Course Offerings, Fall 2015
Note: This page contains a list of Special Topics courses, along with regular Upper Division (3000-and 4000-level) courses that will be offered in the Fall, and graduate seminars. For a full list of history courses including lower-level surveys in American history and World and Western Civilization, go to the Registrar’s website at http://appl003.lsu.edu/booklet2.nsf/mainframeset. Under Semester/Year, select Fall 2015; under Departments, select History; and then click Display Courses.
Hist 2061: African Americans in U.S. History (1:30-2:50 p.m. T Th)
This course examines the social, political, and economic impact of African American communities in the United States. Beginning with the mass importation of Africans as a labor force in the late fifteenth century, the survey serves as an introduction to the history of achievement and exploitation in one of the most culturally influential populations in world history. The course covers that history into the late twentieth century looking at African American impact on American society and politics into the postmodern era. The class is aimed at familiarizing students with the general problems, needs, and goals of African American populations in hopes of demonstrating the ways in which those material realities and cultural norms are contingent on a dynamic and continuous exchange with the rest of the United States that makes African Americans both consumers and creators of the broader American culture. Prof. Kodi Roberts.
Hist 2195, section 1: Modern South Africa (10:30-11:50 a.m. T Th)
The 20th century marked South Africa’s journey from Apartheid to Freedom. In this course, you will study the causes of the brutal policy of racial discrimination, the ways in which South Africans resisted and finally triumphed to win their freedom, and how they have struggled with the legacies of apartheid since electing Nelson Mandela as the first African president of the country in 1994. readings will include 3 South African autobiographies from the 20th century, including Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. Prof. Nancy Clark.
Hist 2195, section 2: Violence in the U.S. West (12:00-1:20 p.m. T Th)
Classic Hollywood films portray violence in the “Old West” as world-shattering, people-scattering, and blood-splattering. This course will examine episodes of conflict in the regions America acquired after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and the Mexican-American War of 1848. We will disentangle the legends from the facts, the myths from the history, through lectures and discussions of primary sources written by Native Americans, frontier cowboys, immigrants from Mexico and Asia, and even Hollywood actors. This course will have three papers and weekly assignments. Prof. Zevi Gutfreund.
Hist 3071: History of Louisiana (10:30-11:50 a.m. T Th)
This is a general survey of Louisiana’s history from the earliest days of colonization to the present. Although the primary focus is on events that took place within the boundaries of the modern state, we also cover material intended to help students understand Louisiana’s history in terms of relevant regional, national, and international events and contexts. There are three exams. Each of them has an essay component. Prof. Alecia Long.
Hist 3118 Seminar: Germans and Germanies (1:30-2:50 p.m. M W)
This course is intended to introduce students to the shifting perceptions of ethnicity, nationality, and citizenship in Modern German history. Class lecture and discussion will examine the origins of modern German cultural perceptions of both regional and national particularism from cultural, philosophical, literary, and political perspectives. Students will study persistent questions regarding defined or undefined “Germanness”; whom did Germans define as members of a newly defined, exclusive ethnic community? How have Germans negotiated this question over time and reinterpreted it? What is the contemporary status of definitions of German citizenship, culture, and language and how is it expository of broader European trends? Instructor Greg Tomlinson.
Hist 3119, section 1 Seminar: Asian American History (3:00-5:50 p.m. M)
Using memoirs, novels, and films, this seminar will explore the history of Asian Americans from the 19th century to the present. From Chinese exclusion and Japanese internment to the Korean and Vietnam wars, we will discuss the lives of Asian Americans through fiction and memory. Weekly reading and discussions, as well as several writing assignments will be required. Prof. Charles Shindo.
Hist 3119, section 2 Seminar: The Black Panthers and Black Power (3:00-4:20 p.m. T Th)
This course will examine the development of black militancy in post- Civil Rights America by focusing study on the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The readings will cover scholarship on the nascent growth of the Black Power Movement by examining work on radical traditions and armed self-defense in the context of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, and continue through the rise and fall the Black Panthers. The course readings include academic monographs as well as extensive biographical material written by former Panthers and the lawyers and law enforcement officers closest to the movement. We will conclude by looking at the crumbling of the Party in the late 1970’s and their lasting effect on the political, cultural and institutional landscape of the United States. Prof. Kodi Roberts.
