Faculty News

New Courses Offered for 2016-2017 Calendar Year


women in westWomen in the American West
Women in the American West offers a window into western history from what for many students is a brand new perspective. While traditional narratives of the American West have tended to be male-dominated and include women only as peripheral players, this course introduces some of the many ways that women were integral to building the region so intrinsically identified with the American experience. During the course of the semester, students are introduced to the American west from the perspective of Native American, Mexican American, African American, Asian, and European women’s experiences. The course also challenges students to consider less traditional narratives, such as those of transgender and third-gender women or those who became outlaws. Students also work with a variety of primary and secondary source materials to discover the ways that historians write history, and consider why certain narratives take hold instead of others.

Modern Africamodern africa
Modern Africa from 1750 to the Present focuses on conveying to students the diversity of the continent while focusing on Africans’ experiences of slavery, imperialism, nationalism, and globalization. Students analyze a variety of sources including artwork, museum exhibitions, literature, graphic novels, and films. Each student will choose a specific topic relating to globalization that they will research throughout the term and present during the final weeks. These topics include issues relating to public health, human rights, politics, art and culture, and infrastructure. This is an exciting course that will allow students to better understand the struggles and complexity of Africa’s past, feel connected to Africa in the present, and hopefully see their own role in Africa’s global future.

food and cultureFood and Culture
Food and Culture takes a historical view of the development of the American system to understand how we came to eat as we do. The course exposes students to a variety of sources: historical lectures, primary source readings, short films, and guest speakers from the local food community. Each week has a new focus--for example, students learn about the history of meat production and then hear from the owners of a new Stillwater butcher shop, 1907 Meat Co.; they study Native American foodways, and then learn from the founder of a local foraging group, Oklahoma Wildcrafting. As a final project, students research their own questions in the history of food, producing an oral history interview, a historical display, a final paper, and a foodoffering to share with their classmates.

diversity in middle eastMinorities and Diversity in the Middle East
The Middle East has long been a melting pot, or mosaic, of different groups. Large parts of the region have even been ruled by minorities in both the medieval and modern periods. This course explores the history of social diversity in the Middle East from 600 to the present, including ways that ethnic and religious minority groups interacted with rulers, the majority, and each other, whether peacefully or not. The effects of long-term social diversity brings discussion to the contribution of minority groups to the Middle East as we know it today.