Program Description

The study of history challenges students to explore a variety of sources as they gain a greater understanding of the past. The College's expansive history curriculum spans a wide range of periods and developments in the Western and non-Western worlds --from the Age of Discovery in the 15th century to the changing relationship between the United States and the Middle East, from the medieval era to today.

Coursework in history takes place both in and outside the classroom, via classes, research, faculty/student collaboration, and hands-on fieldwork.

Comparing different parts of the world at different periods of time offers insight into the diversity of the human experience as well as one's own place in the world. It is through this process of discovery that the study of history sharpens the mind and leads students toward what can become a lifetime of informed citizenship.

Program Requirements

Learning Goals for History Majors and Minors:

  • To develop critical reading skills
  • To develop discussion skills, especially through classroom-based work
  • To distinguish between primary and secondary sources through research work and through classroom work
  • To develop writing and communication skills through research and writing of papers

Major Requirements
History Major Check Sheet
Requirements for a major in history consist of ten courses.

  • A 100-level world history course
  • A Historical Method course that provides special opportunities for group work and collaborative research
  • At least three courses at the 300 (advanced) level
  • Four courses at the 200 or 300 level, chosen from at least four of the following groups: North American, European, Asian, Latin American, African, Islamic, Comparative History.

View list of 200-300 level History Courses counting towards the History Major Field Distribution Requirements.

View list of First Year Seminars that may be counted as 100-level electives for credit towards the History Major.

View a list of Non-Departmental Courses eligible for credit toward the History Major.

The Capstone Experience: Senior Research Seminar
As a senior, each history major must select a research seminar as the capstone course in the history program.

A selection of senior seminars is offered each year. They provide students with an opportunity to work in small groups with a faculty member in research of a selected topic. Typically, participants are expected to engage in reading, discussion, oral reports, writing of formal papers based on individual research, and critiques of each other's work.

Minor Requirements
History Minor Check Sheet
History Minor Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2017
The minor consists of six courses.

  • No more than two of the courses may at the 100 level
  • At least two must be at the 300 level, and one of which must be History 300: Historical Method
  • One course may be from the Courses from Other Departments list for the major.

Minor courses may not be taken S/U.

 

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
HIST-103 Europe Africa and Asia 1750-1900
Introduction to the history of the modern world (app. 1750-1930). Focus is on the comparative global history of Asia, Africa, and Europe during this period. Course examines economic, political, and cultural interactions between these three continents, and includes some history of the Americas to round out the picture of world history. Themes include global economics (slave trade, industrial revolution(s), world markets), imperialism, nationalism, and world war. Course is intended as an introductory history class for all students and fulfills one of the Humanities requirements. Course also fulfills the global history requirement for majors.


HIST-105 The Age of Discovery
Course focuses on cultural and economic interactions between Europe, Asia, the Muslim World, and the Americas, and places great 'discoveries' of Western history--the new World, conquests, the 'rebirth' of antiquity, and the beginnings of modern science-within their context of cross-cultural exchange. Students consider literary, scientific, and religious influences on individual encounters, as well as historians' explanations for long-term global realignments during a dynamic period in world history.


HIST-106 The Atlantic World 1600-1850
Examination of the development of an Atlantic world system that connects Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Students study Atlantic communities in a comparative context that emphasizes international trade and communication, encounters between native and colonial peoples, the rise and fall of New World slavery, and the development of new national identities.


HIST-110 The Twentieth Century World
Historical change in the global setting, from the ascendancy of the pre-First World War empires to the present. Topics include technological development, imperialism and decolonization, world wars, political revolutions, social and economic forces, and the reshaping of thought and the arts in the diverse cultures of humanity.


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HIST-200 Topics in European History
Exploration of an announced topic in European History


HIST-203 History of the British Isles
Survey of British history from ancient times to 1800. Includes Ireland, Scotland, and the overseas empire.


HIST-204 History of the British Isles
Survey of British history from 1800 to the present. Includes Ireland, Scotland, and the overseas empire.


HIST-206 Spain and the New World
Examination of the social, cultural, and political history of Spain and the New World from 1450 to 1700. Special attention is given to the effects which the discovery of the New World had on Spain and Latin America and the manner in which Spain imparted its institutions, culture, and beliefs to the peoples it conquered.


