US Civil War thru Biography
This seminar will examine the Civil War era using the perspective of biography. In addition to considering biographical interpretations of leaders such as Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass we will consider memoirs of ordinary participants and approaches such as collective biography. Students will, with guidance from the instructor, have an opportunity to research and write their own biographical interpretations of individuals from the period.
Assassination of Lincoln
A study of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in history, memory, and the documentary record. Evaluation of the event and it major actors, the trials and executions of the conspirators as well as popular reactions and historiographical interpretations. Participants will construct a web-based public documentary collection of newspaper transcriptions and other primary sources.
Secession and Fort Sumter
History of antebellum secession movements, the Sumter crisis and the coming of the American Civil War. Exploration of regional differences and evolving sectionalism in international and local contexts. Overview of conflict process theories. Examination of relevant ideologies, nationalism and tensions of emergent democracy. Impact of abolitionism, Proslavery, African American resistance and activism, debates over territorial expansion and federal-state relations.
The Battle Autumn of 1862
Autumn 1862 as a focal point placing the American Civil War in broader context. Topics include crux battles (Antietam/Sharpsburg/ the so-called Dakota War
Writing Freedom: US Abolition
In this course we will investigate some puzzles of emancipation and consider a broad array of abolitionist strategies for change. Why did emancipation take so long? Who was responsible for ending it? Which approaches seemed to catalyze change, and which hardened opposition? Why, in contrast to so many other nations in the Atlantic world, did American emancipation involve such a violent ending? How did abolition overlap with other efforts to extend human rights in the same era? What kinds of human rights were involved in emancipation, and which were left out? Did we complete emancipation's promise with the civil rights movement or is the process ongoing?
This seminar uses autobiography as a conduit to help students explore key developments in history and their own evolving sense of self. By reading a diverse group of autobiographical authors-male/female, white, African-American, Native-American, Hispanic, prominent/obscure, rich/poor-students will use the self-referential content of life writing to explore the dynamics of American history and its narrative nature while constructing their own life story over the course of the semester.
Early North America to 1877
North American history to 1877 in the context of western traditions and global interactions.
Nineteenth Century America
Survey of major events and trends in America from 1820-1890, along with focus on selected events and episodes and work with primary materials from the period. Major political, social, economic and cultural transformations, including conflicts over territorial expansion; sectionalism and nationalism; urban and industrial growth; changes in family, community, ethnicity, and spirituality. May include digital or archival components.
American Civil War Era
Examination of the Civil War as a political, cultural, economic and military phenomenon, with focus on the 1861-1865 period. Topics include: causation historiography, major battles and their political context, the role of ordinary Americans in the conflict, slavery and emancipation, economic effects, Reconstruction, and the war146s enduring place in national memory.
American Cities and Suburbs. Historical sources of growth and decline; dynamics of natural and built environments; neighborhoods and social space; factors of gender, class, and ethnicity; migration; urban exchange networks, hinterlands and suburbs; historical mechanisms of political power, urban planning; and cultural production. Emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Simulating Historic Community
Application of architectural modeling, GIS, and gaming technologies to simulation of historic communities in virtual reality. Collection and interpretation of local history evidence. Introduction to virtual modeling tools. Theories of interpretation. Focus on case studies of selected historical communities including Charleston, SC and Richmond, VA. Students will construct final projects based on these case study communities.
Episodes in NA Urban History
Sustained historical analysis of a particular event or theme relating to the urban history of selected cities in the United States, Canada, and/or Mexico. Consideration of urban historiography, approaches to community and local history, spatial dimensions, historical memory, and comparative history.
Senior Seminar in History
A required course for all majors. Discussion-based meetings will explore a specific historical topic and the related historiography. Students will conceive, design, and execute their own research project connected to the main topic of the seminar. All seminars include an assignment encouraging students to integrate and to reflect upon their varied classroom, travel study, and internship experiences over the course of the major.