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Department of History
Taylor Murphy Hall 202
Phone 512.245.2142
Fax 512.245.3043

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Margaret Menninger


Dr. MenningerOffice: TMH-230
Email: mm48@txstate.edu
Phone: 512.245.2188

Curriculum Vitae

Margaret Eleanor Menninger was born in Cambridge, England, and grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and Iowa City, Iowa. She received her A.B. with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1986. Menninger was a Rotary Scholar at Georg-August Universität in Göttingen in 1986-87. Upon her return to the United States, Menninger worked in publishing for both Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston and Carl Hanser Verlag in Germany. She received her A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991 and 1998 respectively where her research was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. Menninger has given papers at conferences in Canada, England, Germany and the United States. Her current project, entitled Performing Civil Society: Cultural Philanthropy in Nineteenth-century Germany is a study of the origins of arts funding and its relationship to civil society, regional identity and bourgeois culture in Saxony. Menninger also has additional interests in the social history of music, cultural diplomacy and the history of Scandinavia, particularly Iceland. She is also an enthusiastic chamber musician.


Courses Taught

HIST 2312: WORLD HISTORY SINCE THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
History 2312 (taught 2000-2007) served as a writing-intensive general introduction to the history of the world since the fourteenth century, focusing primarily on political and social history. Lectures covered the broad chronological and thematic overview focusing issues such as the development of political systems and the evolution of the concept of legal equality. More targeted topics, for example the Revolution in Haiti or Mao’s influence in China, would be the subject of both discussion sections and short essays. In some years, students wrote papers about a single twentieth-century memoir (always authored by a woman) and used that text to identify larger themes of world history as well as respond to the particulars of the writer’s life.

HIST 2320: WESTERN CIVILIZATION SICNE 1500
History 2320 (new course in 2008, last taught 2010) is a writing-intensive introduction to the history of the West since the sixteenth century, including the wars of religion, the rise of the modern state, the Enlightenment and eighteenth-century revolutions, industrialization and imperialism, the rise of socialism and fascism, the Cold War, and the post-modern world. In different terms, targeted discussions and short essays have covered topics such as Absolutism, the French Revolution and Human Rights, Romanticism, and the origins of World War One. Longer assignments have included semester-long investigations in the history of a specific city (unique to each student) to allow students to use a case study to consider the larger themes of Western Civilization in specific context.

HIST 3310: EUROPE 1815-1919
This writing-intensive course (last taught in 2012) examines European history during the so-called "long" nineteenth century, from the Napoleonic wars to WWI. After a month of intensive attention to national histories, the bulk of the semester dealt with important themes in a comparative context (for example industrialization, urbanization, nationalism, imperialism, socialism and gender). Required readings for in-class discussion included political tracts (The Communist Manifesto), plays (A Doll’s House) and diplomatic correspondence from the 1914 July crisis. Longer essays required the construction and justification of a set of “key” dates for a single country, contextual and historical analysis of literature (Emil Zola), and discussion of specific historical problems (e.g. Italian and German unifications or women’s suffrage).

HIST 3311: EUROPE SINCE 1919
This writing-intensive course (currently teaching, previously taught in 2010) considers Europe in the “short” twentieth-century. Primary themes include nationalism and its construction, conflicts between ideals of liberal capitalism and those of planned economies, conflicts between ideals of political control of the many vs. political control of the few, and questions about European identity. Discussion and writing topics have varied from year to year but have included biographies, memoirs, novels, and films. Currently, students will be working on a semester-long writing project on a topic chosen from a list of twelve covering subjects including: genocide and ethnic cleansing, gender and consumption, class, decolonization, jazz and modernity, and soccer.

HON 3393J: SEX, DRUGS AND CABARET:  EUROPE 1880-1914
This writing-intensive interdisciplinary seminar (last taught 2011) considers European life in the years around 1900 with particular emphasis on contemporary social, cultural, and political tensions. These crisis points (for example the urban experience and technology, nationalism and anti-Semitism, and sexuality and the law) are explored using historical, legal, literary, musical and visual sources. Each student was then free to develop a research topic that best spoke to their own passions, for example: alcohol and advertising, urban planning, photography and gender, legal regulation of prostitution, opera, anti-Semitism as a political strategy, and dueling. The 2011 iteration of the class included an outing to the Zach Scott Theatre in Austin to see the musical Spring Awakening after reading the original play by Frank Wedekind in class (an earlier year included an outing to see the opera Salomé by Richard Strauss).

HIST 4336: GERMANY 1815-2000
This course (last taught 2012) covers German political, social and cultural history using a combination of lectures, discussions and group activities. The class is focused to a large extent around the question “What is Germany?” the answer to which changes dramatically over the course of the two centuries covered. Over the years, students have written essays on specific biographies or on a combination of monographs, memoirs and films. In its latest iteration students are writing three longer essays: one on a biography and two on “first-hand” sources chosen from a list including memoirs, diaries and oral histories.

HIST 4337: GERMANY AND NATIONAL SOCIALISM 1918-1945
This course (last taught 2012) covers German political, social and cultural history using a combination of lectures, discussions and group activities. The class is focused to a large extent around the question “What is Germany?” the answer to which changes dramatically over the course of the two centuries covered. Over the years, students have written essays on specific biographies or on a combination of monographs, memoirs and films. In its latest iteration students are writing three longer essays: one on a biography and two on “first-hand” sources chosen from a list including memoirs, diaries and oral histories.

HIST 4399: SENIOR SEMINAR
(currently teaching, previously taught in 2012)
A discussion-based capstone seminar, this course aims to insure that history majors possess the basic techniques associated with the serious study of history. Such skills include the ability to appreciate the nature of historical inquiry, understand the methods historians use to develop historical knowledge, read and interpret complex historical materials, and undertake basic historical research and writing. The seminar centers on the writing of a twenty page research paper that relies on both primary and secondary sources. Themes for the course focus on nineteenth- or twentieth-century Europe.

HIST 5310: EUROPE 1815-PRESENT - GRADUATE
History 5310 – Europe 1815-present
A discussion-based graduate seminar (last taught 2012), this class is intended for students who may or may not have previous experience in European history. With a different focus each time, e.g. selected topics in European history or a focus on just nineteenth-century Germany, the class is a based on close reading and analysis of scholarly articles and monographs. In its latest iteration, all the monographs used were published since 2000 and focused on Germany in the long nineteenth century.

HIST 5361: GENERAL HISTORIOGRAPHY
(to be taught Fall 2013)