Upper Division Courses

Summer 2023 - Online and On Campus Course Descriptions

* = Honors section offered


HIST 3881 – M50 
African American History – TBA
WEB – Online

HIST 3881-201 (2nd PoT) 
African American History – Dr. Elton Weaver III
MTWRF MI 203 2:00-3:40 pm

This course surveys the African American experience from the African background to the present. Analyzing the “legacies of struggle,” how black Americans struggled for justice and full citizenship when anti-black attitudes and practices still marred society. It covers major themes in the social, cultural, and political spheres and tracks significant events and developments such as slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and modern civil rights movements.- Back.


HIST 3302 M50
Modern Europe – Dr. Daniel Unowsky
WEB – Online

This course will acquaint you with the major political, social, economic, and cultural forces which have shaped Modern Europe. We will pursue a chronological perspective and highlight the French, Agricultural, and Industrial Revolutions, imperialism, the Russian Revolution, communism, and fascism, the two world wars, the Holocaust, and the rise and fall of the Cold War. We will also turn out attention to the nineteenth century development of the notions of nation, class, gender, and race, and to the tragic fate of these modern inventions in the 20th century. - Back.


HIST 4640/6640 M50
New Nations, 1815-1850 – Dr. Christine Eisel
WEB – Online

This course covers 1815 through 1850 and introduces students to the political, economic, and social processes involved in state formation in North America. Students will examine the relationship between nation-states and citizenship, with an emphasis on often-competing American identities. This course will cover important historical themes that include revolutions in market, transportation, and technology; the growth of the institution of slavery; shifting political factions and popular dissent; and contests for power and resources. And yes, Andrew Jackson. - Back.


Fall 2023 - On Campus Course Descriptions

* = Honors section offered


HIST 3005
Asian American History – Dr. Yaowen Dong 
TR – 9:40-11:05am                 MI 209

Asian immigration has greatly shaped the social, political, cultural, and economic development of the United States. This course will examine the Asian American experience from early 19th century to the present. We will begin by examining how industrialization and empire-building spurred the movement and dislocation of the Asian Americans. We will also explore issues of exclusion, assimilation, and belonging of Asian Americans and their relationship with capitalism and wars. Lastly, the course will investigate the intersection between Asian American experience with feminist movement, African American Movement, etc. and how they contribute to defining what it means to be an American.  - Back.


HIST 3009 
Black Revolutions – Dr. Brian Kwoba
MWF - 10:20-11:15am                       MI 203

This course explores the history of Black revolutions and revolutionaries. We will focus on the complex nature of racial relations across space and time that produced social transformation towards liberty and equality for people of African descent. We will survey a number of revolutionary events, movements, and figures that have contributed to the project of building far-reaching and transformative Black and African-centered political theories and practices. - Back.


HIST 3281 001
History of Africa to 1500 – Dr. Dennis Laumann
MW  - 12:40-2:05pm              MI 203

This course covers African history from the origins of humanity to the beginnings of the Atlantic Age. We will study major topics and themes in early African history, including: agriculture and technology; African civilizations, languages, and religions; ancient Nile kingdoms; Bantu migrations; the spread of Christianity and Islam; the Trans-Saharan and Indian Ocean trade networks; and Sudanic empires. Class meetings will consist of lectures, discussions, guest presentations, and occasional film viewings. - Back.


HIST 3863 001
American Ideas and Culture – Dr. Christine Eisel
MWF – 9:10-10:05am                         MI 203

Ideas have a history, too! In this course, we will investigate the ways Americans have thought about essential features of social, economic, and political order. We will pay particular attention to the development of and debate over central ideas of equality, freedom, and individualism that have defined the order of common life, and how they contributed to the notion of an "American" identity. - Back.


HIST 3881 001-003
African American History

Multiple sections available: 
3881-001 – Dr. Brian Kwoba : MWF 11:30am-12:25pm MI 200                         
3881-002 – Dr. Elton Weaver III : TR 11:20am-12:45pm MI 307
3881-003 – Dr. Elton Weaver III : TR 9:40-11:05am  MI 307

History and culture of African Americans in light of their experiences; aspects of African American life and attitudes of dominant society within which African Americans lived; ways African American men and women shaped and nurtured their own lives, culture and history in U.S. - Back.


HIST 3905 001
History of Memphis – Dr. Charles Crawford 
T – 2:30-5:30pm         MI 211

A history of the area from earliest times to the present including consideration of economic, geographical, political, social, and intellectual topics.   Field trips to the historical sites in Memphis maybe given credit.  There may be occasional guest speakers and special programs. - Back.


HIST 4074/6074
Writing the Sixties – Dr. Aram Goudsouzian
TR – 1:00-2:25pm                    MI 209

The 1960s transformed the culture and politics of the United States. It set in motion the debates that continue to animate American life: the battle for racial justice, the quest for gender equity, the responsibility of government to its citizens, the role of the United States in the world, the nature of the environment, and the place of popular culture. In this course, we will read, contextualize, and analyze the perceptive, innovative nonfiction writers of the 1960s, giving us a powerful lens into a fascinating decade. - Back.


HIST 4327 001
Life and Death in Ancient Egypt – Dr. Chrystal Goudsouzian
MWF – 11:30am-12:25pm                  MI 209

Traversing the realms of the living and the dead, this class investigates the lives and deaths of common people in ancient Egypt. We will read laundry lists, love songs, magical spells, and funerary texts; we will explore homes, tombs, sanctuaries, and temples. Through the careful study of primary textual and material sources, as well as relevant secondary sources, we will work to understand what it was like for ancient Egyptians to live, love, grow old, die, and be born again in this complex and fascinating society. - Back.


