HIUS 4501 (4)
Seminar in United States History
"Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello"
This seminar will be taught by Ms. Christa Dierksheide of Monticello.
During the past decade, historians and writers have most often described Thomas Jefferson in one of two ways: as an “impenetrable” character or as a “hypocritical” slaveowner. But this course will seek to move beyond these paradigms by considering Jefferson in the context of his “autobiography”—his mountaintop plantation at Monticello. Students will examine Jefferson through the lens of Monticello and its hundreds of people, both free and enslaved. After visiting Monticello, students will be encouraged to examine Jefferson through a variety topics—including slavery, architecture, garden/landscape theory, material culture, and gender—that will provide the basis for a research paper.
We will spend the first five weeks of the semester together discussing readings and research methods. During this time, students will write short, persuasive essays in response to the readings. After this period, students will work with me to develop a research topic that reflects their interest(s) in Jefferson and Monticello; this topic will form the basis of a 25-30 page research paper. While students are working on their respective research projects, we will meet sporadically as a group to workshop proposals and drafts.
Grading will be based on class participation, the short reading responses, a rough draft of the research paper, and the final draft of the research paper.
This course examines the history of the Atlantic World, ca. 1450-1815. It considers the “Atlantic World” as a conceptual frame for studying the history of European imperial expansion in the early modern period and emphasizes multilateral exchanges of people, organisms, goods, and ideas linking Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Themes include: migration, the slave trade, slavery and plantation societies, maritime commerce, the Columbian exchange, economic development, Native America, settler colonialism, ideologies of empire, material culture, and comparative revolutions. This course supports Ph.D. students in the History Department undertaking exam fields in Early American History, 1584-1815 and Atlantic History.
Master's Essay Writing
This course is a workshop for first-year Ph.D. students in History as well as M.A./J.D. students who are writing article-length works of original historical scholarship. To make progress toward the master's essay requirement, first-year History graduate students may take this course or work independently with a faculty advisor (by registering for a section of HIST 9961 by permission of the DGS and faculty member) during the spring semester of their first year. Students should come to this course with a research project that is well underway. Class meetings will focus on strategies for effective scholarly writing and will involve reading and critiquing works-in-progress. Before April 30, each first-year History student will present a pre-circulated final draft of his or her master's essay to an ad hoc seminar convened by the faculty advisor and attended by graduate students and faculty in the field.
HIUS 3150 / RELC 3150
Salem Witch Trials
The course will explore the historical scholarship, literary fiction, and primary source materials relating to the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. How and why did the accusations begin? How and why did they stop? Serious theories and wild speculations abound both in 1692 and now. Who were the female and male heroes, victims, and villains in this tragic episode? The most gripping personal stories are to be found in the court records and in the literary portrayals by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Arthur Miller. Explore the impact of this small-scale, 300 year-old event upon America’s cultural heritage -- how and why did "Salem witchcraft" become part of the American cultural imagination? The course will draw upon parts of the following historical works: Entertaining Satan by John Demos, Salem Story by Bernard Rosenthal, and In the Devil’s Snare by Mary Beth Norton, in addition to selected journal articles, documentary films, and Arthur Miller's classic play The Crucible. The class will include short 2 page essays on reading materials and culminates in two short essays to be written on important figures and/or topics related to the witch trials, based entirely on the primary sources. Class discussion sections will be held online at the course's Collab Forum. The class will make extensive use of the online "Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive" <http://salem.lib.virginia.edu> which contains all the original court documents and contemporary accounts.
HILA 1501 (1)
Introductory Seminar in Latin American History
"The Conquest of America"
This seminar will introduce students to the history and historiography of the conquest of the Americas. The assigned texts will cover different historical interpretations of the conquest and colonization of what is today Latin America. In addition, the class will examine the different approaches historians take to writing history. We will ask how historians choose and interpret evidence, how historians explain causality, and how historians build narratives. In addition to a number of original primary sources from the period of the conquest, assigned texts will include the following secondary works of scholarship: Crosby, The Columbian Exchange, Todorov, The Conquest of America, Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest, Clendinnen, Ambivalent Conquests, and Townsend, Malinztin’s Choice.
