Utah State University
Assistant Professor of History
- Survey course, General Education Requirement (Breadth Humanities)
- 120 student enrollment with UTF and GA
- MWC Syllabus Fall 2017 T/Th Class Schedule
- Description: The countries and cultures that make up “the West” share a common heritage, tradition, and certain values. This idea of a shared history and identity is why Western society has been much more willing to proclaim “#JeSuisParis” than “#IamInstanbul” in recent instances of attack. But, what exactly does it mean to be “Western”? What does it mean to be “modern”? What are the common elements that supposedly hold Western Civilization together? These questions will guide this survey course as we examine the development of modernity in “the West,” primarily EUROPE. We will examine the major political, social, economic, religious, and cultural movements that help to define the “modern” era in Western history. To better understand these movements, we will read a variety of primary sources. In addition to traditional primary sources like letters, treatises, or declarations, we will also examine images, material objects, maps, digital diaries, oral histories, and music. Topics covered include: The Enlightenment; The Age of Revolutions; The Industrial Revolution; Nationalism; Liberalism; The Rise of Mass Politics; Imperialism; World War I; World War II; The Cold War; Globalization; and the Clash of Cultures. *Note: Except for Maus, this class will be experimenting with Open Education Resources (OERs) to provide a learning experience that is low-cost, accessible, and contributes to the advancement of open-access platforms in academia. The funding and support for this project is provided through the Merrill-Cazier Library. We will discuss what OERs mean, how their digital presentation can have an effect on learning, and whether or not websites primary sources are hosted on have an impact on bias or credibility.
Distinguished Assistant Professor of Honors Education, Honors Program
- Honors First-Year Experiential Learning Course
- 25-student enrollment with UTF
- Revolution! Syllabus Fall 2017
- Description: From 1763 to 1815, three revolutions rocked the Atlantic world: the American War for Independence; the French Revolution; and the Haitian Revolution. During this period, Enlightenment ideas spread rapidly throughout the Atlantic, inspiring people to revolt against their oppressors. American colonists threw off British rule. The French monarchy crumbled. Black slaves in the world’s wealthiest colony, Saint Domingue (Haiti), emancipated themselves. By 1815, the “Old Regime” of Europe, which had long dominated the political, economic, and social topography of the Western world, was a thing of the past. Experiments with representative government emerged from the violent upheavals of revolution. This Honors First-Year Experience course immerses students in the social, ideological, and political background of the Age of Revolutions through three role-play simulations – one on the American Revolution, one on the French Revolution, and a mini-simulation on the Haitian Revolution. In each simulation, students adopt the identity of a particular revolutionary character. While in character, students conduct research, deliver oral arguments, write articles, and investigate the motivations of revolutionary actors. This format engages students in a unique way. They become active learners, each personally invested in research, debate, and discussion. These are key skills for their future success as honors students.
(Taught Spring Semesters; Last Taught Spring 2017)
Assistant Professor of History
- Upper division history seminar
- 40-student max enrollment
- 1-day per week seminar
- WWW Syllabus Spring 2017
- Julie Hardwick at University of Texas at Austin (my doctoral advisor) came up with this class and she has graciously allowed me to use the name and teach my own version of her course.
- Description: Witches, Workers, and Wives uses the period between 1500 and 1800 in Europe and the Atlantic World to offer students an introduction to the history of women, gender, sexuality, and family as well as familiarity with the major historical processes of the early modern period. In this course, we will analyze the complex social, religious, political, and cultural factors that shaped experiences of gender and families on both sides of the Atlantic. These experiences in turn created attitudes, ideas, and stereotypes about gender, sexuality, and power – including how a witch became a quintessential early modern trope. The early modern centuries were years of tremendous change in many ways: religious reform; state-building; colonial expansion; the rise of capitalism; and revolutionary movements. We will examine how women’s experiences of these historical patterns compared to men’s – whether as workers, wives, mothers, consumers, criminals, political subjects and political actors, peasants and nobles, spouses and parents, and even witches. As an upper division seminar, the course’s learning objectives are focused on developing students’ critical thinking and analytical skills. Reading and analyzing a variety of primary and secondary sources, students will become knowledgeable with gender and feminist theory. Students will further develop their discussion skills with the presentation of weekly discussion questions and in-class debate. In addition, students writing is refined through the creation of weekly reading grids on secondary sources, asking students to assess historians’ arguments and bias. Finally, students’ participation in the Witchcraft group projects requires students to work collaboratively with their peers to analyze a particular witchcraft case from the seventeenth century. As part of this project, students will also build their digital literacy skills through the creation of a class “Spellbinding Digital Timeline” that will chart the progress of witchcraft trials over the course of the seventeenth century in Europe and America.