HIST-208 Islamic History 600-1500
Introduction of Islamic history from Pre-Islamic Arabia to the Conquest of Constantinople. Analysis covers the rise of Islam, the impact of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, and the rapid growth and expansion of the Islamic empire. Examines the socio-religious debates of the Islamic community against a backdrop of political intrigue, civil war, revolution, and mass migration. Covers a broad range of Islamic culture from architecture, miniature art, banquets and erotic poetry to science, maps, travel, education, and tulips.


HIST-209 Women's History Since 1500
Survey of the history of women since 1500, with particular attention on women's participation in the political, economic, cultural, and familial realms. Focus is primarily on European women, with occasional comparisons to the United States.


HIST-210 Hist of Early Modern France
Examination of major themes in French social, economic, and cultural history, from the reign of Francis I and the emergence of the Renaissance state to the Revolution with its sweeping away of the order associated with that state. Course concentrates on the changing social and economic structure of the period, as well as on the contemporaneous evolution of 'popular' and political culture.


HIST-211 Popular Culture in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800
Survey of developments in French, Italian, English and German popular culture over three centuries. Inquiry covers whether elite culture-makers were waging war upon popular culture in early modern Europe, and whether popular culture was being driven underground from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Topics of study include Carnival, community policing, ritual behavior, family life, violence, deviant behavior, religion, magic, and the transmission of culture.


HIST-212 History of Modern France
Course covers the social, political, and cultural history of France from the end of the French Revolution to the present. Topics to be discussed in detail include: the legacy of the French Revolution, the expansion of the French imperial world and "nation-building" in rural France, the twin catastrophes of two world wars, the post-World War II economic miracle, challenges of urbanization, decolonization and immigration, and France’s changing role in the world and Europe.


HIST-216 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union
Introduction to the history of modern Russia and the Soviet Union. Course follows political, economic, cultural, and social developments in Russia from the time of Catherine the Great and the French Revolution to the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Topics include Tsarist Russia, Russia in World War I, the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stalinism, the Cold War, the Post-1945 period, and Gorbachev and the end of single-party rule. Course also addresses the role of women, minorities, and social classes in the history of modern Russia.


HIST-218 Modern Germany
Introduction to the history of modern Germany, addressing political, economic, cultural, and social developments since 1800, with special attention given to the Bismarckian and Wilhelminian era, World War I, the Weimar and Nazi periods, World War II, the Holocaust, and the era of the two Germanys. Students may not receive credit for this course and Hist 218-GC taught in Cologne.


HIST-219 The Great War
One hundred years ago Europe’s Great Powers went to war. The resulting conflict forever altered the nations that fed its human destruction. This course examines the First World War’s history, cultural legacy, and memory from 1914 to the present. It does so through both traditional study of the examination of the causes, conduct, and consequences of the war, but also, investigates the Great War as a cultural experience, one that went far beyond the battlefields of Europe, its legacy deeply felt to the present day. Students will learn not only the history of the war itself, but how war’s change people, how they alter notions of identity, how their legacies develop and change over time. Through detailed study of the war’s history, cultural production, and by problematizing its lasting memory, students will understand not only the history of a conflict important in world history, but lenses for understanding war itself, that go far beyond the years 1914-1918.


HIST-220 Topics in Asian History
Exploration of an announced topic in Asian History


HIST-221 History of East Asia to 1800
Survey of East Asian civilizations to approximately 1800 and of East Asian political, social, and intellectual developments since the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.


HIST-222 History of East Asia:1800 to Present
Survey of East Asian civilizations since 1800 and of East Asian political, social, and intellectual developments since the beginning of the Qing Dynasty.


HIST-223 Modern China
Study of Chinese history since the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, with emphasis on transformations of the nineteenth century and the Nationalist and Communist revolutions.


HIST-224 Modern Japan
Examination of Japanese history and culture from the beginning of the Tokugawa period (ca. 1600) to the present. Explores Japan's attempts at constructing a nation that would meet the challenges of modernity, while at the same time preserving Japanese traditions.


HIST-226 The Birth of a Deadly "Boy": The History and Science of the Atomic Bombings of Japan
Exploration of the events surrounding the 1945 destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The history of the Pacific War leading up to the bombings is presented as well as the cultural, ethical, and political repercussions that followed in both the U.S. and Japan. A basic understanding of the science behind the weapons used and the biological damage done is given through appropriate atomic, nuclear, and medical physics. The controversy of the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons is discussed.


