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Courses

The History curriculum offers courses at four levels:

100-level.  Except for History 110-111, the survey of Western Civilization, all courses at this level are numbered History 199 and have the same general title: "Elements of Historical Thinking."  The purpose of this course is not to cover a certain amount of ground but to introduce students to the nature of historical interpretation.  To do that, individual instructors will choose a topic that will show students the various ways historians interpret their evidence and allow them to practice interpretation on their own.  Whatever the topic, the central aim is for students to come away from the course with a better understanding of the nature and limits of historical evidence, the various legitimate ways of approaching it, and the art of making persuasive claims about it.

200-level.  These courses are more advanced comprehensive explorations of some coherent--whether extended (Colonial America) or intensive (American Revolution)--period of history or of some important thread (gender arrangements, economic relations) that runs through a particular group's past.  These are courses that are intended to cover ground: although they address problems of evidence and interpretation, they also try to fold the available facts into a larger, reasonably coherent story or framework.

300-level.  These courses explore the state of knowledge and interpretation on some focused theme. They are advanced discussion courses with limited enrollment designed to sharpen students' awareness of how history is constructed.  In them students are exposed to the methods, concepts, and arguments that characterize work in a specific area of historical investigation and hone their skills at reading secondary literature for approach, assumptions, and argument. 

400-level.  Courses at this level engage students in original primary research, independent inquiry, or applied study.  The centerpiece of these offerings is History 400, the research seminar.  In it students concentrate their energies on writing a single, extended analysis of an historical problem based on research into primary sources.  The topics of these seminars vary from semester to semester.  But the subject is not as important as the exercise: the main thing to take away from the seminar is not information, but a better grip on the methods of historical research. 

Courses
HIST 110 Ideas and Institutions of Western Civilization I
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Topical study of western heritage from Classical Greece through Reformation.

HIST 111 Ideas and Institutions of Western Civilization II
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Topical study of western heritage from rise of modern political concepts in 17th century to present.

HIST 199 Elements of Historical Thinking
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Introduction to aims and methods of historical thinking. Through concentrated exploration of a particular historical issue, students develop their understanding of the nature and limits of historical evidence, various legitimate ways of approaching it, and the art of making persuasive claims about it. Students may take no more than two History 199 courses. Each course must be on a different topic.

HIST 200 Colonial America
Units: 1
Description
Survey of colonial history from earliest British settlements to the end of French and Indian War in 1763.

HIST 201 The American Revolution
Units: 1
Description
Study of the War of Independence and formation of the Republic, 1763-1788.

HIST 202 The Early American Republic
Units: 1
Description
An exploration of the history of the Early American Republic from the beginnings of the American Revolution through the Ware of 1812 and its aftermath. Examines the beginnings of the United States, with particular attention to the formation of governments, the expansion of wage labor and the domestic slave trade, the implications of settler colonialism for native people, and the nature of politics in the early national period. What were the consequences of the imperial crisis and the American Revolution for the continent's diverse inhabitants What was the nature of the federal government that Americans created, and how did their definition of "the people" change over time? Particular attention will be paid to the commodification of both natural resources and human beings.

HIST 204 The Civil War and Reconstruction
Units: 1
Description
Examination of slavery, sectional controversy, secession, the war, and the political, economic, and social problems of Reconstruction.

HIST 211 The U.S. South in the Twentieth Century
Units: 1
Description
Examination of the social, cultural, political and economic history of the South in the twentieth century. Major themes will include the rise and fall of legalized segregation, the development of a viable Republican Party in the region, the role played by reformers and activists, and the power of historical memory. Major events in the region will be regarded from multiple perspectives: black and white, male and female, landed and landless, Republican and Democrat, moderate and activist.

HIST 214 United States and the World, 1877-1945
Units: 1
Description
Survey of the history of the United States from the end of the 19th through first half of the 20th century in transnational perspective, examining how the modern United States was formed through economic, cultural, political, and military encounters with peoples, governments, and places around the world. Topics covered will include imperialism, migration, citizenship, the rise of the United States as a global power, American culture abroad, and the role of the United States in World War I and World War II.

HIST 215 United States and the World Since 1945
Units: 1
Description
Survey of the history of the United States since World War II in transnational perspective. Topics will include the Cold War, the interrelationship between foreign policy and domestic politics, American involvement in the developing world, migration, citizenship, and economic and cultural globalization.

HIST 216 American Cultural and Intellectual History Since 1865
Units: 1
Description
Survey of American ideas and culture since the Civil War. Topics will include the "social questions" of the 19th century; visions of the self and society; the role of science and expertise in American life; political debates over freedom and the market; and cultural battles over pluralism and American identity.

