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Course Descriptions

HIS 1021: United States History to 1877
This course concentrates on some of the major social and political events in the history of the American people from colonization through Reconstruction. Political developments emphasized are the growth of constitutionalism and the establishment of political parties. Social themes treated include the idealism and reformism of early 19th century America and the question of slavery as a social institution.
3 credits

HIS 1022: United States History Since 1877
This course concentrates on some of the major social and political events in the history of the American people, covering the period from the end of Reconstruction through World War II. Some themes emphasized are economic growth and the rise of America as a world power. The dominant social theme examined is the transition from the values and attitudes of an agricultural society to those of an urban, industrial society. 3 credits

HIS 2000: Special Topics in History
Offered periodically as faculty are available. The course will provide an opportunity to study themes spanning a broad period of time. Some examples follow: the concept of self-made man in 19th century America, revolution and social change in the less developed countries of Asia in the 20th century, anti-Semitism in 19th century Europe, and Freud and psychohistory in the 20th century. Prerequisite: This course is addressed to Sophomores and Juniors.
3 credits

HIS 2015: Mass Culture in Modern America
Working in the 1920s historians began to notice that a new cultural phenomenon had arisen in America: a mass culture built around such things as radio, movies, consumer products, sports, journalism, and other forms of cultural expression had come to occupy a central place in the lives of millions. This mass culture was displacing the authority of the high culture and giving shape to millions of human lives. This course traces the development of this mass culture in late nineteenth and early 20th century America and charts its progress through the 20th century.
3 credits

HIS 2016: The United States & the Vietnam War
This course is an examination of the American phase of the Indochina war. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the American motives for engagement in Vietnam, the controversy in the United States over the war, and the eventual American withdrawal. Students will also be familiarized with the Vietnamese view of the American effort.
3 credits

HIS/REL 2051: Civilization of India
This course is designed to introduce students to the rich and complex cultures and civilizations of India from ancient times to the present. We will examine the geography, society, politics, economy, and culture of India with particular emphasis on the religious traditions of Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam as they developed in South Asia. The format of the course will emphasize discussion and student presentations.
3 credits

HIS 3000: Special Topics in History
Compelling personalities, themes, developments, or events form the focus of this course. The particular characters, events, etc. will change each time the course is offered. Examples of topics are the following: Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin, riots and popular protest, witchcraft in Europe and America in the 17th century, the origins of World War II, American attitudes toward technology in the 20th century, etc. Prerequisite: This course is addressed to Juniors and Seniors.
3 credits

HIS 3008: Renaissance to Enlightenment Europe
Through a study of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Age of Reason, this course will focus on the transition to modern society in Western Europe. Through the study of historical documents, particular attention will be paid to the thought and culture of these periods. We will examine the development of the modern world and will explore how the nature of the state and its relationship to the individual was redefined through the conflicting ideologies and developments of this period. Prerequisite: None, but recommend ELA 1057 World History and the Environment.
3 credits

HIS 3009: The Civil War & Reconstruction
This course will concentrate on three episodes in American history: the sectional crisis 1820-1860, the Civil war 1861-18-65, and the Reconstruction 1865-1877. Special emphasis will be placed on the causes of the crisis and war, and students will examine many historical interpretations of the crisis and war. The Reconstruction will be examined both factually and historigraphically.
3 credits

HIS 3012: America in Depression & War, 1921-1945
The Ku Klux Klan, high prosperity, economic depression, and world war provide the backdrop for this view of American society in an era of crises. The historiography of the Great Crash, past and present views of the New Deal and America’s flowering as a world power are the primary foci of this course. Prerequisite: HIS 1022 United States History Since 1877 strongly recommended.
3 credits

HIS 3014: The American West
No other region has had as powerful a hold on the popular imagination as the American West. For more than a century, writers, scholars, artists, and politicians have looked on the West as the locale of the nation’s epic tale, the place where all those things they wished to celebrate about America were forged – democracy, individualism, self-reliance. This course will sort reality from myth by focusing on the diversity of peoples who have inhabited the regions and on them any ways in which they have interacted with each other and the land. Prerequisite: None, but recommend HIS 1021 United States to 1877, HIS 1022 United States Since 1877.
3 credits

