History Course Descriptions

HIST-101 Western Civilization I

This course covers the development of western culture and institutions from the Ancient World to the late Middle Ages. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-103 Western Civilization II

This course covers the development of western culture and institutions from the late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-104 Western Civilization III

This course covers the development of western culture and institutions in Europe from the Enlightenment to the Contemporary Era. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-111 Foundations of East Asia

This course deals with the intellectual, social, political, and religious foundations of three East Asian societies: China, Japan, and Vietnam. The focus of the class is upon classical Asian notions of proper values and institutions, with a concentration on intellectual (both philosophical and religious) foundations considered in a historical perspective. The course also considers issues relative to modern Asia, and to Asian-American family life and culture. The approach will be primarily through original Asian texts in translation. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-112 East Asia

This course surveys the modern histories of China, Japan, Tibet, and Vietnam from the 17th century to the recent past. Topics covered include the classical cultures of the countries, economic and political foundations, and the consequences of Western impact and modern nationalism. The cultures, covered as independent entities, are compared both to each other and to European or Western patterns of development. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-113 Islamic Mid-East: 570-1300

This is a survey of the history of the Islamic Middle East from the birth of Muhammad in 570 to the rise of the Ottoman Turks in 1300. The course concentrates on political developments and institutions as well as the growth and evolution of Islam and Islamic cultures. The course includes a segment on the roles, preorgatives, and challenges of Muslim women in the past and contemporary societies. A field trip to a Mosque and several speakers, including Muslim women, are integral to the course. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural, Diverse Perspectives, and/or International Perspectives. Also listed as GSS 113. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-114 History of Modern China

This course provides a survey introduction to the history of modern China from the Qing dynasty in the nineteenth century through China's tumultuous twentieth century. Major themes include: the Opium War; the 1911 Revolution; China's exploration of different systems of government like republicanism, militarism, nationalism, and socialism; intraregional cooperation and conflict; the battle between the Nationalists and the Communists; and urban-rural social divides. The latter part of the course will focus on the post-1949 era marked by state socialism and events such as the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and Tiananmen Square. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-141 American History I

The first of a two-part survey of American history from European settlement to the Civil War, and from Reconstruction to the present. The parts may be taken separately. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-142 American History II

The second of a two-part survey of American history from Reconstruction to the present. The parts may be taken separately. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-155 Special Topics

See department for course description.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-195 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-205 History of the Crusades

This class is a history of the causes and course of the crusades (ca. 1070-1291) from the perspective of both the Christian Europeans and the Muslim Arabs and Turks. The class will cover the early history of the Islamic Middle East from the time of Muhammad to the end of the thirteenth century; Europe from the beginning of the eleventh century when the reform movements that set the crusades in motion began, until the end of crusading in the early thirteenth century; and the social/cultural history of the interaction between Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land during the period of the crusades. The focus will be on events in the Middle East rather than in Europe. Instruction will be based on lecture, discussion, videos, in-class response papers, a research paper, and two excursions. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-206 France from Caesar to Napoleon

This course covers the history and culture of France from the Roman period until the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Equal attention is given to political and social/cultural aspects of French history. Through reading of primary sources, discussion, and lecture, the course deals with the distinctiveness of France as well as placing the nation within a broad European historical context. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-208 England From Rome to Revolution

This course covers the history and culture of England from the Roman period through the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Equal attention is given to political and social/cultural aspects of English history. Through reading of primary sources, discussions and lecture, the course deals with the distinctiveness of England, as well as placing the nation within a broad European historical context. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-211 Japan Past & Present With Film

This class surveys Japanese history and culture using classical Japanese films as a primary text, supplemented with assigned readings. The goals of the class are to acquaint students with an overview of Japanese history and culture, and to learn to read films, particularly Japanese classical films, as text. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-212 China Past & Present With Film

This course will provide a survey of the basic institutions and values of China, considered both within the past, or classical, and the present, or modern, forms. It will cover such topics as political systems and values (Confucianism and Communism), family and gender, poetry and literature, arts, war and diplomacy, economic values and institutions, rebellion and protest, reform movements, etc. Chinese film will be heavily used as a text to illustrate modern Chinese values and Chinese interpretations of traditional values and institutions. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-213 Vietnam and the U.S.

This is a survey of the origins, development and results of the American war with Vietnam. This course, however, will be taught more within the context of Vietnamese history and culture than within that of American history and culture. Consequently, more emphasis will be given to the roots of the war in Vietnam than to its origins in U.S. foreign policy. Also listed as PSJ 214. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-215 Imperialism in East Asia

This course examines imperialism in East Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It explores colonial ideologies and structures of rule of Western imperialist powers compared to that of Japan. Major topics include Pan-Asianism, anti-colonial nationalism, wartime mobilization, life under colonial rule, and the postcolonial legacy of Japan's empire. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-232 The Holocaust

This course explores the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism, the persecution of Jews and others in the Third Reich, and the ultimate extermination of the Jews of Europe, Gypsies, political enemies, and others deemed undesirable by the Nazi dictatorship of Europe during the Second World War. Counts toward core requirement: Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-233 WWII: Global & Social Issues

This class will analyze the origins and impact of the Second World War. We will begin in 1918 by looking at the Treaty of Versailles that ended the Great War, trace the rise of Mussolini and Hitler, examine the world-wide economic crisis in the 1930s, and isolationism in America. We will also investigate American life during the war, Japanese internment and negative portrayals of Japanese in US propaganda, the Holocaust, atomic warfare, the plight of gay and black soldiers, and the postwar world that led to American global power as well as a new Cold War with the Soviet Union. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-234 The Trial of Galileo

The Trial of Galileo shows the confrontation between Copernicanism, as brilliantly propounded by Galileo, and the elegant cosmology of Aristotle, as defended energetically by conservatives within the Inquisition. The issues range from the nature of faith and the meaning of the Bible to the scientific principles and methods as advanced by Copernicus, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, Giordano Bruno, and Galileo. The course is organized as a role-playing game with each student adhering to individual game objectives with written and oral assignments specific to each role. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

HIST-235 Europe Since World War II

This course examines the history of Europe and its relation to the world at large from the close of World War II to the current examining questions of the continent's future in the global community. Since 1945, Europe has struggled to redefine itself in the context of the war's problematic legacy, the cold war's competing ideologies, nationalist struggles of independence, discrepancies of affluence and poverty, and the difficulties of global market competition. It is a process that continues today as the continent moves slowly toward economic and political integration. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-237 European Socialism Through Film

This course is designed as an introduction to the history of European Socialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from the onset of industrialization to the collapse of the Soviet system in 1991. It focuses on the origins of socialism, its development and appeal as an ideology, its revolutionary variant of communism and its implementation as a state system. This course makes an extensive use of film, both documentary and feature, to humanize these abstract conceptualizations. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-239 Latin America I: Conquest-Independence

Survey of Latin American history from 200 C.E. to 1810 C.E. with a focus on the pre-Columbian Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations; the conquest and settlement of Mexico, Central America, and South America by the Spanish and Portuguese; and the colonial institutions in Spanish America and Brazil up to the beginnings of the movements toward independence. Special emphasis will be given to the clash of indigenous and European religious/spiritual outlooks, political economy, and the interaction of issues of race, class, and gender in the emergence of syncretic New World societies. Also listed as POLS 239. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-245 Race in Modern America

A history of African American politics, culture, and thought since the end of the Civil War. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-246 American West: Hist Memory Pop Culture

A historical investigation into the reality, and remembered realities, that have gone into historical and cultural representation of the American conquest of the west and encounters with Native Americans, with an emphasis on 1870-1925. Students will be exposed to literary, anthropological, artistic, and cinematic representations of these matters as well as recent historical scholarship. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or Diverse Perspectives. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

HIST-247 Gender & Sexuality in Victorian America

This course treats the development and spread of Victorian culture in the United States during the nineteenth century, particularly as it defined ideas about gender and sexuality. Focus is on the creation of "women's sphere" and ways in which women accommodated themselves to domesticity, rebelled against it, or used it themselves to discipline their husbands and sons. Also listed as GSS 247. Counts towards core requirement: Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-248 Public Health, Private Bodies

