HIST1993 | Introduction to Digital History

This course introduces students to the emerging field of digital history. We explore the current and potential impact of digital methodologies on the theory and practice of history. The course trains students in the acquisition, analysis, and visualization of data in a careful, theoretically informed approach that tailors digital tools and methodologies to the unique concerns of the discipline. It covers the central aspects of data processing that ultimately underlie digital research: acquisition and management, analysis, visualization, and presentation. During the semester, students acquire practical technical skills, but more importantly, the course is designed to make them conversant across the spectrum of digital techniques so that they can critically evaluate the potential and limitations of new technologies, integrate them into a sound research program, and fruitfully interact with experts to produce results.

HIST1039 | First Empires: Power and Propaganda in the Ancient World

This course traces the continuum of socio–political and cultural developments in the Near East that led, over the course of three millennia, from stateless societies to the emergence of the Assyrian Empire, the first such entity in history. The class focuses on the long-term history of power centralization and the role of ideology and propaganda in overcoming resistance to this concentration of authority. The course material covers a broad evidentiary and chronological range. We will employ textual, visual, and archaeological sources to explore the evolution of the political and cultural landscape in the Near East and the Mediterranean, from the emergence of the first city–states in the late fourth millennium BCE to the early development of the Roman imperial ideology around the start of the Common Era.

HIST2039 | History from Things

This seminar focuses on the use of material culture as a primary source for constructing historical narratives that access aspects of the past not covered by written words. We will look closely at how materiality theory relates to the methodologies and conceptual categories used by historians to understand the past. Students will also be trained in the specific skills needed for interpreting material sources. Because material history relies on methodologies and theoretical approaches that transcend the fields that define our discipline, the course’s coverage will be broad across both time and space, allowing for participants to explore corpora of materials according to their own interests and expertise.

HIST92r | History Lab

History Lab is a course that offers students a chance to spend a semester collaborating on History faculty research projects. Students receive ordinary course credit and must produce a final product comparable in scope to a major term paper. These products can take myriad forms (eg online exhibition, visualization) depending on the instructor. History Lab is designed as a safe communal space where students can experiment and learn to embrace failure. It offers them the chance to confront the wild diversity of primary materials in their raw state, and learn how to forge the very tools they will use to shape them, free of the burden of getting the answers "right".