Courses

Would you like to learn about past centuries through romantic love letters, songs from the American Revolution and inspiring slave narratives? Would you like to discover contemporary history by meeting a Holocaust survivor, visiting a West African grocery store, watching Chinese cinema and exploring your own heritage?

While you gain an understanding of the peoples of different regions and different eras in history, you’ll find a respect for their differences and a new perspective to assess the events of the present and the world’s prospects for the future. Students in our courses do not memorize dates.

HIS-101    EUROPE FROM THE MIDDLE AGES TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT          4
European society and culture from the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment including: marriage and family, religion and religious reform, women and gender, popular and elite culture, science and medicine and interaction with world cultures and state building.

HIS-102    EUROPE, AT PEACE AND AT WAR, FROM 1789 TO THE PRESENT                    4
European culture, society and politics since the French Revolution, with a focus on war and peace, nations and nationalism, Nazism and the Holocaust, imperialism and racism, communism and post-communism, women and feminism, romanticism and modernism.

HIS-107    THE MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST                                              4
This course is an introduction to the study of the modern Middle East that covers events and themes from the eighteenth century until the present day. The goal of the course is to introduce the major topics, events, movements, and ideas that shaped the Middle East. Such topics will include but are not limited to: the integration of the Middle East into the world economy; the advent of imperialism and colonialism; the reforms of the nineteenth century; the transition from empires to nation-states; the World Wars and state formation; the rise of nationalisms and the consolidation of the state; the Arab-Israeli conflict; the role of the United States in the Middle East; and finally the most recent Arab uprisings.
 
HIS-108    THE FOUNDATIONS OF UNITED STATES HISTORY                                        4
A survey of early American history from European conquest to 1877. Main topics include Native-American life; the structure of Colonial society; the Revolution; industrialization; slavery; Westward expansion; the Civil War and Reconstruction.

HIS-109    THE UNITED STATES IN MODERN TIMES                                                    4
Survey of the history of the United States since Reconstruction.

HIS-113    INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE HISTORY                                                     4
A survey of Japanese cultural, literary and institutional history from ancient times to the present.

HIS-114    INTRODUCTION TO ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL CHINESE HISTORY                   4
This course is a general survey of ancient and medieval Chinese history, from antiquity to roughly 1700 A.D. Topics include the origins of Chinese civilization, the establishment of the empire, and the economic and social development through the middle empires.

HIS-115    INTRODUCTION TO MODERN CHINESE HISTORY                                          4
This course surveys the major social, intellectual and political developments in China from the Opium War of 1839 to the present. Themes include the fall of imperial China, the Chinese revolutions, post-Mao reforms and contemporary Chinese social issues.

HIS-121    GREEK CIVILIZATION                                                                               4
The literature, people and ideas of the ancient Greeks from Bronze Age to Hellenistic times, including the basic outline of events with methods for understanding history and culture. (Cross-listed with CLA-121.)

HIS-122    ROMAN CIVILIZATION                                                                              4
The development of Roman institutions from the Etruscan period through Constantine’s adoption of Christianity as evidenced from literature, art and archaeology, including the basic outline of events with methods for understanding history and culture in constructing Roman social history. (Cross-listed with CLA-122.)

HIS-200    GLOBAL STUDY TOURS IN HISTORY                                                           2-4                                                                                                                                      Global study tours usually include an on-campus course focused on a specific topic within the context of a particular country, which is followed by an in-country experience. Prerequisites and co-requisites vary depending on the selected Global Study Tour topic and country. Permission is required, and special fees are required for the international travel component. Contact the Center for Global Learning for more information.

HIS-207    THE GLOBAL MIDDLE EAST                                                                       4
The proliferation of commodities, ideas, and peoples throughout the globe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has led to the rise of global studies. This course explores themes in the modern Middle East in light of this "global" turn. The first three weeks will provide a theoretical background on the questions that inform the course. The discussion will start with an overview of the study of nationalism in the Middle East. It will then proceed to a discussion of approaches that question using the "national" as a lens to study the history of the modern Middle East. Students will learn about such concepts as as "transnationalism," "internationalism," and "globalization." The rest of the course will then explore various themes from the late nineteenth century to the present. This includes: the rise of the world economy, imperialism, the first wave of globalization, World War I and internationalism, diasporas and transnationalism, the global Cold War, oil, the "Global War on Terror." Finally, students will also be asked to think about the recent Arab uprisings and the merits of using transnationalism as a point of inquiry in the history of the Middle East.

