Academic Catalog: 2014–2015
- Eric Josef Carlson, Chairperson
- Scott Ickes (Visiting, 2014–2015)
- Gregory Kaster (On leave, January and Spring 2015)
- Kathleen Keller
- Glenn Eric Kranking
- David LaVigne (Visiting, 2014–2015)
- David Tôbaru Obermiller
- Sam Vong (Visiting, 2014–2015)
- Kate Wittenstein (On leave, January and Spring 2015)
The Department of History’s mission embodies the liberal arts by nurturing students to think about history through critical inquiry, reasoned written and oral arguments, and in a context that incorporates comparative history and global perspectives. Thinking historically requires understanding change and continuity over time; recognizing that “facts” only have meaning in historical context; knowing how to interpret, synthesize, and critique historical sources; and being able to construct arguments based on historical evidence.
History is an essential discipline to the liberal arts and many of the department’s courses meet general education requirements as well as the requirements of several of the College’s interdisciplinary majors and minors. The department’s mission supports the mission of the College by encouraging students to develop historically and internationally based perspectives on past and contemporary concerns about diversity, human dignity, individual and community values, peace, and social justice. The department encourages its majors to enhance their history education through foreign language and international study. The major is designed to develop necessary skill and knowledge foundations for students who wish to pursue graduate study in history; who intend to pursue graduate studies in related professional fields such as law, international relations, or business; or who intend to move directly into fields such as government and public service.
- Of the ten courses, no more than three (3) may be at Level I and at least three (3) must be at Level III in addition to HIS 300.
- At least one course in four of the following five regions: Africa; Asia; Europe; Latin America; United States.
- At least one course that focuses primarily on the period before 1800.
- At least one course that focuses primarily on race, class, gender, or other ways in which social experiences are constructed.
- At least one course that focuses primarily on global connections or connections between world regions. This course may not be counted as also meeting the requirement to study four world regions.
- HIS 200, Thinking Historically, normally to be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
- HIS 300, Senior Research Seminar, normally to be completed during the senior year.
Each History major will develop a concentration of at least three courses in consultation with her/his departmental adviser no later than the date of registration for courses for the second semester of the junior year. Courses in the concentration will be linked by theme, geography, or time period. No more than one course in the concentration may be at Level I and at least one (excluding HIS 300) must be at Level III.
Note: In fulfilling these requirements, no more than three (3) courses can be counted from non-departmental courses and courses taken at other institutions. AP/IB credit may not be used to meet the requirements in sections 2–5. Transfer credits will not be accepted for HIS 200 or HIS 300.
Major with Honors: This option is open to outstanding students who wish to build on the experience of their previous history courses by undertaking a major research project in which they frame a research question, identify, obtain, and evaluate evidence, and present an original historical argument. Writing a successful Honors thesis demands a considerable amount of time, dedication, and perseverance. Before applying, students must carefully consider the extent of other demands during the senior year.
Participation in the Honors program is by application due in the department chair’s office by April 15 of the junior year. The application must include:
- A letter of application providing an overview of the proposed research project, including the major primary sources that will be examined and the site(s) where the bulk of the research will be carried out.
- A preliminary bibliography of essential secondary sources.
- A writing sample (normally a paper written for a history course).
- A letter of support from the member of the department who will direct the project.
- A copy of the student’s transcript or degree audit.
Candidates must have and maintain at least a 3.5 GPA in the major and a 3.25 GPA overall, and must complete the intermediate level of a foreign language, typically the first four courses.
During the senior year, students in the Honors major enroll in HIS 396 in the fall semester and in HIS 397 in the spring semester to work on the honors thesis. The honors thesis, normally 50-75 pages in length, is written under the direction of a member of the department. Honors majors present and defend their thesis before the department at the end of the spring semester. The Honors major requires a minimum of eleven courses in History. These include the requirements for the basic major in History, except that students take HIS 396 and HIS 397 in place of HIS 300.
Minor: A minimum of five (5) courses chosen in consultation with a departmental advisor. No more than two (2) of these courses may be Level I courses and at least one (1) must be a Level III course. All History minors must complete HIS 200. In fulfilling these requirements, no more than one (1) course can be counted from non-departmental courses and courses taken at other institutions.
