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 2018 Course Offerings:

HIST 601: Historiography and Methodology
Dr. John Herman
Wednesdays, 7:00-9:40PM
Semester course; 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.

 

HIST 611: Readings in American History:The Vietnam Era
Dr. Emilie Raymond
Mondays, 7:00-9:40 PM
Semester course; 3 credits
 

“This not Johnson's war.  This is America's war.  If I drop dead tomorrow, this war will still be with you.”~Lyndon Johnson.

This course examines American involvement in the Vietnam War within the framework of President Johnson's assertion.  We will consider the Cold War political culture, and the Johnson Administration's decision-making, as well as the experiences of the soldiers on the ground and the impact of the war on the home front by reading and discussing contemporary histories, memoirs, and recent scholarship.

 

HIST 615: Readings in European History: British Monarchy
Dr. Brooke Newman
Wednesdays 4:00-6:40PM
Semester course; 3 credits
 

This graduate-level readings course explores the history of Britain through the lens of the monarchy. Moving from the late medieval era to the present, it focuses on the intersection between the historical transformation of the British monarchy over the centuries and shifting cultural representations of specific monarchs and members of the royal family since the Tudor era. Between the reign of King Henry VIII of the House of Tudor and Queen Elizabeth II of the House of Windsor, the British monarchy experienced a series of domestic and international crises challenging its nature, political role, and continued existence. For British monarchs, personal issues became increasingly inseparable from political matters.

The intertwining of the personal and the political is demonstrated, for example, by Henry VIII’s pursuit of a male heir and break with Rome; Elizabeth I’s decision to remain unmarried; George III’s mental illness and loss of the American colonies; Victoria’s effort to rule an expansive empire at a young age and retreat from public life after the death of her husband, Prince Albert; the abdication of King Edward VIII and impromptu ascension to the throne of the his younger brother, George VI; and public antagonism toward Elizabeth II following her response to the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Graduate students will engage with the history of the British monarchy through secondary readings, and some primary sources, while also analyzing a sample of literary, artistic, and cinematic depictions of the British royal family.

HIST 631: Research in American History: Early America
Dr. Sarah Meacham
Thursdays, 4:00-6:40 PM
Semester course; 3 credits
 
Analysis of significant problems in the field of early American history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions.
 
 
HIST 653 American Material Culture
Dr. Ryan Smith
Tuesdays, 7:00-9:40pm
Semester course; 3 credits
 

What is “material culture?” In short, the term means all things created or modified by people – clothing, tools, furniture, works of art, books, buildings, and even landscapes, for example.  So the study of American material culture is an attempt to learn about American society by examining its artifacts and architecture. This may seem like a simple proposition, but it is not. For the bulk of American history has been written from literary sources rather than material sources – from the words left behind in letters, diaries, court records, newspapers, and other documents and books. And despite the richness of America’s physical heritage, there may be good reason for this. Archaeologists, art historians, museum professionals, and others confronting artifacts have had to work hard in order to make non-literary artifacts speak. Our class will explore this dilemma. Following a rough chronology of American history, we will consider representative topics from several related academic disciplines. We will also pay particular attention to the role of politics in the preservation and exhibition of material culture, and we will make a few excursions outside the classroom. Finally, true to time-honored traditions, each student will complete a substantial research project focusing on a particular artifact or landscape feature. In the end, students will be better prepared for careers in public history and will be able to apply insights from these experiences to other historical studies.


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.