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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Bruce W Hevly
HIST 390
Seattle Campus

Colloquium in History and Science

Study in the history of science to bridge the gap between the natural sciences and the humanities. Students should have a strong background both in history and in a natural science.

Class description

HISTORY 390: Junior Colloquium in History of Science: The Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (May also be taken as HIST 388). See history advising office for add codes. This seminar is designed to introduce students to research methods and historiography representative of current problems in the history of science and technology; it fulfills a major requirement for students majoring in History and Philosophy of Science and is also required for those undertaking the minor in history of science via the Department of History.

In 2014, this seminar will consider histories of the military-industrial-academic complex in the 20th century, beginning with a critical reading of President Eisenhower's farewell address and then looking at this theme in cultural and political discourse over the course of the century, with particular reference to its significance for the history of science and technology. In seminar meetings, we will apply examples from this literature to selected primary sources. Students will write review essays and prepare research proposals on the model of preliminary work for a senior research paper, choosing a topic relevant to the seminar.

Student learning goals

Students will practice critical reading of other historians' work and arguments.

Students will consider how to itentify and interpret relevant primary sources.

Students will gain familiarity with the processes of locating and accessing sources.

Students will be prepared to undertake independent research in their senior year in order to fulfill the requirements for the HPS honors degree, and to participate in the capstone seminar (HPS 400), or to undertake a seminar such as HIST 498, required of history majors.

Students will learn about critical questions in contemporary history of science that shape research programs of working historians.

Students will have opportunities to absorb the practices of discussion seminars, by leading and contributing to discussions.

General method of instruction

Readings and class discussion; preparation and revision of research papers concerned with sources and problems in the history of science.

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites. The course is a degree requirement for HPS majors, but others are welcome on a space-available basis. HIST 311 and HIST 312 are recommended prior to taking the course, but familiarity with modern history and politics may be just as useful.

Class assignments and grading

Completion of assigned readings, participation in class discussions. Students will complete two major writing assignments totalling about 20 pages; other shorter papers for discussion. Over the course of the quarter, students will compile the foundational material for a research project: book review, essay review, bibliography, research proposal. No exams; this is a W course.

See above.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Bruce W Hevly
Date: 01/22/2014