HIST-228 Modern Australia
Survey of Australian History since first European settlement. Major themes include political, economic, social and cultural developments. Significant attention paid to Australia's role in world affairs, racial policies, and demographic change.


HIST-230 The Native American-European Encounter in North America
Course focuses on encounters and adaptations between native American and European peoples in North America from 1500 to the present. Topics include the demographic consequences of contact; impact of European trade, religion, and war on native societies; relations between native Americans and the U.S. government; and the question of native American identity in the modern world.


HIST-231 United States to 1877
Survey of United States, from colonization through Reconstruction. Major topics include: encounters and adaptations between European, African, and Native American peoples; origins, operation, and destruction of American slavery; ideological and political origins of American democracy; nineteenth-century urbanization and industrialization; origins and consequences of the Civil War.


HIST-232 U.S. since 1865
This class is a survey of U.S. History since 1865 that will focus on how various groups in American society have defined themselves as citizens. Why people have collectively come together to pursue and defend a common set of interests, often to the point of violence, is the primary line of inquiry of this class. In pursuing this question, we will examine the various claims that American citizens have placed upon government, both at the state and federal level.


HIST-236 Urbanism in American History
Introduction to American history from the perspective of urbanism. Beginning with the colonial town and continuing to the megalopolis of the late twentieth century, students investigate the nature of urban life and its influence on the course of American development.


HIST-237 Borderlands of the Americas
Examines from a comparative perspective various borderlands and frontier cultures in the Americas. Focuses on regions beyond effective control of Europeans in the Early Modern era showing how societies in these imperial peripheries functioned differently from the colonial cores by having to negotiate their daily existence with the Indian peoples that surrounded them. The course also underlines how diseases, horses, guns, alcohol and European missionaries destabilized these ancient groups and served as catalysts for the emergence of new nations.


HIST-238 African American History: A Survey
A broad overview of the African and African American experience in colonial North American and the United States. This course considers how black peoples have responded to and been shaped by their experience during slavery and freedom, as well as examining the considerable economic, cultural, social and political impact of their presence in the United States.


HIST-240 Topics in United States History
Exploration of an announced topic in United States History


HIST-244 American Military History
A survey of the American military experience from the early colonial period to the most recent experiences in the Gulf War and Afghanistan. The course encompasses a study of the relationships and impact of warfare and military forces in the establishment, expansion, preservation and development of the United States. Emphasis is placed on the context of American warfare and how it has influenced our history and way of life. The course analyzes factors which have influenced military operations, such as strategy, tactics, organization, technology, logistics, national will, leadership and luck.


HIST-245 Gender and the American Civil War
Study of the experiences of women and men during the Civil War era (app. 1840-1870s), with particular attention given to the following questions: How did the public role of women evolve during these decades? How did the experiences of women and men vary according to race, class, condition of servitude and location? How did the war illuminate or challenge existing gender roles? How did the military experiences of the war shape notions of masculinity?


HIST-248 Poverty and Welfare in American History
Survey of the history of poverty and responses to poverty in America, from the colonial period to the passage of recent welfare reforms. Class focuses on three interrelated clusters of questions. Who were the poor and how have they lived? What have Americans thought about poverty? And what have been the public and private policy responses to poverty? Course has a required service-learning component


HIST-249 American Intellectual History
A study of the history of American ideas and the ways Americans have invoked ideological or philosophical interventions to change or protect their moral lives and cultures, whether in the form of literature, philosophical treatises, protest writings, or writings about art and architecture. Readings include primary sources by William Ames, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge, William James, W.E.B. DuBois, Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Rorty and interpretive essays


HIST-260 Topics in Latin American History
Exploration of an announced topic in Latin American History


HIST-261 Colonial Latin American History
Exploration of Spanish and Portuguese America from its roots in Iberia and indigenous America through three centuries of change. During the period, Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans transformed their economies and cultures and created new societies. Hist 261 and LAS 261 are cross-listed.


HIST-262 Modern Latin American History
Survey of Latin American history from independence through the formation of national identity and the quest for modernity to dictatorship, democracy, and neoliberalism. Hist 262 and LAS 263 are cross-listed.


