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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Vicente L. Rafael
HIST 494
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in Historiography

Advanced seminar examining central issues in historiography. Emphasizes reading, discussion, and writing.

Class description

The theme for this year's seminar is the United States empire in comparative perspective. We will read recent works that situate US history in relation to imperial and postcolonial histories--for example, those of Spain, Britain and an emergent "Third World"--around such topics as the ideology of "exceptionalism", slavery and abolition, nationalism and colonialism, and race and immigration. Readings will include the following required books: J.H. Elliott, Empires of the Atlantic World (2006) F. Anderson & A. Cayton, The Dominion of War (2005) P. Kramer, The Blood of Government (2006) T. Borstelmann, The Cold War and The Color Line (2001)

Student learning goals

Students are expected to learn how to think critically about the history of the US in relation to the rest of the world.

General method of instruction

This class will consist of a combination of discussions based on intensive readings on selected topics.

Recommended preparation

Primarily for history majors, but non-majors will be considered if space is available. Some background in US history, comparative colonialism, Southeast Asian/European/Latin American history helpful but not essential. Some background in writing research papers is also helpful.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments include taking responsibility for discussing one or two of the assigned weekly readings, and a seminar paper on a topic to be approved by the professor.

Participation in class discussion, attendance in lectures, quality of final research paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Vicente L. Rafael
Date: 01/18/2013