Other Courses (Special topics, internship, independent study)
HIST 005: WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
In 1972, astronauts on Apollo 17 brought a stunning image back to Earth that gave humanity a new perspective. This "selfie" of planet Earth, called "the blue marble," was unique because the sun was positioned to illuminate the entire planet. The image of a whole planet suspended in space occurred amidst the modern environmental movement and is symbolic of global environmental history. Environmental processes--both natural and anthropogenic-- have been occurring for millennia. These processes do not observe political boundaries nor can they always be observed in the short-term, therefore histories focused on national history have limitations. This course examines the interplay of human and natural history over the longue durée (long term). Aspects we will consider during the last 10,000 years with a focus on the last 1000 include agriculture, colonialism, industrialization, urbanization, climate change, and ways technological and cultural changes have shaped history.
HIST 011: WORLD HISTORY, 1500 - 1750, 3 credit hrs.
(Formerly known as HIST 001, PASSAGES TO 1750)
This course begins with a comparison of the feudal societies that existed before 1500. It then traces the origins of capitalism in Western Europe and the subsequent impact of Europe on Africa, Asia and the Americas. It also examines the areas that lay beyond this new world system and closes with a look at the winds of change that were blowing in many parts of the globe by 1750.
HIST 012: WORLD HISTORY, 1750 - PRESENT, 3 credit hrs.
(Formerly known as HIST 002, PASSAGES FROM 1750)
This course begins with discussion of the industrial and democratic revolutions that transformed the Western world from 1750 to 1870, and then analyzes the imperialist surge of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It next explores the relationship between these events and the two world wars, global depression and revolutions that characterized the 1914-1945 era. Finally the course examines the stunning global changes that have occurred since the 1950s.
HIST 021: EAST ASIAN HISTORY TO 1600, 3 credit hrs.
The formation, evolution and expansion of the major cultural centers of Asia, including India, China and Japan. The principal themes are the origin and growth of various philosophies and the development of major economic, social and political trends.
HIST 022: EAST ASIAN HISTORY SINCE 1600, 3 credit hrs.
The transformation of East Asian societies from the arrival of Europeans to the present. The principal themes are the impact of the West, the modernization of Asia, the inception of nationalist and communist movements and major economic, political and social developments.
HIST 025: FOOD HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
Eating is more than sustenance. It is an evolutionary, biological, political, social and environmental act; it is an expression of culture; it forms the backbone of economies and undergirds relationships. In fact, what isn't eating? These are all ideas that we will consider in various eras and places because food and the eating of it have changed over time. Most of our readings privilege U.S. food history, but we'll connect local and global issues and places by looking at subjects like sugar, coffee, and corn. These subjects will illuminate colonial and industrial food production and the increasing globalization of the food system.
HIST 050: RUSSIAN REVOLUTION OF 1917, 3 credit hrs.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 propelled a series of radical transformations of the social, political, economic, and cultural structures of the Russian Empire. The ambitious nature of the unprecedented socialist experiment that followed has left a tremendous global legacy. This course will examine Russia’s turbulent revolutionary era through the eyes of the people who lived and witnessed these cataclysmic events. We will use multiple sources to address interpretations and reinterpretations of the revolution’s narrative, causes and outcomes. We will analyze the goals and methods of the various groups of revolutionaries, and ultimately will evaluate the revolution’s significance in terms of world history.
HIST 060: AFRICA IN WORLD HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
HIST 060 is a survey of important issues in sub-Saharan Africa's history from approximately 1500 C.E. to the present. It is designed to accomplish two goals. One, to analyze the major forces that have caused social, political, and economic change from c.1500 to the present both within sub-Saharan Africa and between this region and the world. Two, to understand how these historical changes have contributed both to the region's current political systems, economies, and societies and to its global relationships. The course pursues one major theme to accomplish these goals: it focuses on how actions Africans have taken have affected the course of the continent's history and sub- Saharan Africa's interaction with the world.
HIST 065: AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1877, 3 credit hrs.