HIST-264 Brazil: Earthly Paradise to Industrial Giant
Major themes in Brazilian history from early Portuguese-indigenous relations, expanding frontiers, colonial society, and the development of African slavery, through nineteenth-century formation of national identity, to twentieth-century industrialization, political struggle, and cultural change. Hist 264 and LAS 264 are cross-listed.


HIST-270 Topics in African History
Exploration of an announced topic in African History


HIST-271 African History and Society to 1880s
Study of African history from the pre-colonial era to the 1880s covering traditional societies, state formations, Africa's relationship to the world economy, and European exploration and conquest.


HIST-272 African History and Society From 1880s
Study of African history from the 1880s examining developments leading to the colonization of Africa, changes in African societies under colonial rule, African responses to colonialism, African nationalist movements, and post-colonial socioeconomic and political experiments.


HIST-278 History of Islamic Technology
Study of Islamic technology, as the set of arts and crafts that impart a distinctive atmosphere to the predominantly Muslim societies of the Middle East and North Africa. Concentrates on technologies that contribute strongly to the particular qualities associated with life in the Muslim world.


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HIST-300 Historical Method
Course introduces majors to the techniques of historical investigation, considers the nature of history, and examines the relation of history to other fields of study. Prerequisite: Two courses in history.


HIST-301 Introduction to Public History
This class introduces students to ideas, debates, and best practices in the field of public history. Public history is a term that defines a constellation of historical practices outside of the academy, but most often refers to historians who work in institutions such as museums, historic sites, preservation offices, archives, and cultural resource agencies. This course will introduce students to the historical origins of public history in the United States and current ideas about the practice of public history.


HIST-302 Historiography
Topics covered begin with the origins of history-writing in Herodotus, Xenophon and Thucydides and continue to the post-Enlightenment models of deconstruction, environmental history, and the ‘clash of civilizations.’ Students will address four basic questions: What is history? How have ‘the great historians’ gone about the task of choosing what to write about the past? What are the literary genres they have adopted? Can we ever get at the truth of history?


HIST-303 Topics in European History
Exploration of an announced topic in European History


HIST-306 Italian City States
A study of the Italian City-states of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. This course examines the evolution of the city-states of northern and central Italy from the ninth through the seventeenth centuries. The purpose of the course is to compare political, social, economic and cultural systems of several city-states in order to understand how the unique evolution of this area contributed to the development of modern western political theory, the rise of bourgeois society, European expansion and the ascendancy of humanism in western culture.


HIST-308 Women, Power, and Politics in Early Modern Europe
Study of women's access to political power and their participation in politics in early modern and modern Europe. Consideration is given to different ways women exercised authority and influence and how they expressed a political voice. Includes an analysis of perceptions of politically powerful women.


HIST-311 Medieval Europe
Survey of the period from the breakdown of Roman institutions in the West to the coming of the Black Death in 1347. Special emphasis is given to political, cultural, and social developments, including such topics as the Germanic invasions, the reign of Charlemagne, the struggle between secular rulers and the papacy, the Crusades, and the twelfth-century renaissance.


HIST-312 Britain, Nation and Empire, 1660-1815
Study of the simultaneous creation of the modern British nation and the first British Empire. Topics include Britain’s recovery of its Roman past in architecture, arts, and literature; Scotland’s and Ireland’s place in the nation and empire; encounters with the indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, India, and the South Pacific; geopolitical rivalries with other European powers; and the long-term impact of imperialism on modern notions of British identity.


HIST-313 Renaissance & Reformation
Study of the gradual transition from the medieval to the early modern world, from ca. 1350 to the end of the sixteenth century. Course covers the cultural, political, economic, and religious changes and discusses such seminal figures as Petrarch, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, and Loyola.


HIST-314 Early Modern Europe 1555-1750
Course begins with the sixteenth-century wars of religion and continues with a study of the Habsburgs' attempts to dominate Europe, the emergence of France to predominance, and the development of the absolute state. The cultural and social impact of those political changes form a central part of the class.


HIST-315 Europe and the Age of Revolution
Intensive analysis of the origins and implications of the French Revolution. Course explores the differing aspirations of the nobles and peasants, lawyers and artisans, clerics and women, soldiers and philosophers whose world was transformed during the revolutionary decades. Students assess diverse interpretations of the revolution's causes and its consequences for the development of modern political culture.


