Spring 2017 Courses in History MA Program

HIST 605: Introduction to Historiography

This introductory course in historiography is required for all tracks in the History MA program. It is designated as a reading course in which students will explore critical theoretical approaches in history. The study of historiography involves both the study of the methodologies used by historians, as well as the study of the development of the discipline of history over time. Students will learn how a field of historical study is defined, study dominant historical approaches and themes over time, and understand how to position research within a larger historiographical debate. Specific topics will vary from semester to semester based on the expertise and interests of the instructor.

Historiography of Women's History, Roberta Wollons, Tu 4-6:45PM

This course will introduce you to the major works in American women’s history not only from the perspective of women’s lives, but also from the perspective of authors who have written about women’s lives over the course of the 20th century, and into the 21st. The position of women in society has changed over time through determined action, economic change, and changes in attitude toward women’s “proper” place. We will observe these changes on two levels: first, regarding how women perceived their own lives, and second, how historians and other writers have interpreted and reinterpreted the history of women over time. 

HIST 625: Interpreting History in Public Approaches to Public History Practice

Jane Becker, W 4-6:45PM

This course gives students an overview of the history, best practices, and cultural debates that provide the context for museum and historic site interpretation in the United States. Students will learn how versions of the past are created, communicated and institutionalized as history at historic sites, museums, historic houses, landscapes, and the web. They will explore successful models of interpretation in public venues and examine dilemmas in community collaboration and interpretation for and with the public. Students examine the roles of evidence, history and politics in interpretation; venues, cultures and histories that shape interpretation; interpretive methods and practices in using historical evidence in public history venues; and issues and practices that challenge the practice of public history now and into the future. The course offers students several opportunities to engage in this exploration through readings, assignments, class discussion, guest speakers, case studies, visits to actual and virtual sites, written and oral assignments, and practicum experiences with a community partner.

HIST 627: Archival Methods and Practices

Marilyn Morgan, Th 4-6:45PM

This course explores the fundamental principles of archival practice and methodology, focusing largely on basic preservation, arrangement, description and access standards. Issues, topics, and technologies explored include the development of descriptive standards for traditional materials and for special formats. The course may include some hands-on work: curating manuscripts, audiovisual materials, and/or digital collections; learning and applying preservation techniques; and creating a finding aid.

HIST 630: Transforming Archives and History in the Digital Era

Marilyn Morgan, Tu 4-6:45PM

In a rapidly changing electronic age, archivists must learn to preserve and provide long-term access to materials and also learn to create, present, and archive history online. This seminar explores digitization as a means of preserving traditional archival materials; students may also create a digital archive and learn preservation techniques for various types of digital media (textual, image sound, moving images, and web sites); and examine the unique challenges posed by electronic records, including copyright issues, and digital asset management.

HIST 635: Internship in Archives and Information Management

Marilyn Morgan

The internship provides students with an opportunity to acquire direct practical experience. Students enrolled in this course will complete 120 hours of work at an approved institution (either a traditional archive, special collections library, or museum, or a repository specializing in electronic records), under the supervision of a professional archivist or information manager. Enrolled students will complete an approved project and meet regularly with the Program Director, periodically submit written reports, and, at the end of the semester, submit a final project report and assessment.

HIST 636: Weimar Germany

Paul Bookbinder, M 4-6:45PM

An examination of German life and culture under the Weimar Republic, chiefly through studies of diverse primary sources ranging from memoirs and public addresses to literature, the arts, and architecture. Each student investigates one aspect of Weimar history using the available primary source material (in translation) and delivers an oral presentation and a final major paper.

HIST 698 Internship in Public History

Jane Becker

In order to gain direct experience with the problems and applied solutions in the field, students in the Public History Track will conduct tan Internship of at least one semester in length in which they will be asked to participate in a project or activity with a public history group or institution. The students will be given close supervision by a UMass Boston History Department faculty member and will be required to meet the same requirement as graduate students meet in laboratories. In other words, the three-credit internship will require 2.5 hours of work per week, per credit, or a total of 7.5 hours of intern work per week. In the process of the internship, students will learn from public history practitioners such as museum professionals, tour guides, re-enactors, documentary film makers as well as from scholars of history. These practitioners will guide students through the problems and solutions involved in planning and funding public history projects as well as the problems in selecting, conducting and oral and community history projects and interpreting and presenting historical information in various venues in order to engage and educate public audiences.

HIST 699: Thesis

Vincent Cannato

Under the supervision of the appointed advisor. All topics must be previously approved by the program's graduate committee. The thesis will be defended before a committee of three faculty members who will also judge its suitability as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the master of arts degree.


Spring 2017 Courses in History Online MA

HIST 605: Introduction to the Historiography of American History

Vincent Cannato

This course will focus on the development of the historical field of American history over the last 100 years or so. Students will learn about various interpretive frameworks that have developed over that time, learn about the expanding number of subfields that blossomed in recent decades, and study various controversies that have recently affected the profession, including high profile cases of plagiarism. We will read and analyze various kinds of historiographical essays and look at how historiographical debates have shaped certain fields, from the study of immigration, to the controversy over the atomic bombing of Japan, to the issue of Soviet spying in the U.S. in the mid-twentieth century. All students will complete a twenty-page historiographical essay on one aspect of American history for their final project.

HIST 638: World War I

Spencer Di Scala

This course analyzes the causes and development of World War I and its aftermath.  The class will include examinations of the diplomatic origins of the conflict, the power relationships among the different powers, the most important military operations, and the historiographical debate that has raged over who was responsible for the conflict.  The aftermath of the war will also be discussed, including the Paris Peace Conference and the peace treaties, the complex developments that produced the postwar world, and the debate over their relationship to the outbreak of the next World War. 

HIST 682: Topics in American History: Readings in Immigration History

Monica Pelayo

This course is an examination of immigrant in the United States and the scholarly debates that surround immigration history. Moving in chronological order, students will work with primary documents and the most recent scholarship in order to analyze the various social contexts that immigrants have faced and impacts of immigration on American society and culture.

Full Course Listing for History MA Program