HIS/EDU 3015: History of Education
Aristotle said that the central task of government is to look after the education of youth. This course examines the ways in which the peoples of the United States have wrestled with that dictum since passing the first education law in 1647. Readings will change from semester to semester depending upon whether the central focus is curriculum –what should be taught to whom, how, and why; or the development and evolution of the public school system. Students will gain a critical understanding of the forces that created the public school in its current form and the tensions which underlie current policy issues. Meets the foundations requirement for all education programs.
3 credits

HIS 3023: America Since 1960
This course is an examination of recent US history. It will examine such themes as the Cold War, the Kennedy years, the Great Society, the upheaval of the 1960s, the Reagan Revolution, and the problems of the 1990s. Student will gain a sound historical background to contemporary American Life.
3 credits

HIS 3025: History of Modern China
This course will trace the history of China from the late 19th century to the present. It will focus on the changes brought to Chinese life by the European intrusions and the Chinese revolutions of the 20th century. Special attention will be placed on understanding the emergence of the People’s Republic of China: its evolution from a Maoist state into the pragmatic nation of Deng Xiao Ping.
3 credits

HIS 3028: Revolutionary Europe
This course will examine the long nineteenth century (1789 to 1914) and the impact of the dual revolutions: the 1789 French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution. We will focus on such topics as: the French Revolution and democratization; Industrialization, class society and gender ideology; political and economic ideologies; science versus romanticism; nationalism and the rise of the nation-state; the New Imperialism and colonial wars; and the build up to the First World War. We will also examine how ideas regarding the individual’s relationship to society and the state were redefined through the conflicting philosophical and political ideologies of the period. Prerequisite: None, but recommend ELA 1057 World History and the Environment.
3 credits

HIS 3029: World Wars to a Unified Europe
This course will explore European history from the start of the First World War to the end of the 20th century. Topics explored will include: the impact of the two World Wars on society, economy and politics in Europe; the Great Depression; European Union; Decolonization; the Cold War; and globalization. We will also examine how ideas regarding the individual’s relationship to society and the state were redefined through the conflicting philosophical and political ideologies of the period. Prerequisite: None, but recommend ELA 1057 World History and the Environment.
3 credits

HIS 3031: Topics in European and World History
This course focuses on a specific theme, society or event in European or World history. May be taken more than once when a different subtitle is offered. Examples of topics include: Celtic Europe, the witch hunt in Europe, British and Irish history, Nations and Nationalism, and Modern India.
3 credits

HIS 3032: Imperialism, Science and the Natural World
This course will focus on imperialism and the imperial agendas of the European powers with respect to the "commons" of the world. We will explore economic and cultural imperialism as it was manifested in the colonial sciences of natural resource management. We will examine a number of interrelated topics—theories of imperialism and its relationship with industrial capitalism; the historical context of mid-to-late 19th c. imperialism; environmental history and conservation; imperial science and applied technologies; expertise, control and racist ideologies; forests and forest management; hunting and game preservation; and shifting cultivation and soil erosion. Our goals will be to comparatively explore the agendas of the colonial states and of agencies therein; examine the environmental justice implications of colonial policies; explore the roots of today’s current globalized economic system; and seek to understand the nature of European hostility to indigenous cultures.
3 credits

HIS 3034: Modern British History
A survey of three centuries of British History beginning with the ascension of George I in 1714 and ending with the Tory government of the 1980's. Principal themes include the development of modern class structure, the rise of laissez faire liberalism and self-interested individualism, urbanization and the decline of rural society in the 19th century, the ascendancy of global capitalism and imperialism, the decline of industry and the creation of a social-democratic "mixed economy" Welfare State in the 20th, World War II and post-war decolonization, and the return to a free market ideology under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
3 credits

HIS 3036: Modern European Intellectual History
This course is specifically designed for the advanced undergraduate and will provide a critical analysis of the major intellectual trends in European thought. It will be offered on a two year rotation, but when required this course can be bumped (this years I’m teaching it early to help PHI due to a faculty being on sabbatical). Students should be at least familiar with the basic outlines of European history from roughly the 18th century to the present. There is no general textbook, and we will be closely reading a selection of some of the most important texts from this period. Each historical epoch - as defined by past historians - has had its own Weltanschauung (or world view). Although we shall more carefully define this expression during the course of the semester, a world view can be briefly summarized as an intellectual or philosophical matrix which defines humanity’s place in the world (including our social relations). A world view is a mental and historical construct that helps us explain how the world is perceived and how these perceptions change over time. Although there are a number of other trends/themes that will be developed in this course, at base is the concept of a Weltanschauung.
3 credits

