Spring 2022 Course Offerings

  • HIST 132-401 World History Since 1500
    Instructor: Marcus B Filippello (filippem@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 2pm-2:50pm
    In reading the news, watching television, or simply looking out of the proverbial contemporary window, do you ever ask: How do we explain or account for all of this? This class will encourage students to seek answers to this question by investigating the nature of human interactions and examining cross-cultural exchanges that have taken place across the globe for more than five centuries. In forming some possible conclusions, we will focus on patterns of migration, processes of imperial formation, and how people have “made” our “modern” world. Although we will examine some of these themes by highlighting Europeans’ relationship with peoples in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, rest assured we will devote considerable attention emphasizing the roles non-Europeans played in enacting a sense of agency and altering the course of global history.

  • HIST 150-201 Multicultural America
    Instructor: Gregory T Carter (cartergt@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    Were African Americans the only group that had a civil rights movement in the mid-twentieth century? No, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, and American Indians did too. Did they ignore each other? No, they influenced each other, making each other's gains possible. Did they spend all their time complaining about racism? No, they went to school, created art, and fell in love. This online course presents expands on the idea of the civil rights movement by including activism by other minority groups. Through documentary films and original documents, we will start with Japanese resistance to World War II’s internment camps. We’ll compare black and Mexican families’ efforts to desegregate schools. You’ll learn the difference between Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Little Rock. And you’ll discover the significance of the 1973 shoot-out between Indians and the FBI at Wounded Knee.

  • HIST 151-201 American History: 1607 to 1877
    Instructor: Lex Renda (renlex@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    For more than a century before the American Revolution, and for another century afterwards, the inhabitants of North America fought, with both words and blood, over whom to identify as the “People,” and thus deserving of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as well as over what sort of government and other political institutions could most likely guarantee such rights. This course will chronicle the rise of representative government in the United States, looking at its myriad forms and debates over what it should look like and what powers it should possess, as well as the political parties through which those who were enfranchised sought to shape the same. We shall also examine how immigration, religious conflict, and economic change led to the development of distinctive social classes in America, how “freedom” meant different things to different people (based on race, class, religion, and gender) at different times, and how the institutions and ideas of freedom and slavery in America became intertwined. The purpose here is not to indoctrinate you; instead, it is to encourage you to conceptualize the American past as something more engaging and more complex than either a "proud story with a few shameful chapters" or a "shameful story with a few proud chapters."

  • HIST 152-201 American History: 1877 to the Present
    Instructor: Gregory T Carter (cartergt@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 2007 survey, “What Will They Learn?” found that 7,000 college seniors, on average, got the equivalent of an “F” on their sixty-question test on United States history and institutions. In 2012, even though History is one of seven core subjects taught in college, only seventeen percent of college graduates could attribute the phrase, “government of the people, by the people, for the people” to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Yearly articles like these point to college curricula as the reason why students are not gaining the general knowledge they need to be informed adults. History 152: American History, 1877 to Present is one of the classes at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that attempts to give you this knowledge. On one hand, this is a lower-level elective that may remind you of high school. On the other, this may be the last time that you study U.S. History in a structured way for the rest of your life. What you do here will influence your attitudes towards others’, your understanding of contemporary issues, and what you teach your children decades from now.

  • HIST 249-401 The Second World War in Europe
    Instructor: Winson W Chu (wchu@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 11am-11:50am
    The syllabus draft remains provisional. A final version will be available in class when instruction begins.

  • HIST 287-201 The Vietnam War
    Instructor: Chia Y Vang (vangcy@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    Why did the United States become involved in Vietnam for a quarter of a century? This course explores why today policymakers continue to debate the “lessons of Vietnam” and ordinary Americans, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asians, both in the United States and in Southeast Asia, are still learning to come to terms with the impact of the war on their lives. The availability of government data in recent years clearly show that the American war in Vietnam was an extremely complex phenomenon in which a struggle for decolonization and social revolution became enmeshed in Cold War politics. As U.S. relations with the Soviet Union and China changed, so did the rationale for continued American involvement in the war, from the containment of communism to the pursuit of credibility. The causes of the communist insurgency in Vietnam were similarly complex and changing. The use of powerful new technology by one side and of guerrilla warfare by the other raised serious ethical questions. In addition, the nature of the war coincided with domestic turmoil in the U.S. and, in Vietnam, led to the displacement of huge numbers of people and strained the social fabric of Vietnamese society.

  • HIST 293-001 Seminar on Historical Method: Theory and Approach
    Instructor: Winson W Chu (wchu@uwm.edu)
    Meets: W 9:30am-12:10pm
    The syllabus draft remains provisional. A final version will be available in class when instruction begins.

