United States History


HISU 1410 The United States from Colonization to 1865
An analysis of the major forces and events that shaped American history from its beginnings through the Civil War.

HISU 1420 The United States from 1865 to the Present 
An analysis of the forces and events that shaped American history from the Civil War to the present.                                   

HISU 1800 Early New Orleans
This course explores the history of New Orleans during the colonial and early national periods, when the city was a crossroads of the Atlantic World that linked Africa, the Americas, and Europe. It locates the city's past in a transnational Atlantic context that reaches back to the fifteenth century and concludes with the emergence of New Orleans as a major American city in the early nineteenth century.                  

HISU 2400 Women and Gender in U.S. History to 1830
This course focuses on the construction of gender roles in the formative years of American history. It will approach the subject from two different perspectives: the ways in which women have had a different past from men, and the ways in which women have participated in the more complex experiences of the entire society. The course will also focus on differences between women according to race, class, and ethnicity both in the private sphere of the home and family, and in the public sphere of work and politics.           

HISU 2410 Women and Gender in U.S. History 
This course is a survey of women and gender in the United States from 1830 through the present. The class will examine the political and social history of women and girls, as well as the role played by ideologies of gender, both masculinity and femininity, in shaping historical events. Topics will include the transformation of women's identities over time; slavery and the family; suffrage; intersections between gender and race; the resurgent feminist movement of the 1970s; and sexuality and popular culture.             

HISU 2480 Louisiana History
A survey of the history of Louisiana from its settlement to the present.                                         

HISU 2510 Atlantic World 1450-1800 
The Atlantic world has emerged as an important field in early modern western history in the past ten years.  It is now especially important for students of United States history to have an opportunity to become familiar with the transnational origins of the nation that are rooted in the Atlantic context.  Atlantic world history does not replace traditional colonial history, but is now a necessary complement to it.                               

HISU 2520 Early America to 1800 
This course surveys the development of the North American mainland before 1800 with focus on the thirteen British colonies in mainland North America that chose to declare their independence in 1776, and attention to the broader continental and Atlantic contexts in which they were embedded, including colonial Louisiana.                                          

HISU 2600 The History of Early American Law
The major developments in American legal history from the colonial settlements to the Civil War with primary emphasis on the period 1776-1865.

HISU 2610 The Old South 
Was the South born racist?  What caused the Civil War? These are a few of the questions that are addressed in this history course of the southern US from the settlement of Jamestown through the Civil War.

HISU 2620 The New South, 1865-Present 
An examination of the economic, political, cultural, and intellectual forces that have shaped the American South since the Civil War. Central themes include the rise of sharecropping and tenancy, the struggle for civil rights, the emergence of two-party politics, and the metamorphosis of popular values and social norms triggered by the events of the 1960s. The course will explore the paradox of continued self-conscious regional identity in the face of constant internal change.                                    

HISU 2630 US Foreign Relations Before World War II

This course will investigate the history of U.S. foreign relations from the early republic until World War II. The class will span more than a century and students will be asked to consider the economic and ideological objectives embedded in U.S. foreign relations and the growth of the United States as a world power. Topics will include: the Mexican-American war, westward expansion, U.S.-Hawaii relations, the War of 1898, U.S. interventions in the Caribbean, late 19th and early 20th century immigration, World War I, and World War II. In addition, this course will consider representations of the world" in domestic culture by examining the histories of world fairs, tourism, travel literature, and missionaries.                              

HISU 2640 US Foreign Relations Since 1945
Foreign relations is front page news every day: the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism and nuclear proliferation, rising food and oil prices, global warming, debates over human rights practices, and even the Olympics. Although each of these topics has strong contemporary resonance, the United States' role in the world has a long and complex history. In this course, we will study US foreign relations from the end of World War II through the present. The course will define US foreign relations broadly and include diplomatic policy makers, military interventions, economic policy, and non-state actors engaged in international relations. Students will learn to analyze opposing historical interpretations, evaluate primary sources, ask analytic questions, and develop arguments.              