Hist 3119, section 3 Seminar: Cold Noir: A Cultural History of Cold War America (3:00-5:50 p.m. Th)
While Cold War historiography tends to emphasize foreign policy and domestic anti-Communism as the means to understand this historical era, Cold Noir shifts that historical responsibility onto American cultural forms. Film, television, jazz, abstract expressionism, and literature will be among our guides to take us through the fog of Cold War America. We will use culture as the means to understand the era, the people who lived it, and the limitations and opportunities they faced. We will look closely at urban tensions & suburban promises, gender anxiety & racial unrest, nuclear fear & consumer psychology. When the fog clears, we will consider how Cold War myth and memory continue to impact American society today.
As a reading seminar, students will be obligated to read approximately one book per week and participate in weekly class discussion, similar to a graduate seminar. For those interested in pursuing a graduate degree, this course will give you a good idea of what to expect on the next level. A total of four papers (4-5 pages) will be required for this course, along with weekly written responses. Instructor David Brokaw.
Hist 4001: Greece of the City-State (10:30-11:50 a.m. T Th)
From the epics of Homer to the exploits of Alexander the Great: Course will follow the rise of Greek culture and self-identity first against the background of the state system of the wider Mediterranean world, and then in the context of the emergence of the polis city state system and the significance of the Greek cultural heritage. Reading intensive: Both textbook readings and original source texts (the classical historians and other examples of Greek literary authors) will be used. Primary emphasis is on military and political history, but due attention will also be paid to philosophy, tragedy, art history and other important aspects of Greek society and its impact on the modern world. One midterm exam and a final; one book report on an “outside” book; one research paper; participation points and debates. Prof. Steven Ross.
Hist 4007: The Early Middle Ages (1:30-2:50 p.m. M W)
This course seeks to introduce the student to the history of the Early Middle Ages, 300-1000 AD, through a focus on primary source readings. The student will learn how to analyze these and other sources, and how to use them in the study of history. The geographic focus of the course is the Mediterranean basin and beyond, comprising the early European, Byzantine and Islamic societies. Readings include selections from Augustine of Hippo, Gregory of Tours, The Táin, Beowulf, Life of Antony, Passion of Perpetua, The Qur’an, Einhard, and the Benedictine Rule. Prof. Maribel Dietz.
Hist 4016: Europe in the 19th Century (9:00-10:20 a.m. T Th)
History 4016 covers the major issues in European history during the period from 1815 to 1914: the Restoration following the Congress of Vienna, the Concert of Europe, the Industrial Revolution, the revolutions of 1820, 1830, and 1848, the Crimean War, the unification of Italy, the unification of Germany, Imperialism, the Belle Epoque, the origins of the Great War, and the ideologies: liberalism, socialism, and nationalism. To recreate the character of life and mood, students will read five of the great nineteenth-century novels, Dickens, Hard Times, Gogol, Dead Souls, Zola, Germinal, Mann, Buddenbrooks, and Di Lampedusa, The Leopard. The grade will be determined by a Midterm Examination and a Final Examination. Prof. Benjamin Martin.
Hist 4021: France Before 1770: Old Regime and Revolution (1:30-2:50 p.m. T Th)
This course examines the rise of France as a nation-state and colonial power in the period from about 1550-1800. It traces how French kings from Henri IV to Louis XVI attempted to develop a strong, centralized monarchical state centered around the courts of Paris, and then Versailles, and how and why France’s 20 million subjects – nobles and commoners— resisted those efforts. Finally, the class will consider the end of the Old Regime, focusing on its collapse in the French Revolution and the ensuing decade of violent struggle to establish a new society based on more modern and egalitarian principles.
The course will feature lectures combined with discussions of primary sources including contemporary art and literature. We will also read academic monographs and journal articles and evaluate contemporary cinematic reconstructions of the Old Regime era. Workload includes midterm, final exam, reading quizzes and several brief papers. Prof. Leslie Tuttle.
Hist 4024: The Dutch Republic and Empire, 1500-1800 (10:30-11:20 a.m. M W F)
Political, economic, social and cultural history of one of the great powers of early modern Europe; emphasis on the Golden Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Grades will be evaluated on the basis of a midterm and final exam, two short papers and participation in class discussion. Prof. Christine Kooi.
Hist 4044: Stuart England (12:30-1:20 p.m. M W F )
This course covers Britain’s ‘Century of Revolution’ from 1603 to 1714, a period which saw civil war, the trial and execution of a king, and the overthrow of a dynasty. Course requirements include a midterm, final, and research paper. Prof. Victor Stater.
Hist 4066: Military History of the U.S. (9:00-10:20 a.m. T Th)
This course uses the concept of strategic culture to examine how the United States has waged war from the era of the struggle for independence through the Vietnam conflict. American warfare is therefore examined as a reflection of such factors as geography, economic resources, historical experience, political and social systems, religion, ethics, and national self-image. Specific topics explored in this course include the causes and consequences of major wars, key battles and campaigns, changing military technology and tactics, and strategic thought. Grades will be based on three examinations and a short research paper. Cross-listed with MILS 4066. Prof. Stanley Hilton.
