Fall 2009 Course Descriptions
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE! Always check the University online schedule for the latest changes.
HIS 502 - African American History: Selected Topics
Examining America's great paradox--slavery in a land of liberty--the course examine important issues involving race and slavery in American history. Beginning with West Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade, it will consider slavery during the colonial and national periods, emphasizing the years between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The course will ask, among other questions, how and why the "peculiar institution," as it was called, endured for nearly two-and-a-half centuries.
HIS 511A - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "The Black 70s"
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Written permission required. Pr. one 300-level research intensive history course.
This class will investigate the decade following the peak of the civil rights movement, a period that has largely been overshadowed by the tumult and fame of the preceding years. The 1970s were a time of dramatic change for black Americans as they sought to capitalize on the hard-fought victories of the previous two decades. Popular depictions of black culture in the 1970s revolve around black power, dashikis, and afros. We will move beyond the clich�s and stereotypes connected with this period to investigate the ways in which blacks translated the legislative victories of the civil rights era into reality. Students will write a research paper exploring an aspect of the cultural, political, and economic transformations of the 1970s.
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. Written permission required.
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: (Wider World topic)
CANCELLED. Will be offered in Spring 2010.
HIS 526 - Civil War Selected Topics: "Experiences of the American Civil War"
This course focuses on the cultural and social history of the American Civil War. The experiences of specific individuals and groups during the sectional conflict will be emphasized, and through them students examine the ways in which American society as a whole was transformed by the upheaval of the war. The importance of race, class, gender, region, and religion in shaping the different experiences of the war will be highlighted in the selection of readings. Students will write research papers and present their research findings to the class.
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 551 - Gender and History Selected Topics: "Women, Work, and Family in the Postwar United States"
This course will explore how diverse women in the United States have negotiated work and family since World War II. We will explore their experiences with both paid and unpaid labor and examine a variety of family forms. The course will contrast the decline in the idealization of white stay-at-home mothers with the increasing celebration of "career mothers" ("supermoms") and stigmatization of "welfare mothers." In so doing, we will examine both the profound transformations in women�s experiences with work and family over the past 60 years and the significant changes in the images of women, work, and family promoted in popular culture. Cross-listed with WGS.
HIS 567 - French History Selected Topics: "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 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 involves conceiving, planning, and writing a grant application for a local public history initiative. (Same as IAR 626)
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
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 Greg O'Brien T 6:30-9:20
This required graduate course exposes students to the major historiographical trends and debates on topics in US history before 1865. The format is a discussion class where a student and the professor lead the discussion on that week's readings. Students will read the equivalent of at least a book a week, lead a discussion, complete several weekly papers in response to the readings, and take a final exam. By the end, students should have mastered the principal historical interpretations of American history before 1865.
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.) Tom Jackson R 6:30-9:20
In this course you will be expected to research and write a substantive article-length paper on a problem of your choosing. The first half of the course will be devoted to examining important questions in the history of 20th century US "public culture" and to considering several methodologically innovative scholarly articles that might serve as models for your research. The professor has strengths in political history, social movement history, and the history of the African American freedom movement. By mid semester, all students will be expected to be in possession of an important question and a body of sources likely to yield answers. Some students may already have projects in mind; others should be willing to be guided to a number of researchable problems that will draw upon rich primary source materials available through the Jackson library, local collections, or the Internet. Some potential issues: problems in the interpretation of photographic evidence during the Great Depression; mass media and protest movements; presidential decision-making and the civil rights crisis of 1963; the "illegal immigrant" in the public discourse of the 1980s.
709-02 (Europe) Kaarin Michaelsen R 3:30-6:20
Will focus on methods, sources, and writing; research paper based on primary and contextualized in secondary sources.
HIS 710 - Colloquium in the Atlantic World
This course introduces graduate students to the variety of approaches and themes that comprise one of the newest and fastest-growing fields in our discipline. The Atlantic World provides a useful conceptual and methodological framework in which to analyze the development of European empires, the creation of American colonial societies, and the emergence of trans-imperial exchange networks in the early modern period (roughly 1400-1800) and beyond. We will read a selection of major works which have defined the field, identify different perspectives and approaches, and trace the development of the historiography. We will also consider the challenges involved in comparative, cross-cultural historical research, and the limits of an Atlantic approach. Students will critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of an Atlantic perspective as it applies to their specific research and teaching interests.
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 714 - Varieties of Teaching
Prerequisite: M.A. in History
Introduction to college level teaching in history with attention to syllabi, lecturing, examinations, discussions, grading, and responding to student input. Students participate in teaching actual courses. (Graded on S-U basis)
HIS 723 - Selected Topics in 19th Century U.S. History: "Human Rights and the Internationalization of American History"
This is a readings course that examines the new literature on the �internationalization of American history� and applies its methodology to the topic of �human rights� in the 19th century. In Britain and the United States, abolitionists and other humanitarian thinkers formulated an international antislavery agenda in the years after the American Revolution. Over the course of the 19th century their humanitarian sensibility exerted increasing influence on a variety of causes, foreign and domestic, in the Anglo-American world. This course will trace the rise of humanitarianism in the Anglo-American world from the American Revolution to the First World War. Along the way, students will examine theoretical and historiographical controversies over definitions and historical understandings of �human rights,� and assess the methodologies of �transnational� and �international� history.
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 09 | Advising Center | Catalog | Courses