[Histmaj] History Major Junior and Senior Seminars in Winter 2024

Fri Oct 13 08:12:30 PDT 2023

Good morning Historians-

Here are descriptions (below) from the faculty of each Junior and Senior Seminar offered in Winter 2024 to help you make registration choices. The Time Schedule is now active for the quarter (https://www.washington.edu/students/timeschd/WIN2024/), so you can look there for information about how these classes fit with others. Remember that the Time Schedule is always subject to change.

For the best chance of success, students should have completed at least two 300-400 level History courses before taking HSTRY 388.
Students need to have taken HSTRY 388 before they are eligible to register in HSTRY 494 or 498.

If you want to add one of these courses, email the History Advisers (histadv at uw.edu<mailto:histadv at uw.edu>) to be given an add code or to be put on the waiting list. Please remember to give clear information about which section you want to add, and also include your name and UW student number. These classes fill VERY quickly, so request your add codes sooner, rather than later.

Junior Seminars:

HSTRY 388 A, Prof. Susan Glenn, "War Stories: Recording, Remembering, and Reimagining WWII," Th 1230-320, Denny 256

In the United States the lore and legacy that constitute the national memory of World War II is so familiar to many people that it remains an important touchstone into our own time. In this course we will explore the making of the legacy of World War II from locations often neglected in our collective memory of that time, including the initial indifference of many Americans to the rise of European fascism and the persecution of Jews and the impact of ethnic and racial animosities on the battlefields and on the American home front. We will read or view a wide range of primary works as well as turning our attention to the contemporary recycling of the meaning of that period in our nation's past. Readings include accounts by journalists, novelists, filmmakers, and works by historians. Through them we hope to gain a better understanding of the myriad ways in which the war and its effects have been recorded, remembered, and re-imagined.
Students will learn how to work with primary sources, develop competence in the close reading of texts, learn to analyze questions from multiple perspectives, and become attuned to "silences" in the sources by paying attention to what is and is not directly stated in a text. In written work and oral contributions, students will develop their skills in building and substantiating their own arguments.

HSTRY 388 B, Prof. Ross Coen, "Polar Exploration and its Literature," TTh 1030-1220, Mary Gates Hall 085

The history of polar exploration is commonly understood in terms of the dramatic, romantic, and oftentimes tragic exploits of intrepid mariners such as Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Sir John Franklin. And while such stories abound in the literature and will be a significant part of the course, humankind's connection to the Arctic and Antarctic touches on deeper historical themes such as nationalism, colonialism, science, geographical misconceptions, Indigenous cultures, racial theories, the biological impact of cold, and the advances and limits of technology. This course will trace the evolution of polar exploration, focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, to demonstrate that exploration is an integral part of being human. Students will work with primary sources, read and discuss secondary works, think and write analytically, and hone their skills in developing evidence-based arguments.

HSTRY 388 C, Prof. Ray Jonas, "War and Civil War in the US/Mexico Borderlands," W 130-320, Chemistry Library 021

This course brings the histories of the US and Mexico into dialogue, focusing on the era leading up to the US Civil War as well as the Civil War itself. Both Mexico and the US were post-colonial societies, yet deep differences turned on the issues of sovereignty, slavery, race, religion, and settler colonialism. The borderlands were where they collided with devastating consequences. In this course we will look at the Texas secession, the US-Mexico War, the American Civil War, and the Mexican Second Empire as key to understanding borderlands both as a space and as a moral frontier.

Senior Seminars:

HSTRY 494 A, Prof. Elena Campbell, "History and Memory," W 1030-1220, Smith 109

This seminar will focus on the problem of collective memory as viewed from the perspective of its social, political and cultural functions, as well as its institutional and cultural expressions. We shall explore the process by which societies construct and make sense of their past through the examination of different forms of commemoration (celebrations, monuments, museums, archives). Special attention will be paid to the relationship between memory and national identity. The case studies will focus on Russia and will be analyzed in comparison with examples from other countries. Finally, we shall discuss the analytical potential of the concept of social memory for historians and other scholars.

This is a Writing (W) credits course.

HSTRY 498 A, Prof. Aditya Ramesh, "Nature, Work, and Labor: Methods in Historical Research," T 1030-1220, Raitt Hall 109
Together, we will ask in this course what the relationship between nature and humans? We attempt to take work and labor as central ways of understanding the natural world and its relationship to humans. We begin with two fundamental questions. First, what are the ways in which we can think about how labor defines the relationship between humans and the natural world? For example, does human labor inevitably modify and alter the natural world? Second, does nature labor? If so, in what ways, and if not, why not? From this more abstract form of thinking, we take these ideas to specific places and particular historical conjectures. We pay attention to how nature has historically been constructed as a racialized and gendered category.
The course can be understood as an amalgamation of three distinct methodological approaches. The first section deals with thinking about the body, both human and animal in relation to nature, labour, and work. The second section engages explicitly with environments, particularly watery ones (think rivers and lakes) and forests, to understand the ways in which labor and work change places and spaces. The final section focuses on 'things' and resources, again thinking about how humans have engaged with and conceptualized the natural world. We pay specific attention to the material form of things, such as coal or rubber, or for that matter tea or coffee, and their properties. We will understand in what ways these material forms affect how humans are able to harness and use nature.

This is a Writing (W) credits course.

HSTRY 498 B, Prof. Joel Walker, "River History," Th 130-320, Smith 109

This seminar explores the place of rivers in global history. Topics include: the role of rivers as arteries of communication, commerce, and travel; the transformation of rivers through canals, dams, and other technologies; the impact of climate change on human interaction with rivers; and the imagery and symbolism of rivers as places of captivity, rebirth, transience, or death. The seminar will be organized as a writing workshop in which all participants share their draft essays with the class for critique and revision. Assigned material will include music, folktales, myths, and material culture explored through a variety of disciplinary lenses. In the latter part of the seminar, participants will have the opportunity to choose their own rivers as a focal point for their essays.

This is a Writing (W) credits course.


Mark and Tracy

Mark Weitzenkamp and Tracy Maschman Morrissey
History Undergraduate Advising
University of Washington
Smith Hall 315
Box 353560
Seattle, WA 98195
vm: 206.543.5691<tel:206.543.5691> fax: 206.543.9451<tel:206.543.9451>

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