Undergraduate ProgramSpecial Topics Courses – Spring 2016

HIST 4497.1

IOR: Rita Krueger

Title: The 18th Century European Enlightenment

Description: This capstone explores the 18th Century European Enlightenment, its social context, and its limits within different European societies in the late 17th and 18th centuries. Over the course of the term we will be looking at a variety of topics, including philosophical and scientific tenets; culture; statecraft and debates about citizenship and political identity; conceptions of religion, superstition, and morality; social institutions and secret societies; the press and reading habits; and debates about civilization, gender, social development, progress, and education. The purpose of the course is to give you the opportunity to explore a research topic on European history in depth and end the term with a polished piece of sophisticated research and writing. Get ready to be enlightened!

HIST 2480.1

IOR: Rita Krueger

Title: Confronting Contagion

Description: The course explores the experience of disease and the medical and social communities’ responses to it at different moments in history.  Student use local, national, and international contexts to examine how different societies have confronted contagion or the fear of contagion, how scientific and medical communities have used authority and evidence to shape public perceptions and policy in questions of infection, and how social conceptions shaped knowledge and medical policy.

HIST 3296.2

IOR: Christian Gunkel

Title: Histories of Buying in America

Description:​ This course addresses the history of buying and consuming in the United States of America. From the origins of consumer culture to today’s brand(ed) culture, we will examine various aspects of consumerism in order to shed light on the relation between market and consumer, and how it has changed over the course of history. And as we will see, consumption oftentimes went hand in hand with broader socio-political changes. With an eye toward the shifting roles of consumers and brands in this context, this course offers a wide variety of possible topics for research papers. Therefore, we will also put a strong focus on the actual writing process. And this means that emphasis will particularly be placed on the development of the necessary skills you need to conduct your research, to work with texts and other sources, and eventually write a solid research paper.

HIST 2280.3

IOR: Bettye Collier-Thomas

Title: African American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement

Description: Race has been and is a central issue in the United States. Utilizing the issues and events which define the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement, this course will explore the important role(s) played by African American women in the struggle for freedom and equality; the rise of black masculinist and feminist movements and the impact and results of second wave feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement on black women’s feminist organizing.

HIST 3280.101 (Ambler)

Title: Black Politics and American Democracy

IOR: Sam Davis

Description: This course explores black politics, protest and popular culture in the making of democracy in America. Within clearly defined social and cultural contexts, we examine the myriad ways African Americans have challenged injustice and defined citizenship. Through the lived experiences and ideas of particular individuals, the details of cultural and political movements and an analysis of the economic, social and political barriers they challenged, this course provides students with a nuanced reconstruction of American history and society through the lens of black politics.

HIST 3296.2

Title: Histories of Buying in America

Description: Students will write their papers on some aspect about buying. What can we learn from buying patterns? How and why do they change over time? Why are some brands successful? How do they achieve their success? Students in this class will develop and research topics about buying and selling in American history.