HIST 615: Problems in American History

HIST 615-DL6: Creating Usable Pasts
(Fall 2020)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM R


Section Information for Fall 2020

This class explores the role of historical memory in shaping our understanding of the past by examining the history of museums in the United States, the role of movies in shaping public conceptions of American history, and the influence of celebrations, commemorations, and monuments in creating usable pasts. We will start by examining the role of museums and public performances, such as pageants and parades, in American society and try to come to a better understanding of how places of public celebration and ceremony influence the telling of America’s past. We will focus especially on the forty-year span between the 1880s and the 1920s when many of the United States' best known museums and monuments were created.  Students in the class will take trips to local museums, meet with museum professionals, and explore parts of Washington for sites of adaptive reuse.  In the end, we will examine the role of museums in shaping our understanding of an increasingly diverse American population.


HIST 615 DL6 is a distance education section taught synchronously. Students should expect to meet on the day and time scheduled.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 1-6

Readings and discussion of bibliographies, interpretations, and research trends in topics selected by instructor. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Specialized Designation: Green Leaf Related Course
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Graduate 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.