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HIST 496H / HIST 498: Capstone Research Seminar
How to Register
To register for HIST 498, email the instructor for permission (email addresses are indicated below for the instructor for each section). The instructor can then give permission by email to the academic advisor, Kathryn Gallien firstname.lastname@example.org, to enroll you in the course.
Capstone Options for Fall 2021
HIST 498 (001): Travelers and Cross-Cultural Encounters in World History
Prof. Richard Eaton (email@example.com)
Wednesdays, 3:00-5:30 p.m., Live Online
How do people respond to cultures unlike their own? What shapes their responses, and why is this important? Drawing on any place or time in world history, the course will explore translations of the original writings of travelers, merchants, explorers, missionaries, etc. with a view to understanding the human side of what is commonly called "globalization."
HIST 498 (102/202): Violence in the American West or National Parks in History
Prof. Jeremy Vetter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The culmination of the history major, History 498 allows students to pursue in depth the research interests and skills they have developed in other history classes. This research seminar for majors teaches students to organize, research, and write a substantial paper (20-25 pages). This project should base its argument substantially on a critical evaluation of primary sources. It should also actively engage secondary scholarship, contextualizing its argument in relation to important scholarship in the field, noting where scholars disagree. Ideally, the final seminar paper will add something new to these debates, including formulating a research question, reading and analysis of secondary sources for historical background and so that you can situate your research in the scholarly debates, your research proposal and annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources, partial draft, full draft with peer review, and final revised version.
Option #1: The first option for this section of History 498 will focus on violence in the American West. After studying examples of violence in frontier towns, racially motivated violence, and violence in the midst of labor and environmental conflict, each student will have the opportunity to choose a topic or case study to focus on, which may include any form of violence, broadly defined. Potential research questions include, but are not limited to: how violence originated and why it happened, how it changed and developed over time, the consequences of violence, how different people and institutions responded to violence, and how violence has been remembered.
Option #2: The second option for this section of History 498 is the history of national parks and this opens up possibilities not only for research on individual sites operated by the U.S. National Park Service—including those places labeled national parks as well as national monuments, national historical parks, and other units of the system—but also for questions that link together several parks or address issues pertaining to the national park system as a whole. It is even possible to study national parks or other conservation reserves outside the United States, if source availability and language capabilities allow. Potential topics range widely and include policy debates over park management, the role of science in the national parks, environmental issues, development of tourism, technological change, social conflict over land use with local people, economic pressures, political controversies, shifting representations of the parks in popular culture, and changing historical experiences of visitors to the parks.