Assistant Professor of History
- Upper-division history seminar
- 40-student max enrollment
- Description: When the eighteenth century opened in France, Louis XIV – the Sun King – sat on the throne, exerting what has often been described as “absolutist” power. No one at Louis XIV’s opulent Versailles court could have envisioned that at the end of the century Louis XVI and France’s monarchy would be overthrown. This upper division class analyzes how and why this happened. The first quarter of the course will be devoted to exploring the tensions and fissures in Old Regime France before we turn our attention to “the” Revolution and years of the Terror. The course will end at the turn of the nineteenth century, when Napoleon Bonaparte seized power in a coup d’état, returning France to an empire. We will also consider the French Revolution in a wider global context. How did French Revolutionaries gain inspiration from the American Revolution? How did the French Revolution inspire revolution in the Atlantic and South America? Students should have a basic familiarity with early modern European history (gained from something like Western Civ). As an upper-division course, this class is challenging, with daily reading assignments and frequent written and oral exercises.
This course is different from traditional history courses on the French Revolution because students will engage in a role-playing exercise called Reacting to the Past for five weeks. Adopting a particular Revolutionary character, students will conduct research, present debates, write articles, and investigate the motivations and limitations of Revolutionary actors. Because of this unique format, you should be aware that this course is roughly 80% discussion and 20% lecture. Students are put in charge of their own learning, with the professor acting as a guide to discovering primary sources and main revolutionary themes. In other words, this is not a traditional lecture course.
The University of Texas at Austin
Witches, Workers, & Wives: Gender & Family in Early Modern Europe and America (Taught Spring 2016 in Julie Hardwick’s absence)
Lecturer, History Department
Global Early Modern Europe (Taught Fall 2015)
Lecturer, History Department
- Global Early Modern Europe Syllabus
- Description: Historians use the term “early modern” to describe the period in European history between the end of the Middle Ages in the fifteenth century and the Age of Revolutions in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In many ways, the early modern period was a time of transition. States were in the process of solidifying their power; religious reformations were redefining beliefs, cultures, and practices among the people; the exploration of the globe was intensifying, resulting in the creation of empires; and the economy was undergoing a transition to capitalism. At the same time that Europe was undergoing major social, political, and economic transitions, Europe was also expanding westward and eastward, exchanging with new cultures. This survey course will pay special attention to the expansion of Europe to the New World, the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and Southeast Asia, exploring how Europe exchanged goods, people, ideologies, and culture with these societies. Topics covered include: Renaissance(s); the Reformation(s); State-Building; the Scientific Revolution; Global Expansion and Exchange; Impact of Slavery, Smuggling, and Spices on Europe; the Enlightenment; French Revolution.
The United States in the Seventeenth-Century Atlantic World, Spring 2014
Teaching Assistant, History Department
- Description: With global expansion from the spread of warfare, commerce and credit, exploration, New World Colonization, technological innovation, and religious reformation and counter-reformation, the seventeenth century saw the spread of knowledge and experience of the world through human interaction in the form of conflict, economic exchange, and cultural creativity. Extensions of human geography and puzzling encounters with strange people, gods, material culture, and flora and fauna in exotic places, also formed the basis of a remarkable convergence of science, art and culture between east and west during this period.
- As a Co-Instructor, I developed weekly primary and secondary source readings for this 80-student course, giving lectures and leading in-class assignments and discussions. I encouraged students to think critically about their readings’ sources, getting them to discuss the reliability of source material and consider author bias. By the end of the class, students had a firm grasp on the differences between primary and secondary sources; how historians engage primary sources; and the limitations of using both primary and secondary sources.
