Fall 2023

The History Department will offer the following 6000 and 7000/8000-level courses. The attached descriptions are designed to provide a clear conception of course content.  It should be noted that while 6000 courses also include undergraduate students (4000 level), a distinct set of reading, writing, and grading expectations is maintained for graduate students.


Fall 2023 - On Campus Course Descriptions


HIST 4853/6853
African American Women's History – Dr. Beverly Bond
TR – 11:20am-12:45pm          MI 203

History is a complex and multifaceted subject and the study of people of African descent in the Americas, especially women, is often fraught with myth and misunderstanding. Since their initial arrival in the New World colonies in the 1500s and the 1600s, African American women have existed at intersections of ideas and laws relating to race, class, gender, and sexuality. In this course we will examine what this has meant for individual women as well as for African American womanhood in general. We will focus on the impact of slavery and segregation; economic and political activities; the migrations to the American West and to urban communities in the North and South; the development of African American religious, educational, social, and fraternal institutions; the tradition of female activism from the 19th into the 21st centuries; and the struggles for social, political, and economic rights. These topics will be examined by centering the experiences of African American women from the 17th through the 21st centuries. - Back.


HIST 7025/8025
Principles and Practices in History Education – Dr. Sarah Potter
W – 2:30-5:30pm        MI 223

This course will introduce students to a variety of research-supported pedagogies for the college history classroom. We will discuss course goals and course design, explore a variety of classroom strategies to engage diverse students in their learning, and consider best practices for assessment in classroom, hybrid, and online environments. Students in this course will produce an original syllabus for a history general education course and design/teach at least one week or unit of their proposed class. This course is required for all graduate assistants who wish to teach their own course sections. - Back.


HIST 7320/8320
Ancient Egyptian Religion – Dr. Suzanne Onstine
T – 2:30-5 :30pm        MI 223

This class explores various ideas about ancient Egyptian religion. We will discuss the basics (beliefs, the gods, myths, etc.) as well as the importance and problems of trying to understand an ancient religion.  Must be enrolled as an Egyptology graduate student in either History or Art History (or get permission from the instructor).  - Back.


HIST 7601/8601
US Historiography to 1877 – Dr. Brad Dixon
R – 2:30-5:30pm         MI 223

This course will introduce you to the ongoing debates between historians about Early America (before 1877). We’ll trace the history of Early American history from the early twentieth century up to now, with emphasis on the latest work in the field. We’ll explore historians’ methods, the categories they use to analyze the past, and most importantly how they frame their questions. Framing is everything. In Grant Wood’s painting, Parson Weems’ Fable, George Washington’s first biographer pulls back the curtain just as young George confesses to chopping down the mythical cherry tree. Take another look. Note the enslaved African American man and woman picking cherries in the background. What if we moved them to the foreground? How would the story change if they were the subjects? The painting reminds us of the central lesson of this class: Our understanding of history depends on who’s telling it and how they are telling it. From the background, we’ll see how over the last fifty years enslaved people, women, Native Americans, ordinary laborers, indeed a host of once-unknown actors became the subjects of transformative works of Early American history. - Back.


Fall 2023 - Online Course Descriptions

Online courses are fully online and completely asynchronous.


HIST 4160/6160 M50
Russia to 1917 – Dr. Andrei Znamenski
WEB – Online

This course explores history of Russia from early medieval times (the period of so-called Kievan Rus) to 1917, when, because of the Bolshevik revolution, a 300 years-old monarchy was toppled down. We are going to examine Russia as a “middle ground” Eurasian country, whose history, national identity, and political culture had been forged during intensive interactions between Eastern European and Asian cultures and civilizations.  We will examine the rise of Russian autocratic tradition and serfdom, which heavily affected modern history of that country. We will also discuss the formation of the Russian Empire, attempts to modernize its rural peasant society, and, finally, the rise of nationalities and the development of the Russian revolutionary tradition by the turn of 1900. - Back.


HIST 4294/6294 M50
Modern Japan – Dr. Catherine Phipps
WEB – Online

This course is designed to help you learn about the history of modern Japan and its position in the world. We'll cover everything from Japan’s early modern era to current events. Rather than treat the past and the present as two static end points, however, we’ll explore their connections and consider how history informs the present and how the present shapes what questions we ask of the past. 
Using primary documents, novels, film, and websites, we’ll explore such themes as economic & technological development, foreign relations & imperialism, race & gender, the environment, and intercultural exchange. We’ll also develop skills in critical thinking, writing, and source analysis. - Back.


HIST 4851/6851 M50
Women in American History – Dr. Christine Eisel
WEB – Online

In this course, we consider women’s experiences throughout American history, from the colonial period to modern times, with an emphasis on changes in women’s working, family, personal, and political lives. We will re-imagine US history by centering women’s stories, not as merely contributors to big events, but as historical agents whose fears, concerns, and desires shaped the past and how we understand it as scholars. Using a variety of selected primary and secondary sources, including monographs, essays, literature, and film, you will explore the ways in which women’s public and private lives intersected with, and were often defined by, changing ideals of gender, race, and class. - Back.


HIST 7060 M50
Gender historiography – Dr. Cookie Woolner
WEB – Online

This course will introduce graduate students to major developments in the field of women’s and gender history with a transnational perspective. Students will explore the issues, controversies, and paradigms developed in women's and gender history through reading both classic and newly emerging scholarship in the field. Readings will highlight the intersection of gender with race, class, and sexuality, exploring issues ranging from slavery, labor, feminism, colonialism, modernity, and reproduction, among other topics. An emphasis will be placed on an introduction to the historiography, methodology, and theory of the field, and how it can further our knowledge and understanding of the past and present. Students will write weekly reading responses, take part in weekly online discussions, and craft an historiographical essay on a subject of their choice in the field. - Back.


HIST 7101 M50
Global Topics: War and Militarism – Dr. Selina Makana
WEB – Online

Wars and militarism are salient features of globalization. This course seeks to understand how militarism as a particular ideology has shaped the modern world from a transnational perspective. Using a broad array of sources, which include political manifestos and military doctrines; literary accounts, photo collections and diaries; cartoons and film, the course will explore political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of wars from the twentieth century to the present day. How can we understand the relationship between gender and wars? How do different political regimes mobilize for the conduct of war, and how do their efforts resonate on the social and individual levels? How do wars transform individual lives and the social and political landscapes? How should historians engage with memories of wars, whether stories of victimization or claims about glorious pasts? Can wars be understood as a moral contest between good and evil, or is it rather a vicious or senseless exercise in universal destruction? - Back.


HIST 7883 M50
African American topics – Dr. Susan O’Donovan
WEB – Online

People of African descent figure prominently into the early history of mainland North America. They came as explorers, mariners, traders, paupers, and princes. Most of all they came as enslaved labor, and labor they did, laying the intellectual, legal, and economic groundwork for much of what defines us today.  Part history, part historiography, this course is all historical in the sense that we will draw from a wide body of scholarly literature as well as archival sources to explore what we know or think we know about a people who were anything but “socially dead.”  - Back.