Our next Fall 2020 course preview features a brand new class from Dr. Kooistra, one that’s meant both to give our department’s students a different perspective on American history and to help Business students think more deeply about their current studies and future work.

HIS330 U.S. Business History

Days/Times: MWF 2:50-4:00 in Fall 2020

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

Counts for:

• Major option: History (American History option or elective); Social Studies Education (content area elective); Digital Humanities (Humanities core elective)

• Minor option: History

COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: STUDENTS SHOULD CONSIDER TAKING THIS COURSE ____________.

…because it offers them the opportunity to think a little more critically about a lot of things we take for granted — consumption, production, wages, marketing, the capitalist value system — by taking the “long view,” placing these practices and ideas in the larger historical context.

WHAT’S A BIG QUESTION THAT YOU’RE ASKING IN THIS COURSE?

I hope the course encourages students to ask if the gains made can be reconciled with the attendant losses. How do we balance materialistic goals with ethical considerations?

WHAT READING, FILM, OR OTHER SOURCE ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO TEACH IN THIS COURSE?

Since this is my first time teaching the course, literally everything is kind of exciting. One of the books that we’ll be reading, though, is Elaine Abelson’s When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store. It’s a fun, yet probing look at the emergence of consumer culture through a gendered and class-based lens.

Based in Winona, the J.R. Watkins Medical Company was part of the Minnesota exhibit at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair – Creative Commons (Watkins, Inc.)
WHICH HISTORICAL INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP ARE YOU MOST EXCITED FOR STUDENTS TO MEET IN THIS COURSE?

I am looking forward to the research project students will complete for the course because I will be asking students to investigate the history of a Minnesota business of their choice. Will some opt to go into the nineteenth-century origins of James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway? Or will they learn more about the slightly eccentric origins of the J.R. Watkins Company? Perhaps, in light of COVID-19, some students might be interested in 3M?

<<HIS/POS305G The Cold War                                                       GES160 Inquiry Seminar: The Fog of War>>

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