History Course Descriptions

 

History Course Descriptions

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIS 102 E                  HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, II

                                    MW 12:20PM-1:10PM   

                                    DR. GREG BUSH

This course requires 1 discussion section.  HIS102 1E or HIS102 1D.

This course covers a survey of United States history from Reconstruction to the present. Special emphasis will be placed on the meaning of American democracy in the face of myriad inequalities.

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HIS 131 91                 DEVELOPMENT OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, II

                                    S 11:05am-1:30pm

                                    DR. JEREMY GATES

Since this survey course must cover the vast and often turbulent sea of events which is modern European history (from the 17th century to the present), it will, of necessity, be structured around lectures, but those lectures will include a wealth of questions and much discussion.  This brief course description cannot begin to encompass the great variety of topics to be undertaken, but there are, throughout the course, certain recurring themes which contribute to a sense of unity.  With each society or national entity encountered, we shall consider:  What did they believe in?  How did they make a living?  How were they organized and governed?  How did they express themselves creatively?  What were their lasting contributions to Western Civilization?  

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HIS 132 D                  The Birth of Modernity: Europe 1648 to the Present

                                    MW 11:15am-12:05pm

                                    DR. JONATHAN SHERRY

This course requires 1 discussion section.  HIS132 1D or HIS132 1F. 

This course will examine the European history from the mid-17th century to the present. In particular, it will focus on the origins, development, and outcome of modernity as an intellectual, economic, political, and cultural development. It will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays for lecture, and there will be a discussion section each Friday with a Teaching Assistant.

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HIS 200 T                  The Imaginative, Cultural and Technological History of                                                 Flight 

                                    TR 5:00PM-6:15PM

                                    DREW WOFFORD

Since the earliest attempts at using language and pictures, flight has captured people’s imagination.  Starting with early mythology moving through the Renaissance and centering in the 20th century, this course looks not only at the transformative nature of the technology itself, but the impact is had on culture and society.  From bringing the world together by shrinking distances, to exposing people to catastrophic dangers, and changing the face of cultural artifacts, flight has become an integral part of our lives whether we have ever stepped foot on a plane or not. 

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HIS 212 F                   The Mughals And The British (1526-1947)

                                    MWF 1:25PM-2:15PM     

                                    DR. SUMITA DUTT

India, home to over a billion people is a sub-continent of diverse languages, religions, and peoples. Drawing on multidisciplinary scholarship and primary historical sources, we will explore the rich history, culture, and political economy of this region and its people (focusing on what today are the modern states of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh). Straddling broadly the period of the two empires, namely the Mughal and the British, we will look at the formation of social and religious identities, debates around modernity and tradition, “the women’s question” deindustrialization, rise of nationalism, sectarian violence, partition and independence of the sub-continent. With the aid of visual media and textual sources we will explore the diversity and complexity of a people’s history and the making of modern South Asia – through art, architecture, literature, film, intellectual and philosophical treatises.

 

This introductory course will allow students to see beyond prevailing stereotypes of fanatical religions, backbreaking poverty, spiritual gurus, mysticism, cows, snake charmers and Bollywood extravaganza, to appreciate instead, the complex and often contradictory paths in this region’s history – grappling with modernity and tradition, democracy and authoritarianism, religious sectarianism and secular achievements

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HIS 262 H                  WOMEN’S AMERICA II

                                    MW 3:35PM-4:50PM

                                    DR. SYBIL LIPSCHULTZ

This course covers the main themes in American Women’s History during the Twentieth Century. The topics we consider will serve students with a general interest in this subject, as well as prepare students who seek a foundation for future classes in the field.

 

Major questions raised by the course will revolve around the historical context of the following issues: domesticity versus public life; wage earning women; women in reform movements; women at war; childbirth and motherhood; the race and class of gender; gender stereotypes in the mass media; women and public policy.

Readings will focus on both background materials by professional historians, and primary sources depicting the words, perspectives and ideas of the women who lived in various historical times.

There will be two take-home exams.