HISU 2650 US Immigration History 
In this class students will gain a solid foundation in mid-19th and 20th century immigration in the United States and grapple with the following themes: immigrant community formation, the interplay between immigration and American labor, the changing immigration law, the intersection of immigration and U.S. racial formations, and the prominence of immigrant narratives in American culture. The course will also ask that students grapple with contemporary problems and recognize the historic antecedents and struggles behind today's current events.""           

HISU 2690 African-American Slavery
A survey of the history of people of African descent in the United States from the 17th century to the end of the Civil War. The course will explore the development of a distinct African-American experience within the context of colonial North America and the early United States. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the origins and nature of slavery not simply as a system of forced labor, but as a system of unique cultural relationships.                                           

HISU 2700 African-American Freedom 
This course surveys the history of people of African descent in the United States from the end of the Civil War until the late twentieth century. A central theme of the course will be the varying ways in which African-Americans sought, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to achieve political, social, and economic freedom in the wake of emancipation.                                       

HISU 3100 New Orleans and Senegal, 1400-present
This course explores the connected and comparative histories and cultures of New Orleans and Senegal. The two were both founded as French colonies. They share histories, cultural traditions, and, by virtue of their geographic location at the edge of threatened estuarian landscapes, a common challenge to their future.                                            

HISU 3220 Autobiography and Southern Identity
An interdepartmental seminar that employs autobiography to explore the relationship between regional culture and individual experience in the 20th-century American South. While recognizing the place of autobiography as a literary genre, the seminar will subordinate the concerns of critical theory to the more immediate task of evaluating the strengths and limitations of autobiographical testimony as a form of historical evidence. Class members will read and discuss one book-length autobiography each week.Pre-requistites: One prior course in Southern history or literature or approval of instructor.                             

HISU 3300 Katrina and Popular Memory 
This reading seminar will explore the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans through the lens of popular memory. Readings will be drawn primarily from first-hand accounts of the storm. These memoirs, personal narratives, and biographies can enrich our understanding of human experience and social issues and provide insights into the larger social, economic, and cultural forces that shaped how individuals experienced the tragedy. We will also consider how individuals experienced those forces differently depending on such factors as race, gender, and class. Through careful readings of the texts, we will examine the extent to which the speakers live. We will also consider the use of first-hand accounts as historical sources and the benefits and pitfalls inherent in these sources. Other readings explore how Katrina was and continues to be understood collectively.Notes: An elective in Environmental Studies               

HISU 3440 African-American Religious History 
This course surveys the history of African-American religious institutions, leaders, and beliefs from slavery to the present. The course examines the diversity of African-American religious expressions within the larger context of black social and political life. Topics include the transmission of African culture to the New World, slave religion, independent black churches, race relations, black nationalism, as well as gender and class, social reform and everyday resistance.                                        

HISU 3541 History of Reproductive Health in the U.S. 
This course will explore the history of reproductive health in the United States from the seventeenth century to the present. Students will read scholarly books and articles, memoirs, and films about Americans' encounters with gynecology, midwifery and obstetrics, birth control devices, abortion, and reproductive technologies. Additionally, students will have opportunities to engage with guest lecturers who study reproductive health issues in the United States and around the world. Students will learn about the history of voluntary and coercive sterilization programs, the history of gynecological and obstetrical care, legal and illegal birth control and abortion practices, and the mobilization of the anti-abortion and pro-choice movements.Notes: Elective in GESS                         

HISU 3642 US War in Vietnam 
Although in the United States, the US conflict in Vietnam is most commonly referred to as the Vietnam War, in Vietnam, it is known as the American War. In this class, we will study the history of the war in Vietnam and the United States through primary sources and US historians' debates over the Cold War and decolonization. We will be reading works by both US and Vietnamese authors, including policy makers, military personnel, anti-war activists, and immigrants. In addition, students will learn to analyze opposing historical interpretations, evaluate primary sources, ask analytic questions, and develop arguments.                                       

HISU 3910 Special Topics in United States History 
Courses offered by visiting professors or permanent faculty. For description, consult the department.
Notes: For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes.              

