Fall 2014

HIUS 2401 / RELC 2401

History of American Catholicism

Gerald P. Fogarty

Catholicism in the United States has often been in a dilemma.  On the one hand, its spiritual loyalty to Rome and its growth through immigration made it appear "foreign" to most Americans.  On the other, the American Catholic support for religious liberty drew suspicion from Rome.  In 1960, the election of John Kennedy seemed to signal the acceptance of Catholics as Americans.  In 1965, the Second Vatican Council seemed to ratify what had long been a cherished American Catholic tradition.  To understand the significance of these events of the 1960s, the course will treat the following themes: the early Spanish and French settlements, the beginning of English-speaking Catholicism in Maryland, with its espousal of religious liberty, the establishment of the hierarchy under John Carroll and its early development of a strong sense of episcopal collegiality, immigration and nativism, American Catholic support of religious liberty and conflict with the Vatican at the end of the 19th century, and the American Catholic contribution to Vatican II (1962-1965).  The course will conclude with an analysis of social, political, and theological developments in the American Catholic Church since the end of the council.

Course requirements: 1) a mid-term and final exam; 2) an analysis of an historical document selected from collections on reserve.

Fall 2014

HIEU 2031

An Introduction to the History of Ancient Greece


History of Ancient Greece from the Homeric period to the death of Alexander the Great.  Development of the city-state, Athenian democracy, and the nature of Greek politics; the conflict between Greece and Persia, and between Sparta and the Athenian naval empire; consequences of the latter conflict--the Peloponnesian War--for subsequent Greek history; finally, the Macedonian conquest of Greece and Persia.

Lecture and weekly discussions; midterm, final, seven-page paper, and occasional quizzes in section.  Readings will average between 100 and 125 pages a week, to be taken from the following (students are not responsible--for exam purposes--for the entirety of any of these, although they will have to read all of either Herodotus or Thucydides for the paper):

            Herodotus, History

            Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

            Plutarch, Greek Lives

            Plato, The Apology of Socrates

            Aristophanes, Three Comedies

            J. M. Moore, Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy

            Pomeroy, Burstein, Donlan, and Roberts, Ancient Greece

            a xerox packet

Fall 2014

HIUS 3671

The Civil Rights Movement

Lynn French

This course focuses on the long arc of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, arguably the greatest social movement of the 20th Century.  It will examine the social change accomplished from the 1870’s through the 1970’s – culminating in what might be considered a second reconstruction.  Most of the discussion will center on the work and lives of African Americans, but also will consider the impact of the Movement upon race, gender and ethnicity not only in America but around the globe as well.

In addition to assigned reading, student will be expected to submit four very brief essays on topics that highlight an issue, organization or leader.  Lively and intense class participation is encouraged. Diplomacy and respect for others’ views is required.

Fall 2014

HIUS 1501 (4)

Introductory Seminar in United States History

"Black Power"

Description to be provided shortly.

Early African History

13 Mar 2014

Fall 2014

HIAF 2001

Early African History

James La Fleur

HIAF 2001 is an introductory course that explores why? where? when? how? people living on the African continent – from Cairo to Cape Town, and Dakar to Dar es Salaam – changed what they did from the so-called Stone Age to the years of intensive slaving and the export of humans as captives (ending roughly 200 years ago).

Over the course’s sixteen weeks, we will develop interpretive themes to help us make sense of experiences so diverse that they resist reduction into a single, unifying, continent-wide narrative. The course perspective emphasizes that Africans have always been engaged with their regional and continental neighbors in the making of world history, and that African history has significance and intellectual importance of its own, rather than deriving relevance only in its relationship to dynamism in Europe or the Americas. 

The course is structured with materials and lessons that guide the students through three successive learning stages, each with its own map quiz, exam, and discussion participation grade.  This architecture supports ambition and risk-taking in early stages of the course, positive response to constructive criticism, and intellectual independence and polished performance by the end of the term.

HIAF 2001 presumes no prior knowledge or personal experience with Africa and it requires no previous college-level studies in History. Course materials include a textbook, specialized scholarly readings, and other media rich with sights and sounds.

The course belongs to the African-American & African Studies curriculum, is required for the 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 of Arts & Sciences area requirements in “non-western perspectives” and “historical studies.”

Fall 2014

HIEU 4502 (2)

Seminar in Post-1700 European History


Jeffrey Rossman

What was it like to live in Stalin's USSR?  One way to answer that question is to study how those who lived through the Stalin era -- workers, peasants, youth, officials, women, prisoners, etc. -- represented their experiences in letters, diaries, memoirs and works of the imagination.  In this course, students will write a 25-page research paper based on such sources, of which there are many in translation.  During the first six weeks of the semester, readings of about 200 pages per week will provide students with background on the Stalin era (1928-53) and introduce them to the range of possible topics and available sources.  Students will then carry out independent research on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.  A draft of the paper will be due in mid-November, at which point we will meet again as a group to hear reports about the status of each student's research and writing.  Final drafts will be due at the last meeting of the semester, during which students will present an oral report to the class on his or her findings.

