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Course Descriptions


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Summer 2015 Course Offerings
Fall 2015 Course Offerings


HISTORICAL STUDIES COURSES

Methods Courses

HIST 699. An Introduction to the Graduate Study of History--Drs. Dwyer and Li. 3 credits
Through a variety of research and writing assignments, students develop the critical skills essential for historical study at the graduate level.

HIST 691. Graduate Research Seminar--Drs. Dwyer and Mayer. 3 credits
In this seminar, students review elements of historiography and writing and then pursue primary source research on a topic of their choice. They will write a lengthy research paper under close faculty direction.

Content Courses

American History Surveys

HIST 563. Early America: Colonization to Revolution--Dr. Mayer. 3 credits
A survey of the major trends, events, and persons in early American history. This course will begin with a comparison of native and European cultures in the New World and end with the establishment of the United States

HIST 568. Sectionalism: U.S. History, 1789-1868--TBA. 3 credits
An examination of the American Union from its confirmation in the ratification of the Constitution through its disruption in the Civil War and then Reconstruction. Primarily through discussion of current historical works, the course analyzes such topics as the differences between North and South and the social impact of evangelicalism and slavery, as well as the political history of the era.

HIST 571. Expansion and Reform: U.S. History, 1868-1929--Dr. E. Parsons. 3 credits
Explores themes in American history from the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson to the onset of the Great Depression. In addition to lectures, extensive reading in both contemporary works and the most recent historical writings is offered.

HIST 574. Modern America: U.S. History, 1929 to the present--Dr. Simpson. 3 credits
A study of the contemporary United States with an emphasis on its emergence as a leader in global, political, economic, and cultural issues. Another primary emphasis will be on domestic developments and tensions.

American History Topical Courses

HIST 530. Atlantic World, 1450s-1750s--Dr. Mayer.  3 credits
Instead of defining the Atlantic Ocean as a moat dividing East and West and even North and South, it should be seen as a great conduit of not just peoples, but of products, pests, pestilence, and ideas.  Changes in Europe fostered exploration and colonization, which in turn promoted the development of empires, conflicts over trade and territories, and social and cultural innovations.  This course examines some of the issues that connected and divided countries and peoples along the Atlantic rim in the Early Modern Era.

HIST 533. Gender in American History--Dr. E. Parsons. 3 credits
This class focuses on several key issues in the development of gender roles in North America from the colonial era through the present. While the bulk of the class will concern the evolving roles of women, we will also consider men's history and the history of sexuality.

HIST 542. American Architecture--Dr. Hyland. 3 credits
The long history of the American architectural scene is both dynamic and complex. This course provides students with a historical overview of the American built environment from prehistoric eras to today. Lectures present noteworthy architectural styles, building types, and construction innovations, with attention also given to America’s prominent architects and theorists. Students will learn what is distinctively “American” about the built environment. Students will assess what American cities, landscapes, and buildings tell us about the American people? Students will gain tools for reading and understanding the architectural landscape as a way to understand American pasts and the present.

HIST 561. African American History: Multiple Voices--TBD. 3 credits
An examination of the experiences of African Americans in the United States beginning with antebellum slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, turn-of-the-century America, the Civil Rights movement, and their continuing struggle to attain true equality in American society. This course will examine these topics primarily through the exploration of key political and autobiographical texts.

HIST 565. Reform in America--Dr. E. Parsons. 3 credits
From its founding to the present day, the United States has been noted for the strength of its reform movements. Whether they were striving to end drinking, prostitution, political corruption, or slavery, to achieve rights for women or minorities, to stop unpopular wars, or to usher in a Christian or socialist utopia, reform-minded Americans have banded together to try to achieve political and social change. In this course, we will consider the membership, motives, rhetoric, tactics, and consequences of social movements.

HIST 570. History of Urban America--TBD. 3 credits
This course examines the development of the American city with special focus upon changes in land-use patterns, social class arrangements, political organization, social mobility and migration, ecological patterns, industrial and commercial development, transformation of the built environment, and the creation of a national urban policy.

HIST 572. Work and Enterprise in American History--TBD. 3 credits
This course offers an analysis of the forces which have shaped American industrialization, focusing on the impact of unionization, the development of big business, and their impact on the everyday lives of Americans from pre-industrial craftsmen to industrial workers. Students read and discuss a variety of recent historical works in the field.

