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HIST 481 Seminars

Fall  2022

HIST 481-900:  African American Autobiography                              Dr. Albert Broussard
MWF 1:50-2:40

Is it possible to construct the history of a people or a country through the autobiographical or biographical writings of its citizens? Why do we remain fascinated with reading the autobiographies of famous people? And how reliable is memory as individuals attempt to reconstruct their lives and careers decades removed from the episodes that they are attempting to recollect? These are some of the questions that this seminar will examine as, we will read and evaluate the autobiographical and biographical writings of African Americans over the course of American history. Students will read some of the most famous autobiographies written by African Americans, as well as the writings of several lesser known men and women who lived  throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century. Our list of readings will include individuals such as Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet this seminar will also introduce students to fewer notable individuals who have written about their lives and whose experiences challenge traditional notions and preconceptions about the African American experience.

HIST481-901: Paris at War                                                                        Dr. Rebecca Schloss
MWF 11:30-12:20

In this seminar we will explore how war influenced social, political, and cultural dynamics in France’s capitol city during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through a series of case studies- the 1848 Revolution, the Paris Commune, World War 1, World War 2, and the Algerian War – we will examine how historical changes influenced ideas about and the practice of war in France and her colonies. We will pay particular attention to how things such as race, class, gender, and nationality influenced the way that individuals understood and experienced war in Paris.

HIST481-902: Remembering (and Forgetting) War                          Dr. Jonathan Brunstedt
TR 12:45-2:00

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.

HIST481-903: Feminisms of Color                                                         Dr. Sarah McNamara
MWF 12:40-1:30

In a multi-racial and multi-ethnic nation, what does feminism mean? This course examines the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and gender to explore the multiple meanings of feminisms in the 20th century United States. Students will investigate how women of different national, ethnic, and racial backgrounds have been included and excluded from feminist action, and, as a result, reinterpreted and defined feminism on their own terms. As an advanced writing and research seminar, this course asks students to critically analyze academic texts, interpret primary documents, and produce a research paper using historical methods.

HIST481-904: Sport and International History                               Dr. Jason Parker
MWF 9:10-10:00

The rise and spread of sports culture is a defining feature of globalization in the modern era. High-profile events such as the Olympics could not help but serve as vectors for political and cultural competition, and within nations sports intertwined with racial, regional, and other identities. This seminar will explore the nexus of sports, history, and culture in the international twentieth century.

HIST481-906: The Global 1980s                                                           Dr. Andrew Kirkendall
MWF 11:300-12:20

This course will examine cultural, diplomatic, economic, and political developments in the last decade of the Cold War. Topics to be discussed may include crisis, reform, and collapse in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, revolution and counter-revolution in the Third World, the Iran-Iraq War, the Latin American debt crisis and democratization, superpower nuclear weapons negotiations, among others. After students gain a grounding in the era, they will choose  research topics in consultation with the instructor. They will develop an original argument based on work in primary sources and write a lengthy research paper.