In addition to meeting the degree requirements of their respective departments, Contemporary History Institute students take four core courses in contemporary history. Three of these courses are seminars offered consecutively during the fall, winter, and spring quarters of the Ohio University academic year. The fourth course is an individual tutorial, internship, or elective. By catalog number, the four core courses are:
Introduction to Contemporary History
This seminar investigates the nature of contemporary history, major philosophical and conceptual approaches, interpretive trends and methodologies, and opportunities for interdisciplinary analysis. Recent texts have included: Peter Lambert and Phillipp Schofield, Making History: An Introduction to the History and Practices of a Discipline; Joan Wallach Scott, Gender and the Politics of History; E. J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire; Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The ‘Objectivity Question’ and the American Historical Profession.
Themes in Contemporary History
The CH 602 seminar examines major forces that have shaped the contemporary world: nationalism, revolution, democratization, globalization, ethnic and racial conflict, etc. Recent texts have included Gregory Summers, Consuming Nature: Environmentalism in the Fox River Valley, 1850-1950; Adam Rome, The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism; Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism; Peter Burke, History and Social Theory; Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order; and Mark Harvey, A Symbol of Wilderness: Echo Park and the American Conservation Movement.
Issues in Contemporary History
The CH 603 seminar focuses on contemporary issues with policy implications. Students apply the conceptual and methodological approaches encountered in CH 601 and 602 to selected problems facing current decision-makers. Recent texts have included: : John Lewis Gaddis, The Landscape of History; Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich (editors), The Past as Prologue; Donald Kagan, Thucydides: The Reinvention of History; Jon Tetsuro Sumida, Inventing Grand Strategy and Teaching Command; John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics; Peter Rodman, Presidential Command; Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision; David Omand, Securing the State; David Kilcullen, Counterinsurgency; Harold James, The Creation and Destruction of Value.
Special Project in Contemporary History
This course provides an opportunity for individualized study in the field in which the student’s thesis or dissertation is to be written. It usually takes the form of a one-to-one tutorial with an expert outside Ohio University, but internships and even enrollment in courses at other universities can be used to meet this requirement. In the past, the Institute has been able to cover transportation and living expenses for students doing tutorials. Tutors have included: Umberto Eco, Paul Fussell, Melvyn Leffler, Robert McMahon, John Mearsheimer, Robert Pastor, and Michael Walzer.