HIS-217   HISTORY ON FILM: CINEMATIC EXPLORATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN PAST       4
This course introduces students to the representation of history on film. With a focus on European history, students will analyze how filmmakers and others interpret social, political and cultural events.

HIS-220    EUROPEAN WOMEN SINCE THE MIDDLE AGES                                             4
Experiences of and ideas about European women in the public and private spheres from the late Middle Ages through the 20th century. (Cross-listed with WS-220.)

HIS-230    THE VIETNAM WARS                                                                                4
An examination of the origins, expansion, and consequences of the Vietnam War from Vietnamese and American perspectives. Topics include French colonialism, the rise of nationalism in Vietnam, the responses to imperialism, American foreign policy and the “wars” at home.

HIS-242    A MULTICULTURAL HISTORY OF AMERICAN WOMEN                                     4
Experiences of and ideas about women in the United States since the colonial period, with special emphasis on how gender has historically intersected with women’s race, class, ethnic, sexual and regional identities. (Cross-listed with WS-242.) (Not open to students who have taken HIS/WS-330.)

HIS-245    ORAL HISTORY                                                                                         4
Introduction to oral history research methods and practice, including interview preparation, technique, transcription, equipment use, editing, and legal and ethical considerations. Students will study oral history collections and conduct original oral history research on a topic in regional history.

HIS-251    AFRICAN SOCIETIES FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE PRESENT                  4
Changes which followed Western domination, African responses to the new structures and the road to independence. (Cross-listed with AS-251).

HIS-252    AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN’S HISTORY                                                    4
An examination of African American women's experiences from slavery to the present, considering the changing historical conditions under which black women challenged racism and sexism and fought for self-determination and autonomy. (Cross-listed with AS-252 and WS-252.)

HIS-255    AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY                                                                   4
Developments in the history of black Americans from slavery times to the present. Main themes include enslavement and emancipation, cultural formations, gender experiences, migration, resistance and activism. (Cross-listed with AS-255.)

HIS-257    KINGDOMS, COLONIES, NATIONS: AN INTRO TO AFRICAN HISTORY              4
Survey of the main contours of African history from the Sudanic empires to postcolonial nations. (Cross-listed with AS-257.)

HIS-260    OLD SOUTH, NEW SOUTH, NO SOUTH                                                        4
Introduction to the study of the American South, from Jamestown to the present, with a focus on theme of Southern “distinctiveness.” Topics include plantation slavery, Cherokee Removal, Civil War and Reconstruction, the New South, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement and “Dirty South” hip-hop music.

HIS-280    THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE FROM THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST TO EARLY MODERN EUROPE                                                                      4
This course examines the history of science from the ancient Middle East to the Scientific Revolution in early modern Europe. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of astronomy, medicine, and anatomy.

HIS-290    THE HISTORICAL IMAGINATION                                                                 4
An introduction to the study and practice of history. This course presents students with an overview of historical interpretations through discussions of relevant historiographies, theories and methods for analyzing primary and secondary source material. Designed for majors and minors.

HIS-305    THE MIDDLE AGES: CULTURE, SOCIETY, AND MODERN REPRESENTATIONS     4
This course examines European culture and society of the Middle Ages from the 8th-14th centuries. This course also considers the relevance of the Middle Ages to the modern era by examining their representations in literature, film, and popular culture.

HIS-307    WOMEN AND GENDER IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                               4
This course is an overview of themes related to gender and women throughout the history of the Middle East, from the rise of Islam to the present. The course will cover the place and role of gender relations and women in religion, state, and society. Specific topics include the place of women in Islamic foundational texts, the shaping of gender relations in early Islamic society and jurisprudence, the role of women and family in Islamic empires, as well as the effect of imperialism on families and societies of the Middle East. Starting with the nineteenth  century, we will explore the question of gender through the themes of migration, modernization, nationalism, sexuality, feminism, state formation, decolonization, the rise of political Islam, the "global war on terror," and finally the Arab uprisings. (Cross-listed with WS-307.)

