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School of Humanities

History Graduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2023


HIS 423/523 
Out: A Queer History of America 
M/W 2:30 – 3:45 
Dr. Andrew Haley
Out: A Queer History of America is a reading and discussion course that examines how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer Americans have constructed identities and fostered communities and how American attitudes toward LGBTQ+ peoples have changed since the nineteenth century. 
The course is divided into five segments. In the first section, we will explore LGBTQ+ relationships in the nineteenth century before science and society labeled these bonds and identities. In the second period, we look at how science defined gay and lesbian romance, the elusiveness of concepts of gender and sexuality, and the earliest American gay communities. In the third segment, we will study the development of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans subcultures in the United States and the Cold War-era repression that queer Americans suffered. In the fourth, we examine LGBTQ+ activism, focusing special attention on the Stonewall riots and the backlash that followed. Finally, at the close of the semester, we look at the effects of AIDS on the gay community, the historic roots of same sex marriage, and the rise of trans visibility and the backlash of transphobic violence. 
By the end of the class, you should have a better understanding of how sexual and gender minority groups have shaped American values and rights, how attitudes towards sexuality and gender have changed (and not changed) over the course of the past hundred and fifty years, and how efforts to exclude LGBTQ+ Americans from public life have played a decisive role in shaping the history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Throughout the course, we will also discuss the challenges of documenting the history of queer America. Students in the course will have the opportunity to explore historical (primary source) documents and do hands-on research. 
HIS 552 
History of Russia 1440-1894 
T/TH 11:00 – 12:15 
Dr. Brian LaPierre 
HIS 572 
American Environmental History 
T/TH 1:00 – 2:15 
Dr. Andrew Gutkowski 
HIS 710 
Research and Methods 
W 6:00-9:00 
Dr. Matthew Casey 
HIS 711 
Research Seminar in American History 
W 6:00 – 9:00pm 
Dr. Heather Stur 
HIS 712 
Research Seminar in European History 
W 6:00 – 9:00pm 
Dr. Heather Stur 
HIS 720 
Modern European Historiography 
T 2:30 – 5:15 
zelnerHIS 725 
U.S. Historiography I Seminar 
T 6:00 – 9:00pm 
Dr. Kyle Zelner 
Historiographic study, or the study of the study of history, is an incredibly important part of being a historian. Historians do not begin a single project without first learning what came before—what other historians have said on the topic, how they said it, and what the state of the field is at the moment. As beginning professional historians, students will be expected to talk about the historical debates surrounding their topics and how their work intersects with those debates. Students will be expected in their classes, and especially during their comprehensive exams, not only to know what happened in the past and why, but who argued what and the methods they used to come up with those arguments. This course will start you down the historiographical road. We will examine some of the main debates in early American history as a way to “jump start” each student’s historiographical knowledge. Once students have successfully completed this course, they will know some of the important highlights of the field—but also come to the realization that they have just started what will likely be a lifelong task. 
Students in the class will read deeply and widely on each debate and will come to class prepared to debate the topic at hand. NOTE: Students should come to the first class before purchasing any books for the various weeks, as we will choose individual books for the course during the first class meeting. 
Students will write numerous book reviews, write a short historiographical paper, lead a few and participate in all class discussions, and write a comprehensive exam-type answer for their final exam. 
Some of the topics we will explore: 
-Native Americans, Contact, and Ethnohistory 
-The Puritans of Colonial New England 
- Slavery in the Colonial Chesapeake 
-Coming of the Revolution 
-Women in the Early Republic 
-The Market Revolution 
-Antebellum Slavery 
-The Civil War: Who Fought and Why? 
swopeHIS 736 
Modern War and Society 
M 6:00 – 9:00pm 
Dr. Ken Swope 
This seminar introduces students to salient literature pertaining to Asia's "Century of Revolution." Topics examined include the rise and fall of Western & Japanese Imperialism, the emergence of communist China and the origins of the Cold War in Asia. 
zelnerHIS 796 
Practicum in the Teaching of History in Colleges and Universities 
TH 2:30 – 5:15 
Dr. Kyle Zelner 
Required for all first-time teaching and graduate assistants and optional for others, this class is designed to encourage graduate students to think about the major issues of teaching at the college level, both as teaching assistants and as independent instructors. Different faculty members will visit to lead discussions on a different topic each class period. The course covers basic issues of teaching and learning strategies, classroom philosophy and management, technology in the classroom, testing and other assignments, issues of diversity, effective classroom presentation, and how to construct one’s own course. 
Required Text: 
Barbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching, 2nd ed. Wiley: Jossey-Bass; 2009. 
Students will engage in weekly discussions, write several short reaction papers, and design and execute a sample lecture for an introductory History class. 

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