HIST 218 State and Society in Modern America
Units: 1
Description
Survey of United States political and social development in the twentieth century. Topics include the New Deal, World War II, the transformation of the American labor movement, urban crises and suburbanization, the rights revolutions, the career of the modern American welfare state, and the rise of modern American conservatism.

HIST 219 Work in Twentieth-Century America
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of the connections between work and political, economic, and cultural life in America in the last century, addressing such questions as: How did the meaning of work change for Americans in the twentieth century? How did work generate protests, legislation, electoral triumphs, and political falls from grace?

HIST 220 Reagan's America
Units: 1
Description
Survey of United States political and social development in the late twentieth century. Topics include the Richard Nixon, the Oil Crisis, the rightward shift in American politics, second wave feminism, AIDs, Ronald Reagan's presidency, and welfare reform.

HIST 221 Classical Greece
Units: 1
Description
Survey of Greek history from end of the Bronze Age through career of Philip II of Macedon.

HIST 222 Hellenistic Greece and Republican Rome
Units: 1
Description
Investigation of rise of the Roman hegemony in context of the Hellenistic Mediterranean. Special attention given to role of Hellenistic kings.

HIST 223 The Roman Empire
Units: 1
Description
Study of how the Romans and their Byzantine followers maintained an empire in the hostile atmosphere of the first five centuries of our era.

HIST 225 Medieval Italy
Units: 1
Description
Study of Italy from the formation of the communes to the first stirrings of the Renaissance. Emphasis on the development of the commercial economy, differential development between North and South, the emergence of a strong Papal State, and the causes and effects of the Great Plague.

HIST 226 The Early Middle Ages
Units: 1
Description
Survey of social and intellectual developments in Europe from Late Antiquity to the 11th century. Emphasis on the birth and development of the political and institutional successors to the Roman Empire.

HIST 227 The High Middle Ages
Units: 1
Description
Overview of some of the principal social, political, and cultural developments in Europe c. 1000-1300 with special attention to the increasing vitality of urban culture, the varying position of women, the formation of bureaucratic "states," and the emergence of such concepts as romantic love and individualism.

HIST 230 The Renaissance
Units: 1
Description
Overview of the culture, politics, economics, modern science, and overseas expansion of the Renaissance, especially in Italy.

HIST 233 Reformation Europe
Units: 1
Description
Survey of the Protestant and Catholic reformations with emphasis on the social, political, and cultural implications of church reform.

HIST 236 Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and After
Units: 1
Description
Political, social, diplomatic, and cultural overview of the fate of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union from the Napoleonic Wars through the end of the Cold War with special focus on nationalism, socialism, Stalinism, and the fall of the USSR.

HIST 238 France: The Age of Absolutism, 1610-1780
Units: 1
Description
Examination of the growth of the French state under the Bourbon monarchy and the centralizing policies of ministers Richelieu, Colbert and Fleury that saw the expansion of venal office holders and robe nobles as well as the critical counter voices of Enlightenment thinkers and the protests of unruly commoners. How did Louis XIV help to make France a world power? What contributed to its vibrant culture emulated throughout Europe? How did the claims of absolute rule give way to liberal ideas of equality and liberty?

HIST 239 The French Revolution
Units: 1
Description
Examination of the social, political, economic and cultural aspects of the Revolution of 1789 in France with particular attention to ideas of liberty and equality and their implementation in the early and later, more radical, phases of revolution, ending with the rule of Napoleon as child of the Revolution and Emperor of France.

HIST 242 Modern Germany
Units: 1
Description
Study of Prussia and Germany from 1848 to present. Emphasis on unification, political movements, Nazism, and origins and effects of World Wars I and II.

HIST 243 Modern Britain
Units: 1
Description
Examination of Constitutional, political, economic, and social developments in the United Kingdom during the Victorian era and 20th century.

HIST 244 Propaganda State
Units: 1
Description
An examination of the deployment of propaganda in peacetime and war across the span of the twentieth century through the investigation of a series of case studies and broader theoretical readings. Ultimately, the course attempts to offer a definition of propaganda, an examination of the concept in dialogue with other terms such as ideology, persuasion and public relations, and a broader context-based understanding of the phenomenon over the course of the twentieth- and early twenty-first century.

HIST 246 Russia in Revolution, 1905-1934
Units: 1
Description
Examination of Russia in revolution from the attempts at reform in 1905, through the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 and the subsequent consolidation of power under Lenin and Stalin. Special emphasis on the nature of "revolution" and questions of agency and contingency.

HIST 249 Twentieth-Century Europe
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSHT)
Description
Overview of European political, diplomatic, military, social, economic, and cultural history since 1900.

HIST 250 Modern East Asia: 1600-1960
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of the journeys that China, Korea, and Japan took that have resulted in the shape of East Asia as we know it today, examining their long history of interconnection and philosophical, cultural, and political traditions and the different ways they respond to similar issues at the same time.

