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COURSES

Spring 2019 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. 600-level and 700-level are only for graduate students.

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


HIS 512 - Public History: "Doing History with Things"

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10181 MW 5:00-6:15
Lisa Tolbert

Why study things? Some parts of the human past are only documented by the tools they used or other objects they left behind. This human experience is literally understood as PRE-historic because early humans did not leave behind a written record. The writing of history begins with the analysis of texts. Yet even in our modern era, an object as small and ordinary as a paper clip can be studied to understand something about the society that created and used it—the technology to mass-produce bent wires, why such a clip might be in demand, the purposes of such a clip. A 1958 study, for example, discovered that only one in ten was ever used to hold papers together. Other uses included cleaning finger nails, picking teeth, fastening clothing, game tokens, and making decorative chains or even weapons. This course will focus on strategies for interpreting mass-produced objects of the twentieth century as historical evidence. Greensboro’s own Elsewhere Museum (http://www.goelsewhere.org/about/story/) will serve as a kind of class laboratory. Elsewhere, located in downtown Greensboro in a former thrift store, is an unconventional collection of toys, housewares, clothing, and other “bits and bobs” collected by Sylvia Gray, who ran a store there from 1937 until she died in 1997. It reopened in 2003 as a collaborative “thinking playground” for exploring questions about the meanings of collecting, material excess, consumption, and overproduction. The collection will offer opportunities for thinking about what a museum is, how store spaces are designed to work, and for selecting objects for analysis at several points in the semester.
Field: United States.


HIS 514 - Topics in World History: "Borders and Frontiers in the Classical and Medieval Mediterranean World"

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10182 MW 3:30-4:45
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. Field: Wider World.


HIS 520 - Southern History Selected Topics: "The Native South"

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10183 TR 3:30-4:45
Greg O'Brien

This course focuses on the Native South, a distinctive culture area characterized at the time of first contact with Europeans by horticulture, chiefdoms, matrilineal kinship, and temple mounds. While the course necessarily pays some attention to the Native impact on black and white southerners, and vice-versa, the main objective is to learn more about the histories of the South's Native peoples. We will study Native peoples in the South from prior to European colonization to today. The format will be a combination of lectures by me, readings and discussions of books and articles, documentary films, original research into topics such as Indian Removal, written papers, and student presentations. Graduate students will have additional assignments.
Field: United States.


HIS 571 - Modern European Thought Selected Topics: "Why Do People Hate the Jews? History of Antisemitism"

10184 MW 2:00-3:15
Emily Levine

Why do people hate Jews? Is antisemitism like or not like other bigotries and hatreds? What constitutes antisemitism and what is its relationship to various times, peoples, and places? The idea of the Jew has been a persistent trope in religion, literature, and politics from ancient to modern history. This course investigates that history of anti-Jewish discourse and images with a focus on modern Europe and America. As a course in cultural and intellectual history, our examination is focused on the production of ideas and how we construct notions of ourselves and others. We will, truth be told, learn little about Jews themselves, though much about how they have been envisioned by different peoples and in different places over time, from the self-conception of ancient Greeks and Romans, medieval Christians, and modern Europeans and Americans. Possible topics include the burdens of assimilation, the myth of a world Jewish conspiracy, the Dreyfus Affair, Nazi Germany, and antisemitism and anti-Zionism on college campuses today. This course assumes some prior knowledge of Modern European history (HIS 223 or its equivalent) and would benefit from some prior knowledge of the history of Germany and/or the Holocaust (HIS 376, HIS 392, or its equivalent). Readings will consist of primary sources and secondary scholarly monographs. At a time when antisemitism is resurgent on colleges campuses, American society, and throughout the world, understanding the origins of this racist ideology is as important as ever.
Field: Europe


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HIS 575 - Russian History Selected Topics: "The Soviet-Afghan War and its Aftermath"

10185 W 7:00-9:50
Jeff Jones

This course is a combined graduate/undergraduate-level seminar on the Soviet-Afghan War and its aftermath. We will use a mix of primary and secondary sources to examine developments leading up to the war, aspects of the war itself, its impact on both Soviet and Afghan societies, and the aftermath and legacy of the war in the years following its cessation.
Field: Wider World.


