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School of Humanities

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

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**This is not a complete list of course offerings. Please use the Course Catalog in SOAR for accurate advising.**


HIS 201 
US History 
Dr. John Winters 
T/TH 9:30-10:45AM 
This course is a survey of American history from Reconstruction to the present day. Through lectures, readings, and in-class discussions, we will examine the major political events, social and economic developments, international influences, and cultural changes that have impacted the nation since 1877. By the end of the class, we will have a better understanding of how we got to where we are today, what role the United States plays in the world, and the many ways individuals and communities shape and are shaped by the world around them. 
HIS 330 
The Early Middle Ages 
Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 
M/W 9:30-10:45AM 
This course will introduce students to a formative period of early medieval history, 300-1000 CE. We will emphasize the mash-up of Roman, Germanic, Christian, and non-Christian traditions into a new medieval civilization. We will trace the development of communities and cultures; social relations and economic conditions; political, religious and intellectual institutions and thought. The principal goal will be to acquire an informed understanding of certain themes, such as “ethnogenesis” (nation or ethnic formation); the significance of monotheism (belief in one god); the nature of medieval source material, especially historical texts, religious texts, and material culture (archaeology). Our task for the semester will be to examine the transformation of the relatively unified, urbanized, polytheistic Roman Empire of Late Antiquity into the distinct, deurbanized, monotheistic, and politically divided civilizations of Latin (Catholic) Christendom, Greek (Orthodox) Christendom, and the Caliphates of Islam. 
HIS 350 
Public History 
Dr. John Winters 
T/TH 2:30-3:45PM 
Students in this course will engage with the theory and methods of public history. The class is split into two Sections. Section 1 is the scholarly analysis of public history and museums through readings, case studies, and seminar-style discussions. We will analyze the philosophy and practice of the museums and historic homes, explore what it means to do "activist" public humanities, explore the wide world of digital history, and interrogate the purpose and power of public parks and memorials. By the end of this section, we will have addressed the question: what is public history and who, exactly, is the public? In Section 2, we will meet every class period at the Special Collections in the McCain Library and Archives. As a group and with the assistance of USM librarians, you will conduct research on a topic related to the semesterly theme and contribute to a publicly accessible exhibition on the history of USM. You will do this in small teams and present your group projects to the campus community. 
HIS 424 
World in the 20th Century: Global History of Mass Incarceration 
Dr. Katya Maslakowski 
T/TH 1:00-2:15PM 
Prisons and jails across the globe currently hold more than 10 million people, approximately one-fifth of them in the United States alone. The course introduces students to the intertwined histories of the modern prison and various types of detention camps (concentration, forced labor, prisoner-of-war, refugee) that became ubiquitous over the course of the modern era. With an eye to both similarity and difference, the course aims to investigate these developments from an integrated global perspective in an effort to understand the ideas behind the implementation of specific systems of confinement and the lived experience of those confined. 
HIS 471/571 
American Frontier 
Dr. Patrick Hoehne 
M/W 1:00-2:15PM 
This cross-listed course for graduate and advanced undergraduate students explores the history and mythology of the American West. The “Wild West” endures in American memory as a dangerous, violent, and romantic region. Indeed, gold, guns, and gallows continue to dominate many of our popular representations of this history. But what was western expansion really like? Was it truly lawless? Just how violent was it? How likely were you to die of dysentery? In this course, we will answer those questions and more. 
This course will span from the colonial period through the dawn of the twentieth century. This is not a simple narrative of the continuous movement of settlers towards the Pacific Ocean, but a twisting and complicated history of many peoples, movements, exchanges, and collisions. As we move across this range, we will examine violence, race, law, gender, and the economy. We will also trace the roots of the mythologization of the West and appraise media representation in print as well as in both film and video games. 
HIS 473/573 
U.S. Foreign Relations 
Dr. Heather Stur 
T/TH 11:00AM-12:15PM 
In this course, we will explore the relationships that the U.S. had with other nations from America's founding to the Global War on Terror of the 21st century. We will study politics, war, diplomacy, culture, and ideas, and we will see how America's relationship with the world has shaped the lives of people at home and abroad. By the end of the semester, we will use the historical contexts of U.S. foreign relations to help us understand America's current relationships with allies and adversaries and to think about how the U.S. might respond to ongoing and potential conflicts around the world. 

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