  • HIST 294-201 Seminar on Historical Method: Research Techniques
    Instructor: Brian Scott Mueller (bsm@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    What is it that historians do? Can anyone be a historian? Does it require a special skillset? Based on the bestseller lists for works of non-fiction, it would seem as though anyone can do history. The names atop these lists include television hosts like Bill O’Reilly and journalists such as Cokie Roberts, neither of whom are trained historians. Technology, moreover, makes it easy for everyone to access genealogical records and other digital archives with the click of a button. In reality, history is no different than medicine, engineering, or quantum physics. Doing the work of a historian requires learning the crucial skills that allow for a true understanding of the past, as opposed to just skimming the surface. This course will help you understand how historians read and conduct research by doing so yourself. Over the course of the semester, you’ll be carrying out tasks designed to help you understand historiography, methodology, research methods, and writing. This includes the use of Chicago Style citations, locating reference materials, carrying out bibliographic research using traditional and electronic resources, and the critical evaluation of primary and secondary sources. Throughout the course, you’ll be completing the steps that make up the preliminary stages undertaken before the major research and writing undertaken for a major project, as you might complete in the capstone course, History 600.

  • HIST 341-001 Imperial Russia
    Instructor: Christine E Evans (evansce@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 3:30pm-4:45pm
    This course will introduce you to the history of imperial Russia, from just before the coronation of Mikhail Romanov in 1613 to the fall of the Romanov dynasty during the February Revolution in 1917. While much American popular writing about Russia takes the 1917 Russian Revolution as the natural endpoint of an eternally unstable or illegitimate Russian state, we will explore the sources of strength and flexibility that allowed the Romanov dynasty and Russian autocracy to last more than 300 years. We will consider Russia’s rise as a great power in Europe and its imperial expansion to the East and West, its social and economic structures, gender roles, national and religious diversity, social, economic, and political reform movements, the formation of the intelligentsia and the working class, and the growth of revolutionary movements, among other topics. This course will emphasize historical skills such as close reading and analysis of literary and visual texts, including government documents, serf autobiographies, paintings, literature, and films. Since, as historians, our study of the past is always intimately connected to the concerns of the present, we will also pay close attention to the uses and interpretations of the imperial past in Russia today.

  • HIST 358-201 The Jews of Modern Europe: History and Culture
    Instructor: Lisa D Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    In 1791, France became the first country in Europe to emancipate Jews. So why did it take more than 100 years before all the other European countries offered Jews legal equality? And why does it matter? What do Sigmund Freud and Franz Kafka have in common? This course covers the history and culture of European Jews from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present. Through a combination of lectures, readings, and class discussions, you will learn about Jews in countries like Germany, France, Austria, England, Russia, and Poland through their experiences and responses to political, religious, socioeconomic, and cultural challenges. We will investigate their history using traditional sources as well as alternative perspectives, including books, essays, films, memoirs, tracts, letters, and other documents.

  • HIST 364-202 The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism & the Fate of Jewish People in Europe, 1933-45
    Instructor: Lisa D Silverman (silverld@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    This course will examine the Holocaust – the term used to denote the destruction of European Jewry by the Nazis and their helpers during World War II. We will analyze the steps leading to the genocide of the Jews in Europe as well as the economic, social, and political factors that enabled its implementation, focusing on the on the interaction of victims, perpetrators, and witnesses/bystanders. The course also deals thematically with literary and visual representations of the Holocaust. Readings include primary source documents, images, and eyewitness accounts, as well as secondary sources by historians and other experts in the field. Assignments include quizzes, discussions, and papers based upon primary and secondary sources.

  • HIST 372-001 Topics in Global History: Water and Environment in the Nuclear Age
    Instructor: Nan Kim (ynkp@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 12:30pm-1:45pm
    As climate change becomes increasingly pressing as a global issue to address, so has the debate over nuclear energy. While nuclear power has been hailed by its proponents as a potential answer to the dilemma surrounding greenhouse-gas emissions, critics point to the fallout from implicated risks related to operating nuclear plants and also mining for uranium, the global lack of a long-term solution for disposing highly radioactive nuclear waste, and the danger of fueling nuclear proliferation. Another related concern stems from the fact that nuclear energy power plants are tremendously “water-hungry,” heavily dependent on water for cooling and functioning. The required proximity to water sources has impacted the coastal and river ecosystems where reactors are located, as nuclear plants become more vulnerable to drought, flood, and other extreme weather phenomena that recur with greater frequency due to systemic climate change. In the age of the anthropocene, how have the risks, possibilities, and consequences of nuclear technology since 1945 transformed the human relationship with water as a nonrenewable resource necessary to sustain life? In a semester-long course of study developed in conjunction with the Global Security and Global Sustainability tracks at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this seminar builds upon discussions of classic publications as well as emerging research exploring the nexus between environmental history, nuclear history, and history of technology.

