Fall 2007 Course Descriptions
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE! Always check the University online schedule for the latest changes.
HIS 502 - African American History: �Before Civil Rights�
We typically imagine the 1950s and 1960s, the era of the Civil Rights Movement, as the time in which blacks finally stood up and fought for their rights. This class starts this story of American history earlier by examining the black experience in America between 1900 and 1950. During this era, blacks did not sit idly by while whites invented the system of racial oppression known as Jim Crow segregation. Blacks moved from the countryside to the city, from the South to the North and West, and from the fields to the factory. These movements were all part of the larger struggle for black equality that occurred in the first half of the twentieth century, before the advent of the Civil Rights Movement. Among the topics we will explore are the Great Migration, black participation in WWI and WWII, the emergence of the New Negro, and the Harlem Renaissance. Examining the movements before the Civil Rights Movement uncovers black protest in social, political, economic, and cultural realms, which challenge our narrow focus on civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s.
HIS 511A - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: �Modernizing America: Mass Consumer Culture in the Roaring Twenties�
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Pr. one 300-level research intensive history course.
What do you think you know about the �Roaring Twenties�? This seminar will take as its subject the primary source materials in the Library of Congress digital collection, Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929. As the introduction to this collection explains, the 1920s was a decade marked by unprecedented prosperity between the brief depression following World War I and the decade-long Great Depression of the 1930s. Although the gap between rich and poor widened, working people at many income levels experienced a rise in their standard of living. �By the end of the 1920s, nearly half of the American population owned automobiles, radios, and durable consumer goods such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines. Chain stores and mail-order houses proliferated. New product offerings made their debut on the market each year, prompting companies to launch advertising and public-relations campaigns in an effort to stimulate consumption. Widespread electrification helped reduce the manufacturing costs of existing products. Consumer credit enabled many people to make purchases even before they had accumulated enough money to do so.� [http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/coolhtml/coolhome.html]
Students will design research projects focusing on an aspect of consumer culture in the 1920s and produce a 15-20 page research paper. We will develop the project in stages with a variety of writing and research assignments that work toward the production of the final paper. Research exercises and workshops will focus on strategies for using different kinds of primary sources as evidence for studying mass consumer culture, including advertisements, newspapers, films, landscapes, and popular magazines.
HIS 511B - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "'Goodbye to All That': Britons and the Great War, 1914-1918"
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Pr. one 300-level research intensive history course.
In this course, students will examine how individual British men and women experienced the turbulent period between 1914 and 1918, focusing on the ways in which the social, cultural, political, and gender boundaries established during the nineteenth century were radically re-shaped by the events of those years. The course format will consist of a few weeks of group discussions of assigned readings selected from the work of historians (e.g. George Dangerfield, Mark Harrison), along with a variety of primary source documents (e.g. Vera Brittain�s Testament of Youth). Students will then begin meeting individually with the instructor on a weekly basis to assist their progress in producing the required 20 page research paper. Because the course's focus will be on broad socio-cultural and political changes produced by the war, possible topics for the research paper might include (but are by no means limited to) the experience of soldiers in the trenches, life on the "home front," new roles for women, the reception of conscientious objectors, or press coverage of the first "total war."
HIS 511C - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "Popular Protest in Chinese History"
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Pr. one 300-level research intensive history course.
This course will examine the nature of popular protest in Chinese history. Topics examined during the semester will include the role religion played as a source of social volatility in traditional Chinese culture and society, peasant revolutions, the May Fourth Movement, popular protest in the rise of nationalism and communism, and domestic political protest since the 1949 founding of the People's Republic of China. Most importantly, students in this course will be responsible for individual research projects, for which they will locate and use historical source materials, written and oral, published and unpublished. Comparing and analyzing a variety of primary source materials, students will write their own histories of Chinese popular protest and in the end develop their skills in observing societies with different origins than their own.
HIS 543 - Historic Preservation: Principles and Practices
Change in historic preservation theory and practice since the 1800s with emphasis on preservation of built environment and development of philosophical approach for designers to contemporary preservation projects. (Same as IAR 543)
HIS 552 - History and Theory of Material Culture
TBA - irregular meeting times and days
Patrick Lucas (Interior Architecture)
Material culture as it has been defined and interpreted in the past by scholars from the disciplines of history, anthropology, geography, art history, psychology, linguistics, and archaeology. Crosslisted with IAR 552. Day/Time TBA - please email the professor for more information.
