HIST 499: RS: Senior Seminar in History

HIST 499-002: Trials in Early American History
(Spring 2024)

01:30 PM to 04:10 PM M

Horizon Hall 4000

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Section Information for Spring 2024

This course is the capstone of the History major. Students are required to produce a substantial research paper (approx. 20-22 pages) based on their reading and analysis of primary documents and secondary sources in early American history. Topics should be related to a trial (or series of trials) that occurred in the British North American colonies or the United States during the period between 1607 (founding of Jamestown) and 1861 (beginning of the Civil War). Trials can be famous or obscure; local, state, or federal in nature; and draw on archival, print, or online sources. Possible examples include: the Salem Witchcraft trials; the trial of John Peter Zenger in NY for press freedom; the Boston Massacre trials; the trial of Major Andre (British) by Americans; freedom lawsuits by enslaved people in Washington, DC in the 1790s and early 1800s; the trial of Aaron Burr for treason; trials of enslaved people resulting from Gabriel’s Rebellion in Virginia in 1800; the trial of the murderers of abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy; trial of Dred Scott v. Sandford; trial of John Brown.

After reading a few short texts in common, students, with the assistance of the instructor, will focus their attention on various stages of the research and writing process. Students are encouraged to contact the instructor (rzagarri@gmu.edu) prior to the first class to discuss possible research topics. 

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Research on specialized historical topic culminating in seminar paper and oral presentation. Synthesis course; students expected to integrate knowledge and skills acquired in Mason Core courses. Notes: Subject determined by instructor. Student may present no more than 3 credits for graduation credit. Must receive passing grade to graduate with BA in history. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Synthesis
Specialized Designation: Research/Scholarship Intensive, Topic Varies, Writing Intensive in Major
Recommended Prerequisite: History majors with 90 credits
Registration Restrictions:

Required Prerequisites: (HIST 300C or 300XS) and (ENGH 302C, ENGL 302C, ENGH 302XS, HNRS 110C, 110XS, 210C, 302C or 302XS).
C Requires minimum grade of C.
XS Requires minimum grade of XS.

Enrollment is limited to students with a major in History.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.