HIST-316 Transformations in Nineteenth Century Europe
In-depth analysis of the history of nineteenth-century Europe. Course follows political, economic, cultural, and social developments in Europe beginning with the Ancien Regime and the French Revolution. Focus is on the transformations in the nineteenth century that brought Europe and much of the world into the modern era. Topics include the industrial revolution, Napoleon, political ideologies, the creation of new social classes, and scientific and medical revolutions. Course emphasizes the differences between the world before 1789 and the world in which we live today.


HIST-317 Europe 1871-1919
Period from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the settlement of the Great War in 1919. Course explores transformations in European economies, states, foreign relations, society, and thought that formed the backdrop for the Great War.


HIST-318 Europe 1914 to 1945
Studies of selected aspects of European history from the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 to the end of the Second World War in 1945.


HIST-319 Europe Since 1945
Perspectives on postwar Europe: reconstruction, de-Nazification, de-Stalinization, the end of the colonial empires, nationalism and European integration, and the role of the state and of religion, with the reflection of these in culture and society.


HIST-320 Topics in Asian History
Exploration of an announced topic in Asian History


HIST-323 Gender in Modern Japan
Examination of Japanese history from the 1600s to today using gender as the main category of analysis. Course explores connections between gender constructions(of proper masculine and feminine roles)and the modernizing process. Topics and themes include class differences, religious attitudes, political participation, sexual orientation, legal rights, militarism, educational and employment opportunities, participation in sports and the arts, and the role of the family.


HIST-325 Tokugawa Japan: 16th-19th Century
Study of early modern Japan beginning with mid-sixteenth century civil war and unification and ending with the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868. Emphasis is on the social, cultural, and political transformations during this extended period of peace and relative isolation. Encounter samurai, geisha, kabuki actors, rebellious peasants, wealthy merchants, Confucian scholars, and more.


HIST-326 Science and Technology in Modern Society: A U.S.-China-Japan Comparison



HIST-330 The Ottoman Empire: 1300-1923
Survey of the history of the Ottoman Empire. Topics include the arrival of the first Turks in Anatolia; origins of the Ottoman ghazi warriors; Ottoman conquests in Eastern Europe, South-west Asia, and North Africa; government, religion, and socio-economic aspects of daily life and material culture. Concludes with the demise of the Ottoman Empire: the Tanzimat (rejuvenation period); the "Eastern Question;" and the onset of the nationalist movements that frame the Middle East of today.


HIST-334 Law and Society in United States History
Determining and applying law goes far beyond judicial decisions of which laws are relevant for a particular case. Course will consider how culture, politics, economics, and other forces have shaped the law, and have been shaped by the law, in order to better understand how the law actually works. By examining a spectrum from sensational murder cases to routine legislation, this course explores the law's power to shape the lives and thinking of ordinary Americans.


HIST-335 American Social and Cultural History
Course traces America's major social, religious, artistic, and philosophical movements and their immediate and long-range impact on American life and culture, beginning with the American Revolution to the Civil War. Offered alternate years.


HIST-336 America Social and Cultural History
Course traces America's major social, religious, artistic, and philosophical movements and their immediate and long-range impact on American life and culture, beginning with the Civil War to the present.


HIST-339 From Old South to New South
Romantic legends of the Old South and the Reconstruction era serve as a point of departure for the entire class. Exploring the origins and development of a slave system, and the ways that human bondage infused all aspects of Southern life is the dominant line of inquiry for the first half of the class. How Southerners of all backgrounds came to grips with Union victory, emancipation, and military occupation after Appomattox is the primary line of investigation for the second half of the class.


HIST-340 Topics in United States History
Exploration of an announced topic in United States History


HIST-341 Colonial America
Examination of the colonization of North American from ca. 1500-1750, with emphasis on the European-Indian encounter, the origins of slavery, and comparative analysis of family, gender, and labor relations. Students also study provincial American culture from different regional perspectives and within a wider British-Atlantic world.


HIST-342 Revolutionary America
Examination of the origins, conduct, and results of the American Revolution, from ca. 1750-1790. Emphasis is on the social and cultural transformation of American life and the political ideology of the revolutionaries. War for Independence is explored from the perspectives of soldiers, civilians, women, African Americans, loyalists, and Indians.