HIS 567 - French History: "The Enlightenment and the French Revolution"
This course will begin with an overview of the French Enlightenment, often seen as one of the most important sites in the construction of �modernity.� After an attempt to define the Enlightenment against the backdrop of traditionalist assumptions, we will consider various interpretations of the Enlightenment (from Peter Gay�s defense of it as a �recovery of nerve� to Michel Foucault�s critique as the origins of the �disciplinary society�).
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 of the Terror during its middle years, to its thrust onto the larger European stage during the Napoleonic years. Finally, we will examine the great historiographical debates that have engaged several generations of historians over the meaning and significance of the French Revolution.
HIS 588 - East Asian History: "Silks and Spices: Exchanges of Goods and Ideas along China's Frontier"
Following the prosperous Silk Road of the Northwest and the thriving spice trade of the South China Sea regions, imperial Chinese courts remained engaged in international exchanges of goods and ideas since ancient times. This course will examine the intersection of trade and tribute in patterns of foreign relations China conducted with its neighbors through the arrival of European powers in the 16th century. Material trade, and the socio-cultural exchanges accompanying it, will serve as the central theme in this course. Through a critical reading of recent scholarship on related topics, we will determine for ourselves the impact that global trade patterns had on the historical development of this very important region of the world.
HIS 589 - Doing Visual History
Charles Bolton and Matthew Barr
This is an interdisciplinary course that will be crosslisted with BCN 589 and will be team-taught by Charles Bolton (History) and Matthew Barr (Broadcasting and Cinema). The course will examine the interstices of history, documentary production, and personal narratives. Students will explore a wide variety of issues, including interviewing techniques, the interactions between historians/documentarians and informants, the role of memory and recall in personal testimony, the methodology of conducting audio and video recording, the ethical and legal issues surrounding the collection of personal narratives, the technique of nonlinear editing of oral and visual recordings, DVD production, and the preservation of oral/visual narratives as archival data. In addition to classroom instruction, a primary component of the class will be fieldwork conducted by students, who will work in teams to conduct both oral and video histories.
HIS 624 - History of American Landscapes & Architecture
This course is designed as an advanced reading seminar in the history of American landscapes and architecture. The course will introduce you to a variety of methods developed by architectural and cultural historians to interpret buildings and landscapes as cultural artifacts with historically specific meanings that must be understood in particular context over time. An important objective of the course is to go beyond classroom reading and discussion to application of specific scholars' arguments and methodologies through analysis of particular buildings and landscapes. (Same as IAR 624)
By the end of the semester you should be able to do the following:
- Identify and evaluate major periods in the development of the American landscape from the colonial era through the mid-twentieth century.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the ways that buildings and landscapes document cultural and social change over time.
- Define particular architectural styles, use specialized architectural vocabulary/terminology, and explain the differences between vernacular and academic building traditions.
- Compare and contrast the methodologies developed by a variety of scholars to interpret landscape and architecture as historical evidence.
- Use different interpretive approaches to evaluate a particular landscape or building in historical context.
HIS 626 - The Practice of Public History
This course is an introduction to what it is like to work to within a public history institution and what it takes to thrive in one. The course is structured around the theory and practice involved in building relationships with audiences, community partners, and colleagues. Throughout, the course links practical skill�writing a mission statement, creating a marketing plan, writing a budget�with discussion of the broader purposes these tools are intended to accomplish. The course culminates in a collaborative class project that focuses on a local public history institution. (Same as IAR 626)
See the M.A. FAQ for more information about the following:
HIS 692 - Advanced Topics
HIS 697 - Independent Study
HIS 701 - Colloquium in US History to 1865
701-01 Phyllis Hunter M 3:30-6:20
The purpose of this colloquium is to give graduate students a knowledge of the historiographic themes and debates that structure much of the interpretation of American History up to (and in some cases beyond) 1865. Students will read and interpret several �classic� works of history as well as several books representing new issues and/or methods. The class will be run as a seminar with weekly discussions led by groups of students.
701-02 William Ryan M 6:30-9:20
Issues of historical interpretation from the Revolution through the Civil War.
HIS 703 - Seminar in US History
Research and writing on selected topics in American history.
