Fall 2011 Course Descriptions
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE! Always check the University online schedule for the latest changes.
HIS 508 - Latin American History: "Indians and the Nation in Latin America"
Prerequisite: one course in Latin American history or permission of instructor.
As cultures resulting from the often violent collision between European imperialism and America’s native civilizations, vigorous “culture wars” over the “true” heritage of Latin America -- is it essentially European or essentially indigenous? -- have shaped and enlivened the region’s art, culture, and politics for centuries. Should schoolchildren in Peru, for example, study the Romans or the Incas as their “national” ancestors? Is it a necessary act of self-knowledge to teach Quechua and other indigenous languages, or is it a waste of time? While “indigenists” point to native traditions as the heart and soul of Latin American identity, others insist that such sentiments obstruct necessary “progress” and modernization. Students in this seminar will explore the long history of these debates from the sixteenth century to the present, and investigate the roles of native history, culture, and memory in the construction (and deconstruction) of nationhood and national identity throughout Latin America.
HIS 511A - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "Cold War Civil Rights"
81227 R 3:30-6:20
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Prerequisite of one 300-level Research Intensive (RI) history course.
This course will focus intensively on popular movements, politics, and foreign policy in the United States between 1962 and 1964. This narrows the chronological scope but widens the range of issues I generally teach in this class. 1963 was an incredibly pivotal year in US history. The civil rights movement became a truly mass movement and cracked wide open for debate just what the nation meant by "civil rights" and "equal opportunity" (and not just in the South). Recoiling from near nuclear catastrophe in the Cuban missile crisis, the US and Soviet Union began a long process of negotiated detente, even as the arms race continued to escalate. First Kennedy, then Johnson made decisive commitments to hold the line against communism in South Vietnam. Congress passed the civil rights bill and made provision for a sweeping War on Poverty even as the war in Vietnam escalated. New broadcast media technologies brought domestic and foreign conflicts into American living rooms, offering unprecedented opportunities to groups as diverse as Birmingham's high school children and South Vietnam's Buddhists to communicate their dreams. Looking at US history in a compressed time span will allow the class to explore and interpret a range of primary and secondary sources, and see the intersections between issues that have been generally understood as discrete and separate. Sources are especially rich on presidential decision-making, local movements for civil rights and economic justice, and paths taken and not taken into the Vietnam quagmire.
HIS 511B - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "The Twelfth Century in Medieval Europe"
81228 T 3:30-6:20
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Prerequisite of one 300-level Research Intensive (RI) history course.
The twelfth century in medieval Europe has been variously described as a period of renaissance in arts and culture, a period of persecution by centralized bureaucracies, and a period of "discovery of the self." During this period, whether oneï¿½s view of it is positive or negative, western European society transformed itself into something quite different than what it had been before. It is possible to look at this transformation from a variety of perspectives: economic, religious, social, cultural, and political. Possible topics which illuminate one or more of these perspectives include heresy (the Cathars), popular religion (Franciscans and Dominicans), scholastic thought (Anselm or Abelard), chivalry (courtly literature), crusades (to the Holy Land or in Europe itself) and growth of kingship (especially in England and France.)
In order that students may choose their topics with some knowledge of the period, we will begin the semester by reading a variety of primary and secondary sources together. Students will complete written analyses of these sources and use them to discover an appropriate topic to research. By the end of the semester, each of the students will have written and revised a 15-25 page research paper on his or her topic of choice.
HIS 511C - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "East Meets West: The Persian Empire from Biblical and Classical Perspectives"
Writing and Speaking Intensive. Prerequisite of one 300-level Research Intensive (RI) history course. Note: Change of instructor and course description.
