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School of Humanities

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Spring 2023


his102HIS 102 
World Civ II 
Dr. John Winters 
M/W 11:00-12:15 
 
Welcome to HIS 102, your historical journey through world history! In this class, we will touch on nearly five hundred years of global history. 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 the various social movements for civil and labor rights, how art and culture reflect societal norms, and the ways individuals and local communities shape history. 
 
his202HIS 202 
US History Since 1877 
Dr. John Winters 
M/W 1:00-2:15 
 
Welcome to HIS 202, your introduction to American history from the Civil War to today! Through lectures, in-class assignments, group work, and outside readings, you will be exposed to the major themes of American history. These include political, social, racial, gender, economic, international, and cultural changes that shaped the United States and its people, as well as the stories of individual people and communities who shaped the world around them. 

his300HIS 300 
Research Seminar 
Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 
M/W 11:00-12:15 
 
This course is designed to introduce you to the historian’s task: what it is historians do and how they do it. We will strengthen your reading, writing, and thinking skills. We will ask what it means to read, write, and think like a historian. We will interrogate the archives: not just their holdings, but how they are made, when, by whom, and for what purpose. We will analyze primary source documents. We will consider two kinds of history: what happened, and what is said to have happened. The course allows you to put these skills into practice. You will conduct historical research and write a scholarly paper. You will review your colleagues’ work and offer critical feedback. At the end of this course, you will have a peer-reviewed piece of original scholarship, demonstrating your ability to read, write, and think historically. 
 


his310HIS 310 
Survey of Latin America 
Dr. Matthew Casey 
T/Th 11:00-12:15 
 
This course is designed to introduce students to the social, cultural, and political history of Latin America from pre-Columbian times to the present. The course will focus on four themes of fundamental importance to the region: (1) the challenge of political stability and economic growth, (2) the relationship between Latin America and other regions (3) the effects of racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequality in the region and (4) the way that ordinary individuals and groups both experience and shape larger historical processes. Each unit will begin with a broad overview of the region during a specific time period before focusing on one or more country case studies. Throughout the semester, students will be exposed to music, film excerpts, paintings, poetry and other non-traditional primary sources in order to understand the cultural history of Latin America. 
Note: All required readings for this course will be available free of charge on Canvas. This is an effort supported by University Libraries to reduce costs for students and promote the use of open access and zero cost educational resources. 
 
 
his331History 331 
Later Medieval Europe 
Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 
M/W 1:00-2:15 
 
This course examines high and later medieval European history, ca. 1000 – 1450 AD. In this class, we shall see the development and flowering of new medieval cultures, from elite knights to lowly peasants, as well as the various crises that they encountered, including the Black Death. Our goal will be to trace the development of communities and cultures; social relations and economic conditions; political, religious and intellectual institutions and thought. The course is taught thematically, exploring the mindsets of medieval people by understanding their ideas about power, belief, knowledge, and sexuality. We will focus on contextual readings of medieval primary source material, especially historical texts, religious texts, and material culture (archaeology). 
 
his334HIS 334 
Europe in the 20th Century  
Dr. Joe Peterson 
T/Th 9:30-10:45 
 
Russia’s military interventions in the Ukraine; violent terror attacks in the streets of Paris; Britain’s successful vote to leave the EU (Brexit); Syrian and other refugees pouring into Germany, Hungary, and Italy; rising nationalism and nativist attacks on immigrants and refugees; right-wing panic about gay rights or “gender studies” …. It seems every time we turn around, there is more evidence that Europe is disintegrating, that the European project of social democracy, international peace, and cooperation has come to an end. The very idea many people have of “Europe” is under siege. But what makes someone a European? What makes a state European? Is it ancestry? Is it geography? Is it a religious heritage, or a certain set of liberal social values? In order to understand these challenges and answer these questions, we must understand Europe’s 20th-century history. Just when parliamentary democracies had finally been achieved by some European states, Europe was plunged into 30 years of unprecedented total war and violence, mass ideological and economic mobilization, and authoritarian government. Out of the ashes and rubble of World War II were born the ideals that Europe has tried to live up to (human rights, social safety nets, international cooperation); but that same context also planted the seeds of challenges to Europe’s supposed ideals (decolonization, globalization, capitalism, immigration, and recurrent divisions within Europe). 

