New Courses for Spring ’12

The Department of History and American Studies will be offering several new or significantly revised courses for the coming Spring 2012 semester. See below for full descriptions.

AMST 202 –Sophomore American Studies Seminar: Identity & Citizenship in the Digital Age (M. Burtis)

Not just for sophomores and not just for AMST majors, this class is an exploration of how digital technologies and networked culture are influencing our sense of self and community, from the crafting and presentation of personal identity, to the empowerment of individual voices to create and effect change, to the building of communal narratives and spaces in an increasingly global and networked society.


HIST 300N — Native American History  (J. Sellers)

This class will consider Native American experiences from the pre-contact era to the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890.  Beginning with a consideration of the diverse cultures and societies inhabiting North America prior to contact with Europeans, the course will then consider how native peoples incorporated European newcomers into their physical and intellectual worlds. Proceeding through the colonial era and the nineteenth century, we will continue to explore the unique dynamics and experiences of Indian country, as well as Native Americans’ responses to the growth of European colonies and later the United States. Throughout the course we will address methodologies for studying Native American history.


HIST 300M — History of Manhood in the United States (W. Mackintosh)

A course on the history of manhood has a deceptively simple title.  The topic seems self-evident, and the choice of subjects unoriginal; after all, hasn’t most history been taught as the history of men?  But underneath this surface obviousness lies a set of complex questions: how have men lived in history as men?  In other words, how has men’s experience of gender structured their lives and shaped they ways in which they exercised (or were subjected to) power, and how has this experience of masculinity changed over time?  These questions owe a fundamental debt to women’s history, whose practitioners have persuasively demonstrated that gender is “a useful category of historical analysis,” and thus this course builds on the trailblazing work of women’s historians by applying gender analysis to men.  A course on the history of manhood is also necessarily a course on the history of those against whom dominant men have defined themselves, including women, boys, queers, and racial and class “others.”  History of Manhood in the United States will trace the changes and continuities in these conflicting masculinities from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries.


HIST 300P–Modern Indonesian History: The Making Of A Nation (W. Redfern)

This course will provide an overview of modern Indonesian history, examining how Indonesia came to be what is today: the fourth most populous nation and the largest Muslim nation in the world, one of the largest democracies in the world, and one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of cultures and ethnicities. Focusing in particular on the formation of the nation and the state and their continuing evolution, the course explores the Dutch colonial era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, followed by World War II and the Indonesian Revolution, and then the establishment of independent Indonesia and its continuing development, including Sukarno’s Indonesia, the New Order era, and Indonesia today. Major conceptual topics include colonialism, decolonization and nationhood, authoritarianism and democracy, and economic growth and development.  Class sessions will be a blend of lecture, discussion and audio-visual presentation. The course does not assume any prior knowledge of Indonesia.


HIST 471C3 – Adventures in Digital History – (J. McClurken)

This seminar will focus on the process of creating digital history.  The course readings, workshops, and discussions will be aimed at exposing students to the philosophy and practice of the emerging field of History and New Media.  The course will be centered on the creation of four digital history projects, all of which are related to making local resources available online.  These projects are likely to include the creation of a digital exhibit on original political cartoons located at the James Monroe Museum, the building of a digital project on James Farmer; researching and presenting on the buildings on campus and the people for whom they are named, and either reworking and expanding a site on historical markers OR working on the history of local African American education.

Why take this class?  You’ll build technological proficiencies and creative skills that will help you in other courses and in the post-college world.  You’ll participate in creative workshops constructing the newest form of history, honing your research and writing ability as you present materials in new forms, new technologies, and new venues.  You’ll also have a chance to work with faculty and staff from multiple academic departments, the James Monroe Museum, and the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies.

No digital creation skills are necessary, just an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a desire to analyze, create, and present historical content in new and creative ways.

Any questions?  Contact me at or @jmcclurken on Twitter or check out the previous iterations of this class at and


HIST 471D9 — History of Multiculturalism in the United States (M. Johnson)

This course will examine the evolution of the idea of multiculturalism in the United States.  Students will investigate the intellectual origins of multiculturalism and the political battles over its meaning and value.


HIST 471E1 — Sufi Movements and Orders  (N. Al-Tikriti)

This seminar examines the history and evolution of Sufi movements and orders as a social trend in Islamic societies. Starting with the earliest expressions of individual mystical piety in early Islam, the course explores the growth, articulation, and politicization of Sufi saints and orders from the medieval to the modern. Ranging chronologically from the 7th century to the 21st century C.E., geographically from North Africa to South Asia, and thematically from philosophy to theology to revolutionary politics, this course provides a comprehensive view of Islamic civilization through the lens of Sufism. Structured as a seminar discussion course, each class will combine discussion of common readings and individual presentation assignments.  Students will be required to complete an oral presentation and a seminar paper.