In the sixth century BCE the Achaemenid Persians, an Indo-Iranian tribe, conquered the territories dominated by the Assyrians and Babylonians for millennia, becoming the new rulers of the Ancient Near East and the founders of the first Iranian empire. For two centuries the Persians managed to control the largest empire in the ancient world before the advent of Rome. Some evidence suggests that the Achaemenid Persians’ success may be attributed to a more ‘enlightened’, cosmopolitan attitude toward subject nations than their Mesopotamian predecessors. Yet much of Achaemenid history and society has been interpreted from the writings of two contemporary peoples with whom they had considerable interaction: the Hebrews and the Greeks. The convergence of Persian, Greek, and Hebrew theology and ideology, in fact, would come to affect ‘democratic’ ideals and the foundations of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in surprising ways.
Our first objective is to survey the Achaemenid period from both primary and secondary perspectives. Were the Persians really so different from their Near Eastern neighbors? How reliable are our sources, where do they diverge, and why? The second objective is to learn how to use, locate, and analyze evidence, including translated historical and religious documents and material culture. Over the course of several stages, students will produce a final research paper on any topic dealing with Achaemenid Persian history and the peoples of the empire. No prior knowledge of Near/Middle Eastern, Greek, or biblical history is required for the course.
HIS 543 - Historic Preservation: Principles and Practices
Jo Leimenstoll (Interior Architecture)
Prerequisite of IAR 221, IAR 222, or permission of instructor.
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’s Labor History"
This course places women and their labor at the center of U.S. history from the settlement of the New World to the late twentieth century. We will study gender as both a construction, with spatial and temporal dimensions, and a relationship of power, with a particular focus on the social, legal, and economic aspects of women’s status. We will closely examine how race, ethnicity, and class in American society further shaped women’s labor experiences. Major topics covered in this course include the labor of free, indentured, and slave women in the colonial period, the household economy, women’s education and job training, immigrant labor, labor activism, feminism, and legal pursuits toward correcting discrimination against women in education and the work place.
HIS 552 - History and Theories of Material Culture
Patrick Lucas (Interior Architecture)
Prerequisite: Admission to a graduate program in history or interior architecture, or written permission of instructor.
Material culture has been defined and interpreted from the disciplines of history, design, anthropology, geography, art history, psychology, linguistics, archaeology, and museum studies. This multidisciplinary form of study utilizes material artifacts at various scales to interpret human presence on the earth. Media studies similarly bring together divergent areas of study to examine, particularly, mediated images embedded within print, television, and digital sources. Here, scholars construct possible interpretations of images connected to the material world from which they emanate. In this course, students consider the history and theories of material and media culture from multidisciplinary perspectives through readings, discussions, analysis, and field visits. Students will encounter artifacts and work to critically evaluate them in historical context. They will analyze cultural artifacts and images using several material and media culture approaches. Crosslisted with IAR 552.
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 581 - African History Selected Topics: "Oral Traditions and Oral History"
It used to be said that societies without writing did not have histories and that people living in oral societies did not have a historical consciousness. This course debunks that belief and introduces students to the literature on “orality” and oral societies and also to the use of oral sources in historical research. Among other things, we will be focusing on Jan Vansina’s useful analytical distinction between “oral traditions” and “oral history.”
Students will create an oral history project by conducting interviews and will engage in critical analysis and interpretation of their evidence. Since this course is primarily about historical methods and methodology, projects will not be restricted to any particular geographical area.
Prerequisite for all 600-level History courses: Admission to a graduate program in history or interior architecture, or written permission of instructor.
HIS 625 - Preservation, Planning, and Law
Autumn Michael (Interior Architecture)
An 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 627 - Museum and Historic Site Interpretation: Principles and Practice
This seminar explores the relationship between history and public audiences, focusing on the theory and practice of telling stories through museums and historic sites. It introduces students to the tools that public historians use to interpret the past, explores key dilemmas in public interpretation and community collaboration, and examines contemporary models for how best to reach audiences in ways that make history meaningful. Topics include learning theory, audience evaluation, oral history, photography and material culture, living history, historic houses, and exhibits. The course will culminate in a local history project, produced by the students for a public venue. Same as IAR 627.