This course fulfills the history thesis and second writing requirements.  A background in Soviet history is highly desirable though not absolutely necessary.  Possible texts for the first six weeks of common reading include:  Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution and Everyday Stalinism; Chris Ward, Stalin’s Russia; J. Bardach, Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag; Maurice Hindus, Red Bread; Viktor Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom: The Personal & Political Life of a Soviet Official; N. Novak-Deker, ed., Soviet Youth:  Twelve Komsomol Histories; and William K. Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students.

Fall 2014

HIEU 1501 (2)

Introductory Seminar in Pre-1700 European History

"The Lives of the Caesars"


This course will examine the lives and reigns of the first twelve Roman Emperors. Beginning with Julius Caesar, we will read the ancient biographers and historians and review other available historical evidence about each emperor.  We will consider how the modern historian can use these sources to reconstruct the history of the Roman empire. Topics will include the relationship of the emperor with each of those social classes at Rome, the emperor and the army, the imperial bureaucracy, spectacles and games, the building programs of the emperors, imperial propaganda, and imperial decadence and vice. We will consider the comparative value of the imperial biographers and historians as sources, the role of rhetoric under the emperors, the origins of the principate, and the transmission of power from emperor to emperor.

Requirements: reading of 100-200 pages a week, a midterm, a final exam, and three five page papers.

Readings, all in English, will be drawn from Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Tacitus’ Annals and Histories, Plutarch’s biographies, Dio Cassius’ Roman History, the letters of Pliny the Younger, and the Historia Augusta.


The Holocaust

12 Mar 2014

Fall 2014

HIEU 3692 / GETR 3692

The Holocaust

Gabriel Finder

In this course we study the encounter between the Third Reich and Europe’s Jews between 1933 and 1945. This encounter resulted in the deaths of almost 6 million Jews.  The course aims to clarify basic facts and explore competing explanations for the origins and unfolding of the Holocaust—in Hebrew, Shoah. We also explore the fate of persecuted non-Jewish groups under Nazism, survivors’ memories after the Holocaust, and the universal implications of the Holocaust.

This course is intended to acquaint students with the historical study of the Holocaust and assumes no prior training in the subject.  We will read studies by important historians, including Saul Friedländer and Christopher Browning, contemporary documents, and memoirs, including Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz. Class meetings will combine lecture and discussion. Course requirements include three written assignments and conscientious participation in class discussion.


Prof. Grace Hale will be visiting scholar in Japan during summer 2014

Faculty: Grace Hale

Fall 2014

HIEU 5559

New Course in European History

"The Early Medieval Mediterranean (700-1000)"

Paul Kershaw

This course examines the political, social and cultural history of the Mediterranean from the age of the early Islamic conquests to the era of the German emperor Otto III (996 - 1002), the Byzantine emperor Basil II ‘the Bulgar Slayer’ (976-1025) and the fragmentation of the Abbasid caliphate. We will examine both current scholarship on the history of the Mediterranean, the movement of goods, ideas and people, as well as the political history of these centuries. The work of archaeologists will come under scrutiny as much as that of historians who primarily engage texts. While the initial phase of the class will address the Mediterranean as a notional whole, later classes will focus upon a series of historical issues and evidential clusters that eschew conventional frameworks of periodization and area study in favour of zones of connection and interaction. Early medieval Spain, the culture of Christian and Islamic Cordoba will come under examination; so, too, will the nature of diplomatic relations between the eastern and western empires and the attitudes that underpinned them, the city of Rome in the early Middle Ages, ninth-century southern Italy and the eastern Byzantine frontier zones of the tenth century. We will read the accounts of pilgrims and diplomats (Bernard the Monk, John of Gorze, Liudprand of Cremona), look at the movement of relics from north Africa to ninth-century Europe, and read accounts often overlooked by contemporary historians of the diverse and complex worlds of the medieval Mediterranean, such as the History of the Lombards of Benevento of Erchempert of Benevento (ob. ?889) and the History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria by Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (ob. 987).

This class is intended for upper level undergraduates with the relevant background of study and pre-ABD graduate students in History and other related disciplines. It proceeds by discussion. In addition to participating in ongoing class discussion and providing critical leadership on specific works or issues through pre-circulated questions and textual commentaries students will write a 7000 word research paper on a subject arising from the class. 

This class is not intended as an introduction to the period and is not suitable for students lacking demonstrable experience of studying the history of the period. Prerequisite class experience for undergraduates includes, but is not limited to: HIEU 2061, HIME 2001, HIEU 3131.

Assigned books include:

  • Michael McCormick, The Origins of the European Economy: Communications and Commerce, A.D. 300-900 (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
  • Paolo Squatriti, The Complete Works of Liudprand of Cremona (Catholic University of America Press, 2007).
  • John Wortley, John Skylitzes. A Synopsis of Byzantine History, 811-1057 (Cambridge University Press), 2010.

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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