Rights & Identity
Description: Classes in this track explore how individuals and collectives have defined themselves at different times and places around the world. Students will examine how such matters as social order, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, national origins, and other factors have shaped personal identity and group consciousness. In addition, classes in this track will explore how custom, rights, citizenship, and belonging have been negotiated and contested by various states and non-state actors around the world.
- HIST 5340: Recent African-American History
- HIST 5372: Early National America
- HIST 5376: Contemporary America, 1933-Present
- HIST 5378: American Cultural & Religious History
- HIST 5380: American Historiography
- HIST 5382: Topics in the History of Women
- HIST 5386: African American Civil Rights
- HIST 5390: China in Revolution (petitioned to move to War & Violence next year)
- HIST 5353 Legacies of the Reformations
- HIST 5362: Seminar in American Environmental History
- HIST 5371: Revolutionary America
- HIST 5374: Seminar in the History of American South
- HIST 5375: Recent America, 1876-1933
- HIST 5394: Early Modern Europe
- HIST 5395: Later Modern Europe
The following animating questions are provided to 1) give an overview of general ideas that animate the field, and 2) demonstrate examples of the type of questions students may wish to address in their portfolio’s synthetic essay.
- Are rights universal, or are they specific and particular to the time, place, and group who claims them?
- How do national origin/race/ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and sexuality (among other identities), shape an individual’s perspective on their identity, role in society, and rights? How do the era and social order in which one lived affect these?
- What is the state? How is the state constructed and given meaning? And what are the limits of using “the state” as a category of analysis?
- To what degree has exclusion of others been used in the creation of political entities, such as the Greek or Swahili city-states or modern nation-states?
- How have marginalized people transformed the nation-state, its institutions, and values?
- How have movements for justice, rights, and equality both shaped and been shaped by their surrounding culture? How have these movements shaped and been shaped by external factors (international social and political trends, for example)?
- How have organized groups developed a concept of cultural nationalism, and how has that changed over time?
- How have states engineered society and the environment to control and maintain power over marginalized communities?
- In the past, how have historians periodized different fields (such as women’s history and African American history), and how and why have historians changed this periodization over time?
- What is the difference between women’s history and the history of gender? Between African American history and the history of race? Between LGBTQ history and the history of sexuality? What is the difference between rights and liberation?
This is a non-comprehensive bibliography provided so that students can gain a sense of the type of work that represents this field.
- Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2010.
- Banner, Stuart. Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.
- Beckert, Sven. Empire of Cotton: A Global History. New York: Knopf, 2015.
- Brown, Kathleen. Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
- Brubaker, Rogers. Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany.
- Canaday, Margot. The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.
- Chappell, David. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
- Chin, Rita. The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
- Conklin, Alice. A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895-1930. Stanford: Stanford University Press
- Cowie, Jefferson. The Great Exception: The New Deal & The Limits of American Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.
- Davis, Natalie Zemon. The Return of Martin Guerre. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983.
- Dudziak, Mary L. Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000.
- Dubois, Laurent. A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006.
- Eacott, Jonathan. Selling Empire: India in the Making of Britain and America, 1600–1830. Chapel Hill: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and University of North Carolina Press, 2016.
- Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.
- Gómez, Laura E. Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race. New York University Press, 2007.
- Gordon-Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008.
- Heywood, Linda M. Njinga of Angola: Africa’s Warrior Queen. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017.
- Holton, Woody. Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
- Hooker, Juliet. Theorizing Race in the Americas: Douglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Hunt, Lynn. Inventing Human Rights: A History. New York: WW Norton, 2007.
- Ibhawoh, Bonny. Imperialism and Human Rights: Colonial Discourses of Rights and Liberties in African History. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007.
- Immerwahr, Daniel. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019.
- Isaacman, Allen F. and Barbara S. Isaacman. Dams, Displacement, and Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2013.
- Jones, Martha S. Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. New York: Basic Books, 2020.
- Jones-Rodgers, Stephanie E. They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019.
- Joseph, Peniel. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (Griffin, 2007).
- Klarman, Michael, J. The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.
- Lee, Erika. America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States. New York: Basic Books, 2019.
- Lopez, Ian Haney. White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race. New York: New York University Press, 1996.
- Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.
- Mamdani, Mahmood. Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2020.
- Marino, Katherine M. Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.
- McGuire, Danielle L. At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance. New York: Knopf, 2010.
- Moyn, Samuel. The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012.
- Nasiali, Minayo. Native to the Republic: Empire, Social Citizenship, and Everyday Life in Marseilles since 1945. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016.
- Nightingale, Carl H. Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
- Perry, Kennetta Hammond. London Is The Place for Me: Black Britons, Citizenship, and the Politics of Race. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
- Ranger, Terence. “The Invention of Tradition in Colonial Africa.” In Hobsbawm, E., and Terence Ranger eds. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- Roth, Benita. Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America’s Second Wave. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
- Rugemer, Edward. Slave Law and the Politics of Resistance in the Early Atlantic World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2018.
- Scott, James. Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
- Scott, Joan. Politics of the Veil. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
- Sheldon, Kathleen. African Women: Early History to the 21st Century. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017.
- Spruill, Marjorie. Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics. NY: Bloomsbury, 2017.
- Sullivan, Patricia. Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: The Free Press, 2008.
- Thomas, Hugh. The Slave Trade: History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870. New Edition. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015.
- Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. New York: Vintage Books, 1991.
- Vansina, Jan. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
- Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. New York: Random House, 2010.
- White, Deborah Gray. Ain’t I a Woman?: Female Slaves in the Plantation South. Revised Edition with a New Introduction. 1984; New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.
- White, Richard. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991.