Graduate History Courses

Please note: Our current class schedule, with class times and locations, is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system.

Fall 2020

HISTORY 5500D Special Topics in History For Graduate Studies 

Topic: Digital Humanities
In this course, we will introduce fundamental concepts and practical skills in the digital humanities with a particular focus on the quantitative analysis of literary and linguistic features in texts and also the annotation of features such as named entities and geographic locations to help visualize texts and textual collections. In the class, we will work collaboratively with many different literary works and students will also have the opportunity to work with texts of their choice. Although most of the work in this class will be computational, it does not require prior experience with coding or markup.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox.

HISTORY 5500E Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies 

Topic: American Environmental History
This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis-as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself-and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology to the modern environment crusade.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 5500RI Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: Introduction to Feminist Theory
This course covers a wide variety of feminist theories and theoretical perspectives, primarily since the 1960s, and is devoted to understanding and evaluating this body of work and the insights and possibilities for change that it suggests.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brenda Bethman.

HISTORY 5506A History of Christianity to the Middle Ages

This course examines the cultural, historical and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 5548 Missouri/Kansas Border Wars

This course explores the history of the Civil War on the Missouri/Kansas border, where residents first shed blood over the issue slavery. An exploration of this most uncivil of wars provides insight into the ways in which societies can be fragmented by ideology and ultimately rebuilt upon different lines.

Instructor: This course will be taught in an online synchronous instruction mode by Dr. Diane Mutti Burke.

HISTORY 5556 Rise of the City in the U.S.

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. It includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

Instructor: This course will be taught in an online synchronous instruction mode by Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

HISTORY 5558 Black Civil Rights in the 20th and 21st Centuries

This course examines the fight for black civil rights in the United States in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on the Jim Crow period, the fight to end segregation, and the enduring problem of race in the United States.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis.

HISTORY 5571R Ancient Greece

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander’s conquests and significance.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello.

HISTORY 5579 Public History: Theory and Method

This course explores the theoretical and methodological challenges that surround the public preservation and presentation of history in spaces like museums and historical societies. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences and will grapple with the issues around expanding history’s stakeholders.

Instructor: This course will be taught in an online synchronous instruction mode by Dr. Sandra Enríquez. 

HISTORY 5581GR How to History I

An introduction to a variety of research tools and techniques including such topics as evidence, critical method, verification, bibliography, book review, computers, statistics, and archival methods.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 5582B : How To – History II B

This course, the second in a two-part sequence, will introduce graduate students to professional obligations and research methodologies of academic and public historians as well as examine diverse career paths for historians. Students will focus primarily on career development curriculum and experiences.

Instructor: Students will enroll with their advisor. Enrollment in this course is by permission only.

HISTORY 5583GR Medieval Methods & Paleography 

This course examines the methodology and historiography of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Through an introduction to paleography, the study of handwritings, it prepares students for advanced work in these fields. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course examines the historical and cultural settings for texts, their physical form and production, as well as the tradition of textual transmission in the medieval and early modern world. In addition to gaining familiarity with many different types of primary sources, such as literary, artistic, legal, and notarial sources, students will be exposed to methods for archival work in various European nations.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Linda Mitchell.

HISTORY 5585GR Colloquium in U.S. History

Topic: 19th Century US Social History
Students read broadly in the historiography of a particular historical problem, place, period, or specialization in world history in order to master the relevant literature and hone their skills of historical criticism.

Instructor: This course will be taught in an online synchronous instruction mode by Dr. Diane Mutti Burke.

HISTORY 5587R Research Seminar

Students in this course will produce a major research paper under the direction of the instructor: a self-contained thesis chapter, an article for publication or the equivalent.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello.

