Widenor and Stand-Alone Teaching Appointments

Each semester, and subject to departmental needs, we aim to appoint approximately four ABD students to independent teaching assignments within our undergraduate curriculum. Criteria used to make these selections include prior teaching experience, the quality of the proposed syllabus and/or course description, and overall progress in the doctoral program. Advanced graduate students selected for these assignments will teach either sections of the department's capstone research seminar, HIST 498, or another course from the regular catalog, usually at the 100 or 200 levels -- although upper-level courses have also been assigned. 

Normally, one or two designated "Widenor" appointments will be made each year, with additional appointments as curricular needs allow. We therefore encourage applicants to develop course proposals for a section of HIST 498 and to list a handful of regular courses which fall within their areas of expertise. The DGS and Financial Aid Committee will assess all applications and rank them. Successful applicants will then work closely with the DUS and undergraduate Academic Advisor, who will match applicants' preferences with appropriate courses. Our collective goal is to provide ABD candidates with fruitful but manageable teaching opportunities that also satisfy the needs of General Education students and our undergraduate majors. 

All who apply for Widenor appointments will also be considered for teaching stand-alone courses as determined by departmental curricular needs. Stand-alone courses are usually General Education courses taught in the second 8-weeks of the semester, though Widenor courses are normally for the full semester.

We encourage applicants for Widenor appointments to develop course proposals from the following slate of courses, developed by the DUS based on enrollments and gaps in teaching coverage for the coming year. Applicants for Widenors might be assigned other courses than they propose depending on curricular needs or non-Widenor independent courses.

Guidelines for Widenor and Stand-Alone Appointment Applications:

To apply, we require a dissertation proposal, an up-to-date letter from your advisor, a letter on your teaching, a course description and provisional syllabus, and your ICES printouts and teaching records (faculty observations).
Applicants should submit a copy of the dissertation prospectus, an up-to-date letter from your primary supervisor, a letter on your teaching, ICES printouts, a course description and provisional syllabus, and your ICES printouts and teaching records (faculty observations). A complete, detailed syllabus is not required; but the submitted material should clearly indicate how the primary purpose of the course would be achieved.  NEW (as explained at the Financial Aid Information meeting): Please also include at the top of your course description a list of 4 other courses you feel prepared to teach--from the priority list above and/or from the full list of history courses offered.

The course description (2-3 pages) should feature a clear description of the course’s themes, objectives, and the basis for assigned readings and assignments. Readings should be engaging; lively primary sources are good supplement to secondary sources that vividly demonstrate interesting aspects of the course. Splitting the course into integrated “units” is one way to ensure a course holds together as a coherent whole. Below is a guide for expectations in terms of readings, types of assignments, and participation for the courses we teach.

200 Level: These courses provide survey coverage, but their subjects are more specific in their geographical, chronological, or thematic coverage. As such, the courses should expose students to historical scholarship of a more specific nature than is presented in textbooks. Besides acquiring familiarity with the particular topic of a course, students should develop competency in the craft of writing historical papers; they should learn to interpret texts and marshal evidence in support of a historical argument. Suitable for general education listing, these courses should be accessible to non-majors as well as to majors.

•             READING: Most instructors combine textbooks (if suitable ones are available) with supplemental primary and secondary readings; about 100 pages are typically assigned weekly.

•             WRITING: Typically 8-15 pages (standard font, double-spaced, with references), excluding exams.

•             EXAMS: Typically a midterm and final exam

•             PARTICIPATION: Widenor courses are capped at 25 students and should be structured to permit the opportunity for discussion by students. Should count at least 10% of grade.

300 Level: The subjects of 300-level courses are usually limited to two of the major dimensions of geography, period, and theme (e.g., Medieval European Civilization). Such courses should give students a sense of the professional concerns, methodologies, and standards of historians.

•             READING: Weekly assignments typically include at least 120 pages divided between primary source readings and scholarly treatments.

•             WRITING: Student papers should develop well-supported historical arguments on the basis of research in primary sources and on the interpretation of texts. Most courses require a paper or papers totaling at least 10-15 pages.

•             EXAMS: Typically a midterm and final exam.

•             PARTICIPATION: Should count at least 10% of grade.

400 Level: The standard format of 400-level courses is lecture-discussion. Typically such courses are open to students who have taken a specific prerequisite course, a year of college history, or secured the instructor’s permission. The assigned readings consist of primary sources or secondary publications in the subject area.

•             WRITING: Typically a historiography paper of at least 10-20 pages.

•             READING: Weekly assignments are typically at least 120 pages divided between secondary and primary sources.

•             EXAMS: Typically, a midterm and a final.

•             PARTICIPATION: Minimum 10% of grade.