Rachael Givens Johnson has won the Pilar Sáenz Student Essay Award from the Ibero-American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies

Incoming Ph.D. candidate among new class of Jefferson Scholars

Onuf elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Faculty: Peter S. Onuf

The Chile Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Thomas Klubock

( Duke University Press, 2013 )

La Frontera: Forests and Ecological Conflict in Chile’s Frontier Territory

Thomas Klubock

( Duke University Press, 2014 )

New publications by Professor Tom Klubock

Faculty: Thomas Klubock

Varon wins book award

29 Apr 2014

Varon wins book award

Faculty: Elizabeth Varon

Evan D. McCormick (Ph.D.' 15), receives Miller Center Fellowship for 2014-15

Fall 2014

HIUS 4501 (4)

Seminar in United States History

"Debating Science in Modern America"

Sarah Milov

This seminar explores how politicians, business people, activists, and everyday Americans have understood and invoked "science" in social debates.  We will focus on transfixing moments of political disagreement to ask questions about the role of experts within democracy, how social science came to be defined and used as a guide to policy, and the nature of certainty and uncertainty.  Topics include the Scopes "Monkey" Trial, eugenics, the decision to use the atomic bomb, Brown v. Board of Education, debates about overpopulation, tobacco, climate change and intelligent design.  Readings include monographs, articles and primary sources.

The course is intended to help students write an article-length (25-30 pp.) essay based on original research.  For the first six weeks of the semester, we will meet once weekly to discuss readings.  These sessions should help students formulate the question that will frame their research paper.  The remainder of the semester will focus on researching and writing on a topic of students own choosing.  Students will be assessed based on their in-class participation (15%), the production of a bibliography (15%), a rough draft essay (20%), and the final paper (50%).

This course fulfills the second writing assignment.

Fall 2014

HIUS 1501 (3)

Introductory Seminar in United States History

"Disasters in America from Cholera to Katrina"

Sarah Milov

Disasters play a powerful role in the American imagination, shaping our  understanding specific of places ( New Orleans, lower Manhattan), eras (the “atomic age,” a “post-9/11 world”), and concepts (an “act of God”). This seminar explores how Americans have experienced and understood some modern disasters in order to answer an essential question: to what extent should medical, social, economic or environmental disasters be considered natural? To answer this question, discussions will focus on the proximal and deep causes of disastrous events. Readings consist of first-hand and popular accounts of disaster, as well as scholarly writings. Topics include cholera, the San Francisco earthquake, the sinking of the Titanic, financial panics and depressions, the atomic bomb, toxic and industrial accidents, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.

At the beginning of the course, students will select a disastrous event in American history. Over the course of the semester, each student will write three 5-page papers, each analyzing “their” disaster from a different perspective. The course culminates in a “conference” in which students will give a fifteen-minute presentation on “their” disaster based on original research. Students are responsible for 100-150pp. of reading per week.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

tel: (434) 924-7147; fax: (434) 924-7891
office: M-F 8 am to 4:30 pm
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