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Department of History and Political Science

Department of History and Political Science


Dr. Steven J. Williams, Department Chair
Douglas Hall, Room 249
Phone: 505-454-3435
Fax: 505-454-3389
Email:  sjwilliams@nmhu.edu


 


Mission of the Department of History and Political Science

History and Political Science forms an academic unit serving the undergraduate and graduate student body with a wide range of courses and possibilities for study. Historical and political understanding and awareness are perceived as one of the chief attributes of a functional and involved citizen of the United States. It is the mission of this department to provide services that will contribute to this goal and to train graduates to work in appropriate fields that require historical and political skills and knowledge.


Faculty
Peter Linder, Ph.D. (History)
Abbas Manafy, Ph.D. (Political Science)
Elaine Rodriquez, Ph.D. (Political Science)
Kristie Ross, Ph.D. (History)
Steven J. Williams, Ph.D. (History)


History
Historians investigate the past in order to understand the present – how we came to be where we are and who we are. The word history comes from the Greek word for inquiry. Historians, broadly speaking, are interested in the social, political, economic, religious, and cultural activities of all people. Their methods include interviewing eyewitnesses of recent events, reading old diaries and letters, and conducting research in public or private repositories. Members of the History faculty at Highlands especially encourage our students to make connections between our own lives and the past.

Students of History can pursue careers in teaching or other professions, and many will continue for an advanced degree in the discipline or enter law school. Professional applications of History include careers in government and business, where the skills of research, communication, and critical thinking are valued. Some History students find positions doing research and preservation work in museums and archives.


Political Science
Aristotle characterized politics as the “queen of the sciences.” Political Science is, in one sense, an ancient discipline and, in another sense, one of the most recently developed social sciences. The origins of the study of politics reach back to the beginnings of human society, for people have always made observations about the nature of their government. It is also true that political science, as it is taught today, is a very new discipline, as current scholars have attempted to move from observations about politics to scientific observations about politics. Political science, in the broadest sense, is the study of governments, governing procedures, and political processes. The Political Science faculty encourage students to make connections between the theoretical (or textbook) study of government/politics, and how government affects their lives in contemporary times. NMHU enables a special focus on the Southwest and minority political studies.

Students in Political Science may seek careers in government, teaching, or private industry. The Political Science major serves as excellent preparation for law school or other academic pursuits such as graduate study. It provides pre-professional training for governmental or public sector positions involving policy-making or administration. Representative employers include government agencies at the national, state or local levels, non-profit organizations, corporations, and research institutions.


Resources and Facilities
History and Political Science are located in Douglas Hall, a newly renovated building that houses classrooms, the Writing Center, the Language Learning Center, and offices for faculty and graduate assistants in the humanities.


Master of Arts in Public Affairs (M.A.)

The Master of Arts in Public Affairs combines studies in Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, and History with an interdisciplinary emphasis. The program gives a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural environment of the public and private spheres through a core curriculum taken by all students that includes political theory, social theory, historiography, and human culture.

Students then select courses from one of the concentration fields of History or Political & Governmental process. Each student receives training in appropriate research methodologies, and completes a thesis or a professional paper, or comprehensive exam.

This program prepares students for doctoral studies and provides enrichment for professionals in public careers such as law, politics, or government service. The program also offers advanced preparation for teachers. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is well suited to such purposes. It combines theory and practice in the following areas: Historical and cross-cultural analysis; archival research; personal and participant observation, interview, and survey techniques; statistical analysis, model building, and simulation as applied to the analysis of social and cultural trends; political and economic policy at local, regional, national, and international levels; and organizational and institutional processes.

The program’s geographic location in a multi-ethnic region of the Southwest brings with it unique perspectives and opportunities. Field and practicum experiences are available to capitalize on the region’s rich social, cultural, and institutional resources. The program’s faculty – from Sociology, Anthropology, History, and Political Science – are all engaged in scholarly research in their respective fields.

The program is administered by and through the discipline of History and Political Science. The course listings for this program may be found among the separate discipline listings for Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology.

 

Master of Arts in Public Affairs

Required core:
Choose 12 to 15 credits from the following:

ANTH 651 Seminar: Concepts of Human Culture (3)
HIST 615 Contemporary Historical Thought (3)
POLS 563 Political Economy (3)
POLS 654 Seminar: The State (3)
SOC 539 Classical Socialogical Theories (3)

Core Total: 12 – 15 credit hours

Choose concentrations from:

  • History
  • Political & Governmental Processes

Elective substitutions in the following concentration areas may be made with faculty and discipline approval in the concentration area.


Concentration in History

Requirement (to be taken as part of the core):

HIST 615 Contemporary Historical Thought (3)

Complete 12 credits from the following:

HIST 501 The Chicano Experience (3)
HIST 503 Chicano Leadership (3)
HIST 506 North American Frontiers (3)
HIST 511 Women in the US (3)
HIST 512 Civil War & Reconstruction (3)
HIST 513 The US since WW II (3)
HIST 514 The American President (3)
HIST 535 Selected Topics in History (3)
HIST 552 New Mexico History (3)
HIST 553 History of the Southwest (3)
HIST 605 The Trans-Mississippi-West (3)
HIST 618 The Southwest (3)
HIST 619 NM since Statehood (3)
HIST 640 Seminar: Modern Mexico (3)

Concentration Total: 12 credit hours

Research Requirement: 3 credit hours

HIST 620 Research Methods in History (3)

Complete 9 credits in Thesis.*

*Six additional hours of coursework, three hours of HIST 696 Professional Paper, and one professional paper may be substituted for the nine-hour thesis requirement in this concentration, subject to approval by the student’s adviser and the chair of the Department of History and Political Science.

Program Total: 36 credit hours


Concentration in Political & Governmental Processes

Complete 12 to 15 credits from the following: 

POLS 502 Interest Group Politics (3)
POLS 510 American Constitution (3)
POLS 515 Government & Business (3)
POLS 517 Legislative Process (3)
POLS 518 Administrative Law & Process (3)
POLS 519 Public Administration (3)
POLS 533 Chinese Communist Government (3)
POLS 546 Government & Politics in Latin America (3)
POLS 551 Seminar: New Mexico Government & Politics (3)
POLS 553 IR, Human Rights & International Law (3)
POLS 558 Political Theory & Philosophy (3)
POLS 560 The American & Russian Systems (3)
POLS 562 International Monetary System (3)
POLS 563 Political Economy (3)
POLS 611 Seminar: Southwest Politics (3)
POLS 614 Seminar: Public Policies (3)

Research Requirement: 6 credit hours   

POLS 520 Research Methods in Political Science (3)
HIST 620 Research Methods in History (3)

Concentration Total: 12-15 credit hours

Thesis Option: POLS 520 Research Methods in Political Science and 3-6 credit hours in Thesis.

Professional Paper: One professional paper, POLS 520 Research Methods in Political Science, 3 additional hours of coursework from the concentration area, and POLS 696 Professional Paper.

Comprehensive Examination Option: A comprehensive written and oral examination, POLS 520 Research Methods in Political Science, 3 additional hours of coursework from the concentration area, and POLS 695 Comprehensive Examination.

Program Total: 36 credit hours


Master of Arts in Southwest Studies (M.A.)

The Master of Arts in Southwest Studies marshals interdisciplinary resources in the study of Anthropology, History, and Political Science. Students complete a core of courses in Southwestern prehistory and history; social, political, and cultural dynamics. In addition, each student selects one of two specialized options: Anthropology, with courses in fields such as archaeology and Indians of the Southwest, and History and Political Science, including courses in the American frontier, legislative processes, and New Mexico since statehood. Instruction in appropriate research methodologies then prepares each student for the culminating experience of a thesis.

Because of its multi-ethnic composition, varied traditions, and rich history, the American Southwest lends itself to interesting and important research. NMHU offers a breadth of faculty experience to assist students in their studies.

The Southwest Studies-History Concentration program is administered by and through the discipline of History and Political Science. The course listings for it may be found among the separate discipline listings for anthropology, history, political science, and sociology.

Master of Arts in Southwest Studies (MA)

Required core:

Choose 12 credits from the following list: 

ANTH 513 Archeology of Southwest (3)
HIST 618 Seminar: The Southwest (3)
POLS 611 Seminar: Southwest Politics (3)
ANTH 576 Indians of the American Southwest (3)
OR
ANTH 577 The Hispanic Southwest (3)

Core Total: 12 credit hours

Concentration in History/Political Science

Complete 12 to 15 credits from the following list:

HIST 501 The Chicano Experience (3)
HIST 503 Chicano Leadership (3)
HIST 506 North American Frontiers (3)
HIST 552 Seminar: New Mexico History (3)
HIST 553 History of the Southwest (3)
HIST 605 Seminar: The Trans Mississippi West (3)
HIST 619 Seminar: New Mexico since Statehood (3)
HIST 640 Seminar: Modern Mexico (3)
POLS 517 The Legislative Process (3)
POLS 614 Seminar: Public Policies (3)

Concentration Total:  12-15 credit hours

Requirement in Research: 3 credit hours

HIST 620 Research Methods in History & Political Science (3)

Complete six credits in Thesis, in the discipline of the concentration.*

* Six additional hours of coursework and two professional papers may be substituted for the six-hour thesis requirement, subject to approval by the student’s adviser and committee, and the chair of the Department of Humanities.


History (HIST), Courses in

HIST 501. The Chicano Experience (3); Var
This course explores the major trends in the historical experience and development of Chicanos in American society.

HIST 503. Chicano Leadership (3); Var
This course studies the significant leaders among the Hispanic population in the Southwest during the Mexican territorial and early statehood periods.

HIST 506. North American Frontiers (3); Var
Patterns of settlement in North America, with emphasis on frontier experience in the United States, are examined in the course.

HIST 511. Women in the United States (3); Var
This course is a survey of the role of women in the history of the United States, including methodological and conceptual developments.

HIST 512. The Civil War and Reconstruction (3); Var
The Old South, secession, civil conflict, Radical Reconstruction are covered in this course.

HIST 513. The United States Since World War II (3); Var
This course covers American society and foreign policy from Pearl Harbor to the present.

HIST 514. The American Presidency (3) Var
The history, institution, and powers of the chief executive of the United States are examined in this course.

HIST 535 – 635. Selected Topic in History (1 – 4 VC); Var
Course in a topic or topics in history: may be repeated with change of content.

HIST 550 – 650. Seminar in History (1 – 4 VC); Var
Seminar course in a topic or topics in history.

HIST 552. Seminar: New Mexico History (3); Var
Seminar course in a topic or topics in New Mexico history.

HIST 553. History of the Southwest (3); Var
This course is an analysis of historic and contemporary issues confronting peoples of the Southwest.

HIST 554. Seminar: History Through Film (3); Var
Movies are a tremendously powerful means of conveying ideas, including those having to do with the past. This seminar examines the relationship between film and history in a particular historical context.

HIST 590 – 690. Independent Study (1 – 4 VC); Var
Independent, directed study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

HIST 605. Seminar: The Trans-Mississippi West (3); Var
This is an analysis of the development of the western regions of the United States.

HIST 615. Seminar: Contemporary Historical Thought (3); Var
This course reviews the development of the concept of history in the western world, with an emphasis on recent interpretations of historical theory.

HIST 618. Seminar: The Southwest (3); Var
This course covers analysis and writing in Chicano, Anglo, and Indian history.

HIST 619. Seminar: New Mexico Since Statehood (3); Var
This course consists of research and writing on topics in New Mexico since 1912.

HIST 620. Research Methods in History and Political Science (3); Fa
This course covers historical methods, including sources, criticism, tools, organization, form, and problems. Cross-listed as POLS 620.

HIST 640. Seminar: Modern Mexico (3); Var
This course consists of research and writing on Mexican topics.

HIST 692. Independent Research (1 – 4 VC); Var
Independent, directed study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

HIST 696. Professional Paper (3); Var
The Professional Paper provides an opportunity for students to apply graduate level research and writing skills to a historical topic chosen in consultation with their adviser. Students who have chosen the Professional Paper option will generally enroll in History 696 during the last semester of graduate study during which time they will complete their paper and schedule an oral defense with their selected committee members.

HIST 699. Thesis (1 – 8 VC); Var
Individual research and writing in preparation for a graduate thesis. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.


