- American History
- European History
- Non-western History
- Intellectual History
- History of Science and Medicine
- Women's and Gender History
- Independent Study and Honors Program
Professors: B. Ann Tlusty, Martha H. Verbrugge
Associate Professors: David W. Del Testa (Chair), John P. Enyeart, James A. Goodale, Leslie C. Patrick, Richard D. Waller
Assistant Professors: Mehmet Dosemeci, M. Kathryn Edwards (visiting), William Michael Schmidli, Jennifer Thomson (visiting)
Courses in history are designed to encourage reflection on the nature, advantages, and struggles of human societies in different times and places, and to invite cross-cultural comparisons. Moreover, they are intended to stimulate the historical imagination and to promote critical and technical skills in the comprehension and production of historical narratives. The academic conventions of writing, speaking, researching, and learning to analyze various sources (i.e. information literacy) are integral to the discipline of history and figure strongly in all of the department's courses.
Students of history may take many different roads to historical understanding; department members have diverse interests, and they actively encourage students' independent investigations of history. Majors, in particular, are invited to collaborate closely with their department mentors in their historical inquiries, while at the same time shaping their own methodologies, foci, questions, and answers. Students majoring in history are encouraged to plan their program of study with their departmental adviser by the end of the sophomore year.
The major consists of a minimum of eight courses selected as follows:
- Four courses from any one cluster (the primary cluster).
- Two courses chosen from another cluster (the secondary cluster).
- Two elective courses chosen from any cluster.
Regardless of which primary cluster they choose, students must not take more than six courses in any one geographical area (defined as Europe, America, or non-western). Clusters are, however, not necessarily geographically specific. No more than two 100-level courses may count toward the major.
The eight-course minimum must include at least one 300-level seminar taken during the senior year as a Culminating Experience (CE). Within the framework of this seminar, in addition to the normal requirements, history majors will write a supplementary reflective essay on their experiences in the history program, and discuss it with the other majors in the class in a special session supervised by the seminar instructor. This non-credit-bearing module will be evaluated on a pass-fail basis separately from the seminar itself. Students completing an Honors Thesis are exempt from the CE-related seminar but must still write the CE supplementary reflective essay and meet with their thesis adviser to discuss it.
When the subject matter and focus of topics and seminar courses varies from year to year, individual courses will be assigned to the appropriate clusters on a yearly basis (see course list). HIST 100, HIST 200 and HIST 201 normally count in any cluster.
Clusters: There are seven clusters. They group courses together by area of inquiry. Clusters 4 to 7 are not geographically specific.
1) American History (30 courses): This cluster includes all courses dealing with American history. Within it, students may follow a sequence of period courses from the colonial period to the modern era, or they may focus on particular aspects or interpretations. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 121, 122, 211, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 227, 228, 229, 262, 270, 271, 273, 279, 310, 311, 312, 313, 319, 321, 322.
2) European History (30 courses): This cluster includes all courses dealing with European history, including both broad surveys and more specialist courses on Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. Within it, students may opt for the sequence of surveys, focus on the history of one or more countries or pursue particular aspects and interpretations. Courses: HIST 131, 132, 170, 171, 190, 231, 233, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 245, 246, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 258, 262, 267, 268, 272, 273, 279, 290, 330.
3) Non-western History (20 courses): This cluster groups courses in the history of other areas of the world, specifically Africa, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, together with courses dealing with the impact of western imperialism. Courses: HIST 185, 190, 260, 282, 283, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 299, 390, 399.
4) Intellectual History (21 courses): This cluster introduces students to the study of ideas and intellectual movements, both western and non-western. Courses: HIST 170, 214, 227, 228, 229, 237, 238, 246, 247, 260, 261, 262, 266, 267, 268, 272, 273, 310, 311, 319, 360.
5) Political, Economic, and Labor History (39 courses): This cluster covers both Europe and America and includes courses dealing with law, diplomacy and warfare, as well as more familiar topics in economic and political history. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 131, 185, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 233, 236, 239, 242, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 260, 270, 282, 283, 287, 288, 289, 290, 296, 297, 310, 311, 313, 320, 321, 322.
6) Social History (46 courses): This cluster groups courses dealing with race, class, and gender, as well as courses dealing more broadly with social history. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 121, 122, 131, 171, 211, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 229, 231, 238, 245, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 258, 271, 279, 282, 283, 286, 289, 291, 292, 299, 310, 311, 312, 313, 319, 320, 321, 330, 370, 390.
7) History of Science and Medicine (8 courses): This cluster introduces students to the specific field of science and medicine within the broader range of history. It includes courses in both American and European history. Courses: HIST 170, 171, 270, 271, 272, 273, 279, 370.
Students are encouraged, with the help of their advisers, to pick courses which reflect their particular interests within and between clusters. They may, if they wish and with the support of their adviser and another member of the department, construct their own primary cluster to reflect these interests.
History majors are encouraged to become proficient in languages appropriate to their studies, and to seek out courses in other departments that complement their historical interests.
Introductory (100-level) history courses are intended for first- and second-year students. Third- and fourth-year students will be admitted to these courses only at the discretion of the instructor.
All 100-level history courses are designed to address a set of issues fundamental to historical understanding: the examination and evaluation of sources, the construction of historical accounts, and questions of point of view. While every 100-level course introduces students to some of the basic methods and practices of history, each course has its own particular topic, time span, and thematic emphasis.
Thinking about History (I or II; 3, 0)
Focus and content vary. An introductory history course for the development of informed historical analysis among its students. Primarily for first-year students.