104 Environmental History (1 course) Examination of environmental history at both a national (US environmental history) and international level. This course covers chronologically the development of the environmental movement in several countries with attention to how historical contingencies and time shape the direction of these movements. The course examines environmental history in a holistic fashion, in that it is intrinsically interdisciplinary as economic, social, religious, cultural, and political forces are examined. Special attention will be given to a “bottom-up” perspective in how everyday individuals shaped environmental consciousness. In addition, given that the environment is a global issue, this course will examine environmental issues in a trans-national manner that reflects the growing trend in history to offer a more world perspective rather than a national one. Some of the environmental issues examined will be the Minamata disease in Japan, the Bhopal Incident in India, the environmental damage in China, Cherynobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents, developmental polices and agrarian policies in Africa, and the issue of environmental racism/classism. GLOBL, HIPHI, Fall semester.
105 World History Since 1500 (1 course) A study of world history from the Age of Exploration to the present. The course examines global processes and patterns of interaction and exchange, and how different parts of the world developed and interacted with other regions. Topics include globalization and trade of commodities, religion, slavery, colonization and responses to colonization, industrialization, war, nationalism, conceptions of the individual and society, expansion of knowledge, the role of the environment, and cultural exchange. GLOBL, HIPHI, Fall semester, even years.
110 The Making of Europe, 1000–1648 (1 course) A survey of European history from the time of the High Middle Ages to the end of the Thirty Years’ War. During this period, the Europe as we know today began to take shape politically, culturally, religiously, socially and intellectually. Nation-states took shape, Christianity rose to extraordinary heights of power only to fragment in the Reformation, and the Renaissance and Scientific Revolution transformed ways of thinking. This course will examine these developments, as well as the ways in which European society was transformed by the Black Death and Europe’s place in a global context. HIPHI, Fall and/or Spring semesters.
120 Modern Europe, 1648–Present (1 course) A survey of European history from the end of the Thirty Years’ War to the present. The course will consider individuals, ideas, trends, and movements that have given shape to the present. Beyond its essential purpose of introducing the student to the history of the period, the course should also encourage the development of a mature, historical perspective and provide a basic background for many other courses in the liberal arts curriculum. HIPHI, Fall and/or Spring semesters.
130 American History to the Civil War (1 course) A study of American history from pre-Columbian times through the Civil War. The course examines the formation of American society from colonial America, to the Revolutionary and early national periods, to the era which culminated in war between the Union and the Confederacy. The issues covered range across social, economic, intellectual, and political history. HIPHI, Fall semester.
140 American History since the Civil War (1 course) A study of the American past from the time of Reconstruction through the rise of industrialism and 20th-century America. This course examines significant social, economic, intellectual, and political developments which have shaped the society in which we live. HIPHI, Fall and/or Spring semester.
144, 244, 344 Special Topics (1 course, 1 course, 1 course) Special topics in historical studies. Content will vary from semester to semester. Courses will explore a topic or problem in depth and students will read, discuss, and write. More than one special topic may be taken. Offered annually.
150 Modern Africa (1 course) This course will explore the history of sub-Saharan Africa from roughly 1750 to the present, focusing on the forces that have shaped modern Africa, including the slave trade, the rise of Islam, economy, society, and culture under European colonialism, African independence movements, and South Africa under apartheid. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on the role Africans played in shaping their own destinies. This course counts toward the African Studies minor. Fall semester, odd years.
160 Introduction to Latin America (1 course) No part of the developing world has had a longer or closer relationship with the United States than Latin America. At the same time, Latin America has struggled to create strong economies, just societies, and healthy democracies. This course will explore Latin America’s history since the triumph of the independence movements early in the nineteenth century, focusing on the region’s relationship with the United States as well as its economic frustrations, social tensions, political difficulties, and the development of a thriving Latin American culture. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor and Peace Studies minor. GLOBL, HIPHI, Fall and/or Spring semesters.
170 Introduction to Modern East Asia (1 course) An introductory survey of East Asia’s modern history beginning in roughly 1600 with the Qing Dynasty (China) and the Tokugawa Dynasty (Japan). The course examines the initial stability and prosperity of these two dynasties before the arrival of Western imperialism, the paradox of how their initial stability produced a complacent mindset that prevented them from challenging the threat of Western imperialism in the mid-19th century, and the two different trajectories China and Japan took in becoming modern nation states. Some specific course themes include: the role of Confucianism in producing a self-regulatory society; China’s pre-modern prowess in science and technology; the samurai culture of the Tokugawa dynasty; China’s failure to modernize; Japan’s remarkable modernization efforts; WW II in Asia with emphasis on the intersection of race and genocide; the bittersweet experience of the Chinese Communist revolution; Vietnam’s successful resistance against the American invasion; and how East Asia has emerged in the past forty years as a global economic and technological powerhouse. The course uses feature films from East Asia and documentaries to complement the readings and to offer a vivid visual representation of the region. Spring semester.
