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HIST 280 Topics



HIST 280-901, MWF 12:45-1:30, GLAS 205                                        Dr. Jonathan Brunstedt

"Remembering (and Forgetting) War"

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 intensive writing (W) course.


HIST 280-902, MW 5:45-7:00, GLAS 206                                            Dr. Damon Bach

The Decade of Tumult and Change: American in the 1960s

This course examines the social, cultural, and political history of the “long 1960s” from its antecedents in the 1950s through the resignation of president Richard Nixon in 1974. The Sixties will be explored from the elite level as well as from the ground up, looking at the experiences of ordinary Americans and grass-roots activists. The class covers pivotal events, leaders, and organizations. It provides significant attention to the Vietnam War and the protest movements that largely defined the era, from Civil Rights to counterculture to Women’s Liberation. These social movements, in turn, led to a substantial backlash by the “Silent Majority.” The modern conservative movement became ascendant. Students study primary and secondary documents, while also learning about the historian’s craft—research, documentation, and writing. Those enrolled will watch two films that exemplify historical themes of the Sixties as well. This intensive writing (W) course requires students to produce an original research paper.


HIST 280-903, TR 11:10-12:25, GLAS 205                                          Dr. Lorien Foote

Fugitive Federals: A Digital Humanities Investigation of Escaped Union Prisoners

This course introduces students to the sources and methods of professional historians through student participation in an innovative historical research project about the mass escape of 3000 Union prisoners of war during the American Civil War. Seminar participants will be introduced to archival and primary source research, evidence and argumentation, historiography, and the principles and methods of the analytical narrative. Students will research and write four short biographies of escaped prisoners of war that will be published on the project website at the Center for Virtual History: This intensive writing (W) course.


HIST 280-904, MWF 11:30-12:20, GLAS 206                                      Dr. Erika Bravo

Missing in Action in America’s 20th Century Wars

There are more than 81,600 Americans still missing from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and recent conflicts like the 1991 Gulf War. Students will learn about the history and evolution of accounting for missing servicemembers from 20th century US conflicts. This is an intensive writing (W) course and students will learn how to conduct historical research and writing as well as have the opportunity to apply these skills to a related public history project.


HIST 280-905, TR 9:35-10:50, GLAS 206                                             Dr. Takkara Brunson

Visualizing the Black Diaspora

This course explores how persons of African descent used photography to create identities for themselves as slavery came to an end. Invented in France in 1826, photography emerged as a popular technology among elites living throughout the Americas during the 1840s. Photography became an affordable commodity that individuals from all social classes began to use by the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Our exploration will identify how artists and scientists have used photographs to reproduce racial stereotypes. We will then examine how Black people challenged these stereotypes by posing for photographs from the period of slave emancipation through the early-twentieth century. This course takes a comparative approach that looks at African-descended populations in the Brazil, Cuba, the United States, and Jamaica, among other nations. Students will also develop and revise an original research paper based on primary source materials. This intensive writing (W) course.


HIST 280-906, TR 12:45-2:00, GLAS 205                                            Dr. Jessica Herzogenrath

Popular Performance in Early 20th Century America

Over the course of the semester, we will explore the ways in which popular culture informed experiences from 1890 through 1940. Historical study of popular culture allows us the opportunity to see the complex ways in which people have negotiated their identities – such as class, race, religion, political allegiance, ethnicity, and gender expression. Popular culture manifests in many ways, including sports, dance, magazines, cartoons, music, theater, toys, food, and language. Through analysis of primary and secondary materials, we will examine how the patterns of popular culture show us both the stability of everyday traditions and the potential for change in the actions of “ordinary” people. Students will develop original research papers supported by primary and secondary sources. This intensive writing (W) course.