Upper Division Courses

Summer 2024 - Online Course Descriptions

* = Honors section offered

Online courses are fully online and completely asynchronous.


HIST 3881 M51
African American History – Dr. Elton Weaver III
WEB - Online

The HIST 3881 African American History course surveys the African American experience from the African background to the present. Analyzing the “legacies of struggle,” black Americans struggle for freedom, justice, and full citizenship when discriminatory attitudes and practices divide American society.   The class covers major themes in African American social, cultural, and political history. It tracks significant events and developments such as slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and modern civil rights movements. - Back.


HIST 3035 M50
Technology and Culture in American History
– Dr. Caroline Peyton
WEB - Online

This course examines the intersections between the history of technology and American culture, with an emphasis upon the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. From the Edison to Tesla, gaming consoles, or even domestic technologies like the stand mixer, this course explores the history of technology from many different vantage points. The course analyzes the process of technological development in US history, the historical significance of technology and its relationship to American culture, and how social, cultural, and political forces shape technology. - Back.


HIST 4299/6299 M50
Topics in Global History: Global Human Rights
– Dr. Selina Makana
WEB - Online

The 1945 United Nations Charter and the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) were fundamental intellectual achievements, which set in motion the idea of universal, inalienable rights and freedoms for everyone, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. The UDHR, in particular, has not only shaped the dominant moral language of our time, but it has also become a source of inspiration to oppressed individuals and groups across the globe. This course traces the development of human rights discourse from the Enlightenment period to the present-day human rights revolution. We will explore human rights not only as theories embodied in texts, but as practices rooted in specific historical contexts. - Back.


Fall 2024 - On Campus Course Descriptions

* = Honors section offered


HIST 3001
Chucalissa - Dr. Bradley Dixon
R 9:40-11:05             MI 209

When a group of Civilian Conservation Corps members began construction work near Memphis in the 1930s, they accidentally unearthed the remains of a Native American town concealed for nearly five centuries. Dubbed Chucalissa or, “abandoned house” in Choctaw, the town’s history is entwined in a continuous fabric running from roughly 900 CE to the present day. In this course, students will delve into the history of Chucalissa in order to better understand the three worlds town has inhabited—of the Mississippian pyramid-builders, of historic Native peoples like the Chickasaws and Choctaws, and the modern world, where debates over archaeology, the treatment of human remains, and museum interpretations still rage. Students, working in close coordination with Chucalissa’s staff, will design, research, and complete a special project that will enhance the interpretation and visitor experience at the site. - Back.


HIST 3282-001*
History of Africa since 1500 - Dr. Dennis Laumann
MW 12:40-2:05           MI 211

This course covers the history of Africa from the origins of the Atlantic era to the present. Major topics of study include: African-European trade; slavery and the slave trade; African Diasporas; kingdoms and empires; European settlement and apartheid in South Africa; economic and political changes of the 19th century; European colonial occupation; the struggle for independence; Pan-Africanism; and Africa today. Class meetings will consist of lectures, discussions, guest presentations, and film viewings. - Back.


HIST 3840-001*
US Constitutional History – Dr. Scott Marler
MW 2:20-3:45             MI 203

We will consider the framing of the US Constitution and significant Supreme Court decisions from the Revolutionary period through the late twentieth century by placing them in social, political, and economic contexts. Special attention is paid to slavery and its aftermath (Reconstruction through civil rights eras). The course is divided into three units: 1) framing / ratification; 2) the pre-Civil War era; and 3) the post-Civil War era. Lectures will be standard, but the course is also designed to stimulate class discussions in which your participation and comments are strongly encouraged. - Back.


HIST 3863-001*/002
American Ideas and Culture – Dr. Christine Eisel
001: TR 11:20-12:45   MI 315,
002: TR 9:40-11:05     MI 315,

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 001-004
African American History – various sections offered.
001*: Dr. Brian Kwoba, MI 200, TR 1-2:25
002 : Dr. Elton Weaver III, MI 209, MWF 9:10-10:05
003 : Dr. Elton Weaver III, MI 209, MWF 10:20-11:15
004 : Dr. Elton Weaver III, MI 209, MWF 11:30-12:25

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 3884-001
The Civil Rights Movement – Dr. Brian Kwoba
TR 11:20-12:45                       MI 209

This course explores the history of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. We will focus on the complex nature of racial oppression and inter-racial relations. We will also engage with various events, organizations, and personalities that contributed to shaping the Black awakening of the 1960s in the United States. The course aims to model and foster critical thinking about African American history and encourages students to challenge the dominant or “mainstream” narratives and perspectives on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. - Back.


HIST 4074/6074-001*
Topics in US History: Gender and Pop Culture – Dr. Cookie Woolner
TR 1-2:25                    MI 203

In this course, students will develop critical thinking skills by reading, writing, and participating in class discussions to understand the various ways that gender is produced by and depicted in American popular culture. Questions we will ask include, does popular culture reflect the values of its consumers—or does it shape them? What can pop culture tell us about conflicts over not just gender but also race, class, sexuality, and national identity? By exploring these questions across a range of texts, this class will develop the tools for integrating cultural and gender-based analysis into an understanding of history. We will examine topics in 19th and 20th century popular culture and their intersection with gender from blackface minstrelsy to burlesque, bodybuilding/athletics, recorded music, amusement parks, vaudeville, film, advertising, popular literature, television, and music videos, among other topics. Undergraduate students will carry out original research on a topic of interest. - Back.