175 History of Pre-modern East Asia (1 course) Examination of pre-modern East Asia (to 1644) with emphasis on: East Asian philosophical and spiritual traditions and how these traditions affected the development of East Asian civilizations; the contribution East Asia played in the development of European and world history; and to challenge Euro-centric perspectives that often view East Asia civilizations as static. Some particular themes include how Confucianism created a self-regulated society, how Chinese civilization was able to maintain cultural continuity for 3000 years, the role of the Mongols in the making of the modern world, and Japanese samurai culture. This course uses several East Asian films. GLOBL, HIPHI, Fall semester.
200 History Seminar: Thinking Historically (1 course) That does it mean to think historically? What distinguishes various approaches within the discipline—e.g., social, political, intellectual history—and how, in practice, do those approaches often converge? How does comparative history change our understanding of the past? This seminar addresses such questions with both the instructor and collaborating history faculty. Open only to majors and minors. Normally, students should complete HIS-200 before the end of the sophomore year and before taking Level III courses in the department. WRITD, Fall and/or Spring semesters.
201 Modern European Imperialism (1 course) This course focuses on the “new imperialism” of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in which Europeans conquered vast parts of Africa and Asia and attempted to impose a new political and cultural order on the people there. Students will learn about the motives for colonial conquest, politics, and economy of colonialism. They will also study the ways people under colonial rule resisted, contested, or co-opted colonial forms of rule. A considerable amount of the course will focus on imperial culture including the study of issues such as sexuality, architecture, consumption, and medicine. Our course will combine theoretical interpretations with secondary sources and literary primary sources to probe some of the key issues at stake in understanding the politics, culture, and societies of imperialism. This course counts toward the African Studies minor. Offered occasionally.
202 Slavery and Freedom In the Atlantic World (1 course) Slavery and sugar: One brutal, the other (literally) sweet, together they transformed the Atlantic world--Europe, Africa, the Americas (including the eventual United States)--creating simultaneously unimaginable misery for slaves and unimaginable wealth for the planters and merchants who profited by their labor. This course explores over several centuries and across four continents the emergence, operation, and ultimate demise of the world-altering Atlantic slave system in which Africa centrally figured. The history involved is at once political, social, cultural, economic, legal, and environmental, and encompasses human cruelty, suffering, resilience, resistance, courage, and compassion. Readings include primary and secondary sources. GLOBL, Spring semester, even years.
211 Imperial Russia (1 course) An introduction to Russian society from 1700 and the time of Peter the Great until the eve of the Russian Revolution in 1917. The course begins with a consideration of Russia’s pre-Imperial history, during which time it was increasingly isolated from Western Europe. The Renaissance, Reformation, and the Age of Science and Discovery largely passed it by. The drama of the Imperial period begins with Russia’s attempt to open its doors to the West, and the two centuries of Russian history before the Revolution are characterized by the essential conflict between Western ideas and Russian culture. Political, social, and economic developments provide some of the backdrop; but the creative genius of people like Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, and scores of others will engage us as well. HIPHI, Fall semester, even years.
212 Modern Russia (1 course) A study of Russia since the Revolution in 1917. For most of the twentieth century the world was profoundly affected by communism and its center in Russia. Why was there a revolution in Russia in 1917? What happened there that produced such a dark figure as Stalin? What characterized the Soviet Union and its culture? Why did it collapse at the beginning of the 1990s and what are the prospects for Russia in the future? These questions and many more will provide the backdrop for a penetrating look into the society of Russia since 1917, which will also include a focus on Soviet film. Spring semester, odd years.
218 Scandinavia to 1800 (1 course) This course surveys the history of Scandinavia from the earliest evidence of human presence to about 1800. Particular emphasis is placed on the Vikings, the turmoil and troubles of the Middle Ages, the emergence of early modern dynastic states in Denmark and Sweden, Sweden and its Baltic empire in the 17th century, and struggles between change and continuity in the 18th century. Fall semester, odd years.
