more destructive and traumatic in East Central Europe than in Western Europe. The difference was caused by many reasons, among which the Nazi and Soviet plans and policies were the most important. Yet, there were also numerous East Central European phenomena that contributed to the cruelty of World War II in the East. This seminar will explore the external and internal factors that defined the war in the discussed region. Students will analyze the military, political, economic, and cultural activities of Germany, the Soviet Union, and their allies and enemies. Following sessions will concentrate on the fall of the Versailles systems, diplomatic and military activities throughout the war, on occupational policies of the invaders, economic exploration of the invaded, on collaboration, accommodation, resistance, genocide, the “liberation” and sovietization of East Central Europe after 1944. All the secondary and primary sources used in class are English.

Prerequisite: EUR200Y1/HIS251Y1/HIS334Y1/HIS334H1

Instructor: P. Wróbel
Seminar: Thursday 10-12
Division: III

HIS 459H1-F Soviet History and Film: 1921-1946

This course explores Soviet film as a historical source and the institutional and ideological history of Soviet film production, distribution, and exhibition from the early years of the Soviet regime to World War II. It is aimed at students who have a background in Russian history or film studies and wish to develop their knowledge in either area or experiment with interdisciplinary approaches. The course will study the creation of a revolutionary society and state socialism through the lenses of the Soviet school of montage, popular film of the 1920s, and the rise of socialist realism in film. Other aspects of Soviet cinema of the 1920s-1940s will include the nationality question in film, the “women question”, the relation between entertainment and propaganda through the example of the Soviet musical comedy of the Stalin era, and the question of resistance and dissidence. By examining the relation between documentary and fiction film, specific questions of form, such as editing, narration, or sound will be used to investigate ways to analyze the complex relationship between reality, ideology, and their representation on the screen. Issues of film reception will be studied through the unique Soviet institution of “cinefication”, i.e., the dissemination of film to every town and village, to every collective or state farm, to the most remote corners of the Soviet Union, using trains, boats, planes, trucks, horseback and other means of transport. Taking place in two consecutive sessions consisting of film screenings, presentations, and discussions, this course extends far beyond the limitations of traditional Soviet film courses based on a small number of films with English subtitles. Students will view never before seen archival footage, as well as films and film clips subtitled by the instructor.

Prerequisite: CIN105Y1/HIS250Y1/HIS250H1/HIS335H1

Exclusion: HIS450Y1/SLA233H1/234H1

Instructor: T. Lahusen
Seminar: Tuesday 5-9
Division: III

HIS 465Y1-Y Gender and International Relations
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course - HIS465Y1/HIS1533H)

This seminar explores the use of gender as a category of analysis in the study of international relations. Topics include gendered imagery and language in foreign policy making; beliefs about women’s relationship to war and peace; issues of gender, sexuality, and the military; and contributions of feminist theory to international relations theory.

Prerequisite: HIS311Y/HIS344Y/ HIS377H1/POL208Y1/POL351H1/JPP343H1/WGS160Y1 or permission of instructor

Exclusion: JHP440Y1

Instructor: C. Chin
Seminar: Monday 5-7
Division: II

HIS 466H1-F, L0101 Topics in Canadian History: The History of Education in Canada

Examines the roots of formal education in Canada and explores the changing relationship between public education and (what became) Canadian society between 1840 and 1950. This broad introduction to the history of education will include an examination of the origins of public education and the common school, educational reform, various types of residential schooling, teacher training, and the gendered, racialized and class-differentiated experience of public schooling for teachers, students, and communities, both rural and urban. Students will draw on both primary and secondary sources to explore this topic throughout the course.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1 or permission of the instructor

Instructor: R. Sandwell
Seminar: Thursday 2-4
Division:  II

HIS 466H1-F, L0201 Topics in Canadian History: History of Commemoration in Canada

