Fall 2018 Courses in History MA Program

HIST 600: Research and Methods, McCahill

From at least the 800s BC, Westerners have looked to antiquity to explain, contextualize, justify, and ennoble their plans and aspirations. This course will examine a series of these historical borrowings. As we explore attitudes to Greek and Roman history, we will be talking more generally about how groups and individuals have understood and used their history. We will also be discussing research techniques, creative ways of reading primary and secondary sources, and the challenges of studying historical appropriations. All students will be required to write a research paper that deals, in some way, with the uses of the past.

HIST 602L: American Society and Political Culture: 1600-1865, Miller

This course follows the evolution of American culture, society, and politics from the colonial period through the Civil War. The course combines critical analysis of primary documents, such as diaries, letters, narratives, paintings, and novels, with discussion of some of the more recent and innovative work in the fields of History and American Studies in the early American period. The course will track the changes and continuities in beliefs, values, culture, and politics from the perspective of different social groups, including elites, Native Americans, women, artists, reformers, soldiers, workers, and slaves, with emphasis on themes of family life, gender roles, national identity, resistance, expansion, and race. Topics include: conquest, contact and accommodation with “Indians”; the culture and politics of the American Revolution and Civil War; the rise of the novel, newspaper, and photograph; the institution of slavery and the abolitionist movement; the growth of cities and urban life; and the age of reform. Readings include: Daniel Richter, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Patricia Cline Cohen, Drew Gilpin Faust, Colin Calloway, and Walter Johnson.

HIST 620:  Introduction to Public History and Popular Memory, Goldstein

This course will introduce students to the study and practice of public history. Through readings, field trips, guest speakers, and seminar discussion, students will explore the current issues and trends that shape the field of public history today. We will continuously ponder the various intersections of public history and memory studies—how do Americans remember the past and how do certain narratives of history become reproduced (or relatively ignored) in the public sphere? Students will also learn about some public history practices—museum exhibitions, historic preservation, and digital humanities—and have opportunities to analyze the interplay among memory, identity politics, and place consciousness. They will further critically examine major theoretical constructs including heritage, commemoration, and community. Students will come away with an understanding of the many contexts in which historians and the general public engage with one another, how historic sites and monuments contribute to public memory, and how and why controversies emerge in public history. This course is especially useful for students who are interested in working in cultural and/or historical institutions.

HIST 626: Introduction to Archives and Information Management, TBA

This seminar provides an introduction overview to managing archival resources, the essential principles of the profession, and the core work archivists do, including appraisal, acquisitions, preservation, arrangement, description, providing access, research services, and outreach. The course explores the history of manuscript collection in the United States; discusses current issues and new technologies in the field; explores trends in archival processing and access; and discusses theories that shape the nature of archival management. Students may gain some hands-on experience with manuscript processing, open source collection management software, and digital methodologies.

HIST 681:  Topics in European History: Holocaust as Public History, Bookbinder

This course will confront the Holocaust and other major genocides. The word “holocaust” means complete destruction by burning. Although the word is of ancient Greek origin, it has become synonymous with the destruction of European Jews by the Germans during the Second World War. The Holocaust was not inevitable, but it was very much an historical event with traceable roots and, at least in part, analyzable causes. The Jews, though the primary target, were not the only victims of the Nazi’s mass murder: Gypsies (Roma and Sinti), Jehovah’s Witnesses, male homosexuals, and Russian and Polish prisoners of war were victims as well. Our course will explore the background and the causes of the Holocaust and of genocide in general. We will look at the victims, the perpetrators, and other contemporary actors in this period. We will consider the major historical interpretations and the current controversies about Holocaust and genocide research, writing, and commemoration. We will look at documents from the period, including interrogation reports, memoirs, correspondence, survivor testimony. We will also examine the Armenian and Rwandan genocides.

HIST 688: Oral History, John

This graduate seminar will focus on the theory and practice of oral history. Students will learn basic methodological techniques and study the special characteristics and possible uses of oral history interviews. We will address how to critically evaluate oral evidence and integrate it with other forms of historical evidence. We will explore the ways oral history sources have provided new perspectives on old historical debates and how they have initiated altogether new ones, by bringing neglected subjects to the light of historical investigation. Seminars, readings, and discussions will emphasize theoretical and practical issues influencing oral history as well as the cultural and ethical issues involved in using this methodology. We will examine a variety of historical works based on oral sources in order to explore the ways they can be put to use in, for example, scholarly monographs, documentaries, radio shows, exhibits, and other forms of public and scholarly engagement.

HIST 690:  Thesis Prep, Weisser

In this class, students will learn the components of starting research on a Master’s Thesis. By the end of the semester each student will have a completed thesis proposal.


Fall 2018 Courses in History Online MA

HIST 600: Research and Methods: Genealogy and Family History, Winch

This course is about genealogy and family history in the broadest sense. The goal is to introduce students to the vast array of materials available for researching the histories of individuals, families, and communities in the United States. We will also be taking a number of “side trips” to Canada, the U.K. and Ireland (plus a couple to Australia and New Zealand and one to the Netherlands). All students are required to complete a 25-page research project. This course is designed to give you the opportunity to delve into your family’s past, the past of your town or community, or into the multiple pasts of this nation and its peoples (as well as those of the other nations we will be “visiting”). This is your chance to learn how to use the “building blocks” of history, the millions of records available online and the millions more being added every day, to “see” the past for yourself.

HIST 682: Topics in American History: America in the 1920s, Wollons

The decade of the 1920s in America is a period of enormous complexity, bracketed by the Progressive Era reforms, World War I, and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 at one end, and the Great Depression at the other.  A focus on the Twenties includes such topics as the vibrancy of the arts and popular culture, the rise of mass media (radio and film), consequences of Prohibition, the new youth culture, conservative religious and social backlash epitomized by the Scopes Trial, anti-immigration legislation and xenophobia that animated the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, and the economic booms and busts that lead to the Great Depression. This online seminar requires weekly discussion postings on Blackboard, two short 5-page papers based on the readings, and a final research paper of 15 pages on an aspect of the 1920s of your choice.

HIST 697: Special Topics: History of Mexico, Johnson

This course interrogates compelling recent debates over Mexican history, focusing on such topics as pre-Hispanic and colonial regimes, political persistence and transformation, environmental dislocation, intellectual and cultural production, patterned inequality, gender and kin dynamics, and social and cultural diversity. 


Full Course Listing for History MA Program