This survey traces the history of people of African descent in the United States from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the end of the Civil War. It uses readings, class lectures, popular media, and classroom discussion to offer a broad, yet critical, introduction to major trends in African American history. We will discuss the topics of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, resistance, the lives of enslaved and free African Americans, and the Civil War. We will pay particular attention to the various ways African Americans helped shape America, as well as understanding how the intersections of race, power, gender, region, and class shaped the African American experience.
HIST 066: AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY SINCE 1877, 3 credit hrs.
This survey traces the history of African Americans in the United States from the Reconstruction period until the Black Lives Movement. It uses readings, class lectures, popular media and classroom discussions to offer a broad, yet critical, introduction to major trends in African American history. We will discuss the topics of emancipation, Jim Crow segregation, racial violence, Black culture, Black joy, civil rights movements, and popular culture. We will pay particular attention to the various ways African Americans helped shape America as well as understanding how the intersections of race, power, gender, region, and class shaped the African American experience.
HIST 068: CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS, 3 credit hrs.
Civil Rights Movements in America is an introductory-level course that focuses on the efforts of individuals and groups throughout the history of the United States to gain access to civil rights. The course follows the struggle for African American civil rights, and it also encompasses civil rights movements initiated by women, Latinx individuals, American Indians, LGBTQ individuals, the disabled, and the elderly. Students will examine the contested nature of civil rights history and analyze what civil rights are, why they matter, and why the struggle continues.
HIST 071: EXPLORING US HISTORY THROUGH POPULAR FILMS, 3 credit hrs.
This course provides a breadth of knowledge in American history. Each week's subject is explored through popular films. Each week's historical lesson builds on the last, so students will progress in their ability to think like a historian. By reading and viewing primary sources, students will consider the changing experience of Americans and will assess the stories that original source documents, films, and personal experiences reveal. We also will consider how historians' interpretations of the subjects have changed. The course requires active participation.
HIST 075: U.S. HISTORY TO 1877, 3 credit hrs.
The course is divided into two periods. The 1607-1820 era witnessed the destruction of millions of native Americans; the formation of prosperous farming communities; the development of an independent society that was good for whites but oppressive for blacks; and the transformation of the family system. From 1820 to 1877, a new industrial society emerged, which led to increased north-south tensions, finally leading to the Civil War and Reconstruction.
HIST 076: U.S. HISTORY SINCE 1877, 3 credit hrs.
The course is divided into two periods. From 1877 to 1920, rapid industrialization both created a new social order and generated profound economic, political and cultural tensions. Since 1920, the lives of most Americans have been shaped by the growing power of the state and large corporations, the development of mass culture, international tensions, and the attempt to create equality for women and racial minorities.
HIST 078: GREENWICH VILLAGE & HARLEM: INQ, 3 credit hrs.
This course introduces first- and second-year students to historical inquiry. It is neither a lecture course nor a discussion-based seminar. Think of it as a guided exploration in which you will begin to develop some of the critical habits of mind and analytical skills of history and learn to question how you know what you think you know about the past. Students will participate in two historical role immersion games set in Greenwich Village and Harlem at the beginning of the 20th century, while reading and learning a great deal about the history of that period in U.S. history. Course pedagogy will emphasize practicing critical, contextualized readings of primary and secondary sources; creating opportunities for developing historical empathy and learning about how historical context and contingency matter ; and piecing together evidence to construct persuasive written and oral arguments.
HIST 079: THE COLD WAR THROUGH FILM, 3 credit hrs.
This course explores the history of the Cold War through the medium of film. The focus is primarily on the American side of the Cold War, both internationally and domestically, and chiefly utilizes American-produced films. Lectures and readings provide context. The coverage is chronological.
HIST 090: HERITAGE AND HOLOCAUST (TRAVEL SEMINAR), 3 credit hrs.
Millions of people, Jews and non-Jews, perished during the Holocaust. To the extent we can better know the details of this era, we can develop a sense of honor for the past and a vision for an honorable future. This three-credit immersive course is designed to bring history, religion, ethics, and culture into focus within the context of the Holocaust. Students will spend more than two weeks in Germany and Poland, visiting remains of Nazi concentration camps, speaking with persons who carry on family and community narratives of the Holocaust, and visiting cultural, historical, and contemporary sites.