Commemoration and Public History in Canada, 1780s-2000s. Covering a time span from, roughly, the late eighteenth century up to the present, we will examine how the past has been remembered in Canada and will explore the processes in which various groups have attempted to create ‘pasts’ or ‘traditions’ for themselves and others in society, often through commemorative practices such as the building of monuments or the staging of historic pageants. The course also looks at the role of the state in areas such as tourism and the creation of historic sites. We will also look the ways in which commemorations and public history might be contested and negotiated by groups such as women, Indigenous people, members of Canada’s working class, and ethnic and racialized groups. The course also explores the relationship between certain landscapes and historical memories, examining their interaction and influences on each other.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1 or permission of the instructor

Instructor: C. Morgan
Seminar: Tuesday 2-4
Division: II

HIS 466H1-S, L0101 Topics in Canadian History: Upper Canada Creating a Settler Society

This course explores selected topics in the history of Upper Canada, such as its formation in the crucible of transatlantic and imperial warfare, relationships with Indigenous people, the creation of multiple institutions, and colonial leisure and culture. As well as having its own particular local characteristics and features, not least its proximity to the United States, Upper Canada was one of a number of settler societies within the British Empire. The course is intended to explore various dimensions of these aspects and, wherever possible, to consider the relationships between local dynamics and imperial currents. Although the colony became ‘Canada West’ in 1841, our readings and discussions will stretch beyond that conventional political boundary, moving us into the 1850s and 1860s.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1 or permission of the instructor

Instructor: C. Morgan
Seminar: Tuesday 2-4
Division: II

HIS 466H1-S, L0201 Topics in Canadian History: Race in Canada

This course explores the enduring power and changing forms of “race” in Canada and in the United States. We will examine how “race” has affected society and inequalities within both nations. We will also see how “race” has impacted both nations’ engagements with the world. To make our comparison concrete, we will consider connections as well as divergences. To that end, our examination of “race” will focus on tracing interactions among law, society, and policy from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. We will examine these interactions as they affected white, black, indigenous, Asian, Latino, Muslim and mixed race residents. We also will probe related impacts on transnational and international relations.

Prerequisite: HIS263Y1/HIS264H1 or permission of instructor

Instructor: L. Mar
Seminar: Friday 12-2
Division: II

HIS 470H1-F History, Rights and Difference in South Asia

This seminar addresses modern South Asian history to think critically about ideas of rights since 1750. Examining themes in the political, economic, and legal history of South Asia (most especially India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) 1750-present, the course highlights the central place of colonial and postcolonial histories, and the questions of difference they pose, within the intellectual history of rights. The course will survey major debates on rights: citizenship and its relationship with custom and tradition; rights, the rule of law, and the question of cultural and gender difference; and rights and ideas of contract in the context of market exchange, colonial capitalism, and postcolonial development. Readings include primary historical sources from South Asia, legal and political theory on rights, and postcolonial historiography.

Tentative Course Requirements: two short analytical papers, one longer paper on a major theme, class attendance and participation.

Prerequisite: A mark of 73% or higher in HIS282Y1 or instructors permission.

Recommended Preparation: background in political and social theory and some background in South Asia.

Instructor: R. Birla
Seminar: Tuesday 1-3
Division: I

HIS 473H1-S The United States and Asia since 1945
(Joint undergraduate courses - HIS473H1/USA400H1)

This course examines the interactions and conflicts between the U.S. and Asia from the end of the Second World War to the present. Concentrating on East Asia and Southeast Asia, we will explore war, politics, money, violence, art, race, religion, sex and gender in the history of these relations with special attention to their global contexts.

Prerequisite: HIS271Y1/HIS344Y1/HIS344H1/HIS377H1

Exclusion: HIS473Y1

Instructor: C. Ewing
Seminar: Tuesday 3-5
Division: I/II

HIS 475H1-F/S/HIS 476Y1 Senior Thesis Seminar

History Specialists only. Compulsory for all Specialists undertaking a one-year dissertation. Weekly seminars provide training in reviewing literature, writing research proposals, formulating hypotheses, oral presentation of findings and constructive critique of other students work. Posters will be prepared for an annual spring conference. Students must find topics and thesis supervisors. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

History Specialists must choose either to write a Senior Thesis (HIS 475H/476Y) or take one of the Methodology courses listed on the

document. The Methodology credit may be combined with another of the department’s program requirements (Divisions 1 to 3 or Pre-Modern). The thesis differs from the independent study in its length and by its research paper format. Students registered in HIS475H1 and HIS 476Y1 are under the obligation of attending the weekly senior thesis seminar scheduled on Mondays from 10-12 in the Natalie Zemon Davis Conference Room (SS 2098). Students selecting the Senior Thesis option must have a B+ average in no less than 4.0 HIS courses.