HIST-343 The Early Republic
Course covers the period from the 1790s to the Mexican War and explores currents of American national life under such influences as Jefferson's agrarian republicanism, the emergence of liberal capitalism, and the democratic movements of the Jacksonian period. Attention is paid to slavery and sectionalism


HIST-344 Lincoln
An exploration of the life and significance of Abraham Lincoln, with a particular focus on his intellectual development in legal, political, philosophical and religious terms, and on the major issues of his presidency. Assignments will include intensive readings in Lincoln documents, the reading of significant interpretations of lincoln life, and a research paper.


HIST-345 Civil War
The trauma of America from the end of the Mexican War to Appomattox, moral judgments in history, political culture, economic interests, diplomacy, and war.


HIST-346 Slavery, Rebellion and Emancipation in the Atlantic World
Comparative study of slave systems, enslaved peoples, and emancipation in the Atlantic world. This course examines processes of slavery, resistance, and emancipation in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas from the 1500s to today. The course analyzes the effectiveness of emancipations and conclude by heightening awareness of ongoing slavery in Sudan and other countries.


HIST-347 Gettysburg in History and Memory
An examination of the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in the summer of 1863, involving an understanding of the major protagonists, the regional history into which they thrust themselves, a comparative history of battle at Gettysburg and elsewhere in the 19th century, and an overview of the consequences of the battle. Assignments will include readings in primary sources on the battle, outdoor forays across the Gettysburg National Military Park and adjacent sites, and a research paper on a particular aspect or personality connected with the battle.


HIST-348 Early Twentieth Century America
Focus is primarily on the major political, economic, and social developments in the U.S. from about 1900 to 1945. Some attention is given to the role of the U.S. in the world during this period.


HIST-349 The United States since 1945
Examination of major political, economic, and social developments in the U.S. since 1945, including demands made on the U.S. as a leading world power.


HIST-350 The Modern Black Freedom Struggle in America
This course will explore the twentieth-century African-American struggle for equal rights. Special attention will be paid to the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, the role of women, young people & college students in the movement, the relationship between legal equality and economic justice, black power, the connections between the Cold War and domestic civil rights campaigns, the “long civil rights movement,” and the relationship between past inequalities and contemporary policies.


HIST-360 Topics in Latin American History
Exploration of an announced topic in Latin American History


HIST-361 The Mexican Revolution
Study of the background, precursor movements, participants, events, and outcome of the violent social revolution; that swept the Mexican countryside between 1910 and 1917. Hist 361 and LAS 361 are cross-listed.


HIST-362 The U.S. & Latin America since 1898
The United States and Latin America since 1898. This course examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward Latin America, identifying the historical developments that have shaped that policy. It also investigates the effects these policies have had in the region and the ways in which Latin Americans have reacted to them. While the course centers on traditional diplomatic history in its orientation, it also examines interactions among non-state actors and the broader cultural and social dimensions of international relations.


HIST-364 Social Difference in Brazilian History
Intensive study of Brazilian history with an emphasis on the creation of social difference, the formation of concepts of race and ethnicity, and the construction of colonial, imperial, and national identities. Exploring historiographical trends and recent scholarship, the course emphasizes topics such as early contact, colonial society, Indian and African slavery, immigration, religion and culture, and indigenism. Prerequisite: LAS/Hist 261, LAS 263/Hist 262 or instructor permission. Hist 364 and LAS 364 are cross-listed.


HIST-370 Topics in African History
Exploration of an announced topic in African History


HIST-371 Modern African Environments: History, Ecology, and People
Study of the evolution of the interactions between people and the environment in Africa. Using the early 19th century as its starting point, the course examines the ways in which Africans (and others) not only managed Africa’s natural resources over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries and how they perceived the ecological system around those resources, but also explores various struggles to control the environment in Africa. The course equally inquires into the ways in which outsiders have created and propagated myths regarding Africans in connections with their environments.


HIST-372 African Diaspora: Dispersals, Memory, Identity and ‘Return’”
African Diaspora refers to multi-layered relationship connecting a dispersed population to a “homeland.” The course explores global and transnational experiences; social, political, cultural and economic issues confronting people of African descent in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa from the seventeenth century on. Topics include theory, methods and historiography of African Diaspora. The interdisciplinary course examines various themes as slavery, African culture survivals, revolts, abolition, creation of African communities and identities; and migrations back to Africa.


