4000 Level Courses

AP/HIST 4000 6.0A - Honours Essay

The course is normally open only to majors of exceptional ability (defined as a B+ or higher average in History). It counts as a seminar.

Students must apply for permission to do an Honours Essay by submitting at the beginning of Fall Term a formal letter to the Department Chair accompanied by written recommendations from two Department faculty members. The letter should outline the relevant course work that has prepared the student for an Honours Essay, the primary and secondary research that will be undertaken (including a bibliography), and the schedule of work. The letter should also indicate which Department faculty member will supervise the student’s work and which Department faculty member is suggested as second reader. The faculty recommenders may serve as supervisor and second reader. Students are responsible for finding Department faculty members willing to serve as supervisor and suggested second reader. The second reader is officially appointed at the discretion of the Chair.

The following timetable is recommended:

  • 15 November: Detailed Outline
  • 1 December: Progress Report
  • 15 February: First Draft
  • 30 March: Submission Deadline

The Honours Essay must be submitted to the supervisor and second reader by 30 March. A bound copy on 8 1/2" x 11" white bond paper must also be submitted to the Chair of the Department by 30 March. The copy will be retained by the Department. Normally, the essay will be between 70 and 125 double-spaced pages, although shorter essays may be acceptable depending on the type of research undertaken.
The Honours Essay will be read by both the supervisor and the second reader. The grading of the essay will be based on the following categories:

A+     excellent
A        superior
B+     very good
B        good
C+     acceptable honors
C        acceptable non-honors
D        poor
F        failure

Should the grades assigned by the supervisor and the second reader not differ by more than one category (e.g., B and B+), the higher grade will stand. When there is a discrepancy of two or more grades assigned by the supervisor and the second reader (e.g., A and B), a third reader will be appointed by the Chair. In such instances the grade for the essay will be the average of the two highest grades.

Along with the grade assigned for the essay, the supervisor and second reader will submit a brief written report that comments on the content, style, organization, and originality of the essay. The Chair reserves the right to require an oral examination on the essay. In such instances, the examining board will comprise of the supervisor, the second reader, and a third person appointed by the Chair. The final course grade will be decided by these three persons. Examiners will submit their reports to the Chair within two weeks.

Students may take AP/HIST 4000 6.0 with instructors in whose fourth-year seminar they are enrolled. In such cases, it is understood that the seminar and the Honours Essay course are separate, each with its own requirements.

AP/HIST 4053 6.0A: North American Immigration and Ethnic History

Course Director:  F. Sturino, 618 Atkinson College, (416)736-2100 x 33251, fsturino@yorku.ca

This course focuses on changing public attitudes, government policy, and immigrants' social, economic and political life in North America from its origins to the present. The course critically examines the historiography of North American immigration and ethnic studies, and encourages comparative analysis. Open to: History or Canadian Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AK/HIST 4053 6.00, AK/HIST 4100K 6.00 (prior to Summer 1996).

AP/HIST 4085 6.0A: Digital History

Course Director:  S. Kheraj, VH 2124, (416)736-2100 x 30421, kherajs@yorku.ca
Course Website: http://digitalhist.com
Course Trailer Video: http://www.digitalhist.com/what-is-digital-history/
Course Director Website: http://seankheraj.com

This course is taught by Professor Sean Kheraj, an environmental and digital historian of Canada.

Special Features: This course is a lab-based methodology course that offers students hands-on practical experience with different digital technologies used in historical scholarship and public history. Students will engage in discussion of readings and work on specific lab assignments throughout the course. No prior technical skills are required.

Calendar Description: This course introduces students to both the theoretical and practical effects of digital technologies on historical scholarship and public history. Digital technologies have transformed the ways that historians conduct their research, access sources, analyze documents, and communicate research findings. Students gain practical knowledge of how to take advantage of such digital tools for historical scholarship and public history. Note: This course is restricted to History Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

Expanded Course Description:
Selected Topics:

  • Public History on the Web
  • Web design
  • Open access and copyright
  • Document digitization
  • Search tools
  • Digital archives and museums
  • Text and data mining
  • Podcasting
  • Digital photograph
  • Virtual reality
  • Smartphone applications

Readings

  • Required: Daniel Cohen and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006. (Available for sale or free online here: http://chnm.gmu.edu/digitalhistory/)

All other required readings available open-access online (see http://digitalhist.com)

