Independent Study in General History
In exceptional circumstances and with the permission of a faculty member any student may undertake a rigorous program of independent study designed to explore a subject not currently being taught or to expand upon regular offerings. Independent Study projects may not be used to replace regularly scheduled classes. Enrollment is open to majors or non-majors.
American History, 1600-1865
This introductory survey course is designed both for prospective majors and non-majors. It will trace the relationships between social, economic, and religious change and the development of American political institutions. There will be two 75-minute lectures and a mandatory discussion section each week. The primary text for the course is Boyer, et al., The Enduring Vision, volume I. In addition, there will be supplementary readings from primary sources (sources written by figures in the past that describe their experiences or views).
Readings will average 100 pages
In addition to a final exam, the course will require either two hourly exams or one hourly and three brief (3-5 page) papers.
9/11 and American Foreign Relations
In this course we will examine the impact of 9/11 on the evolution of U.S. foreign policy.
We will look at some of the books on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the "War on Terror." But we will also explore the impact of 9/11 on other aspects of U.S. foreign relations. During the first part of the course we will read several of the most important accounts on the Bush administration and U.S. foreign policy, e.g. James Mann's, The Rise of the Vulcans, George Packer's, The Assassins' Gate, Bob Woodward's, Bush at War, Thomas E. Ricks', Fiasco, Ron Suskind's, The One Percent Doctrine, and Ali Allawi's, The Occupation of Iraq. But the focus of the course will be on the preparation of a major research paper based on primary sources. Students will be expected to examine congressional hearings, memoirs, newspapers, the electronic data bases of various government agencies, and other records and integrate these findings with insights gleaned from the recent secondary literature. Early in the semester students will submit a research proposal and a working bibliography. Later in the semester students will discuss drafts of their paper with the entire seminar. They will then have a chance to revise their drafts and submit a final essay of about 25-30 pages, plus notes and bibliography.
Topics in Modern Southern History
This research seminar focuses on the history of the US South from 1890 to the present through readings, discussions, and completing article-length research papers. Topics of emphasis include the transnational US South, the cultural history of the US South, the intersection of African American history and Southern history, and the new Southern labor history.
Early African History through the Era of the Slave Trade
From the mists of the once-dark continent’s unwritten past Early African History draws out Africans’ distinctive strategies and achievements in culture, politics, and economics. Starting broadly at the dawn of history and continuing in detail from the millennium before the Present Era, HIAF 201 follows the sometimes-surprising ways in which village elders, women, merchants, kings, cattle lords, and ordinary farmers pursued meaningful lives without the technologies that modern Americans take for granted. The last third of the course examines the ironic interplay of tragedy and ambition in a continent increasingly trapped in exiling its own people in slavery to Europeans, until the Atlantic slave trade began to wind down after about 1800. (A second semester of modern African history, HIAF 202, taught in spring semester, follows subsequent events down through twentieth-century colonialism and the post-1960 era of independence and impoverishment.)
HIAF 201 is an introductory lower-division survey. The instructor presents the major themes of the early history of the continent in lectures twice each week. Students meet additionally in discussion sections for reviews of readings, map quizzes, and preparation for written assignments. Requirements include weekly short map quizzes, short written responses to each class, a short paper reacting to assigned readings, and a take-home final exercise. The course belongs to the Afro-American and African Studies curriculum, qualifies for the new minor in African Studies, meets the “non-western/non-modern” requirement for the major in History, counts as an adjunct course for Studies in Women and Gender, and qualifies for the College “non-western perspectives” area requirement.
After an opening consideration of Mistaking Africa (Keim) in modern American culture, readings revolve around weekly assignments in texts of varying perspectives (Reader, Africa: A Biography of the Continent, and Newman, Peopling of Africa – subject to revision upon availability of a superior alternative). Other chapters and professional articles introduce the distinctive methodologies of doing history without written sources (including the famous Mande oral epic Sundiata), highlight interpretive (“historiographical”) issues, and consider concepts relevant to understanding early Africa.
No formula determines final marks for HIAF 201. Students are graded according to their “highest consistent performance” in all aspects of the course, including attendance at lectures and participation in discussions, with ample allowance made for the unfamiliarity of the subject matter early in the term; options allow students to devise personal combinations of graded work that allow each one to take advantage of specialized abilities and accommodate other academic commitments.
HIAF 201 presumes no prior knowledge of Africa or experience with the study of history. However, consistent application and preparation are expected, particularly early in the term, since the subject is new to nearly everyone in the course. Students in all four years of their undergraduate careers and in all colleges of the University complete HIAF 201 with success. Most find it a challenging and rewarding opportunity to discover a once-neglected story of Africa and its place in world history and to examine assumptions that modern Americans – themselves included – make that they did not know they held.
History of U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1914