 

his351HIS 351
Themes in U.S. Military History
Topic: “Conflicts of Memory: Remembrance and Recovery in America’s Twentieth Century Wars”
Dr. Joshua Shiver
T/Th 2:30-3:45

This course examines Americans’ historical relationship with war, how they remember war, and how these memories shaped the modern movement to identify, recover, and repatriate American service personnel missing and killed in action (MIA/KIA) in the twentieth century. It seeks to understand how memories of war are socially and politically constructed and how these social constructions led to a movement to account for America’s fallen. Additionally, it will examine subjects such as the recovery, identification, burial, and civic memory surrounding MIA/KIA service personnel through the present day.

Students will learn to interpret primary records and secondary source materials, think critically about war and memory, learn from the experience of those who served in uniform, and understand how Americans’ views of war shaped the recovery of deceased American military personnel over time. For the class’s main assignment, students will use oral history interviews and other sources to produce a primary source-based research paper on a missing or killed in action veteran from Mississippi. Tentatively, the class will also tour and do research at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby.


 
his375HIS 375 
Economic History of the United States 
M/W 11:00-12:15 
Dr. Max Grivno 
 
This course offers a broad overview of American economic history from the colonial period through the dawn of the twenty-first century. There are many ways to teach economic history—none of them can be comprehensive in their coverage of events, ideologies, or interpretive schools. Stated differently, we have to make choices about what and how we teach. In the past, some of my colleagues have taught the course as a history of American consumer culture, or of American entrepreneurs, or as a history of managerial and regulatory regimes. Although I attempt to cover a broad swath of American economic history, we will not be examining some topics. Likewise, my approach to economic history is not heavily influenced by quantitative analysis. Rather, I am interested in the interplay—the connection—between larger economic transformations and the people who live on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder. We will read about Alexander Hamilton’s economic vision for the Republic, but we will also look at the beggars and day laborers who scratched out livings in the young nation’s cities. Similarly, we will read about America’s rapid economic and geographic expansion in the 1830s, but will also consider what that meant for the enslaved people who picked the cotton and the women and 
children who spun it into cloth. Thus, this course is a social history of American capitalism, one that seeks to understand the people who built America. 
Required Readings: 
Malsberger, John and James N. Marshall, ed. The American Economic History Reader: 
Documents and Readings. New York: Routledge, 2008. 
Nelson, Scott Reynolds. A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America’s Financial 
Disasters. New York: Knopf, 2012. 
 
his400HIS 400  
Sr. Capstone Seminar—Topic: Communities in Crisis 
Dr. Kyle Zelner 
T/Th 11:00-12:15 
 
Communities throughout history have had to deal with different crises, be they natural disasters, pandemics, crime waves, wars, civil unrest, or countless other catastrophes. 
 
HIS 400 is the required senior capstone class for all history majors and as such, the class will include a mixture of discussion seminars and considerable independent research/writing time. Along with a refresher on primary document research and historical writing, the first several weeks of the class will see students reading a number of articles and/or books about communities in crisis and discussing them in a seminar setting. 
 
For the remainder of the semester, students will research and write an original history of a community in crisis. The research paper (15-20 pages) must make extensive use of primary documents (such as newspapers, oral histories, diaries, letters, and other accounts) as well as the secondary sources written on their topic. The first draft of the paper will be evaluated by the professor and then redrafted to create a final manuscript. In addition to the major research paper, students will be required to give two oral presentations in the class. 
 
Some possible research paper topics might include: 
 
•What happened to New York City during the American Revolutionary War? 
•What happened to the community in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? 
•How did the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 change life in Chicago? 
•What happened to London during the Blitz in World War II? 
•How did the Civil War affect the town of Vicksburg? 
•How did the community in Birmingham, Alabama experience the Civil Rights movement? 
 
The possibilities are almost endless . . . 
 
Required text: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed., Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2018. 
 