- List of Readings:
- Daniel Richter, Facing East from Indian Country
- Bartolome de las Casas, “An Account, Much Abbreviated of the Destruction of the Indies”
- James F. Brooks, Captives and Cousins
- David Cressy, Coming Over
- Trevor Burnard, Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire
- April Lee Hatfield, Atlantic Virginia
- John Demos, Unredeemed Captive
- James H Swee, Domingos Alvares: African Healing and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World
- Allan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade
Best Practices & Innovative Pedagogy: Supplemental Instructor Weekly Meetings, 2013-2014
Supplemental Instruction Supervisor, The Sanger Learning Center
- Description: As a Supplemental Instruction Supervisor, I developed and taught a year-long course in the best practices and contemporary innovations in pedagogy to History and American Studies Supplemental Instructors (Graduate Students). In addition to examining the fundamentals of “good” teaching such as adapting lesson plans to different learning styles; effective communication in the classroom; and teaching the writing process, the course also considered new methods in pedagogy. For example, we discussed the benefits and disadvantages to flipping humanities classrooms; SIs experimented with social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) as teaching tools; and developed lesson plans to build students’ digital literacy. At the same time that SIs built their knowledge of pedagogy, they put this knowledge through practice in their own weekly discussion classes. Four times per semester SIs were observed by their supervisor and by their peers, receiving critical feedback to grow as an educator. See my Resources page for handouts and presentations developed in this course.
Early Modern Colonialisms, Spring 2012
Supplemental Instructor, History Department
- Description: This 80-student course examined the role of colonialism in the history of the West. Starting in the ancient period, this course compared and contrasted a number of different colonial systems (colonialisms) until the nineteenth century. Colonialisms considered include: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, the Crusades, and European empires, including the English, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and French.
- In Supplemental Instruction sessions, I worked to combine course content with much needed study skills. Since students were assigned a term paper as their major assignment in this course, I devoted SI sessions to the writing process. Each session focused on a particular step of the writing process, such as brainstorming, thesis statements, quotations, or paragraphing, to help students develop their writing and analytical skills. Furthermore, SI helped students develop critical reading and analytical skills through the discussion of primary source documents from ancient Greeks, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Magellan. Students completed the course with strong written and oral communication skills.
Western Civilizations in Medieval Times, Fall 2011
Supplemental Instructor, The Thomas Jefferson Center for Core Texts & Ideas
- Description: This course introduced 80 students to the history and culture of the West from roughly 400-1500 CE. Though a broad survey course, this course considered how the Middle Ages laid the blueprint for the modern world, examining the fall of Rome, the rise of medieval Christendom, the ferocity of the Byzantine Empire, and the rise of the Renaissance in the West.
- As a Supplemental Instructor, I designed weekly sessions that combined course content with much needed study skills. Since students were assigned a term paper as their major assignment in this course, much of SI was devoted to the writing process. Each session focused on a particular step of the writing process, such as brainstorming, thesis statements, quotations, or paragraphing, to help students develop their writing and analytical skills. Furthermore, SI helped students develop critical reading and analytical skills through the discussion of primary source documents including The Two Lives of Charlemagne and The Song of Roland. Students completed the course with strong written and oral communication skills.
Introduction to Graduate Studies in History, 2011-2012
Graduate Mentor, Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate School Internship
- Description: I developed and taught a course about graduate studies in History to two advanced undergraduate History majors. These courses were meant to introduce students to the “profession” of History. In addition to taking students to graduate level seminars, a graduate student reading group and academic conferences, we examined the ways in which History was different at the undergrad versus graduate level. I carefully introduced both students to historiography, asking them to read Randolph Starn’s “The Early Modern Muddle.” While discussing this week, we questioned the utility of historical labels like “early modern” and “modern.” Though these undergraduate students had been exposed to some historiography, this course allowed them to peel back the layers of history and see what is involved in the craft. Each course was designed with students’ strengths and weaknesses in mind, perfecting skills like writing, research, and methodology.
