HIUS 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.

HIUS 3131: The Emergence of Modern America, , c. 1877- c.1920


Course Topic: US History

During this period, the United States changed drastically from a society attached to local forms of life to a society dominated by national institutions, big business, and big government. Among the topics studied are the rise of corporate America, the simultaneous creation of the regulatory state, the modern organization of knowledge, and the creation of the first military-industrial complex of World War I. We will study also the landscape of new large urban and industrial hinterlands; the difficult encounters of region, class, ethnicity, race, and gender both at home and at work; and the changing leisure patterns of a consumer culture. Throughout the course, we will investigate the ways in which Americans have attempted to keep their modern mass society democratic.

HIUS 3151: US 1900-1945: Moralizing, Modernizing and Mass Politics


Course Topic:

Between 1890 and the end of the Second World War, the United States experienced a dizzying pace of change. During those decades the size and responsibilities of government grew in size as the industrial economy unleashed forces that would upend how Americans lived, worked, spent money, dated, and thought of themselves and of the rest of the world. This course explores how different Americans—rich, poor, black, white, rural, urban, men, women, immigrant and native born—understood their nation’s problems and possibilities.

HIUS 3282: Virginia History, 1900-2019


Course Topic:

History is the study of continuities and change over time. This course will examine social, political, and economic continuities and changes in Virginia from about 1900 to the present.

We will consider especially the following:

(1) Progressive reform, including eugenics, suffrage, and prohibition

(2) Governmental regulation of race relations

(3) The New Deal and World War II in Virginia

(4) Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” to court-ordered desegregation of public schools

(5) A New Dominion?

HIUS 3611: History of Women and Gender, 1600-1870


Course Topic:

This course will examine women's evolving social, political, cultural, and economic position in America from the colonial period to 1870 when the women's movement split over the Fifteenth Amendment. We will explore how both men and women thought of women’s proper “place” in society, that is, we will examine how gender came to be constructed and how it changed over time. We will discuss the ways in which race, class, ethnicity, and the region in which they lived shaped women's experiences. We will examine both the everyday lives of women, such as domestic work, as well as women's efforts to dismantle the private / public barrier – and the limitations to these efforts. We will discuss women's family responsibilities, work, education, political role, legal position, and sexuality over a period of two and a half centuries. Finally, we will emphasize women's changing relationship with their families, each other, and the state.

HIUS 4501: Exploring American Democracy, with Alexis de Tocqueville as Guide


Course Topic: US History

In this class, we read Tocqueville’s classic Democracy in America (1835, 1840) as starting point to write research papers on American democracy. This is an exceptionally rich source of ideas. The young French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville observed America with such brilliance during his American journey of the 1830s that he has helped Americans define themselves. Tocqueville is recognized as one of the world’s great theorists of democracy and the first to explore the importance of voluntary associations in American life. Readers of his Democracy in America confront vital issues of political moderation, racial integration, social justice, progress, equality, and the meaning of liberty in democracy. The class consists of weekly discussions of selected texts and preparation of a substantial seminar paper.

HIUS 7151: The United States, 1945-Present


Course Topic:

This colloquium examines the history and historiography of the United States since 1945. The course will introduce students to seminal texts and key debates shaping scholarly approaches to this era. Topics and themes will include: Cold War politics and culture; the fate of liberalism and the rise of conservatism; social movements of the Left and the Right; suburbanization, the urban crisis, spatial segregation, and political realignment; the politics of race, ethnicity, and gender; capitalism and inequality; and foreign policy in an era of globalization. Readings and discussions will examine the intersection of politics, culture, and society in modern U.S. history.


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