Reading & Research Seminars

HST-400-449  CUE: "Reading Seminar in History" 
A reading seminar devoted to an in depth examination of an historical topic or era.  Topics of seminars will vary and will be announced prior to registration.  Required of all history majors and minors.  Students must register for the corresponding research seminar in the following semester to satisfy the requirements for the history major or minor. 
History Majors and Minors ONLY 
Prerequisite(s): Any two history courses.

HST-450-499  CUE: "Research Seminar in History" 
A research and writing seminar, paired with a CUE: Reading Seminar in History, that provides students with the opportunity to engage in significant independent research on an aspect of the readings seminar topic.  This seminar will also address different approaches to history, the nature and types of historical sources, bibliographic aids in research, general research skills, the authenticity and reliability of sources, and the techniques and processes of various types of historical writing.  Required of all history majors and minors. 
History Majors and Minors ONLY 
Prerequisite(s): Successful completion of the CUE: Reading Seminar in History paired with the CUE: Research Seminar. 

Upcoming CUES:

Fall 2022 Reading / Spring 2023 Research:

HST-430/473 Inventing Americans - Yankaskas
This course examines the ways that Americans from the colonial era to Reconstruction defined their communities, both national and local. What did it mean to be an American, a Philadelphian, or a member of the middle class? Who defined those terms, and how? Who was considered beyond the bounds of community, and why? How did Americans use religion, law, material goods, and education to define membership in the nation and in more local communities? What did they expect of (and as) community members? We will explore the ways that Americans variously constructed and defended their communal borders, usually figuratively, sometimes literally. We will also explore the ways that early Americans expressed their ideas about community in physical spaces such as public buildings and monuments. Using the lenses of social and cultural history, we will build our understanding of the multiplicity of early American communities, and of the definition of community itself. Throughout the semester, we will be attentive to differences of gender, race, class and region.

HST-438/452  Gender & Sexuality - Ouellette
This course critically examines gender and sexuality in Latin America and the Caribbean from the pre-Columbian era through the present day, focusing mainly on the modern period. Drawing upon a variety of methodological approaches, the course explores definitions of acceptable and deviant gender roles and sexual identities, resistance to these roles, and how these debates have changed over time. We will survey how historians use issues relating to gender and sexuality - revolution, prostitution, homosexuality, power, etc. - to elucidate histories, identities, relationships, and discourses in Latin America and the Caribbean. This course prioritizes the experiences of women and minorities in Latin America and the Caribbean, with special attention paid to racial, class, and sexual differences.

Spring 2023 Reading / Fall 2023 Research:

HST-440/492 Gender, Race, and Sexuality in the History of American Medicine - Antonovich
This course explores the history of American medicine through the intersecting lenses of race, gender, and sexuality.
Together, we will explore three important questions:
How have medical concepts of the body informed notions of masculinity and femininity?
How did medical knowledge shape understandings of race, gender, and sexuality?
How did medical views of male and female bodies inform conceptions of health and illness?
We will also explore the extent to which various communities promoted or resisted medical theories and practice. Topics include the medicalization of sex; race and class in medical practice; gender, illness and the workplace; and debates about sex and/or race specific diseases from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.

Fall 2023 Reading / Spring 2024 Research:

HST-435/477 Tudor/Stuart Britain - Tighe
Both the Protestant and the Catholic Reformations are studied from primary and secondary sources. The course begins with the late medieval religious and social background of the Reformation and progresses from an examination of its origins through a consideration of the various types of Reformation (Lutheran, Reformed, Radical, English, and Catholic) which occurred in sixteenth-century Europe. It concludes with an examination of the impact of the Reformation upon European states and societies down to 1600. Discussions of assigned readings, topical essays, and at least one comparative book review essay will be required in this course.

    Details to follow...  

Spring 2024 Reading / Fall 2024 Research:

HST-401/451 Silk, Spices, World Trade - Stein
An integrated world economy is not the creation of the twentieth or twenty-first century. Trade and commerce linked the societies and economies of Europe, the Middle East, India, and East Asia as early as the first century BCE. The famous Silk Road bringing luxury goods like silk and spices from China to the Mediterranean was only one aspect of this interconnection. In this seminar we will investigate the many historiographic issues that arise in conducting research and presenting the results of that research. Students will develop and pursue individual research topics drawn from their study of the history of world trade to the year 1800.


Recent CUE Topics:

HST-409/459 WWII in European Cinema - Cragin 
This course analyzes the representations of World War II in films of the combatant nations, including France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, and the United States. The cinematic representations of the war changed a great deal during and after the conflict. The course exposes the larger social, political, and cultural forces at work upon these films and the role these films had in altering national memory in each country. Students also study cinematic techniques and film theory and learn to apply these to the analysis of film.

HST-419/461 The Age of Franklin Roosevelt - Malsberger
The age of Franklin Roosevelt spanned twelve of the most eventful years in the nation's history. Between 1933 and 1945 Americans grappled with the Great Depression, FDR's New Deal reforms, and World War II. This reading seminar will analyze Franklin Roosevelt, the man and his leadership abilities, as well as his presidency's impact on politics, economics, civil rights, social welfare, culture, international policy, the concept of reform, and the role of government.

HST-439/471 When East met West in China - D'Haeseleer 
In this course we will investigate the relations between China and the West from the late sixteenth century to the late twentieth century. The focus is on how both sides perceive each other. By focusing on the major turning points in relations between China and the West, we learn how these perceptions influenced, and were influenced by contemporary events. Such moments include the Jesuit missionaries’ presence at the court in Beijing and the impact of their reports on the European Enlightenment, the many conflicts between Qing China and Western imperialist powers in the nineteenth century, the rise of communism and the founding of the People's Republic, and the opening up of China, starting with Nixon's visit in 1972.