HIST-373 History of Sub-Sahara Africa in the Twentieth Century
Study of the impact of European colonial rule on African cultures, African responses to colonialism, and the impact of the colonial experience on contemporary African nations. Course also examine various methods of African resistance to colonial rule.


HIST-374 Protest Movements in South Africa and Southern United States
A study of important movements to challenge institutionalized racism in the second half of the 20th century in the United States and in South Africa. The course investigates the nature of institutional racism and ideologies and the rise and functioning of the resistance movements at a grassroots level and explores parallels in the development of and resistance to racism in South Africa, and the United States. The course will rely on scholarly readings, biographies, autobiographies and primary documents.


HIST-376 France and Sub-Saharan Africa in Global Context
A critical examination of the rise and evolution of the shared, but also contested, history between France and the nation-states that once formed France’s empire in Africa south of the Sahara. The course will begin by briefly introducing the French colonial expansion in Africa in the late 19th century and mapping out its geographic contours.


HIST-379 US-Middle East Interaction: 1776 - 1979
Traces US relations with the Middle East from the earliest encounters in the eighteenth century with the Barbary States of North Africa to American involvement in the Iranian Revolution. We examine the symbiotic relationship of Islamo-Christian civilization from 600 C.E. until today, the irony of American slavery in the Middle East, the impact of European Orientalism on American views, Holy Land fantasy and missionary ventures, the impact of the Cold War on American policies regarding the Middle East, the quest for control of oil, the effects of the Iranian Revolution, and the development of the Muslim community in America.


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HIST-408 Sem: The Reformation



HIST-410 Sem:Abraham Lincoln



HIST-411 The Spanish Conquest of the Americas
An examination of firsthand narratives of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, including the writings of such famous (or infamous) individuals as the Genoese explorer, Christopher Columbus; the conquistador Hernan Cortes; the intrepid survivor of a failed expedition to Florida, Alvar Nu'ez Cabeza de Vaca; as well as the defender of the Indians, Fray Bartolome de las Casas. Students consider attitudes towards and representations of the indigenous peoples; justifications for conquest, as well as more tangible elements of the encounter between Spaniards and the indigenous peoples of the Americas. The course looks in depth at how scholars today interpret the texts and the events of the Spanish conquest.


HIST-412 Sem: Eisenhower & His Times
Dwight Eisenhower's career as a soldier, educator and statesman will be examined, with primary attention focused on his popular and consequential presidency. Exploring how Ike responded to challenges and how is actions as president reflected his sensitivity to moral issues as well as the practical demands of politics, managing domestic affairs, and national security is a central concern of this seminar. We will attempt to evaluate the Eisenhower presidency in the context of the history of the modern presidency, to make some judgments about the validity of the popular presidential "ratings" systems. The course will be organized primarily around readings in primary and secondary sources, and in the discussion of papers.


HIST-413 Sem: Decolonization in Africa
The purpose of this seminar is to familiarize senior history majors with the debate about the decline of the European colonial empires in Africa. Basically, the course will provide perspectives for the assessment of the years 1940-1960 in Africa. The wider goal is to acquaint students with both European and African conditions which contributed to the rise of African anti-colonial sentiments and the ultimate forcing of the major colonial powers out of Africa. The heart of the seminar is the research paper. Students will choose one of two topics: whether or not (a) World War II served as a catalyst not a cause of the independence movements in Africa; (b) Africa's economic dependency on the former colonial powers has had the effect of limiting political independence in most African nations. For his/her topic each student will select an African country and leader.


HIST-416 Sem: The Spanish Inquisition
In the words of Cardinal Ximenez, character in the Monty Python sitcom: “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Our chief weapon is surprise and fear...and ruthless efficiency.” How accurate is the popular conception of the Spanish Inquisition? Was it an instrument of sadistic torture and cruelty? In this seminar we will examine the history of the Spanish Inquisition, considering the myths and legends which have circulated about the “Holy Office.” We will set the Inquisition in the context of early modern Spanish history to understand its origin, development, and operation. We will also consider new scholarly approaches to the documentary history left by the Inquisition. What can its documents tell us about Spanish culture and society in the early modern period?