HIST 099: EUROPEAN WOMEN'S HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
A survey course, covering both women's experiences and the shifting definitions of gender in Western and Central Europe and its colonies from 1400 to 1945. Topics include peasant women, the witch hunts, aristocratic women, the female intellectual tradition, factory women, socialists and feminists. Crosslisted with WS 130.
HIST 105: MIDWESTERN HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
The plains are defined by the short- and tallgrass prairie from Indiana to the Rockies, and from central Canadian provinces to Texas. Historically the plains have been the land of Native nations, were claimed by several European nations, became Indian territory and then the American West, and now are considered the Midwest. Ecologically, this region has undergone vast changes -- from prairie to a global breadbasket -- which reflect the social and economic changes that have occurred with the re-peopling of the plains, from Cahokia to Chicago. Rather than assume a story of tragedy or triumph, we will discuss the complexity of historical change, how historians have interpreted this region, and discover for ourselves how the past illuminates the present.
HIST 109: AGE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, 3 credit hrs.
This course explores the period from 1763-1801. Themes covered will include: the Seven Years’ War, the fragmentation of Britain’s colonial empire, the revolutionary period, the early national period, and the “Revolution of 1800.” We will look at questions including: What is a “revolution,” what were the goals of the revolutionaries, and how did those goals shape the early national period? How did the revolution affect Americans, including African Americans, women, and Native Americans? Ultimately, was the American Revolution a “revolution”?
HIST 112: CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 3 credit hrs.
Political, social and economic forces leading to the disruption of the Union; military action resulting from succession; economic and other non-military factors contribute to ultimate victory for the North; problems of reconstruction facing the United States.
HIST 115: NATIVE AMERICA, 3 credit hrs.
This course aims to understand the history of North American indigenous peoples and to better (perhaps differently!) understand American history. Using primary and secondary sources, we will complicate the “native” experience, explore the historical tensions between peoples and nations, and place Native Americans at the center of the American historical narrative.
HIST 172: WOMEN AND GENDER IN EARLY AMERICA, 3 credit hrs.
Eighty years ago, a pioneering historian asked what U.S. history would look like if seen "through women's eyes." In recent years, historians have tackled that project, producing a history of women and transforming our understanding of the past in the process. Focusing on early America from the period of contact, conquest, and settlement to the Civil War (1607-1865), this course pursues four related questions: How does our vision of early America change when we place women at the center of analysis? How does the process of "doing history" change when we place women at the center of analysis? How has gender shaped, and been shaped by, developments in early U.S. history? And how can we explain the differences among women's experiences? In this seminar, we will examine historical experiences common to American women while paying close attention to differences and divisions among them, such as race, class, and age. We will also explore how individuals and groups have contested and perpetuated the ways Americans think about and experience gender in family life, education, sexuality, work, marriage, and politics.
HIST 173: WOMEN AND GENDER IN MODERN AMERICA, 3 credit hrs.
Eighty years ago, a pioneering historian asked what U.S. history would look like seen "through women's eyes." In recent years, historians have tackled that project, producing a history of women and transforming our understanding of the past in the process. Focusing on modern America from the Civil War to the recent past, this course pursues three related questions: How does our vision of U.S. history change when we place women at the center of analysis? How has gender shaped, and been shaped by, developments in U.S. history? And how can we explain the differences among women's experiences? In this seminar, we will examine historical experiences common to American women while paying close attention to differences and divisions among them, such as race, class, and age. We will also explore how individuals and groups have contested and perpetuated the ways Americans think about and experience gender in family life, education, sexuality, work, marriage, and politics. (Crosslisted with Honors.)
HIST 185: PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
This discussion-based course focuses on American public health from the Civil War to the present. We begin in the mid-nineteenth century because there was a shift in medical knowledge as well as responsibility for health. Although the United States is placed at the center of this course, international context is necessary. A humanities view and historical perspective is essential for understanding the complexity of public health issues -- especially considering that many people who work in the field of public health have science, business, and policy backgrounds. Major themes of the course are: how truth changes over time; how bodies are understood to interact with the environment; how race, class, gender, and sexuality influence aspects of public health; the influence of technologies; the role of government and the locus of responsibility; how environment has been defined over time; urban and industrial issues; and the diversity of change over time -- from specific events, people, and discoveries to long-term shifts. Students will produce a research paper.