All 600-700 level History courses are for graduate students only. Prerequisite: Admission to a graduate program in history or interior architecture, or written permission of instructor if you are a graduate student in another department.


HIS 626 - The Practice of Public History

10186 M 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, draft a budget, and apply for grants. At the same time, the class engages with the broader issues that underpin these decisions, such as institutional purpose, infrastructural dynamics and sources of financial support. The course culminates in a collaborative class project to conceive of and plan for a public history project to go up in Fall 2019. (Same as IAR 626.)


HIS 631 - Digital History

10187 R 6:30-9:20
Torren Gatson

This seminar explores the theory and issues emerging from digital public history, while offering hands-on training in its tools and practices. Students will explore the possibilities and challenges of using technology in museum environments, applying what they learn to their own self-designed digital public history projects.


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.


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HIS 702 - Colloquium in American History

Issues of historical interpretation from Reconstruction to the present.

10195 702-01  R 3:30-6:20 Mark Elliott
10196 702-02  R 6:30-9:20 David Wight


HIS 704 - Seminar in History

Individual Graduate Faculty

Research and writing on selected topics in history.


HIS 709-01 - Introductory Research Seminar: "The Nineteenth-Century British Empire"

10197  T 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 709-02 - Introductory Research Seminar: "Public Culture in the Long 1960s"

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10198 T 6:30-9:20 
Thomas Jackson

In this course you will be expected to research and write an article-length paper on a problem of your choosing (25-30 pages) that reflects original research. You will each learn how to select a topic, turn that topic into a focused research problem that will be compelling to readers, identify pertinent secondary and primary sources, present your hypotheses and findings both orally and in writing, and constructively criticize the work of your peers. I will provide about 40 focused, researchable, and significant paper topics, but students will be free to craft their own proposals. The most general themes include: How did powerful elites and ordinary Americans debate and define the boundaries of American citizenship and belonging, in the arenas of immigration and civil rights? At various levels and branches of government, how did the state mobilize citizens to achieve national purposes in times of war, reform, economic, or environmental crisis? How did Americans defend and redefine their liberties in the face of these challenges and decisions?


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HIS 715 - Atlantic World Selected Topics: "Social History in Global Perspective"

10199 M 6:30-9:20
Colleen Kriger

This course examines selected readings in social history as windows onto what is useful and distinctive about the new global history. In the mid-twentieth century came transformations in scholarship and teaching of history which brought to the fore important thematic approaches such as social history, gender, area studies, environmental history, and others. Overarching and incorporating such themes came also a new kind of historical perspective and practice. World historians focus on comparisons, connections, and networks viewed in large scale or over long time periods. Over the semester we will explore and understand the ‘global’ as an alternative to Eurocentric and 'presentist' conceptions of the human past.


HIS 716 - Graduate Colloquium in World History

10200 M 3:30-6:20
James Anderson, Jodi Bilinkoff, Richard Barton, Jeff Jones

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


HIS 721 - Public History Capstone II

10201 W 3:30-6:20
Torren Gatson

This course is part of a two-semester sequence in which students design and execute original, research-driven, independent-study history projects for public audiences, usually with a community or institutional partner. In this semester, students complete detailed development and produce and publicly present their projects. Restricted to graduate students who have completed HIS 720.


HIS 724 - Twentieth Century U.S. Women's and Gender History

10202 W 6:30-9:20
Lisa Levenstein

This course will explore the state of the field of twentieth century U.S. women’s and gender history. Students will examine how historians of women and gender have integrated race, sexuality, class, region, ethnicity, and nation into their work. They will explore the evolution of the field of women’s and gender history and contemplate new frontiers for future research.


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