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HIS 267 Q                  MAKING HISTORY

                                    TR 12:30PM-1:45pm

                                    DR. JONATHAN SHERRY

This lower-level methods seminar introduces students to the basics of the historian’s craft. It is a nuts-and-bolts seminar on how historians do history. The course pursues the following questions: What constitutes a historical source? How are sources used? How do historians conceptualize and categorize sources, and how does this influence how they use them? What is the relationship between source selection and historical narrative? Thematically, our discussions will center on periods of revolutionary mobilization in the modern period (in Russia and Spain), and the ways in which participants and observers experienced, perceived, and wrote about them. We will work with primary sources drawn from online digitized collections, UM’s special collections, and other published primary sources. Our general goal is to understand the various ways in which historians use sources to interpret and write history. Over the course of the semester, students will have the opportunity to conduct original research and write on primary sources of their own choosing.

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HIS 284  S                  THE SECOND WORLD WAR

                                    TR 3:30pm-4:45pm

                                    DR. HERMANN BECK

This lecture course offers a comprehensive history of the Second World War, including a detailed analysis of its diplomatic origins, the military and political course of events, and the consequences of this world-wide conflagration -- the Cold War.  The course begins with an examination of the diplomatic roots of the war and then concentrates on the sequence of military events, as well as the economic, scientific, and psychological dimensions of the conflict.  Topics of discussion include: The first phase of the war from the German attack on Poland to Operation Barbarossa; collaboration and resistance in Nazi-occupied Europe; the war of extermination on the eastern front; the connection between the Holocaust and the war in the East; the conflict in the Far East; D-Day and the dramatic conclusion of the war in Europe; the end of the Grand Coalition and the origins of the Cold War; and the war’s political, social, and cultural impact on subsequent generations.

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HIS 290 P                   The Beach: The Beach as Place, Space and Event in World                                                 Historical Context 

                                    TR 11:00AM-12:15PM

                                    DR. MARTIN NESVIG

This class attempts to understand how different human societies understand beaches as sites of social, cultural, political, and ecological encounters.  While primarily focused on the cultural understanding of beaches, the course will consider beaches from a variety of perspectives.  Taking as a point of departure the encounters between Europeans, Polynesians, Indigenous Americans, and Africans and the debate on culture-contact in noted cases such as Captain Cook in Hawaii and Columbus in the Caribbean, the course branches out to consider beaches as sites of dynamism broadly speaking.  Among the thematic considerations may be included:  surfing, bikinis, suntanning, imperialism and conquest, war, trade, port cities, smuggling, piracy, resorts, the environmental impact of resorts on beaches, real estate prices, economic access to beaches, climate change, sand, sharks, fishing and "saltwater people," the sea as sacred space, sex on the beach, gay beaches, nude beaches, sex tourism, racial segregation, the price of beach attendance.  Case studies may include:  Miami Beach, San Diego, Hawaii, Tahiti, Brisbane, Sydney, Acapulco, Rio de Janeiro, Cancún, Coney Island, Baja California, Goa, the Molucca Straits, the Amalfi Coast, Mallorca, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Phuket, Normandy.
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HIS 296 Q                  SPECIAL TOPICS

                                    JAPAN ON SCREEN

                                    TR12:30pm-1:45pm

                                    DR. Timothy Van Compernolle

This course aspires to rethink the idea of national cinema while surveying the history of film culture in Japan, from the very first film footage shot in the country in 1897, through the golden age of studio cinema in the 1950s, to important independent filmmakers working today. This course will investigate the Japanese film as a narrative art, as a formal construct, and as a participant in larger aesthetic and social contexts.  This course includes the major genres of Japanese film and influential schools and movements.  Additionally, students will learn and get extensive practice using the vocabulary of the discipline of film studies.

