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History (HIS) Course Descriptions

HIS 5003  Introduction to History: Theories and Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course provides students with an introduction to the discipline of history. The course considers how historians conceptualize and conduct the study of history by asking historical questions, critically analyzing primary and secondary works, conducting archival and library research (both traditional and electronic), and developing and critiquing sets of arguments. The course considers competing approaches to the study of historical processes and how historians’ categories of analysis change over time. (Students must enroll in this course in the first semester of their program.)

HIS 5053  Topics in Medieval Europe
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the major problems in the history of medieval Europe, from the second to the fourteenth centuries. The course focuses on changing interpretations in medieval history but also stresses the reading of primary texts.

HIS 5063  Topics in Early Modern European History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the major historiographical and historical problems in early modern European history, from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth century.

HIS 5093  Designing a History Course
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A comprehensive approach to constructing history survey courses for the college level. Topics may include a survey of current curriculum debates; course and syllabus design; selection of textbook and other readings; evaluation and grading; leading discussions; nontraditional instructional methods, including the use of new technologies; and lecture preparation and presentation.

HIS 5123  The American Revolution, 1763–1789
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A history of British America from the imperial crisis of 1763 to the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1789, with emphasis on the early beginnings of the American nation and social, economic, military, and cultural features of the revolutionary movement.

HIS 5153  The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850–1877
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the political, social, and economic factors in the 1850s that led to the American Civil War, as well as a study of the military, diplomatic, and political consequences of the war and efforts to create a new union.

HIS 5163  History of the U.S. South
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines the social, political, cultural, and economic developments that shaped life in the southern United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics may include race relations; southern politics; the economic transformation of the region; and religious identities and faiths.

HIS 5193  The United States Since the Great Depression
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An analysis of recent American history with emphasis on the role of the national government, U.S. involvement in global affairs, and the changing status of women and people of color. Topics may include the drives for social justice by women and minority groups, the evolution of the American economy and its social consequences, the rise of the national security state, the emergence of the welfare state, and the cultural impact of electronic mass media.

HIS 5203  U.S. Political History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the role of government and the political process in the United States. Topics may include the origins of the political system, the evolution of political parties, and the expansion of the public sector.

HIS 5263  History of the Spanish Borderlands
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A comprehensive study of Spanish exploration and colonization in the borderlands adjacent to the international boundary between the southwestern United States and Mexico. Emphasis is on Hispanic institutions and cultural values that shaped the development of a frontier society on the eve of Mexican independence. Attention is given to bibliographic sources and specialized readings.

HIS 5283  Race in United States History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the development of racial ideology from the Colonial Era to the present, paying particular attention to the context in which racial categories are constructed, maintained, and transgressed. Students will have the opportunity to survey foundational and recent historical scholarship that both advances and draws upon theoretical models of race.

HIS 5293  The American West
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A broad historiographical overview focused on nineteenth and twentieth century westward expansion from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to the present. Zones of contact, the development of hybrid cultures, racial relations, the environment, and the role of the federal, state, and local governments in Western development are among the topics that may be covered in this course.

HIS 5313  South Texas: Rural and Urban
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An overview and analysis of the development of South Texas, from pre-Columbian cultures to the rise of urbanization. Emphasis on Spanish exploration and settlement of Nuevo Santander, contact with indigenous cultures, the impact of nineteenth-century warfare, and the rapid transformation of the region through urbanization.

HIS 5323  The U.S.–Mexico Border
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will examine social, economic, and political conditions shaping the character of the United States-Mexico border region. Using a transnational approach, students will have an opportunity to explore the history of the border as a bicultural region, and to examine issues relevant to the development of the border area. Topics of interest may include urbanization, industrialization, gender, trade, migration, security, and ecological problems.

HIS 5423  Colonial Mexico
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A detailed examination of the Spanish conquest and colonization of Mexico from 1521 to Independence. Special attention is paid to the transformation of Indian society under Spanish rule, the development of the colonial economy, and the formation of an interrelated colonial elite.

HIS 5433  Modern Mexico
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the history of Mexico following independence from Spain in 1821. Consideration is given to the disintegration of the colonial system, nineteenth-century reforms, the Porfiriato, the Mexican Revolution, and their effects on contemporary Mexico. Students may have the opportunity to work in Mexico.

HIS 5453  The French Revolution and the Greater Caribbean
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the French Revolution and its impact on the French colonies in the western hemisphere. The course provides a comparative analysis of notions of citizenship and the variety of factors that shaped the practice of rights before, during, and after the revolutionary struggle in both France and the Greater Caribbean.

HIS 5653  Modern Chinese History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course provides an overview of Chinese history since 1550, with particular attention to the major historiographical debates in recent scholarship. Topics may vary, and the latest ones include ethnic and cultural identities in modern China and themes in local and transnational history.

HIS 5693  Indian Subcontinent
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course provides students with an opportunity to learn about the cultures and histories of the Indian subcontinent. Particular attention will be paid to the major historiographical debates in recent scholarship. Topics will vary and may include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and/or Bangladesh.

HIS 5733  Migration in Historical Context
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
What has caused people to migrate as individuals and as groups? To what extent has geographical mobility been a function of economic mobilization, political transformation, social upheaval, and/or technological revolution? How has the migratory process, in turn, affected the migrants themselves, both in their place of origin, and in the host society? This course is a graduate-level exploration of these and other related questions on migration and may be explicitly comparative. Specific theme, regional focus, and time period may vary and may draw from a variety of historical situations.