219 Scandinavia since 1800 (1 course) Poor, socially stratified, politically autocratic, internationally insignificant are words which accurately describe Scandinavia in the early 19th century. Prosperous, egalitarian, democratic, internationally significant are words which accurately describe Scandinavia today. What happened in Scandinavia to allow us to alter the description so radically? To answer this question will be a purpose of this course. Spring semester, even years.
220 Western Christianity in the Middle Ages (1 course) In the millennium before the Reformation, the Christian church based in Rome was the most powerful institution and promoted the dominant belief system in western Europe. Its influence was felt virtually everywhere and by everyone. This course examines its core doctrines and interpretation of the Bible during the Middle Ages, its jurisdictional claims over both spiritual and secular matters, and the wide range of devotional practices that emerged in European society. Also considered are the impact of the Reformation on medieval Christianity and the legacy of medieval Christianity in the modern world. THEOL, Fall semester.
221 The Reformation (1 course) The events known collectively as the Reformation have defined the nature of Christianity for nearly 500 years. In this course, we will examine these events, particularly through the writings of the people who were central to them. The course places the Reformation in its historical context, beginning with a survey of Christianity on the eve of the Reformation. It then examines the ways in which Luther and other major reformers—Protestant and Catholic—viewed the Bible, salvation, worship, and the relations between church and state. Finally, it looks at the enduring impact of the Reformation. THEOL, Spring semester.
223 Medieval England (1 course) This course examines the transformation of England from a tribal, fragmented territory to a resilient, centralized monarchy with the beginnings of an empire. Topics will include: tribal kingdoms, the Norman Conquest, Magna Carta, the origins of Parliament, rebellions and civil war, and England and its neighbors. While the primary focus will be on England’s political development, the course also explores the socio-economic, cultural, and religious life of the period. Spring semester, odd years.
224 Tudor and Stuart England (1 course) This is a study of England from the Wars of the Roses to the unification of England and Scotland. England emerged from the chaos of civil war in the late 15th century to become a major European power in the 16th century. Under the Stuarts in the 17th century, parliament became a full partner in government, a king was tried and executed, and ultimately England and Scotland (which had shared kings since 1603) formally merged into the United Kingdom. Other topics include: the English Reformation; Puritanism; the agricultural revolution and urbanization; gender roles; the development of print culture and theater. Spring semester, even years.
225 Modern Germany (1 course) This course introduces students to the history of Germany, focusing primarily on the period from its unification in 1871 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification. Topics will include: the development of the German Empire, World War I, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, World War II and its aftermath, and life in the two post-war Germanys. In addition to political developments, the course examines cultural and social movements of the period. Fall semester odd years.
226 European Women (1 course) This course will primarily focus on women’s experiences in history from the 16th through the 20th centuries in Europe. In addition, students will study concepts like femininity and masculinity and the role of gender in history. Topics include religion, science, childbirth, feminism, sexuality, class, imperialism, industrialization, the Holocaust, and the cold war as understood through the lens of women and gender. Students will be assigned primary and secondary readings, will write several papers, and will give oral presentations on research topics. This course counts toward the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies major/minor. Offered occasionally.
230 American Lives (1 course) This course takes a biographical approach to the American past by examining the lives and times of select and influential Americans both well- and lesser-known. Rather than focusing on a single life, the course examines multiple related lives simultaneously. While the specific individuals studied may occasionally vary, a recurring focus will be the intersecting lives of Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, one of the most influential novels in American history), Frederick Douglass (African-American leader and former slave), and Abraham Lincoln. Readings include biographies of and writings by the subjects. Offered occasionally.
231 Women in the United States: Private Lives, Public Lives (1 course) A survey of major events and personalities in the history of women in the United States and of methods used to explore that history. The course emphasizes uncovering the everyday lives of American women through a study of transformations in women’s work, family lives, and culture. It assesses the impact of the Industrial Revolution in separating private from public life. Topics include experiences of women in different racial and ethnic groups, rise of the women’s rights movement, labor force participation, and changing attitudes toward female sexuality. This course counts toward the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies major/minor. HIPHI, Fall semester.
232 African American History (1 course) This course surveys the major events, themes, personalities and issues in African American history from the colonial period to the present. Issues addressed include: varieties of Afro-American experience in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries; the influence of geographical location, gender, and class on black men and women; attitudes toward race; responses in the black community to racism and racial discrimination; the history of black leaders; and African American social, political, and cultural movements. This course counts toward the Peace Studies minor. HIPHI, Spring semester.