  • HIST 387-201 Colonization in Africa: A History of Resistance and Adaptation
    Instructor: Marcus B Filippello (filippem@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    Most people are aware that Europeans had formally colonized much of the African continent by the end of the nineteenth century. Fewer, however, are familiar with the ways Africans reacted and responded to processes of colonization. Many resisted by raising arms and engaging in battle. Others opposed colonial rule on ideological grounds. Many Africans collaborated with colonial officials, but did so in ways that often undermined colonies’ fragile economic underpinnings. Some African countries and communities never accepted colonial rule and maintained sovereignty. Students in this class will read important literature and engage with other materials to learn far more about how Africans played active roles in the making of their own history by negotiating with and resisting colonial officials and colonial rule.

  • HIST 392-001 The History of Southern Africa
    Instructor: Rebecca Shumway (shumwayr@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 11am-12:15pm
    This course surveys the history of southern Africa with attention to the region’s multicultural history from the pre-colonial era to the 21st century. We will examine environmental crises, economic development, European colonization, African resistance movements and the apartheid era in South Africa. The course prepares students to analyze issues of race, ethnicity, colonialism, economic development, immigration, and globalization in both regional and transnational perspectives. Teaching will be a combination of lecture and discussion. .Face to Face format, with weekly reading assignments, quizzes and two exams.

  • HIST 399-001 Honors Seminar: How the Computer Became Universal
    Instructor: Thomas D Haigh (thaigh@uwm.edu)
    Meets: MW 2pm-3:15pm
    While computer theorists often define programmable computers as “universal machines,” following the work of mathematician Alan Turing, in practice the first electronic computers were specialized and limited giant machines hand-built for scientific calculations during the 1940s. Since then, the computer has undergone a remarkable transformation to produce today’s smartphones, laptops, cloud data systems and embedded processors: technologies used daily by most of the humans on earth to accomplish every imaginable task in their personal and work lives. This seminar tells the story of that transformation as a series of linked stories in which successive groups of users gave the computer new powers. The computer first became a scientific supertool, business data processing device, and military control system. Each group remade it according to its needs, along the way creating new platforms, software technologies, and hardware features. Later it became a communications medium, interactive tool, and personal plaything. Eventually it became a universal media device and publishing platform, before dissolving itself to replace the insides of our cars, telephones and televisions.

  • HIST 400-001 Topics in Latin American and Caribbean History: Road Trip: Latin America in the 1950s
    Instructor: Kimberly L Hernandez (hernandk@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 2pm-3:15pm
    This course is an interdisciplinary survey of Latin America, accessing the disciplines of history, geography, archeology, literary studies, cultural studies, and political science as we use Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s "Motorcycle Diaries" to travel through 1950s Latin America. We ride along with Che and his companions, unpack Guevara’s "Diaries," and continue onward to examine and understand these travelers’ post-"Diaries" life trajectories in historical context. In so doing, we will encounter features of 1950s Latin American geography, societies, cultures, and politics while learning this period’s history of U.S.-Latin American Cold War relations, interventions, and geopolitics.

  • HIST 404-001 Topics in American History: The Hip-Hop Generation
    Instructor: Gregory T Carter (cartergt@uwm.edu)
    Meets: MW 11am-12:15pm
    Since the late 1970s, hip-hop has gone from a set of African-American and Latino cultural forms from the Bronx to one of the most profitable and popular styles worldwide. Some assert that hip-hop has been a means to purvey age-old images of blacks as bestial, violent, and criminal, while others praise it as the voice of a generation. At the same time, the United States has undergone transformations easily as significant as those of the previous three decades of the post-World War II period, with some from groups facing racism, sexism, and poverty enjoying civil rights legislation, while others do not. This class will use hip-hop as a lens to examine recent United States history with these trends in mind. Towards this end, we will employ both traditional, historical texts and the latest cultural studies writings. I will provide the bulk of the former during class lectures, and your reading assignments will introduce you to the latter. Our discussions will bring the noise, cross-fading between the two. All the while, issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, culture, and sexuality will repeat themselves like the breaks.

