Courses

The history department offers a variety of graduate courses in European, North American, and trans-Atlantic history, as well as courses in the field of Public history. Courses generally fall into three types:  1) readings, 2) research, and 3) methods or studies (including internships).

A list of history course offerings for the current semester can be found by consulting the VCU Schedule of Classes.

 

Spring 2017 Course Offerings:

 HIST 515: Studies in European History: Late Antiquity. Andrew Crislip

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits.

This course will examine the period which encompasses (roughly) 250-700 CE. This is a period of major transformation in the Mediterranean world, as the Roman Empire emerged from generations of crisis to be reformed by a series of powerful emperors. This period saw the transformation of Christianity from a persecuted minority to the religion of Empire, the dissolution of the Empire into fragmented Germanic states and the Byzantine commonwealth, and ultimately the loss of much of the greater Roman world to the forces of Islam. Late antiquity was a period of dramatic change, and we will see that in many ways the world today is very much a product of the crucible of late ancient Rome and the imperial dominance of Christianity and Islam. The course will include an historical overview of the period, and will focus on the close reading of primary sources and engagement with important modern historiography, aimed at graduate students who are new to the study of late antiquity.

 

HIST 627: Readings in African American History: The Long Nineteenth Century. Nicole Myers Turner.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits.


Over the past sixty years, the academic study of African American history has expanded from slavery studies to the various aspects of black social, political and cultural life. Further, the subject matter of African American life has been explored from an ever widening array of angles and perspectives including gender, class, sexuality, and location. This graduate level readings course aims to expose the foundational arguments and texts and some newer works on topics from the era of the new nation to just beyond the turn of the 20th century, including: history and history writing, the transatlantic slave trade, slavery and resistance, fugitive slaves and the underground railroad, colonization, black fraternal and social organizations, black women’s activism, religions of the diaspora, free black people, emancipation and reconstruction, black religion and politics, and class.


HIST 631. Research in American History: Colonial America. Sarah Meacham

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. 

The admired research in American colonial history no longer focuses on the colonial experience as simply a precursor to the American Revolution, or on welltrod biographies of famous founding fathers. Rather, scholars are interested in exploring how early modern America fits in global history, cultural history, history of emotions, environmental history, the history of capitalism and other economic systems, the history of slavery, African American history, Native American history, and women’s history. Students in the course will read and discuss current theories and methodologies. They will also explore the variety of primary sources for the study of colonial America and their possibilities. The class culminates with each student researching and writing a lengthy paper that uses archival sources to answer research questions related to the history of the American Colonies.


HIST 691: Topics: "Intersections: Gender, Race, and Technology." Karen Rader

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits.

This discussion intensive graduate readings seminar will investigate the complex representations and experiences of what Science, Technology, and Society (STS) scholars have called “technoculture” and how these mediate – and in turn, are mediated by –embodiments of gender and race. We will investigate historical intersections of gender and race in modern Western science and technology (from 1850 onward), and how these intersections have shaped the development and use of particular technologies in diverse sites, from the household to the workplace, as well as examine some existing visions of alternate framings for technoscientific presents and futures. Readings will be drawn from extensive STS scholarship (history, sociology, theory) in this area, as well as historical primary sources in the development of science and technology, including the history of industrial standardization, medical texts and practices, and computing and the internet.



HIST 691 Topics: "Digital History." Ryan Smith

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. 

Digital history involves the application of modern technology to historical research and presentation. As the field has matured over the past twenty years, it has offered scholars, institutions, and the general public a wide array of new tools for exploring the past and building audiences. This methods based seminar will introduce students to a variety of digital projects and applications as well as the rationale and contours of the field. We will explore the field’s different mediums while also tracking the digital initiatives in our own region, such as the “Unknown No Longer” database at the Virginia Historical Society or the “Virginia Chronicle” newspaper project at the Library of Virginia. At the conclusion of the course we will have a few weeks dedicated to some hands-on training in web design and other skills, building toward presentations of final student digital projects.


Complete Graduate History Course Descriptions

HIST 511 Studies in American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in American history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 515 Studies in European History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in European history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 519 Studies in Ethnic and Social History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in ethnic or social history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 523 Studies in Virginia and Southern History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in Virginia or Southern history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 527 Studies in African-American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in African-American history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 591 Special Topics in History
Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. An intensive study of a selected topic in history.

HIST 601 Historiography and Methodology
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the development of history as a discipline from ancient times to the present. The course examines the evolution of historical theory and philosophy, great historians, schools of interpretation, and problems of historical methodology. This course is a prerequisite for research seminars.

HIST 611 Readings in American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of American history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 615 Readings in European History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of European history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 619 Readings in Ethnic and Social History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of ethnic or social history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 623 Readings in Virginia and Southern History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of Virginia or Southern history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 627 Readings in African-American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of African-American history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 631 Research in American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of American history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 635 Research in European History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of European history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST638 Research in Transatlantic History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of transatlantic history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 639 Research in Ethnic and Social History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of ethnic or social history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 643 Research in Virginia and Southern History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of Virginia or Southern history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 647 Research in African-American History
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of African-American history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 651 Public History: Theory and Practice
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of the field of public history, intended to introduce students to the range of professional historical activities practiced outside the classroom. Explores methods and skills including archival work, documentary editing, historic preservation, museum studies, and oral history. The course also involves a sustained consideration of the theoretical issues that arise from public history work, defined as history of, for, by, and/or with the public.

HIST 652 Documentary Editing and Scholarly Publishing
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of the processes by which historical scholarship is disseminated by publication. Students will practice editing scholarly editions of historic documents and reviewing manuscripts for publication in academic media. Special consideration will be given to the digital humanities and new technology's relation to the traditional publishing trade.

HIST 653 American Material Culture
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Material culture is a term encompassing all things created or modified by people - such as clothing, tools, furniture, works of art, buildings, and even landscapes. This course introduces students to the field of material culture studies and chalalenges them to study the American past through examination of its artifacts and architecture. Students will explore a range of disciplinary approaches and time periods, as well as the role of politics in the preservation and exhibition of material culture.

HIST 654 Oral History: Theory and Practice
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An introduction to the practice and theories of oral history, a method employing interviews or sound recordings of people with personal knowledge of past events. Students will consider the benefits and limitations of the method as well as learn the general legal issues involved. Students will conduct their own interviews and practice the transcription of oral history.

HIST 691 Special Topics in History
Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An intensive study of a selected topic in history.

HIST 692 Independent Study
Semester course; 1-3 credits. Maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: Permission of department chair. Requires an analysis of a historical problem or topic in depth under faculty supervision.

HIST 693 Internship in History
Semester course; variable hours. 2-4 credits per semester. Maximum of 6 credits. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of departmental internship coordinator must be procured prior to registration for this course. Students receive credit for work on historical projects with approved agencies.

HIST 698 M.A. Thesis
1-6 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.