Welcome to HIST 584

(The Early South, 1500-1800, a graduate research seminar.)

HIST 584 The Early South, 1500-1800
Prof. R. Goetz
HUMA 334
rgoetz@rice.edu
Ext. 2886
Office hour T 1-2.

In this research seminar, each student will complete an article-length essay (30-35 pages, including notes) based on original research, on a topic relating to some aspect of the early American South between 1500 and 1800. STUDENTS SHOULD COME WITH A TOPIC IN MIND THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS. (This topic may later change.) The paper should be appropriate for submission to a professional historical journal.

Our initial meetings will discuss some background literature and larger questions about the historiography of the early South—where was the South? Was the South distinctive prior to the American Revolution? If so, what made it distinctive from other North American geographic regions? Later sessions will focus on framing appropriate research topics, then on the research and writing of these topics. Students will later write a prospectus that will include a statement of a TOPIC, the PROBLEM the paper will solve or the QUESTION it will answer, a list of accessible PRIMARY SOURCES, a statement of the paper’s methodology, and a statement of the HISTORIOGRAPHICAL SIGNIFICANCE of the work. The prospectus is due in the sixth week of the class, after which the seminar will focus on shared discussions of independent research. Students will be responsible for oral and written critiques of one another’s work throughout the semester. Individual appointments with me will be scheduled throughout the semester. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to discussion of rough drafts and to revision.

No late written work will be accepted. Failure to turn in any written work on the due date will result in a ZERO. In the event of illness or personal emergency, please contact me. Computer and printer problems are not suitable excuses.

Your performance in the seminar will be evaluated on the basis of your paper (60%, with 10% for the prospectus), your other written work, including critiques (20%), and your overall participation in class (20%). All required books are available on reserve.

Monday 7 January: Introduction.
• The Early South—when and where?
• What are you interested in? Come with a topic!
• Library trip—source identification.

Monday 14 January: Topics and Problems in the History of the Early South.
• Discussion of the special issue of the Journal of Southern History, “Redefining and Reassessing the Colonial South” vol. 73, no. 3 (August 2007), 523-670.
• Complete a 2-3 page critique of one of the essays (your choice) but you must read them all.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 37-74.

Monday 21 January: no class, MLK, Jr. Day.

Tuesday 22 January: Writing a Publishable Paper.
• Susan Scott Parish, “The Female Opossum and the Nature of the New World,” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 54, no. 3 (July 1997), 475-514. (JSTOR)
• Margot Minardi, “The Boston Inoculation Controversy of 1721-1722: An Incident in the History of Race,” William and Mary Quarterly vol. 61, no. 1 (January 2004), 47-76.
• Turn in a list of three possible topics, with an explanation and possible source base.
Each student should meet with me by the end of the week to discuss his research topic.

Monday 28 January: Sources, sources, sources.
• Prepare a 3-5 page report on the body/bodies of primary sources you will be using for your paper. Identify where they are, what they are, and how you will be using them. Give your report to your partner by 5pm Sunday evening, and be sure to email all of them to me.
• E.H. Carr, What is History? 3-35 (handout).

Monday 4 February: Arguments, arguments, arguments.
• Bring a thesis paragraph with you—what is your argument?
• How to write a proposal.
• E.H. Carr, What is History? 113-143.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 109-182.

Monday 11 February: discussion of formal proposals.
• Oral presentations on proposals 8-10 minutes each.
• Give your proposal to your partner by 5pm Sunday evening, and be sure to email them to me.
• Prepare a 1-2 page critique of your partner’s proposal.

Monday 18 February: no class, meet with me.
• Revised proposals are due to me by Friday 22 February, 12 p.m.

Monday 25 February: From notes to thesis statements—think big, think small.
• Bring your revised thesis paragraph to class with you—make sure you have considered the significance of your argument!
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 183-207.
• Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher (6th edition), 101-148.

Monday 3 March: No class, midterm break.

Monday 10 March: Outlines, outlines, outlines.
• Circulate your detailed outlines to your partner and to the class by 5pm Sunday evening. Be sure to email them to me!
• Bring to class a 1-page critique of your partner’s outline.

Monday 17 March: Research Problems and Primary Sources.
• Bring to class one research problem you are having difficulty solving.
• Turn in to me an informal exploration of one of your key primary sources to me (2-3 pages).
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 208-240.

Monday 24 March: No class, meet with me.

Monday 31 March: No class, meetings with me are optional.

Wednesday 2 April: ROUGH DRAFTS ARE DUE IN HARD COPY TO MY OFFICE BY 12 NOON. PICK UP COPIES OF EVERYONE’S DRAFT BY 5pm.

Monday 7 April: Rough draft presentations (this will be a long session, probably from 2-7, with a pizza break)
• Read and prepare to comment on each student’s draft.
• Prepare a 1-2 page critique for your partner.

Monday 14 April: No class, individual meetings with me.

Monday 21 April: The Fine Art of Revising.
• Booth et al., The Craft of Research, 263-282.
• Barzun and Graff, The Modern Researcher, 6th Edition, 193-234, 257-274.
• The Chicago Manual of Style Common Errors handout.

Monday 5 May: FINAL PAPERS DUE TO MY OFFICE IN HARD COPY BY 5 PM.

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