The Schedule of Senior Seminars
History 4499, the Senior Seminar, is one of three upper division courses required of all History majors.
History 2270 - Intro to Themes in History (titled "Local History Research" through summer 2007)
History 3376 - Historiographical Debates (titled "Problems and Philosophies of History" through summer 2007)
Both must be passed with a grade of "C" or better.
To register for a Senior Seminar a student must complete THIS form, including obtaining all required authorizing signatures.
Below are the seminars scheduled as of March 31, 2010 .
Instructorsí names are provided, with an email link for students who have questions about the seminar.
Seminar Title: Atlanta and the Long Civil Rights Movement
Instructor: Dr. LeeAnn Lands (email@example.com)
Seminar Title: The Early Reformation
Instructor: Dr. Paul Dover (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Seminar Title: Heretics and Martyrs
Instructor: Dr. Gerrit Voogt (email@example.com)
Seminar Title: Georgia in the New South
Instructor: Dr. David Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Seminar Title: Labor in the Twentieth Century South
Instructor: Dr. Randy Patton (email@example.com)
Seminar Title: Women and War
Instructor: Dr. Katya Vladimirov
Course Description: Throughout history, the business of war has generally been the preserve of men. In the 20th century, however, the role of women in the armed forces began a process of transformation that is still happening to this day. In the Red Army during World War II, women served as pilots, tank crew, infantry, snipers and military police. Women now served in an increasingly wide range of jobs, including positions as jet fighter pilots in the Royal Navy, RAF and US Air Force. We will explore women's role in the military during the time of war and analyze how they had changed modern day societies. In addition, we will compare various case studies of women at the home front and female civilians as casualties of war and victims of genocides.
Seminar Title: The United States in World Affairs, 1914-1990
Instructor: Dr. James Piecuch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Course Description: This course will cover the history of American diplomacy from 1914-1990.† Topics will include American involvement in World Wars I and II, the origins and progress of the Cold War, and the U.S. interventions in Korea and Vietnam.† Key elements that shaped American policy in this era including presidential leadership, political and ideological factors, economic interests, and external threats to American security will be emphasized.† Students will read a variety of works on these subjects in preparation for researching and writing an article-length essay (the senior thesis).
Seminar Title: China in the Western Imagination
Instructor: Dr. Jiayan Zhang email@example.com
Course Description: Based on source materials such as the travels of Marco Polo, accounts of Jesuit missionaries, works of Enlightenment thinkers, imperialists' reports in the nineteenth century, stereotyped images of Chinese in Hollywood movies, personal observations of Red China, and information on the Rising Dragon, this seminar will explore how western understanding or imagination changed from the thirteenth century to the twenty-first. This will be an intensive reading and writing course (resulting in a senior thesis), but all of these materials are in English, so students do not have to know Chinese.
Previous Senior Seminars
Seminar Title: A History of American Suburbs
Instructor: Dr. Thomas A. Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description: The majority of the U.S. population now lives in suburban areas. But it wasnt that way until relatively recently. While suburbs can be found in America as far back as 1820, the movement to suburbia reached tidal proportions only about fifty or sixty years ago. In his 1985 classic, Crabgrass Frontier: the Suburbanization of the United States, Kenneth T. Jackson defines suburbanization as a process involving the systematic growth of fringe areas at a pace more rapid that that of core cities [and] as a lifestyle involving a daily commute to jobs in the center. Even in 1985, the latter part of that definition had become limiting, as jobs moved out of the inner cities to the suburbs, as suburbs became demographically diverse, and as the fringe areas increasingly took on urban characteristics. Among other things, this course will examine the role of technology, architecture, developers, idealists, and planners in creating a suburban nation.
We will also look at the sometimes unintended consequences of government programs in creating sprawl, isolation, urban decline, white flight, and other metropolitan problems. The class will read a number of books and articles, including Kenneth Jacksons Crabgrass Frontier; Dolores Haydens Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000; Rosalyn Baxandall and Elizabeth Ewens Picture Windows: How the Suburbs Happened; Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Specks Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream; and Matthew Lassiters The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South. Students will write an original research paper using primary sources.
Seminar Title: The Age of Imperialism
Instructor: Dr. Akanmu Adebayo email@example.com
Course Description:† This course is a discourse on imperialism. Although imperialism has been a part of human history since the rise of ancient empires and civilizations, the course will concentrate on the phase termed the Age of Imperialism, from the late nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth centuries; and it will focus on the causes and consequences of European imperialism in Africa. Students should be prepared to read, critique, and articulate the central ideas, theories, and controversies on imperialism. Students are also required to research and write a senior thesis on any topic related to the Age of Imperialism, using published and unpublished primary sources.
Seminar Title: Black Death
Instructor:† Dr. Paul Dover (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Course Description:† Semester-long examination of the course, causes and consequences of the catastrophe that killed upwards of half of the Eurasian population in the late Middle Ages. Extensive reading in the many debates surrounding the disease's epidemiology and its effects on social institutions and cultural mentalities. Students will produce an original research essay on the course's subject matter based on their treatment of primary sources. Reading and writing intensive.
