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Descriptions of Special Topics and Seminar Courses

Spring  2019: Descriptions of Special Topics and Seminar Courses

HIS 480 U.S. History through Biography
Engage with major themes of 19th and 20th-century U.S. history through the study of biographies, written and filmed. We will examine works about Comanche Indian Quanah Parker, Theodore Roosevelt, civil rights activist Pauli Murray, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, among others. In addition to studying the lives of some Americans, we will study the craft of writing biography and the craft of making documentary film biographies.

HIS 481 American Revolution
This special topics course on the American Revolution will cover the period from 1764-1787. We will look at the long origin story of the American colonists’ break from Great Britain (special focus on Rhode Island’s contribution). We will focus intensely on the course of the fighting from 1775-1781. We will consider this period from the perspective of those who in the end “lost” in the struggle, including loyalists, African slaves and Native Americans. Finally, we will carry the story to the Constitutional Convention in order to see how the influence of the Revolution and its ideology played out in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787.