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COURSES

Spring 2015 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 511A - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "Using Photographs as Historical Evidence"

10721 W 3:30-6:20
Lisa Tolbert

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

The priority of the course is to go beyond the use of photographs as mere illustrations to interpret the richer meanings of their visual content. We will study photographs as a distinctive type of primary source evidence that must be critically evaluated in historical context. You will put these methods and perspectives into practice by developing a research paper that uses a particular type of photograph as primary source evidence (rather than as simple illustration) to develop your own original interpretation.


HIS 511C - Seminar in Historical Research and Writing: "The Chinese City in the 20th century"

10722 M 3:30-6:20
Jamie Anderson 

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

This course will examine the transformation of the modern Chinese city in the 20th century. Topics examined during the semester will include the role urban centers played as a source of political and intellectual movements in modern Chinese society, peasant revolutions, Chinese cities during the May Fourth Movement, urban crime and the policing of urban society, popular urban protest in the rise of nationalism and communism, and city life 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research projects, for which they will locate and use historical source materials, written and oral, published and unpublished.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 urban centers and in the end develop their skills in observing societies with different origins than their own.


HIS 514-01 - World History Selected Topics: "Ireland, India, and the British Empire"

17934 M 3:30-6:20
Jill Bender

India has a population of more than 1 billion people. Ireland, on the other hand, has a population of less than 5 million. Furthermore, India is nearly fifty times the size of Ireland. Despite the obvious differences between contemporary Ireland and India, the two countries also share a history shaped by British imperial rule. This course will explore these shared colonial experiences. Particular themes will include: famine, nationalism, military involvement, violence, and partition.


HIS 514-02 or -03 - World History Selected Topics: "From Constantinople to Istanbul"

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17935 or 17936 (honors) W 3:30-6:20
Asa Eger

Written permission required. Honors students should register for HIS 514-03. Crosslisted with REL 503. Study Abroad component.

The course introduces students to the religious and cultural history of Constantinople/Istanbul in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods through its topography and monuments. Students will integrate material evidence with texts to understand the religious and cultural history of one of the world’s major cities. They will appreciate the stamp of religious life on the topography of the city and the city’s role as an imperial capital. Students will learn about the variety and sequence of architectural forms and their uses. They will be exposed to Orthodox Christianity and Islam in critical historical phases through direct knowledge and experience of religious and secular spaces, urban planning, ethnogeography, and social change. In addition they will travel over Spring Break to Istanbul for 9 days in the city, exploring its major monuments and museums.


HIS 522 - Early American History Selected Topics: "Revival, Reform & War: Religion in America from the Revolution to the Civil War"

17937 TR 3:30-4:45
Christopher Graham

In this course, students will explore the rapidly evolving religious environment of the early republic that fascinated the French visitor Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote, "In America, the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom were intimately united." His observations contain paradoxes that this class will strive to understand and explain. Americans became religious, but the government was not. Americans celebrated religious freedom, but used their faith to keep people in bondage. In this class, we will engage historiography and analyze primary documents to ask if American was founded as a Christian nation; to explore the reasons why evangelicalism spread so rapidly after the Revolution on both the frontier and in urban centers; to ponder why American faith could be simultaneously liberating and oppressive; to understand how Americans used their faith to reform national sins; and to examine abolitionist and proslavery theologies that undergirded the sectional crisis on the eve of the Civil War. In the process, you learn how religion—particularly evangelical Christianity—has become central to the American national character.