HIST 251 Chinese Revolutions
Units: 1
Description
Study of the several Chinese revolutions that together spanned the better part of the twentieth century and changed China in fundamental ways, with particular focus on the life and work of the main instigator of those revolutions, Mao Zedong.

HIST 252 Modern China: 1900-1940
Units: 1
Description
Investigation of the period 1900-1940, during which many aspects of the modern Chinese state and society were established. Includes the emergence of Chinese national identity, Chinese vernacular, and the political ideologies that continue to define China today. Also studies the emergence of a sophisticated urban culture in cities like Shanghai, and radical transformations in the social fabric of Chinese society.

HIST 255 Meiji Japan: An Emperor and The World Named for Him
Units: 1
Description
Examination of the reign of the Meiji emperor (1868-1912), considered to be the period in which modern Japan emerges, as a loose unifying metaphor for the many radical shifts in Japanese society, politics, and culture that occurred in his time.

HIST 260 Colonial Latin America
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of the multiple meanings and impacts of the complex, cataclysmic and often times bloody encounter between conquering Iberians (people from Spain and Portugal), Africans and the indigenous people of the Americas and the development of Latin America colonial societies until their national independence in the early nineteenth century.

HIST 261 Modern Latin America
Units: 1
Description
Introductory survey of Latin American history from independence; focus on the quest for political stability, economic development, and social change.

HIST 262 The Making of Modern Brazil
Units: 1
Description
Study of how modern Brazil came to be with special attention to comparative issues in the study of slavery, race, gender, and ethnicity.

HIST 265 Gender and Sexuality in Latin American History
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of the socio-political, cultural and economic processes through which gender, sexuality, class, and ethnic/cultural dynamics are interconnected and constructed in Latin America from the colonial era to the contemporary period. Focus will be on the complicated relationships between historically specific ideologies and socio-economic systems of production and domination, and the respective privileged or unprivileged positions of women and men under the colonialist, capitalist, socialist, and neoliberal states of Latin America.

HIST 270 Early Islamic World
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to the major institutions that evolved under the aegis of Islamic Civilization from the advent of Islam in the early seventh century C.E. through the Mongol invasion in 1258. Since "Islam" in this context encompasses an entire cultural complex, the course will examine religious, political, economic, and social institutions.

HIST 271 The Modern Middle East
Units: 1
Description
Survey of Middle East from last years of Ottoman Empire to the present. Emphasis on culture, Zionism, Arab nationalism, diplomacy, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

HIST 272 The Ottoman Empire
Units: 1
Description
Survey of the history of Ottoman Turkish power from its origins as an obscure band of frontier warriors (ghazis), to its emergence as a world-empire and its eventual collapse in the aftermath of World War I.

HIST 281 Africa, c. 1500 to c. 1900
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to economic, social, political, and intellectual history of Africa from time of trans-Atlantic slave trade to colonial conquest.

HIST 282 Africa in the Twentieth Century
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to economic, social, political, and intellectual history of Africa from colonial period to present.

HIST 283 South Africa since 1500
Units: 1
Description
Topical overview of South Africa from precolonial period to present, with special attention to conquest, economic development, establishment of the migrant labor system, segregation, and rise and fall of formal apartheid.

HIST 290 Britain and the World
Units: 1
Description
Survey of British history from the late eighteenth century to the present day, including Britain's relationship with its empire and the wider world. Topics include social relations during industrialization, imperial crises in Jamaica and India, feminism, the world wars, and the making of the welfare state.

HIST 299 Special Topics: Periods and Regions
Units: 1
Description
First-time or one-time courses in regions and periods not covered or not yet covered in the history program.

HIST 300 Claiming the American Revolution
Units: 1
Description
Consideration of the changing interpretations of the American Revolution and its legacies over time, from 1783 to the present. Explores key moments when early Americans argued over the meaning of the war in the first few decades after its conclusion. Examines the ways in which historians--and the public--have clashed over interpretations of the Founding Era.

HIST 301 The Civil War in Film and Literature
Units: 1
Description
Comparison of historians' treatments of the Civil War with its portrayal in documentaries, feature films, and literature.

HIST 306 American Identities
Units: 1
Description
Thematic exploration of historical issues of identity development and construction in the twentieth-century United States, focusing on such questions as: What do historians mean by "identity"? How do they use categories like race, class, and gender to understand the American experience? How have they approached issues of status, power, and individuality?

HIST 321 History of Work in Europe
Units: 1
Description
Historical study of the world of work in early modern and modern Europe. Focus on the nature of work itself, how it framed mentalities, created social classifications, informed economic thought, and shaped the political process. Topics include history of wage labor and guilds, early industry from countryside to cities, working class formation, division of labor in industry, and policing labor.

