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School of Humanities

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Fall 2023

*images coming soon!*


HIS 101 
World Civilization I 
Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 
In this course, we trace the story of civilization from prehistory through the fifteenth century. Through a kaleidoscope of kings and slaves, warriors and philosophers, farmers and merchants, we will focus on certain themes. Four themes intersect in all the societies we study this semester. 
1) religious development and syncretism 
2) elite power and political organization 
3) technological innovations 
4) trade and economic development 
To focus on these themes and questions, we will be close reading primary sources (that is, texts produced by the societies we are studying, not by modern scholars) from many different civilizations. We will learn history by doing it – this means that students will learn to read and interpret primary evidence and come to their own conclusions about pre-modern societies. 
HIS 102  
World Civilization II  
T/TH 1:00-2:15 
Dr. John Winters 
In this class, we will touch on nearly five hundred years of global history since the year 1500. This includes big and often familiar issues of economics, politics, empires, war, and religion. But we will also spend time on things that are less abstract and are, indeed, more human, like how art and culture reflect societal norms, and the many ways that individuals and local communities can shape those larger stories. 
HIS 201 
U.S. History To 1877 
M/W 9:30-10:45  
Dr. Max Grivno 
HIS 204  
Exploring History 
T/TH 9:30-10:45  
Dr. Rebecca Tuuri 

Do you love hearing stories about or solving mysteries from the past? Have you ever wondered what professional historians do for a living? Do you want to learn more about the topic of your favorite historical drama series? If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, then this course is for you.

Exploring History is a sophomore-level course to teach students how to research, analyze, and write like a historian. We will be exploring a variety of types of work that historians do, including in public history, oral history, digital history, teaching, and beyond. We will delve into the types of questions that historians ask. We will talk about research methods from social history, cultural history, economic history, political history, and beyond. We will hear from many of your favorite Southern Miss history professors about the ways that they read, write, and present their work.

Most assignments will be short, engaging, and “out of the box” to help you gradually learn and appreciate the methods for conducting historical research, analyzing that research, and compiling your work into a compelling narrative.

This course counts as an elective towards the BA in History degree. 
HIS 300 
Research Seminar 
T/TH 1:00-2:15 
Dr. Brian LaPierre 
HIS 309 
Premodern Asian History 
M/W 1:00-2:15 
Dr. Kenneth Swope 
This course offers a survey of the history, cultures, religions, and philosophies of Asia from the origins of civilization to ca. 1500. The class will cover the creation of states and social structures and practices, as well as examine the relationships of Asian societies with the rest of the world, stressing their dynamism and creativity. Students will read a variety of primary sources in translation and have the chance to do a project on a topic of their choice. This course satisfies the Non-Western requirements for students pursuing education degrees. 
HIS 323 
The Vikings 
T/TH 2:30-3:45 
Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 
The image of the Vikings in modern popular culture has been as berserker warriors or as opera-singing women wearing horned helmets. Another common view of Vikings is that of the blood-thirsty pagan barbarians who descended upon peaceful monks or settlements. This view is based on the sources written by the early medieval victims of Norse raids. The later medieval Scandinavian saga literature painted their warrior ancestors as noble savages, and historians have examined the Vikings as one of these two extremes. 
However, Viking raids were merely one part of a complex adaptation by the Norse to the marginal lands of Scandinavia. Raids were certainly a portion of that adaptation, but so too were explorations, foreign settlement, trade, and farming at home in Scandinavia. The Norse were also savvy merchants, gifted craftsmen, hardworking farmers, and cunning political players who built kingdoms in Europe, established relations with the Muslim world, and even made it to the shores of North America. This course will explore the culture, history, arts and worldviews of the Old Norse, including their mythology, the saga literature, and their conversion to Christianity. 
We will also investigate how the Vikings have been understood and represented through the centuries between their days and ours. 
HIS 333 
Europe in the 19th Century 
T/TH 9:30-10:45 
Dr. Joe Peterson  

