Dr. Quintard Taylor, Jr.
Scott and Dorothy Bullitt
Professor of American History
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History 552-553:
Graduate Seminar in African American History

Download Course Syllabus (word document)

Winter/Spring 2005
Office Hours: Monday 2:30-3:30

This two-quarter research seminar is designed has a broad subject area: African American History in the United States. The object of the course is to facilitate the writing of article-length research papers on topics of individual interest. These papers can focus on aspects of ongoing original research and can serve as chapters in a dissertation or larger study. Although it is not a requirement, I hope the papers will be of publishable quality.

There are three limitations. First the papers should focus on some topic of African American history. Secondly they should be based on primary source research. Thirdly the work should be original. The recrafting or resubmitting of papers from previous courses or projects is unacceptable. Papers on African American history in the West, including the Pacific Northwest, can be considered, with the author’s permission, for the York-Mason Prize, an annual award of $1,000 for the best original research in this regional field.

We will meet periodically during the Winter and Spring terms primarily to discuss research techniques and writing strategies. Some preliminary assignments will be due during the Winter term. Rough drafts and the completed paper will be due Winter quarter. No grade will be assigned until the end of Spring term. It will retroactively apply to Winter term.

It is assumed that you already had a thorough understanding of African American history when you enrolled in the course. However for background reading I suggest you consult the syllabi, bibliographies and website resources for HSTAA 313, 322, 540 and 540A all of which are found on my website.


Winter Term

Week 1: First Class, Introductions General discussion of course expectations regarding the research paper.

Week 3: Preliminary prospectus due. This should be a brief discussion of the proposed topic and the key issues that you intend to explore. Bring copies for the entire class.

Week 6: Preliminary bibliography due. This should include major primary sources and an extensive list of secondary sources.

Week 8: General Meeting to discuss paper progress and possible problems. Instructor and students will help craft possible solutions and strategies

Week 10: Individual appointments to discuss paper progress.

Spring Term

Week 2: General Meeting. Update on paper progress.

Week 5: Rough Drafts of paper circulated among classmates. Papers can be exchanged via email.

Week 6: General Class Meeting, comments and suggestions from students on classmates papers

Week 9: Final Drafts completed and circulated.

Week 10: Completed papers submitted to instructor