Courses

2004: Historical Methods – an examination of the objectives, mechanics, and cultural ramifications of historical scholarship.  We explore such topics as the meaning and significance of history, the ways and means of research, the logic of historical thought, the different varieties of history, and the role of the past in contemporary America.

3004: Colonial America – American history extending from the early 1600s to the era of the Revolution.  Particular attention is paid to European expansionism, the growth of viable settlements in North America, relations between colonists and Indians, the origins and character of slavery, provincial politics and society, and imperial diplomacy.

3014: The American Revolution – an exploration of the origins, leaders, character, and consequences of the American Revolution, the single most important event in the history of the United States.  We examine the maturation of early America, colonial resistance in the 1760s and 1770s, republicanism, military hostilities, early national and state governments, adoption of the Constitution, and the war’s social repercussions.  Attention is also paid to different historical interpretations of the Revolution.

4004: The Atlantic World – a seminar devoted to the origins, character, and inhabitants of the North Atlantic world from 1500 to 1800.  We devote consideration not only to the Atlantic’s history but also to the different societies in Europe, Africa, and America occupying its shores. Special attention is paid to the myriad groups that regularly crossed the North Atlantic (free immigrants, servants, and slaves) or, in fact, derived their livelihood from the sea (sailors, fishermen, and pirates).

4004: History and American Culture – a seminar that probes the role of “history” in contemporary American culture.  Topics include alternate visions of the past among popular authors and academics; the shifting role of history in educational institutions; and the depiction of bygone ages in movies, museums, and national parks.  Underlying discussions is the issue of the past’s relevance in today’s fast-paced, forward-looking world, coupled with the widespread problem of historical illiteracy.

5114: Early America – a graduate readings seminar that focuses on in the growth and development of America from the early 1600s to 1815.  We explore such topics as the changing character of colonial society, Indian-European relations, slavery and its origins, economic and demographic expansion, political maturation, the American Revolution, and the early decades of the Republic.

5614: Early American Research – a graduate seminar in the growth and development of America from the early 1600s to 1800.  We devote particular attention to the current state of the early American field, its historiography, new areas of research, and methodology.