Learning Objectives

  • To gain an understanding of some of the main digital technologies which have had an impact on historical scholarship and public history
  • To examine debates and arguments concerning the impact of digital technologies on history
  • To develop practical skills in the use of digital tools for conducting historical research, analyzing sources, and disseminating research findings

To critically assess and analyze the impact of digital technologies on historical scholarship and public history

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

  • (10%) Lab assignments
  • (25%) Participation
  • (20%) Digital project pitch and presentation
  • (30%) Major digital history project
  • (15%) Blogging assignment

AP/HIST 4116 6.0A: Alexander the Great: Myth and Reality

Course Director:  J. Trevett, 2180 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x 30409, jtrevett@yorku.ca

This course studies the life of Alexander the Great. It seeks to set his achievements within the context of Greek, Macedonian and Near Eastern history, and to disentangle the truth about him from the often unreliable and conflicting sources. Prerequisites: AP/HIST 2100 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3100 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3102 3.00 or AP/HUMA 3104 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3105 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3110 6.00 and AP/HIST 3120 6.00 or AP/HIST 3125 3.00 or AP/HIST 3130 6.00 or AP/HIST 3131 6.00 or AP/HIST 3135 3.00 or AP/HIST 3140 3.00 or AP/HIST 3150 6.00 or AP/HIST 3152 6.00 or AP/HIST 3153 6.00 or AP/HIST 3154 3.00 or AP/HIST 3160 6.00 or departmental permission. Course credit exclusions: None. Open to: Priority is given to History, Classical Studies or Hellenic Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/HIST 4016 6.00, AS/HIST 4050K 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 2003-2004). Notes: This is a seminar course.

AP/HIST 4132.0A: Caesar's Palace: A Social History of the Roman Imperial Court

Course Director:  B. Kelly, 2190 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x 30415, benkelly@yorku.ca

Roman emperors have traditionally been studied from the point of view of the political decisions that they made. Until recently, less emphasis has been given to the household or court of which they formed the centre. In this course, we examine the new contributions that 'court studies' are making to our understanding of the emperor and his court. Prerequisites: AP/HIST 1100 6.00 or AP/HIST 2100 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3110 6.00 AND AP/HIST 3120 6.00 or AP/HIST 3125 3.00 or AP/HIST 3130 6.00 or AP/HIST 3131 6.00 or AP/HIST 3135 3.00 or AP/HIST 3136 6.00 or AP/HIST 3140 3.00 or AP/HIST 3150 6.00 or AP/HIST 3152 6.00 or AP/HIST 3154 3.00 or AP/HIST 3155 3.00 or AP/HIST 3160 6.00 or departmental permission. Co-requisites: None. Course credit exclusions: AP/HIST 4130 6.00, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16. Priority is given to History, Classical Studies or Hellenic Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

AP/HIST 4200 6.0A: Culture and Society in Medieval Europe

Course Director:  R. Koopmans, 2182 Vari Hall, (416)736-2100 x 30414, koopmans@yorku.ca

Relationships between important works of medieval literature and the society that produced them. This course is restricted to History or European Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. Prerequisites: AP/HIST 2220 6.00 or AP/HIST 2790 6.00 or AP/HIST 3212 6.00 or AP/HIST 3234 6.00 or AP/HIST 3255 6.00 or AP/HIST 3280 6.00 or AP/HIST 3809 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3780 6.00 or AP/HUMA 4680 3.00/6.00 or departmental permission. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4200 6.00.

AP/HIST 4230 6.0A: Technologies of Communication: A History of Reading from the Codex to the Kindle

Course Director:  M. Schotte, VH 2138, (416)736-2100 x30418, mschotte@yorku.ca

“The Book Wheel” A. Ramelli, Le diverse et artificiose machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (1588) Image credit: http://smithsonianlibraries.tumblr.com/

“The Book Wheel”
A. Ramelli, Le diverse et artificiose machine
del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (1588)
Image credit: http://smithsonianlibraries.tumblr.com/

Calendar Description: This research seminar explores the history of books and their readers from antiquity to the present. Class is held in York's Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections, and includes trips to other area libraries. By studying books as material objects and communication technologies, we will investigate questions of intellectual property, literacy, author and audience, and "the future of the book." Prerequisites: None. Co-requisites: None. Course credit exclusions: AP/WRIT4720 6.0; prior to 2009, AP/HIST 4260 6.00 (FW14 & FW15 only). Priority is given to History Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

Expanded Course Description:

We are all readers, but we rarely stop to analyze the objects that we read. Books and digital readers are far more than simply vehicles for transmitting text. These technologies of communication shape our everyday experience, but also offer lenses into the past and the future. This course surveys key scholarship from the ‘history of the book,’ a field that has something to offer historians of any period.

