Fall 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions

April 30, 2014

Fall 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions 

History 511:  Roman History     Professor Frank Vatai        Tuesday, 1900-2145;  SH268   

The colloquium will focus on readings both Roman and modern on the Late Roman Republic. Relevant documentaries will also be viewed. Among the topics to be discussed is the failure of the Republic, whether there was a Roman Revolution, the dynamics of politics at Rome, how the elite functioned, the nature of the Roman family, and the role of ideas in Roman life. Contemporary accounts from Cicero and Caesar will be studied along with modern works that encompass social, cultural, political and military approaches along with biographies. The aim of the colloquium will be to develop a deeper understanding and a sophisticated analysis of one of the most tumultuous and fascinating periods in world history. Students will keep a film diary. A 17-20 page paper that analyzes the readings and puts them into a historiographical perspective will be turned in at the end of the semester.

 History 562:  Guatemala and the Global Forces of History     Professor Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens   Tuesday, 1600-1845; SH279

Guatemala is a small and fascinating country.  It is known simultaneously as the site of the “great Maya Civilization,” as the home of the United Fruit Company or “the Octopus” one of world’s first multi-national corporations, as the base of the United States first direct military intervention in Latin America after World War II, as the “other Vietnam”, and as the battleground of one of the most devastating genocides in contemporary global history.  These identities, which have been partially crafted by academic research about the country, have made Guatemala not only inherently compelling (and at times devastating), but also a fascinating site for understanding how global powers act upon people and countries with exploitable resources, but limited power.  This course will study the history and historiography of Guatemala as a means of understanding the richness of this fascinating country, but also understanding how international actors (politicians, military forces, missionaries, anthropologists, archeologists, historians, human rights organizations) intentionally and unintentionally shape the history and image of countries not their own.  You will leave the course with a deep knowledge of Guatemala and with a set of analytical frameworks for thinking about contemporary global history.  We will study the archeology and anthropology of Maya civilizations, contemporary United States military and political intervention, the defeated Guatemalan experiments in democratic reform and revolution, and the rise of the global human rights movements and non-governmental-organizations.  susan.fitzpatrick@csun.edu

History 572:  Colloquium in 19th Century U.S. History       Professor Joyce L. Broussard      Thursday 1900-2150    SH184 

H 572 is a graduate readings course on themes in nineteenth-century U.S. Social History.  Students will explore topics that include:  race, ethnicity, and immigration; gender and the changing roles of women; class formations, the economy, and the growth of big business; as well as the Civil War.  As we examine each of these themes we will also place additional focus on regional influences.  Students will write précis on selected secondary historical sources; present their findings in class; prepare one-to-two paragraph thesis statement papers with brief explanations of the main points and create three relevant and insightful questions or issues that directly relate to each of the books we will discuss.  In addition, students will participate actively in those class discussions, and produce a historiographic essay on a specific topic in nineteenth-century U.S. Social History that can be used as an in-depth, scholarly literature review for future research.    

History 596RM   Research Methods   Professor Jessica Kim      Wednesday 1600-1845; SH205 

This 596 course is designed as a graduate level introduction to the field of public history.  We will read about the theories and practices of public historians, how they understand their craft, and how they present complex historical issues to the public.  We will also focus on the ethics of practicing public history and examine the ways in which public historians balance professional approaches to history with community interests and memories of the past.  As a final project, students will design public history projects that integrate the approaches, theories, and ethics of public history.  By the end of the class, students will have an understanding of different subfields of public history, how public historians practice their craft, the ethical standards of public history, and professional opportunities in the field. 

 HIST 641 The First World War: Events, Impact, Historiography   Professor Donal O’Sullivan     Wednesday 1900-2145; SH268

 The First World War is generally considered to be the catalyst for political and social change, setting the stage for conflicts and trends shaping the entire 20th century. As a global confrontation, the war impacted many societies and left its mark on issues such as nationalism, identity, gender, and many more. Major revisionist studies have emerged during the centenary of the war. The class will allow for in-depth discussion of the major controversies and debates as well as an increased understanding of the mechanism of historical understanding over a longer period of time. Students will have the opportunity for in-class presentations and have to present a draft of their final paper in a model conference setting, including peer discussants.

 History 671 Research Seminar in Southeastern Borderlands    Professor John Paul Nuño       Wednesday 1900-2150; SH186

 The Southeastern Borderlands during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries represented a contact zone between diverse groups of African, indigenous, and European peoples. During this fluid period, different ideas concerning race, identity, political organization, economic exchanges, and gender were in dialogue, and sometimes in conflict. Over a period of one hundred and fifty years, the Southeast was one of the most diverse and dynamic places in North America. Consequently, the region’s history is filled with many potential research topics based on themes associated with slavery, Native American history, European colonialism, U.S. expansion, and Atlantic World history. Specific events during this period included the American Revolution, the War of 1812, filibustering activity, two U.S.-Seminole Wars, Removal of Native Americans, and the Creek Civil War. The period also offers the opportunity to examine U.S. ascendency in the Southeast buoyed by a rigid racial hierarchy, political centralization, and further expansion of market capitalism.        

Students will utilize primary sources in order to write a 25 page paper on an aspect of Southeastern Borderlands history. The class will utilize documents from the American State Papers, British sources, Spanish correspondence, and other materials. The goal of this course is to provide an understanding of this historical period and have students produce original scholarship they can continue to develop in the future. For further information, contact Dr. John Paul Nuño at .