Political Science (POLS), Courses in

POLS 502. Interests Groups (3); Var
The forms, tactics, and influence of interest groups, their role in a pluralistic society, and their importance in a democracy is covered.

POLS 510. The American Constitution (3); Var
This course covers the origin and establishment of leading constitutional doctrines.

POLS 515. Government and Business (3); Var
This is a case study of United States government regulations of economic activity, with emphasis on the administrative process.

POLS 517. The Legislative Process (3); Var
This course explores the process of national and state law-making in the United States, legislation drafting and legislative procedure.

POLS 518. Administrative Law and Procedure (3); Var
This course will help students become aware of administrative law and its relationship to public administrative programs. Administrative law concerns the powers and procedures of administrative agencies, particularly including the law governing judicial review of administrative action. Political science majors who endeavor to enter the public administration arena often will be involved in the administrative process, which is a complex of methods by which agencies carry out the tasks of adjudication, rule-making and related functions.

POLS 519. Public Administration (3); Var
This course explores the organization of the administrative structure, problems of internal management, personnel, fiscal management, forms of administrative action, and procedure.

POLS 520. Research Methods in Political Science (3); Sp
This course acquaints students with a wide variety of research methods used to analyze political phenomena, emphasizing quantitative approaches through the introduction of statistical computing using statistical packages such as SPSS.

POLS 533. Chinese Communist Government (3); Var
This course is an analysis of the Chinese government with emphasis on the role of the Communist Party; relationship of policies to tradition and world affairs.

POLS 534. Practicum (1 – 4 VC); Var
Experiential study directed by an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

POLS 535 – 635. Selected Topic in Political Science (1 – 4 VC); Var
A course in a topic or topics in political science. May be repeated with change of content.

POLS 546 Government and Politics of Latin America (3); Var
This course is an analysis of political systems, contemporary mass movements, and inter-American relations.

POLS 550 – 650. Seminar in Political Science (1 – 4 VC); Var
A seminar course in a topic or topics in political science.

POLS 551. Seminar: New Mexico Government and Politics (3); Var
A seminar course in the structure, organization, function, and operation of New Mexico state and local government.

POLS 553. International Relations, Human Rights, and International Law (3); Var
A theoretical and critical analysis of the meaning and relevancy of the IR politics and its collision with international law and human rights in the age of globalization. Prerequisite: POLS 353, or permission of instructor.

POLS 558. Political Theory and Philosophy (3); Var
This course explores leading political ideas of the Western world.
POLS 560. The American and Russian Systems (3); Var
A comparative study of the American and Russian political institutions, cultures, and structures, including their underlying belief systems.

POLS 562. International Monetary Systems (3); Var
This course is an examination of the national and international procedural rules which channel the behavior of governments and monetary authorities.

POLS 563. Political Economy (3); Var
This course is a comparative study and analysis of the political economies of the major countries of the world, stressing the interdependence of the study of economics and politics.

POLS 611. Seminar: Southwest Politics (3); Var
This course is an analysis and original research on southwest politics, with emphasis on New Mexico, and ethnic politics.

POLS 614. Seminar: Public Policies (3) Var
Past and present governmental attempts in the United States to deal with vital problems in such areas as education, health, poverty, and civil strife are covered in this course.

POLS 620. Research Methods in History and Political Science (3) Fall
This course explores research methods in political science, including sources, criticism, tools, organization, form, and problems. Cross-listed as: HIST 620.

POLS 654. Seminar: The State (3); Var
The essence, origin, justification, and functions of the nation state.

POLS 690. Independent Study (1 – 4 VC); Var
Independent study arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

POLS 692. Independent Research (1 – 4 VC); Var
Independent research arranged with an instructor. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

POLS 695. Comprehensive Examination (3); Var
This course prepares graduate students for the Comprehensive Examination in the Master of Arts Concentration in Political and Governmental Processes. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

POLS 696. Professional Paper (3); Var
The Professional Paper provides a unique opportunity for each student to bring together all of the course-work for the MPA degree into a practical application of political phenomena. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.

POLS 699. Thesis (1 – 8 VC); Var
Individual research and writing in preparation for a graduate thesis. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.


This degree is under the College of Arts and Sciences