HIST 186: HISTORY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, 3 credit hrs.
The environmental history of the continent and nation stretches from geologic time to the present. This course begins by defining different aspects of environmental history and introduces ways that the environment has been influential in shaping past human experience, as well as how humans have in turn shaped the environment. While surveying the sweep of American history through the lens of environment, special attention will be paid to historicizing present-day topics. Themes include the interconnectedness of people and nature, health (ecological and social health is an environmental issue), and the link between local and global. The course balances the physical (rocks, conservation and ecology) and the cultural (ideas, perceptions and images) environment.
HIST 187: HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN WEST, 3 credit hrs.
The course content will make familiar a broad swath of history of the Western region of the now-U.S. West. Though we deal with larger global and national forces and contexts, we maintain a geographical focus. We will engage the American West from a number of different perspectives (including primary sources, fiction, and monographs), look at the region's history in the concrete and the abstract (landscape and mythology, fact and symbol), and wrestle with complex histories and historiography.
HIST 188: URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
Earn your urban ranger patch! Study the history of urban environments, the place of the city in American culture, the development of cities and suburbs, and the city's role in regional and global environmental issues. With the class, explore urban ecology and the evolution of infrastructure, like sewers, waterworks and transportation networks. Potential main topics include urban planning, campus sustainability, New Orleans and historicizing Hurricane Katrina, and Midwestern flooding. Subjects engaged over time and in multiple cities include: environmental justice, tension over resource management, industrialization, food supply, and geography's relation to social structure. Includes a research project. (Crosslisted with Honors.)
HIST 189: US-MEXICO BORDERLANDS, 3 credit hrs.
The proposed US-Mexico borderlands are defined by more than a political line. The borderlands are a region with an environmental, social, cultural, and economic history. Current border issues overshadow our understanding of this region, and historical context will help us understand migration, race, culture, and politics. Likely subjects include war and violence, the long reach of colonialism, agriculture, mining, industrialization, urbanization, labor, water resources, and public health. Readings will focus on the borderlands from the 19th to the 21st century with special attention paid to indigenous peoples. Students will learn to think historically and critically about this region over time by reading, discussing, and writing. Readings will be augmented by films and visual sources.
HIST 133: EUROPE IN THE 19TH CENTURY, 3 credit hrs.
From the fires of the French Revolution to the "guns of August" beginning WWI, the course covers those aspects of nineteenth-century Europe: imperialism, class politics (socialism), feminism, technological development, and industrial capitalism: necessary to understand the 19th century was not peaceful, and that WWI was perhaps the most likely outcome.
HIST 134: CONTEMPORARY EUROPE, 3 credit hrs.
Cultural and ideological trends in the 20th century, World War I and its aftermath; social, political and economic developments between the wars; World War II; the United Nations and the Cold War.
HIST 135: HISTORY OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA, 3 credit hrs.
In this course we will examine some of the native developments and foreign influences that most affected the course of Russian history throughout the reign of the Romanov dynasty. This course is a historical overview of imperial Russia which scholars have traditionally construed as beginning with the reign of Peter the Great and lasting to the Russian Revolution of 1917. While adhering to the end date of this period, we will begin our investigation of this period much earlier with the establishment of the Russian state. Therefore, the course can be seen as a survey of Russian imperial history before the end of monarchy in 1917.
HIST 136: THE OLD REGIME AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, 3 credit hrs.
Institutional and social development of France, climaxing in the French Revolution. Special emphasis on the national and international significance of the Revolution.
HIST 137: FIN-DE-SIÈCLE EUROPE, 3 credit hrs.
The term “fin-de-siècle” is French for “end of the century,” and is the title of a French play from 1888, that gave its name to a period of history around the turn of the twentieth century (roughly from the late 1880s until the beginning of World War I in 1914). This course will examine the cultural and social phenomenon of fin-de-siècle thinking in Europe, from Britain to Russia. The umbrella term “fin-de-siècle” is linked to notions of decadence, decay and the sense that (Western) civilization had entered into a period of crisis as a result of the supposed negative impact of nineteenth-century industrialization, urbanization and positivistic science. This course will explore how fin-de-siècle thinking affected European culture and society via a broad study of literature, art, science, religion and politics.