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HIS 300 P                   The History of Modern Spain, 1808-2008 

                                    TR 11:00AM-12:15PM

                                    DR. JONATHAN SHERRY

What is Spain’s place in the story of modern Europe? What are the ways in which Spain is distinct? How does its history reflect more general European trends? This course introduces students to the last 200 years of Spanish history from a transnational perspective. Over the course of 15 weeks, we will move from the War of Spanish Independence (1808-1814) to the 2008 financial crisis and its attendant social and political effects. Among other topics, we will study Spanish colonialism and decolonization, the 19th century Spanish attempt(s) at liberal democracy, Spanish nationalism(s), the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the Francoist dictatorship, Spain’s transition to democracy after Franco’s death in 1975, and its entry into the European Union in 1986. The course will introduce will introduce students to the key social, cultural, and political developments in modern Spanish history and prepare them for more advanced study in the field.

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HIS 302 J                   History on Trial: Law and American Society 

                                    MW 5:00pm-6:15pm

                                    DR. MATTHEW HEERMAN

This course asks students to think about the relationship between social history, the law, and politics in American society. This course on American Legal History asks students to confront the "intents of the framers" of  U.S. Laws and Constitutional provisions. It requires them to make arguments about how history should inform the outcomes of major legal cases. This is a problem-based, interdisciplinary course that bridges history, political science, legal studies, and sociology to understand the historical context that informs major lawsuits that shaped American Jurisprudence. 

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HIS 312 C                   Femininity, Masculinity, And Sexual Politics In Indian                                                    History 

                                    MWF 10:10am-11:00AM

                                    DR. SUMITA DUTT

This course will be a thematic rather than chronological study of issues relating to gender and sex and the ways in which they have shaped the history of women and men’s lived experiences in India. We will focus on relations between women and men, constructions of the feminine and the masculine, sexual politics in the divergent narratives and contested histories of Indian womanhood as imagined and lived – the “Devi”(Goddess) or the “Dasi” (slave), the changing and dynamic nature of the roles and statuses of women and men in the spheres of politics, law, society, economy, and culture. We will weave a narrative of women and men’s lives by looking at both formal structures (inscribed in religious and legal texts) as well the customary lived experiences that often did not conform closely to formal dictates.

 

To understand both formal social structure as well as experience and lived customs we will read a variety of multidisciplinary texts – primary historical documents written by both women and men, religious texts (Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist), selections from legal treatises, folktales, fiction, plays, autobiographies, memoirs, visuals, and films. Themes will be selected from ancient, medieval and modern periods of Indian history, with primary focus on modern and contemporary developments.

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HIS 318 Q                  Modern Caribbean History 

                                    TR 12:30PM -1:45pm

                                    DR. KATE RAMSEY

This course will introduce students to major topics, debates, and themes in Caribbean history from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Analyzing primary source documents, images, and objects will be a particular emphasis of our work throughout the semester, and on two occasions the class will meet in the UM Libraries Cuban Heritage Collection and Special Collections to examine and discuss archival resources connected to our studies.

 

We will begin with the 1804 Haitian Revolution and its far-reaching effects across the Atlantic world and beyond. Major areas of focus thereafter will include the expansion of the sugarcane economy and slavery in Cuba; the anti-slavery struggles of international abolition groups and enslaved peoples; and emancipation across the Caribbean. We will examine large-scale social movements of the formerly enslaved and their descendants over land, labor, and political representation, and consider the impact and experience of Indian, Chinese, and African immigration to post-emancipation Caribbean societies. 

 

With the Cuban independence wars against Spain culminating in the so-called Spanish-American War of 1898, we will turn to the United States’ increasing influence and intervention in the Caribbean region as an imperial power. As cases in point, we will examine the U.S. invasions and occupations of Haiti (1915-34) and the Dominican Republic (1916-24) and consider their effects and legacies. As part of our focus on Caribbean social movements during the 1920s and 1930s, we will study the significance of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association across the region, and also examine the labor struggles that swept the British Caribbean in the mid-1930s, considering their import for nationalist politics in these societies thereafter.