236 American Dissent (1 course) Dissent of all stripes (radical, liberal, reactionary, conservative) has been central to the pre-history, founding, development, and ongoing life of the United States. Beginning with colonial times and proceeding to the present, this course delves into the variety, contexts, and significance of American dissent and dissenters across the broad protest spectrum through primary documents, biographies, and case studies. This course counts toward the Peace Studies minor. Offered occasionally.
238 Gender And Sexuality in the United States (1 course) An examination of changes and continuities in sexual attitudes and gender behavior from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The central premise of the course is that sexuality has a history and a historical significance relating to economic, demographic, political, and cultural change. Topics include: family, sex, and the economy in Colonial America; the criminalization of abortion in the 1840s; the “sex radicals”; theories of sexual repression and control as they relate to race, class, and gender; attitudes toward pornography, birth control, and prostitution; the commercialization of sex; the social construction of homosexuality; and the politics of AIDS. This course counts toward the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies major/minor. Spring semester.
241 Recent United States History, 1945-1995 (1 course) Beginning with the end of World War II, this course surveys the history of the U.S. during a vital fifty-year period, examining key social, political, cultural, and military issues. The course utilizes primary and secondary sources as well as audio-visual evidence. Topics include: the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the “Southernization” of the U.S., the rise of feminism, the impact of technological change, and the growth of liberal and conservative ideologies. HIPHI, Fall semester.
242 Hollywood, USA (1 course) This course (whose title comes from the RuPaul song) examines American culture at different key periods in U.S. history since 1920 through the lens of selected Hollywood films from the particular era under consideration. While the specific chronological parameters may occasionally vary, a recurring focus will be the Great Depression of the 1930s. Always we will investigate the dynamic relationship between Hollywood films and American popular culture. For example, at historical moments of profound stress and change, like the Great Depression, did Hollywood films affirm prevailing popular values, challenge or subvert them, or both? How and why? Offered occasionally.
251 Africa Since 1945 (1 course) This course offers an in-depth look at African history from 1945 to the present. A primarily discussion-based course, students will read history, literature, newspaper articles, and other primary documents to delve into important questions in recent African history related to the economy, politics, society, and culture of post-colonial Africa. The course will include in-depth study of topics such as the decolonization of Belgian Congo, Biafran war in Nigeria, end of apartheid, and Rwanda genocide. In addition to active participation in class discussion, students will write a research paper on a topic of their choice. This course counts toward the African Studies minor. Offered occasionally.
261 Colonial Latin America (1 course) Columbus’s arrival in the Americas set in motion a violent fusion of European, African, and indigenous civilizations, a fusion that would create a uniquely Latin American society. This course will examine the economic, social, political, and cultural evolution of that society up to the eve of independence at the beginning of the 19th century, discussing the contributions of Spaniards, mestizos, indigenous peoples, and Africans. Topics include Pre-Columbian societies; the conquest; the imposition of the colonial order; indigenous, slave, and urban societies; and the imperial reforms of the late 18th century. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor. GLOBL, HIPHI, Offered occasionally.
262 Argentina (1 course) This course will explore the history of Argentina from independence in 1810 to the present. A backwater of Spain’s colonial empire, Argentina went on to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by the early 20th century but has encountered severe economic and political crises over the last 70 years. Topics will include the place of Afro-Argentines in Argentine history, European immigration, the evolution of tango music, the economic boom of the late 19th century, relations with Great Britain and the United States, Juan and Evita Perón, the military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s, and present-day Buenos Aires. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor. HIPHI, Offered occasionally.
263 Cuba (1 course) From the time of Columbus to the present, Cubans have struggled to define and create a just society on their island. This course will examine these struggles, focusing particularly on African slavery, independence from Spain, Cuba’s years as a U.S. protectorate, and the Cuban Revolution from 1959 to the present day. Discussions and assignments for the course will encourage students to develop and express their own views regarding “social justice” and the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba. This course counts toward the and the LALACS major/minor and the Peace Studies minor. HIPHI, Offered occasionally.
