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Global Interaction and Exchange

The global interaction and exchange field (GIE) engages topics that transcend nations, regions, and single civilizations.

Global Interaction and Exchange

By disciplinary convention, most of the history department’s graduate fields are defined by region and geography. In 2010 the department introduced the GIE field in order to enhance the graduate program’s curriculum and to foster a collaborative learning environment for graduate students whose research interests span beyond the traditional frameworks of nation and region. A number of our faculty conduct research, publish works and teach courses that investigate processes that cross boundaries and seek to make connections between and across far-flung locales.  

The GIE curriculum is flexible by design. It seeks to accommodate the differences in scope and method appropriate to global, transregional, and/or comparative scholarship while providing the depth of study to demonstrate expertise both within and beyond traditional national/geographic fields. At the same time, the GIE curriculum requires specific seminars that train students in the major works, methodologies, and theories related to transnational, transregional, global, comparative, international, borderlands and transoceanic approaches.

Faculty and graduate students at Maryland are actively engaged in this scholarship with particular expertise in the study of: empire and colonialism, cultural and intellectual flows, gender and sexuality, religion, labor and capitalism, political economy, migration, medicine, disease and public health, race, the African diaspora, Atlantic history, slavery, technology, science and the environment, and the global presence of the United States.

Students in GIE find a vibrant intellectual community not only in the department, but also through programs and seminars supported by the Center for Global Migration Studies, the Latin American Studies Center, the Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies, the Potomac Center for the Study of Modernity, and the Middle East Studies Program. Faculty and graduate students regularly attend the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas, an annual gathering in Mexico dedicated to transnational studies.

Graduate Program

The Global Interaction and Exchange Program (GIE) draws on our faculty’s wide-ranging interests and interconnections to offer a coherent program in transnational, comparative, and international historical work.

M.A. Program

All M.A. students who concentrate in Global Interaction and Exchange (GIE) must do at least 18 credits in that field. 

The GIE concentration can be structured in one of the following three ways:

A. Two national/regional fields (9 credits each). Examples include Middle East and Africa, US and China, Middle East and Europe.

B. One transregional geographic field (18 credits): Examples include Early Modern Atlantic World; Modern Mediterranean Lands.

C. One of the following:

  1. One national/regional field (9 credits) + one transregional thematic field (9 credits). Examples include US and Global Labor, Latin America and global Environmental History; Early Modern Europe and Empire/Colonialism.
  2. One national/regional field (9 credits) + one transregional geographic field (9 credits). Examples include US and Early Modern Atlantic World, Modern Europe and Modern Mediterranean Lands.
  3. One transregional geographic field (9 credits) + one transregional thematic field (9 credits). Examples include Early Modern Atlantic World and Gender and Sexuality, The Americas and Labor.

Students may petition for further flexibility in their programs.

For a list of all GIE national/regional, transregional thematic fields, and transregional geographic fields, see below after the description of the Ph.D. program.

Like all M.A. students, students concentrating in GIE must do 30 credits in history.  As part of those 30 credits, they must take HIST 601 (Historical Theory), a General Seminar (in their case, HIST 608, Global Interaction and Exchange), and either one or two research seminars depending on whether they pursue the thesis or non-thesis option.  The research seminars are part of the 18 credits in their GIE concentration.  Students pursuing the "Degree by Thesis Option" will take one research seminar and 6 credits of MA thesis research (HIST 799), generally over two semesters.  Students pursuing the “Degree by Examination option” will do two research seminars and then take an MA comprehensive examination in their final semester of study.

Ph.D. Program

All Ph.D. students must do 18 credits as part of a “General Field” in Global Interaction and Exchange (GIE).  The general field can be structured in one of the following three ways:

A. Two national/regional fields (9 credits each). Examples include Middle East and Africa, US and China, Middle East and Europe.

B. One transregional geographic field (18 credits): Examples include Early Modern Atlantic World; Modern Mediterranean Lands.

C. One of the following:

  1. One national/regional field (9 credits) + one transregional thematic field (9 credits). Examples include US and Global Labor, Latin America and global Environmental History; Early Modern Europe and Empire/Colonialism.
  2. One national/regional field (9 credits) + one transregional geographic field (9 credits). Examples include US and Early Modern Atlantic World, Modern Europe and Modern Mediterranean Lands.
  3. One transregional geographic field (9 credits) + one transregional thematic field (9 credits). Examples include Early Modern Atlantic World and Gender and Sexuality, The Americas and Labor.