HIST 4161/6161-001
Socialism: A History – Dr. Andrei Znamenski
TR 2:40-4:05               MI 209

Historical overview of socialism as a modern political religion from its inception in the early 19th‐century to the present. Global history approach, focused on the diversity of socialist experiences: Marxism, Anarchism, British Fabians, German and Swedish Social Democracy, Soviet Communism, National Socialism in Germany, Maoism in China, the Israeli kibbutzim, Tanzanian ujamaa, and the Western New Left. - Back.


HIST 4702/6702-001*
US History since World War II – Dr. Aram Goudsouzian
MW 12:40-2:05           MI 203

How did we get here? How can we explain the identities of our major political parties, the impact of a mass-consumer culture, the American imprint on world affairs, or the profound and ongoing transformations in realms such as race, gender, and sexuality? This course looks to recent United States history for those answers. Students will read engaging narrative history, analyze key primary sources, drive classes with discussion, and do independent research. - Back.


HIST 4999-001
Doing History: Historical Methods and Skills – Dr. Christine Eisel
TR 1:00-2:25               MI 315

Historians are detectives: we dig through archives and examine artifacts. We use tools to help us analyze what we find. We present our findings in a multitude of ways, including in classrooms, books, presentations, museums, historical sites, and even digital spaces. This course will introduce you to the ways historians find and analyze sources, and present their findings to students, scholars, and the general public. In this course, you will learn about these methods and develop new skills as work as a historian, too. - Back.


Fall 2024 - Online

Online courses are fully online and completely asynchronous.


HIST 3290 M50*
Traditional East Asia – Dr. Yaowen Dong
WEB - Online

This course explores the political, intellectual, and cultural transformations in East Asia from Ancient times to the 19th century. It examines themes such as state formation, language and writing systems, religious and philosophical traditions, social structures, military conflicts, gender and family, economy and trade, and cultural changes in China, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and Vietnam. Throughout this course, we will examine whether, why, and to what extent should we think of East Asia as having a unity. - Back.


HIST 3324 M50
The Ancient Roman World – Dr. Benjamin Graham
WEB – Online

A sweeping history of the city of Rome and its empire from foundation to the conversion of Constantine to Christianity in 312 CE. This course focuses on the development of empire and the forces that held this huge polity together. It also looks closely at the implications of empire for both colonizer and colonized, with particular attention on notions of class, family, religion, citizenship, and slavery. - Back.


HIST 3881 M50-M55
African American History – various sections offered.
M50 Instructor: Dr. Elton Weaver III
M52 Instructor: Dr. Beverly Bond
M51, M53-55: 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 4276/6276-M50*
The Arab-Israeli Conflict – Dr. Beverly Tsacoyianis
WEB - Online

This course examines the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day with a focus on the region known today as Israel and Palestine. Topics covered include late Ottoman society, Zionism, WWI, the British Mandate in Palestine, the Holocaust and WWII, the creation of the Jewish state of Israel and of the Palestinian diaspora, the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, the First and Second Intifadas, the current war in Gaza, and related social, political, and cultural developments. While the main approach is historical, course material includes interdisciplinary methods informed by research in trauma studies, including from the social sciences, film and media studies, and the humanities. - Back.


HIST 4286/6286 M50
History of Nationalism in Africa – Dr. Selina Makana
WEB – Online

From late nineteenth century to the late-twentieth century, Africans in different regions of the continent staged protests and fiercely resisted European colonialism and imperialism. These anticolonial wars culminated in the formation of nationalist movements that agitated for the independence of African countries, albeit in an uneven manner. In 1957, Ghana became the first sovereign nation in Africa to declare independence from colonial rule, and dozens of other African nations would soon follow suit. While people across the continent and the world celebrated the end of empire, it was unclear what Africa’s new nations would look like. This course seeks to understand the emergence of nationalism in Africa. - Back.


HIST 4299/6299 M50*
Topics in Global History: Drugs – Dr. Eron Ackerman
WEB - Online

Drugs were instrumental in the making of the modern world. As global commodities, stimulants and intoxicants like coffee, tobacco, and opium fueled international trade and financed the building of empires. Physicians and psychiatrists saw great therapeutic potential in newly discovered drugs like cocaine, heroin, and LSD, but the buzz they generated soon gave way to moral panics. Concerns about the psychoactive effects and habit-forming potential of certain drugs prompted the rise of local and international prohibition laws. Prohibition aimed to curb consumption, but it had some severe side effects. Organized crime, street violence, and incarceration rates skyrocketed in the heyday of America’s “War on Drugs,” while consumption continued unabated. Taking stock of the conspicuous failures of criminalization, policymakers are now reassessing the punitive approach to drug control while psychiatrists are revisiting clinical applications for prohibited entheogens like psilocybin and MDMA. Harm reduction models are even beginning to replace prohibition in some localities, albeit with mixed results. Thinking historically about our long love/hate relationship with drugs can offer a more sober perspective on how we arrived in our present predicament and where we should go from here.
This course explores the social and political history of stimulants, intoxicants, and hallucinogens from 1500 to the present. Using analytical tools from the humanities and social sciences, we will consider what drug history can teach us about the relationship between culture and pharmacology, prohibition and organized crime, drug wars and geopolitics, and racism and mass incarceration. Topics covered include the Opium Wars, alcohol prohibition, psychedelic psychiatry, and the War on Drugs. Class meetings will consist of a blend of lecture, discussion, and primary source analysis. Assignments will include papers and exams, but there will be no Timothy Leary-style psilocybin experiments or Ken Kesey-style “acid tests.” - Back.


HIST 4324/6324 M50
History and Archeology – Dr. Suzanne Onstine
WEB – Online



HIST 4386 M50
Introduction to Museums – TBA
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 M50*
US Women’s 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.