HIS 3038: Riots and Popular Protest in European History
This course will examine the "moral economy" of the crowd, continuities and changes in industrializing communities, and more recent social protest movements in European history. Popular protest is one of the most important movers in the history of our species. It has deep roots in a variety of different cultures, and continues to play a key role in the present day. Why do people take to the streets? Why do they form crowds that act with purpose? These are important historical questions and we will also explore the methods and some theories used to try and answer them, and the difficulties of research and sourcing that social history poses. How can we understand people from remote periods who left few, if any, written records? How does one make sense of the actions of crowds of people?
3 credits

HIS/REL 3053: Islamic World
This course examines the emergence and development of the Islamic world from its beginnings in seventh century Arabia until 1800. Special attention will be given to the life of Muhammad as well as the spiritual, ethical, and ritual dimensions of Islam. Highlights of the course include a visit to a mosque as well as reading the Qur’an.
3 credits

ELA/HIS 3054: The Silk Roads
The Silk Roads refer to an extensive network of East-West trade routes that emerged by the first century BCE as commodities, especially silk, from Han China began to reach the Roman Empire. Increased commercial traffic and encounters between various peoples encouraged the spread of ideas, disease, and technology as well. This course will emphasize the trans-ecological, economic, cultural, and biological exchange that linked much of Eurasia and North Africa from the beginning of the Common Era to the late eighteenth century. Major themes in the course include the Central Asian nomads' relationship with the land and with sedentary peoples, the spread of religions along the routes, travel accounts, the emergence of empires, and the maritime trade routes.
3 credits

ELA/HIS 3055: Chicago: History of a Built Environment
This course examines the development of the built environment of Chicago. As the prototypical U.S. industrial city, the development of Chicago illustrates a number of important facets of urbanization. We will examine how the environment was shaped over time, how that then affected the area’s inhabitants, and then how they responded to the successive changes. Human societies are constantly engaged in a dialogue with the environments that they inhabit, no matter how humanized those environments become.
3 credits

HIS/ENV 3058: A History of Agriculture: Civilizations, Technology & the Environment
Understanding how previous agricultural methods and technologies have impacted humans and the environment is critical to determining the best methods and technologies for contemporary agriculture—approaches that can best feed human populations while ameliorating the environment. Beginning with an overview of the evolution of agriculture, the course will then focus on the historical development of agriculture in the U.S., with an emphasis on soils, technologies, and on-farm practices.
3 credits

HIS 3061: Medieval Russia
Medieval Russia frequently remains an obscure chapter in the wider European and Eurasian historical experience. In this course we will examine early Russian (Rus’) political, cultural, social, and economic history from the ninth to the late sixteenth century with special emphasis on the emergence of Kievan Rus’, the influence of Byzantium on the Rus’, the development of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian response to Mongol rule, the rise of Muscovy, and the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. Primary sources, film, discussion, and slides of Russian art and architecture are all important features of this course. This course is addressed to Juniors and Seniors.
3 credits

HIS 4001: Seminar
This course is a capstone course for those majoring or minoring in history. It focuses on historiography, research methods, and historical writing. Students will be expected to produce a seminar paper and take that paper through graded stages of proposal, peer review of proposal, oral presentation, and finished work. Students will also be required to address historiographical questions and familiarize themselves with the tools, methods, and products of the professional historian. Prerequisite: Senior history majors or minors only.
3 credits

HIS 4002: Honors Thesis Seminar
This course is a continuation of senior seminar for those majoring in history who have been invited to enter the history departmental honors program. During this course students will prepare and complete a history honors thesis in consultation with their thesis advisor.
3 credits

HIS 4003: Directed Study in History
This course involves individualized study with a member of the department. The projects must involve selected readings and writings or a major research essay. While the course is largely aimed at majors, the course may be taken by non-majors with permission. Prerequisite: Junior level majors or Junior standing and permission.
3 credits

HIS 4053: Internship in History
This course will include supervised work in a history related career activity under the supervision of a professional in that career, regular consultation with a member of the history department who will act as the internship advisor, and production of an internship written project to be presented in fulfillment of the requirements of the course. The supervisor will verify that a minimum of 90 hours was spent in the work experience. The department will make every effort to assist students in locating a placement but is not responsible to provide a placement.
3 credits

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