Courses in History

HIS 103. The Ancient World: the Dawn of Civilization to the Fall of the Han and Roman Empires. A study of the development of civilizations from the development of human civilizations to the end of the first era of empire building in India, China, and the Mediterranean. Topics include the river valley civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China; the formation of great philosophies and religious traditions in Asia and Greece; and the first empires in the Mediterranean world, India, and China.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

HIS 104. The Second Age of Empires: World History From the Fall of Rome to the Mongol Invasions. A study of the second phase of empire building in world history, spanning the period from the fall of Rome in 476 to the end of the Middle Ages in Europe and the end of Mongol domination in Asia and Russia by 1450. Topics will include the Byzantine Empire; the gradual recovery of Europe after the fall of Rome; the renewal of China under the T'ang and the Song Dynasties; the Islamic dynasties in the Middle East, Africa, India, and China; the pre-Columbian empires of Latin America; and the Mongol invasions.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

HIS 105. Formation of the Modern World. This course is a survey of modern history, from ca. 1400 to the present. The course will focus on one of the most important aspects of modern history, the processes of colonization and decolonization. The course is framed by three main areas of inquiry. First students explore why it was the Europeans who expanded over the globe from 1500 to 1900. The second theme is the cultural encounter that resulted from European expansion. The final section of the course deals with the twentieth-century. The following themes are covered: colonial resistance, the three-world order, and globalization.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

HIS 125. United States History to 1865. The major events and developments in America from Columbus to the Civil War, with emphasis on the creation of a distinctive American society from the interaction of different cultures, ethnic groups, and ideas. Major themes include the transformation of European cultural ideas in colonial America and the impact of republican ideology, democratization, and the spread of the market economy between the Revolution and the Civil War.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

HIS 126. United States History Since 1865. American history from 1865 until the present. Students learn about important themes in recent history such as the tension between property rights and human rights, pluralism and white supremacy, and ideological and political struggles over the regulation of capitalism, and the proper role of the federal government.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). 3 credits.

HIS 202. Historical Geography. An introduction to historical geography and to the concept of historical-geographic change over time in various parts of the world, focusing on prominent scholars and scholarly communities that examine key aspects of contemporary and human physical landscapes, especially with regard to agriculture, land use, urbanization, transportation, settlement, industry, migration, and disease.  Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 206. Revolution and Nationalism. The course will chart the ways in which the French Revolution and the industrial revolution in Europe shaped the political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual development of Europe in the nineteenth century. The major themes of the course include the development of the political ideologies that emerged as a result of the French Revolution, industrialization, nationalism, the development of class societies, gradual democratization in parts of Europe, the beginning of the women's movement, challenges to liberalism, and finally, the causes of World War I.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 207. Europe in the 20th Century. An introduction to the main political, social, economic and intellectual developments in twentieth-century Europe. The major themes of the course include the experience of the two world wars; the development of fascist and communist regimes under Lenin and Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler; the weakness of the western democracies after World War I; the Holocaust; the Cold War; the Communist Bloc; the end to colonialism; the European Union; the development of the welfare state, and the new nationalism.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with POL 207]

HIS 210. The History of Modern France, 1750 to the Present. A study of French history from 1750 to the 1980s. The course provides an overview of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of France from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth century. The course will address a variety of themes from the standpoint of France's place in European history as a whole but also in terms of the uniqueness of the French experience. Some of the themes covered by the course will include: France's revolutionary tradition; the development of a democratic society; the French pattern of gradual industrialization; the persistence of the French peasantry; the socialist movement and syndicalism; the evolution of the radical right; imperialism; French communism; intellectual movements in literature, philosophy and the arts; France and Europe in the post-war period; women in French society; and the role of minorities in France. The course will also examine the ways in which these themes relate to issues confronting contemporary France.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 215. Law and Government. This course uses key cases to study important doctrines established by the Supreme Court with respect to the structure and functions of the constitutional system (judicial, legislative and executive power and federalism). There is a particular emphasis on various forms of textual interpretation used by individual justices to apply the Constitution in deciding cases and writing opinions.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 2 (Social Science). Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with LAW 215]

HIS 217. Women in Modern Europe, 1750 to the Present. An exploration of the position of women in Modern Europe from 1750 to the present. The course focuses around the tensions between women's difference and demands for equal treatment as this theme has played out through history. The course will begin with a discussion of gender in history and then proceed to examination of women in pre- industrial Europe, the French Revolution, the industrial revolution, nineteenth-century reform movements, feminism and the suffrage movement. Twentieth century themes include the "new" woman, women in communist Russia and under the fascist regimes, the impact of two world wars on women's roles, the welfare state, and finally, contemporary feminism.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 220. Colonial America: a History in Red, White, and Black. A study of the interactions between three very different cultures--American Indians, Africans, and Europeans--on the North American continent. Emphasis will be on the ideology and methods by which Europeans came to dominate the area, and how both Indians and Africans struggled to preserve their identity in an increasingly white-dominated colonial world.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

HIS 226. Age of Jefferson and Jackson. How the old republican ideal of a virtuous agrarian society struggled to confront the new age of economic modernization, social diversity and sectional tension.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 230. Electing the President. This course uses the current presidential election as a case study from which students can analyze the history of American parties and elections. The course will use political science concepts such as realignment and dealignment to study the rise and fall of the various "party systems" in American history, and will attempt to place the current presidential election within its historical context.  Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits. [This course is cross-listed with POL 230]

HIS 240. American Military History. An analysis of American military institutions from Old World tradition to the post-Persian Gulf era with emphasis on the U.S. Army.  Fulfills general education requirement: Liberal Studies Area 1 (History). Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 241. Working-Class Studies. This course incorporates a variety of approaches to working class studies: historical, sociological, cultural, and political. They will learn about the history and current practice of the labor movement; the different ways workers have organized politically in the past and present; the role of race, gender, national origin, and skill in organizing labor markets and workers' identities; the depiction of workers in the mass media, particularly film. The primary focus of the class will be on the US, but some comparisons to other countries will be made to help highlight what is specifically American about our class system.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

HIS 250. The Historian's Craft. An introduction to the basics of historical research and writing. The most important goal of the course is to help students produce a clearly written research paper, with footnotes and a bibliography. A primary source paper and other writing assignments will prepare the students for the achievement of this goal. Class discussion will revolve around analysis of various types of primary sources, secondary sources, journal articles, issues of interpretation, and research methods. The course will also include several research trips to libraries, archives, historical societies, or local history collections.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: at least one of the following: HIS 103, 104, 105, 125, 126 or 127; or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 275. Modern Latin America. Latin American civilization from the emergence of independent states, relationships with the United States and the modern regional distinctions.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 301. Evolution for Everyone. This course offers students an introduction to evolutionary theory and empirical research, especially as it applies to history and society. Evolution is powerful, elegant and easily understood. The human frame and brain evolved over time, and understanding how that happened will help understand the past and present of society.  Fulfills general education requirement: Disciplinary Perspectives. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. 3 credits.

HIS 303. Seminar on the History of South Africa. A seminar on the history of South Africa especially from the 1920s to the present. Topics include colonization, conflicts between European settlers and natives, the development of capitalism, the dynamics of black South Africans under apartheid, and the bloody struggle for and against national liberation in the early 1990s.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission of the instructor. HIS 273 is recommended. 3 credits.

HIS 304. Seminar on the History of Brazil. A study of the history of Brazil from the colonial period through the present day. The primary focus will be on the period from the arrival of the Portuguese Court in 1808 until the "abertura," or re-democratization of the 1980s. Some of the topics that will be covered in the course include: 1) the historical development of the Brazilian nation-state and 2) the development of a Brazilian "national" culture. Thus recurrent themes will include political organization and participation, economic growth and development, nationalism, authoritarianism and re-democratization, social organization and stratification, cultural production, and race relations.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. Prerequisites: Junior standing or permission of the instructor, HIS 274 or 275 is recommended. 3 credits.

HIS 305. History of Mexico. This course examines Mexican history from before the Spanish conquest to the present day. The approach is chronological, topical, and thematic. Critically engaging with a wide variety of course materials, students will gain specific factual knowledge about Mexican history, including major figures, events, and trends; explore how the histories of the United States and Mexico have grown increasingly entwined; and examine diverse aspects of Mexican history, society, and culture.  Fulfills general education requirement: Intercultural Diversity. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 310. Seminar on World War I. This course provides and in-depth study of World War I. The topics covered include the causes of the war; the military history of the war; the social, economic, and cultural changes that resulted; the terms and consequences of the peace; and ways in which the memories of the war were constructed. Although the course will focus on Europe where most of the war was fought, students will also examine the impact of the war on Russia and Europe's overseas colonies.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and one prior history class or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 312. The American Revolution. An in-depth study of why Americans declared their independence and how they won the Revolution and worked to build a republic in a hostile world of monarchies. Particular attention is paid to major issues on which historians of the period disagree.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 315. The Civil War. A study of how sectional divisions over slavery led to a bloody war and reshaped American society.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. 3 credits.

HIS 330. The Ruling Class. This course offers students a chance to explore the origins, histories, institutions, and current practices of the American aristocracy. Students will learn about how the very rich families that currently enjoy enormous hereditary wealth obtained and maintain their fortunes. Students will also investigate the histories and current policies of the institutions that protect and promote the wealthy such as corporations, the stock market, and government.  Fulfills general education requirement: American Social Diversity. 3 credits.

HIS 400. Internship. Field experience related to student's work, research interests, or graduate school plans. A journal and paper in addition to field work are required.  Students may take up to 6 credits per semester and up to 12 credits during the summer. Prerequisites: Junior or senior status; overall GPA of at least 2.5; completion of registration forms; approval of internship side by student's advisor prior to registration; approval of department chair. 1-12 credits.

HIS 460. Undergraduate Research. This course is designed to provide students in political science, history, and international studies opportunities to obtain credit for engaging in undergraduate research projects under the faculty supervision. Students engage in research projects with faculty on a range of topics, subject to approval of the individual faculty member.   Course may be repeated up to a limit of 12 credits; but only up to 6 credits can be applied to the major. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing, 2.5 GPA, and permission of the instructor/chair. 1-6 credits. [This course is cross-listed with PSC/INT 460]

HIS 499. Senior Seminar in History. Focus on a theme in history such as World War I, the industrial revolution, or the Enlightenment. These topics will be approached from a variety of perspectives (economic, political, or social for example) and from the viewpoint of many national histories. Class meetings will include discussion of course readings, research methods, and the historiography related to the theme of the course. Students will write a research paper on some aspect of the course topic utilizing a variety of primary and secondary sources and present their research to the class.  Fulfills general education requirement: Writing Process. Prerequisites: Senior history majors or permission of instructor. 3 credits.