HIST 322 Conquest and Coexistence: Medieval Frontier Society
Units: 1
Description
Examination of Medieval frontier societies in a comparative perspective, considering such themes as political organization and allegiances, and social, economic and religious life. Consideration given to both geographic and cultural frontiers--places where movement, confrontation, and intersection among peoples occurred. Particular emphasis on the dynamic of contact and separation, cultural exchange, and resistance in Southern Italy, Spain, the Crusader States, and the British Isles.

HIST 325 The Enlightenment
Units: 1
Description
An exploration of approaches to and conceptions of what historians have come to call the "Enlightenment." What do they mean by "The Enlightenment?" In what ways do they seek fuller understanding of it? How and why do they disagree about its features? Although the main focus will be on secondary literature, primary texts will be read and discussed as examples of the kind of evidence scholars are trying to interpret.

HIST 326 Communism
Units: 1
Description
An examination of the historical and philosophical issues surrounding the modern communist experience via the work of nearly two dozen major thinkers. A course in intellectual history, it pays special attention to the changing makeup of this supposedly monolithic ideology.

HIST 341 History and Memory: WWII in East Asia
Units: 1
Description
Examination of the lingering controversies surrounding the history of WWII in East Asia. The focus is on the intersections of history and memory, and the politics of remembering and representing difficult historical events associated with the war. Issues include the Nanjing Massacre, comfort women, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Battle of Okinawa.

HIST 361 Madness and Society in the Modern Era
Units: 1
Description
Historiographical examination of such questions as: What is insanity? How do we define the normal and the pathological? Who in society is best suited to determine psychological health and sickness? Can there be sciences of the emotions and sexuality? How do class, race, religion, and gender influence our views of human mental functioning? Can the human mind know itself? How did the sciences of the mind (i.e. psychiatry, psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, psychopharmacology, and the cognitive neurosciences) claim tremendous scientific authority and exert enormous cultural influence at the turn of the twentieth century? A variety of settings will be considered, including continental Europe, North America, Latin America, and Africa from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries.

HIST 370 Contending Visions of the Middle East
Units: 1
Description
Examination of major debates in the field of Modern Middle Eastern and Islamic History, exploring what the main approaches and their critiques are, how the field (especially recently) came to be polarized and politicized, and where more fruitful middle ground might be found between these hardened categories. Topics will include Orientalism and its discontents, the rise of political Islam, nationalism, and "civilizational identities."

HIST 380 Women and Gender in African History
Units: 1
Description
Examination of women's roles in and perspectives on some of the major issues in African history, including slavery, colonialism, and development.

HIST 390 Food and Power in Africa and Asia
Units: 1
Description
Comparative exploration of the connection between food (cultivation, processing, distribution, consumption, and denial) and political legitimacy, social institutions, and individuals' identities and values in Asia and Africa from antiquity to present.

HIST 391 Transnational Social Reform
Units: 1
Description
Exploration of the ideas, institutions, and social networks around which movements for transnational reform have been built. Students will examine the history of four movements for transnational social reform since the early 19th century: abolitionism, women's rights, anticolonialism, and environmentalism.

HIST 395 The Historian's Workshop
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to various tools used by historians in their work. Topics covered might include digital methods, the nature of the archive, quantitative methods, paleography, oral history, genealogy, cartographic investigation, and exhibition design.

HIST 398 Historiography
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to principles and practices of historical writing. Although some attention is paid to the history of historical writing since classical times, focus will be on contemporary modes of historical writing.

HIST 399 Special Topics: Focused Themes
Units: 1
Description
First-time or one-time colloquia on focused topics not covered or not yet covered in the history program.

HIST 400 Research Seminar for Majors
Units: 1
Description
Required seminar for majors taken in junior or senior year. Investigation of a topic of limited focus culminating in substantial paper based on common reading and individual research in primary and secondary materials. Topics and instructors vary. See departmental Web site for seminar topics. Enrollment limited to 12 students.

HIST 401 Directed Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Individually designed reading or research program conducted under faculty supervision.
Prerequisites
Five courses in history and permission of department.

HIST 402 Individual Internship
Units: .5-1
Description
Practical history-related work combined with some academic study.
Prerequisites
Permission of department.

HIST 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor

HIST 411 Honors Thesis Prospectus
Units: .5
Description
Preparation of research prospectus for honors research seminar under direction of appropriate faculty.
Prerequisites
History 410 and admission to departmental honors program.

HIST 412 Honors Research Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Research and writing of honors thesis in history.
Prerequisites
History 410 and 411 and admission to departmental honors program.

HIST 413 Honors Research Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Research and writing of honors thesis in history.
Prerequisites
History 412.