HIST 573. American Intellectual and Cultural History--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
A survey of major movements in thought and culture including religion, science, the arts, and philosophy, including moral, political, and economic thought. The course includes extensive readings in primary sources dating between 1630 and 1990.

HIST 576. Individualism in American History--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
A study of American individualism as demonstrated in the writings of politicians, novelists, political theorists and others who have dealt with this important aspect of American culture

HIST 577. Nature and the American Experience--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
Is nature to be tamed or protected? How have Americans responded to the incredible and at first untamed natural bounty that greeted them? What impact have these natural surroundings had on the development of the American character? These are some of the issues dealt with in this course.

HIST 579. U.S. Diplomatic History--Dr. Mayer. 3 credits
An examination of the various topics and interpretations of the history of American foreign relations to World War I. This is a study of the nation's rise to world power and the internal and external conflicts that resulted.

HIST 582. Inter-American Relations--Dr. Dwyer. 3 credits
An examination of U.S.-Latin American relations since the early19th century. Topics covered include Manifest Destiny, the U.S.-Mexican War, the Spanish-American War, the Panama Canal, U.S. imperialism in the circum-Caribbean, Dollar Diplomacy, the Good Neighbor policy, the CIA-backed coup in Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. invasion of the Dominican republic, the Contra War in Nicaragua, the U.S. overthrow of Panama's Manuel Noriega, and Narco traffic.

HIST 591. Special Studies in History--TBD. 3 credits
Subject matter varies according to instructor's interest. 

American Art History Courses

HIST 541. American Painting and Sculpture--Dr. Sienkewicz. 3 credits
An exploration of a rotating variety of special topics such as portraiture in 18th-century America, 19th-century American impressionism, American impressionism and realism (1855-1915), 20th-century American painting and sculpture, American woman artists, and art and patronage in 19th- and 20th-century America.

HIST 542. American Architecture--Dr. Hyland. 3 credits
Construction, style, building types, and the theory of architecture and city planning are examined from the seventeenth century to the present. Students are also introduced to the theory and practice of historic preservation.

HIST 543. American Decorative Arts--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
A survey of the decorative arts in the United States from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. In addition to considering style and production techniques, this course will investigate the social and cultural context within which such works were created and displayed.

European History Surveys

HIST 501. Medieval Europe--Dr. J. Parsons. 3 credits
A lecture and discussion course examining the unique characteristics of the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages, with a special focus on social history and the lives of medieval people, from 300 to 1500.

HIST 511. Early Modern Europe--Dr. J. Parsons. 3 credits
This course will investigate major issues in the history of Europe from c.1450-1789. Themes may include the impact of the New World and globalized trade; the Protestant Reformation and its Catholic counterparts; the development of modern states and political systems; and the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment. Specific attention to artistic and cultural developments and evolving conceptions of class and gender roles.

HIST 519. 19th-Century Europe--Dr. Stelzel. 3 credits
An examination of the European experience between 1815 and 1914, with emphasis on political, social, and cultural trends.

HIST 522. 20th-Century Europe--Dr. Stelzel. 3 credits
A study of the European experience between 1914 and the present, centering on such topics as the great wars, fascism, and contemporary trends in both eastern and western Europe.

European History Topical Courses

HIST 513. Renaissance Europe: Courts and Nobles--Dr. J. Parsons. 3 credits
This course will examine the life and culture of the early modern European aristocracy, particularly in the princely and royal courts of the period. From the Medici of Florence to Queen Elizabeth of England and Louis XIV of France, the courts of this era were scenes of opulence, great literature, and brutal conflict, and have fascinated historians for centuries. Topics will include the social foundations of the nobility; ideology and political thought; artistic and literary culture; sex and gender; and warfare, violence, and dueling.

HIST 528. British Empire--TBA. 3 credits
This course will examine some of the major political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the history of the British Empire since 1783. These include the abolition of slavery, the impact of industrialization on the empire, imperial wars, the expansion of empire into Africa, the world wars in an imperial context, and decolonization. Different historiographic themes will be analyzed in different semesters.

HIST 545. Imperial Russia--TBA. 3 credits
An investigation of the political, social, and intellectual evolution of the Russian Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

HIST 546. 20th-Century Russia: Romanovs to Putin--TBA. 3 credits
This course examines the challenges to and overthrow of the Romanov rule, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and the creation of the new Russia since 1991. It explores political, social, and cultural issues.