HIS 6113  Law and Society in America
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the role of law as both a reflection and initiator of change in American life, from colonial times to the present. Topics range from seventeenth-century slavery to the equal rights revolution of the twentieth century.

HIS 6133  The United States and the World
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of the relationship between the United States and foreign nations and peoples from the late eighteenth century through the Cold War era. Using selected episodes, the course will focus on: the domestic sources for American policies and activities; the ways in which foreign peoples prompted, perceived, and influenced those policies and actions; and the impact the United States has had overseas. (This course may employ an explicitly comparative approach.)

HIS 6153  History of Sexuality
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
What does it mean to write, research, analyze, and talk about the histories of sex and sexuality? This seminar explores historical and cultural interpretations of the history of sexuality. The course involves understanding how changes in society, the economy, the family, and politics have reshaped sexual values and behaviors, and the ways that individuals and groups have responded to these challenges. Topics may include the family, religion, race and sexuality, class, reproductive health, and transgender and queer studies. Geographical focus may vary with instructor. (This course may employ an explicitly comparative approach.)

HIS 6163  Women in the United States
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Analyzes the experiences of women in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Topics may include economic roles, legal issues, religion, culture, feminist movements, and family life.

HIS 6173  Latina/os in the United States
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the Mexican American, Cuban American, and Puerto Rican American experiences in the United States, treating the historical relationship between this nation and the countries of origin and the interaction between these groups and mainstream society.

HIS 6193  Comparative Urban History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the roles of the urban place in the formation of modern culture, society, and polity. It interprets the shifting functions of the “urban factor” in social and cultural change. (This course may employ an explicitly comparative approach.) (Formerly titled “The City in History.”)

HIS 6323  Comparative Environmental History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the role of environmental factors in world history. It provides students the opportunity to consider the importance of often overlooked actors such as plants, animals, and diseases alongside more familiar human cultural and social institutions. We consider how the inhabitants of different continents and nations were shaped by nature, shaped their own very different environments, and made sense of these processes.

HIS 6413  Topics in U.S. History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines topics of current interest to historians of the United States. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6423  Topics in Modern European History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines topics of current interest to historians of Europe. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6433  Topics in Latin American History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines topics of current interest to historians of Latin America. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6443  Comparative Nationalism in the Modern World
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course offers a comparative investigation of nationalism around the globe from 1700 until the present. Interdisciplinary perspectives will be used to examine the growth of nations, the nation-state, ethnic identity, and community as well as related subjects such as race and racism, fascism, minorities, gender, immigration, and genocide.

HIS 6453  Comparative U.S. Home Fronts: Civil War to Cold War
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will examine the United States during wartime, with a focus on activities on the home-front. The course will examine the different ways U.S. conflicts from the Civil War to the Cold War have shaped the politics and culture of the United States. Issues considered in this course may include war’s effect on race and gender relations, propaganda during wartime, war and notions of citizenship, and war and the growth of the national state.

HIS 6463  Topics in African History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This seminar is a graduate-level introduction to African history. The course will emphasize the ways in which events and processes in the African past can be juxtaposed usefully with developments in other regions of the world. Topics and themes may include regional trading networks, the range of political/governmental structures, and cultural variation.

HIS 6473  Topics in Asian History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines topics of current interest to historians of Asia. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6483  Topics in Comparative History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course introduces students to comparative historical analysis and research. Studying historical processes, political, economic, intellectual and social movements in multiple contexts helps define questions about what is shared and what is unique, and to draw broad conclusions. By analyzing topics and thematic issues across time periods, regions, or in a transnational context, students will have the opportunity to develop skills in critical thinking, comparative methodologies, and historical explanation. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6813  Proseminar in History
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: HIS 5003.
A detailed investigation of a major historical subject, with particular attention to current research and major interpretations. Intended as preparation for HIS 6903. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6903  Research Seminar in History
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: HIS 6813 in the specific subject of the seminar or consent of instructor.
An examination of research materials pertinent to topics in history explored in HIS 6813, of methodologies developed to interpret these materials, and of theoretical issues guiding inquiry. Preparation of a primary research paper required. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

HIS 6913  Making History in the Digital Age
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will explore some of the newer applications of information technology for presenting history to students and the public. Training will be offered in developing multimedia presentations for the classroom or public spaces, such as museums and the Web. Prior experience with computers is not required.

HIS 6923  Teaching Practicum
3 hours credit.
This course is designed to assist advanced graduate students in developing their instructional skills for a career in college teaching. The primary focus will be to translate the best pedagogy on student learning into the practical design and conduct of history courses, including such elements as syllabi, lectures, discussions, exams and other assignments, and grading. Students will work closely with a specific undergraduate instructor in a specific class.

HIS 6951-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the student’s Graduate Advisor of Record.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree.

HIS 6961  Comprehensive Examination
1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Independent study to prepare for the Comprehensive Examination. Students will select fields of study and prepare for examination under faculty supervision. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination).

HIS 6973   Special Studies in History
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An organized course providing specialized study in a historical field not normally available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (Formerly titled “Special Problems.”)

HIS 6983  Master’s Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor of Record and thesis director.
Thesis research and preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master’s degree. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress.

HIS 6993  Internship in History
3 hours credit.
A supervised experience, relevant to the student’s program of study, within selected community organizations, libraries, and archives. No more than 6 semester credit hours may apply to the Master’s degree. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance).

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