How to Enrol:

  • Complete the HIS475H1-HIS476Y1 ThesisBallot-2018.pdf (Senior Thesis) with the help of your proposed supervisor. Attach a one-page outline of the project you wish to undertake and a copy of your transcript. Ensure that your supervisor signs the form.
  • Return the documents to the Department by April 1, 2018 for Summer 2018 or by August 15, 2018 for the Fall-Winter 2018-2019 academic year.
  • If approved, your study course will be added to your record on ROSI by the Department of History. If it is not approved, we will notify you and your proposed supervisor as soon as possible by email.

HIS 477H1-F Topics in the Social and Cultural History of Victorian Britain

This course will examine the impact of industrialism on Victorian society and values. Readings will concentrate on major contemporary critics of nineteenth-century British society, including Engels, Mayhew, Owen, Dickens and Morris. Required Reading: All readings will be put on reserve at the library. Students who wish to may purchase: Engels, Condition of the Working Class; Morris, News From Nowhere; Dickens, Hard Times; Arnold, Culture & Anarchy.

Tentative Course Requirements: each member of the seminar will participate actively in all sessions (20%), introduce one session in the fall term (10%), prepare a bibliography (10%), and write a major research paper (60%)

Exclusion: HIS477Y1

Recommended Preparation: a course in modern British history/Victorian literature

Instructor: L. Loeb
Seminar: Tuesday 4-6
Division: III

HIS 481H1-F Elite Women, Power, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Africa

The role of elite women in twentieth-century Africa has been overshadowed by studies of non-elite women so much as to suggest that all women lacked power. This course aims to show how a very limited but important group of women negotiated power in a century of increasing patriarchy. It combines gender with class analysis.

Prerequisite: 300-level African History course or any of the African Studies courses offered at U of T.

Instructor: N. Musisi
Lecture: Wednesday 1-3
Division: I

HIS 485H1-F Topics in Chinese History: Sexuality in Chinese History from Daoist Devotees to Dr. Sex

(Research Seminar) As a component of historical agents' lives and motivations, sexuality has been coming to the attention of many historians over the last three decades. In this thematic seminar, you will be guided in approaching a diverse array of primary and Secondary Sources, and in developing critical faculties for systematically examining both. By the end of the course, you will have produced a paper of 12- 15 pages or a presentation of 15-20 minutes involving original historical research. You should be better equipped to consider, with a critical intensity equal to that directed at the course materials, your own role as author of history. You are expected to arrive in this class with some previous familiarity with Chinese history and with the methods of historical analysis. Please be aware that we will examine materials that you might find offensive or disturbing.

Prerequisite: EAS102Y1/HIS280Y1/JMC201Y1

Exclusion: HIS485Y1

Instructor: Y. Wang
Seminar: Tuesday 5-7
Division: I

HIS 489H1-F The History of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Illness
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course - HIS489H1/HIS1270H)

This course introduces students to some of the main issues in the history of psychiatry and some of the major developments in this unique medical specialty. Classroom discussion will cover such topics as changes in the nature of psychotic illness, the psychoneuroses, disorders of the mind/body relationship, psychiatric diagnosis and the “presentation” of illness.

Textbook: Edward Shorter, A History of Psychiatry from the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac.

Tentative Course Requirements: a major historiographical research paper (60%), outline for research paper (25%), participation (15%).

Prerequisite:  a minimum of one course in HIS/PSY/SOC

Exclusion: HIS423Y1

Instructor:  E. Shorter
Seminar:  Friday 10-12
Division:  III

HIS 490H1-F Everyday Stalinism

This course is an advanced research seminar in Soviet history. It will explore issues of everyday life in Soviet Russia during the Stalin era. What was the "Soviet normal"? Was there such a thing? How did people live in and outside the Gulag? Students will be introduced to major topics through the use of a series of different types of sources. During the first eight weeks of the seminar, students will read intensively, acquiring familiarity with various sources and their specific problems in Soviet history; at the same time, they will design a topic and bibliography for their research paper. The remainder of the course will be devoted to individualized research.