The class meets in the Clara Thomas Archives, allowing extensive hands-on access to many rare books and original documents. We will examine everything from medieval manuscripts and World War memorabilia, to original CBC radio transcripts, Canadian literary papers, and graphic novels. (Please note: food and drink are prohibited in the Archives; if you cannot make it from 11:30 a.m.-2:15 p.m. without eating, this may not be the class for you!) Over the course of the year, we will go on a number of field trips during class time, including the Archives of Ontario, U of T’s Fisher Library, and the Toronto Reference Library.

This course prioritizes writing, with brief weekly reading responses, two short papers, and a number of assignments that work towards producing and revising a major research paper. The 15-page Capstone essay (including proposal, annotated bibliography, and a mandatory draft) can be on any topic of interest from any time period. Students must make use of a minimum of one substantial historical primary source and must relate their research to the history of the book, reading, media, and/or technologies of communication.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Participation and Weekly Forum Posts: 20%
Discussion Leader: 10%
Assignment I: Assessing a Digital Archive (3-5 pages): 10%
Assignment II: Reading a Book as Artifact (3-5 pages): 10%
Capstone Essay, including preparatory exercises: 50%

AP/HIST 4360 6.0A: Europe Between the Wars, 1918-1939

Course Director:  TBA

Problems such as political ideologies, militarism, economic instability, youth movements and class roles in modernization, studied comparatively across frontiers wherever possible. Course credit exclusion: AP/HIST 4030 6.00. Prior TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AS/HIST 4030 6.00., AS/HIST 4360 6.00.

AP/HIST 4460 6.0A: Themes in 19th Century British History

Course Director: M. Smith, smithm21@yorku.ca
Course website: https://thiscourse.com/yorku/hist4460/wi16/
Course trailer: https://youtu.be/i7cHgDveqwM

Special Features: This course is restricted to History Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

Calendar Description: Examines various topics in 19th Century British History at an advanced level. It is designed to intensify students' knowledge of the history of the British Isles in all its many facets. Prerequisites: AP/HIST 2400 6.00 or AP/HIST 3415 6.00 or AP/HIST 3420 6.00 or AP/HIST 4450 6.00 or AP/EN 3550 6.00 or AP/EN 4003 6.00 or departmental permission. Course credit exclusion: None. Open to: This course is restricted to History Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AK/HIST 4520 6.00.

Expanded Course Description: This course examines Britain in the nineteenth century, a period of immense social, cultural, and political change. It explores Britain’s “long nineteenth century,” moving from the fallout of the French Revolution in 1789 through the July Crisis and impending global war in 1914. The course examines key themes including industrialization and urbanization; political and reform movements; gender, sexuality, and feminism; nationalism and imperialism; and scientific and cultural production.

Students will be encouraged to think critically about the theory and historiography of nineteenth-century British historical studies; they will also be asked to examine and evaluate primary sources using lessons learned from their secondary readings.

Required readings will include Susie L. Steinbach’s Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Thomas William Heyck & Meredith Veldman’s The Peoples of the British Isles: From 1688 to the Present.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of assessment: The assignments in this course will be cumulative. Each assignment will work towards building skills and a body of research for the final research paper and presentation.

First Term

5-page primary source analysis (10%)
10-page historiography (20%)

Second Term

Essay outline & introduction (5%)
15-page research essay (40%)
Research essay presentation (10%)
Class participation (15%)

AP/HIST 4511 6.0A: Themes in Canadian Social and Cultural History

Course Director:  J. Pearce, jlp@yorku.ca

Special Features: Priority is given to History or Canadian Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

Calendar Description: This course focuses upon such themes as social change, the formation of new social and economic groups, and the development of social institutions and patterns of thought. Note: Priority is given to History or Canadian Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. Prerequisites: AP/HIST 1050 6.00 or AP/HIST 1086 6.00 or AP/HIST 2500 6.00 or AP/CDNS 2200 6.00 and AP/HIST 3531 6.00 or AP/HIST 3533 6.00 or AP/HIST 3535 6.00 or AP/HIST 3546 6.00 or AP/HIST 3555 6.00 or AP/HIST 3580 6.00 or AP/HIST 3581 6.00 or AP/HIST 3582 6.00 or AP/HIST 3591 6.00 or AP/HIST 3838 6.00 or AP/HIST 3850 6.00 or AP/SOSC 3210 6.00 or departmental permission. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusions: AK/HIST 4200 6.00, AS/HIST 4511 6.00 (prior to Fall/Winter 1994-1995).

