The preparation for the general exam in the history of the Russian Empire runs across two semesters. We meet every other week and cover 12 major topic areas. Students are expected to familiarize themselves with a set of influential narratives as well (affectionately tagged "bird's eye views" in the Zotero library), and to prepare a topic that suits their own interests.
The history of maps and mapping from the age of Enlightenment to the era of GIS and GeoJSON. We will examine the way states and individuals have used maps to create ideas, shape policies, and generate political and cultural capital. We will also study the production of maps – both print-based and digital – by historians themselves. What new insights about the past can we gain by mapping it? How are innovations in cartographic technology changing the way historians think and write? In today’s interactive digital environments, where does the map end and history begin?
This course is a year-long bi-weekly interdisciplinary seminar on the production, representation, and significance of cultural space. Eurasia, a region encompassing Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, provides fertile ground for our exploration of the ways in which mapping (and related forms of spatial analysis) can produce new insights into the relationships among and between cultural sites, systems, and practices. Special attention will be paid to urban space and the physical – mappable – infrastructures that shape cultural life.
What does it mean to practice history in the digital age? How is the ‘digital turn’ shaping the way we conceptualize the past, design and conduct historical research, and communicate our findings to audiences old and new?
This seminar will explore the expanding landscape of digital history from the perspectives of both theory and practice. We will examine major debates in the field and seek answers to some of the many provocative questions posed in the emerging literature. Digital history seems well-equipped to provide new forms of access to sources, for example, but how does the...