HIST 548. World at War--Dr. Stelzel. 3 credits
This topical course examines one or both of the world wars of the early twentieth century.  The instructor may choose to focus on just one of the conflicts in depth (for example, just World War I) or provide a comparative study of both.  In either case, the course examines the diplomacy leading up to, through, and concluding the conflict(s). It also explores the cultural and social changes, technological innovations, and political revolutions that contributed to and were part of the European struggles that became global battles.

HIST 550. The Cold War--Dr. Stelzel. 3 credits
An analysis of the diplomatic and political struggle between the United States, the Soviet Union, and the respective allies in the aftermath of the Second World War and the ideological conflict between free enterprise and communism around the world.

HIST 552. Modern Germany 1871-1991--Dr. Stelzel. 3 credits
Since the 1870s, arguably, no other country has left more of an impression on the continent of Europe, if not the world, than Germany. The issues raised by Germany's rise to power, from colonial questions to the Treaty of Versailles, from fascism to the Holocaust, dominated world politics and war from the turn of the century through 1945. Efforts to ensure that human societies would not repeat German mistakes have had an equally profound impact; The European Union, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations, all owe their existence to the German legacy. This course will examine the history of Germany from its first unification (1871) to its second (1991). Our aim is twofold: First, to learn, in detail, the history of a people who lived through two Empires, three Republics, and three World Wars. Second, to unearth all the ways that German history has made us - i.e., how this history is concealed in the ways we think about ethics, politics, and culture today. 

Global History Courses

HIST 528. British Empire--TBA. 3 credits
This course will examine some of the major political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the history of the British Empire since 1783. These include the abolition of slavery, the impact of industrialization on the empire, imperial wars, the expansion of empire into Africa, the world wars in an imperial context, and decolonization. Different historiographic themes will be analyzed in different semesters. (As an alternative, this may be used as a European topical course.)

HIST 530. Atlantic World, 1450s-1750s--Dr. Mayer. 3 credits
Instead of defining the Atlantic Ocean as a moat dividing East and West and even North and South, it should be seen as a great conduit of not just peoples, but of products, pests, pestilence, and ideas.  Changes in Europe fostered exploration and colonization, which in turn promoted the development of empires, conflicts over trade and territories, and social and cultural innovations.  This course examines some of the issues that connected and divided countries and peoples along the Atlantic rim in the Early Modern Era. (As an alternative, this may be taken as an American topical course.)

HIST 548. World at War--TBA. 3 credits
This topical course examines one or both of the world wars of the early twentieth century.  The instructor may choose to focus on just one of the conflicts in depth (for example, just World War I) or provide a comparative study of both.  In either case, the course examines the diplomacy leading up to, through, and concluding the conflict(s). It also explores the cultural and social changes, technological innovations, and political revolutions that contributed to and were part of the European struggles that became global battles.

HIST 582. Inter-American Relations--Dr. Dwyer. 3 credits
A study of U.S. relations with Latin America since the 1820s' Monroe Doctrine. Topics include Manifest Destiny, the U.S.-Mexican War, sectionalism, filibusters, the Spanish-American War, the Panama Canal, the Roosevelt Corollary, U.S. imperialism, the Good Neighbor Policy, the Cold War, the Bay of Pigs invasion, covert U.S. intervention, the Contra War, and post-Cold War trade, narco traffic, and immigration.

HIST 583. Mexico and the U.S.--Dr. Dwyer. 3 credits
This course focuses on U.S.-Mexican relations since the 19th century and covers the Texas rebellion and annexation, the U.S.-Mexican War, American economic penetration during the Porfiriato, U.S. military intervention in the Mexican Revolution, the expropriation of American-owned lands and oil companies in the 1930s, Mexican migration to and repatriation from the U.S., the Mexican foreign debt crisis, the narcotics trade, NAFTA, and the Mexican immigrant community in the United States.

HIST 585. China in Revolution--Dr. Li. 3 credits
This course examines the revolutionary changes that transformed China in the twentieth century. Topics of study include the heritage of traditional China, Western imperialism and China's national survival crisis, the Republican revolution, the Communist revolution, Mao's Great Cultural Revolution, the post-Mao reforms, and the ongoing struggle over the tension between tradition and modernity.