Summer 2020

HISTORY 5500B Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: German Migration to Missouri
During the nineteenth century, large numbers of German migrants settled in the state of Missouri. In this three-credit course, students from the universities of Missouri in Kansas City and St. Louis as well as Hamburg, Wroclaw, and Vienna will collaborate on researching and writing short interpretive chapters about the everyday lives of German migrants before, during, and after their migration. The focus of students’ research will be the digitized letters, postcards, and photographs of the Kiefer-Scholtz family from 1899 to the 1920s. While Thekla Scholtz worked as a nanny in Kansas City, among other places, Robert Kiefer worked as a travelling musician and cabinetmaker. The collection records life in Upper Silesia along with their respective travels in Central Europe and the United States. Members of the family fought on both sides of the Great War. This shared, interuniversity, online asynchronous research seminar will be delivered through Canvas. UMKC students will enroll in the course for the intersession term (May 18-29), with extended writing deadlines to August 20, 2020.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 5549 Civil War in Memory and Film 

This course explores how the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction has been portrayed in film, literature, and art, and if the popular memory of the war accurately reflects the history. We also will discuss how the understanding of this pivotal event in American History has changed over time and how cultural artifacts often say more about the time in which they were produced than the actual history of the Civil War.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Diane Mutti Burke.

HISTORY 5574 Late Antiquity: The transformation of the Mediterranean World (200–600 AD)

The decline of the Roman Empire and the barbarian invasions transformed the Mediterranean and European worlds, forming the foundation of Europe and the Islamic world. Students will investigate the multicultural society of Late Antiquity and become familiar with the primary sources for the period.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello.

Spring 2020

HISTORY 5500W Special Topics in History for Graduate Students

Topic: The British Empire Strikes Back
This course examines the British Empire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It focuses especially on the development of British political and economic interests in Asia and Africa, and the subsequent process of rebellion and decolonization as native populations fought for national self-rule.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 5507A The History of Christianity from the Middle Ages to the Present

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major social, institutional and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources (both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 5511 Medieval Civilization I

This course covers the period between the decline of the Roman Empire in the West and the Investiture Controversy. Topics include the rise of Christianity and early church-state relationships; the barbarian invasions and the various Germanic kingdoms; the age of Charlemagne; monasticism and feudalism. There will also be special sessions on the civilizations of Islam and Byzantium.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello.

HISTORY 5521 Oral History

This course focuses on the methods, theories, ethics, practices, and applications of tools in documenting and recovering the experiences of people hidden from the “traditional records.” Through lectures, readings, discussions, and fieldwork, students will learn the various steps in developing a robust oral history project. Students will go out into the community to capture the histories of communities in Kansas City.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

HISTORY 5532 Tudor-England, 1485-1688

This course covers the history of England from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 to the crowning of William and Mary in the Glorious Revolution. Its main emphasis is the Tudor dynasty 1485-1603 with special reference to the transformation of England into a modern state, Re-Reformation, the role of Parliament, etc. The course concludes with the major characteristics of the early Stuart period.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 5534 History of Technology

This course examines technology as it shapes and is shaped by human society. Students will consider technology as a product of historically-specific and sometimes overlapping contexts shaped by culture, economics, natural environments, and social processes.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 5536 Modern German History: 1890-1990

This course traces the history of Central Europe from the fall of Bismarck to the reunification of Germany one century later. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society, elites and ‘ordinary’ Germans, in the various German-speaking regimes that existed over the course of this era: two empires, two interwar republics, two fascist dictatorships, and three post-fascist republics. All assigned readings will be in English; a background knowledge of European history is recommended.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 5557 The American West

This course deals with the relationship of the American West to the social and economic development of the United States. Major emphasis is placed on the role of the trans-Mississippi West in the economic growth of the national economy. Related cultural and political events are evaluated in the terms of the many Western frontiers. Emphasis will be placed on the Turner thesis, the Indian heritage, frontier violence, and the cow town experience.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 5585GR Colloquium in U.S. History

Topic: Early America
Students read broadly in the historiography of a particular historical problem, place, period, or specialization in U.S. History in order to master the relevant literature and hone their skills of historical criticism.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Matthew Osborn.

HISTORY 5591 Archival Methods

This combined discussion and research course will examine the research potential of primary-source materials in the custody of archival depositories and the methodology employed to utilize effectively these resources. An analysis of archival method, specifically in the areas of arrangement, description and preservation, will be emphasized during the discussion portion of the course.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Ms. Lucinda Adams (Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center) and Ms. Whitney Heinzmann (Archivist at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center).

