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Topics Course Descriptions

Fall 2014

HSTS 4230: The Holocaust: History, Historiography, and Historians
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Dr. Bruce DeHart

HSTS 4230 offers a multi-faceted examination of the background, course, and consequences of Nazi Germany's murderous assault against Europe's Jews and other victim groups, including mentally and physically handicapped Germans, European Roma and Sinti (Gypsies), Jehovah's Witnesses, Homosexuals, Soviet P.O.W.s, and Afro-Germans, from 1933 to 1945. Additionally, HSTS 4230 introduces students to the most significant controversies and debates in the historiography of the Holocaust and to those scholars most responsible for our knowledge and understanding of what was arguably the greatest crime in global history. Students should be aware that HSTS 4230 has heavy reading and writing responsibilities and that the course is intense and covers much uncomfortable and disturbing content.

Summer 2014

HSTS 4380: Eva Perón and the Argentine People
MR 5:00-9:00 pm 
Dr. Jeff Lucas

HSTS 4380 traces 20th-century Argentine history, with particular focus on Eva Duarte Perón, wife of President Juan Perón.  The course examines the mythology, iconography, and social magnetism associated with and radiating from this charismatic personality.  It also considers the political culture surrounding the Argentine people's unyielding adoration of Eva Perón during her time as First Lady, and the apotheosis that her persona underwent following her death in 1952.  Moreover, the course challenges students to consider this question: To what degree has the cult-like reverence for Evita Perón been responsible for peronismo—an all-inclusive political talisman which moderătes, leftists, and ultraconservatives continue to appropriāte in the early 21st century?

Spring 2014

HSTS 4330: The Civil War at 150: Memory, Commemorations, & Mythologies
MWF 12:20-1:10 pm 
Dr. Jaime Martinez

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the many ways Americans have remembered and interpreted the Civil War over the last 150 years, as well as the opportunity to explore more deeply one selected element of Civil War memory. Through a series of discussions, research assignments, readings, and occasionally lectures, we will explore the development of Civil War memory both over time and across a wide variety of genres and sites of commemoration. This class is structured as a research-intensive seminar, which means that student contributions—both your comments on assigned texts and materials and the items you will locate independently and share with the class—form the backbone of our daily interactions. Be prepared to play an active role!

This course will take place in a hybrid format: in most weeks, one of our three class meetings will happen via Blackboard rather than in a physical classroom. We will hold synchronous discussions on some days; on others, you will post video presentations or written summaries of your research activities by a mandated time, and discussions and comments will take place in an asynchronous fashion (usually within a 48-hour window). The course will also include a day-long trip on Friday, February 28 to view Civil War commemoration in action and speak with public history professionals (most likely, Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site and the Fayetteville Arsenal site).

After a series of units in which we survey different commemorative activities over time, each student will select a single example of Civil War commemoration or interpretation to research more deeply, situating the subject in its proper historical and historiographic contexts. Students will give a 2-minute presentation about their selected topics on April 11, create a longer video presentation due April 25, and submit a final paper of 3000 words (10-12 pages) by May 7.

Fall 2013

HSTS 4210: Religion in America
W 5:00-8:00 PM
Dr. Scott Billingsley

This course is a chronological survey of the role of religion in American life from colonial times to the present. It will explore the theological, social, economic, and political aspects of American society. It will also provide students with an understanding of the basic facts and concepts of American religious history through the assigned readings, lectures, class discussion, and multi-media presentations. In-class exams will measure understanding of the aforementioned facts and concepts, and out-of-class writing assignments will help students develop critical-thinking skills.