All history classes are cool, of course; don't get me wrong. But some classes take it up a notch. These are our Topics classes, numbered HIST 355.
Recent topics classes have been wildly popular.
South Africa: Apartheid and After
For South Africa: Apartheid and After, we teamed up with Dawn Pleas-Bailey, who was inspired by her travel to South Africa to help us offer the class. Students in the class raised money to help fund the creation of a new library in South Africa through Books for Africa (www.booksforafrica.org).
In Pirates! (yes, the title has an exclamation point) the students in the class actually raided another class! They commandeered a Chemistry lab, took over the PowerPoint slideshow, and taught a short unit on the history of pirates, flash-mob style.
Other topics classes in the works: Fall of 2014 is the 100-year anniversary of World War I, so we're planning a course on the leadup to World War I and its legacy.
Along the lines of Pirates!, a Vikings! topics course is in the works.