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Carol Wilson, Ph.D West Virginia University, Chair
T. Clayton Black, Ph.D., Indiana University
Ann Connell, Ph.D., University of Maryland
Tom Finnegan, PhD., Drew University
Michael Harvey, Ph.D., Cornell University
Gary Schiff, Ph.D., Columbia University
Janet T. Sorrentino, Ph.D., University of North Carolina*

* Graduate Program Director

The Master of Arts program with concentration in history offers advanced training in American and European history, with elective courses available in other social science fields. Courses are structured with special emphasis on those aspects of the subject likely to be useful to teachers of history and social studies in pre-college level institutions. The major has among its aims: (1) to supplement the student's basic stock of factual and bibliographical data; (2) to bring the student abreast of the findings of recent scholarly work; (3) to encourage, by example, effective methods of dealing with controversy in historical interpretation; (4) to strengthen the student's skills in the use of primary materials as sources for reconstruction of the past; and (5) to demonstrate the usefulness of acquiring basic competence in other social science disciplines for broadening the scope and enhancing the sophistication of historical understanding.

Requirements for the Degree

Students seeking the M.A. degree in History must take two courses in non-U.S. history prior to 1600 (e.g., Ancient World, Middle Ages, Renaissance & Reformation), two courses in non-U.S. history after 1600 (e.g., Early Modern Europe, 19th-century Europe, 20th-century Germany, Russia and the Soviet Union), three courses in U.S. history, and at least three electives. The three electives may be in history, political science, sociology, anthropology, or economics.

Courses in History

History 500 - The American Colonies and the Revolution

Special studies in the social, economic, and political structure of Colonial America, and in the background and development of the American Revolution.

History 501 - Jefferson, Jackson and the Coming of the Civil War

A detailed study of special problems in the relationship of politics to society in the first half of the 19th century, with consideration of the causes of the Civil War.

History 503 - The African-American Experience in America

A study of selected problems in the political and cultural history of African-Americans. Emphasis is placed on slavery and on black efforts to enter the mainstream of American life from the 17th century to the present.

History 506 - The United States Civil War

This course will encompass the U.S. Civil War (1861 - 1865) in all pertinent areas. In addition to military history the course will review significant historical interpretations of the causes and effects of the war, the dimensions of social, economic, political, and diplomatic history pertaining to the war and the evolution of war aims relating to the central issues of slavery and race relations.

History 507 - Twentieth-Century Europe

Detailed study of selected topics in European history since 1917.

History 508 - Topics in American Intellectual History

Readings, discussions, and papers dealing with the main currents in American thought. Emphasis is on American Puritanism and its lasting effects, the American Enlightenment, Romantic Democracy, the Naturalist Mind, and the Contemporary Neo-Democratic Mind.

History 510 - The Reconstruction Era and the Guilded Age

A study of the thirty-five years of American history that followed the Civil War, with particular emphasis given to problems of reconstruction, the achievements and costs of industrialization, the economic and social problems confronting workers and farmers, and the major intellectual and cultural cross-currents of American life during the late nineteenth century.

History 511 - The Soviet Union Since World War II

A study of Russian society, economy, and politics in the Soviet Union's superpower era. The emphasis is on domestic affairs, including the rise of a movement of political and cultural dissent in the post-Stalin period. Russian foreign policy will be treated insofar as it impinged upon internal developments.

History 513 - Progressivism and the Twenties

A study of America's early-twentieth-century age of reform and the very different period that followed in the 1920s. Emphasis is placed on the politics and culture of reform at the local, state, and federal levels from 1900 through 1920, the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the impact of World War I and the cultural contradictions and ferment of the 1920s, culminating in the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

History 514 - Modern America: The United States Since World War II

Readings and discussions on the main issues of the postwar years: Origins of the Cold War, the new conservatism, the corporate society, the decade of the counter-culture, and the crisis of political faith engendered by war, assassination, and political corruption.

History 517 - Twentieth-Century Germany

Selected topics illuminating the traumatic course of the modernization of German society, politics, and culture as conditioned by military defeat and the impact of economic crisis, from World War I to the two Germanys today.

History 518 - The New Deal and World War II

A study encompassing a period dominated by the presidential leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Emphasis is placed on the crisis and challenge of the Great Depression, the interlude of Herbert Hoover's administration, the themes and occasional contradictions of the New Deal, the struggles for redefinition of American society, and the challenge of totalitarian aggression in World War II.