 

Cuba under Batista and the 1959 Revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power will be a primary focus of the latter part of the course. Our study of decolonization and political independence in the former British Caribbean will also spotlight the socio-political significance of the Rastafarian and Black Power movements during the 1960s and early 1970s. Our study of Puerto Rican “transnationalism” will open to larger discussions about Caribbean migration and diaspora. In our last meetings, we will take a close look at contemporary Caribbean economies. We will consider the interconnected politics of debt, dependency, and development, as well as the impact of tourism. Throughout the course students will be challenged to recognize the diversity of the Caribbean, while thinking comparatively and synthetically about the region’s political, economic, social, and cultural histories. In-depth discussion and the development of critical thinking and writing skills will be emphasized.

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HIS 327 O                  The Renaissance in Italy

                                    TR 9:30AM-10:45AM

                                    DR. GUIDO RUGGIERO

This course will focus on the social and cultural worlds of the Italian Renaissance c. 1250-1550 and is based on a book with a radically new vision of the period that I have written for Cambridge University Press.  Across this span of time five large centers of power won political and economic dominance in Italy: Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome, and the Kingdom of Naples, only to slowly fall under the shadow of larger powers beyond Italy over the course of the sixteenth century.  But perhaps more significantly the period was marked off by the rise and transformation of a new social elite, the popolo grosso and the flourishing of new cultural and social forms in the arts and literature as well as in regards to gender, family and sexuality that reflected their values; all these new changes were consistently conceptualized at the time as not new but old, not innovations but reforms, not births but rebirths (re-naissances).  And at the same time it was a period of unique cultural contact and conflict between the world of everyday life and the elite worlds of Church, State, and Book.  The course will trace the intricate interrelationships of these developments and conflicts focusing on the perhaps leading two cities of the renaissance: Florence and Venice.

 

 

Reading for the Course: [Note: this is a reading intensive course which requires from 50 to 250 pages of reading per week and as many classes are based upon discussion of reading, if this amount of reading will not fit into your schedule, it would be best to find another course.]

 

Guido Ruggiero, The Renaissance in Italy: A Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento

 

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron.  Selections.

 

Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance, translated and edited by Laura Giannetti and Guido Ruggiero.

 

Niccolò  Machiavelli, The Portable Machiavelli.  Selections.

 

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HIS 362 C                  The American Revolution (1763-1783)

                                    MWF 10:10AM-11:00AM

                                    DR. ASHLI WHITE

The American Revolution is one of the most celebrated—and most debated—events in U.S. history.  This course considers the revolution’s causes and its significance for diverse segments of the population, including Native Americans, African Americans, and Euro-Americans of different ethnicities, religions, and political sympathies.  Our scrutiny of this era will incorporate multiple historical perspectives.  We will examine the American Revolution not only as a political and military event, but also as a social and cultural experience.  Our goal is to come closer to understanding what the revolution meant for the people who lived through it and to think carefully about how its legacies continue to resonate today.

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HIS 367 H                  CONTEMPORARY AMERICA

                                    MW 3:35PM-4:50PM

                                    DR. GREG BUSH

Summary: From the divisive election of 1896 to the present, this course will examine the development of modern American presidential campaigns and the evolution of mass media.  We will examine major issues of wartime propaganda, the changing nature of attention engineering (often called public relations), civil rights and social policy.  Leading personalities, political parties, campaign finance, celebrities, and crowd psychology all congealed over time to create the strange politics we experience today. 

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HIS 374 R                  HISTORY OF FEMINISM

                                    TR 2:00PM-3:15PM

                                    DR. SYBIL LIPSCHULTZ

Taking as our presumption that feminism is socially and historically constructed, this course will look at feminism in the United States in order to understand change over time, and what social forces have shaped its theory and practice. We will consider such contexts for feminism as: liberalism, labor movements, radical protest, the nexus of race and feminism, social needs policy, equal rights vs. equal results, and multiculturalism.