Fall 2019

HISTORY 5500D Special Topics in History For Graduate Studies 

Topic: Digital Humanities
This course will focus on the following skills in the digital humanities related to the electronic publication and computational analysis of texts: XML markup of both texts and meta data according to the standards of the text encoding initiative, transformation of these texts for presentation in electronic environments, annotation of data such as named entities and geographic locations to help visualize texts and textual collections, and quantitative analysis of literary and linguistic features in texts. In the class, students will work with many different texts, but will repeatedly return to Herodotus’ History and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan. Although most of the work in this class will be computational, it does not require prior experience with coding or markup.

Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox

HISTORY 5500E Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: American Environmental History
This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis – as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself – and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology and the modern environmental crusade.

Instructor: Dr. Brian Frehner

HISTORY 5500GR Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: Decade of Dissent: The 1960s
The social movements and conflicts that developed during the 1960s continue to define American culture. Questions of racial and gender equity, a greater willingness to challenge authority, concerns about the environment, and a new openness about issues of sexuality all developed during the sixties and remain as arenas of debate today. This course will examine the origins, contexts, and major themes of the these social and cultural movements.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 5500RA Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: ‘We Are The Dead’: The Great War Experience Through its Artifacts
World War One was the “war to end all wars”; all previous wars were indeed eclipsed by its scale of destruction. And yet, it was a war that initiated a century of continual bloodshed and crimes against humanity. This course will explore the causes, nature, and consequences of the Great War of 1914-18. It will be taught at the National World War One Memorial Museum at Liberty Memorial.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 5506 America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction

A survey of the political, social, and economic factors leading to the dissolution of the federal union is followed by a consideration of the major features and developments of the war period. This, in turn, leads to an analysis of the major factors and relationships involved in the “reconstruction” of the federal union. The course covers the years 1850 to 1877.

Instructor: Dr. Diane Mutti Burke

HISTORY 5506A History of Christianity to Middle Ages

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

Instructor: Dr. David Freeman

HISTORY 5526 Modern Latin America

This course studies social, political, economic and cultural trends in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discussion topics include nation building after independence with an emphasis on gender and race in the creation of national identities and new forms of social stratification; integration of national economies into the world economic system; the expansion of political participation and citizenship; immigration (national and transnational) and the tensions caused by the forces of modernization and tradition. Although the purpose of the course is to provide a general background for a large and diverse region (more than 20 countries), case studies from Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil will illustrate the above-mentioned themes and will provide the basis for a comparative regional perspective.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Viviana Grieco online.

HISTORY 5556 Rise of the City in the U.S.

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. It includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 5559 World War II Film and Propaganda

This course examines film and propaganda, including posters, political cartoons, speeches, and other media, created in prewar or wartime conditions by both the Allies and Axis powers from 1933 to 1945 as it affected World War II.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 5571R Ancient Greece

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social, and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander’s conquests and significance.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello

HISTORY 5579 Public History: Theory and Method

This course explores the theoretical and methodological challenges that surround the public preservation and presentation of history in spaces like museums and historical societies. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences and will grapple with the issues around expanding history’s stakeholders.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 5581GR How to History I

This foundational course in the doing of history will use the “great books” of historical scholarship to introduce graduate students to historical questions, methods, theories, and rhetorical strategies. The goal of the course is for the student to learn how to engage in historical criticism and formulate historical questions for themselves. This required course must be taken in the first year of graduate study in history.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 5586GR Colloquium in World History

Topic: Major Debates in European History—Medieval to Modern
Students will read broadly in the historiography of a particular historical problem, place, period, or specialization in world history in order to master the relevant literature and hone their skills of historical criticism.

Instructor: Dr. Linda Mitchell

HISTORY 5587RA Research Seminar

Students in this course will produce a major research paper under the direction of the instructor: a self-contained thesis chapter, an article for publication, or the equivalent.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello