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History Department

Course Descriptions

 

General Education Classes

Gen Ed Europe (HIST 101, 102, 131, 132, 134)

Gen Ed United States (HIST 141, 142, 151)

Gen Ed NonWestern (HIST 171 & 172)

Latin (LAT 101-201) Latin

Thematic

Teaching History & Social Studies (HIST 390)

Hist. Studies: Peace and Gender (HIST 391-392)

Public History (HIST 393)

Social Studies Classroom (HIST 407)

300-Level Major Classes

Classical & Medieval Europe (HIST 301-319)

Modern Europan History (HIST 320-332)

American History (HIST 341-362)

World History (HIST 371-383)

Methods and Philosophy

Historical Methods (HIST 258)

Historiography (HIST 401)

Independent Studies and Honors (HIST 491-498)

 

 

HIST 101 Western Civilization Before 1500 (3)
A survey of Western Civilization from pre-history to 1500. Major themes include the fundamental nature of human civilization, the Judeo-Christian tradition and its place among the civilizations of human history, and the nature of various cultural worldviews that emerged in classical and medieval Western civilization. Meets General Education European History requirement.

 

HIST 102 Western Civilization Since 1500 (3)
A survey of the social, economic, political, religious, and cultural developments in Western Civilization from 1500 to the present. Major themes include the emergence of a modern Western worldview, how with this worldview European nations came to dominate the other world civilizations, and how the traumas of the 20th Century caused a profound questioning of this modern world model. Meets General Education European History requirement.


HIST 131 The Emergence of Modernity in the Western Imagination (3)
This course explores the accelerating pace of change that accompanied the emergence of modernity in Western Civilizations. It focuses on those areas of human thought and imagination that have crafted the ideas and values that distinguish the modern West from other times and other locations. Emphasis will be placed on how ideas and intellectuals have both shaped and evaluated social, economic, and political changes since the onset of the early modern era. Meets the General Education European History requirement.


HIST 132 European Missionaries in Africa (3)
This course focuses on one of the most significant developments of European history–the interaction of European peoples with the rest of the world after Columbus “discovered” the Americas in 1492. In particular, it examines the European missionary movement in Africa. This movement led to one of the most important legacies of Western interaction with Africa–African Christianity. Meets General Education European History requirement. (Offered January Term only.)


HIST 134 Knights, Peasants, and Bandits: A Social History of Medieval England (3)
An exploration of the ways ordinary (and some not-so-ordinary) people coped with both daily life as well as major historical events that occurred in England from the Norman Conquest to the Tudor dynasty. Special emphasis is placed on life within the communities of family, village, court, church, and city. Meets General Education European History requirement. (Offered January Term only.)


HIST 141 U.S. History Survey to 1865 (3)
A survey stressing political, economic, diplomatic, and social themes. Begins with discussion of pre-Columbian America and ends with the Civil War. Meets General Education United States History requirement.


HIST 142 U.S. History Survey Since 1865 (3)
A survey stressing political, economic, diplomatic, and social themes. Begins with Reconstruction and continues through the present day. Meets General Education United States History requirement.


HIST 151 The Wild, Wild West: Battles Over the American West and the Western Image (3)
A study of the history and mythology of the American West. Special attention given to the symbols often associated with the West—such as freedom, opportunity, individualism—and how these have influenced America as a whole. Meets General Education United States History requirement.


HIST 171 World Civilizations: Bronze Age to 1500 (3)
A comparative survey of the social, cultural, political, religious, and economic developments in civilizations outside the western tradition from pre-history to 1500. Major themes include the fundamental nature of human civilization, the classical traditions of civilizations which emerged in Asia, Africa, the Near East, and the pre-Columbian Americas, and the growing interactions between these civilizations in classical and medieval world history. Meets General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 172 World Civilizations: 1500 to Present (3)
A comparative survey of the social, cultural, political, religious, and economic developments in civilizations outside the western tradition from 1500 to the present. Major themes include the effects of Western imperialism on these civilizations, their responses to modernization, globalization, and westernization, and the post-colonial transformations of civilizations during the 20th Century. Meets General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 258 Historical Methods (3)
An introduction to the “doing” of history including techniques, procedures, and skills of the working historian. The course will concentrate on research methodology, analytical and synthetic thinking skills, and the ability to organize and report research findings in both written and oral form. This course is designed specifically for sophomore History Majors and Minors and humanities-history concentration majors. (Offered Fall Semester only.)


HIST 301 Ancient Greece (3)
A survey of the ancient Greek world from prehistory to the period of the Roman Empire. The course focuses on Greek political ideals, socio-economic conditions, religious traditions, daily life, and the cultural contributions of ancient Greece, including historical writing, democratic systems, philosophy, drama, art, and architecture.


HIST 302 Ancient Rome (3)
A study of the Roman world examining the growth of Rome from a small city-state to the dominant power of the Mediterranean. The course focuses on political ideals, culture, socio-economic conditions, daily life, religion, and the rise of Christianity within the Roman Empire.


HIST 303 Late Antiquity: AD 250-700 (3)
A study of the transformation of the Roman world from the third to seventh -centuries AD, examining the end of the ancient world and the birth of new medieval societies in Europe and the Mediterranean. The course gives attention to such topics as the Christianization of the Roman Empire, shifting boundaries of empire and political structures, changes in society and economy, transformation of town and countryside, Germanic migrations, the rise of the papacy, and the emergence of Islam.


HIST 304 Tudor-Stuart England: 1400–1700 (3)
An introduction to the history of England from the Later Middle Ages through the Tudor/Stuart era. Major themes include social, economic, and religious change and the ways in which those changes influenced politics and culture from the Wars of the Roses through the Elizabethan Age and the English Civil War.


HIST 305 Archaeology and Historical Interpretation: Greece and Rome (3)
An introduction to the methods of archaeology as they relate to and produce historical analysis, interpretation, and conclusions. The course focuses on the material cultures of Greece and Rome as revealed through several centuries of archaeological investigation.


HIST 310 Medieval Europe: AD 700-1500 (3)
A survey of the cultural, social, economic, religious, and political developments in Europe from the eighth to fifteenth centuries AD. Major themes include the emergence of medieval social institutions and modes of thought, Christian monasticism and spirituality, and the cultural interactions of the Latin West, the Byzantine East, and the Islamic world.


HIST 319 Topics in Classical and Medieval European History (3)
Selected topics related to a specific area of Classical and Medieval European history such as Greek and Roman history, Late Antiquity, the Medieval world, and Mediterranean archaeology.


HIST 320 Renaissance and Reformation Europe (3)
A survey of the cultural, political, socio-economic, intellectual, and religious developments in Early Modern Europe. Major themes include Renaissance Humanism (Italian and Northern), religious reformations, and religious wars. Special attention will be given to the relationship between social change and shifts in European intellectual life and spirituality.


HIST 321 The Age of Monarchy: 17th- and 18th-Century Europe (3)
A study of European society, politics, and culture in the “early modern” period, from the age of Religious Wars through the American War of Independence and the French Revolution. Topics include the rise of modern nation-states, absolute monarchs, constitutional governments, the spread of printing, the Enlightenment and its critics, changing patterns and practices of daily life, traditional religion in an emerging scientific culture, and Europe’s colonial settlements.


HIST 322 Modern Europe: 1789–1918 (3)
A study of European society, politics, and culture from the Age of Napoleon through the First World War. Topics include the development of modern Western ideologies such as nationalism, romanticism, liberalism, capitalism, socialism, and imperialism; political revolutions and reforms; industrialization, urbanization, and the new commodity culture; changing class, family, and gender relations; the cult of progress; and the status of religion in an age of doubt.


HIST 323 Europe in the 20th Century (3)
A study of European society, politics, and culture from the Russian Revolution to the present day. Topics include the World Wars and the Holocaust; the disintegration of Europe’s overseas empires; women’s, students’, and labor movements; changing family structures and social reforms; communism, the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union; European unification and the spread of democracy; ongoing ethnic and religious conflicts; and visions for the new millennium.


HIST 324 European Imperialism and Its Legacies: 1500 to Present (3)
This course focuses on one of the most crucial facets of modern European history–the interaction of European peoples with the rest of the world after Columbus “discovered” the Americas in 1492. This course examines European imperialism in the Americas after 1492 as well as the “New Imperialism” of the late 19th century, which occurred in a very different historical context. It considers the two-way significance of European imperialism—its impact on the Americas, Africa, and Asia, and on Europe itself.


HIST 331 Modern Britain (3)
A survey of British society, politics, and culture from the 18th century to the present day. Beginning with the unification of England, Wales, and Scotland in 1707, we shall examine how an island nation smaller than the state of Texas became the world’s richest power and claimed dominion over one-fifth of the world’s population, and then began its 20th-Century industrial decline.


HIST 332 Modern Germany (3)
A survey of the emergence of the modern state of Germany from the aftermath of the Thirty Years War (1618–1648) to the reunification of this nation in 1991. Major themes include the forces of nationalism, liberalism, and imperialism; the Nazi era and the subsequent rehabilitation of Germany within the Cold War and post-Cold War context.


HIST 341 Colonial America (3)
A study of the political, social, and religious history of the North American colonies from 1620 to 1763. Emphases include the transformation of European and African settlers into a distinctly American people, and the often stormy relationships between Native Americans and European immigrants.


HIST 342 America in the Age of the Revolution (3)
An examination of the development of the United States between 1790 and 1848. Emphasis is given to the political, social, economic, and cultural factors which shaped American life during the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eras.


HIST 344 Civil War America (3)
An examination of the causes, nature, and consequences of the American Civil War. Covers the period from 1848–1877 and discusses such topics as the nature of slavery, the rise of abolitionism, the collapse and reconstruction of the American political system, and the realities of war. Meets General Education United States History requirement.


HIST 346 From Omaha to Hiroshima: U.S. History, 1890–1945 (3)
A study of the U.S. from the Populist movement through the end of World War II. Focus is on the transformation of a rural, agrarian society into an urban industrial world power.


HIST 347 Modern America: U.S. History, 1945–Present (3)
A study of the U.S. from the end of World War II to the present. Special attention given to the social and cultural influences of the Cold War, changes in the political economy, and protest movements in the late 20th Century.


HIST 351 Native American History (3)
A survey of Native American history from before European contact to the present day. Addresses social, cultural, economic, political, and military themes. Prerequisite: IDCR 151. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary Society requirement.


HIST 352 African-American History Since 1865 (3)
A study of historical change in the lives, experiences, legal status, and social status of African-Americans from the abolition of slavery to the present. Special attention is given to African-American campaigns to secure political and social equality.  Prerequisite: IDCR 151. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary Society requirement.


HIST 353 Immigrant America (3)
A history of immigration and immigrant groups in the United States from 1830 to the present. Covers major waves of immigration and focuses on the diverse cultural heritage, social structure, and political activism of immigrants from Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Prerequisite: IDCR 151. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary Society requirement.


HIST 355 U.S. Urban History (3)
An examination of the process by which America moved from a society characterized by small farms and villages to one dominated by large cities and sprawling suburbs. Themes include the effects of technology and planning on city-building and the effects of the urban form on race, ethnic, and gender relations. Prerequisite: IDCR 151. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary Society requirement.


HIST 362 U.S. Foreign Policy (3)
An examination of U.S. foreign policy with special attention given to the Cold War and its aftermath. Cross-listed with POLI 315.


HIST 371 Premodern Civilizations of Asia (3)
A broad introduction to the historical transformations of government and society in Asia from the earliest times to the 16th Century. The twin themes of order and encounters will form the thematic foundations for analyzing the different ways in which Asian societies in China, Japan, and India grew in complexity as they crafted elaborate institutional arrangements for governance, and also as they became interconnected within wider circuits of exchange of ideas, commodities, and populations. The course will end at the moment of early modern encounters with Europeans.


HIST 372 Modern Civilizations of Asia (3)
A broad introduction to the historical transformations of government and society in Asia from the 16th Century onward. Focusing on China, Japan, India, and southeast Asia, a number of inter-related themes will be explored: the cultures of these regions, the different ways in which they were brought under the influence of western powers, the subsequent transformations and adaptations these societies underwent, and the sometimes painful emergence of new nation states in Asia. Topics such as capitalism, cross-cultural encounter, resistance, governance, gender, social inequality, institutional change, nationalism, and revolution will form the critical focus of this course. Meets General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 373 History of India before 1500 (3)
An exploration of Indus Valley cultures, the Vedic age, Hindu, Buddhistic, and Jaina world views, early kingdoms and empires, medieval state formations, Islamicate culture and Sultanic regimes. Major themes include questions of culture, exchange, state making, governance, and world views, which reveal the multilayered and complex character of the subcontinent’s history—one that goes beyond simple labels of “Hindu” and “Muslim.”


HIST 374 History of Modern India and Pakistan (3)
An examination of the broad contours of south Asian history after 1500 by considering the histories of those parts of the sub-continent covered by India and Pakistan (and by extension, Bangladesh). There will also be a brief detour through the Himalayan world by looking closely at the history of Gorkha (present-day Nepal). Major themes include: the Mughal Empire, European colonial interventions and indigenous responses (reform, rebellion, and nationalism), and the painful emergence of south Asian nations and their postcolonial predicaments. These themes will also intersect with the following concerns: Mughal state making, colonial governance and its forms of knowledge, subaltern histories, gender and caste studies, communalism, and discourses on development.


HIST 375 Gandhi’s India: 1869–1948 (3)
An examination of the dominant themes of Indian history that unfolded during the lifetime of one of its greatest leaders, mahatma Gandhi. Major themes include: the life, teachings and political practices of the mahatma, his allies and detractors, the growth of Indian nationalism with all its internal tensions, the colonial state and its forms of knowledge, subaltern social movements, gender relations, elite and popular cultural expressions, communalism, the Partition (1947) and formation of Pakistan, the postcolonial Indian state, environmental histories, Indian diasporas, and the subcontinent’s development regimes.


