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COURSES

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions: 500-700 Level

500-level courses are for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Prerequisite for ALL 500-level courses: either the completion of six semester hours of 300-level History courses or the permission of the instructor.

SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE! Always check the University online schedule for the latest changes.


HIS 508 - Latin American History Selected Topics: "In Search of Paradise: Utopianism in Latin America, 1492-1849"

10720 R 3:30-6:20
Peter Villella

This course explores a variety of ways that people of diverse backgrounds attempted to imagine and establish "perfect" societies in Spanish and Portuguese America after 1492: communities organized around abstract ideals of, for example, equality, virtue, and fraternity rather than tradition, domination, or profit. Coursework will include a broad mix of primary and secondary sources, and address how and why the so-called "New World" inspired utopian thinking, not only among European colonizers eager for a new beginning, but also among America's native peoples and the descendants of Africans. How did different thinkers and groups envision the perfect society? Was utopia something in the past to be recaptured and restored, or a future society to build from scratch? Most importantly, how can we know early modern peoples through their dreams of better worlds?


HIS 511A - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "The Making of Modern America, From the Gilded Age to the New Deal"

10721 R 3:30-6:20
Susan Thomas

Writing and Speaking Intensive. Prerequisite of one 300-level Research Intensive (RI) history course or HIS 391.

This course focuses on the tremendous social, political, and economic changes that occurred during the fifty plus years on either side of 1900 in America, decades marked by dizzying heights and devastating lows. The period begins at a time when businesses operated with little regulation, workers toiled with no protections, and governments at all levels chose to support the powerful against the masses of laboring men and women. The Gilded Age gave rise to the Progressive Era and its constellation of reform initiatives. World War I interrupted the momentum of the Progressive Era and led into the Roaring Twenties, with its high hopes and wild lifestyles. The Great Depression abruptly shut the door on that optimism, forcing millions to face the sobering realities of deprivation and unprecedented unemployment. With the federal government ill prepared to respond to the needs of the people, many Americans sought alternatives to industrial capitalism in Socialism and Communism. In this milieu, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal promised hope through relief and reform as he held the nation together until WWII. Readings for this course will trace the arc of these changes and assess their historical significance as well as their relevance to today's America.


HIS 511C - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "Peripheries of Empire: Ireland and India"

10722 R 3:30-6:20
Jill Bender 

Writing and Speaking Intensive. Prerequisite of one 300-level Research Intensive (RI) history course or HIS 391.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Ireland and India were two of the most important colonies in the British Empire. Furthermore, individuals in both colonies frequently interacted and cooperated with each other. In this course, we will examine the similar methods of colonial rule and means of colonial resistance adopted by individuals in both India and Ireland. Topics examined during the semester will include famine, nationalism, and decolonization. Most importantly, students will conceptualize, research, and write papers on a topic of their own choosing.


HIS 524 - 20th Century U.S. History Selected Topics: "Fifties America: Affluence, Conformity, and Paranoia"

12762 T 3:30-6:20
Susan Thomas

Postwar America was powerful and prosperous. As one of the world's two superpowers, and the only one to have successfully deployed an atomic weapon, America was poised to shape the future. For a large segment of the population, life was good. The GI Bill and VA Loans made education and housing affordable for many, the emerging military industrial complex provided jobs for the masses, automobile production and highway development expanded rapidly, and consumerism rose to meet the challenges of the baby boom. At the same time, Americans faced the daily reality of the emergent Cold War with its attendant fears and pressures. This course will examine this pivotal decade from a social, political, and economic perspective to determine how these events and experiences framed the remaining half of the American Century.


HIS 542 - Middle Ages Selected Topics: "Borders and Frontiers in the Classical and Medieval Mediterranean World"

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16467 W 3:30-6:20
Asa Eger

The world today is a sharply divided and sharply contested landscape of borders and frontiers, delimiting not only nations and political space but ethnicities and religions, languages and cultures. However, current events have equally shown us that these borders and frontiers can often impose arbitrary division where none has existed before or contribute to the creation of new identities and societies. We will analyze the concept of the frontier and frontier societies and how frontier theory contributes to new understandings of history. Geographically, we will focus on the tumultuous world of shifting states and empires in classical and medieval Mediterranean and Europe from the Roman Empire to the Ottoman Empire. Since the idea of frontiers is interdisciplinary we will incorporate historical, archaeological, ethnohistorical, environmental, and anthropological research. Contrary to the assumption that the central place typifies culture, it is perhaps the frontier which visibly manifests interconnectedness of societies and the process of social change.


HIS 546 - American Cultural History Selected Topics: "Social Landscapes of Food in History"

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16012 M 6:30-9:20
Lisa Tolbert

This course explores the history of food production, procurement, and consumption through changes in spatial practices from the early modern era through the late twentieth century. It situates American history in the context of world history. We will focus on historical moments of invention when new practices of food production and consumption generated changes in the built environment.

We will analyze these varied public and private spaces by considering how they shaped and were shaped by gender roles, technologies of production and consumption, food and identity, food and power. We will use a variety of historical sources and methodologies, including memoirs, cookbooks, oral history, gender studies, material culture, anthropology, and geography. To focus our discussions in this seminar - and sharpen your analytical skills - there will be quite a lot of writing. There will also be a research assignment that will allow you to explore in greater depth an area of food history that interests you.


