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 (kgallien@email.arizona.edu), to enroll you in the course.

Capstone Options for Fall 2019:

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

Prof. Erika Pérez (erikaperez@email.arizona.edu)

Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30-10:45

This research seminar asks students to examine historical social, political, and economic developments in the United States through the lens of sport. Students will go beyond a basic biography of an athlete or a romanticized profile of a favorite team to develop a substantive research question. A sampling of past capstone topic proposals have included: sports and social upliftment during the Great Depression, sports at Native American boarding schools, boxer Jack Johnson as racial icon, masculinity and southern horse racing culture, stadium construction and funding controversies, sports apparel and sweatshop labor, Olympic boycott movements, domestic violence controversies in professional sports, women and Title IX, and sports doping and the Cold War era. Students will produce a capstone paper that offers insight into a particular historical era of your choosing in close consultation with the instructor. Students are required to engage in critical analysis of a diverse array of primary and secondary sources and will employ methodologies rooted in the field of history and other disciplines when appropriate. Students will submit regular writing assignments and adhere to deadlines to further your capstone paper’s development in stages. Punctual and consistent attendance is also required to maintain good standing in this capstone class, and by extension, to complete the history degree requirements.

HIST 498 (002): "Oral Histories and Letters as Historical Sources: From Private Information to Public Presentation"

Prof. Jadwiga Pieper Mooney (jadwiga@email.arizona.edu)

Mondays, 3:00-5:30 p.m.

In this research seminar we will explore two types of historical sources: oral histories and letters.   You will select your research topic based on your specific interests and on the type of sources you wish to explore.  For papers based on oral histories, you are encouraged to select a 20th century research topic that relates to a specific event, to a marker of historical change in the Americas.  Your topic may refer to a significant legal change, to a political event of the past, to the impact of a specific new technology introduced in the past century, to a labor struggle, to the history of a social movement, or to an activist initiative.  Alternatively, you may feel inspired to select a topic based on oral history collections or archived letters available on-line, accessible through Special Collections at the University of Arizona, or readily available at the Arizona Historical Society Archives in Tucson. 

***Please feel free to contact the instructor to discuss possible research topics.

HIST 498 (103/203): "Music and Society"

Prof. Tyina Steptoe (tsteptoe@email.arizona.edu)

Fully Online

Music is one of the oldest forms of human communication. Analyzing music can help us understand some of the most significant social, political, and economic transitions in human history. In this seminar we will explore diverse ways of using music as a source in your historical writing. Whether discussing the ingenuity of musicians like James Reese Europe, or the corridos produced by Mexican American songwriters in the Southwest borderlands, we will make music central to our historical analysis.

HIST 498 topics for Spring 2020 (subject to change):

Recent U.S. Foreign Relations (Gibbs)

World War I (Eaton)

The Middle Ages (Milliman), Fully Online

Histories of Memories (Crane), Honors Section (HIST 496H)

HIST 498 Course Requirements

The prerequisite for this course is a passing grade in HIST 301: Introduction to the Study of History.  HIST 498/HIST 496H is required for graduation with a History major

Goals of the Capstone

The culmination of the history major, HIST 498/HIST 496H allows students to pursue in depth the research interests and skills they have developed in other history classes.  Usually taken in the last year of college, this research seminar for majors teaches students to organize, research and write a substantial paper (at least 20 pages or 6,000 words) or, occasionally, its equivalent in a different form.  This project should base its argument substantially on a critical evaluation of primary sources (in the original languages when possible, or in translation).  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.

Although the research paper is the final product, students will work toward this through a series of structured, graded stages -- research proposal and bibliography, historiographic essay, rough drafts, class presentation and final draft – each of which may involve giving and receiving peer commentary.



College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

Department of History
César E. Chávez Bldg.
Main Office, Room 415 
1110 James E. Rogers Way
Tucson, AZ 85721

Email: history@email.arizona.edu
Tel: (520) 621-1586
Fax: (520) 621-2422