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William Hart

Professor of History

 work(802) 443-5867
 Spring 2020 - in Hesselgrave 121: Tues/Wed 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or by appointment
 Hesselgrave House 221

William Hart, an Associate Professor of History at Middlebury College, has taught at Middlebury College since 1993.  He earned his Ph.D. at Brown University.  He has published a number of essays on the intersection of race, religion, and identity in 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century Indian country.  He has held a number of fellowships, including a Ford Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Minorities, a Fellowship at the Center for the Study of Religion (Princeton), a Gilder-Lehrman Fellowship (New-York Historical Society), and a Thurgood Marshall Fellowship (Dartmouth College). Hart has also appeared on-camera or has served as adviser on several documentaries, including "Black Indians: An American Story," HGTV's "Homes of the Underground Railroad," and PBS's "The War that Made America."




Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FYSE 1246 - Race/Difference in 20th-C Amer      

Race & Difference in Twentieth-Century America
In this seminar we will investigate "race" as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon in the United States across the 20th century. By examining a variety of primary source material, including novels, autobiographies, and essays (e.g., Nell Larson’s Passing, 1929; Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets, 1967; Ruth Frankenberg’s White Women, Race Matters, 1993; and Vicki Nam’s Yell-Oh Girls, 2001), and films (e.g., Birth of a Nation, 1915; Imitation of Life, 1959; and Crash, 2004), we will analyze how the concept of race changed over time and how individuals and institutions defined and experienced race. Themes and topics to be covered include race and popular culture, race and identity, and race and social relations. 3 hrs. sem. CW HIS NOR SOC

Fall 2017

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HIST 0105 - The Atlantic World, 1492-1900      

The Atlantic World, 1492-1900
Linking the Americas with Europe and Africa, the Atlantic has been a major conduit for the movement of peoples, goods, diseases, and cultures. This course will explore specific examples of transatlantic interchange, from imperialism and slave trade to religious movements, consumerism, and the rise of national consciousness. It will adopt a broad comparative perspective, ranging across regional, national ,and ethnic boundaries. We will consider the varied experiences of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans as they struggled to establish their own identities within a rapidly changing Atlantic world. Pre-1800. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. CMP HIS SOC

Spring 2016, Fall 2018

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HIST 0203 - US History 1492-1861      

United States History: 1492-1861
A survey of American political, social and intellectual developments from the colonial period to the Civil War. Students receiving AP credit in American history may not take HIST 0203 for credit. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AMR HIS NOR SOC

Fall 2017, Fall 2019

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HIST 0225 / BLST 0225 - African American History      

African American History
This course will explore the history of the African American people from the slave trade to the present. It will examine the process of enslavement, the nature of American slavery, the meaning of emancipation, the response to the rise of legalized segregation, and the modern struggle for equality. Special attention will be given to placing the African American story within the context of the developing American nation, its institutions, and its culture. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AMR HIS NOR

Spring 2018, Spring 2020

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HIST 0362 - Revolutionary America      

Revolutionary America: 1763-1800
A study of the origins, progress, and significance of the American Revolution. In this course we examine the diverse economies, cultures, and sociologies of the American Colonies on the eve of the Revolution; the disruption of the balance of empire in the Atlantic; the ideology which guided colonists in rebellion; the changes wrought by revolution; and the first decades of nationhood under the Constitution. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AMR HIS NOR

Spring 2019

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HIST 0377 - Comparative Slavery      

Comparative Slavery in the Americas
In this course we will examine the development and decline of the institution of slavery in the United States between 1619 and 1865 by comparing the institution to slavery in the Caribbean and Latin America (principally Brazil). Themes and topics to be explored include: ecology and slavery, religion and slavery, the international slave trade, nationalisms and race, slave communities, slave resistance, emancipation, and freedom. Readings for the course will range from scholarly monographs to slave narratives. CMP HIS

Fall 2019

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HIST 0391 - Native American / Imagination      

Native Americans in the American Imagination
In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will examine the changing image of Native Americans in American popular culture from 1800-2000. Through novels, plays, films, photography, advertisements, amusements, sport-team mascots, and museum displays, we will trace and analyze how the American Indian has been defined, appropriated, and represented popularly to Americans from the early republic to the turn of the twenty-first century. We will consider how American popular culture has used over time the image of the American Indian to symbolize national concerns and to forge a national American identity. 3 hrs. sem. AMR HIS NOR

Spring 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2020

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HIST 0407 - Rdgs Amer Hi: Cultures-Contact      

Readings in American History: Cultures in Contact
The course will examine the dimensions of cultural contact among Native Americans, Europeans, African Americans, and Euro Americans in the eastern half of the United States, from early encounters at Roanoke, to Cherokee removal to Oklahoma. Themes of investigation include: encounter vs. invasion; Indian depopulation by men, microbes, and munitions; religious conversion; cultural persistence, change, and revitalization; slavery by and of Indians; and the changeable image of the Indian. Pre-1800 3 hrs. sem. AMR HIS NOR

Fall 2018

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HIST 0500 - Special Research Projects      

Special research projects may only be taken during the Junior or Senior year, preferable after taking HIST 0600. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

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HIST 0600 - History Research Seminar      

Writing History
In this course students discuss historical methods and writing strategies to create convincing historical narratives. With the approval and guidance of the professor, students complete a 20-25-page research paper based on primary and secondary sources. Students take this course in the fall of their junior year or with permission in the spring. If students are away for the entire junior year, they can take the course in the fall of their senior year. 3 hr. sem.

Spring 2019

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HIST 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
The optional History Senior Thesis is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. Approval is required. Students submit thesis proposals in the spring before the year that they choose to write their thesis. Students generally begin their thesis in the fall and complete it during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring. All students must attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops in fall and winter semesters and work with a faculty advisor to complete a 55-70 page paper. Please see detailed guidelines under history requirements.

Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021

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IGST 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis      

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019

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INTD 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval Required

Winter 2020

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Department of History

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753


Axinn Center at Starr Library
14 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753