HIS 628 - ID and Eval. of the Hist. Built Environment
Methods, techniques, and theories of researching, analyzing, documenting, and evaluating the historic built environment. Includes architectural survey field methods, documentation techniques, archival research, and approaches to evaluating historic significance. Same as IAR 628.
HIS 629 - Museum Education
This course surveys the basic principles and practices of museum education, emphasizing facilitated experiences. Through reading works by researchers and practitioners in the field, students will explore the kinds of learning that occur in museums and how that learning takes place. As well, students themselves will practice the skills and techniques utilized by museum educators.
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
Prerequisite for all 700-level History courses: Written permission of the Director of Graduate Studies or the Director of Public History. Admission to a graduate program in history.
HIS 701 - Colloquium in US History to 1865
701-01 Mark Elliott R 6:30-9:20
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. 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 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 711 - Experimental Course: Community History Practicum
Prerequisite: HIS/IAR 626
In this hands-on course, students work collaboratively and engage community partners as they research, design, and complete public projects—previously planned in HIS/IAR 626—that engage audiences in local/regional history. These projects involve original research in both primary and secondary printed sources and, as well, draw on a range of sources that drive public history work, including public records, oral interviews, images, and artifacts. Final products may involve exhibitions, public markers, web-based products, programs (tours, festivals), curricula or other formats that engage public audiences in issues and stories emerging from the past around us.
This course is restricted to graduate students in History and Interior Architecture who have completed HIS/IAR 626 (The Practice of Public History) unless permission is granted by instructor.
HIS 714 - Varieties of Teaching
Prerequisite: M.A. in History
How do people learn history? Is there something distinctive about learning history compared to learning other subjects in the college curriculum? This course will introduce you to the growing scholarship of teaching and learning that pays particular attention to the role of history in the undergraduate curriculum.
- Explain the role of history in undergraduate education for the 21st century.
- Use research and theory to evaluate how people learn history.
- Produce a teaching portfolio that documents how you conceptualize and operationalize student learning based on historical thinking.
HIS 723 - Selected Topics in 19th Century U.S. History: "Transnational Lives in the 19th Century"
This course will introduce students to the literature on "transnationalism" and assess the movement to internationalize the study of American history. After acquiring a theoretical and historiographical groundwork on the subject, students will turn to case studies of 19th century transnationalism by focusing on individuals whose lives crossed national borders and transcended national histories. Biography has emerged as a favorite methodology for the exploration of transnational history. Students will have an opportunity to write research papers on the transnational dimensions of 19th century individual lives of their choosing. Student will use their projects to show how a transnational approach can transform stale historiographical debates and develop new inquiries into American history.
HIS 740 - Selected Topics in European History: "Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe: Documents and Interpretations"
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Western Europe experienced a remarkable period of intellectual and cultural flourishing. But the age of Michelangelo and Durer, of Shakespeare and Cervantes, of Galileo and Descartes saw a darker side as well. Between 1500 and 1700 tens of thousands of people in Europe and its colonies were accused, prosecuted, and executed as witches. People of all classes and educational levels became convinced that many of their neighbors had secretly made pacts with the devil and were practicing forms of malevolent magic that threatened the very fabric of society.
How could anyone have believed in the reality of satanic witchcraft? In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries scholars seemed all too willing to dismiss the ”witch craze” as an unfortunate (if predictable) episode of “medieval superstition” or inexplicable outbreak of “mass hysteria.” Since the 1960s, however, historians have made serious attempts to understand this complex phenomenon, utilizing the insights of intellectual, political, social, and economic history, as well as related fields such as cultural anthropology, gender studies, law religious studies, and the history of art, literature, and medicine.
In this course we will examine trial records, demonological treatises, and other primary source documents that give voice to those accused of witchcraft, as well as accusers, prosecutors, and commentators from all ranks of early modern European society. We will also explore the myriad interpretations offered by scholars over the last forty years as they have worked to make sense of this fascinating and troubling period of history.
200-400 Level Courses, Fall 11 | Advising Center | Catalog | Courses