This course explores the changing relationship between institutional and societal efforts to maintain public health, contemporary knowledge about human bodies, disease, and "health," and the efforts by individuals and local communities to control their own health through the course of American history. Students will confront the efforts by the state and institutions to expand their power and deploy their knowledge in efforts to control unsanitary environments, the ways in which new forms of technology has transformed the healthiness of environments, as well as the ways in which that this knowledge of bodies and health was informed by historical understandings of poverty, of race, and of gender. Also listed as PH 248. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-255 Special Topics

See department for course description.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-261 American Popular Culture

Soap operas, spy films, disco, and The Daily Show may not seem to be typical fare for college study. However, such popular culture artifacts and venues reveal a great deal about aspirations and values, identity and desire. Anchored in political, social, and economic contexts, films, television, the Internet, ads, and music reflect, and in turn influence, our sense of who we are as individuals and as a nation. Popular culture saturates our consciousness, sets the parameters for political debates, and dramatically alters our attitudes toward sexuality, gender, race, money, and justice. This course will provide students with a historical understanding of the development of culture (high, low, middlebrow, mass) in America. We will investigate the transformation from republican civic virtues to a consumer capitalist ethos, from a belief that culture instills character through rigorous engagement to a notion that it merely entertains in immediately transparent and pleasurable forms. Students will learn to "read" pop culture texts with the same attention and critical apparatus that they bring to canonical works of literature. Particular attention will be paid to identifying the web of cultural productions that enmesh our lives in the twenty-first century, and to evaluating the merits and perils of this condition. Beginning in the eighteenth century and ending in the present, we will assess the ways that culture shapes beliefs and behaviors, creates meaning, determines worth, and alternately distracts and informs. Through class readings, discussions, films, and activities, students will explore how market values permeate aesthetics as well as entertainment, and consider the effect of pop culture on our sense of responsibility and community, freedom and democracy. Counts toward core requirement: Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-275 Internship

See department for details. Internship contract required.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-295 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-300 The Ancient World to AD 400

This class treats the ancient world from the first civilizations in the fertile Crescent through ancient Egypt, to the early fifth century AD. The course stresses both broad political, and social/cultural issues. The class is largely run as a seminar with some lecture. Class discussions are based on reading of primary texts. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-301 The Medieval World: 400-1500

This class treats the medieval world from the development of medieval institutions in the first century AD through the mid-fifteenth century. The class stresses social/cultural issues, but also provides an understanding of political and constitutional developments of the period. The class is run as a seminar with some lecture. Class discussions are based on reading of primary texts. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-305 The History of Magic & Witchcraft

This course deals with medieval and early European conceptions of and reactions to magic, sorcery, and witchcraft from pre-Christian Late Antiquity through the early modern period. The major themes of the course are (1) the development of ecclesiastical/intellectual notions of magic and heresy, (2) popular beliefs and practices regarding magic and witchcraft, (3) placing the great witch trials of the late medieval/early modern periods in an historical context of contemporary persecutions of various minorities, (4) explication of the "mature witchcraft theory" and the process of the witch trials. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-313 World War II in History & Memory

his course examines the changes in public memory of World War II in different countries in Asia, Europe, and North America from the immediate aftermath of the war to the present. It pays particular attention to the heightened interest in the war in recent decades and the intersections between memory and history played out in various media forms. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits), HIST 232, or HIST 235. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-315 Modern Japan

This course covers Japanese history from the Meiji Restoration to the present, with an emphasis upon the 20th century. The primary focus of the course is upon the internal dynamics of Japanese culture. Topics will include political and economic modernization, relations with East Asia and the United States, changes in family and gender roles, the development of fine arts, poetry and literature, the development of Japanese expansionism and the Pacific War, the Japanese Economic Miracle and the place of Japan in the contemporary world. Prerequisite: HIST 112 or HIST 211. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-316 China from Mao to Tiananmen

