HIST Courses

For the most updated list of courses offered and more information including course times, locations, and enrollments, please see SIS or Lou's List. Faculty information can be viewed in the Faculty Directory.

HIST 1501: Virginia in the Civil War Century


Course Topic:

This introductory seminar, intended for first- or second-year students, will examine Virginia during the period 1800-1924. Students will read, discuss and write about the factors that caused Virginians to enter the rebellion against the United States and join the Confederacy; Virginians’ roles in the Civil War; and the aftermath of the War, ending with the passage of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. This seminar will emphasize the enhancement of critical and communication skills in the context of the study of history.

HIST 3281: Genocide


Course Topic:

One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations. In this lecture course, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the mass violence carried out by Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and the “ethnic cleansings” and genocides of the post-Cold War era (e.g., in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda). While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of rank-and-file perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of perpetrator regimes, and the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community. Requirements include attendance at lecture, active participation in weekly section meetings, weekly readings of about 100-150 pages, the viewing of several films, three short (2-page) writing assignments based on required readings/films, a midterm exam, and a final exam. The course is open to all undergraduate students and does not have any prerequisites.

The textbook for the course is Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (3rd ed.). Excerpts from the following books also will likely be assigned: Jean Hatzfeld, Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak (2005); Donald E. & Lorna Touryan Miller, Survivors: An Oral History of the Armenian Genocide (1993); Donald L. Niewyk, ed., The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation (4th ed.); Elie Wiesel, Night (2006); and Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (2008). Likely films to be viewed include: The Armenian Genocide (dir. Andrew Goldberg); The Wannsee Conference (dir. Heinz Schirk); A Century of Revolution, Part II (dir. Sue Williams); S21 - The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (dir. Rithy Pan); and The Ghosts of Rwanda (dir. Greg Barker).

HIST 4990: Distinguished Majors Special Seminar


Course Topic:

In this seminar, fourth-year DMP students will conduct research for their theses, write a prospectus, and begin to draft the thesis. This course is open only to fourth-year students in the Distinguished Majors Program.

HIST 5130/LAW 9233: Global Legal History

Halliday & Nicoletti

Course Topic:

This course is concerned with European legal regimes as they moved around the globe, and more generally, with questions and methods in legal history. It is designed for a mix of advanced undergraduates (including non-History students, such as PPL, PST, Politics, and Anthropology), graduate students, and Law students. We will consider European legal regimes’ interactions with one another and with non-European legal cultures from roughly 1500 to the twentieth century. Themes include, but are not restricted to, empire formation; conflicting ideas of property; interaction of settler and indigenous peoples; the law of nations and the law of war; debt and commerce; and piracy and the law of the sea. We will focus on recent scholarship. Books we will read may include, among others, Stuart Banner, Possessing the Pacific; Lauren Benton, A Search for Sovereignty; Brian Owensby, Empire of Law and Indian Justice in Colonial Mexico; and Lisa Ford, Settler Sovereignty. We will also read some shorter works concerned with legal history methods. The course will have multiple short writing assignments and a take-home exam.

HIST 5501: Historical Geospatial Visualization


Course Topic:

Fall 2019 Topic: Mapping Indigenous Worlds in Early North America. This workshop introduces advanced undergraduate and graduate students to a variety of methods and platforms for digital research featuring geospatial data. Students will contribute to a common research project as they learn geospatial visualization methods using using ArcGIS Online, MapScholar, Neatline, and VisualEyes. Tutorials with visualization experts on Grounds, discussions of common readings, and independent visualization projects will be featured. This course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students by permission of the instructor. This course counts as an elective for the Graduate Digital Humanities Certificate program.


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