Course Offerings for Summer 2014

HIST 848-01 Readings in American History: Sports History

This graduate course will examine the evolution of American sports from the seventeenth century when athletic activities were considered “wicked amusement”to the modern professional sports of the twenty-first century. This course will go far beyond box scores, sports super stars, and World Series champions. Readings will explore the relationships between sports and themes such as urbanization and industrialization, gender and race, social class and economy, and commercialization and globalization.

HIST 848-02 Readings in American History: Popular Music

This course is to serve as an investigation of relationships between American life and popular music.  It will include: defining and making distinctions between popular, folk and classical music; the role of formulating popular music in culture; the role of advertising through popular music;  cultural notions and stereotyping of the sexes and ethnic groups as expressed through popular song; popular music and its audience; and popular music on television.  Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course.

We sometimes hear how popular music is derided as being of lesser value, but it is an important part of our daily life. In fact, popular music is one of the sites in which we think about our values, goals, and emotions. Through popular music we think about today, and about the future… about continuity and change. This course examines the emergence and development of American popular music since the late nineteenth century, and the role it fulfills in American society. We will pay particular attention to what one of our readings calls the “Streams of Tradition: The Sources of Popular Music”; these being the European American, African American, Latin American, and other influences on the popular musical expression of the United States.

HIST 848-03 Readings in American History: The Civil Rights Movement

This course explores the historiography of the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the post-WWII period. It includes a liberal synthesis of the movement as a whole, a comparative analysis of the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, a social analysis of grassroots activism and the rise of Black Power, a women’s history perspective, a gendered analysis of class and power within the movement, a study of the international context shaping the movement, and a global comparative with the simultaneous struggle for rights in South Africa. Each approach to our subject is an opportunity to discuss how historians’ interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement for African Americans have changed over time.

HIST 848-04 Readings in American History: Civil War

An on-line summer graduate reading course. Through assigned readings, written reviews and essays, web-site investigation, and group discussions, students will explore critical issues in the historiography of the American Civil War. Special attention will be devoted to the causes of the war, the military strategy and political consequences, as well as the long-range implications of the conflict.

HIST 848-05 Readings in American History: Reconstruction

A graduate level special topics readings course on the Reconstruction period of American History (1861-1890). Special attention will be devoted to the issue of black civil rights and the resulting conservative resistance.

HIST 848-06 Readings in American History: National Parks

HIST 849-01 Readings in World History: Vikings

The Vikings are popularly depicted as barbarians who rampaged across Europe causing massive social upheaval. However, they were also artists, poets, and merchants who explored and settled in areas throughout Europe and the North Atlantic. In this section of History 849, students will analyze and discuss issues such as the nature of Viking society and government, the nature of Viking raids, and the impact of Viking expansion both upon the Vikings' homeland in Scandinavia and upon the rest of Europe.

HIST 849-02 Readings in World History: WWII in Asia

Asia was a major theater of conflict in the Second World War. Millions of Asians – Japanese, Chinese, and Indian, amongst many others –struggled and perished in the course of this war. This course attempts to view the Second World War from an Asian perspective. Students will be introduced to the major themes in the history of the Asian theater. These will include the institutions, tactics and strategies of the Japanese armed forces. There will also be a special focus on the role “war crimes” and “race” in the conduct of the war.

HIST 849-03 & 05 Readings in World History: Holocaust

The Holocaust looks at the history surrounding Nazi Germany’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe during World War II. The origins, course, and impact of what survivors call the Shoah will be examined. The topics covered include: the history of antisemitism in Europe and Germany, Eugenics and biological racism, the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy, the killing squads in the east, the experience of the extermination camps, and the memory of the Holocaust.

HIST 849-04 Readings in World History: Medieval England

This class surveys royal power and kingship in later medieval England from 1377-1485. It begins with the reign of Richard II (1377-99) and continues through the Lancastrian usurpation of 1399, the Lancastrian Kings (Henry IV, V, & VI), and concludes with the Wars of the Roses and the reign of Richard III (1483-85).

HIST 849-06 Readings in World History: Soviet Stalinism

HIST 894 Introduction to Thesis

Prereq: HIST 801 and HIST 803 and admission to the MA History program

A required course for graduate students pursuing the thesis option. Prepares students to conduct primary research, construct historical arguments, identify historiographical patterns, and begin the writing process.

HIST 896 - Thesis

Independent study course directed by a history graduate faculty member for students who are approved to pursue the thesis option.

HIST 899 - Directed Readings - 1-3 hours

Independent readings on advanced history topics. Readings to be selected and directed by a history graduate faculty member. A 3 credit hour Directed Readings course is required for students pursuing the thesis option.