This course will survey Chinese history and culture in the period from 1949 to the present, with an emphasis on the mass campaigns, from the Great Leap Forward of 1957-58 through the Great Proletarian Culture Revolution, 1965-1969. Topics will also include the Reform Movement of Deng Xiaoping and the student protests culminating in the Tiananmen Incident of 1989. An unusual feature of this course is weekly role-playing in which students will be asked to assume Chinese role-types such as peasant, soldier, female cadre, etc., and to play out actual political problems drawn from the mass political campaigns. Prerequisite: HIST 112 or 212. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural or International Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-326 Public History: Theory & Practice

This course will introduce the work, craft and literature of historians whose careers are based in institutions outside of the academy and who specialize in presenting aspects of history, culture and heritage to a variety of audiences. The work of the course will focus on exploring historical interpretations, preservation and education through lectures, reading, discussions and conversations with practitioners. Does not count toward core requirements prior to 2010 catalog. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-333 History of the British Empire

This course examines the history of modern British Empire from the nineteenth century race for empire to the post-colonial world. Using the lens of the British Empire, the largest of all European empires, the course examines the political and economic impulses for imperialism, the nature of various imperial systems, the impact of imperialism on both the colonizer and the colonized, the turmoil of national independence and decolonization, and the lasting legacies of imperialism in the post-colonial world. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) or HIST 103 or HIST 104 with a minimum grade of C-. Counts toward core requirement: Comparative Cultural. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-335 The Era of the First World War

This course explores the historical period of the First World War in Europe. It focuses on the causes, course and effects of the war within a European perspective in terms of the political, social, cultural and intellectual contexts. It is designed to consider the impact of WWI on European society as the formative event of the 20th century Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-338 Era of the French Revolution

This course explores the historical period of the French Revolution from the Enlightenment through the defeat of Napoleon. It focuses on the causes, course and effects of the Revolution in terms of the political, social, cultural and intellectual contexts. It is designed to consider the impact of the French Revolution as the defining moment of the modern period. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-341 American Revolution & Constitution

This course covers the ideological, social, economic, and political causes of the American break with the British Empire, the democratizing influence of the revolution on the new state government, and the relationship between this tendency and the construction of the Constitution. The course incorporates research regarding women, African-Americans, and common people into the broader movement. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) or HIST 141. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-342 Civil War & Reconstruction

This course treats the Civil War and its aftermath in context of a broader Western move away from bonded servitude and reconstructions on human liberty toward free labor and democracy, and will measure successes and failures, particularly with regard to the legacy of racial division that the war was unable to eradicate. The course will cover the causes of sectional conflict, the military problems of the war, the political, social, and economic conditions within both North and South, and the cultural and political sources of support and opposition to Reconstruction. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits); or HIST 141 or HIST 142. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-343 Industrialization, Labor & St in America

This course covers the rise of modern industry in the United States beginning with the 1870s, the struggles of workers in response to these changes, and the steps taken government, both at the state and federal level, to regulate the new economy, beginning with the laissez faire governance of the late nineteenth century and concluding with the full elaboration of FDR's New Deal. The course focuses on social, economic, and political forces. Also listed as PSJ 343. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) or HIST 142. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-355 Special Topics

See department for course description. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits).
Credits: 1.00

HIST-361 The Reagan Era

This class traces the significant developments in US politics, economics, and culture from Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal Coalition" to the Reagan presidency. 1980s culture and the neoconservative moral vision for foreign policy and domestic culture are the major focus. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) and HIST 142. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-363 Cold War America

A research seminar on the key developments in American foreign policy and domestic life from the Yalta Summit to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) or HIST 142. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-367 Urban Crisis/Suburban Dreams

An examination of the development of cities and suburbs since 1900 and the role played by capitalism, class, and race in housing patterns, trends in leisure and entertainment, and education. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits) and HIST 142. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-368 The 1990s

This class will analyze the seeds of the 2008-present economic and political crises in key ideas and events of the 1990s. From the creation of the World Wide Web, the dot.com and real estate booms, to NAFTA and the Nasdaq, we will examine the dramatic economic changes in American life that fueled reckless decision-making at the national and individual level. We will investigate the fallout in post-Communist Europe and Russia, genocide in Serbia and Rwanda, high school shootings, and the causes and consequences of 9/11. We will analyze why, in the midst of such prosperity and seismic change, American politics became dominated by culture wars, tabloid news, baseball batting records, and a movement to end liberalism and impeach Bill Clinton. The 1990s also witnessed a great deal of healing among minorities struggling for civil rights, including African Americans and Gay Americans. We will look at television shows, literature, and legislative initiatives to understand the politics of culture during this transformational decade. Counts toward core requirement: Diverse Perspectives. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-369 Get Rich! Wealth in American History

