Theory and Methodology

HIST 900: Introduction to Historical Study introduces incoming graduate students to the culture, expectations, and practices of professional historians.  It exposes students to some of the most significant historical theories, approaches, and methodologies in the field.  This class is offered every fall and required of each student during their first year in the program.

Content Areas

We offer classes in three separate content areas:

1) Core Historiography Seminars

These core seminars introduce students to major historiographical interpretations and debates in each of these broad fields.  They emphasize critical reading, analysis, and discussion of significant books and articles of broad geographical and chronological scope.  Students will gain familiarity with writing book reviews and historiographical papers.  These classes will also lay the foundation for comprehensive exams by providing extensive recommended reading lists.

For students who plan to pursue an academic position at a college or university, these seminars provide a foundation for teaching in the broad fields of U.S. History, European History, or World History.

Europe
  • HIST 931: Readings and Problems in Pre-Modern European History
  • HIST 933: Readings and Problems in Modern European History
United States
  • HIST 941: Readings and Problems in American History Before 1877
  • HIST 943: Readings and Problems in American History since 1877
World
  • HIST 961: Readings and Problems in World History
  • HIST 963: Readings and Problems in Non-Western History (rotates between faculty specializing in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East)
2) Comparative Classes

Our comparative classes offer students the opportunity to explore particular topics or approaches to history across multiple time frames and geographical areas.  Approach-oriented courses include Transnational History, Intellectual History, Legal History, and Cultural History.  More thematic-oriented courses include Revolutions, Slavery, Urban History, Global Environmental History, and the History of Science.

  • HIST/WMNS 951: Comparative History of Women and Gender
  • HIST 953: Comparative Topics and Approaches in History (rotates among various faculty with different areas of interest and expertise)
  • HIST 983: Readings and Problems in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in History (Ph.D. students in the Race, Ethnicity, and Identity focus field may not take 983 to fulfill their comparative requirement)
3) Focus Field Classes

Focus field classes enable students to develop expertise in particular content areas related to their planned dissertation research.  Currently the University of Nebraska-Lincoln History Program offers focus fields in North American West; Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; 19th Century U.S.; 20th Century International; Germany and Central Europe; and Early Modern Europe/Atlantic World.

900-level focus field classes are:

  • HIST/ENGL/MODL 918: Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Studies
  • HIST/ENGL/MODL 919: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Nineteenth Century
  • HIST 983: Readings and Problems in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in History
  • HIST/GERM 985: Readings and Problems in German and Central European History
  • HIST/POLS 987: Readings and Problems in 20th-Century International History
  • HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 988: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Middle Ages
  • HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 989: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Renaissance
  • HIST/GPSP 991: Readings and Problems in the History of the North American West

Skills Based Classes

These classes offer students training in particular skills that historians will use in a variety of professional positions in the 21st century, including primary-source research, writing, digital history, teaching history, editing and publishing, and working in museums and archives.

HIST 950: Graduate Seminar in Reading and Writing History

This broad-based research and writing seminar is suitable for any Ph.D. student in any field.  Students will consult with their advisers regarding topics and sources.  The class will provide a guided research and writing experience, culminating in a substantial research paper or digital project based on primary sources and modeled on articles published in professional historical journals or digital projects of a similar scope.  Students will take two of these courses in the first two years of the Ph.D. program.

HIST 990: Seminar in Special Problems of Teaching History

This course introduces students to the theoretical literature on teaching and learning, familiarizes them with a variety of approaches to classroom instruction, and provides opportunities to work on course design and effective discussion and lecture techniques.  This course is required of all doctoral students.

Digital History

Our department is a leading innovator in the new methodology of digital history. Students should take at least one class from the following options:

  • HIST 870: Digital History.  Students engage the theory, methods, and readings in humanities computing and digital history.
  • HIST/MODL 895/ENGL 895E: Internship in Digital Humanities.  Students actively participate in an ongoing digital humanities project in the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
  • HIST 946: Interdisciplinary Readings in Digital Humanities.  Students examine methods, theories, and practices of digital humanities scholarship
  • HIST 970: Seminar in Digital History.  Students develop digital projects based on their research interests.
Other skills based classes

In cases where students wish to develop alternative skills, a student may substitute one class from below for the digital history class.

  • HIST 993: Press Internship.  Students work with the History Acquisitions editor at the University of Nebraska Press.
  • HIST 995: History Practicum.  Students work at a museum, historical society, or archive with the supervision of a History faculty member.

800-level graduate classes

The department also offers a number of 800-level graduate classes.  Normally these classes are offered as advanced undergraduate seminars with a graduate component.  These classes may be useful in helping students to fill in gaps in their knowledge in their fields of interest and in preparing for Ph.D. comprehensive exams.  For a list of these classes, see the Graduate Catalog.

Typical Rotation of Graduate Classes

Every Fall Semester
  • HIST 900: Introduction to Historical Study
  • HIST 931: Readings and Problems in Pre-Modern European History or HIST 933: Readings and Problems in Recent European History [931 on odd-numbered years; 933 on even-numbered years]
  • HIST 941: Readings and Problems in American History Before 1877
  • HIST 950: Graduate Seminar in Reading and Writing History
  • HIST 970: Seminar in Digital History
  • Focus Field Course(s): HIST/ENGL/MODL 918: Interdisciplinary Seminar in 19th-Century Studies; HIST/ENGL/MODL 919: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the 19th Century; HIST 983: Readings and Problems in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; HIST 985: Readings and Problems in German and Central European History; HIST/POLS 987: Readings and Problems in 20th-Century International History; HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 988: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Middle Ages; HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 989: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Renaissance; HIST/GPSP 991: Readings and Problems in the History of the North American West
Every Spring Semester
  • HIST 943: Readings and Problems in American History since 1877
  • HIST 950: Graduate Seminar in Reading and Writing History
  • HIST/WMNS 951: Comparative History of Women and Gender or HIST 953: Comparative Topics and Approaches in History
  • HIST 961: Readings and Problems in World History or HIST 963: Readings and Problems in Non-Western History [961 on odd-numbered years; 963 on even-numbered years]
  • HIST 990: Seminar: Special Problems of Teaching History [even-numbered years]
  • Focus Field Course(s): HIST/ENGL/MODL 918: Interdisciplinary Seminar in 19th-Century Studies; HIST/ENGL/MODL 919: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the 19th Century; HIST 983: Readings and Problems in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Identity; HIST 985: Readings and Problems in German and Central European History; HIST/POLS 987: Readings and Problems in 20th-Century International History; HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 988: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Middle Ages; HIST/AHIS/ENGL/MODL/MUSC 989: Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Study of the Renaissance; HIST/GPSP 991: Readings and Problems in the History of the North American West