Expanded Course Description:

This year's theme is: Disability in Canadian History

"Disability is everywhere in history, once you begin looking for it, but conspicuously absent in the histories we write.” – Douglas C. Baynton, 2001.

Our changing definitions of disability are both shaped by and shape the history of Canada. This course examines Canadian history, both pre- and post-confederation, through the lens of disability. It explores definitions of disability and who gets to define “the disabled”; how disability shaped the definition of citizenship and contribution to society; and how historic events changed these definitions over time. In particular, this course examines how definitions of disability (including physical, psychiatric, learning, and communication-related disabilities, as well as chronic illness and addictions) have influenced, and in turn been influenced by, race, gender, and class.

Disability, as a broad category, has and continues to define who is allowed to immigrate to Canada, who receives education in what sort of classroom, and who is allowed to become a parent. It has also defined who is part of the disabled community, led to the development of a civil rights movement for people with disabilities, and created distinct art forms that explore the meaning of “disabled.” It is not solely a history of charity or confrontation, or of great heroes and sad victims. It is a history that encompasses the everyday struggles of all sorts of people, regardless of gender, race, and class, who have been cast into a single category by a perceived flaw in their bodies or minds.

This course also examines ways of writing the history of “another ‘other’”, whether from the point of view of doctors, educators, parents of disabled children, charity workers, or the disabled themselves. How can we as historians examine written and oral records to highlight the experiences of these diverse actors? What questions should we be asking of our sources if our goal is to examine disability? How can we work toward a 21st-century history of disability?

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Media Presentation Term 1: 5 %
Media Presentation Term 2: 10 %
Historiography Project Proposal: 5 %
Historiography Paper: 20 %
Research Project Proposal: 5 %
Research Paper: 30 %
Participation: 25 %

AP/HIST 4530 6.0A: The Development of Toronto

Course Director: G. Fernandes, 722 Kaneff Tower, pchp@yorku.ca

Toronto from its earliest beginnings to recent times, population increase, social change, economic development, metropolitan dominance, religion, and political life of the city. Note: Priority is given to History, Canadian Studies or Urban Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4530 6.00.

AP/HIST 4555 6.0A: State, Nation and Economy: 20th Century Canada

Course Director: J. Stephen, 129 Founders College, (416)736-2100 x 66930, stephenj@yorku.ca

Calendar Description:
This course examines the social, cultural and political influences that shaped Canada's economic landscape from 1890-1960, and explores the historical processes that contributed to the formation of the modern state in Canada.

Priority is given to History or Canadian Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4555 6.00.

Expanded Course Description:
This course examines the historical formation of the state, capitalist economy and consumer society in Canada for the period 1890-1960.  Topics for discussion include: the emergence of new economies, markets and trade relations; state, citizenship and the rise of the welfare state; modernity, tourism and national identity; consumerism, domesticity and the post-World War Two male breadwinner regime; crown corporations, regionalism and resource development.  A detailed course outline/syllabus will be provided on the first day of class.

The course is organized into broad thematic areas. Within each module, weekly seminars probe different historical perspectives and approaches on a given topic. For example: How do historians account for the rise of the welfare state in Canada? What processes have linked tourism, national parks and game preserves with the project of nation-building?

Students will also be introduced to key methods of historical research. Participants will gain a critical awareness of how to locate and work with a variety of primary documents, while gaining first-hand experience in archival research, both on-line and in real time.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of assessment:

Participation: 25%
Presentation of Course Readings and Evaluation of Articles: 10%
Essay Proposal & Bibliography (Fall Term): 5%
Literature Review (Fall Term): 15%
Annotated Bibliography and Essay Outline (Winter Term): 10%
Research Essay (Winter Term): 35%

AP/HIST 4725 6.0A: Topics in Modern Caribbean History

Course Director: D. Trotman, 326 Founders College, (416)736-2100 x 33192, dtrotman@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: This course examines topics in the development of the Caribbean, 1938-1983, from the labour riots of the thirties to the American intervention in Grenada. It includes a Pan-Caribbean examination of economic, political and socio-cultural developments in this period. This course is restricted to History or Latin American and Caribbean Studies Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. Course credit exclusions: None. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4725 6.00.