Prerequisite: grade of A in HIS250Y1/ grade of B+ or higher in HIS351Y1

Instructor: L. Viola
Seminar: Monday 3-5
Division: III

HIS 496H1-F, L0101 Topics in History: History of Emotions

This course will introduce different approaches of history of emotion research and combine it with methods of emotional research from various disciplines as for example: sociology, anthropology, psychology, linguistics and apply it to historical sources.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course.

Instructor: D. Ellerbrock
Seminar: Wednesday 1-3

HIS 496H1-S, L0101 Topics in History: Capitalism and Slavery

This course examines the historical relationship between transatlantic slavery and the emergence of modern capitalism. It begins with a close reading of Eric Williams’ classic 1944 text, Capitalism & Slavery. Next, we will explore comparative histories transatlantic trade, commodity production, and the specific linkages between chattel slavery and the capitalist world system. We will also consider the relationship between capitalism and anti-slavery. This course will draw on economic, political, social, legal, and intellectual histories. This course emphasizes how categories like race and gender, in addition to class, figure into capitalism. The enduring significance of the history of slavery and capitalism also provides students with an opportunity to analyze and debate the linkages between the political economy of slavery and the political economies of: sweatshop labor, mass incarceration, corporate-professional sports, and human trafficking.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course.

Instructor: S. Sweeney
Seminar: Tuesday 10-12
Division: II/III

HIS496H1-S, L0201 Topics in History: Historical Agency and Individualism in the Atlantic World

An in-depth examination of historical issues. Content in any given year depends on instructor.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course.

Instructor: S. Hawkins
Seminar: Wednesday 10-12
Division: I

HIS 496H1-S, L0301 Topics in History: Historical Memory and Human Rights in Latin America

Latin Americans have sought to build consensus around the legacies of dictatorship and civil war.  Truth Commissions have multiplied, from Argentina in 1983, to Guatemala, Chile, and Peru.  In fact no world region has organized more Truth Commissions.  While the eagerness to undertake transitional justice is strong, critical reflection on the politics of memory is also imperative.  In what ways has memory in Latin America been mobilized by various groups to confront serious violations of human rights?  In what ways do individuals, communities and state agents make sense of the past and engage in actions for change?  This course addresses the connections between memory, accountability and social reconstruction.  Students will write research papers on a case study, and present their research in class.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course.

Instructor: L. van Isschot
Lecture: Wednesday 1-3
Division: II

HIS 496H1-S, L0302 Topics in History: Prison: A Global History

This course considers the development of incarceration as the dominant, though not exclusive form of punishment in the modern world. While Europe and North America feature prominently in histories of the penitentiary, this class shifts our attention to imprisonment in the global south during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will explore developments in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, drawing on interdisciplinary approaches to the history of modern punishment. Our investigation will conclude with an examination of mass incarceration in the contemporary United States, but we will situate the U.S. carceral state in a broader global context.

Sample Texts: Carlos Aguirre, The Criminals of Lima and their Worlds: The Prison Experience, 1950-1835 (2005); Paul Amar, The Security Archipelago: Human Security States, Sexuality, Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism (2013); Frank Dikotter, Crime, Punishment and the Prison in Modern China (2002); Diana Paton, No Bond But The Law: Punishment, Race, and Gender in Jamaican State Formation, 1780-1870 (2004); Peter Zinoman, The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940 (2001)

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course. One of the following: HIS245H1; HIS282Y1; HIS292H1; HIS342H1; HIS328H1.