(Prerequisite: HIEU 2041, HIEU 3021, HIEU 3041, or instructor permission)
How and why did the Romans come to dominate the known world by 140 BC? This course explores the relations between the martial tenor of Roman society, the army, war aims, and diplomacy and internal politics. Was the Roman empire assembled intentionally or unintentionally? Did the Romans of the Middle Republic have a foreign policy, or a strategic sense, at all? A discussion seminar open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Readings average 200 pages per week; one seven-to-ten-page paper, one ten-to-fifteen-page paper, one brief oral report, and a final. This course fulfills the undergraduate second writing requirement.
Readings will be drawn from Livy, Polybius, and Plutarch; a selection of modern scholars, including W. Harris and A. Eckstein; and a course packet.
Roman Republic and Empire
A survey of the political, social, and institutional growth of the Roman Republic, with close attention given to its downfall and replacement by an imperial form of government; and the subsequent history of that imperial form of government, and of social and economic life in the Roman Empire, up to its own decline and fall. Readings of ca. 120 pages per week; midterm, final, and one seven-page paper.
Readings will be drawn from the following:
- Sinnegan and Boak, A History of Rome (text)
- Livy, The Early History of Rome
- Plutarch, Makers of Rome
- Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
- Tacitus, Annals of Imperial Rome
- Apuleius, The Golden Ass
- R. MacMullen, Roman Social Relations
- and a course packet
HIUS 1501 (4)
Introductory Seminar in United States History
"Education, Social Life, and Slavery in Jefferson’s Academical Village"
This seminar examines the construction and administration of the Academical Village at the University of Virginia from its founding in 1819 to ca. 1870. In particular, we will explore the social history of the early university (1825-1870)—the space where students, faculty, administrators, support staff, laborers, slaves, free blacks and a host of other local Albemarle residents lived and interacted—thereby illuminating the plantation complex at the heart of both the antebellum University and central Virginia. The focus of the seminar will be on the preparation of a 12-page research paper based upon a wide array of primary sources available in our own libraries. This will involve identifying a suitable topic, preparing a project proposal, conducting archival research, and writing and revising the research paper.
War and Society in the Twentieth Century
The twentieth century has been marred by an almost uninterrupted series of wars across the globe, from the Boer War to the global war on terror. This course explores the connection between these wars and the social, political and intellectual trends of the past century. We will explore the ideas that motivated war; the impact war has had on society, class, gender and the state; the changing technological capabilities of states – and non-state actors – to wage war; the experience of common soldiers in war; and the way societies have chosen to remember – and in some cases forget – modern wars. The reading load is moderate to heavy, and draws on historical scholarship as well as memoirs and fiction. There will be at least three written assignments and a final exam.
AM Political Development
Historians, political scientists and political sociologists who study American politics from an historical perspective have contributed to a new methodological approach that combines an interest in broad-gauged generalization with rigorous archival research. This body of scholarship is generally called "American Political Development" (APD). Some of the leading scholars in this field present their work at UVa’s Miller Center.
This course takes advantage of this opportunity through a combination of reading, discussion, commentary at the Miller Center colloquia and written reviews of the literature. Students will meet weekly at 12:00 on Fridays. If a scholar is presenting work at the Miller Center, students will read the paper and comment on it at the public colloquium. Following the public event, the class will continue, usually, in conversation with the visiting scholar. Students will discuss readings assigned to supplement the paper that has been presented. For most weeks, when there is no guest scholar, students will read and discuss major works in the APD literature. The topics will range from U.S. domestic policy to the U.S. and the world. Although the APD literature is centered around political history, it draws upon a number of subdisciplines including history of the environment, legal history and history of technology. A vibrant portion of the APD scholarship is in conversation with historians of race and gender and APD scholars often employ the methods used by cultural and social historians. To date, visiting scholars are scheduled to discuss the history of immigration, the state of the field of capitalism studies and the politics of “high tech” societies.
Students should expect to read the equivalent of a book and several articles a week. They will also write three literature reviews of approximately five to eight pages in length. Fifty percent of the student’s grade will be based upon class discussion and questions asked at the public colloquia. Fifty percent of the grade will be based upon the written work for the class.