HIST 138: HISTORY OF THE SOVIET UNION, 3 credit hrs.
This is a survey of the history of the Soviet Union, from 1917 to 1991. We will examine the economic, cultural, political, social and intellectual developments of the Soviet society and the state from its creation to its dissolution, paying special attention to the ways in which people in the Soviet Union experienced revolutionary changes, transforming events, and social experiments.
HIST 139: WORLD WAR I, 3 credit hrs.
This course covers the political, military, economic and social dimensions of the war, as an international war, and watershed in modern history. The lives of men and women on virtually every continent will be covered, along with problems of inequality, imperialism, economic development, psychological trauma, and diplomacy that the war exposes.
HIST 152: EUROPEAN ENLIGHTENMENT, 3 credit hrs.
We will concentrate on the intellectual, cultural, and philosophical issues in the long eighteenth century from the Scientific Revolution to the beginnings of the Romanticism in Europe. This course is designed to develop specific knowledge of the history of the Enlightenment ideas within the context of European history and to enhance your ability for critical analysis.
HIST 155: INTRODUCTION TO MARXISM, 3 credit hrs.
Through reading and analyzing materials by and about Karl Marx, students obtain an understanding of the major components of Marxism. Emphasis is placed on both the concepts Marx used in constructing his theories and on the theories themselves.
HIST 160: DAILY LIFE IN THE SOVIET UNION, 3 credit hrs.
Between October 1917 and December 1991, the former Russian Empire underwent immense economic, social and cultural change. But how did the people experience the Soviet Union? What was everyday life like for ordinary citizens? The goal of this course is to help you understand several important points about the Soviet culture. First of all, it was not monolithic -- there were large variations across its 70-year history, but there was also regional variation and circumstantial variation within historical periods. Secondly, too many people believe that there was no joy during the Soviet period, but many Soviet citizens lived fairly full lives under the regime. People continued to enjoy a childhood and education, they went to work, got married, and socialized, even if it was within a very different economic, social, cultural and ideological context than in the West.
HIST 176: NATIONALISM IN MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
This course examines theories of modern nationalism and national identities in application to the history of Modern Europe. We will analyze some crucial aspects of the genesis of national identity and state-making processes in the history of Western, Central and Eastern Europe for the period between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries; explore new research problems regarding the corresponding issues of citizenship, exclusion, national belonging and imperialism; and provide a level of familiarity with the current research on nation and nationalism.
HIST 123: MODERN MEXICO, 3 credit hrs.
A survey of Mexican history during the national period, from 1821 to the present. The course begins with the disintegration of the Spanish colony of New Spain and the achievement of Mexican independence after a decade of struggle. The course then divides into four sections. The first part examines the political, economic, social, and cultural trends of the turbulent first half of the nineteenth century. The second part focuses on the thirty- five year peace established by dictator Porfirio Diaz. The epic Mexican Revolution of 1910 and its national legacy are the topics of the third section. The final segment explores U.S.-Mexican relations from the Monroe Doctrine to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Dealing with significant border issues such as illegal immigration, narco-trafficking, and the international divisions of labor. Course readings, lectures, and in-class discussions also will emphasize social and cultural history, reflecting the most recent historiographical trends.
HIST 124: AZTECS, INCAS, MAYAS, 3 credit hrs.
This survey introduces students to the fascinating and complex histories of three major Pre-Columbian civilizations: the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas. All three great empires rose from inauspicious beginnings to reach unprecedented heights in political, social, and cultural development in the Americas. All three were among the first Amerindian cultures to encounter the physical, psychological, technological, strategic, and viral advantages of conquering Europeans in the New World. The course explores the rise, expansion, and collapse of each civilization and concludes with the systematic imposition of Spanish cultural forms in America. Does evidence suggest that these once-flourishing kingdoms had irreversibly decayed at the time of European contact? Or did they contain the seeds of further imperial and capitalist expansion? What evidence exists of Amerindian cultural resistance and survival in the wake of the brutal Iberian conquest? What are the historical legacies of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas?