Students may petition in writing for further flexibility in their programs.

Like all Ph.D. students in history, GIE students must take HIST 601 (Historical Theory), a General Seminar (in their case, HIST 608, Global Interaction and Exchange), and two research seminars.  Because of the nature of the program, GIE students do not have to do a “minor field.”

GIE national/regional fields

  • Africa
  • Ancient Mediterranean
  • Britain
  • Modern East Asia
  • Europe Medieval
  • Europe Early Modern (1400-1700)
  • Europe Modern (1700-2000)
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia and Eurasia
  • United States
  • GIE transregional thematic fields:
  • Cultural history
  • Diaspora/Migration/Immigration
  • Economic history
  • Empire/Colonialism
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Global Environmental History
  • Intellectual history
  • Labor history
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Science, Technology, and the Environment
  • GIE transregional geographic fields
  • Early Modern Atlantic World
  • Modern Atlantic World
  • Early Modern Americas
  • Modern Americas
  • Early Modern Mediterranean Lands
  • Modern Mediterranean Lands
  • Indian Ocean World

Graduate Courses

  • HIST 608: GIE General Seminar
  • HIST 639X: American Borderlands Readings Seminar (Rodríguez)
  • HIST 639I: Race in the Americas (Rosemblatt)
  • HIST 619J: Readings in U.S. in the World (Woods)
  • HIST 619T: Readings in Global Environmental History (Zeller)
  • HIST 619: Global Labor History (Greene)
  • HIST 619K: Sexualities in the Atlantic World and Beyond (Lyons)
  • HIST 619W Africa and the Black Atlantic (Landau) (split grad/undergrad)
  • HIST 619L Cultural Relations between the United States and Western Europe, 1930s-1989 (Giovacchini)
  • HIST639J: Global Capitalism (Sicilia)
  • HIST 720: Readings in the History of the Catholic Church (Kosicki)
  • HIST 829A: Rethinking Freedom and Modernity: The Haitian Revolution (Sartorius)

Language Requirement

One language, in addition to English, appropriate to the student’s field of study.  Additional language requirements will be determined by the faculty advisor in accordance with the research field.

Comprehensive Exams: Like all Ph.D. students, students in GIE have to take both written and oral comprehensive exams.  The structure of the comprehensive exams will vary somewhat depending on how students structure their general fields. 

Students who chose one transregional geographic field (choice B above), will take a four hour written exam in that transregional field, and a three hour written exam on a special field within that transregional field (for example: early modern Atlantic world and gender and sexuality in the early modern Atlantic world).  They will also do an oral exam in those fields.  A committee of three faculty members will examine them on the written and oral exam. 

Students who chose two national/regional fields (choice A above),  will do a four hour written exam in one of the fields, and a three hour written exam in the other, and an oral exam in both.  A committee of four faculty members (two from each field) will determine the questions in their part of the exams. All four will read the written exams and participate in the orals.

Students who choose a combination of national/regional and transregional geographic or thematic fields, will do a four hour written exam in one of their fields and a three hour exam in the other, and an oral exam in both.  A committee of four people (two from each field) will determine the questions in their part of the exams.  All four will read the written exams and participate in the orals.

Dissertation

The dissertation must be a transnational, transregional, or comparative scholarly work.

Resources

Student and faculty working in the Global Interaction and Exchange Program at the University of Maryland have a vast array of archives, collections, and other resources easily accessible to them, both on campus and nearby. The University of Maryland possesses one of the best collections in the United States related to labor and working-class history, including the voluminous George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive. Also housed on campus is the remarkable Gordon Prange Collection of Japanese printed works from the post-World War II years, and excellent holdings in Women’s Studies, Mass Media and Culture, and other areas.

Meanwhile, the largest and most important archive in the United States, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA II) is just one mile from campus. As part of the Big Ten Conference, we participate in a library program that vastly increases our resources, allowing students to easily obtain books from the libraries of the other universities. In nearby Washington D.C., students have access to the collections of the Library of Congress, with over 23 million books; the Smithsonian Institution; the Folger Library; two major archives of religious material at the American Catholic History Research Center and the Georgetown University Archives; and National Archives and Record Administration I which holds extensive military and genealogical records. Many of the big federal agencies such as Commerce, Labor, and Treasury have research libraries which can support specific research projects. In addition, the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda is an extraordinary resource. The Baltimore Museum of Industry includes archival holdings, and the Hagley Museum and Library near Wilmington, Delaware, which its Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, is one of the nation’s leading research facilities in those fields.