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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 8 so register early!


Spring 2022 HIST 398 Seminars

HIST 398.001           DR. WILLIAM BARNEY                          THURSDAY 12:30PM – 1:45PM

U.S. CIVIL WAR                                               

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 398.002           DR. WILLIAM F. BRUNDAGE   TUESDAY & THURSDAY 11:00AM – 12:15PM                

MONUMENTS, COMMEMORATION, AND MEMORY                                                

The aim of this course is to explore the contentious history of commemoration, monument construction, monument preservation, and monument destruction from the ancient world to the present.  While our assigned reading will focus on the history of commemoration in the Western World and in the modern era you are encourage to conduct research on commemoration is any region and any era that interests you.


HIST 398.003           DR. KAREN HAGEMANN        TUESDAY & THURSDAY 3:30PM – 4:45PM          


This seminar focuses on the history of Nazi Germany, World War II and Holocaust from the perspective of women’s and gender history. We will study how the major changes in politics, economy, society and culture during this period affected women’s lives in Nazi Germany and the occupied territories of Europe, how different groups of women and individual woman experienced these changes, responded to them, and remembered them. The overarching theme is the variety of women’s experiences and memories as opponents, perpetrators and persecuted of the Third Reich inside and outside of Nazi Germany. Students will explore this theme in their own research for their seminar paper by analyzing women’s autobiographies, diaries and letters, oral history interviews (available online), and other primary documents as well as secondary literature.


HIST 398.004           DR. JERMA JACKSON                    THURSDAY 2:00PM – 4:30PM


Leisure-time blossomed with the rise of an industrial economy and later became a source of profit as consumption expanded over the course of the twentieth century.  We will use the array of activities and entertainments Americans pursued beyond the workplace to gain insight about these developments.  The growth of leisure as commercial activity did generate reliable, even lucrative, employment for some.  With these issues in mind, we will consider how leisure-time fostered modern outlooks and habits.  Our inquiry will focus roughly on the period between 1880 and 1945.


HIST 398.005           DR. BRETT WHALEN            TUESDAY & THURSDAY 9:30AM – 10:45AM         


This Undergraduate Research Seminar in History is one of the ¿capstone¿ courses for the major. Students will carry out research with primary sources and secondary literature to produce a work of original historical scholarship relating the subject religious violence. The class will introduce students to the crusades and medieval concepts of “holy war” more broadly in their historical context. The crusading movement, which entailed acts of Christian violence against various “enemies of the faith,” will be considered within the matrix of European society, economics, culture, and political life. This overview of the crusades will frame the students evidence-based research projects, which might explore aspects of the crusading movement, modern memories of the crusades, or questions of religious violence more widely.


HIST 398.006           DR. MOLLY WORTHEN                  TUESDAY & THURSDAY 2:00PM – 3:15PM


This seminar traces ideas of sin, evil, and the Devil from the 19th century to present-day America. We’ll read history, theology, social commentary, anthropology, and literature to examine American attitudes toward evil throughout this era of world war, genocide, and other unexplainable evils, when new learning undermined the religious claims that had helped humans account for tragedy and cruelty for so long. Some Americans embraced new scientific explanations for wrongdoing and suffering, or even wondered whether modern humans might eliminate evil altogether but others believed that supernatural forces were livelier than ever. This course culminates in a research paper where you can practice thinking and writing like a historian, on any topic related to sin and evil in American history. Students in past years have done original historical research on fascinating topics ranging from Christian politics to eugenics, from the civil rights movement in Chapel Hill to accusations of witchcraft in 1990s California. It turns out you can find evil anywhere you look.