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Department of History

Topics Course Descriptions Spring 2014

Each semester, the History Department offers several "topics" courses. These are often new or cross traditional chronological and geographical divides. American History topics fall under HIST 533, European topics fall under HIST 597, and Non-Western topics fall under HIST 598. The KSU catalog does not offer a full description of these topics classes, so we do so below. 


HIST 533A: African-American Kansas
T U 1:05 -2:20 p.m. Course #13887
Prof. Morgan, Tu/Th 1:05—2:20
"African-American Kansas" is one of the only history courses to take students off campus and into the field. Students will research vanished Kansas settlements and communities formed by black migrants from Missouri, Tennessee, and the Deep South, with a goal of discovering and preserving their history. Students will have the opportunity to have their work posted to a digital archive through Chapman Center for Rural Studies and they may also compete for the only paid internships on campus. Videography, oral history, cartography, and photography -- these hands-on research methods will interest students from many disciplines. This course needs your expertise!

HIST 533ZA: History of Food in America
Prof. Lynn-Sherow, Tu/Th 5:30-6:45 Course #16330
HUNGRY?? Ever wonder about WHY we choose to eat certain foods and HOW that happened? We have the answers! Join us for a full meal of history, science, culture, economics, technology, religion, ethnicity and more! You will never ask, “What’s for Dinner?” again without thinking about the incredible, edible story of Food In America.

HIST 533B: The U.S. Since 1945
Prof. Hoff, Tu/Th 1:05-2:20 p.m. Course #14241
The U.S. Since 1945 explores recent American history, in particular America’s rise to superpower status, the growth of the state, the economic boom of the 1950s to the 1970s (and subsequent relative economic decline), the rise of interest groups, environmental and technological change, the struggle by various minority groups for greater inclusion in American society, and the ascendancy of conservatism since the 1970s. Along the way we will consider the evolution of music from Elvis to Flo Rida, of gender norms from Leave it to Beaver to Sarah Palin, of foreign policy from the containment of communism to the War on Terror, of economics from the “New Economics” to Great Recession, of the media from the birth of commercial television to Twitter.


HIST 597: The Crusades
Prof. Defries
, M/W/F 1:30-2:20 p.m. Course #15511
This course is designed to give you a comprehensive overview of the medieval crusades and their legacy in Western and Middle Eastern culture. We will cover the period from about 1000 AD to the present, but focus on the period between roughly 1000 and 4000. We will consider not only the famous expeditions against the Muslims in the Levant, but also those against the Spanish Muslims, Cathar heretics and Baltic pagans.


HIST 598: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Islam
Prof. Kazemi
, M/W 5:30-6:45 p.m. Course #15886
This course explores critical themes in the history of women, gender, and sexuality in the Islamic world from the ancient period all the way to the present. We will begin with defining the variegated roles of women and gender in pre-Islamic times and move on to show how these roles changed in the medieval
and modern periods. Key topics include the portrayal of women in principal Islamic texts (the Qur'an and hadiths) and in historical records (biographies and chronicles); women as sources, actors, and subjects of Islamic law; gender and sexuality in pre-modern Islamic societies; homosociality and
homoeroticism in traditional Middle Eastern cultures; and extreme transformations in the meaning of gender and sexuality, as well as in the position of women in society during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will also spend some time discussing the misreading of women's role in Islam by Western
commentators, rights advocates, and policy makers.