HIS-308    MINORITIES IN THE ARAB WORLD                                                              4
This course aims to critically examine the history of minorities in the making of the modern Middle East. It traces the shift from an ethnically and religiously diverse Ottoman Empire to a system of nation-states defined by ethnic or religious exclusivity. The course opens with a discussion of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of diversity in the modern Middle East. The first half of the course will cover topics that examine the Ottoman millet system, the emergence of modern notions of citizenship and sectarianism in the nineteenth century, the Armenian genocide and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the role of colonialism in the politicization of ethnic and religious groups in the post-Ottoman period, as well as the role of minorities in identity politics and the formation of unifying ideologies. The second half of the course will examine the role of minorities in the states of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Iraq. Finally, the course will end with a discussion of the rise of the Islamic State and the future role of minorities in today's Middle East.

HIS-309    THE ENLIGHTENMENT IN EUROPE                                                               4
European culture, society and thought in the age of the Enlightenment.

HIS-311    EUROPE IN THE VICTORIAN ERA                                                                4
Industrialization, nationalism, imperialism, international affairs, culture, gender and public and private life in 19th-century Europe.

HIS-310    PEOPLE ON THE MOVE: MIGRATION AND DISPLACEMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST                                                                                   4
The current Syrian "refugee crisis" has turned the world's attention to the questions of migration and displacement. This course traces the historical trajectory of these topics   by considering the history of the modern Middle East through the theme of mobility and migration. It charts the transformation of migration patterns as the Middle East moved from a system of empires to a system of nation-states. Specific topics include but are not limited to: the population policies of the Ottoman Empire at its inception, population   movement during the Russo-Turkish wars of the nineteenth century, Syrian migration to the Americas, ethnic cleansing, forced displacement, and population transfers during     and after World War I, Jewish emigration and immigration during the twentieth century, passport regimes during the interwar period, labor migration in the Gulf, as well as the    current refugee crisis.

HIS-312    RUSSIA AND THE SOVIET UNION IN THE 20TH CENTURY                              4
Revolution, ethnicity, reform, stagnation and disintegration in Russian and Soviet politics, culture, economy and society from 1905 to the present.

HIS-313    EUROPE IN THE ERA OF THE WORLD WARS                                                4
World War I, Nazism, the interwar years, World War II and the Holocaust, with emphasis on ideology, culture and diplomacy.

HIS-314    EUROPE FROM THE COLD WAR TO THE EUROPEAN UNION                             4
Society, economy, culture and foreign affairs in Western and Eastern Europe since the end of World War II, with emphasis on European division and unity, the welfare state, immigration and diversity as well as relations with the United States.

HIS-318    THE HOLOCAUST                                                                                      4
Victims and perpetrators of German genocide, with emphasis on anti-Semitism, origins of the Final Solution, Nazi ideology, survivors’ memories and historiographical controversies.

HIS-320    HISTORY OF SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES                                            4
An examination of the institution of slavery in American history and memory. Themes include: definitions of freedom; the Atlantic slave trade; slaveholding ideologies; slave communities and culture; abolition; and the impact of slavery on free people throughout the nation. (Cross-listed with AS-320.)

HIS-323    CONSERVATISM IN AMERICA, FROM TEDDY ROOSEVELT TO THE TEA PARTY   4
A study of the conservative movement in the United States from 1900 through the present, examining historical context as well as change over time in what is considered "conservative." The course will consider intellectual, economic, social, religious, cultural, and political conservative movements. (Cross-listed with POL-323.)

HIS-324    TOPICS IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY                                                   4
Critical examination of a specific topic in the history of the African-American experience. Topics vary from year to year, and the course may be repeated for credit when the content changes. (Cross-listed with AS-324.)

HIS-325    THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES                         4
The political, social, economic and ideological roots of the American Revolution; the Constitution and early government; the creation of an American national culture; and the contested meanings of freedom in the early republic.

HIS-326    THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION                                                      4
Economic, political and social change in antebellum America; the sectional struggle over slavery; the war experience; emancipation and the limits of Reconstruction.

HIS-334    REFORM, WAR AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1900-1945       4
The major themes and events in American social, cultural and political life between 1900 and 1945. Topics include Progressivism; technological innovation; the Great Depression and the New Deal; the World Wars; race relations and evolving gender roles.

HIS-338    UNITED STATES SINCE 1945                                                                     4
The social, cultural, political and diplomatic history of the United States since World War II. Topics include the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, feminism, the modern media and current events.

HIS-342    A HISTORY OF NATIVE AMERICANS                                                            4
An examination of beliefs, practices and social structures among native North American groups from the seventeenth century to the present. Themes include: cultural diversity; European-American imperialism; environmental impacts; the politics and processes of “removal”; identity and citizenship; reservation life; and resistance.                                

HIS-343    FAMILY, LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN PREMODERN EUROPE                                4
The social and cultural history of families, love and marriage in Europe prior to 1800. Topics include: family and marriage structures; developing gender identities; sexuality; patriarchy; childhood, adolescence and old age; family planning; celibacy and virginity; family, sex and law. (Cross-listed with WS-343.)

HIS-347    RENAISSANCE ITALY: IDEAS, CULTURE, AND LIVED EXPERIENCE                  4
This class explores the intellectual and artistic movements of the Renaissance and the society that gave rise to these movements by considering how changes in culture, politics, religion, and the economy influenced daily life while shaping art, literature, and science. (Cross-listed with WS-347.)   

HIS-350    THE AFRICAN DIASPORA                                                                           4
History of the dispersal of Africans from the continent to various regions of the world; the catalysts of dispersal; the distribution of Africans, especially in the Americas; and the communities which evolved out of the Diaspora. (Cross-listed with AS-350.)

HIS-352    THE CHINESE REVOLUTIONS                                                                     4
A study of the complex sociopolitical crises of modern China, including an evaluation of the revolutions and their impacts on recent Chinese history; particular focus on the Republican Revolution of 1911, the Communist Revolution of 1949 and the Cultural Revolution.

HIS-354    CHINESE WOMEN ON FILM: HISTORY AND THE CINEMATIC IMAGINATION      4
This course examines the history of women and gender in China as depicted in film. Emphasis will be placed on the ways in which modernization, imperialism, and globalization have shaped women’s roles and representations of women throughout the 20th century. (Cross-listed with WS-354.)

HIS-359    TOPICS IN AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA HISTORY                                4
Critical examination of a specific topic in African history or the history of the African Diaspora. Topics vary from year to year, and the course may be repeated for credit when the content changes. (Cross-listed with AS-359 and WS-359.)

HIS-360    WORLD WAR II IN ASIA ON FILM                                                               4
This course explores the history of World War II in Asia, especially as (re)presented and remembered in films. Special attention is devoted to the cross-cultural aspects of World War II and to how films shape the collective memory of different Asian countries and the United States.       

HIS-362    MODERN CHINA THROUGH LITERATURE AND FILM                                       4
This course uses literature and film as primary sources to examine cultural and political changes in Modern China. It is organized as a research seminar and will focus on research methods, primary sources and writing.

HIS-375    HISTORY OF WOMEN IN THE NEW SOUTH                                                   4
Political, social and economic experiences of Southern US women since the Civil War, with special attention to issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality. Students will conduct oral history and original research and will explore perceptions and misperceptions of Southern womanhood. (Cross-listed with WS-375.)

HIS-385    PRACTICING PUBLIC HISTORY                                                                   4
The study of public interaction with history through museums, historic homes, documentary film and oral history. Students will consider the benefits and challenges of presenting personal memories in historical context, culminating with the creation of a public history project.

HIS-396    TOPICS IN ASIAN HISTORY                                                                       4
Critical examination of a specific topic in the history of Asia. Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit when the content changes.

HIS-397    TOPICS IN EUROPEAN HISTORY                                                                 4
Critical examination of a specific topic in the history of Europe. Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit when the content changes.

HIS-398    TOPICS IN LATIN AMERICAN HISTORY                                                       4
Critical examination of a specific topic in the history of Latin America. Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit when the content changes.

HIS-410    DIRECTED READING                                                                                1-4
Directed reading courses are open to qualified juniors and seniors to pursue reading outside a program's listed courses. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

HIS-420    SENIOR SEMINAR                                                                                    4
Preparation of a major research paper on a topic chosen by the student. Workshop sessions devoted to all phases of research and writing. Required of history majors.

HIS-440    DIRECTED RESEARCH                                                                               1-4
Directed research courses are open to junior and senior majors to work with a faculty member on a project related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

HIS-450    INTERNSHIP                                                                                            1-4
For juniors and seniors who want a more-focused academic component to accompany their internship, the independently designed 450 may be an option. Students must identify a faculty sponsor and complete detailed paperwork for approval from the Office of Internship and Career Development. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.

HIS-490    SENIOR THESIS                                                                                      4
A senior thesis gives students the opportunity to write a thesis about a project related to particular field of intellectual or artistic interest. Please see the Special Curricular Opportunities section for more information.