History739Topics in Near Eastern andWorld History
Dr. John [email protected]://faculty.unlv.edu/curryj5Room B-326 (History Conference Room)Class meets:4:00-7:30pmOfficeHours:Tuesday2:30-4:00pm
Purposes of the seminar course differ from that of colloquium
Seminars focus less on a defined reading list, and more on researching and writing processCan serve as a more in-depth continuation of work done in earlier course, or an opportunity to strike out anew into new areasResearch: show ability to tap into new sources and new areas to construct your studyWriting process: work on constructing a solid, well-constructed vehicle for your argument
Focusing on the writing process: some helpful works
For citation: make sure you follow Chicago-style guidelines in KateTurabian’swork (syllabus)Despite dated elements,skimming through the various points embodied in WilliamStrunkand E.B. White’sThe Elements of Stylecan be very helpful in avoiding classic structural errorsWilliam Zinsser’sOn Writing Welloffers an informal series of observations on writing good non-fiction which can be helpful
Lessmodestgoals forthe Fall Semestersession
Beginwith John Darwin’sAfter Tamerlane; a study of global history since 1400 that you should begin as soon as possibleShifting from global to regional: a new work by GiancarloCasaleon theOttoman Age of Exploration—how to make regional global?Conclude with RichardBulliet’snew workCotton, Climate and Camels; how do local structures have potentially global impact?
The longer haul: seminars are much more about individuals
Library research day (September 9): prepare list of specific questions for Priscilla FinleyThe writing circle process—how to make your writing better and more accessible to diverse audiences, and how it can be used (October)Staying in touch: November is the loneliest month of any seminarFinal presentations, both written and oral: making your work “ready for market”
More on the individualprojectsgrowingout of the course
Colloquiums are aimed at masteringabody of scholarly literature, with the emphasis on fuller reading, structure of individual worksSeminars have a different strategy—must dip into far more materials, but perhaps less fully than in the case of colloquiumsPotential dangers: one must not lose critical edge when reading more widely!Some examples; and on dividing bibliographies into primary, secondary and tertiary works
The Fall Semester cadre:(no need for) introductions
Status report: How, if at all, has your thoughts about what to do this semester changed having been given time to reflect on it for a few weeks?
Hitting the ground running: issues of immediate concern
First order of business:fornext week(Sept. 2),preparea draft proposal statement that seeks to convince an outside force of the importance of your seminar project—why is this important?Questions on library resources to be e-mailed to Priscilla Finley ([email protected]) by September 7 at 5:00pm; follow up Sept. 9Discussionof JohnDarwin on Sept. 16 (since this is the longest work, you should start early!)Conclude withCasaleandBulliet, Sept.23 & 30