Curriculum

Semester-in-Residence students register for a full academic load of 4 three and four credit courses at the College of William & Mary.

Courses:  Semester-in-Residence students can choose from the full list of NIAHD-sponsored courses in the areas of History, Anthropology, American Studies, and Music. These courses include not only Early American History, but also Architectural History, Historical Archaeology, Decorative Arts, and Music History. Semester-in-Residence students have the option to choose an independent study course as one elective class. Students can work with a faculty member to design and write a substantial research paper. Students may also select non-NIAHD courses from any of the regularly scheduled courses at the College, most of which are open to them on a space-available basis and subject to normal prerequisites and scheduling concerns.

Museum Internship:  One course of particular interest to Semester-in-Residence students is the internship at Colonial Williamsburg or another local museum. The museum internship is offered in  both  Fall and Spring semesters. This course is designed to give students practical experience in a museum setting with a background of readings in public history and classroom discussion sessions designed to promote both critical and scholarly engagement with an individually chosen topic. The instructor will work with students before the start of the semester to arrange for a museum professional to host the student in a professional working environment for about ten hours a week in addition to the class meetings. 

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"On-Site" Courses:

Many semester-in-residence courses take advantage of the region's historic sites by taking courses that go beyond the classroom.  Some of those courses include:

HIST 220: Colonial and Revolutionary Williamsburg

This seminar offers a comprehensive look at Early American history through the lense of life in the old colonial capital, much of it much of it devoted to explorations of the famous "restored area" of Colonial Williamsburg. Topics include politics, social structure, gender, religion, race and the economy from the establishment of Jamestown in 1607, to the Middle Plantation settlement of the mid-1600s, the transfer of the capital from Jamestown to Williamsburg, and the impact of the American Revolution on this city.  The class incorporates behind-the-scenes tours, reading assignments in a variety of history and material culture fields, and seminar discussions. 

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HIST 216/217/218: 

These seminars will meet once per week, usually all day, and will focus on museums and historic places away from Williamsburg in the Chesapeake region. Typically, the classes will depart Williamsburg by 9am; travel to at least one historic site, museum, or archaeological project; hold discussion "on-site;" continue the day's field trip through the afternoon; and return to Williamsburg in time for an evening meal. Readings in some of the very best literature on Early America that scholars have produced over the last fifty years will prepare students for site visits. The writing assignments for these class will be in the form of on-line journals in which students describe their experiences and reflect on the ways their readings and site visits interact to reaffirm, contradict, or extend their understanding of Early American history.

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