HIST 588. China and the West--Dr. Li. 3 credits
This course explores China's encounters with the West from the early times through the modern age, with an emphasis on cultural exchanges. It first surveys Chinese history and Sino-Western interactions over time and then examines subjects such as the Silk Road, the Chinese Empire and the Philosophes, Christianity in China, American influence and Chinese liberalism, Marxism and the Chinese Communist Revolution, and Sino-Western exchanges today.

Other Courses

HIST 591. Special Studies in History--TBA. 3 credits

HIST 599. Directed Readings in Historical Topics--TBA. 1-3 credits

HIST 700. Thesis Research in History--TBA. 3-6 credits

PUBLIC HISTORY COURSES

Methodological Courses

PHST 601. Introduction to Public History--Drs. Bucciantini and Hyland. 3 credits
This course provides an introduction to the study of public history at the graduate level. It introduces students to problems, issues, and opportunities in public history. Students will gain research skills, explore historiography, engage in digital history, and discover methodologies, all of which form the intellectual basis for practicing public historians. The course will prepare student for working with public audiences in various fields and modern media where history matters. Assessment of student achievement is based on class participation, written reviews of readings, a reflective essay on the current state of the public history field, and the design and content of a history-based on-line exhibition.

PHST 619. Public History Seminar: Commemoration and Preservation--Drs. Bucciantini and Hyland. 3 credits
How and why do we commemorate, celebrate, memorialize, and preserve the "important stuff" of history? How have our methods of doing this changed over time? In this course we will discuss a variety of methods and theories for commemoration and preservation, their historical development and the future of the fields, how American national memory differs from that in other countries and why, and some of the recent big moments of commemoration and preservation in the last decade, and how that has changed the landscape, but literally and figuratively. This seminar-style course introduces students to a wide range of "classic" and contemporary readings on the topics of commemoration and preservation. Students are required to participate in weekly discussions of the assigned readings and to post answers to previously distributed discussion questions on the class web sites. Students will also be responsible for directing class discussion at least once during the semester. The course also requires students to complete several formal written assignments including a commemorative site report, an article review, and a moderate- length formal research paper on a topic of the student's own choosing.

Theoretical Courses

PHST 511. Studies in Material and Visual Culture--Dr. Bucciantini. 3 credits
From the early history of collecting to modern cultural heritage informatics, we are constantly using physical and visual means of getting information. In addition, one of the main goals of many, if not all, public history institutions is the preservation and display of material and/or visual culture. This class takes on the multifaceted theory behind both material and visual culture, as well as their rich history in the public history sector. Students will engage in practical training projects to use their theoretical knowledge, and look at different case studies, analyzing the ways in which visual and material resources have been used in the field. This way, they have the tools and knowledge needed for a wealth of public history-related job opportunities. As a seminar-style class, this course will emphasize in-class discussion and the student's formal answers to previously distributed discussion questions on the course web site. Students will also be responsible for leading class discussion at least once during the semester. The course also requires the student to complete a variety of written assignments including a review of visual culture, a collections policy document, an object-based paper, and a formal research project based on the object selected for the shorter paper described above.

PHST 512. Museums and Society--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
This course begins with a look at the history of non-profit organizations in the United States, particularly the preservation, museum, archival, and educational groups associated with public history. The course will introduce students to various aspects of organizational management including budgeting and finance, personnel issues, staff and board makeup, and public relations. The course will also consider the contemporary relationships, such as multiculturalism and ethnicity, censorship, and political correctness, between public history institutions and the communities they serve. Throughout the semester, students will have the opportunity to meet and talk with working professionals in the Pittsburgh public history community about issues covered in this course. Students will complete a formal research paper on a topic related to contemporary issues in public history and will work, singly or in small groups, to present their research and lead class discussion of the issues their research has raised.

PHST 513. Cultural Resources Management--Dr. Hyland. 3 credits
Through a variety of case studies, this course introduces students to the processes and procedures used to identify, manage, preserve, protect, and conserve cultural resources (evidence of the past human activities and accomplishments) to assure compliance with state and federal regulations. This course introduces students to management practices for prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, historic standing structures, bridges, cemeteries, and monuments, as well as other resources. It also covers the mitigation of impacts to cultural resources. Assessment of student achievement is based on participation in class discussions, written reviews and responses to the readings, a mid-term and final examination, and a major research paper investigating management case histories of each type of historic cultural resource."

PHST 515. Special Topis--various faculty. 3 credits
This course will be offered from time to time to foster cooperative learning between students and faculty who are pursuing active research or work in the field of public history. It will focus on issues, practices, and topics not found in the Public History Program's regular curriculum.