Seminar Title:† Georgia History since 1733
Instructor: Dr. David Parker (email@example.com)
Course Description: This senior seminar covers Georgia History from 1733 to the present. The first few weeks of the course will be based on discussions of common readings, giving students the necessary background for their senior theses. During the remainder of the semester, students will research and write their theses, which can be on any aspect of Georgia history. We will meet regularly to critique drafts and discuss individual research.
History of American Suburbs
Instructor: Dr. Thomas A. Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Description: The majority of the
Seminar Title: England under Elizabeth I
Instructor: Dr. Paul Dover (email@example.com)
Description: An examination of reign and realm of Elizabeth I of England
(1559-1603). Extensive reading in the debates surrounding Elizabeth's style of
rule, conduct of foreign affairs, and religious policy. Students will produce
an original research essay on the course's subject matter based on their
treatment of primary sources. Reading and writing intensive.
Seminar Title: America in The Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Instructor: Dr. David B. Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Course Description: This chronological course covers American history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Topically, the course is broad, examining political, social, cultural, intellectual, and economic matters, as well as foreign policy. The first six weeks of the course will be based on discussions of common readings, giving students the necessary background for their senior theses. During the remainder of the semester, students will research and write their theses, which can be on any aspect of America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. We will meet regularly to critique drafts and discuss individual research.
Seminar Title: The Influence of Sport on World
History and Culture
Instructor: Dr. Elsa Nystrom (email@example.com)
From the ancient word to modern times, sport has played an important role in many societies. In this course we will look at how many societies used sport as both entertainment and method of social control; moving from ancient Greece and Rome to 20th century Europe, Latin America and Africa.
Seminar title: The Cold War (c. 1947-1990)
Instructor: Dr. Gerrit Voogt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Cold War (c. 1947-1990) stands out as an ideologically and economically determined power struggle between two political systems and ways of life, with fighting taking place mostly in the form of proxy conflicts due to nuclear deterrent. This conflict was a world war: it was fought on all continents (and in space), and on many different levels which we will explore in this class. During the first weeks we will lay the groundwork by studying and discussing common readings on the whole period, providing the context and orientation for the construction of the senior thesis. Then the students prepare and write their theses, meeting regularly to critique drafts and discuss individual research.
Seminar Title: The Confederate Experience
Instructor: Dr. J. D. Fowler
This course is designed to acquaint students with the history of the Southern Confederacy and guide their selection of a senior thesis topic.† Although the birth and death of the Southern Republic was a political and military event, political decisions grow out of the needs and experiences of ordinary people.† We will, therefore, be paying close attention to the experiences of soldiers and civilians, whites and blacks, and men and women of all social classes, emphasizing regional, racial, class, and gender conflicts within the republic. Therefore, students will be encouraged to explore a broad range of potential research topics in both military and† nonmilitary aspects of the Confederate experience.† Indeed, the range of possible topics will be limited only by available sources.† We will devote the first weeks of the course to class readings and discussions, laying the groundwork for the selection of research topics.† For the remainder of the semester, students will conduct their research and write their papers. The class will continue to meet on a regular basis to discuss the progress of their research and writing, critique drafts of their colleagues papers, and assess how their individual research relates to the larger issues in the scholarship of the Confederacy.
Seminar Title: Women and War: Personal accounts of wars and conflicts in the 20th century.
Instructor: Dr. Katya Vladimirov (email@example.com)
Most of the good history being taught and written today looks at the whole range of human activities, making an effort to place them in solid historical context. Since the historical doings of women have been often overlooked, or ignored, or poorly researched, we mainly have had a history which is seen through only a half-opened window.† This class is an effort to flesh out the historical reality the lives of the half of humanity which has to be thoroughly researched and written about.
Rather unfortunately wars have been a permanent part of human history. Women were rarely passive observers. Victims and guerrilla fighters, war heroes and martyrs, nurses and pilots, dissidents and activists, mothers and daughters, they were an important and often essential component. Who were these women? How did they see themselves? What did they think about violence and war? Were their roles assigned or adopted? How did their lives change afterwards and how did it change the world? We will examine these and other questions looking at womens participation in international wars and conflicts of the 20th century, such as World War I and II, the Stalinist purges and Gulag, the Holocaust, revolutions in Central America, wars in Africa, former Yugoslavia, and Iraq. We will also examine the rhetoric and iconography of war using lots of primary sources and scholarly research on the subject.
Seminar Title: The History of Sport in America from Colonial Times to the Present
In this seminar students will look at the influence of sport and sporting events in American history through selected readings, film and discussion. Topics covered will include individual and participatory sports in the 18th and 19th century such as hunting, horse racing, bicycle racing and pedestrianism, the growth of team and spectator sports in the 19th and 20th centuries and the creation of fan culture. In addition, we will look at the impact of the Olympics and the concept of patriotism and sport, cheating to win, and the role of the media in sports promotion. We will also watch and discuss a selection of the most outstanding American sports films. Students will write their seminar paper on a topic selected from one of these areas.