HIS 524 - 20th Century American History Selected Topics: "Lives Across the Lines: Biography and Social Change"

12762 T 6:30-9:20
Thomas Jackson

This course examines how individuals experienced and made dramatic social change in the twentieth century United States, tracing the many lines they crossed in their struggles for opportunity, justice, and survival. Color lines, regional lines, gender proscriptions, partisan lines, boundaries etched by war and terrorism: in all these contexts, people challenged and crossed lines that limited and liberated their identities and communities. They always did so in dense contexts of social support and coercive power. How did people maintain individual dignity and community security in the face of massive social change, and how did they organize to shape change? One point of the course is to expose you to copiously researched, imaginatively written, award-winning history and literary non-fiction. Another is to explore how story-telling works as explanation, and how authors walk a fine line between rigorous historical method and imaginative non-fiction. Our books and articles will mix biography, collective biography, and contextual writing that is crafted to honor both scholarship and a search for wide readership. Reading, discussion, short papers, and targeted research assignments make up the course. A few of the titles contending for inclusion: Egan, Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher; Boyle, Arc of Justice; Hillenbrand, Unbroken; King. Devil in the Grove; Asch, The Senator and the Sharecropper; Satter, Family Properties; Eggers, Zeitoun; Packer, The Unwinding. Narrative and analytical articles and chapters by Jacqueline Hall, John Dower, Kevin Boyle, Rebecca Scott, Robin Kelley, the professor, and others.


HIS 542 - Middle Ages Selected Topics: "Violence in the Middle Ages"

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16467 MW 2:00-3:15
Richard Barton

This course examines the meaning and consequences of violence during the Middle Ages. We will move topically through a selection of primary sources (Gregory of Tours, Galbert of Bruges, Saga of Njall, Raoul of Cambrai, etc) and scholarly analyses of war and peace, feuding, dispute resolution, chivalry, and lordship. As we do so we shall attempt to grapple with some fundamental questions: how did medieval people define 'violence', if they did so at all? How did violence differ from 'force'? Did medieval people consider violent acts to be necessarily bad? If so, under what circumstances? Were certain social orders and/or institutions more or less associated with violence? That is, was violence a component of lordship? To what degree was violence a subjective category imposed by authors, and to what degree was it universal? This course will investigate these and many other questions pertaining to medieval representations of force, violence, and social norms.


HIS 567 - French History Selected Topics: "France, the United States, and the Emergence of the Cold War"

10724 TR 2:00-3:15
Paul Mazgaj

The focus of this course will be on how Europe experienced the early Cold War, with special attention to the relations between France and the United States. We will begin with a historical account of the relationship between the US and France during World War II, especially the tensions between Franklin Roosevelt and Charles De Gaulle. Next we will turn to the dramatic events of the early Cold War—the decision to commit the US to a defense of Western Europe, the Berlin blockade, and recurring fears that the Cold War would turn hot. We will then turn toward an examination of heated debates among leading writers and intellectuals from both sides of the Atlantic over the larger issues raised by the Cold War—political freedom, social justice, and the specter of nuclear annihilation. Finally, in a concluding section we will look at the origins of America’s Vietnam nightmare as it emerged from the US’s increasing support for the French colonial empire in Southeast Asia.


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 W 3:00-5:50
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 marketing strategies, 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 2015. (Same as IAR 626.)


HIS 631 - Digital History

16014 R 6:30-9:20
Thomas Rushford

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  M 6:30-9:20
Charles Bolton

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 709 - Introductory Research Seminar:"The Nineteenth-Century British Empire"

10751 709-01 W 3:30-6:20 
Jill Bender

Historians have acknowledged the nineteenth century to be Britain's "imperial century," when the island country emerged as the world's preeminent imperial power. This position of dominance was neither static nor assumed, however. In this introductory seminar, we will examine how other historians have explicated this expansion and its impact on both Britain and its colonies. In particular, we will explore questions of power and resistance as students prepare their own research projects based on primary source analysis.


HIS 713 - African Americans After Slavery

17938 713-01 W 6:30-9:20 
Watson Jennison

African American history during the Civil War, Reconstruction, the era of Jim Crow, the civil rights and post-civil rights eras.


HIS 716 - Graduate Colloquium in World History

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

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


HIS 721 - Public History Capstone II

17939 M 6:30-9:20
Anne Parsons

In this two-semester sequence, students will create a public history project for a public audience. In 721, students will complete needed research for the project, create detailed development plans, and work with community partners in implementing the project. Prerequisite: HIS 720.


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