HISU 4430 History of American Religion
This lecture course surveys the development of the many different religious traditions in the United States from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The diverse origins of America's early settlers and the guarantees of religious freedom embedded in the Constitution encouraged the development in the United States of the most religiously diverse society in the Western world. We will explore that diversity and also seek commonalities between religious movements and their impact on the larger society. In such a survey, the emphasis will necessarily be on those formal religious movements that have made a major impact on American culture, but the importance of less mainline groups and popular belief will also be discussed. The course is non-denominational, non-creedal, and taught as cultural/intellectual/social history.                  

HISU 4560 The Civil War and Reconstruction 
The course treats military, political and economic developments during the American Civil War, and examines the postwar consequences of emancipation for Southern and American history.                                    

HISU 4580 Slavery and Freedom in the Antebellum South
The course surveys the colonial origins of American racial attitudes; African adaptations to bondage; the historical evolution of plantation slavery as a social institution, labor system, and method of racial control; the nature of white antislavery sentiment; the content and meaning of pro-slavery ideology; and the status of free blacks in slave society.                                     

HISU 4694 Creation of Jazz in New Orleans
This course explores the cultural dynamics associated with the origins of jazz in New Orleans and related historiography.                      

HISU 4910 Special Topics in United States History
Courses offered by visiting professors or permanent faculty. For description, consult the department.
Notes: For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes.              

HISU 6420 American Revolutions 
The American War of Independence was one of many revolutionary movements that rocked the Atlantic world between 1760 and the 1820s.  This course familiarizes students with the major interpretations of the American revolution and situates it within the larger spasm of freedom struggles that characterized the period, including Caribbean slave rebellions and the Latin American wars of independence.                

HISU 6510 Recent U.S. from 1945 to the Present
U.S. domestic history and role in world affairs from 1945 to the present. Topics include the Cold War at home; the Vietnam War; politics and protest in the turbulent 60's; the civil rights and women's movements; and the presidency from Truman to Clinton.         

HISU 6540 African-American Culture 
An exploration of the formation of distinctive African-American cultural forms in the United States from the years of African enslavement up to the present day. The course will embrace a broad definition of culture to include religion and other community institutions, folklore and folk belief, various leisure activities as well as more obvious cultural manifestations such as music and the arts.                            

HISU 6560 Rise and Fall of the Plantation South 
This reading and research seminar will explore major topics in the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the plantation South. The course will begin with the origins of the plantation system in the colonial era to its eventual decline in the 20th century. We will consider regional variations tied to the production of export crops including tobacco, rice, cotton, and sugar. Major themes will include issues of race and class, changing labor systems, comparative history, and the impact of the planting system on the region's history.          
HISU 6630 US Labor and Migration 
This course is an advanced seminar on the relationships between labor, capital, and migrant populations to (and within) the United States in the twentieth century. Globalization and migration are not new phenomenon. This course will begin in the late nineteenth century and explore the role of labor, industrial capitalism, and markets in the early twentieth century. It will challenge students to recognize the antecedents to today's immigration debates and consider continuities as well as changes in the US economy.      

HISU 6750 Africans in the Americas: Comparative Social and Cultural History of the African Diaspora 
This seminar will explore the dispersion and fate of African peoples and their descendants in the United States, the Caribbean, and Central and South America with a view to developing an understanding of African-American culture as a diverse regional phenomenon rather than one confined to the United States.                           

HISU 6840 US Empire
What is an empire, who defines it, and does the United States have one? This class will begin by studying sites of formal US control of overseas territories, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. It will then consider definitions of economic and cultural empire, particularly after the end of World War II. The course aims to provide students with several case studies in the early twentieth century and to ask students to ponder their legacies in the present.                  

HISU 6850 United States-Latin American Relations
Traces the diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations between the United States and Latin America from the American Revolution to the present. This course seeks to demonstrate the interrelated roles of diplomacy, commerce, and inter-American cultural relations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.                                          

HISU 6910 Special Topics in United States History
Courses offered by visiting professors or permanent faculty. For description, consult the department.
Notes: For special offering, see the Schedule of Classes.