HIST 125: COLONIAL LATIN AMERICA, 3 credit hrs.
Latin American history from European contact with indigenous peoples of the Americas through the Wars of Independence. The course is divided into three sections. The first examines the geopolitical, economic, cultural, and environmental impact and consequences of Columbus's voyages; the European conquest of native Americans in the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America; and the imposition of Spanish and Portuguese institutions in the New World. The second section explores the major political, economic, social, and intellectual developments of the colonial period from 1550- 1750. The third and final section examines the eighteenth- century Bourbon Reforms and the disintegration of Spanish and Portuguese America. With this course students will achieve a greater understanding of Latin American culture and gain the necessary historical background for History 126, Modern Latin America.
HIST 126: MODERN LATIN AMERICA, 3 credit hrs.
History 126 is a survey of Latin American history during the national period, 1821-present. The course begins with the disintegration of Spanish and Portuguese America and then divides into three parts: 1) the political, economic, cultural trends of the nineteenth century 2) the revolutionary trends of the twentieth century, and 3) inter-American relations during the twentieth century. Each of the three parts is divided into sections devoted to the historical development of individual countries. The first section on the nineteenth century necessarily focuses on the four most important nations of modern Latin America: Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. To these four we add Cuba in the second part of the course on twentieth-century revolutions. The third and final section emphasizes the evolution of U.S. diplomatic and commercial relations with Central America and the Caribbean.
HIST 128: IMPERIAL CHINA, 3 credit hrs.
This course is primarily intended to help students gain a fuller understanding of the political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in imperial China (300-1800). We will explore the history of China from the collapse of the Han empire in the third century to the zenith of the Qing empire in the eighteenth century. This course also challenges the stereotype of a monolithic and static (or "ancient") China by encouraging students to develop a more critical and complicated understanding of the historical forces integrating and dividing that entity we now call "China". No prerequisites.
HIST 129: MODERN CHINA, 3 credit hrs.
This course is an introduction to the history of China from the seventeenth century to the present day. The course will explore the momentous changes in the relationship between state and society from the founding of the Qing empire (1636-1912) to the establishment of th People's Republic of China (PRC). Topics to be studied include the rise of the Manchus, imperialism, rebellions, the self-strengthening and reform movements, nationalism, and revolution (political, social, and cultural) during this period of Chinese history. No prior knowledge of Chinese history is assumed or required.
HIST 130: TWENTIETH CENTURY CHINA, 3 credit hrs.
This course is an introduction to the history of China in the twentieth century, beginning with an overview of Chinese society and politics in the late Qing dynasty (1644- 1912). We will focus our attention on the economic, political, demographic, cultural, and social changes of the nineteenth century in order to inform our understanding of the events in the twentieth century. Topics to be studied in this course include the Revolution of 1911, the creation of Leninist parties under the Nationalists and Communists and the stuggle between them, the War of the Resistance against Japan, and the Civil War. We will also consider the establishment of the People's Republic of China and its evolution from the Great Leap Forward through the Cultural Revolution to the last two decades of reform and reaction. We end by examining China's strategic place in the world and the vexing issue of Taiwan and future Sino- American relations. No prior knowledge of Chinese history is assumed or required.
HIST 132: MODERN JAPAN, 3 credit hrs.
In this course, we will explore the history of the transformation of Japan from a semi-feudal system in the 17th century to its rise as a world economic power in the latter half of the 20th century. We will cover a number of major historical themes that emerge from these four centuries of radical change: the deterioration of official forms of control during the Tokugawa era (1600-1867) and the rise of new commoner social and cultural spheres; Japan's entry into a world market in the mid-19th century and the establishment of the modern Japanese nation-state; industrial modernization and its social effects; the changing status of women; new forms of social protest and mass culture in the early 20th century; the rise of Japanese imperialism in Asia; World War II and its aftermath; the U.S. occupation and postwar recovery; "high-growth economics" and its social-environmental costs; and culture in "post-industrial" Japan. We will focus attention in particular on the stories of individuals whose lives do not fit neatly into conventional historical narratives.
