Wednesday, November 4, 2009

have spring class

Its apparently become pretty difficult to sign up for the classes that you want at George Mason, at least for the history students. A lot of my classmates were concerned about getting the classes they wanted. I had a lot of problems getting into the three I have this semester, but I was only a little worried. Registration started at 3pm on November 3rd and I knew I'd be home and ready to sign up for the classes I wanted at the exact time! As predicted each class filled really quickly, at least one of them managed to fill in less than 15 minutes! But, I successfully signed up for all three classes that I chose for the spring!

If anyone is interested, these are the classes I've registered for (and am excited to take!):

HIST 615/001: Storm-Cradled Nation: The Confederate Experience 1860-1865
Even before the Civil War’s last shot was fired in the spring of 1865 the history of the Southern Confederacy was already being shrouded in myth and legend. In the following decades ‘Lost Cause’ advocates blended fact with fiction to romanticize Confederate history leaving it to modern scholars to ask hard questions as to why mid-nineteenth century southern leaders believed that creating a slave holding republic was not only viable, but desirable. This seminar takes a critical approach in examining how national political disputes morphed into a ‘conservative revolution’ that was intended to protect southern society, but instead unleashed America’s bloodiest war resulting in the ruin of the Old South. The course will examine the rise of southern nationalism and views on slavery, critique southern military and political leaders, review the Confederacy’s war effort and home front problems, and explore southern Unionism and dissent. Arguments that the South ‘lost the war but won the peace’ will also be addressed to explain how growing post-war legends warped the historical record and tinted public perceptions about the Confederacy for over a century after Appomattox.

HIST 615/004: Problems in US History: Politics & Entertainment in the 20th Century
In this course we will explore ways in which the worlds of American politics and entertainment have impacted each other throughout the twentieth century in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of both. Specific areas we may examine include the influence Hollywood has had on the political process and conversely, ways that politics have affected the motion picture industry; the role of actresses and female variety entertainers in creating a modern feminist identity during the first decades of the century; the rise of politically-oriented popular theater during the Great Depression; the adoption of jazz and American dance for cultural diplomacy purposes during the Cold War; the mainstreaming of political satire and the folksong revival during the Kennedy era; how rock music of the Vietnam War era attempted to affect social change; and recent blurring of the lines between the two worlds as television became a dominant force in political campaigns, advertising techniques infused the creation of political images, and entertainers ran for high public office.

HIST 690/001: Administration of Archives
This course is an introduction to the principles and practices in the administration of archival and manuscript repositories and an orientation to the place of archives in society. This course is designed for students considering employment as archivists or manuscript curators, as well as for those who desire a broader understanding of the role archives play in shaping a collective memory of the past. Emphasis will be placed on examining core archival functions – selection, preservation, and access – in conjunction with professional ethics of stewardship and use of primary source material. The course will also explore issues of archival advocacy, public outreach, program development, and the challenges and opportunities of new technology

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