HIS 548 - Architectural Conservation

10723 R 2:00-4:50
Jo Leimenstoll

Overview of contemporary architectural conservation principles, practice and technology. A series of field exercises, group projects and investigation of an individual research topic expand upon lectures and readings. Same as IAR 548. Prerequisite: IAR 301, IAR 332, admission to a graduate program in history or interior architecture, or written permission of instructor.


HIS 567 - French History Selected Topics: "The Enlightenment and the French Revolution"

10724 MW 2:00-3:15
Paul Mazgaj

This course will focus, first, on that major eighteenth-century shift in intellectual and cultural perspectives known as the French Enlightenment. After an attempt to define the Enlightenment against the backdrop of traditionalist assumptions, we will consider various interpretations of the Enlightenment. Next, we will take on the French Revolution. Our first concern will be reconstructing a narrative account of the Revolution, from its liberal origins, through the radicalism and violence of its middle years, to its European expansion during the Napoleonic years. Finally, we will examine the great debates over the meaning of the Revolution that have engaged several generations of historians.


Prerequisite for all 600- 700 level History courses: Admission to a graduate program in history or interior architecture, or written permission of instructor.


HIS 625 - Preservation Planning and Law

16013 M 4:00-6:50
Autumn Michael

Examination and analysis of the relationship of government programs and policies, community and regional planning strategies, and legal case precedents to the field of historic preservation. (Same as IAR 625.)


HIS 626 - The Practice of Public History

10741 R 3:30-6:20
Anne Parsons

This course introduces students to the various ways people work and thrive within public history institutions. The course revolves around the theories and practices involved in building relationships with colleagues, audiences, and community partners. Students learn how to write a mission statement, create a marketing plan, and draft a budget. At the same time, the class engages with the broader issues that underpin these decisions, such as institutional purpose, infrastructural dynamics and funding sources. The course culminates in a collaborative class project to conceive of and plan for a public history project to go up in Fall 2014. (Same as IAR 626.)


HIS 631 - Digital History

16014 T 6:30-9:20
Anne Parsons

Digital technologies infuse a vast array of historical practices, including virtual exhibits, online collections, and audio/visual components in museum spaces. This seminar introduces students to a number of digital tools for use in public history work. At the same time, it engages with major issues that arise from multimedia practices and builds students' critical analysis of the use of these methods. The class will complete a series of discrete assignments using various digital programs and one larger digital project using the WordPress platform.


See the M.A. FAQ for more information about the following:

HIS 690 - Internship

HIS 692 - Advanced Topics

HIS 697 - Independent Study

HIS 699 - Thesis

Written permission is required to register for these courses.


HIS 702 - Colloquium in American History

10746 702-01 Charles Bolton M 3:30-6:20
10747 702-02 Mark Elliott M 6:30-9:20

Issues of historical interpretation from Reconstruction to the present.


HIS 704 - Seminar in American History

Individual Graduate Faculty

Research and writing on selected topics in American history.


HIS 706 - Colloquium in European History since 1789

10749 M 3:30-6:20
Emily Levine

Interpretations of selected historical problems from the French Revolution to the present.


HIS 708 - Seminar in European History

Individual Graduate Faculty

Research and writing on selected topics in European history.


HIS 709 - Introductory Research Seminar

10751 709-01 W 6:30-9:20 
Watson Jennison

Will focus on methods, sources, and writing; research paper based on primary and contextualized in secondary sources.


HIS 716 - Graduate Colloquium in World History

16015 T 3:30-6:20
Jill Bender, Asa Eger, Greg O'Brien, Linda Rupert

Introduction to World history, the historiography of World studies, and comparative, cross-cultural approaches to historical research.


HIS 722 - Early America Selected Topics: "The American Revolutionary Era"

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16016 R 3:30-6:20
Greg O'Brien

This graduate seminar will explore a variety of issues arising from the era of the American Revolution, ca. 1750-1800, including the causes of the conflict, economics and consumerism, ideology (including the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening), social turmoil, the fighting of the war, the role of farmers, women, American Indians, free African Americans, slaves, and the immediate impact of the Revolution. We will explore fundamental questions about the conservative or radical nature of the Revolution, the creation of an "American" identity, and the historical memory of the era, among other issues. Students will complete weekly readings as well as a final historiographical or research paper. Grading will be based on discussion participation, book reviews, and the final paper.


HIS 723 - 19th Century U. S. History Selected Topics: "Human Rights at Home and Abroad"

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10753 W 3:30-6:20
Mark Elliott

This is a readings course that examines the emerging historical literature on "human rights" and explores the emergence of this concept in both an American and an international context during the long 19th century. The United States, as a nation, was born during an age of international revolution in which radicals asserted universal rights and liberties "for all mankind." At the same time, a "humanitarian" sensibility that sought to lessen human suffering in the world began to emerge in Euro-American institutions and social thought. This course will trace the development and influence of both secular and religious concepts of "humanity" and "human rights" from the Revolutionary Era through the First World War. Prior to the Civil War, the debates about universal human rights were connected primarily to the movement to abolish slavery in the British Empire and the United States, and to a lesser extent to the rights of American Indians and women's rights. After the abolition of slavery, organizations and individuals devoted to "humane" causes and adopting a proto-"human rights" agenda began to proliferate across a broad spectrum of reform movements and peace societies. For many reformers, American nationalism became infused with a vision of the nation as a vehicle for promoting democracy, peace, and human rights throughout the globe. The course will examine both the proponents and the critics of this brand of American nationalism from the Civil War through the 1920s, and conclude by assessing the legacies of this vision in our own time.

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