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Welcome to the new CHA Syllabi Central

This portal will showcase the different methods used by members to teach History. We hope this resource will be of value to graduate students, new instructors, and established teachers who want to shake up their approaches in the classroom. We invite you to submit syllabi from all levels of classroom instruction, representing any geographical region or historical period, and written in either official language. All submissions should have a description of the course that will be searchable and can be up to 250 words in length.  We trust that members will use these shared resources responsibly.


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Digital History, Skills and Tools for History in Canada
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Digital History
Posted: November 4, 2016

What happens when the study of the past is presented in the digital realm? How does research and writing in a time when millions of significant primary and secondary source texts, photographs, videos, audio sources, artifacts, maps and much more have been made available via academic and public realms? Students will be introduced to a range of works on evaluating, interpreting and creating history using digital tools. Beyond course readings we will also critically engage a range of digital tools and resources as students will also learn how to construct, post, maintain and implement new media in their course work. This course will explore the current and potential impact of the use of digital media on historical analysis, practice, research and presentation.

This course will be taught with a blended learning model, including some flipped classes where students will watch relevant tutorials and lectures related to key concepts and then trouble shoot and collaborate in-class and using Adobe Connect.


A History of Women in Canada
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: A Survey of Women's History
Posted: November 4, 2016

This course will survey the history of girls and women in Canada from both a chronological and a thematic perspective. There will lectures along with interactive learning activities and discussions based on assigned readings. There will also be a focus on primary documents. Students will consider a specific identity, career or life cycle phase and explore change over time. Students will be encouraged to engage in social media tools for their projects and use technology to facilitate learning and enhance their research processes.


The Making of Canada
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Survey of Canadian History
Posted: November 4, 2016

This survey course covered the major political, social, cultural, and military themes in Canadian history from the time before contact to the present. This course combined traditional lectures with workshops to learn about a diversity of approaches to studying Canadian history. Students examined specific events, people and learn to identify, critically evaluate and interpret a diversity of primary sources.

Students were introduced to digital tools like Zotero to help them manage their research and digitally born material relevant to course material like primary sources from Canadiana.org, digital newspapers, House of Commons Debates, the Dictionary of Canadian Biography and online news sources.

Students also selected a novel related to Canadian history and evaluated the effectiveness of learning history from fiction.


History and Theory
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Historical Research Methods
Posted: November 4, 2016

This course will examine the history of history within a global context. It will also include an analysis and study of specific theoretical frameworks used in historical interpretations and how the practice of history has changed over time. We will focus on the origins and development of historical narratives, practices, methods and ideas, and question the use and consequences of history in a variety of contemporary contexts.

Students will be tasked with understand what is history and how this idea, while common to all societies, has been studied and transmitted differently. How have and how do historians undertake historical inquiry? Other questions that will we consider includes: What role does history play in daily life? Communities? Nations? What is the use of history? What is the relationship between history and theory? What distinguishes history from other disciplines? We will use contemporary media sites, blogs, and other resources frequently.

As students of history and members of the university community, we should question and reflect critically on the diverse uses of history in contemporary society. Students should also begin to think about your own epistemological position – how do we know what we know about the past? How important is what is not known?


American History: Revolution to Reconstruction, 1776 to 1877
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: American History
Posted: November 4, 2016

This course was a general survey of U.S. history from the American Revolution (War of Independence) to the Civil War and if time permits, a consideration of the Reconstruction era. Lectures and readings provided students with an overview of the major social, political, cultural, economic, and demographic trends that affected and challenged the American republic between 1776 and the 1870s. Students considered how history was constructed and specific historical events have been commemorated and depicted over-time.
Students used the Valley of the Shadow website to complete their final research project by doing history. Students were also introduced to digital tools to further enhance their analysis of the past.


