HTY 498-0002: Senior Seminar in History

Instructor: Professor Liam Riordan

Days/Time: Wednesday, 4:00-5:50pm

Location: Stevens Hall 175

Course Number: 83512

Description: The senior seminar is the capstone of the undergraduate History major at the University of Maine.  As a seminar course, its emphasis is on individual and small group work. Students will be expected to aid in the development of their classmates’ research projects through peer review and discussion of common readings.  Students will present their work to the seminar in formal presentations at the end of the semester. This class requires a serious commitment of time and effort.  Weekly attendance and regular participation are required.  All written work must be submitted on time.

Professor Riordan’s version of the course in Fall 2024 will focus on “Public History,” a broad field that emphasizes the communication of historical information and interpretation to the general public rather than to other specialists. Examples include interpretive signs along a trail, text or recordings about objects at an art museum or historic house museum, websites, and podcasts. We will do some common readings about this field of history, and then students will work on group or individual projects for over half the semester. The professor will have some regional projects with local partners that students can choose to work on, or they can tackle a subject of their own choice. Any historical subject is possible for this project as long as it is done in a Public History mode.

To maintain its accreditation, the University of Maine is required to undertake a qualitative assessment of its programs.  The Department of History, along with other departments in the University, has devised a procedure to help it assess the skills and knowledge acquired by undergraduate majors during their studies here.  As members of the History Department’s capstone experience, you will be required to take part in this procedure. This will include a four-part take home essay and a questionnaire.  Failure to take part in this exercise may delay or even prevent graduation.

General Education Requirements: Satisfies the Writing Intensive and Capstone Experience requirements.

Prerequisites: Restricted to history majors with senior standing.