HIST 379 History of the Middle East (3)
This course introduces students to the history of the Middle East. It provides an opportunity to move beyond the headlines that appear in the news media almost every day. The course surveys Arab history in the Middle East and North Africa focusing particularly on the rise of Islam, subsequent Islamic kingdoms and empires, and the interaction of the Islamic world with the West. Particular attention will also be paid to understanding the religion of Islam as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Meets General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 381 History of Africa (3)
This course introduces students to the richness and diversity of African history from earliest times to the present. From ancient Egypt to the post-colonial states; from medieval Islamic and Christian kingdoms to the modern missionary movement; from the Atlantic slave trade to the effects of European colonialism; from the involvement of medieval Swahili city-states in the world economy to the international debt crisis of African countries today; from the nationalist movements that won independence from European rule to the struggles of black South Africans against the apartheid regime, this course examines key themes and topics in the history of the enormous continent we call Africa. Meets General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 383 South Africa: Struggle for Freedom (3)
This course examines one of the most amazing freedom movements of the 20th century. In 1994, black South Africans finally achieved majority rule after more than 100 years of struggle against white minority rule. This course will explore the peoples and societies of South Africa, and the ways in which they responded to the increasing pressures and expansion of white rule. Particular attention will be paid to the movements which fought against the most racist system the world has seen: the Afrikaner apartheid regime established in 1948. The role of Christianity and the church and the role of the international community, particularly the U.S., in the anti-apartheid struggle will also be examined. Meets the General Education NonWestern Studies requirement.


HIST 390 Teaching History and Social Studies (3)
A seminar emphasizing disciplinary content issues that are specific to secondary school history and social studies teaching. Areas of focus include curricular and instructional decision-making processes; classroom management strategies, assessment techniques, adaptations for exceptional learners; instructional technology applications; historical thinking, and professional development. This course is required for History-Social Studies majors, but is also open to other students as an upper-division history elective."


HIST 391 Historical Study of Peace (3)
This course centers on how people throughout history and across the world have responded to situations of conflict and oppression. Grounded in complicated historical reality, this course examines various social and political contexts in which humans have faced violence and injustice and the ways in which individuals and communities responded hopefully and positively if not always successfully. Particular attention will be paid to the role of religion in general and Christianity in particular in shaping people’s ideas and actions in situations of conflict and oppression.


HIST 392 Women and Gender in History (3)
This course puts women and gender at the center of historical inquiry using a comparative perspective. Thus, the construction of masculinity and femininity and the relations between men and women will be examined across the globe from earliest times to the present. In the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, the significance of women and gender will be explored in such central institutions as the state, family, religion, and economy. Particular attention will be paid to the ways that women have negotiated their position throughout history, including the modern feminist movement that we know today. Prerequisite: IDCR 151. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary Society requirement.


HIST 393 Public History (3)
A study of how history is presented in the public sphere—including museums, commemorations, documentaries, community histories, and public memory. Addresses a variety of activities and careers for historians outside of academia. May include or be taken in conjunction with an internship.


HIST 399 Topics in History (3)
Selected topics related to a specific area of historical inquiry including American history, European history, non-Western history, and historiography.


HIST 401 Historiography and Philosophy of History (3)
A study of the meaning and interpretation of history, with special attention to movements of historical thought and the historians who influenced those movements. This capstone seminar course is designed specifically for senior History Majors and Humanities–History Concentration Majors. (Offered Fall Semester only).


HIST 407 Issues in the History and Social Studies Classroom (1)
A one-credit course required for History-Social Studies majors to be taken during their professional semester. The focus is on disciplinary content issues that arise during student teaching.


HIST 491 Independent Study (1–3)
Independent study or research under the supervision of an instructor whose approval must precede the student’s enrollment.


HIST 495 Internship in Historical Research (6–9)
Assignment under professional guidance in an archives or historical collection.


HIST 497, 498 Major Honors (6)
Independent research program for students who have strong academic records for a minimum of five previous semesters of collegiate study. Overall GPA of 3.5 and Department of History faculty approval required for enrollment.


LATN 101 Fundamentals of Latin I (3)
The essentials of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary are studied to build comprehension in reading and writing elementary Latin. Students will also learn more about the structures of their own language as well as the nature of classical Latin culture and society through readings from representative ancient authors. Meets General Education Languages and Cultures requirement.


LATN 102 Fundamentals of Latin II (3)
The study of more subtle grammatical forms, syntax and vocabulary building are emphasized in an effort to prepare students to translate almost any classical Latin text. The study of classical Latin culture and society continues through readings from representative ancient authors. Prerequisite: LATN 101. Meets General Education Languages and Cultures requirement.


LATN 201 Intermediate Latin (3)
Review of Latin grammar and composition along with extensive cultural and literary readings from authors like Cicero, Caesar, Livy, Vergil, Ovid, Pliny, Augustine, Jerome’s Vulgate Bible, and some medieval Latin texts. Prerequisites: LATN 101 and 102. Meets General Education Languages and Cultures requirement.