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HIS 389 R                  Nineteenth-Century Europe: Barricades, Borders and                                                    Bourgeoisie 

                                    TR 2:00PM-3:15PM

                                    DR. DOMINIQUE REILL

Why study "the long nineteenth century" (from 1789 to 1914)? The short answer is that this is the period in which the shape of the modern world became clear for the first time. Liberty, equality, fraternity—the great slogan of French Revolution announced an agenda based on democracy, human rights, equality before the law, the career open to talents, and the sovereignty of the people. But the actual outcome of the Revolution was less encouraging: inflation, terror, dictatorship, imperialism, and twenty years of European wars. Meanwhile, the industrial revolution in Britain suggested the possibility of exponential economic growth. But here, too, the actual result, at least in the short term, was alarming: a miserable urban proletariat and poverty in the midst of wealth. Our course traces the uneven interaction between these two revolutions—the democratic and the industrial—across a century of rapid social change. Through an analysis of short primary text excerpts, contemporary music and the arts, major stops on our itinerary include the revolutions of 1848; the formation of nation-states in Italy and Germany; the advent of modernism in the arts; the scramble for empire and the impact of imperialism; and the origins of the First World War. 

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HIS 396 S                   SPECIAL TOPICS

                                    Tokyo’s Story

                                    TR 3:30PM-4:45PM  

                                    DR. Timothy Van Compernolle

Tokyo is the political, cultural, and economic center of Japan, the largest urban conglomeration on the planet, holding 35 million people, fully one fifth of Japan’s population.  Since its founding 400 years ago, when a small fishing village became Edo, the castle headquarters of the Tokugawa shoguns, the city has been reinvented multiple times—as the birthplace of Japan’s early modern urban bourgeois culture, imperial capital to a nation-state, center of modern consumer culture, postwar democratic exemplar, and postmodern metropolis. The class will focus on the portrayals of Tokyo and its reinventions in art, literature, and politics from the end of the Edo period to the present day.  It will examine the changes that took place as the city modernized and Westernized in the Meiji era, became the center of modern urban life in Japan before the Second World War, and rebuilt itself as the center of the country’s economic miracle in the postwar era.

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HIS 397 01                 INTERNSHIP

                                    DR. DOMINIQUE REILL

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HIS 400 & HIS 500   DIRECTED READINGS 

All 400and 500 level directed readings require permission of instructor before signing up for course.

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HIS 531/632 45          STUDIES IN EUROPEAN HISTORY

                                    Europe's Roaring Teens & 20"s

                                    T 4:30PM-7:00PM AA621

                                    DR. DOMINIQUE REILL

This seminar course looks at how Europeans tried to reform politically, socially, and culturally their world after World War One and before the Great Depression. Alternately described as the times of the “Lost Generation,” “the Bright Young Things,” and the “Flappers,” this was also the era of the heady socialist revolutionaries of Russia and Hungary and the inventor of fascism, Benito Mussolini. This seminar looks at the rainbow of rebellions of this period and investigates to what degree Europe was roaring against common demons or against itself. 

HIS 538/638 72          STUDIES IN EARLY MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY

                                    History of Emotions

                                    T 2:00PM-4:30PM

                                    DR. GUIDO RUGGIERO

In the last decade the history of emotions has become a new field of intense controversy especially for cultural historians.  Even as neurobiologists and psychologists have been making important discoveries about the nature and endurance over long periods of time of human and primate “emotions,” a very active group of scholars especially in Australia and England have been arguing that emotions have a limited endurance in a historical time frame and, in fact, a significant history as a cultural construct that can be traced in premodern history.  These findings have added fuel to the growing number of psychologists who argue against theories of biological determinism that hold that very little in the way of human emotions are pre-cognitive and thus “hard-wired” or fixed without a history at least in any recorded time frame.  Looking at emotions in pre-modern Europe (and briefly more broadly in the world) as a seminar we will evaluate whether texts from the past (with an emphasis on pre-modern Europe) indicate that emotions and their nature have changed for humans over time.  In this context we will also look more closely at how pre-modern Europe understood emotions both in their functioning and in their “nature.”  To consider these questions this seminar will focus on extensive reading of both prescriptive literature and literary texts as well as intensive seminar discussion; intensive because this is a field of history and scientific inquiry where the answers are very much in flux and debate. In addition we will sample a few of the more cutting edge historical works that consider these issues.  And while we may not be able to answer these debates, we can definitely add to them a more articulated historical dimension.  A willingness to read extensively and discuss analytically the often controversial issues involved in seminar is required.