Expanded Course Description:
Using the rubrics of Revolution and Reform the course examines patterns of development in the twentieth century and their contributions to the making of the contemporary Caribbean. Among the topics to be discussed are the labour riots of the 1930’s, the Cuban revolution and its impact, struggles for independence and sovereignty, racial assertion in the postcolonial Caribbean, diasporas and their contributions to Caribbean development, attempts at revolutionary reforms in the postcolonial Caribbean.

All of the readings for this course will be available online and on Moodle.

Students  who require a general narrative to fill gaps in their knowledge of the Caribbean are strongly recommended to read

F.W. Knight, The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism (Oxford,1990)

B.W. Higman, A Concise History of the Caribbean (Cambridge,2011)

prior to the course. These texts are available in public libraries or can be purchased online from reputable booksellers.

This is a seminar and not a lecture course. Although the instructor will occasionally provide some background and contextual orientations, the emphasis in this course is on discussion of assigned readings, active seminar participation and presentations.  A major component of the course is on preparation for a research paper to be presented in the second term when the course assumes a conference format.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Participation: 20%
Presentations: 20%
Minor paper: 20%
Major research Paper: 40%

AP/HIST 4763 6.0A: China Modern: A Cultural History

Course Director:  J. Fogel, 817 North Ross , (416)736-2100 x30420, jfogel@yorku.ca

This course uses a cultural historical approach to examine the question of Chinese modernity. It focuses on the processes, technologies, and social agents that transformed Chinese culture in the tumultuous period from the first Opium War in 1842 to the 1949 Communist Revolution. The course begins with an introduction to cultural historical methodology. We read key theoretical works in this field, most of which are focused on European or North American history. We then study how scholars of China have applied, adapted, or elaborated on this methodology in their studies of late imperial (1842-1911) and Republican China (1912-1949). Prerequisites: AP/HIST 2710 6.00 or AP/HIST 3760 6.00 or AP/HIST 3761 3.00 or AP/HIST 3770 6.00 or AP/HIST 3771 3.00 or AP/HIST 3772 3.00 or AP/HIST 3775 3.00 or AP/HUMA 2420 9.00 or AP/HUMA 2430 9.00 or AP/HUMA 2435 9.00 or AP/HUMA 3500 6.00 or AP/HUMA 3505 3.00 or AP/HUMA 3506 3.00 or AP/HUMA 3510 6.00. Course credit exclusions: None. Open to: History and East Asian Studies Honours Majors and Minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits.

AP/HIST 4800 6.0A: The Science of Society: Social Thought in North America, 1890-1940

Course Director:  M. Shore, VH 2184, (416)736-2100 x66975, mshore@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: This course presents an analysis of the intellectual, cultural and social changes which contributed to the rise of the social sciences and re-organization of the liberal arts in North America during the period 1890-1940. By focusing on this context as well as major theories and trends in several disciplines, this course will provide insight into modern North American culture. Priority is given to History, Humanities and Social & Political Thought Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4800 6.00, AS/HUMA 4220 6.00.

Expanded Course Description: The period 1890 to 1940 saw a major shift in social and cultural thought in North America because of war, economic development, industrial and technological change, urbanization, immigration, scientific and medical developments. A wide array of individuals and institutions in psychology, criminology, anthropology, social work, sociology, economics, political science, home economics, literature, history, religion, law, consumerism, advertising, and popular culture wrestled with the impact of these changes and tried to devise new ideas about identity, community, society, and concepts of "nation" and commemoration. This course focuses on these developments as a means to understand Canadian and American culture and society in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings and discussions examine the currents of thought in each of these areas, and in related movements for social reform. Students will deal with a wide variety of texts, including novels, and analyses of culture and popular culture. A highlight of the course is the second term class mini-conference consisting of poster presentations from all of the seminar participants.

Topics to be treated over the 24-week period include:

Social  and Economic Change at the Turn of the Century; The Chicago World’s Fair, 1893, and American Society; The Birth of Modern Culture; Social Disorder; Darwinism and Spiritualism; Christianity and Social Reform; The Rise of Domestic Science (Home Economics); Women, Work, and Consumerism; American Ideas of Empire; Moral Reform and the Family; Self-Culture and Self-Help; Commercial Culture and Marketing; Nature versus Nurture debates; Representations of Difference; Scientific Management and Efficiency; Food Consumption and Social Structures; Nation, Memory, and Commemoration (Canada@150).