HIST 140: AFRICA'S COLONIAL MOMENT: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES, 3 credit hrs.
Africa's history in the 19th and 20th centuries is crucial not only to understanding Africa's role and relevance in world history but also to understanding current circumstances and challenges that face the continent today. This is the case because, during this period, Africa experienced one of the most disruptive times in the continent's history--the period of European conquest and colonial rule. European powers endeavored to 'civilize' Africa—a process intended to transform Africans not only economically and politically but also in terms of how Africans saw themselves and their place in the world. Thus, in many ways, the continent in 1970 looked quite different than it had a century earlier. However, despite the differences, European powers clearly failed in their attempts to transform Africa and to 'civilize' its people according to their late 19th century Eurocentric, modernist notions of civilization. HIST 140 endeavors to analyze why. The main theme of this course is that, to understand change in Africa's history in this period of time, the colonial period itself should be 'decolonized' and seen as a moment in African history as opposed to a period in European history. In effect, the colonial state and its transformative goals must not be seen as an all-powerful institution operating hegemonically to achieve its ends uncontested; rather, it needs to be seen as embroiled and imbricated in the warp and weft of African life. Africa's colonial moment did not see Europeans (whether colonial officials, businessmen, missionaries, settlers, etc.) directing change by fiat; rather, they were subject to the very social, economic, and political forces that had been making Africa's history for generation. Drawing on recent research into local histories, histories of women and children, domestic politics, production relations, governance structures, etc. HIST 140 will question the degree to which Africa's colonial moment was African as well as colonial. (Crosslisted with Honors.)
HIST 142: THE WEST AND RUSSIA, 3 credit hrs.
In 1939 Winston Churchill remarked that Russia “is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” This famous saying epitomizes the sense of otherness felt towards Russia by many Western observers since the early sixteenth century. This course will explore these Western perceptions of Russia and Russians from the early sixteenth century, when European travelers and envoys first started to record their impressions of their vast eastern neighbor, until the present day and the advent of a so-called “New Cold War.” In other words, we will explore how the reaction in the West to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and involvement in East Ukraine in 2014, as well as its role in the presidential election campaign of 2016, fed off centuries-old cultural and political tropes that largely viewed the country in negative terms.
HIST 146: MAGIC AND WESTERN ESOTERICISM IN EUROPEAN AND US CULTURE & SOCIETY, 3 credit hrs.
This course will explore the profound impact that magic—defined simply as the power of apparently influencing events and people by supernatural or occult forces—has had on European and American culture and society since the Renaissance. Topics up until the eighteenth century will include the role of astrologers and alchemists at royal courts, the relationship between Christianity and magic, witchcraft trials and the relationship between magic and science and medicine. Later classes will study the place of mesmerism, spiritualism and the development of magic as entertainment in eighteenth century and nineteenth century Europe and the US, as well as modern trends up to the present day.
The aim of the course is to gain an understanding of the ways in which various forms of what is now known as Western esotericism, that is magic and occult philosophy, have influenced aspects of European and American culture.
HIST 156: SEX, POWER, AND WAR IN THE AZTEC EMPIRE, 3 credit hrs.
HIST 156 is an upper division colloquium on Aztec history from the thirteenth century through the Spanish Conquest to the early sixteenth century. Although a clear and precise chronology is critical to understanding Aztec historical development, the course is divided into three overlapping thematic categories of historical analysis that highlight both the vitality and contradictions of the Aztec world: Gender, Relations of Power, and Imperialism. The section on sex examines the various roles and functions that females and males performed from birth to death, investigating the extent to which the Mexica achieved complementarity in relations of gender within an inherently unequal, male- dominated, and militaristic society. The second section on power focuses on kinship, occupational, and tributary relations between the Mexica and other ethnic groups of the Central Valley, early tribal diplomacy and state alliances, the imperial dynasty, and approaches to understanding Aztec territorial expansion. Section three introduces topics related to war: the inculcation of a warrior code of ethics, combat training, military logistics and tactics, politico- religious objectives, battlefield procedure, the disposition of captives, victim management, and human sacrifice. All three categories—sex, power, and war—merge under the terrifying, but unifying, force of Aztec religious beliefs. A fatalistic religion and pessimistic worldview promoted the only sense of communal solidarity and purpose in an otherwise violent, rigid, and divided civilization.