HIS 705 - Colloquium in European History to 1789
This course comprises the first half of the Graduate Colloquium in European History. Our imagined task is a huge, even impossible one: we are tasked with trying to make sense of the methods, techniques, and approaches used by historians who study Europe from Rome to the French Revolution. Obviously we cannot do justice to every period and/or every topic, and our approach must inevitably be somewhat episodic. Rather than follow a haphazard and incomplete chronology through this vast span of time, I have organized the course methodologically. In essence we are going to examine some of those methods, techniques, and approaches rather than a series of events, periods, or persons. We will accomplish this task, of course, by reading and evaluating sample works of historians who work in that given style, method, or approach. Peter Burke�s edited volume, New Perspectives on Historical Writing, will provide a quasi-textbook or roadmap for our endeavor, as it comprises specially-commissioned chapters on many of the approaches and sub-disciplines that we will examine. Please note that I have tried to balance the temporal focus of the works we will read: my design is that about half of our readings will come from the medieval period and half from the early modern period.
HIS 707 - Seminar in European History
Research and writing on selected topics in European history.
HIS 709 - Introductory Research Seminar
709-01 (U.S.) Lisa Tolbert R 6:30-9:20
This course is designed as an advanced introduction to professional research practice. You will develop your own research project based on your individual interests. But this course will not operate as if you were pursuing a set of unrelated independent studies. Though your topics will differ widely, you will all be facing similar research and writing problems: finding primary sources, understanding what your evidence means, presenting your findings in an interesting and compelling interpretation. Thus the subject of this course is not based on any particular historical period or topic, rather it is the historical method - the process of historical investigation, and particularly the role of writing in the research process. We will follow the approach of Booth, Colomb, and Williams, who explained in The Craft of Research that "writing is not just the last stage of a research project but from its beginning a guide to critical thinking."
Your primary goal in this course is to write a compelling proposal for an original research project. You will develop the proposal in stages and, as in any professional grant competition peer review will be an important part of the research process in the course.
709-02 (Europe in the 20th Century) Jeff Jones M 6:30-9:20
This course will introduce students to research methods and practice. Students will develop and write research papers based on their individual interests within the broad framework of the course topic. Paper topics will vary widely, but students in the class will all be dealing with the same challenges of researching and writing a major piece of original scholarship: finding and interpreting primary sources; placing their work within broader historiographical trends; revising early drafts of their work on the basis of peer review; and, finally, writing a polished and analytical final product.
HIS 710 - Colloquium in the Atlantic World
This course introduces students to the variety of approaches and themes that comprise one of the newest and fastest-growing fields in our discipline. An Atlantic perspective brings into focus the inter-connected economic, social, and cultural currents which carried people, capital, commodities, and ideas across political boundaries and linked four continents in the early modern world (roughly 1400-1800). We will read a selection of major works which have defined the field, identify different perspectives, and chart the historiography. We will also consider the challenges involved in comparative, cross-cultural historical research, as well as the limits of an Atlantic approach. This is a core course for the minor in Atlantic History and is required for all Ph.D. students. It is also highly recommended to MA students who want an introduction to this dynamic approach to history. I echo the invitation of Allison Games: �Jump in. The water�s great� (AHR June 2006).
HIS 712 - Slavery in the Americas
Comparative analysis of slavery and race relations in South and Central America, the Caribbean, British North America, and the United States, 1501-1888.
HIS 722 - Early America: Selected Topics
Topics in early American history from New World encounters, popular culture, race, gender, religion, or politics to 1800.
HIS 740 - Selected Topics in European History: "Microhistory/Macrohistory: The Famous and the Fascinating in European History, 1400-1800"
Star-crossed lovers, self-proclaimed messiahs, heretics, imposters, cat-murdering artisans: surely this cannot be the stuff of serious history? Or, is it?
In this course we will explore some recent approaches to history that can be loosely gathered under the rubric of �Microhistory.� While most people still think of history as the exploits of the Great Men (and occasionally, Women) who strode the world stage as monarchs, popes, generals, artists, intellectuals, and scientists, beginning in the 1960s, many historians in Europe and North America searched for ways to uncover the lives of the ordinary peasants and urban workers who made up the vast majority of the population of early modern Europe. Using trial records, diaries, and other previously neglected sources, they examined small episodes in European history, in great detail. But has the pendulum swung too far? Has the writing of history become overly novelistic, sensationalistic, even voyeuristic? In their haste to tell a good story have historians lost sight of the Big Picture? We will read the work of some of the most prominent practitioners of Microhistory and related methodologies in the last thirty years, as well as their critics. Each example of Microhistory will be counterbalanced by readings on famous figures and events in the period between 1400 and 1800. In this way students can make their own assessment of the manifold ways in which scholars recover the European past.
200-400 Level Courses, Fall 07 | Advising Center | Catalog | Courses