Titles of some of the readings that will figure prominently in the course:

Manliness and Civilization; The Alienist: A Novel; Reluctant Modernism; Cheaper By the Dozen; The Mismeasure of Man; The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell;  The Devil in the White City:  Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America; The Making of Middlebrow Culture;

All the World's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, 1876-1916;

Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century; Ladies of Labor; Girls of Adventure.

A prime learning objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the developments that gave shape to current social and political issues, debates, and controversies.

A prime learning activity is the poster presentation, a period of four seminars in which students will engage in a conference-like setting. In these sessions, students will have the opportunity to present their research findings as exhibits (consisting of visual and written material) and discuss these with their colleagues. This activity provides practice in such professional skills as public speaking, lecturing, and engaging in question-and-answer periods.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

1 analytical review essay (1st term) - 20%
1 major research essay (2nd term), consisting of poster presentation (10%) and final written paper - (30%)
Seminar leadership (1 per term) - 0% x 2 = 20%
Weekly seminar attendance, participation, and contribution (both terms) - 20%

AP/HIST 4830 6.0A: In Slavery and Freedom: Blacks in the Americas

Course Director:  M. Johnson, 321A York Lanes, (416)736-2100 x66933, johnsonm@yorku.ca

Calendar Description: This course examines and compares the responses of Africans and their descendants to the experiences of enslavement, racism, colonialism and imperialism from the 15th century to the 20th century and analyses the impact of the African presence on western 'civilization'.

Note: Priority is given to History Honours majors and minors who have successfully completed at least 84 credits. PRIOR TO FALL 2009: Course credit exclusion: AS/HIST 4830 6.00.

Expanded Course Description: This course examines and compares the responses of Africans and their descendants to the experiences of enslavement, racism, colonialism and imperialism from the fifteenth century to the twentieth century and analyses the impact of the African presence on western ‘civilisation’. The course begins with an examination of sub-Saharan African societies which were the sources of the enslaved population transported to the Americas. The major debates around the Atlantic Slave Trade along with comparative histories of enslavement in the Caribbean, Brazil, Latin America, the United States and Canada will be examined. The experiences of free Blacks who lived in slave societies, as well as the ‘degrees’ of blackness which emerged in those societies will also be examined. The course compares the processes of emancipation of enslaved Africans and ‘creoles’ across the Americas and the level of integration of the freed population into the economic, social and political hierarchies of their societies. The importance of race theories as well as class/race/gender relations will be discussed throughout and various elements of ‘black culture’ in the Americas will be explored in order to determine the degree to which similarities might exist.

The course will be taught in a seminar which will be driven by the discussions of the required readings that are the focus of the course. The weekly examinations of the material, which will be supplemented by films and videos, will be facilitated and guided by the professor.

This course will be taught using a comparative method, which will allow students to:

  • examine the experiences of Africans and their descendants across a broad area
  • analyse the arguments in the pro-/anti-slavery debates
  • explain the processes of emancipation in the hemisphere
  • discuss the importance of race/class/gender/culture in the communities in question
  • examine, critically, the concept of African diasporas in the Americas

The assignments in the course will include a variety of evaluation tools including in-class presentations, essays, film critiques, archival research essays and examination.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Oral Presentations: 20% (10% in each term)
Film critiques: 10% (5% in each term)
Term I Essay (primary sources): 10%
Archival Research Essay: 25%
Final exam: 15%
Class Participation: 20% (10% per term: attendance plus contribution)

AP/HIST 4840 6.0A: Public History Workshop

Course Director: J. Bonnell, 2130 Vari Hall, 416-736-2100 ext. 30422, bonnellj@yorku.ca

Special Features: This course has a significant workplace-integrated experiential education component. In term 2, students will be assigned to museum or archive within the Greater Toronto Area to complete a 12-week placement (ten hours/week) resulting in the completion of a public history “product” (for example, a podcast, walking tour, exhibition, or online content).

Expanded Course Description: Public history investigates the ways that history is understood by and interpreted for the public. This course examines the history, theory, and practice of public history in a wide variety of venues, including museums, archives, historic sites, the internet, and film. Key topics will include collective memory and nation-building, questions of race, gender, and ethnicity in the representation of public history, commemorating war, and the presentation of “difficult” histories in museums and other venues.

In addition to class readings and discussions, focused workshops throughout the course will introduce students to the practical skills for the public presentation of historical knowledge, including oral history interview techniques, communication and presentation skills, and digital tools for public history. Students will meet practitioners in the field and visit several public history-related sites.