Professional Courses

PHST 521. Introduction to Archives--Mr. White. 3 credits
This course will provide an understanding of the nature and characteristics of archives and manuscript collections and the work of archivists in both theory and practice. Students will learn the history of archives as well as the role of the archivist in appraising, arranging, describing and preserving archival materials. It will cover issues such as copyright, disaster planning, management, reference and security. Recent issues and debates in the field will be addressed in the process. Time will be spent discussing these issues in relation to the various types of archives-business, university, historical society/museum, religious, and government. The technical aspects of archival processing, Machine Readable Cataloging (MARC), Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and digitization will be covered so that each student has a basic understanding of each process. Students will have hands on experience processing, preserving, and creating a finding aid for a small collection from the University Archives. In addition to having a midterm and final, students will receive grades on the finding aids that they create and on an in-depth research paper about an archival topic of their choosing.

PHST 522. Visual Presentation of History--Dr. Bucciantini. 3 credits
Museums, archives, and other public history institutions often present information through visual presentations, most commonly public exhibitions. This class will present students with the theoretical issues behind public exhibitions and the practical techniques for bringing research, design, and planning together in a visually exciting and meaningful way. As a semester project, the class will prepare and install an exhibition in a campus location. The class will also travel to Pittsburgh-area public history institutions to view current exhibits and to talk with the staff members who created them. Students will also write a critical analysis of a formal history exhibition that they have visited.

PHST 523. Education and Public Programming--Dr. Cahall. 3 credits
Public History institutions increasingly rely on formal educational programming to connect with their various stakeholder communities and to justify their existence to governmental and funding entities. Such programs need to be both engaging and age appropriate. This course will introduce students to research on the types of individuals who visit public history institutions and their motivations for doing so. It will also look at modern educational theory as it relates to public programming. Students will meet with educators in public organizations to learn how they incorporate this research and these theories into the public programming.

PHST 524. Historical Editing--Mr. Butko. 3 credits
A summer course taught by the Director of Publications at the Senator John Heinz History Center, this class prepares students to edit their own and others' work in many formats found in today's museum profession. Taught on-site at the History Center, the class introduces the history of the English language for a deeper understanding of what is considered "correct" usage. This transitions to what is generally accepted in the editing field using books such as the Chicago Manual of Style. Methods and technologies of producing publications are explored starting with the copy editing of manuscripts submitted by writers who can range from academics to amateur historians. The class also delves into (and does assignments in) other writing opportunities in the public history field such as proofreading design drafts, grant writing, press releases, exhibit labels, oral history, and document transcription. Students also visit the printer of the History Center's books and magazines to learn of the many technological advances, and meet former students to discuss opportunities for internships and employment. The class also includes a longer project focused on a social media campaign for an exhibit. Students are also graded on class participation and a final examination.

PHST 525. Introduction to Historic Preservation--Dr. Hyland. 3 credits
This course provides an introduction to American historic preservation and focuses on its history and practices. The course surveys the growth and development of the preservation of sites, landscapes, and buildings, in particular, and investigates the legislation (national, state, and local) that established and continues to guide the field of preservation, providing students with knowledge of historic preservation issues, programs, and practices. Assessment of student achievement is based on written descriptions of a historic resource, analysis of historic mapping, field photography, a major research paper, and tests on assigned readings and lecture material.

Internships

Internships require students to work 125 hours in a public history institution, usually in the Pittsburgh area, under the direct supervision of a practicing public history professional. Students and internship directors complete an internship contract detailing the work to be done during the experience. At the end of the internship, internship directors attest to the student's completion of the hourly requirement and to the fulfillment of the terms of the internship contract. Students write a short reflective essay on their internship experience and relate it to their career goals and preparation. In the past, internships have been arranged at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Duquesne University Archives, First Lutheran Church of Pittsburgh, Frick Art and Historical Center, Ft. Pitt Blockhouse, Historical Society of Mt. Lebanon, McKee's Rocks Historical Society, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Saltsburg Historical Center, and Senator John Heinz History Center.

PHST 656. Historical Preservation Internship--Internship Director. 3 credits

PHST 657. Historical Editing Internship--Internship Director. 3 credits

PHST 658. Archival Internship--Internship Director. 3 credits

PHST 659. Museum Internship--Internship Director. 3 credits