Teaching

Verona law professor

(A law professor and his students in thirteenth-century Verona, Italy.)

At Buffalo, I teach the full range of courses:  introductory courses on world civilizations and western civilization; undergraduate lecture courses on France, early modern Europe, and European intellectual history; and both undergraduate and graduate seminars.

For an idea of how I approach these topics, here are some syllabi:  World CivilizationsWestern CivEuropean Intellectual HistoryEuropean Intellectual History, seminar version, and War.

In the spring semester 2016, I’ll be teaching an undergraduate seminar on “War and Society in Modern Europe,” bringing together recent experiences of warfare, theories about how wars unfold and about how they ought to unfold, and explanations for military conflict.  Anyone interest in learning more is welcome to contact me directly.

Like every other teacher, I juggle multiple objectives in these courses:  conveying the basic facts, providing coherent narratives to make sense of those facts, teaching skills of reading and analysis.  But more and more, I see my job as partly about encouraging students in ways of thinking that can help them to make sense of the present.  No other academic discipline takes so seriously the complexities of human reality.  That commitment matters nowadays, when so many real-life decisions are being made on the basis of simple-minded economic modeling!

For two of my papers addressing the issues of history teaching in the twenty-first century, see The early modern past in provincial America and On teaching history.

Buffalo has a small but high-intensity and high-quality graduate program, and early modern Europe is one of our particular strengths.  Some syllabi from my recent graduate teaching: Early modern Europe, 2012European cultural history, 2007, and France, 2013.

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