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, to enroll you in the course.

Capstone Options for Fall 2022

HIST 498 (001/021): Sports History as U.S. History

Prof. Erika Pérez (

Mondays and Wednesdays 2:00-3:15 p.m. 

In Person

This research seminar asks students to examine historical social, political, and economic developments in the United States through the lens of sport. Students will produce a capstone paper that offers insight into a particular historical era of your choosing in close consultation with the instructor. Students will go beyond a basic romanticized biography of an athlete or a favorite team to develop a substantive research question. Students will submit regular writing assignments and adhere to deadlines to further your capstone paper’s development in incremental stages. Students will complete readings assigned by the instructor during the early weeks to establish a historiographical and methodological foundation. Sample topics include: sports stadium controversies, steroids/PEDs in sports, Olympic boycotts, ethnic, racial, or gender barriers in sport, amateurism in collegiate sport, professional league codes of conduct policies.

HIST 498 (102/122/202): "History of Capitalism" or “National Parks in History”

Prof. Jeremy Vetter (

Fully Online (asynchronous)

Arizona Online students who need HIST 498 to graduate in Fall 2022 will be prioritized for enrollment in this asynchronous online section, but a small number of main campus students who are interested in one of the topics below may also be admitted, if space allows.

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 the history of capitalism. We will begin by considering three different scholarly approaches to studying the history of capitalism in the United States, beginning with a focus on economic, business, and political leaders who wield the most power, followed by approaches that bring in the perspectives of consumers and workers. Students may choose to research topics in U.S. history or may choose to study the history of capitalism outside the United States, or to propose transnational, global, or comparative topics, if source availability and language capabilities allow. Potential research topics include, but are not limited to: economic inequality, class formation and stratification, working-class movements such as labor unions, trade and commerce, science and technology, industrialization, the role and perspectives of consumers, small business, agriculture, energy, environmental change, health and disease, banking and the financial system, the rising influence of large corporations and wealthy individuals over the political system, slavery and other systems of unfree labor, economic policy making and regulation by the government, foreign policy, cultural history, and social divisions based on race, ethnicity, gender, and geography.

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.

HIST 498 (105/125/225): "Voices of the Enslaved in Global History" or “Food and Cuisine in Global History”

Prof. Benjamin Lawrance (

Fully Online (asynchronous)

Option #1: Voices of the Enslaved in Global History

After studying examples of enslaved peoples in various parts of the world, from the early modern period to the late twentieth century, each student will have the opportunity to choose a topic or case study to focus on, which may include any form of enslavement, bondage, indenture, labor coercion, or human trafficking, broadly defined, with the consent of the professor. Potential research questions include, but are not limited to: how enslaved people navigate and survive their ordeal; how and why slavery and trafficking have changed over time; the consequences of being enslaved or trafficked; how different communities, institutions, and societies remember the enslaved and their legacy.

Option #2: Food and Cuisine in Global History

After studying examples of how foodstuff travel the world and demonstrate connections and globalization, from the Colombian Exchange to the present, each student will have the opportunity to choose a topic or case study to focus on, which may include any domesticated food product or archetypal cuisine, broadly defined, with the consent of the professor. Potential research questions include, but are not limited to: how do foods move and transform culture and society; how and why does cuisine globalize; the consequences of the food and cuisine mobility; the lives of voluntary or forced migrants who bring foods and cuisines with them; how different societies and nations claim specific and particular foodstuffs and cuisines as part of their national identity.

Potential Options for Spring 2023

  • Global Middle Ages with Prof. Paul Milliman (Fully online)

  • Recent U.S. Foreign Relations with Prof. David Gibbs

  • US/Mexico Border: Researching and Creating Digital Stories with Prof. Katherine Morrissey