The Foundations of Modern Western Civilization, 1750-1990
- The Foundations of Modern Western Civ Syllabus
- Description: What does it mean to be “Western”? What does it mean to be “modern”? These two questions will guide this survey course as we examine the development of modernity in “the West.” Starting with the Enlightenment in the late eighteenth century and ending with the rise of globalization in the 1990s, this class probes what makes a specific time, region, or idea both modern and Western in meaning. Keeping an eye on the role of the “West” in the wider world, we will pay particular attention to the impact that Europe had on the wider modern world and the impact that the larger world had on Europe. We will examine the major political, social, economic, religious, and cultural movements that help to defined the “modern” era in Western history. To better understand these movements, we will read a variety of primary sources. In addition to traditional primary sources like letters, treatises, or declarations, we will also examine images, material objects, maps, digital diaries, oral history, and music. Topics covered include: The Enlightenment; The Age of Revolution; The Industrial Revolution; Nationalism; Liberalism; Rise of Mass Politics; Imperialism; World War I; World War II; the Cold War; Decolonization; and Globalization.
- Food Timeline Group Project (Digital History Assignment):
- In small groups, students will create a digital, interactive, and collaborative timeline of food throughout the Western world from roughly 1750 to 1990. Groups are responsible for 5 entries (each at 5%) to the digital assignment over the course of the semester. These entries will be ~150 – 200 words in length and must include a visual(s). Entries on the timeline can be food items (like turnips, steak, spam, etc.), recipes, utensils, rations, agricultural innovations, or products. By examining what people ate at different points in time, we can tell both what food was “in style” and also a lot about the economic conditions, social mores, political conflicts, religious issues, and nutrition. As the course progresses, we will examine the food timeline in class together to consider continuities in food as well as historical change, asking why certain foods stayed the same and why some changed. The timeline can be accessed by clicking here.
The Atlantic World: Society, Culture, & Economics, 1492-1804
- Atlantic World Sample Syllabus
- Description: In 1492, Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue; or so goes the rhyme well known to every American schoolchild. That famed voyage initiated events and processes that radically transformed the society, culture, economics, and politics of the early modern world, laying the blueprint for the world we live in today. Looking at the histories of four continents- Europe, Africa, North America, and South America- this lecture and light discussion-based seminar explores the development of an “Atlantic World” from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries through the experiences and exchanges of those who inhabited it- Europeans, indigenous people, and slaves. Following an emerging trend in Atlantic historiography, this course challenges the assumption that the Atlantic Ocean served strictly as a barrier to human interaction and exchange. Instead, we will consider the argument that the Atlantic Ocean served as a conduit of exchange between the Old World and the New, facilitating the distribution of commodities, culture, and society across the Ocean in the Spanish, British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese empires. We will examine the social, cultural, and economic results of exchange in the Atlantic including the migrations of people (both voluntary and forced), labor and exchange systems, the rise of new commodities, changes in family life, and the revolutionary movements of the eighteenth century.
Families in Flux: Family, Childhood, & Gender in Early Modern Europe & The Atlantic
- Families in Flux Sample Syllabus
- Description: In the early modern world, “the family” was at the center of politics, economics, society, and culture. Although we often presume that in older eras the stereotypical father-mother-children triad flourished, “family” held a more complex and flexible definition in the early modern era. Instead, an early modern family was comprised of both related individuals and non-related household members, such as domestic servants, apprentices, and even slaves, who lived under the same roof and were subject to the authority of the same patriarch. Using “family” and “childhood” as analytic categories, we will examine primary and secondary sources that describe family formation, sex and reproduction, education and childrearing, family work, and families in revolution from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries and Europe and the Atlantic World. In addition to thinking about the family unit as a whole, in each of our units we will also explore the roles and experiences of individual family members, notably children and women.
Western Civilization to 1600
- Description: Western Civ in Medieval Times surveys the major developments in European history from antiquity through the Reformation (roughly 1600 C.E.). Topics covered include: ancient Rome, the medieval world, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, and the Reformation. Attention will be paid to the political, religious, philosophical, economic, artistic, and social developments of these periods. Historical change as well as continuities across time periods will be considered. Class will be a combination of lecture and discussion. Students will read and analyze both primary and secondary sources. Considerable time is spent developing students’ writing and analytical skills. No prerequisites are required.