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HIS 544/646 47          STUDIES IN MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY

                                    Weimar and Hitler's Rise

                                     W 4:30PM-7:00PM AA621

                                    DR. HERMANN BECK

This seminar concentrates on the political development of the Weimar Republic from the end of the First World War to Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, with particular emphasis on the Republic’s last phase between 1928 and 1933.  Born out of defeat, politically unstable but intellectually brilliant, beset by disasters but culturally ahead of its age, Weimar was complex and contradictory.  During the course of the semester, we will attempt to recapture Weimar’s history in all its nuances.  In the first two-thirds of the course, we analyze Weimar’s political and intellectual developments; the remainder we devote to specialized topics and student presentations, which will focus on the last years of the Republic.  Emphasis is placed on the study of primary documents, such as the reports from the British and American embassies in Berlin and translated German government documents.

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HIS 553/655 46         STUDIES IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY

                                    IMPERIAL SPAIN

                                    R 2:00PM-4:30PM

                                    DR. MARTIN NESVIG

This course examines the emergence, development and apogee of the Spanish Empire in the early modern period, from c. 1450 to 1713.  The course thus traces the unification of individual kingdoms (like Aragón and Castile) in the late 15th century to the rise of the Hapsburg dynasty in the 16th and 17th centuries.  The course is reading intensive and covers a variety of topics:  development of a stable monarchy; overseas expansion; (Latin) American conquests and colonization; Mediterranean territories (Naples, Sicily, Sardinia); the role of Catholicism in Spanish culture; the "Golden Age" of Spanish literature and art; picaresque and chivalry novels and the importance of Don Quijote; the Inquisition; religious orders, especially the Dominicans and Jesuits; popular religion and culture.  

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HIS 591/669 69          STUDIES IN COMPARATIVE HISTORY

                                    Slavery & Freedom Global Pres        

                                    M 2:00PM-4:30PM  

                                    DR. MATTHEW HEERMAN

This course will explore the history of slavery and emancipation in global perspectives. Human bondage has been endemic to our human societies, spanning from antiquity  to contemporary human trafficking. A major focus of this course is the rise and fall of plantation slavery in the Americas, but we will seek to understand how the enslaved people of the African Diaspora was similar to other slave societies around the world. The course will examine what institutions and practices supported maintained systems of slavery across time. And it will look at how different movements to abolish slavery took off.  

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HIS 597 H1                Semester 1 of 2-semester senior honors thesis program

                                    M4:30PM-7:00PM

                                    DR. KARL GUNTHER

This seminar is the first in a two-course sequence that will culminate in the production of an honors thesis.  In HIS 597, you will identify a viable thesis topic, learn research skills, develop a research plan, and then implement it.  By the end of the semester, you will have conducted the bulk of your thesis research and have produced a detailed outline that will provide the basis of the thesis you will write the following semester in HIS 598.

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HIS 701 71                 Research Seminar Part 1

                                    W 9:30AM-12:00AM

                                    DR. EDUARDO ELENA

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HIS 810 01                 MASTER’S THESIS

The student working on his/her master’s thesis enrolls for credit, in most departments not to exceed six, as determined by his/her advisor.  Credit is not awarded until the thesis has been accepted.                              

 

 

 

HIS 825 01                 MASTER’S STUDY

To establish residence for non-thesis master’s students who are preparing for major examinations.  Credit not granted.  Regarded as full time residence.                  

 

 

HIS 830 01                 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

Required of all candidates for the Ph.D.  The student will enroll for credit as determined by his/her advisor, but for not less than a total of 12 hours.  Up to 12 hours may be taken in a regular semester, but not more than six in a summer session.

 

 

HIS 840 01                 POST CAND DOC DISS

 

HIS 850 01                 RESEARCH IN RESIDENCE

Use to establish research in residence for the Ph.D. after the student has been enrolled for the permissible cumulative total in appropriate doctoral research.  Credit not granted.  May be regarded as full-time residence as determined by the Dean of the Graduate School.