HIST-417 Sem:Meaning of Independence
In this seminar students will study the transformations in political ideology, social structure, and cultural values that accompanied American independence during the Revolutionary Era. Seminar participants will compare the meaning of independence for some of the leading figures of the Revolution - including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams - as well as the ways in which commonfolk - husbands and wives, slaves, working people - experienced independence in their everyday lives.


HIST-418 Sem: Nazism
Senior research seminar on Nazism which is a shorthand term for National Socialism. National Socialism, the German variety of Fascism, dominated that country from 1933 to 1945. Students in the seminar will consider the origins, development, and effects of Nazism. In particular, students will examine the Nazi seizure of power, Nazi domestic and foreign policy, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. In addition students will look at major figures such as Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich, but will also read and discuss broader social and cultural issues. These issues will involve a look at life inside the Third Reich and how Nazism affected women, minorities and the young.


HIST-420 Sem: Modern Britain and the British Empire
Seminar is an in-depth examination of modern Britain and the British Empire. In addition to discussing significant core themes in seminar classes, students prepare a major paper based on primary sources, and serve as the major critic for another student's paper.


HIST-421 Sem: The U.S. and World War II
This course explores the American experience during the second World War. It will examine the origins of the war, the major military theaters, and the home front. Special attention will be paid to such themes as the state and society, race, and gender in context of a nation at war.


HIST-422 Sem: The Pacific War, 1931-1945
Senior seminar exploring the events, ideas, individual experiences and long-term significance of the Pacific War. Emphasis is on the conflict and its human impact through events that include the 1931 Manchurian Incident, the Rape of Nanjing and war with China, Pearl Harbor, expansion into Southeast Asia, and the dropping of the atom bombs.


HIST-423 Sem: Comparative Frontiers of the Americas
Seminar that takes a comparative approach to studying frontier regions of the Americas. Topics include colliding empires, inter-ethnic conflict and interdependence, shifting alliances, economic ties, social development, and cultural exchange and transformation. We will explore the concept of the frontier in the historiography, from Frederick Jackson Turner to recent re-evaluations.


HIST-424 Sem: Race on Trial
This seminar examines how law and race have intersected in US history. The course will begin with an examination of legal scholarship from an interdisciplinary field, Law and Society in order to introduce students to basic legal concepts and schools of thought such as positive law, critical legal studies, and critical race theory. The goal is for students to understand the cultural, political, and social forces that have acted on the law, and vice versa, as well as understanding the complex ways in which law and race have shaped one another. After this introduction, the seminar will explore these theories in historical contexts of legal case studies, legislation, and rights discourse. Students will conduct preliminary research in the same sets of microfilmed and local court records in order to construct models of how historians might interpret legal sources, which will help prepare them for their final paper. Their own research paper will based on original research in primary sources, and clearly link that research with the appropriate historiographical and legal schools of thought.


HIST-425 Seminar in the American Civil War
The seminar will focus senior history majors on one major problem of the Civil War through primary and secondary sources and will help each student to create an original research paper that will emulate articles published in the scholarly press. The major problem considered by the seminar will change from year to year.


HIST-426 Sem: Pennsylvania's Indians
Senior research seminar on Pennsylvania's original inhabitants, from prehistory through twentieth century. Course materials focus on the colonial era, c. 1680-1800, with examination of fur trade, religion, diplomacy, captivity, and warfare. Native and colonial groups studied include: Delaware, Shawnee, Iroquois, Quakers, Moravians, Scots-Irish.


HIST-427 Sem: Mediterranean Encounters
The Mediterranean is a geographical and cultural space, a circuit of lands and sea linked by a shared history. This seminar will investigate the cultural and literary dynamics of Mediterranean history, concentrating on encounters between Muslims, Christians, and Jews across the "Greater Mediterranean" from the Islamic Conquests to the Reconquista. Against the template of crusades and personal ambitions, issues related to trade and commerce, socio-cultural interactions, perceptions and misperceptions, geographical accounts, travel narratives, maps, art, and theories about the role that the sea itself played in Mediterranean history, will be discussed.


HIST-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


HIST-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


HIST-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


HIST-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


HIST-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


HIST-472 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


HIST-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


HIST-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


HIST-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


HIST-477 Half Credit Internship
Half credit internship, graded S/U.


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