Hist 4071: The Antebellum South (12:00-1:20 p.m. T Th)
This course will introduce students to the history of the American South from the Revolutionary era to the end of the Civil War. The main focus of this course will be accounting for the growth of the South within the U.S. and the larger world. A central theme of the course will be the expansion of racial slavery. We will explore how and why this institution developed and seek to understand the experience of both slaveholders and enslaved people. We will also look in detail at the political, social, and economic growth of the South, considering the degree to which it is useful to talk about an “exceptional” South, distinct from the rest of the U.S. Students must be prepared to challenge current assumptions about southern stereotypes and to tackle the complex world that was the antebellum South.
In terms of workload, there will be a variety of books (5) and probably 3 exams or papers (yet to be decided) evenly spaced over the semester. Prof. Aaron Sheehan-Dean.
Hist 4079: Women in American History (10:30-11:50 a.m. M W)
This course provides an overview of the history of women in the United States. The course will cover mainly the late 19th and 20th centuries, with a particular focus on women’s organizing and movement building. Topics covered in the course include: suffrage, labor activism, civil rights, and women’s liberation.
The course is designed so that students may understand the complexity of women’s experiences; understand the role of race, class, gender, ethnicity (and other identity markers) in shaping women’s lives and experiences; understand how women have shaped political, social, and cultural developments in the United States; and understand how the history of women is an integral part of the history of the United States.
Course counts towards WGS undergraduate minor and concentration, and graduate concentration. Prof. Catherine Jacquet.
Hist 4081: History of the Caribbean: Race, Nation, and Politics (1:30-2:50 p.m. T Th)
This course explores the history of the Caribbean from pre-Colombian times to the present. The goal of the class is to trace the emergence of modern Caribbean nations from the slave colonies of the not-so-distant past. It will show that though they may be picturesque vacation destinations, the islands of the Caribbean have played a central role in global history. In particular, this course will introduce you to the Caribbean through sustained attention to two simultaneous and related long-term developments: the maintenance of European and North American imperial enterprises and the elaboration of racial ideologies around the diversity that has characterized the island populations. Through these prisms, we will explore issues such as colonialism, piracy, sugar revolution, slavery and emancipation, national independence, tourism, and Caribbean migrations. Cuba, Haiti, and Jamaica will be the main areas under consideration for this semester; however, we will also examine texts from other islands such as the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Martinique when appropriate.
This class is discussion based—so we read primary sources and some secondary sources and come to class to talk about them and what they tell us about the period they were produced. Because of that format, most students would say that the class is engaging and interesting—you won’t fall asleep because we do role plays, debates, etc. The class does NOT have a mid-term or a final, but rather three 4-5 page papers. Because we cover so much time and space in the class, I let students choose their research topics for those papers—each paper just has to be about a different time period that we cover, 1) 15th-17th century, 2) 18th-19th century, and 3) 20-21st century. Prof. Devyn Spence Benson.
Hist 4094: Modern Japan (11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. M W F)
This course presents a survey of the last four and a half centuries of Japanese history, from the time of the first contact with Westerners in the middle of the sixteenth century to the post-World War II era. We will attempt to achieve a balance between political, social, economic, and cultural history in this survey. About two-thirds of the course will be devoted to the period before the twentieth century. There is no specific course prerequisite for enrolling in this class. Prof. John Henderson.
Hist 4140: The Vietnam War (10:30 – 11:50 a.m. T Th)
French colonial rule and Vietnamese nationalism; Ho Chi Minh and the war against the French (1946-1954); The National Liberation Front (Vietcong); process of American involvement and disengagement; counter-insurgency and the air war; anti-war movement in the United States; reasons for failure of American policy; Vietnam since 1975; lessons and legacies for the U.S. Prof. Stanley Hilton.
Hist 4191: Religions of China and Japan (9:30-10:20 a.m. M W F )
This course will cover the great religious and philosophical traditions of East Asia (including Korea and Vietnam) from ancient to modern times, namely Confucianism (which offers sagehood), Buddhism (nirvana), Daoism (immortality}, and Shinto (fertility). (The instructor does not guarantee that you will achieve any one of these objectives by simply enrolling in the course. You must also keep up with the reading.) We will also include examples from popular and everyday religion in such areas as divination and magic, festivals and holidays, and art and music. Since the ‘world religions’ of Christianity and Islam have both reshaped the religious scene in modern East Asia, as well as been shaped by it, we will also incorporate a brief unit on the Chinese and Japanese forms of the Cross and Crescent. The format for the class will be lecture/discussion/koan (Zen riddle), with a periodic presentation of audio-visual elements having a shorter half-life. There will be two midterms, and a final, as well as a short paper. For those students so interested, a longer term paper may be substituted for the short paper and the second midterm, but only if you convince the instructor that you sincerely want to do the term paper option. Cross-listed with Religious Studies 4191. Prof. John Henderson.