Material History and Material Culture in Canada
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: Material History
Posted: November 4, 2016

This course explored Canada’s history using material history methods and material culture research. Using inter-disciplinary approaches including, but not limited to archaeology, art history, Indigenous studies and museum studies, students examined and contextualized artifacts and objects to learn about Canada’s past. The course followed a thematic approach that included a consideration of pre-Contact material cultures, New France, British North America to the twentieth-century. Students were introduced to digital tools to display artifacts and to systematically analyze sources and objects relevant to Canada’s material past. Students will have opportunities to visit and become familiar with collections from institutions like the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, the Museum of Science and Technology and the Library and Archives Canada. Students went on a walking tour and visit to Laurier House on Laurier Street. Students evaluated, interpreted and created history through their course work throughout the session.

This course may be taught with a blended learning model. A survey of student access to the Internet and devices for learning will be undertaken during the first week to determine how to approach this element of the source. We may have some flipped classes where students will watch relevant tutorials and lectures related to key concepts and then trouble shoot and collaborate in-class and using Adobe Connect.


Legacies of Indigenous Education in North America
Author: J.M. McCutcheon
Course Subject: History
Posted: November 4, 2016

This course examined the complex history of Indigenous education during the colonial era, through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the American context, how Native American children experienced boarding schools and federal education policies will be compared with the diversity of approaches missionaries, Church officials, bureaucrats sought to erase Indigenous identities and culture using Christianity to ‘civilize’ and educate. Students will study the history and legacies of schools, federal policies, inter-generational trauma to consider the processes of decolonization, reconciliation and healing in contemporary society.


Modern Germany, Part 2 1945 to the Present
Author: Lisa Todd
Course Subject: German History/European History
Posted: May 11, 2016

This upper-year lecture course examines German History from the end of World War II to the present. Beginning with the Allied occupation of Germany in 1945, we will study the formation of two separate states: the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Using the tools of social, cultural, political, and gender history, we will then consider everyday life under communism and democracy, relations between the two Germanies, and the role of these states in the Cold War. We will analyze the rise of left-wing terrorism, consider the role of the “68ers”, discuss the role of atonement for the crimes of the Holocaust, and compare the lives of workers in the two states. We will then trace the events leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and think about the many challenges Germans continue to face following (re-) unification.

We will read primary documents and view documentaries and popular films (such as The Lives of Others and Good-bye Lenin) to further consider the interconnections between popular culture, memory, and political systems. Students will complete regular written assignments using primary documents from the on-line website German History in Documents and Images, a research essay, a midterm test, and a final exam.


Modern Germany, Part 1 1871-1945
Author: Lisa Todd
Course Subject: German History/European History
Posted: May 11, 2016


Beginning with the 1871 Unification of Germany, and ending with the Third Reich’s defeat in the Second World War, this upper-year lecture course uses myriad themes to make sense of the tumultuous 20th century, including: violence, cultural innovation, diplomacy, gender relations, everyday life under democracy and dictatorship, memory and commemoration, war and genocide, and the changing place of Germany within Europe. We will discuss the fractures and divisions within Imperial German society, the home and fighting fronts of the First World War, the short-lived, but influential, Weimar Republic, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Volksgemeinschaft of the Third Reich, and the Nazi’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem” in Occupied Europe.

The course will consist of lectures, class discussions, and films. Students will complete regular written assignments using primary documents from the on-line website German History in Documents and Images and the graphic novel Maus, a research essay, a midterm test, and a final exam.


The Holocaust: Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders
Author: Lisa Todd
Course Subject: European History/History of Genocide
Posted: May 11, 2016

This upper-level lecture course examines the Nazi German attempt to create a “racially pure” society between 1933 and 1945. We will begin by looking at the long history of prejudice, anti-Semitism and racism in European society, before focusing on the rise of the Nazi party in Germany. We will consider how society increasingly became polarized between those Germans who fit the racial, social and gendered mold of the perfect “Aryan” and those Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, Afro-Germans, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and physically and mentally disabled peoples who did not. We will then examine how the Nazi genocide unfolded across Europe, and consider the motivations of the perpetrators, the responses of victims, and the potential compliance of the bystanders. We will end the course with an examination of war crime trials, discuss the politics of Holocaust commemoration, and consider the shifting definition of genocide after 1945.

Throughout the course, students will make regular use of the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). Course requirements consist of regular primary document responses, participation in class discussions, a midterm test, a final exam, and a research essay.

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