265 Mexican American History (1 course) This course will examine the history of Mexican Americans in the United States over the past two centuries, focusing particularly on the U.S.-Mexican War and the emergence of “Mexican Americans,” the evolution of thinking about race in the early twentieth century U.S., the growth of Mexican American communities in Los Angeles, immigration policy, labor, and present-day border issues. Discussions and assignments for the course will encourage students to develop and express their own views about immigration and labor in the United States. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor and the Peace Studies minor. HIPHI, Offered occasionally.
274 History of Modern China (1 course) This course examines the history of China since the beginning of the Qing dynasty (the last Chinese Imperial dynasty) in the 17th century to the present. Topics include the significance of Confucianism in the formation of a self-regulatory society, the initial stability and prosperity of the Qing dynasty, the paradox of how the long Qing stability eventually undermined the dynasty by the mid-19th century, the Qing inability to resist Western imperialism, China’s century-long struggle to modernize and develop a modern national identity, the Chinese Civil War and the subsequent victory of the CCP led by Mao Zedong, the bittersweet Chinese experience of Communist rule from Mao to Deng Xiaoping, the issue of Tibet, and the current situation of China’s rapid economic growth and subsequent environmental crisis. The course uses Chinese feature films and documentaries to complement the readings and to offer a vivid visual representation on China. Fall semester.
278 History of Modern Japan (1 course) This course examines the history of Japan from 1600 to the present. The course begins with an examination of the formation of the Tokugawa dynasty, how this dynasty succeeded for over 250 years to have a stable and prosperous era, and the paradox of how this stability eventually led to its collapse. This unit will examine the role of the samurai and how bushido was still a fluid concept with competing interpretations of what it meant to be a samurai in a time of peace. The second unit examines the Tokugawa inability to challenge Western imperialism and how this bitter failure propelled modern Japan to modernize successfully in less than forty years culminating with the defeat of Russia in 1905. The third unit examines the development of Japanese fascism, Japan’s war with Asia and its fateful decision to attack the US. The fourth unit examines the war in Asia and the Pacific with emphasis on the role racism played in the conflict, Japanese atrocities, the US firebombing campaign, the decision to use atomic bombs, and the competing historical memories of the war in China, Japan, and the US. The final unit examines postwar Japan with an emphasis on the US occupation, the emergence of a democratic and pacifist nation, how Japan became an economic superpower, and the environmental and social costs of Japan’s postwar success. The course uses Japanese feature film, including one of Japan’s most famous films, The Seven Samurai, and documentaries to complement the readings and to offer a vivid visual representation of Japan. Spring semester, odd years.
300 Senior Research Seminar (1 course) The senior research seminar allows History majors to apply the historical knowledge, thinking, and skills they have developed through their courses in the department to an independent project in their chosen area of concentration. The seminar also offers an opportunity for students to connect their expertise in History with potential career paths in history, public history, library science, or teaching to name just a few examples. Pre-requisite: HIS-200. WRITD, Fall and Spring semesters.
308 Europe’s Jews, 1000-1955 (1 course) Jewish communities have existed in Europe for almost 2000 years, but the Holocaust is almost the only thing that most people know about their rich history. In this seminar, we will explore several aspects of that history beginning with the earliest settled European Jewish communities around the year 1000 and ending in the aftermath of World War II. While the ways in which Christians saw the Jews in their midst will be an important theme, we will primarily seek to understand Jewish experiences on their own terms and through Jewish sources. While not minimizing the significance of the Holocaust, this course seeks to counter the tendency in our day to see Jews solely as victims and to encounter them as active agents in European history. Readings and discussions will cover such topics as: medieval and modern Jewish families, gender roles, and culture; changing legal rights and restrictions; religious and racial anti-Semitism; and the development of Zionism. Prerequisites: HIS-200, or permission of instructor. Spring semester, odd years.
310 European Lives (1 course) How much influence do individuals have on history? This question has always been at the heart of historical thinking and writing. We will seek answers to this question by focusing on one or more important figures in European history and examining how much they influenced the period of their lives, as well as future events. We will compare their influence to those of impersonal forces such as economics, gender, and race. We will also explore the ways in which image is shaped after death—the way in which people became historical figures. The topic will vary from time to time and may include Elizabeth I, Hitler, and Stalin. Prerequisite: HIS-200. WRITD, Spring semester, even years.
321 19th-Century European Civilization (1 course) This course examines the major ideas and intellectual and cultural movements in 19th century Europe. The significant “isms” of the period will be studied through the works of a number of the most prominent writers. These powerful ideas will also be considered in relation to cultural, economic, political, and social developments. Prerequisite: HIS-120 or permission of the instructor. Fall semester, even years.