Instructor: M. Mishler
Seminar:  Wednesday 1-3
Division:  I/II/III

HIS 496H1-S, L0501 Topics in History: Race, Gender and Citizenship in Latin America
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS496H1/HIS1725H)

A popular saying in various parts of Latin America is that “Mexicans descended from Aztecs, Peruvians descended from Incas, and Argentines descended from boats,” which posits that some countries construct their identities in relationship to pre-Colombian indigenous histories, and others to processes of immigration. Who gets excluded from the national body in these framings? And how have those marginalized groups sought to create more inclusive conceptions of citizenship and belonging?  To answer these questions - which trace their roots to Latin America’s colonial period, took on contentious implications during the independence era, and remain at the heart of contemporary discourse throughout the region – this course will guide students through an examination of historical documents, scholarly analyses, and various forms of cultural production.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course.

Instructor: T. Walker
Seminar: Thursday 2-4
Division: II

HIS 496H1-S, L0601 Topics in History: The Two Germanies 1949-1990
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course – HIS496H1/HIS1278H)

This seminar for upper-level undergraduates examines Germany’s post World War II history and the place of East and West Germany in the Cold War international system. It will familiarize students with significant themes in the study of postwar Germany:  the creation of capitalist and communist state systems and economies, the question of German guilt after the Holocaust, the building of democracy after Nazism, Germany and Cold War internationalism, the cultural revolt of the 1960s in both countries, the new social movements of the 1970s and 1980s, the East German revolution of 1989 and German reunification and the end of the Cold War.  How were the two postwar states—the Cold War successor states to the Third Reich—founded and how did they develop? What were their similarities; what were their differences? Can we put together a single narrative of German history that integrates elements of both eastern and western states, or do the differences between these two states and societies make such a project impossible?

In analyzing the two Germanies after 1949 an interdisciplinary set of texts will be studied, covering topics from memory and sexuality to politics and geopolitics.

Prerequisite: 14.0 FCEs including 2.0 FCE HIS course. Two courses in modern European history with a grade of B or above.

Instructor: J. Jenkins
Seminar: Monday 10-12
Division: III

HIS 498H1-F/S/HIS499Y1-Y Independent Studies Courses

History Majors only. The Department of History offers senior undergraduate students the possibility of study under the course designations HIS498H1-F/S or HIS499Y1-Y. These courses result in the production of an independent research project. This may not necessarily take the form of a thesis. Students must find topics and project supervisors. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Independent studies are for students who wish to pursue a detailed research project. This usually involves the preparation of a major paper, though it may take other forms, and must be done under the supervision of an eligible History faculty member(Please note that faculty are under no obligation to supervise I.S. projects). Students wishing to enrol in these courses must be enrolled in a History Major program, with a B+ average in no less than 4.0 HIS courses, or obtain special permission of the instructor. Students must attend the senior thesis seminar which is scheduled on Mondays from 10-12 in the Natalie Zemon Davis Conference Room (SS 2098).


  • It is not practical to do an I.S. as a full-credit taken in one term (i.e. HIS499Y1-F or 499Y1-S)
  • Students are allowed only 1.0 I.S. course in History
  • Where research projects can be undertaken within the scope of an existing HIS seminar, students will not normally be allowed to enroll in Independent Studies.

How to enrol:

  • Complete the HIS 498H-499Y Registration Form.pdf (Independent Study with the help of your proposed supervisor. Attach a one-page outline of the project you wish to undertake and a copy of your transcript. Ensure that your supervisor signs the form.
  • Return the documents to the Department by April 1, 2018 for Summer 2018 or by August 15, 2018 for the Fall-Winter 2018-2019 academic year.
  • If approved, your study course will be added to your record on ROSI by the Department of History. If it is not approved, we will notify you and your proposed supervisor as soon as possible by email.

JHP454Y1-Y 20th Century Ukraine
(Joint undergraduate/graduate course - JHP454Y1/JHP1299Y1)

World War I and the Russian Revolution: the Ukrainian independence movement; the Soviet Ukraine and west Ukrainian lands during the interwar period; World War II and the German occupation; the Soviet Ukraine before and after the death of Stalin. Socio-economic, cultural, and political developments. (Given by the Departments of History and Political Science)

Prerequisite: A course in modern European, East European or Russian history or politics such as JHP204Y1/HIS250Y1/HIS351Y1/HIS353Y1

Instructor:  P. Magocsi
Seminar:  W 3-5
Division:  III