An analysis of attitudes toward wealth from the Puritans to the present. The history of capitalism, labor, and poverty, and the role of gender and race in shaping views will also be addressed. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-391 Research Methods in History

This course is an introduction to research methods for students in history and the humanities. It examines the principles of research design, methodology, and the analytic and theoretical frameworks of interpretation used by historians. In conjunction, it will study how historical methodology and patterns of interpretation have changed over time. It introduces students to the fundamentals of primary and secondary research conducted both in libraries and archives. It is required of all History majors. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). Does not count toward core requirements. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-395 Independent Study

See department for details. Independent study contract required.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-400 Medieval Women

This course is a seminar on the attitudes towards, roles, work, and responsibilities of women in the period from the first century to the fifteenth century. Women in their roles as nuns, witches, prostitutes, brewers, mothers, queens, and consorts are discussed. The course is thematic rather than chronological, and investigates anthropological, feminist, and political theories and paradigms associated with the study of women generally. Assigned reading consists of primary sources, secondary monographs, and journals. Also listed as GSS 400. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-401 The World of Charlemagne

This course is a seminar on the age of Charlemagne and the European empire he forged in the early Middle Ages. The course material starts in the early sixth century as the Roman West was mutating, and ends with the decline of the Carolingian Empire in the face of Viking attacks and fratricidal warfare. The class concentrates on political and social/cultural developments in this very important period which formed a bridge from the Classical world to the beginnings of the modern age. The class uses anthropological paradigms as one type of historical methodology. Assigned reading consists of primary sources, secondary monographs and journal articles. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-413 History of Medicines in the Modern World

his interdisciplinary and interregional course explores medicines as commodities in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first part of the course traces the commodity chain of well-known substances like opium, quinine, and cocaine -- from production to distribution to consumption -- in order to examine how medicines have influenced geopolitics, shaped social relations, and influenced peoples' habits across the globe. The second part of the course involves applying concepts and ideas learned from part one to specific case studies around the world. The overall goal is to have students think and write critically about the role of drugs in relation to the larger questions concerning capitalism, colonialism, and modernity. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-435 1968:Youth and Social Change in World

This colloquium explores the historical scholarship surrounding the tumultuous events of 1968 in global perspective. It explores the events of 1968 as transnational phenomena with a particular emphasis placed upon the significant role played by youth in the various movements and uprisings worldwide. It will consider the emergence of youth as a social, political, and cultural force within the larger ferment of the late-sixties and early-seventies. Importantly, this is a rigorous readings course akin to a graduate colloquium. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-441 Environmental History

This course focuses on historical scholarship that has addressed the changing relationship between human societies and "nature". The course explores the development of ecological science and environmental politics; it also explores the ways in which Americans of European and indigenous background imposed their understandings on the landscape, and the consequences of these impositions. Other subjects include National Park Service policy, game conservation and class conflict, and the development of governmental agencies dedicated to protecting or controlling the environment. Also listed as ENV 441. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits). 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-455 Special Topics

See department for course description. Prerequisite: Junior standing or above (60 or more completed credits).
Credits: 1.00

HIST-465 Civil Rights Movement

An investigation of the origins, major goals, and strategies of the civil rights movement, beginning in the Jim Crow era. 4 credits.
Credits: 4.00

HIST-475 Internship

See department for details. Internship contract required.
Credits: 1.00

HIST-491 Independent Research I

This is student-conducted individual research leading to a senior thesis. It is required of all History majors. Prerequisite: Senior standing (90 or more completed credits) and declared History major. Offered Fall semester. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00

HIST-492 Independent Research II

This is student-conducted individual research leading to a senior thesis. It is required of all History majors. Prerequisite: HIST 491. Offered Spring semester. 2 credits.
Credits: 2.00