United States

101.001 Fall 2017 Topics in US History

This seminar will guide students through the process of completing a senior thesis in a topic in US History. Our focus will be the research and writing process, ranging from the feasibility of research topics, historiography, methodology, and analysis. Students should contact the professor in advance of the seminar to discuss possible topics and, if possible, research questions.

Sarah Selvidge is a historian of cities, culture, and politics in Latin America and the United States. 

103D.004 Fall 2017 E Pluribus Barnum: Popular Entertainment in the United States

This course will explore how ordinary Americans gathered together in museums, fairgrounds, theatres, and stadiums to entertain themselves before the twenty-first century. Since 1786, when Charles Wilson Peale opened his museum in Philadelphia as a place for audiences to encounter art, lectures, scientific specimens, and natural history objects, Americans have sought out popular entertainment for both amusement and education.

103D.003 Fall 2017 The History of Computing in America

This course will provide a broad historical foundation for the emergence of computers as a technology and as a symbol of contemporary life. We will examine the intellectual and technical origins of the first computers, the development of the computer industry, the role of military in technical innovation, hacker cultures, and Silicon Valley as a place. We will probably also consider the emergence of the internet and Artificial Intelligence.

103D.001 Fall 2017 Contesting the American Past: A survey of historical discourse from the Revolution to the present

As I write this, Confederate monuments in New Orleans are being removed by municipal workers, exciting both celebration and protest. Throughout US history, the past has never been inert. It is continuously examined, contested, manipulated, and refashioned. It is used to argue both where the nation stands and where it should go. Over time, different versions rise, conflict, and subside. This course traces the major attempts to promote and suppress versions of the national past, ranging from the American Revolution to our moment.

103D.005 Fall 2017 20th Century Latina/o Immigrant Experiences in the United States

This course introduces students to the immigration experiences of major Latina/o populations in the 20th century United States. Although the term Latina/o encompasses a wide variety of peoples in the Western Hemisphere, we will focus specifically on people descending/originating from Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. For many of these groups, migration has played a key role their experiences. Central themes include migration, gender, pan ethnicity, and political mobilization.

103D.002 Fall 2017 US Cities

This course will focus on the history of American cities and metropolitan areas. Major topics include race and ethnicity, immigration, housing, politics, culture and economic change, from the late-19th to the late-20th century. Urban history is not only fascinating in itself, but has traditionally been a useful lens to focus in on other themes of interest — because the “case study” method of organizing historical research can help to promote depth, specificity, and new insights.

103D.006 Fall 2017 Foodways in American History

This course will introduce students to the history of foodways in North America from the Columbian Exchange through late twentieth century. Through the lens of food, students will examine major themes in American environmental history, social and cultural history, and the history of globalization and capitalism.

280D.002 Spring 2017 The Historiography of American Foreign Relations

This course is a reading seminar in the history of the United States and the World, focused on the making of U.S. foreign policy and the exercise of American power in the world. It focuses for the most part on the history of the twentieth century, although particular readings delve into the nineteenth-century origins and foundations of U.S. power in the twentieth-century world.


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