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Research Seminar in Recent U.S. History


About the Course:

Research seminar in recent U.S. history. A research seminar for graduate students interested in any aspect of recent U.S. history.

Fall 2020:

History 266A is the first half of a two-quarter (F/W) research seminar designed to give graduate students an opportunity to explore a significant, originally-conceived topic in recent U.S. history, defined here as spanning 19th through the early 21st century. The course aims to provide a structured setting within which students can define, justify, and map out an approach to investigating a significant research topic; identify primary source materials and appropriate methods for accessing and analyzing them; develop an argument with reference to the existing secondary literature; prepare and receive comment on drafts; and participate in a workshop-like process of oral presentation and peer review of work in progress.  Given the diversity of topics, approaches, and time periods this course aims to accommodate, assigned readings and discussion are meant to illustrate and explore the pragmatics of approach, method, organization, use of evidence and the like as much as to emphasize important developments and themes in U.S. history broadly conceived. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about the topics others are pursuing in the course, in discussions of background readings assigned by their peers. And throughout we will talk about history as a way of writing as well as thinking and conducting research.

During the first quarter, students will concentrate on selecting and refining a viable research topic, preparing bibliographies of secondary and primary sources, identifying appropriate research strategies and methods and, by the end of the quarter, producing a 10-12 page prospectus that describes the substance and significance of the topic as a contribution to historical knowledge, presents the central research questions, identifies the key primary and secondary sources, reviews the relevant historiography, and lays out a coherent, feasible strategy for completing the project during the second half (266B) of the two-quarter sequence.


No pre-requisites have been entered for this course.


View the course’s Canvas page or the instructor’s page for documents: Alice O'Connor   

Schedule of Courses

Go to the Schedule of Courses on the Registrar's website to register or view scheduling information on all courses.