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.

 

Fall 2017 Course Offerings:

HIST 611: Readings in American History: American Revolution. Dr. Carolyn Eastman
Semester course; 3 credits
 
The history of the revolutionary era has come a long way since historians focused on the Revolution as simply a nation-building moment. They have argued in recent years about some of the most crucial questions: Was the Revolution primarily an intellectual or a social movement? Was the Revolution a radical or conservative movement? Whose Revolution was it? Does it still look revolutionary if it failed to result in real change for women, people of color, the enslaved, and poor white men? How should we think about the war’s “losers”—those whose loyalty to the king ultimately proved to be the “wrong” choice? The Declaration of Independence affectingly claimed that “all men are created equal”; what did that statement mean in an era of deep and abiding inequality? Finally, Americans have seen a wide array of flattering, popular books about the Founding Fathers come into print (or appear as blockbuster Broadway musicals) in the last twenty years; how should we view the lives of those political leaders vis-à-vis the many other Americans who experienced this era? Are they to be seen as heroes? Our readings will include Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution; T. H. Breen, American Insurgents, American Patriots; Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave; Kathleen DuVal, Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution; Linda Kerber, Women of the Republic: Intellect & Ideology in Revolutionary America; Seth Rockman, Scraping By: Wage Slavery, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore; Manisha Sinha, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition; Alan Taylor, American Revolutions; and Rosemarie Zagarri, Revolutionary Backlash: Women and Politics in the Early American Republic.
HIST 615: Readings in European History: World War II. Dr. Joseph Bendersky
Semester course; 3 credits
 
Through readings, discussions, and research, this course examines the origins, nature, and consequences of the twentieth century's second "Total War." Key subjects will include: diplomatic relations; military strategy; the nature of total war as actually experienced by soldiers on the battlefield; the role of ideology; total mobilization of the home front; resistance and collaboration in occupied countries and its role in national consciousness and memory; women and war.  Although focusing on Europe, this course will also cover the extensive and decisive U.S. role in the war, including the paradoxical issue of American racism during a war against Nazi racial politics.
HIST 627: Readings in African American History: Atlantic Slavery. Dr. Bernard Moitt
Semester course; 3 credits
 
In this course on Atlantic Slavery we will examine the nature and dimensions of slavery in parts of the Atlantic World. After a brief survey of slavery in regions of West-Central Africa, we will move on to the Middle Passage to examine how the Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans functioned, the major players involved, the treatment of the enslaved aboard the slaving vessels, and the responses of the enslaved  to captivity. An exploration of slavery in regions of the Americas where the institution had a major positive impact on economic production and growth will follow. These areas will fall mainly within the parameters of the British Atlantic, primarily Great Britain, the US South, and the British Caribbean. However, slavery in parts of the French Atlantic, including France and the French Caribbean, will also be probed in considerable detail. Students will be expected to do a significant amount of reading - usually one book per week - short analytical papers and a major research essay. In addition, they will need to demonstrate their engagement with the course material and participate actively in class discussions.
HIST 631: Research in American History: Memory, Commemoration, and Memorialization. Dr. Nicole Myers Turner
Semester course; 3 credits
 
What is the relationship between history and memory?  Between remembering and forgetting?  Where does memory reside?  How is memory constructed by individuals and communities?   How does power shape processes and practices of remembering, commemoration, and memorialization?  These are just a few of the questions scholars have engaged in their attempts to understand the presence of the past.  This research seminar will afford its participants the opportunity to engage some of the literature exploring these themes before pursuing the main goal--the production of an article-length research paper based on primary research.  The course will use discussions, papers, presentations, and consultations to advance toward this goal.
HIST 693: Internships. Dr. John Kneebone
 
Students receive credit for work on historical projects with approved agencies. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of departmental internship coordinator must be procured prior to registration for this course. 


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.