323 European Minorities (1 course) Minorities are everywhere, and have been everywhere throughout history. However, minorities became far more visible in society—and debates concerning minorities more prominent—in the modern era, particularly following the French Revolution and later after the Great War. This course explores the changing relationships between individuals (and groups) with the state, and questions around the theories of nationalism and identification as it relates to minority populations in 19th and 20th century Europe. Throughout this course we will take a broad look at minorities, moving beyond just ethnic and racial minorities to also include religion, class, gender, and sexuality. This course counts toward the Peace Studies minor. Fall semester, odd years.
332 America in the Age of the Civil War (1 course) This course examines the social, political, cultural, and intellectual history of America in the era of the Civil War. Major topics include the economics of slavery, the free-labor society in the North, the origins of the Republican party, the ideology of sectional conflict, and the experiences of African Americans, women, white workers, and slaveholders. Special emphasis will be accorded the meaning of the Civil War to contemporaries and later Americans. WRITD, Offered occasionally.
334 The Civil Rights Movement at the Community Level (1 course) Historian/activist Howard Zinn once commented on the relationship between history and social change: “All those histories centered on the Founding Fathers weigh oppressively on the capacity of ordinary citizens to act. We have been taught to look to stars surrendering our own strength.” This course examines movement building to bring about voting rights, desegregation, and improved race relations at the local level in the Deep South during the civil rights era. This is the story of some of the women, children, and men who daily put their lives on the line to “make America be America.” This course counts toward the Peace Studies minor. HIPHI, Offered occasionally.
361 Latin America and the United States (1 course) This seminar will explore the relationship between Latin America and the United States over the past 200 years. The course will look at both relations between Latin American countries and the U.S., particularly during the Cold War, and the experience of Latinos within the U.S. during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the course of the seminar, students will identify a topic of their own choice, conduct research, and complete a 20-25 page research paper that includes primary sources. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor. Prerequisite: HIS-160. WRITD, Offered occasionally.
362 The Age of Conquest (1 course) This seminar will focus on the contacts that developed between Europeans, indigenous Americans, Africans, and Asians during the 16th and 17th centuries in places such as Mexico, the Andes, West Africa, the Indian Ocean, and Quebec. The central questions of the course revolve around colonialism. During the semester we will consider the origins and nature of colonialism, its power and its limitations, and its continuing influence in the world today. Students in this course will research, present, and write a major research-based paper on a question of their own choice regarding some aspect of colonialism. This course counts toward the LALACS major/minor. WRITD, Offered occasionally.
268, 368 Career Exploration, Internship (course value to be determined) Off-campus employment experience related to the student’s major. See description of the Internship Program. Internship prerequisite: junior or senior status. Fall and Spring semesters.
370 East Asian and U.S. Interactions in Historical Context (1 course) This course examines East Asian (including Southeast Asia) and U.S. interactions at multiple levels (state-to-state, social, cultural, and economic). We begin with the rise of Western imperialism in Asia in the mid-19th century, to an examination of the major East Asia-U.S. conflicts in East Asia in the 20th century (Philippines, Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam), the decision to use atomic bombs against Japan, the rise of East Asia as an economic power, and recent events such as U.S.-North Korea and/or U.S.-Chinese relations. The course will take a theoretical approach to foreign relations such as “realpolitik,” imperialistic ideologies, democratic moralism, etc. Spring semester.
291, 391 Independent Study (course value to be determined)
396 Honors Research Tutorial I (1 course) In this course, Honors-track students will define and initiate their research projects in close cooperation with a member of the department. During the semester each student is expected to define the project, establish a research agenda, develop a bibliography, begin in-depth research, and write a preliminary descriptive abstract. Required of Honors-track History majors and normally taken in the fall of the senior year.
397 Honors Research Tutorial II (1 course) In this course, Honors-track students will complete the research and writing of their thesis in close cooperation with a member of the department. Each student is required to prepare and deliver an oral presentation of the research project to the department. Required of Honors-track History majors and normally taken in the spring of the student’s senior year.
- CLA-201 Ancient Greek History and Culture (1 course)
- CLA-202 Roman History and Culture (1 course)
- CUR-100 Historical Perspective I (1 course)
- CUR-110 Historical Perspective II (1 course)