Historical scholarship pertaining to the Civil War has moved in surprising new and innovative directions in the last few years. Thus, this course will examine what historians have had to say about the Civil War, focusing on a few areas: the causes of the war, the nature of combat, the experiences on the home front and how the era has been remembered, up to the present day. Students will seek to understand if social historians have truly lost the war and if new military history has anything to tell us about a period that has been dominated by lengthy military and battle studies covering each minute of major and minor battles and conflicts. We will also delve into the dark shadows of the Civil War by engaging the literature that explores suffering, damage, and destruction. By the conclusion of the semester, students will have a thorough grasp of the literature pertaining to the Civil War era in recent years and where Civil War studies are headed. At the same time, they will be asked to consider how methodologies utilized by historians can shape their own work, whether pertaining to the Civil War or any area of history. Graduate students will read a book or its equivalent per week (many times, you will have a choice from a few titles so you can select works that best fit your own historical interests or curiosities), rigorously participate in discussion boards and complete a large 20-25 final paper that assesses the readings of the course.
The purpose of this class is to provide an opportunity for graduate students to read a variety of interpretations, including some primary source material, on the history of America in the 1920s and 1930s. The era under investigation was one where America became a modern society, embraced new gender relations and fought old religious and cultural battles. It was a time of remarkable, though uneven, prosperity with a major recession at the end. The 1930s was a time of major political, constitutional and economic change. By the end of the 1930s the New Deal, Franklin Roosevelt's effort to end the Depression, was dead and the nation was on its way into another war in Europe.
This course will focus upon:
This course is in a lecture and discussion seminar format.
An online research offering focusing on World War I. Students if they live out of state are encouraged to research a topic on how the war influenced either their state or community by relying on materials at local or state archives. If students live within driving distance to the Kansas State Historical Society and The National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO, a tour can be arranged at those facilities.