Associate Professor of History
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."
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.
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.
Spring 2012, Fall 2013
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.
Fall 2009, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
HIST 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. (formerly HIST0371) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
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.
Spring 2010, Spring 2014
HIST 0371 / AMST 0371 - 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.
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.
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.
Spring 2012, Spring 2014
HIST 0412 / HIST 0407 - Rdgs Amer Hi: Cultures-Contact
Readings in American History: Cultures in Contact
In this course we 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. (formerly HIST 0407) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2010, Spring 2013
HIST 0500 - Special Research Projects ▲ ▹
Special research projects during the junior year may be used to fulfill the research seminar requirements in some cases. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.
Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
HIST 0600 - History Research Seminar
History Research Seminar
All history majors who have not taken a writing and research seminar are required to take HIST 0600 in their junior fall or, if abroad at that time, their senior fall semester. In this course, students will conceive, research, and write a work of history based on primary source material to the degree possible. After reading and discussion on historical methods and research strategies, students will pursue a paper topic as approved by the course professors. HIST 0600 is also open to International Studies and Environmental Studies majors with a disciplinary focus in history. 3 hr. sem
HIST 0700 - Senior Independent Study ▲ ▹
The History Senior Thesis is required of all majors. It is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. The project is generally begun in the fall and completed during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring, and such students must still attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops that take place in fall and winter.
Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
HIST 1015 - Amer Revolultion/Usable Past
The American Revolution as a Usable Past
In this course we will examine how and why Americans have used the American Revolution as a “usable past” to articulate, celebrate, critique, and question the American nation and identity. We will read, view, and assess a broad range of sources, including early memoirs (Ordinary Courage [Joseph Martin, 1830]), 19th-century commentary on abolition and slavery (e.g., F. Douglass’s 4th of July Speech), the centennial (1876), sesquicentennial (1926), and bicentennial (1976) celebrations, popular films (D.W. Griffith’s America: Sacrifice for Freedom , The Patriot ), Citizen Tom Paine (Howard Fast’s 1943 novel), and President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech.