Historians try to understand and reconstruct past human activities, institutions, ideas, and aspirations in light of current knowledge, concerns, and hopes for the future. Knowledge of history is desirable for its intrinsic worth and its illumination of present problems and future prospects. In its methodology and values, history crosses the humanities with the social sciences.
The history faculty believes that their discipline provides an introduction to all other liberal arts subjects. "If History be made a constant part of [a student's] reading," wrote Benjamin Franklin, "may not almost all kinds of useful knowledge be that way introduced to advantage and with pleasure to the student?" By connecting us to our past, history also provides a sense of continuity and moral purpose.
Twelve (12) courses are required, six (6) of which must be at the 300-400 level and three (3) electives, of which one (1) must be taken at the 300-400 level.
* The senior seminar portfolio includes research papers, essay examinations, and critical essays from different courses. It should reflect the student's program in each year of the major.
The History minor requires the successful completion of six (6) history courses, three (3) of which must be at the 300-level or above. In addition, students must take at least two (2) courses at any level in at least two (2) geographic regions. Currently, the History Department offers courses in three regions--United States, Europe, and Non-United States/Europe.
HIS 101/102 The Essentials of World Civilization: Introduces dominant traits, achievements, and dilemmas of great civilizations from ancient Far East, Africa, and Europe. Covers prehistory to 1600 in first term and continues to present in second. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 108 Ancient History: Surveys ancient world from prehistoric times through middle of 5th century with emphasis on Greece and Rome. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 109 Medieval History: Discusses social, political, and religious developments in medieval Europe from 5th to 15th centuries. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 113/114 History of Modern Europe: Presents political, intellectual, social, economic, and religious history of Europe from Renaissance to present. Spans 1500-1815 in first term, 1815-present in second. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 120 Decade of Decision: Introduces the study of history through an examination of the political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural events of a specific ten-year period (chosen by the instructor).
HIS 142/143 History of the United States: Examines major political, social, and economic themes from revolutionary era to present. Covers to 1877 in first term, 1877-present in second. Students read textbook, secondary-source essays, and primary-source documents. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 206 Women in Early America: Examines the impact of the Revolutionary era ideology of "republican motherhood," the rise of cult domesticity and "true womanhood," the 19th-century women's rights and suffrage movements, women's work cultures, and other topics in Victorian America. Appropriate for nonmajors.
HIS 207 Women in the Modern United States: Utilizes race, class, and region as analytical categories to examine American women's changing work roles, reform activities, domestic duties, and political identities. Themes include Southern women and emancipation, women's suffrage, the World Wars and women's work, Cold War and domesticity, women and the Civil Rights Movement, and the second wave of feminism. Appropriate for nonmajors.
HIS 210 Christianity and Society: Examines the history of Christianity from its foundation to the present, specifically analyzing the historical forces that shaped its development and conversely its impact on society.
HIS 211 Origins of the Modern Family: Surveys the institutional development of the Western family from 1500 to present. Explores change in the family unit from the extended, patriarchal family of the late-Middle Ages to the companionate marriage of the 18th century and the rapidly changing alteration of family units in modern America. Focuses on the social, economic, and religious factors that brought about these transformations.
HIS 235 American Graphic Media: Explores the superhero comic book genre from its pulp origin to multimedia present in the U.S. Requires students to seriously consider underlying symbolism and deconstruct the meaning of comic art in the twentieth century. Taking the comic genre from the 1930's milieu to the sci-fi heights of the present day, explores the political, social, and economic concerns reflected in comic books. Situates the comic medium within the broader sweep of popular culture.
HIS 240 African-American History I -- Colonial Era to Reconstruction: Surveys the political, social, and economic issues shaping African-American experiences from the colonial period to Reconstruction.
HIS 241 African-American History II -- Reconstruction to Present Day: Surveys the political, social, and economic issues shaping African-American experiences from the Reconstruction Era to present day.
HIS 250 Modern Japan: Survey of modern Japanese history from the mid 19th-century to the present, including topics of Western intrusion, Meiji Restoration, failure of the democratic experiment and rise of militarism, U.S. occupation, and economic take-off. Appropriate for nonmajors.
HIS 260 History of Chinese Civilization: A general introduction to Chinese civilization, its origin, evolution, rise, and decline. A wide range of topics will be covered including development of Chinese philosophical and religious traditions, rise and fall of Chinese Empires, interactions between the Han Chinese with nomadic peoples, medieval economic revolution, and late imperial stagnation and decline. Students will also be introduced to some analytical perspectives on the nature and characteristics of the Chinese history and civilization.
HIS 261 Modern China: Introduction to modern Chinese history from the Opium War to the present. Themes include the Western intrusion, rise of nationalism, cultural and identity crises, revolutions, and current economic reform. Appropriate for nonmajors.
HIS 262 East Asia in Pre-Modern Times: A survey of the cultural zone including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, with an examination of continuity and change in the institutions of the state, economy, society, and values up to the eve of Western intrusion.
HIS 263 East Asia in Modern Times: A survey of East Asian Countries -- China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam -- their tradition and modern transformation in the 19th and 20th centuries. Western expansion into East Asia, revolution in China, WWII in the Pacific, the gain of Japan as an emerging power, and the Cold War in East Asia will be covered.
HIS 265 Topics in History: Probes a narrow topic in American, modern European, or world history. May be repeated for credit.
HIS 311 History of American Sexuality: Examines American sexuality from colonial era to present. Traces societal attitudes toward premarital and teen sex, gendered sexual pleasure, prostitution, abortion, contraception, eugenics, pregnancy, and other sexual issues.
HIS 315 Social Movements in the 20th-Century United States: Examines social movements in the 20th century, both progressive (birth control and civil rights) and conservative (temperance and anti-obscenity). Compares and contrasts these movements, assessing the intentions of actors and the consequences of actions. Provides an understanding of how Americans have used grassroots activism to effect widespread change at different moments in the 20th century.
HIS 325 Tudor-Stuart England, 1485-1714: Studies political, constitutional, religious, and social development in England from 1485 to 1714. Suitable for nonmajors. Alternate years.
HIS 326 Hanoverian England, 1714-1918: Follows HIS 325, focusing on Hanoverian succession to end of WWI. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 328 European Diplomacy, 1848 to World War II: Considers concepts, techniques, forces, and personalities in era of Europe's greatest power -- the prelude to contemporary diplomacy.
HIS 330 America Between the Two World Wars: Focuses on 1920's and 1930's: culture of 1920's, economic crisis, New Deal reform, and particularly rise of consumer culture and its effect on Depression generation.
HIS 335 History of the South: Explores defining characteristics of Old South and their present relevance. Analyzes Old South mystique, master-slave relationship and slave subculture, Southern self-consciousness, honor and violence, sense of grievance against "outside agitators," preoccupation with race, cult of lost cause, recurrent ideas about New South, and burden of past. Prerequisite: HIS 142, HIS 143, or consent.
HIS 341 Era of the American Revolution: Analyzes nature of colonial society, place of colonies in British mercantile system, origins of American political culture, and causes and consequences of the Revolution. Examines the Constitution as culmination of Revolutionary era. Prerequisite: HIS 142 or consent.
HIS 346 The United States Since 1945: Approaches post-WWII years thematically, emphasizing social and cultural trends. Prerequisite: HIS 143 or consent.
HIS 347 History of Urban America: An analysis of the growth and development of urban space in the U.S. Special emphasis on how cities developed and their impact on politics, economics, and culture. Incorporates analysis of the technological transformation associated with urban life, infrastructure, and city planning in U.S. society.
HIS 349 The Chinese Revolutions: Studies theories of revolution and the Chinese case. The 20th century of Chinese history can be characterized as a century of revolution -- intellectual revolution of the New Culture Movement, the Nationalist Revolution, the Communist Revolution under Mao Zedong, and the economic reform under Deng Xiaoping, which is called the "second revolution." These revolutions fundamentally changed China's polity and society and defined China's search for a modern identity. We will examine the major characteristics of these revolutions.
HIS 350 U.S. and China Relations: Survey of relations between the U.S. and China in the 20th century, from the signing of unequal treaties to the open door policy, from fighting as allies in World War II through Cold War confrontations, from normalization to current issues of controversy. Appropriate for nonmajors.
HIS 352 China: From Antiquity to Present: Provides students with an overview of Chinese history from ancient times to present. Topics include origins of Chinese civilization and Chinese political, economic, social, and intellectual traditions and their modern transformation.
HIS 353 Evolution of Chinese Culture: Provides students with an overview of Chinese culture and its evolution through examination of fourteen topics in historical perspective. These topics include origin of Chinese civilization and cultural identity; Chinese political, economic, social, and educational systems; and Chinese philosophical, religious, and intellectual traditions.
HIS 354 Imperial Russia: Examines the historical evolution of Russia including the Kievan period (10th thru 13th centuries), the rise of Moscow (14th thru 16th centuries), the legacy of the early Romanovs (1613 thru Peter the Great), the consolidation of imperial power (18th century), and the conflict, reform, and violence of the 19th century and early 20th century.
HIS 355 History of the Soviet Union and After: Continues the historical analysis of Russia in the 20th century with emphasis on thematic aspects relating to: war and revolution (1914-1920); the consolidation of Soviet power under Communism (1920-1930); industrialization, collectivization and repression fostered by Stalin (1930-1940); the Second World War and its aftermath (1941-1945); the legacy of Stalinism; the Soviet Union in the Cold War era (1960-1991); and post-Soviet Russia's role in the early 21st century. Selected readings (including scholarly work of the last decade from recently opened Soviet archives), lectures, and discussion provide the basis for analyses.
HIS 360 American Planning History: Examines the evolution of city planning in the U.S. from mid-nineteenth century to the present. Focuses on the changing spatial forms and functions of American cities, and how these changes relate to socioeconomic and political aspects of urbanization, as well as to changes in technology. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the relationships between historical developments associated with urban infrastructure, planning theory, and planning practice to understand how urban planning evolved into its current practices.
HIS 361 Contemporary China: Study of contemporary China since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, with a focus on its "opening-up" and economic reforms after 1978. Examines political, economic, and social systems, as well as policies and their repercussions under Mao and their changes and challenges under Deng Xiaoping and beyond.
HIS 362 History of American Foreign Policy: Presents patterns, themes, and developments in foreign policy, with emphasis on 20th century.
HIS 365 Topics in History: Probes narrow topic in American or modern European history. May be repeated for credit.
HIS 368 Anatomy of Revolution: Contrasts revolutionary activity (intellectual, social, and political forces) in England during 17th century and America and France during 18thcentury. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 370 Race and Ethnicity in United States: Introduction to racial and ethnic identity issues through critical examination of the social, political, and economic factors that helped to construct identity in the United States. Examines how America's racial and ethnic ideas were created, maintained, and what is at stake when we struggle to define race/ethnic identity.
HIS 372 The Reformation: Analyzes causes and consequences of Protestant Reformation in 16th and early 17th centuries. Ranges over religious, political, and social causes of Reformation in Germany, Switzerland, and England; reaction of Roman Catholic Church to Protestant challenge; and social, political, and intellectual consequences of the movement. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 373 Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 1870-1914: Explores social, cultural, political, and intellectual impact of economic changes in U.S. between Civil War and WWI. Considers effect of technology and bureaucracy on traditional values and institutions. Tracks cultural and political movements in response to modernization. Prerequisite: HIS 143 or consent.
HIS 375 Aspects of War: Topics to Vary: Examines the political, social, economic, and personal impact of warfare. What has caused and resulted from this most brutal of human struggles? Conflict under consideration will vary according to the instructor as will the particular emphasis of the material covered.
HIS 383 The Decline of Europe: Explains cultural and intellectual impact of Europe's loss of equilibrium and hegemony after 1914. Touches upon effect of WWI, rise of totalitarianism, sensation of anomie, disintegration of colonial empires, WWII, and Holocaust. Suitable for nonmajors.
HIS 480 Selected Studies in History: Focuses on topic chosen in consultation with instructor. May be repeated for credit.Prerequisites: history major; junior/senior standing; 3.33 cumulative average or better; and consent of instructor and department head.
HIS 490 Senior Capstone Course: Challenges majors to trace their intellectual growth from the first course to senior year: what and how they have learned; how their ideas have changed, been modified, or solidified; how they might approach issues with new insights and skills. Each student compiles portfolio and uses it to construct an academic autobiography, emphasizing methodology and historiographical skills they have acquired. Requires paper on historical origins of contemporary event, problem, or issue. Seminar.