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Department of History

College of Humanities and Sciences

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  1. Master's Program
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Courses

The history department offers a variety of graduate courses in European, North American and trans-Atlantic history, as well as courses in the field of public history. Courses generally fall into three types:

All M.A. students are required to take HIST 601, Historiography and Methodology. Additional requirements depend upon whether a student chooses to write a thesis or not. This decision is made at the end of the first year in the program.

Fall 2021 Course Offerings

Relevant Courses of Interest for Fall 2021

* Eligible for the Certificate in Public History

Bulletin Course Descriptions

HIST 511. Studies in American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in American history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 515. Studies in European History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in European history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 519. Studies in Ethnic and Social History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in ethnic or social history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 523. Studies in Virginia and Southern History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in Virginia or Southern history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 527. Studies in African-American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Study of a selected topic in African-American history, primarily through lectures and readings. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 591. Special Topics in History. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. An intensive study of a selected topic in history.

HIST 601. Historiography and Methodology. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. A study of the development of history as a discipline from ancient times to the present. The course examines the evolution of historical theory and philosophy, great historians, schools of interpretation, and problems of historical methodology. This course is a prerequisite for research seminars.

HIST 611. Readings in American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of American history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 615. Readings in European History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of European history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 619. Readings in Ethnic and Social History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of ethnic or social history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 623. Readings in Virginia and Southern History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of Virginia or Southern history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 627. Readings in African-American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of major studies and interpretative trends in a particular area of African-American history through readings and class discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 631. Research in American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of American history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 635. Research in European History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of European history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 638. Research in Transatlantic History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of transatlantic history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 639. Research in Ethnic and Social History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of ethnic or social history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 643. Research in Virginia and Southern History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of Virginia or Southern history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 647. Research in African-American History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. Analysis of significant problems in a particular field of African-American history through research, writing, in-class presentations and discussions. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

HIST 651. Public History: Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of the field of public history, intended to introduce students to the range of professional historical activities practiced outside the classroom. Explores methods and skills including archival work, documentary editing, historic preservation, museum studies and oral history. The course also involves a sustained consideration of the theoretical issues that arise from public history work, defined as history of, for, by and/or with the public.

HIST 652. Documentary Editing and Scholarly Publishing. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An overview of the processes by which historical scholarship is disseminated by publication. Students will practice editing scholarly editions of historic documents and reviewing manuscripts for publication in academic media. Special consideration will be given to the digital humanities and new technology's relation to the traditional publishing trade.

HIST 653. American Material Culture. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Material culture is a term encompassing all things created or modified by people -- such as clothing, tools, furniture, works of art, buildings and even landscapes. This course introduces students to the field of material culture studies and challenges them to study the American past through examination of its artifacts and architecture. Students will explore a range of disciplinary approaches and time periods, as well as the role of politics in the preservation and exhibition of material culture.

HIST 654. Oral History: Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. An introduction to the practice and theories of oral history, a method employing interviews or sound recordings of people with personal knowledge of past events. Students will consider the benefits and limitations of the method as well as learn the general legal issues involved. Students will conduct their own interviews and practice the transcription of oral testimony.

HIST 655. Digital History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course explores the ways technology can change the way historians research, analyze, write, discuss and produce history. Beginning with the foundations of digital history, the course will consider a variety of media, platforms and projects, and will pay particular attention to the digital initiatives in the region. Students will experience hands-on training in web literacies and other skills, including sound editing, map editing and text mining, building toward presentations of final digital projects that employ at least one new skill. By the end of the course, students should gain a basic understanding of the field’s advantages and challenges along with enough technical expertise to begin participating in it, given their own interests and needs. Above all, the course should enhance students’ engagement with the past, not distract from it.

HIST 657. Controversy in Public History. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. It is essential for practitioners of public history to feel comfortable addressing controversial or difficult topics, whether in teaching, writing or developing public history products. To offer such preparation, this course will focus on ways that history has been contested and the role of historians in mitigating these clashes in the broader political culture. Just as these battles may play out at the national level, they similarly unfold in communities, institutions and workplaces. Students will learn — through readings and class discussions, practical exercises, and meetings with professionals from the field — strategies for understanding and accommodating various perspectives and for interpreting controversial historical material. This course encourages disagreement and respectful dialogue.

HIST 691. Special Topics in History. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. An intensive study of a selected topic in history.

HIST 692. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits. Maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite: permission of department chair. Requires an analysis of a historical problem or topic in depth under faculty supervision.

HIST 693. Internship in History. 2-4 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 2-4 credits per semester. Maximum of 6 credits. Determination of the amount of credit and permission of departmental internship coordinator must be procured prior to registration for this course. Students receive credit for work on historical projects with approved agencies.

HIST 698. M.A. Thesis. 1-6 Hours.

1-6 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

Internships

Internships (HIST 693) are available at a wide variety of public history institutions in the area and count toward the completion of the M.A. program.

Contacts

Brian Daugherity, Ph.D., Director of Internships
bjdaugherity@vcu.edu

Emilie Raymond, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Studies
eeraymond@vcu.edu

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