HIST 4391 001
Omnivore’s Past: A Global History of Food – Dr. Benjamin Graham
TR – 11:20am-12:45pm                      MI 209

This course introduces students to the history of food by exploring relationships between humans and the things they eat. We shall adopt a long view on the subject by beginning our inquiry around the time of plant domestication and follow the thread up to the Food Network. The goals are to see how food has shaped history and how food has articulated elements of human identity. - Back.


HIST 4399 001
Topics in Europe: History of the Holocaust – Dr. Daniel Unowsky
TR – 9:40-11:05am                 MI 305

This semester we will study the Holocaust, the Nazi genocide of some six million European Jews during World War II. We will begin by considering the longer history of European Jewry, Judeophobia/antisemitism, nationalism, and racism before turning to the rise of Nazi Germany and the development and implementation of the “Final Solution.” Through scholarly works, primary materials, film, and other sources we will examine the Holocaust from a variety of perspectives in our effort to understand the actions taken by victims, perpetrators, and bystanders. In the final section of the course, we will explore the memory and commemoration of the Holocaust from 1945 to the present. - Back.


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.


Fall 2023 - Online Course Descriptions

Online courses are fully online and completely asynchronous.


HIST 3274 M50 
Islamic History since 1405 CE – Dr. Beverly Tsacoyianis
WEB – Online

The class is focused on the period from the late Mamluk Empire and the death of Timur Lang (Tamerlane) in 1405 CE to the end of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of post-colonial states in the 20th century. Areas of focus will be the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa with some material on other regions including Europe and North America. Specific themes include: the institutional and spiritual formations of Muslims, political structures, literary and artistic creations from the Islamic world, war, travel, and trade. - Back.


HIST 3303 M50
European Empires – Dr. Eron Ackerman
WEB – Online

For better or worse, the world we live in today is very much a product of the history of European empires. It is no coincidence that English is an official language in 60 countries, French in 29, Spanish in 20 (all in Latin America except for Spain), and Portuguese in 10. Over the past four centuries, European empires laid claim to large swaths of every continent (including Antarctica!). By the early 20th century, roughly a quarter of the world’s population lived in territory controlled by the British Empire alone. By the end of the century, however, almost all of Europe’s overseas colonial territories had fragmented into independent nations—most of them relatively poor and underdeveloped. 
How do we explain the dramatic expansion and collapse of European empires? How did people living in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Australia figure in these messy (and often quite bloody) processes? This asynchronous online course seeks to answer these and a variety of closely related questions about the rise and fall of slavery, the making of the global economy, and the widening of socioeconomic disparities between the Global North and the Global South that have persisted into the present. Rather than simply examining European empires from the top down, we will look closely at how colonized peoples around the world experienced, accommodated, negotiated, and resisted imperial expansion. By the end of the semester, students will have a more sophisticated understanding of the history of empires, colonialism, and decolonization along with their enduring social and cultural legacies.  - Back.


HIST 3322 M50
Egypt of the Pharaohs – Dr. Peter Brand
WEB – Online

In this course we will explore Ancient Egyptian history and society from the origins of the Egyptian state up through the end of the New Kingdom. We will work to build an understanding of Egyptian political, religious, and social structures and the major historical themes that impacted Egyptian history between 5000-1000 BCE. We will do this through both chronological and thematic historical study. We will look at the history, religious believes, interactions with foreign lands, and the social values and customs of the Ancient Egyptians. We will explore topics like kingship, the construction of the pyramids and other huge monuments, the lives of great pharaohs and of average Egyptians, mummification and burial practices, and hieroglyphic writing. By reading and studying ancient texts translated into English, we will hear the Ancient Egyptians speak for themselves. - Back.


HIST 3815 M50
World War II – Dr. Stephen Stein
WEB – Online

This course surveys the origins, conduct, and outcome of what remains the largest and most destructive war in human history. Traditionally dated from 1939-45, World War II has its origins in the expansionist wars of Italy and Japan as well as Nazi Germany's grandiose war aims. The material covered in the course extends from the November 1918 Armistice and the Versailles Treaty to the aftermath of World War II, though we will emphasize the period from the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the conclusion of the war in the Pacific. Topics addressed will include: the foreign policies of the major powers and how they were shaped by their respective ideologies; diplomacy among the respective alliances; the strategic, operational, and tactical effectiveness of the military forces of the major powers; the introduction of new technologies and weapons systems; wartime mobilization and life on the home fronts; the role of economics and logistics in shaping the war; and the horrors of German and Japanese occupation including the Holocaust.  
This is a University of Memphis online course. Students will log into the course through Canvas. Along with active and regular participation in online discussions, students will need to complete midterm and final exams along with two short, 5-page papers.  - Back.


HIST 3881 M50-55
African American History
WEB – Online

Multiple sections available

3881 M50 – Dr. Elton Weaver III
3881 M52 – Dr. Beverly Bond
3881 M51, 53-55 – TBA

This course examines African American history from the 17th century through the beginning of the 21st century. We will focus on the complex nature of race relations, on the development of African American culture, and on themes, issues, events, and personalities that have contributed to shaping the experiences of African Americans. We are living through some of the most confusing, turbulent times in African American History. I hope you'll be able to use what you learn from our textbook, the primary source documents, the videos, and some additional resources in the modules/units to better understand these events. - Back.


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 4386 M50
Intro to Museums – Dr. Rita Hall
WEB – Online

This course is designed as an introductory undergraduate seminar that may serve as preparation for the University’s Museum Studies Graduate Certificate Program. The course will cover the general history of museums, the transformation of the purpose of museums during the twentieth century, and the opportunities facing the future of museums. Students will engage in practical applications that will prepare them for future academic work in museums studies and/or future employment or volunteer work in museums. - 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.