Hist 4195 section 1: Special Studies in World History: Religion, War, and Death in Latin America (Pre-Columbian society to the Present) (1:30-2:20 p.m. M W F)
This course will analyze the unique religious context of Latin America from the first arrival of humans to the region to the present. It charts European, African, and Indigenous religious forms and their interrelation within pre-Columbian, colonial and national contexts. The course aims to provide a survey of the important religious traditions in Latin America that have shaped that region’s history and culture over time. Moreover, this class will examine the connection between religion, war and death in Latin America. It charts both the conservative and progressive tendencies within Latin American traditions of Christianity, with a special emphasis on the role of Catholicism in shaping, and being shaped by, Latin American culture. We will be reading historical as well as philosophical and theological texts related to topics such as millenarianism, hybridity, violence, revolution, and death. The class will be held in a seminar fashion, with supplemental lectures and context provided. The student will carry out a research program and produce a 15-20 page research paper. Graduate Students Welcome! Prof. Stephen Andes, email@example.com
Hist 4195 section 2: Special Studies in World History: Modern Africa Since 1880 (10:30-11:50 T Th)
This course examines the history of modern Africa from the period immediately preceding the introduction of formal colonial domination of African societies up to the post-Independence era. It deals necessarily with the political, economic, social, and cultural challenges faced by African peoples under the control of European metropolitan powers, and their efforts to regain their independence and establish modern nation-states during the 1960s and after. Among the key themes to be examined will be primary resistance to European conquest, African labor in colonial economies, nationalism, Pan-Africanism, development/under-development, internal dissension, and the militarization of the post-colonial state.
The course will consist of two phases: the colonial and post-colonial. The first phase examines the imposition of colonial rule, the changes brought about by the European colonial state, and the decolonization process. In the second phase, we shall examine such issues as Independence and the concept of Neo-colonialism, the management of the modern state, and Africa’s role in the global environment.
The goals of the course are partly to expose students to the various African peoples, cultures, and historical experiences, as well as to provide a forum for students to better understand the contemporary political economies of the continent.
We will trace the history of modern Africa with the aid of lectures, the use of primary and secondary sources, films, and classroom discussions. Since the lectures will complement the reading, students are required to adhere to the reading schedule and be prepared to actively participate in class discussions. Prof. Gibril Cole.
Hist 4197: Crime, Conspiracy, and Courtroom Dramas (12:00-1:20 T Th)
In this class, we address how American films offer a complex medium for decoding popular conceptions of the nature of crime, the causes of political conspiracies, and the meaning of justice. We begin with Scarface (1932), the classic film of the criminal underworld, followed by films on other controversial political topics: southern chain gangs; the film noir world of murder; wartime fears of espionage, treason, and presidential assassination; racial injustice; prejudice and the jury system; women on death row; and corruption in the judicial system. The course covers mostly Hollywood films but ends with a modern documentary, The Thin Blue Line (1988), which explores the case of a man on death row. Major assigned readings (other online articles will be used as well) include: Double Indemnity: The Complete Screenplay (1989); Robert Burns, I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! (1997); Reginald Rose, Twelve Angry Men: A Screen Adaptation (1985); David Ruth, Inventing the Public Enemy (1996). Students are required to screen all the assigned films. Prof. Nancy Isenberg.
Hist 4505: Rise of Christianity (10:30-11:50 a.m. T Th)
This course is an introduction to the history, literature, and thought of ancient Christianity from its beginnings in first-century Palestine to its establishment as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the sixth century (the period known as “late antiquity”). Through a close reading of primarily ancient sources, we examine the lives of several important Christians, such as Origen of Alexandria, Constantine the Great, and Augustine of Hippo, among others. Topics also include martyrdom, monasticism, Christian self-definition, relations between Christianity and the Roman Empire, theological controversies, the emergence of Christian art, and the rise of the bishop as a key power broker in this period. In addition to the array of primary sources, students will read three modern scholarly monographs dealing with specific issues in the study of early Christianity. Assessment will be based on attendance, response papers, a midterm, and a final exam. Cross-listed with Rel 4505. Prof. Bradley Storin.