At the end of this course, students will be able to identify key debates within the scholarly literature on public history and describe how these debates have changed over time. Through course assignments and the term 2 placement experience, student will also gain concrete skills in the following areas:

  • Collaborating and communicating in a professional manner with institutions and/or community organizations
  • Conducting independent research on a specific topic using primary sources in archives, libraries, and heritage sites
  • Devising a public history project by exploring and synthesizing a wide range of sources, crafting a narrative about the past, and presenting it in an accessible and creative manner (podcast, journalistic news article, walking tour, short film, etc.)

Course readings: TBA. Most, if not all, of the course readings will be available freely to student through the course Moodle site.

Tentative Grade Breakdown/Overview of Assessment:

Participation: 20%
Letter of Introduction (28 September): 5%
Public History Podcast Project: 20%
Proposal (12 October, 5%)
Final Podcast (23 November, 15%)
Research Project Proposal (25 January): 5%
Research Paper: (22 March): 20%
Final Project Presentation (5 April): 10%
Final Public History Project: (7 April): 20%

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Participation (20%)

There are three components to your participation grade: 1) your participation in in-class discussions and workshops; 2) a self-evaluation of your progress in your public history placement/project (in the form of a logbook); and 3) the evaluation of your on-site supervisor. Students are expected to read all of the assigned material and come to class prepared to participate actively and to engage critically with the readings and the responses of fellow students. Regular attendance is required but on its own will not count as participation. An online discussion forum will be created for the course within which students can share resources, ideas, and comments on readings and material relevant to the course. Substantive contributions to the online discussion forum will count towards your final participation grade.

 

Logbooks

Each student will keep a detailed record of the time they spend working toward their final project, both independently and at their placement sites. The course instructor will provide you with a template that you should use. Keep it up to date and you will find that it keeps you organized and focused on your project, and will help you to reflect on the overall experience when you go to write your final paper. Students will submit an up-to-date digital copy of their logbooks three times over the duration of their placements. The logbooks will be used to assess your progress and to identify and address any challenges you are experiencing. Failing to keep the logbook or submit it in time will adversely affect your participation grade.

 

Placement Supervisor Evaluation

Your placement supervisor will provide the course instructor with an evaluation of your work at the half-way point and again at the end of your placement. The on-site supervisors will not assign a specific grade, but will inform the course instructor about the student’s diligence, contribution to the project, skills developed, and whether the student fulfilled the terms of his/her contract by showing up on time and working the required number of hours. The supervisor’s evaluation of the performance of the student will be taken into consideration in the final participation mark.

 

Letter of Introduction (5%)

Due: 28 September

The aim of this assignment is to help you develop your professional communication skills. In September you will be placed with a heritage site and assigned a specific public history project to do for this institution. This letter of introduction will be your first contact with your assigned placement, and will provide an opportunity for you to communicate your particular skills and training to your supervisor, as well as your interest in the proposed project. Further instructions will be provided in class. Once you have submitted your letter of introduction, you should plan to meet with your placement supervisor at least once in October or November to discuss your placement and begin developing your project proposal and workplan.

 

Public History Podcast Project (20%)

Project proposal, 5%, due 12 October

Final podcast, 15%, due 23 October

This term-long assignment will see students work as individuals or in pairs to research and produce a brief (8-10 minute) podcast on the history of a public history site (for example, a museum [house museums work well for this], historic site, monument, or memorial park) and its changing interpretation over time. The project involves three elements: 1) researching the history of the site (its prior use, establishment as a public history site, and changes in physical structure and interpretation over time); 2) conducting a single oral history interview with either a public history professional who is knowledgable about the site, or a family member or friend who has personal experiences connected to the site; and 3) producing an audio podcast that incorporates excerpts from the interview into a narrated account of the site’s history and evolution over time. This is a scaffolded assignment with four deadlines:

  • a project proposal that outlines the chosen site, identifies the interviewee and confirms their consent to be interviewed, and identifies relevant reference materials, due October 12 (5%);

 

Remaining components will be assessed cumulatively, for a total of 15%:

  • a list of interview questions and letter of informed consent, due October 19;
  • a written podcast outline, outlining narrative elements and interview excerpts, with rough duration in minutes, due November 9.
  • the final podcast, due November 23. We will be learning the necessary skills in class (developing interview questions, conducting interviews, working with audio editing software, producing a podcast) in advance of each assignment component deadline.

We will listen to these podcasts in the last two classes of term 1 (November 23 and November 30th).

