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HIST 280 Topics

Fall 2021

HIST 280-900: The U.S.-Mexican Borderlands                                                              Dr. Sonia Hernandez

Students will learn about the process of border-making, the emergence of the nation-state, identities, state-sanctioned and non-state sanctioned violence, the way in which gender, labor, race, ethnicity and space has been defined/used/negotiated and contested in the borderlands, and other themes associated with the U.S.-Mexican borderlands. In many ways, the U.S.-Mexican borderlands exemplify how the nation-state can both be transgressed and upheld with complex daily negotiations in-between. Emphasis will be given to the historiography and research methodologies of this topic; we will consider the role of history and historians and what historians do. Through an overview of this particular borderland students will learn about the major historical writings of this topic. This course is designed to provide history majors and those interested in pursuing related careers, a hands-on learning experience by focusing on developing and strengthening critical reading, writing, and analytical skills essential to the discipline of history and other professions. This is an intensive writing (W) course and certain days will be reserved as ‘writing workshops’ in & outside of class.

HIST 280-901: Food, Culture, Politics, and Society in the Atlantic World               Dr. Cynthia Bouton

HIST 280, the "Historian's Craft," is a writing-intensive course (“W”) on the discipline of history. We will explore what Atlantic cultures ate, how that changed overtime, and why. We will consider how cultures understood food, who produced, traded in it, and consumed it. We will consider episodes of famine and abundance, the class, race, and gender dynamics of food, and why food is such a political issue.

HIST 280-902: American Captivity Narratives                                                           Dr. Evan Haefeli

Captivity narratives are sometimes described as America’s first original literary genre. Drawing on a variety of captivity narratives from seventeenth century New England to nineteenth century Texas, this course introduces students to the historical richness of captivity narratives as a unique window onto American and Native American history. Adopting a somewhat interdisciplinary approach, the course encourages students to think about all that can be learned from reading just a single story of cross-cultural experience. We will learn that captivity narratives teach us not only about the incidents they discuss, but also how our sources influence our perception and memory of the past. How can we write a more inclusive history when our sources are limited?

HIST 280-903: Remembering (and Forgetting) War                                                 Dr. Jonathan Brunstedt

This course looks at how societies have “remembered” war—through monuments, public holidays, commemorative rituals, reenactments, popular culture, and so on. More specifically, we will focus on how collective war memories have shaped and sustained notions of group identity. In the process, students will produce an original research paper, based on primary and secondary sources, that incorporates the theoretical insights gleaned from class readings and discussions. This is a writing-intensive (“W”) course.

HIST 280-904: Japanese Colonial Empire                                                                 Dr. Hoi-eun Kim

As a sophomore writing-intensive seminar, this course is designed to improve students’ reading and writing skills, using the Japanese colonial empire (1894-1945) as a case study. In particular, this course will focus on ‘people on the move’ who crisscrossed between the metropole and other colonial locations—these were colonial adventurists, technocrats, doctors, and anthropologists, who were willing to take advantage of opportunities that the newly created imperial space provided for them, but these were also migrant laborers and even sex-slaves who were forced to withstand in bare hands the inherently unequal (and often violent) political economy of the colonial system. Throughout the semester, each student is expected to write a research paper of at least 3,000 words on a single person or a group of people, discussing their experience and its broader historical meaning.

HIST 280-905: WWII in Asia and the Pacific                                                            Dr. Olga Dror

This is a writing-intensive course that introduces students majoring in history to the craft of the profession through a variety of strategies and techniques, such as lectures, discussions, work with primary and secondary sources, and writing laboratories. All of these will help students in their successful completion of a research project related to the subject of the course – Asia and WWII. The course will cover different aspects of World War II in East and Southeast Asia, such as the origins and development of hostilities, wartime societies, culture, collaboration, resistance, colonialism, nationalism, and the outcomes of the war. The course will also address certain effects of the war in the United States upon Asian Americans and upon American attitudes toward Asians.