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 2019 Course Offerings:

HIST 611: Readings in American History: Virginia and the South*

Dr. Sarah Meacham
Tuesdays, 4:00-6:40 p.m.
Virginia and Southern History

 This class will analyze the standards of learning in Virginia History until 1865 that dominates the curriculum of K-12 Virginia public schools. We will read current scholarship on these topics (e.g., Jamestown, Bacon’s Rebellion, Thomas Jefferson) as well as scholarship that has been deliberately left out of public K-12 (e.g., slavery).  Students will leave the class familiar with both the standards of learning (useful for museum work and teaching) and current scholarship. Students can choose to design a museum exhibit, write a historiography, or develop another project with instructor approval for a final project. Please note that this class has a significant reading load.

HIST 615: Readings in European History: Holocaust

Dr. Joseph Bendersky
Wednesdays 7:00 - 9:40 0PM
Semester course; 3 credits

Over the past twenty years, the Holocaust has developed into one of the most widely researched and studied fields in history. As one interpreter noted, the Holocaust contains the fundamental elements of important history:  complex, deeply rooted origins; questions of the basic nature of humanity and motivation; ideas vs socio-economic factors; individuals vs institutions; authority and morality; interpretive controversies; and an abundance of multidimensional documentation in certain areas and a complete absence of evidence regarding crucial decision-making in others. It is also a field with a continuing legacy in contemporary moral and political debates affecting the response of individuals, groups, and governments to mass murder and new genocides. Through readings, discussions, and research, this course examines the origins, nature, and consequences of this historic event.  

 

HIST 631: Research in American History: The Civil War Era in History and Memory

Dr. Katherine Shively (Meier)
Mondays, 4:00-6:40 PM
Semester course; 3 credits

The Civil War was a cataclysmic event in United States history, which tested the strength of the American experiment and evolved to emancipate nearly 4 million people in bondage, radically reconfiguring American democracy. The postwar period saw attempts to politically reunify the country (Reconstruction), foster emotional reconciliation, and address the social, political, and economic integration of African Americans. Concurrently and thereafter, various groups remembered secession, the war, and heroes and villains in ways that sometimes aligned with and sometimes contradicted historical facts. Historians call this process collective memory. It helps people to cope with suffering, maintain hope, and develop individual and group identities, and yet it also sews lasting antagonism and inequality. In this class we will detangle history from collective memory by conducting an original scholarly research project based on primary and secondary sources. The research project culminates in the production of a professional, article-length paper of around 35 pages. Because of the subject this course covers and our location at VCU, archival research is required. Along the way graduate students will participate in discussions, training sessions, and presentations to develop the skills necessary to succeed as a professional historian.

HIST 651 Public History: Theory and Practice

Dr. John Kneebone
Wednesdays, 4:00 - 6:40 PM
Semester course; 3 credits

Public history is often defined as the work of professional historians outside the classroom. The study of public history not only concerns those historians’ practices and methodologies, but also the practical and theoretical issues that arise from public history work, further defined as history of, for, by, and/or with the public. Class topics will introduce the histories of museums, sites, and commemorations and the practices of public historians (including documentary editing, oral history, and archival management).

HIST 693 Internships

Internships are available at a wide variety of public history institutions in the area. See Dr. Daugherity or Dr. Raymond for more information.

 

*Courses eligible for the Certificate in Public History


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 challenges 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.