Hist 7904: Seminar in American History and Criticism (3:00-5:50 p.m. M)
History 7904 provides an overview of how American historians have thought about the nature of history, from the nineteenth century historians who saw it as controlled by God, through the various forms historicism has taken–scientific history, relativism, and postmodernism. It focuses, though, on the major ways in which they have interpreted the history of the United States. It surveys the early syntheses of American history: the 19th century, progressive, consensus, and New Left historians. It then turns to changes in methodology, the rise of social and then cultural history, as well as the use of key concepts such as race, class, gender, identity, and memory. The class ends with a look at how the profession functions today. Hist 7904 is a seminar that is built around substantial core readings each week, discussions of those readings, and frequent papers. Prof. Gaines Foster.
Hist 7908: Introduction to Historical Research (3:00–5:50 p.m. W)
Students enrolled in this course will be introduced to the practices and products of historical research. After completing the course, students should have a solid understanding of the various ways historians research and write about their areas of interest and specialty. Prof. Alecia Long.
Hist 7923 Seminar: European History from 1500 (3:00-5:50 M)
Readings on the history of modern Europe, with a focus on nationalism and communism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Incorporates broad coverage of western and eastern Europe. Written assignments will focus on argumentation through book reviews and historiographical analyses. Prof. Brendan Karch.
Hist 7930: Reading Seminar in British History (Day and time TBA)
Readings focusing upon the political, religious, social, economic, and cultural history of the British Isles in the early modern period (c. 1500-1800). Prof. Victor Stater.
Hist 7951 Graduate Reading Seminar: American History 1607 to 1800 (3:00-5:50 p.m. T)
The purpose of this course is to teach graduate students to think critically and introduce them to the field of early American History. The books represent some of the most innovative studies and they cover a wide range of topics: current scholarship is not only interdisciplinary but demands original thinking and creative methods of research. Assigned readings include:
1) Jill Lepore, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origins of American Identity (1999)
2) David D. Hall, Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Beliefs in Early New England (1990)
3) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001)
4) Noeleen Mcllevanna, A Very Mutinous People: The Struggle for North Carolina, 1660-1713 (2009)
5) David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery and the American Revolution (2005)
6) Michal Jan Rozbicki, Culture and Liberty in the Age of American Revolution (2011)
7) Timothy H. Breen, The Marketplace Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence (2005)
8) Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (2011)
9) Max M. Edling, A Revolution in Favor of Government: Origins of the U.S. Constitution and the Making of the American State (2008)
10) Saul Cornell, The Other Founders: Antifederalism and the Dissenting Tradition in America, 1788-1828 (1999)
11) Joanne B. Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (2002). Prof. Nancy Isenberg.
Hist 7956 Seminar: Readings in 20th-Century U.S. History (3:00-5:50 M)
This seminar is intended to introduce graduate students to the historiography of American history, 1900 to present. By design, readings will include various styles of historical writing, as well as significant topics, in chronological order. The seminar will give students an understanding of the major developments in, and historiography of, twentieth-century American history, not excluding subjects since 2000. Prof. David Culbert.
Hist 7958 Seminar: The Politics of Memory, 1770-1855 (3:00-5:50 Th)
In the simplest terms, we address the question: “What do professional historians do?” The course emphasizes critical reading and the composition of clear, concise written arguments. We operate at the crossroads of politics and culture. There are six monographs on American subjects read in common (short analytical papers on each). During the final month of the course, the student will produce a well-sourced independent research paper–the seed from which a scholarly journal article might grow.
By becoming more aware of the “politics of memory,” we enliven historical debate.
For those who wish to buy books before the start of the semester—certainly it’s a good idea to have the first book on day one:
1. Alfred Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party (Beacon)
2. Benjamin Carp, Defiance of the Patriots (Yale)
3. Peter Onuf, Jefferson’s Empire (Virginia)
4. Adam Rothman, Slave Country (Harvard)
5. Amy Greenberg, A Wicked War (Vintage)
6. Scott Casper, Constructing American Lives (North Carolina)
Prof. Andrew Burstein.
Hist 7970 Seminar: The History of Capitalism (3:00-5:50 p.m. T)
Capitalism has generally been considered the driving force behind globalization. Since the beginning of the global economic crisis in 2007-2008, however, “capitalist globalization” has become the object of much debate, leading to a close reexamination of such issues as its nature, its benefits and pitfalls, and its sustainability.
Taking an historical approach, this course addresses these and other questions, including what exactly are capitalism and capitalist globalization and what kind of transformation–in terms of time and space–did both undergo. What are the intellectual and historical origins of capitalism? What are its relationships with modernity?
This course is a requirement for the World History Graduate Minor. Prof. Margherita Zanasi.