Seminar Title: History through War Cinema
Course Description:† This course will introduce some of the most famous war films, and some less familiar ones, from the US and Europe. Each war has developed its own kinds of war movies, from World Wars I and II to the Vietnam conflict and the wars in the Balkans and in Chechnya. Each country has developed its own cultural understanding and interpretation of a war as part of its history through these movies.
The films will be used to introduce how to read films as part of cultural history and think critically about their content. Scenes from each war will be compared to the "real history" behind the film, to pose questions about how history can be written and rewritten in films. Topics to be addressed include: cultural stereotypes of heroes, villains, and victims; different countries takes on the same war experience; adaptations; the politics of war films; rewriting history through war movies; anti-war films;† how to read point of view and cultural perspectives out of movies.
Seminar Title: History of Higher Education in the United States
Course Description:† A semester-long seminar on the evolution of American colleges and universities from the small liberal arts schools of the colonial era to the proliferation of research institutions, state universities, and junior colleges in the late twentieth-century.† We will use John Thelins History of American Higher Education as a textbook.† In addition we will read selections from a wide variety of books and articles posted on Vista or available online.† Students will write an original research paper using primary sources.†
Seminar Title:The Black Death
Course Description: A semester-long examination of the course, causes and consequences of the catastrophe that killed upwards of half of the Eurasian population in the late Middle Ages. Extensive reading in the many debates surrounding the disease's epidemiology and its effects on social institutions and cultural mentalities. Students will produce an original research essay on the course's subject matter based on their treatment of primary sources. Reading and writing intensive.
Seminar Title: America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Course Description:† This chronological course covers American history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.† Topically, the course is broad, examining political, social, cultural, intellectual, and economic trends, as well as foreign policy. The first six weeks of the course will be based on discussions of common readings, which will give students the necessary background for their senior theses. During the remainder of the semester, students will research and write their theses, which can be on any aspect of America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. We will meet regularly to critique drafts and discuss individual research.
Seminar Title: Daily Life and Culture in the Old South
Instructor: Dr. John D. Fowler
This course is designed to acquaint students with the everyday life in the Antebellum South and guide their selection of a senior thesis topic.† The readings will cover a variety of subjects, including myths and facts about southern society and culture, slavery, and the strengthening of southern distinctiveness.† Although political and economic events will be discussed, this course will focus primarily on the social and cultural dimensions of early southern society. Therefore, in order to understand this societys evolution, we must explore the needs, desires, and experiences of the regions various ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups as well as the role of gender.† We will devote the first weeks of the course to class readings and discussions laying the groundwork for the selection of research topics.† For the remainder of the semester, students will conduct their research and write their papers. The class will continue to meet on a regular basis to discuss the progress of their research and writing, critique drafts of their colleagues papers, and assess how their individual research relates to the larger issues in the scholarship of Southern history.
Seminar Title: Fairy Tales and Popular Folklore: Historical and Cultural Analysis
A comparative study of the folk and fairy tales from around the world (British, German, Asian, Scandinavian, Spanish, Russian, and others). This course provides a simultaneous introduction to the folklore and fairy tale genres and the interpretation of fairy tales and the folklore in historical context. Both genres have been documented widely across history and geography, facilitating a comparative perspective on historical change. Folklore and fairytales have been persistent in form and content and they continue to be recycled in an enormous range of contemporary cultural forms. While all tales are based on a traditional foundation of narrative themes, motifs that are arranged into tale types, the specifics of each re-telling are historically and culturally bound, and a comparison of the differences as well as the similarities across telling and across time and space can reveal complicated discourses on gender and familial relationships, class structure, and sexuality. A goal of this course is to analyze the origins and function of the tale, their role in socialization, to extract patterns and to locate British, German, Russian, Japanese, Scandinavian and other folk and fairy tales in their social and historical contexts. Among the topics we will discuss heroes and villains, wonderful beasts and goblins, vampires, magic and magicians.
Seminar Title: The South since World War II
Course Description: This seminar will offer students an opportunity to examine the recent history of the American South in depth. The seminar will open with several weeks of common readings so that students will be able to place their research within a broader context. Students will first become familiar with the broad interpretations of the Souths historycontinuity versus change, the search for a central theme, etc. Students will then engage in a series of selected readings on various topics of interest within the broader field of southern historyrace, economic development, politics, etc. Some of the common readings will be drawn from the general historiography of the South since the Civil War. Students will choose paper topics that emphasize events/developments during or after World War II. After the introduction to historiography, students will conduct research and write a major paper based chiefly on primary sources. The class will continue to meet so that students may share their progress and exchange ideas.