History 519 - Latin America in the 20th Century

Special topics on the social, cultural, political, and economic history of Latin America since the turn of the century, with emphasis on Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. Topics will include: immigrant acculturation and the search for national identities; experiments in democracy; caudillismo and the rise of militarism; race relations; agrarian reform and the problems of underdevelopment; the continuing struggle for political stability and economic autonomy; neocolonialism; Third World relations; and international problems.

History 520 - The Ancient Near East and Greece

A survey of ancient cultures from the first Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations through the Hellenistic period (c. 300 - 200 B.C.), with most of the course devoted to the development of classical Greece.

History 521 - Ancient Rome

The history of the Roman Republic and Empire from the Etruscan period through the decline and fall of Rome (c. 800 B.C. - 500 A.D.). Readings from the primary sources will focus on social and political themes.

History 522 - Medieval Europe

A survey of European civilization from the fifth through the fifteenth centuries, including political organization, social and economic conditions, and medieval cultural developments.

History 523 - Renaissance and Reformation

An exploration of cultural, political, and social change in Europe from the Italian Renaissance through the protestant Reformation and Age of Discovery (c. 1400-1648).

History 524 - Medieval England

A survey of English history from prehistoric times through 1485, focusing on the development of the monarchy, law, and Parliament.

History 598, 599 - Special Topics

History 600 - Independent Study

Courses in the Social Sciences

Prospective students whose previous college work does not include at least one basic course in the desired field of study may be admitted to the social science course in question only by permission of the instructor. Independent studies in the Social Sciences are designated by the department name and the number 600, e.g., Sociology 600, etc.

Political Science 500 - Contemporary World Affairs

Selected critical issues and crisis areas in contemporary international relations. These issues will from time to time include the study of nuclear weapons systems and their implications in world politics, the disintegration of both the Communist and Western power blocs, and the emerging triangular relationship among the United States, the Soviet Union, and Communist China.

Political Science 501 - Current Problems in American Politics

An analysis of the special problems created by technology, the breakdown of tradition, and the rise of alienation and elitism in American society.

Political Science 502 - Latin American Relations in the 20th Century

An analysis of the political and economic components of Inter-American relations since the turn of the century. Emphasis is given to post-World War II events and the impact of rising Latin American nationalism on U.S. influence in the region.

Political Science 505 - The American Presidency: The Post-Watergate Era

The Watergate scandal had a profound effect on the American political system, and perhaps its most lasting impact could be on the presidency. We will examine presidential power during an era in which there are growing constraints placed on the exercise of that power. The historical development of the office will be traced. We will look at the presidential selection process, presidential personality, and the president's relations with the public, the press, and other branches of government.

Political Science 506 - Criminal Justice in America

An examination of the formal structures and operating realities of the American system of criminal justice. The course will focus on the behavior of police, prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, and juries at various stages of the criminal justice process. Considerable attention will also be given to Supreme Court decisions affecting the rights of criminal suspects, and to the continuing debate over the causes of crime and the efficacy of punishment.

Political Science 507 - American Constitutional Development

An examination of the evolution of constitutional government in America from the perspectives of history, politics, and law, with special emphasis on the role of the Supreme Court as authoritative interpreter of the Constitution. Topics will include the framing of the Constitution; the contributions of Madison, Hamilton, Jefferson, and Marshall; slavery and the crisis of union; laissez-faire and the New Deal; and such contemporary issues as racial equity, freedom of expression, and presidential power.

Sociology 500 - Basic Concepts in Modern Sociology

A study of various significant theories and concepts in present day sociology. These will include the areas of social evolution, structural-functional analysis, and symbolic interaction.

Sociology 502 - Sociology of the Working Class

The course treats the American working class in the kinship, community, and occupational settings. It deals with the importance of social class and related ethnic factors in urban areas today. The impact of assembly line technology on the worker will also be discussed.

Sociology 503 - Sociology of American Communities

The size and function of American communities affect the expectations that residents have of each other, and the ways in which they organize their economic, political, and other institutional relationships. This course will investigate these patterns and the changes in them that have occurred over time.

Sociology 505 - The Slum: A Cross-cultural Perspective

Study will include the development of slums in various societies, characteristics of the slum dweller, the social organization of slums, and the place of the slum in the larger society.

Anthropology 501 - Cultures of the World

Survey of the world's major cultural areas with a brief history of their development.

Anthropology 506 - Indian Cultures of Latin America

Cultural and ethnohistory of the major Indian civilizations of Latin America, with a primary focus on the Incas, the Aztecs, and the Mayas. Study will conclude with a survey of Indian cultures today.