  • HIST 434-201 The United States as a World Power in the 20th Century
    Instructor: Brian Scott Mueller (bsm@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    For nearly one hundred years, the United States followed the advice of President George Washington, who in his 1796 Farewell Address declared, “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” Beginning with a “splendid little war” in Cuba in 1898, the United States transformed into a global presence with nearly 750 military bases in at least 80 countries by 2021. This course will look at how domestic and international factors encouraged the rise of the United States to a global power in the twentieth century. It will pay particular attention to how ideological, economic, political, social, and cultural changes both at home and abroad produced such an outcome. Not surprisingly, Americans took notice of their country’s growing presence in the world, resulting in passionate public debates. From the halls of Congress to the streets, Americans offered various arguments in support of or in opposition to foreign interventions by the United States. From world wars to wars of national liberation and the Cold War to the War on Terror, this course will examine foreign policy from a multi-layered perspective that includes the voices of diplomats in Washington, D.C., soldiers on the frontlines, and activists on the streets to gain a more complete picture of America’s rise to world power.

  • HIST 436-001 Immigrant America Since 1880
    Instructor: Kimberly L Hernandez (hernandk@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 11am-12:15pm
    This course examines immigration to the United States since the late nineteenth century. It will consider: the groups of immigrants coming to the United States; causes of emigration from their home countries and reasons for choosing the United States as their destination; plans for and rates of return migration; their social, cultural and economic adaptation; the significance of race for acceptance within the host society and varied experience of different immigrant groups; changing American immigration and naturalization policy and the political contexts of policy reforms; the development of ethnic group identities for cultural retention and political mobilization; and cultural exchange enriching the American experience.

  • HIST 449-201 Popular Culture in America, 1800 to the Present
    Instructor: Richard K Popp (popp@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    This class explores the development of popular culture in the United States. Surveying more than 200 years, we’ll cover everything from the music of enslaved people in the Early Republic to the early years of social media in our own digital age. In between, we’ll examine the rise (and sometimes fall) of such phenomena as the popular theater, the saloon, daily newspapers, spectator sports, the circus, urban amusements, comics, magazines, advertising, film, music, radio, television, and video games. A key precept of the course is that the commercialization of pop culture over the course of more than two centuries has been one of the most important long-term historical processes in the nation’s formation, influencing everything from its political culture to its social and economic structures. A second key idea is that popular culture has long served as a resource through which ordinary people have laid claim to a sense of dignity, happiness, and self-concept in everyday life and that it is a site upon which power has been contested at a societal level. As such we’ll pay very close attention to how popular culture has indelibly shaped conceptions of class, ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality in dynamic ways across various eras. Though the focus will be on the US, the course will pay close attention to how American culture took shape in a transnational context, whether it be through the hybridized influence of dozens of immigrant cultures to the global export of American films, fashion, music, and television.

  • HIST 463-001 History of the American City
    Instructor: Amanda I Seligman (seligman@uwm.edu)
    Meets: TR 9:30am-10:45am
  • HIST 600-002 Seminar in History: Non-Human History
    Instructor: Nigel T Rothfels (rothfels@uwm.edu)
    Meets: W 12:30pm-3:10pm
    This senior research seminar will focus on the presence and significance of the non-human in human history. If you look around and you notice how profoundly living things like viruses, bacteria, birds, mammals, fish, and plants, forces like weather and climate, and even the rocks around us (including things like diamonds and gold, but also just sand) can play such huge roles in our lives and economies, you might begin to ask yourself whether we should think more about these kinds of non-human presences in human history. Throughout the course, we will read and discuss the work of historians and others doing this kind of work, while you will each pursue our own original research and writing related to the topic.

  • HIST 600-201 Seminar in History: African Americans and Central Cities, 1940-1970
    Instructor: Joe A Austin (jaustin@uwm.edu)
    Meets: No Meeting Pattern
    In 1910, approximately 80% of the African American population lived in rural areas, and 90% in the south. Approximately 1.5 million African Americans migrated to the north and west during the First Great Migration (1910-1930) and 5 million more during the Second Great Migration (1940-1970). By 1970, almost half of the African American population no longer lived in the south, and 80% of African Americans lived in cities. This is a senior-level “capstone” course on the “Second Great Migration” of African Americans that occurred during three decades in the middle of the 20th Century, 1940-1970. In particular, the course focuses on the interactions, encounters, and conflicts between the new migrants and the residents, administrations, and circumstances of the larger cities where they settled. This version of HIST 600 provides the opportunity for an in-depth investigation of mid-20th century U.S. history, but the main emphasis in the course is on designing, drafting, and writing a research paper based on primary sources. Students negotiate their research topics with Joe but have considerable latitude. The course is taught fully online in asynchronous mode. There are no required meetings. All required reading materials will be available on CANVAS; there are no books to purchase. Assignments: An Original Research paper based on primary sources, 6000 word minimum (50% of final grade) and 15 discussion postings, 250-400 words minimum (50% of final grade).