 

Research Project Proposal (10%)

Due: 25 January

Students will write this short 2-page proposal after they have met with their placement supervisors in early January. It is designed to encourage you to communicate with your supervisor about your project, and work out a way to turn it into both a public history product and an academic research essay. In this assignment you will outline your topic, the way you plan to approach the research for it (ie. how you will engage with the materials at your placement), and your analytical methodology. This is also the place where you can express any questions or concerns that you anticipate arising over the course of your research so we can address them early on. The proposal should include the following addendums: 1) a preliminary bibliography of relevant primary sources and at least six (6) academic secondary sources; and 2) a workplan developed in consultation with the placement supervisor that breaks the project into manageable tasks and assigns dates for anticipated completion of these tasks.

 

Research Paper (20%)

Due: 22 March

This 14-16 page (3500-4000 word) essay will accompany the final public history project you complete at your placement. Depending on the nature of your project, you may choose to write a paper reflecting upon the practice of communicating history to the public and working with a heritage institution, or a more traditional research paper that draws upon primary source materials that you encountered in your placement. In either case, your paper should incorporate primary sources from your placement, and draw upon the scholarly literature on public history practice (and, if appropriate, scholarly work by historians on your historical topic). Essays must include a comprehensive bibliography divided into primary and secondary materials.

 

Final Project Presentation (10%)

Date: 5 April

At the end of the course, students will present a brief (10 minute) distillation of their final projects at a student “public history conference” to be held at the Archives of Ontario April 5. This will be an opportunity to share with your peers what you learned, what you found interesting about your placement and research, and the challenges you may have encountered in completing your public history project. We will dedicate two sessions prior to the conference for practice presentations. Your presentation will be evaluated based on your ability to discuss your project – both process and product – in an engaging and thoughtful way to an audience that will include your fellow students, history faculty members, and placement supervisors.

 

Final Project (20%)

Due: 7 April

This is the placement project that is undertaken in the second half of the course. The projects will take various forms, but each will involve academic research and public communication techniques. Projects will be assessed in consultation with your supervisor.

AP/HIST 4990 3.0A (F), AP/HIST 4990 3.0M (W), AP/HIST 4990 6.0A: Supervised Reading and Research

This course is normally open only to majors of exceptional ability (defined as a B+ or higher average in History) with the permission of the Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students may take no more than six credits under this course rubric.

To apply for permission to do History 4990, students must submit a formal application to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, normally at the beginning of Term. Application forms (available in Vari Hall 2140) require: a brief course description and rationale; a proposed evaluation breakdown (at least 60% of the final grade must be based on written work); a list of relevant History courses completed and in-progress; a representative bibliography (with a minimum of 20 titles listed in standard academic format); and the name and signature of the supervisor (who must normally be full-time faculty in the Department of History). Students are responsible for finding Department members willing to serve as supervisor.

The Chair or Director of Undergraduate Studies must be satisfied that the subject of History 4990 is demonstrably distinct and separate from that of any other course taken by the student. History 4990 may be supervised by the instructor in another of the student’s courses.

The detailed programme of study will be determined by the student and the supervisor. Students are expected to prepare a substantial amount of written work. The student’s final grade will be based primarily (at least 60%) on the assessment of the written work by the course.

Normally, in any one year, no instructor may supervise more than a total of three courses under the rubrics of AP/HIST 4000 6.0 (Honours Essay), AP/HIST 4990 6.0 (Supervised Reading and Research), or AP/HIST 3990 6.0 (Supervised Reading and Research).

  • Students may take directed reading courses only after having successfully completed (passed)
  • 24 credits in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.
  • The maximum permissible number of directed reading courses depends on a student’s program type. Students in Honours BA programs may take 24 such credits; students in a BA program may take 18 such credits.
  • Within their last 30 credits, students may take a maximum of 12 credits in directed reading courses.
  • Students may take a maximum of 12 credits of directed reading courses with the same faculty member.

AP/HIST 4991 3.0A (F), AP/HIST 4991 3.0M (W), AP/HIST 4991 6.0A - Advanced Seminar in History

Fourth-year students who have an average in their major of B+ or better may be allowed to register in some 5000-level courses in the Graduate Programme in History. As with 4000-level courses, admission is at the course director’s discretion. Undergraduates in such courses will have the same workload as their graduate classmates.

The History Department will record the enrolment as AP/HIST4991 6.0/3.0, Advanced Seminar in History, on the student’s transcript, and it will count as a 4000-level seminar. On request, the department will attest, on letterhead, that History 4991 is a graduate-level course. For further information and permission to enrol, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies.