Established in 2001, the graduate program in Nineteenth-Century Studies developed from an effort by UNL faculty in eight humanities disciplines to create a curriculum building on longstanding strengths in the study of this fascinating and tumultuous period. Students trained in the program (either at the MA or PhD level) will emerge with a strong foundation in interdisciplinary inquiry that will enhance their teaching and research.

The NCS curriculum is built around two core courses, both of which are open to all UNL graduate students, regardless of departmental affiliation.

919: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Nineteenth Century, is a team-taught class offered each fall that grounds students in the interdisciplinary study of the “long” nineteenth century (roughly 1789-1914) in Britain, North America, and continental Europe.

918: Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Studies, probes a discrete theme in depth and is offered in the spring by a single faculty member. Recent versions of the course have focused on violence, manners and class, and the Victorian family.

To earn a specialization (available only to students in the three core departments: English, history, and modern languages), candidates must take 919 and 918 (though not necessarily in the same academic year) and three (for the MA) or six (for the PhD) additional hours of NCS-oriented coursework (which may include classes from the departments of music, art history, and theater). Moreover, the student's capstone project (thesis or dissertation) must have a nineteenth-century focus, subject to approval by the NCS steering committee.


Kenneth J. Winkle
Program Coordinator
Department of History
615 Oldfather Hall
(402) 472-5744

Digital Scholarship Projects

Walt Whitman
Willa Cather

Digital Curriculum Projects

love and seduction
icons of liberty

Program Requirements

919, Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Nineteenth Century:
Relevant background to interdisciplinary study of the nineteenth century in Europe and North America.

918, Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nineteenth-Century Studies:
Focuses on a key theme or issue from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Doctoral Level
12 hours of Nineteenth-Century Studies courses and a doctoral dissertation relating to Nineteenth-Century Studies, which the steering committee must approve.

Masters Level
9 hours of Nineteenth-Century Studies courses and a thesis or capstone master's project relating to Nineteenth-Century Studies.

The program will accept relevant coursework from music, art history, and theater.

To earn the Nineteenth-Century Studies specialization, you must be formally admitted to one of the participating programs.


We sponsor:

  • A monthly faculty and student reading group
  • A biennial May faculty seminar for intensive study of interdisciplinary topics
  • Visiting speakers


On Monday, Nov. 4, Professor Andrew Graybill, Director of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, will present a public lecture, "The Red and the White:  A Family Saga of the American West."  An award-winning western historian, Professor Graybill will discuss interracial Native-white relationships as crucial to the social, cultural, economic, and political development of the trans-Mississippi West.  His research centers on the marriage of Montana fur trader Malcolm Clarke and his Piegan Blackfeet wife, Coth-co-co-na, in mid-19th century Montana and traces the family's history through the first half of the 20th century as a lens to view the region's inter-racial society and culture.  His lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Auditorium.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Professor Angela Miller, a noted art historian at Washington University in St. Louis, will deliver a public lecture, "The Transnational Turn in American Art."  An award-winning authority in landscape painting, regionalism, Whitman and Melville, and the reception of European art in the U.S., she will discuss her recent work as a scholar-in-residence in Berlin, Paris, and Washington, DC, on "the global turn" in American art history.  Her lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Sheldon Museum Auditorium.

“Conversations across disciplines happen naturally in the NCS program. Through coursework, reading group meetings, and colloquia, it was easy for me to meet and learn about the research interests of faculty and fellow students outside of my department. As a result, I began asking more challenging questions of my work and pursing a more transnational focus. NCS doesn't just give lip service to interdisciplinary research; it is a space where it is fostered and supported.”

Kim Banion, PhD candidate, English