Using Wisconsin 101 at the Undergraduate Level

This fall semester, find us in classrooms at UW-Madison, UW-Stout, and UW-Oshkosh.

Model Syllabi

History 192– Thinking with Things: History and Material Culture

“This course is designed as an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Material Culture Studies; situated within the discipline of History, the course will also draw from scholarship from Anthropology, Archaeology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Art History. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions, and debates within practices of writing object-based histories as well as within Material Culture Studies.” Instructor: Krista Grensavitch, UW-Milwaukee. Syllabus.

History 201– Wisconsin History and Material Culture

“Unlike other sections of ‘The Historians Craft (HIST 201),’ which typically culminate in a proposal for future research, this course will require you to identify, analyze, and research an artifact of Wisconsin history and present your findings in three media: a ten-page research paper, a twelve-minute oral presentation, and approximately 2,000 words of web content regarding the artifact.” Instructor: Dr. John Hall, UW-Madison. Syllabus.

History 321– Wisconsin History

“This course is an exploration of the history of Wisconsin, focusing on place, people, and the development of regional culture. Special emphasis will be given to environment, native peoples, ethnicity, state politics, and community from the territorial period to the recent past.” Instructor: Dr. Patricia Stovey, UW-La Crosse. Syllabus.


"Teaching first-year students Wisconsin history through and with objects allowed for a deep and collaborative investigation of location, identity, and primary source research."
-- Krista Grensavitch, UW-Milwaukee

Model Course Assignments

History 321– Wisconsin History

“This assignment is divided into a number of parts with due dates and point totals that are spread across the semester. Therefore, you will be expected to research, write, and revise all semester long.  Welcome to the real world of a scholar!” Instructor Patricia Stovey, UW-La Crosse. SyllabusAssignment.

Useful Readings


Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Ivan Gaskell, Sara Schechner, and Sarah Anne Carter, Tangible Things: Making History Through Objects (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015)

Fiona Candlin and Raiford Guins, eds. The Object Reader. (New York: Routledge, 2009)

Jane Bennett. Vibrant Matter, A Political Ecology of Things. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010)

Wisconsin History

Larry Nesper, The Walleye War: The Struggle for Ojibwa Spearfishing and Treaty Rights (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002)

Wisconsin Cartographers’ Guild, Wisconsin’s Past and Present: A Historical Atlas (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1998)

Curt Meine and Keef Keeley, eds. The Driftless Reader (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2017)

Robert C. Ostergren and Thomas R. Vale, eds. Wisconsin Land and Life (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997)

Olaf F. Larson, When Horses Pulled the Plow: Life of a Wisconsin Farm Boy 1910-1929 (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2011)