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History majors are required to take an Undergraduate Seminar in History/HIST 398. Spring registration is therefore restricted to History Majors only through the first two weeks of registration before opening to all students on Monday, November 7, so register early!

HIST 398.001: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade — A View from the Sources
Days & Times: TTh 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Instructor: Lisa Lindsay

Between 1500 and 1850, European merchants trafficked some 12 million Africans to toil in the Americas, dramatically transforming individual lives, far-flung societies, and world history. Students in this course will delve into the study of the Atlantic slave trade and its reverberations through shared readings and discussions as well as through intensive, individual research projects based on the use of primary sources. These projects may focus on any issue, person or group, time period, and geographic area—in Africa, Europe, or the Americas–involved in the Atlantic slave trade. Our goal will be to develop students as historians while balancing panoramic and human-scale views of this fateful topic.

HIST 398.002: The Civil War
Days & Times: TTh 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Instructor: William Barney

What was it like to live through (or die in) the Civil War? What difference did it make if one was a Federal or a Confederate, soldier or civilian, white or black, free or slave, male or female? How did the war fit into contemporary political and social beliefs? How do we get at the subjective experiences of the war?

HIST 398.003: Cold War Summits
Days & Times: MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Instructor: Michael Morgan

At key moments of the Cold War, world leaders met face-to-face to try to solve international crises and lay the foundations for peace. In some cases they succeeded, in others they failed. Regardless of the outcome, each of these meetings—from the end of the Second World War to the end of the Cold War—had profound consequences for the course of international politics. This seminar examines the most consequential summit meetings of the postwar era and
considers the potential—and the limits—of diplomacy at the highest level.

HIST 398.004: The Life and Times of Che Guevara
Days & Times: T 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Instructor: Miguel La Serna

This seminar examines the life and times of one the most iconic figures of the 20th-century: Ernesto “Che” Guevara, the Argentine rebel who helped lead armed guerrilla movements in Cuba, the Congo, and Bolivia. In addition to examining Che’s life, this seminar dives into the turbulent period and region in which he came of age. In examining mid-twentieth century Latin American politics through the lens of arguably the most recognizable revolutionary in modern history, this seminar will probe how the course of Latin American history shaped Guevara, and how, in turn, Guevara shaped the course of Latin American history.

HIST 398.005: Ancient Slavery
Days & Times: TTh 9:30 AM – 10:45 PM
Instructor: Fred Naiden

Where did Slavery come from and why did it last so long? Slavery began long before the arrival of enslaved blacks in the US about 400 years ago. In the Caribbean it already existed. 2000 years before, it existed in Rome, Greece, and the lands of the bible. This seminar lets you try to answer questions about slavery by reading original sources in translation and writing a long paper that gives you a chance to develop your own ideas in detail. By the end of the course you will be ready to move onto the next question, “Why is the aftermath of slavery still with us?” The answer to this question lies buried in the past, and it is up to you to dig up.

See the course descriptions as a PDF here.