Other readings as assigned. 
 
humHUM 402/502  
Digital Humanities Practicum 
Dr. Michael Fox 
Online Asynchronous 
 
This follow-up course to the more theoretical HUM 501 Introduction to Digital Humanities will provide hands-on experience in digital humanities methods and tools. Through a series of weekly labs, students will gain technical and critical skills in digital editing and curation, data analytics, and the culture of computation. For the semester-long assignment, students can choose either to write a mock grant proposal for a digital humanities project of their own design or, if it can be coordinated, to work on an existing project under the guidance of both the faculty leading the project and the teacher of this course. Students will come away from the course better equipped to imagine and carry out their own digital humanities projects or to make valuable contributions to ongoing ones. No prerequisites required. 
 
hisHIS 409/509 
Topics in Asian History 
Dr. Kenneth Swope 
T/Th 11:00-12:15 
 
This course offers an overview of Western Imperialism in Asia ca. 1600-1900 via a series of case studies of specific countries and events to trace the broader processes that resulted in Western global domination by the dawn of the twentieth century. The course will discuss the context and rationale for colonial and Imperialist expansion while also considering local conditions, reactions and repercussions. Case studies will include examination of the Dutch in Taiwan and Japan, Great Britain’s conquest of India and the Sepoy Mutiny, the Opium Wars and Boxer Rebellion in China, the French in Vietnam and the United States in the Philippines. Students will be assessed via class participation, including leading discussions, the completion of academic book reviews, primary source analyses, and delivering a presentation on the historiography on a subject of their choosing. This course fulfills the Non-Western history requirement for Licensure students. 
 
hisHIS 416/516 
World War II 
Dr. Andrew Wiest 
T/Th 2:30-3:45 
 
From the opening shots fired in China, to American troops splashing ashore at Omaha Beach, to the destruction of Hiroshima at the dawn of the nuclear age this course will examine the military, political, and cultural prosecution of World War II in all theaters of combat. Gripping tales will emerge, from the fall of mighty France, to the destruction of the German military on the Eastern Front, to the birth of a new American century. Students will read some of the classic World War II literature as well as some books of their own choosing and learn about the true nature of the most transformative series of events of the 20th century. Students will undertake a World War II themed research project as well. 
 
hisHIS 468/568 
The Old South 
M/W 9:30-10:45AM 
Dr. Max Grivno 
 
Far from being a romantic and timeless world of moonlight and magnolias, the Old South was a dynamic, restless, and often violent society. Built upon the backs of enslaved Africans and African Americans, the antebellum South was in the vanguard of America’s economic and political development—its planters harnessed new technologies and bent national and international markets to feed the plantation regime, while its politicians helped forge the modern party system. In the span of a few decades, planters and their enslaved workers transformed the South into the engine that drove the American economy. This course examines the American South from the War of 1812 through the Civil War, examining how Native, Black, and White southerners shaped the region’s history. The course has a particular focus on Natchez, Mississippi, which was home to some of the nation’s wealthiest and most influential slaveholders and a major entrepot of the Atlantic and Interstate slave trade. In addition to classroom discussions and lectures, the course will also feature a fieldtrip to historical sites around Natchez. 
Required Readings: 
Alford, Terry. Prince among Slaves. 30th Anniversary Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 
2007. 
Davis, Edwin Adams and William Ransom Hogan. The Barber of Natchez. Baton Rouge: 
Louisiana State University Press, 1973. 
Jordan, Winthrop. Tumult and Silence at Second Creek: An Inquiry into a Civil War Slave 
Conspiracy. Rev. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996. 
Wayne, Michael. Death of an Overseer: Reopening a Murder Investigation from the Plantation 
South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. 
 
hisHIS 482 
Europe and Islam 
Dr. Joe Peterson 
T/Th 1:00-2:15 
 
Why do some people in Europe and in the West see Islam as a threat to European values? Why do so many fear that Muslim immigration will transform or destroy "Western Civilization"? Why do many in the West think there is just one "Islam," with one unified culture or civilization, instead of recognizing the millions of diverse Muslims? Why do Westerners racialize Islam as Arab, even though the majority of Muslims worldwide are not Arabs? Have Europeans always thought of Islam this way—as an enemy of liberal values, an enemy of secularism, of gender equality, even a racial enemy? 
 
In fact, there is a long and ambivalent history—dating back to the Middle Ages—of Muslim presence within Europe and of European thinking about Islam. European encounters with Islam have often but not always been violent or intolerant. In this course, we will explore the history of European and Western approaches to Islam: from medieval religious debates and Enlightenment travel writing, up through the colonial conflicts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and all the way to present-day anxieties over Muslim immigration, “political” Islam, and terrorism. Islam is inseparable from the history of Europe. 

 

view previous course descriptions here

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