Napoleon, Jane Austen, and Beethoven… Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and Sherlock Holmes... Mary Shelley, Frederic Chopin, and Sigmund Freud… Harry Houdini, Helena Blavatsky, and Jack the Ripper... steamships, railroads, and Women’s Suffrage… “Human Rights,” World Fairs, the Eiffel Tower, and the scramble for Africa… Impressionism, germ theory, dynamite, and the Boy Scouts… the first bicycles, the first department stores, the first machine guns… the first hipsters, the first human zoos and concentration camps, and the first science fiction… The first age of mass literacy, mass advertising, and mass politics… The first recorded use of the word “socialism,” of the word “antisemitism,” of “feminism,” “nationalism,” “dystopia,” “agnosticism,” and “homosexual.” Why are so many of the issues and questions raised by nineteenth-century Europeans still with us today? Why does an age so seemingly distant and innocent—so “Victorian”—still feel so modern? What makes us modern, for that matter? We cannot begin to understand our present without understanding its origins in the nineteenth century.

HIS 350  
Public History 
T/TH 11:00-12:15 
Dr. John Winters 
Do you like museums, memorials, or history tours? Have you ever been curious about the history of Southern Miss? Have you ever wanted to add your voice to that story? If so, enroll in HIS 350! You will not only learn about the theory and methods of various public history spaces from traditional museums to new-age digital history, but you will also apply that knowledge and your talents to an ever-growing digital history exhibition on the history of USM. Bring your creative side, your research skills, and let's make a museum! 
HIS 360 
Modern Military History 
M/W 4:00-5:15  
Dr. Andrew Wiest 
This course takes an in-depth look at the development of modern warfare from the growth of national warfare under Napoleon to today’s war on terror. Paying close attention to both societal and tactical developments, the course endeavors to understand military history in the broadest sense. The fist portion of the course investigates the growth of total, industrialized war – focusing on Napoleon and the US Civil War. The course then moves on to a detailed investigation of total war at its height – in World War I and World War II. Next the course investigates the birth of modern limited war in the Cold War era, highlighted by Vietnam. Finally, the course investigates warfare since Vietnam with special focus on Afghanistan and Iraq. 
Students will read three books related to the broad scope of military history. The books include: Lloyd Clark, Battle of the Tanks: Kursk 1943 and Andrew Wiest, The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam. Since the history of modern warfare is so vast students will choose a third book in consultation with the instructor. 
Students will produce a book report on each reading. The reports will form 33% of the final grade. Students will take one midterm and a final – each counting for 33% of the final grade. 
HIS 370  
Mississippi History  
M/W 11:00-12:15  
Dr. Max Grivno 
HIS 400 
Senior History Seminar (Capstone) 
Survival of the Fittest: Social Darwinism and Scientific Racism in the United States 
M/W 9:30-10:45 
Dr. Andrew Haley 
“We have unmistakable proof that throughout all past time, there has been a ceaseless devouring of the weak by the strong.” Hebert Spencer, First Principles, 1862 
In the late nineteenth century, wealthy Americans justified their extravagant lifestyles with a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstrap philosophy derived from a misreading of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Wealth, status, and success, these Americans argued, was evidence of hereditary racial superiority. Embraced by American scientists, social Darwinism created a hierarchy of human evolution that justified racism, sexism and ethnic discrimination. In this course, we will study and discuss the founding ideas of social Darwinism and its consequences: scientific racism, the eugenics movement, the celebration of rugged individualism, immigration restrictions, and the racial stereotyping that took place during the World Wars. 
History 400 is a capstone course required for graduation as a History major. During the first half of the course, we will examine the science and culture of social Darwinism in a discussion-based seminar class. Students will read selections from nineteenth century works by Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer as well as the examples of social Darwinism and scientific racism found in novels, children’s literature, the popular press, comics, and film. 
During the second half of the course, with ample support from the instructor, students will write an original research paper that examines one historical instance of social Darwinism or science-justified racism. Students are required to prepare and submit a research proposal, detailed outline, and a final research paper. Students are also required to present their research to the class in an oral presentation. 
HIS 423 / WGS 423 
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 452 
History of Russia 1440-1894 
T/TH 11:00-12:15 
Dr. Brian LaPierre 
HIS 472 
American Environmental History 
T/TH 1:00-2:15 
Dr. Andrew Gutowski 
HIS 487 
Social Studies Methods 
M/W 2:30-3:45  
Dr. Brad Phillis 
HIS 488 
Social Studies Practicum 
M/W 8:00-9:15 
Dr. Brad Phillis 

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