HIST 161: AFRICA, AFRICANS AND ATLANTIC SLAVERY, 3 credit hrs.
This course is designed to root African slavery and trade in its varied African contexts. Thus, students will analyze how and why Africans were "produced" for the Atlantic slave trade and the influence African slaves had, via resistance, a slave economy, and slave culture, on the making of the Atlantic world. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. (Crosslisted with Honors.)
HIST 179: FROM DICE TO MAHJONG: CHINESE HISTORY IN GAMES, 3 credit hrs.
This course offers a new perspective on what people played, how they played, and why. A series of historical changes in late imperial China and modern China, including domestication, consumerism, gender divisions, sexual fetishes, war and finances, westernization, and diasporas, shaped the activities that people enjoyed. This course will examine how those changes brought about changes in play. More importantly, this course will use play and material culture as a lens to examine Chinese history and people, especially people’s anxiety, excitement, taboos, and desires, to see how their daily life was shaped by the broader social environment. The temporal and spatial scope of this course will run from the 10th century to present-day China with comparative perspectives of Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North America. There are no prerequisites for this course.
HIST 003: INTRODUCING HISTORY, 1 credit hr.
This course introduces entering history students to the study of history, to the faculty and their research, and to our student organization, Phi Alpha Theta. It lays the foundation for developing strong advising relationships, shares strategies for success in history coursework, orients history students to using library resources effectively, and builds awareness of internships, research opportunities, and career paths. It incorporates community-building activities throughout.
HIST 100: DOING HISTORY: THE HISTORIAN'S CRAFT, 3 credit hrs.
A research and writing seminar designed for sophomores and juniors majoring in history. The course equips students with skills in historical research and writing in preparation for upper-division courses and the research capstone. Students will learn to develop a research question, build bibliographies of primary and secondary sources, interpret those sources from multiple points of view (including a skeptical one), and write historical, evidence-based arguments that demonstrate a nascent understanding of the constructed nature of history. Students will submit drafts for peer review and instructor conferences to bring their research to completion. At the end of the course, students will begin to understand their own subjectivity as a historical researcher, having produced a small research paper.
HIST 196: RESEARCH CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
A systematic examination of selected aspects of European history. Depending on the instructor, the seminar may focus on the period between the World Wars, the post World War II years, or biography as a historical technique.
HIST 197: RESEARCH CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN U.S. HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
A systematic examination of selected aspects of American history. Depending on the instructor, the seminar may focus on historiography, the Jacksonian era, Civil War and Reconstruction, foreign relations, urban history, or recent U.S. history.
HIST 015: SELECTED INTRODUCTORY TOPICS IN HISTORY, 3 credit hrs.
An introductory examination of a selected set of issues. This class is designed to introduce students with little or no background in history to a particular period, region, or set of historical issues. Particular topics to be determined.
HIST 091: HISTORY TRAVEL SEMINAR - SELECTED TOPICS, 3 credit hrs.
History Travel Seminars enable students to gain an appreciation of the historical aspects of a selected topic, world region, or historical event through an intense immersion experience. Students will explore the connections between past and present within a specific context through site visits, analyses of secondary and primary sources, journaling, individual reflection, and/or discussion. Service learning may be an aspect of the travel seminar. The particulars of the travel seminar depend on the topic selected and possible cross-listed subjects
HIST 194: SELECTED TOPICS, 3 credit hrs.
An intensive examination of selected units of study. The course may focus on important historical issues, events or personalities. The course instructor will determine which level in the History curriculum (i.e., Advanced or Colloquium) each individual course will count towards.
HIST 195: INTERNSHIP IN HISTORY, 1 to 6 credit hrs.
The apprenticeship enables the student to acquire experience in such history-related fields as journal editing, museum and archival work, and the collection and preservation of historical materials.
HIST 199: HISTORY INDEPENDENT STUDY, 1 to 6 credit hrs.
An opportunity for independent study with topics selected according to student interest and needs. Prerequisite: consent of the department.