KC Johnson

Hist 84900: Seminar in American History II (Spring 2014)

Office: 5404

Office hours: Wednesday: 6.15-7.15 (or by appt.)

Phone: 207-329-8456

email: kcjohnson9@gmail.com

Wednesdays at 4.15pm


This class is designed to enable you to complete the seminar paper you began in the fall. By the end of the semester, you should know how to: 1) conduct and analyze primary and secondary sources; 2) construct a coherent historical argument rooted in original research; 3) cite sources correctly in footnotes and their bibliography; 4) criticize and revise your own work and that of others; 5) weigh different kinds of evidence; and 6) produce a potentially publishable paper. The class will conclude with a 20-minute presentation of your paper, which will be followed by commentary and questions from your peers. (This is meant to replicate what it is like to present one’s work at an academic conference.)


While we will not meet as a group each week, I will expect to be in touch with you on a regular basis; research logs (to be sent each Sunday night) are due each week, outlining the progress you made in the previous seven days. If it seems necessary to meet as a group more often than the schedule below indicates, I will set up a meeting (or meetings) at our regular Wednesday time. Currently, dates with an asterisk are those we will meet as a group.


*January 29        Discussion of each project: What is the central question of the paper, why is it                   significant, and how do you intend to answer it? (10 minutes each)


*February 5        Primary material. Each student will share a key primary source with the class and explain its significance in the context of the paper (10 minutes each). 2-page precis due                            


February 12        GC closed


February 19        Research Day


February 26        Research Day

Bibliography due via e-mail, 26 Feb. (should include primary and secondary material).


*March 5             Historiography: consideration of how your work fits into the literature (or how it does not).

Each student will share a journal article or comparable secondary source with the class and explain its significance in the context of the paper (10 minutes each).

March 12             Research Day


*March 19           Introductions (approx. 5 pages) and detailed outline due by 15 March.

Peer critique in class.


Mar. 26                 Research Day


Apr. 2                    Research Day


Apr. 9                    Research Day


April 23                 Research Day

Note: If you would like to submit a draft of your paper (it’s optional) to me, you should do so by April 23.

*April 30              Presentations (last names T-W): 20 minutes each


*May 7                 Presentations (last names K-O): 20 minutes each


*May 14               Presentations (last names A-B): 20 minutes each


May 21 ** Papers due by 5.00pm **

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