The Historians' Craft (I or II; 3, 0)
Introduction to the discipline of history and to the methods and approaches used by historians. The course also considers history and the wider public.
Introduction to Historical GIS (AII; 1, 2)
This course analyzes events of the historical past using geographic information systems (GIS) digital mapping software. Not open to first-year students.
Introduction to U.S. History I (I or II; 3, 0)
This course introduces students to American history from the pre-colonial period through the War of 1812.
Introduction to U.S. History II (I or II; 3, 0)
This course introduces students to American history from Jeffersonian America through the Spanish-American-Cuban-Filipino War.
Introduction to U.S. History III (I or II; 3, 0)
This course provides an introduction to 20th-century American history.
Introduction to African-American History I (I; 3, 0)
A survey of African-American history from colonial times to the Civil War.
Introduction to African-American History II (II; 3, 0)
Continuation of HIST 121 above to the present.
Frontiers and Borderlands (I or II; 3, 0)
This course examines the development of the American West to 1900.
Topics in American History (II; R; 3, 0)
American Colonial History (I; 3, 0)
Examines effects of European settlement on the North American continent. This course considers social, legal, and economic consequences for the various groups during encounters that occurred between 1607 and 1770.
African-Americans and the American Revolution (II; 3, 0)
Inquiry into the meaning of American independence from the perspective of the people for whom freedom was not intended.
Antebellum America (I; 3, 0)
An examination of social problems and movements during this era. Focus may vary. Slavery and slave narratives; underground railroads; utopian visions; abolitionists; strikes and labor protests.
American Civil War and Reconstruction (II; 3, 0)
The period is studied in depth as a revolutionary era through attention to political, economic, social, constitutional/legal, intellectual trends, events, personae, movements and institutions.
U.S. History: 1880s to 1930s (II; 3, 0)
The rise and development of American capitalism, as well as the political and social movements that accompanied this period of economic turbulence will be covered.
U.S. History from the 1940s to the Present (I; 3, 0)
Continuation of HIST 221 above.
Twentieth-century African-American History: Eyes on the Prize (S; 6, 0)
Course uses as a primary source the documentary "Eyes on the Prize" to examine African-American history between 1954 and 1985.
Topics in American Political and Economic History (I; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of leading themes in American history since 1600. Topics vary from year to year, but may include economic and political structures, intellectual movements, or social and cultural history.
American Intellectual History I (I; 3, 0)
A study of selected thinkers, ideas, and intellectual currents from Puritanism through the Civil War.
American Intellectual History II (II; 3, 0)
A study of selected thinkers, ideas and intellectual currents from 1865 to the present.
Topics in American Intellectual History (I; R; 3, 0)
Studies in topics such as the Puritan origins of the American self, pragmatism and social reform, radical visions and American dreams.
Pre-modern Europe (I or II; 3, 0)
A survey of Europe in the pre-industrial era. Content and goals vary with instructor.
Modern Europe (I or II; 3, 0)
Survey of modern Europe.
Social History of Early Modern Europe (II; 3, 0)
Social history survey of continental Europe from the Black Death through the period of religious wars (1348 - 1700).
European State Systems (1660-1815) (I; 3, 0)
Politics, diplomacy, and war in the Age of Absolutism. Examines foreign relations and their domestic origins and implications.
Nineteenth-century Europe (I; 3, 0)
Romanticism, nationalism, and imperialism are examined, together with political developments of the nineteenth century.
The Renaissance (I or II; 3, 0)
This course focuses upon the major religious, social, artistic, literary, and political constructs of the influential thinkers of the European Renaissance, 1300-1600.
Witchcraft and Magic in Europe (I or II; 3, 0)
This course examines magic and witchcraft beliefs in Europe during the age of witch-hunting (Renaissance to Enlightenment). Topics vary.
Contemporary Europe, 1890-1995 (II; 3, 0)
The crises of European cultures: world wars, economic depression, social unrest, and the decline of hegemony, the struggles for revitalization.
Greek History (II; 3, 0)
From the heroic Bronze Age down through the Persian invasion, the flourishing of Classical Athens, and the Peloponnesian wars to the death of Socrates, focusing on political, social, and economic developments. Crosslisted as CLAS 217.
Roman History (II; 3, 0)
Roman history from Rome's foundations as a backwater village ca. 753 BCE through its rise as a world-power to its fall in the fourth century CE, focusing on economic and political issues. Crosslisted as CLAS 218.
Topics in French History (I; R; 3, 0)
Specific focus will vary but always a study of aspects of the constitution and transformation of major political-cultural formations which shape French society.
Topics in German History (I and II; R; 3, 0)
Topics vary. Intensive study of leading themes in German history since 1400.
Medieval Heresies and Heretics (I or II; 3, 0)
Course examines the major heresies in western Europe from 1100 to 1600, and the church's attempts at repression.
Topics in European History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of leading themes in European history since 1400. Topics will vary but may include economic and political structures, intellectual movements, or social and cultural history. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Topics in Russian History (II; R; 3, 0)
Topics vary. An examination of various periods in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union that includes a balance of political, social, and cultural elements.
Medieval and Early Modern Russia (I or II; 3, 0)
This course provides a survey of the principal events and themes in Russian history from the ninth through the early 18th century.
Imperial Russia (I or II; 3, 0)
This course provides a survey of the principal events and themes in Russian history from the early 18th through the early 20th century.
Soviet Russia (I or II; 3, 0)
An overview of the political, intellectual, cultural, and social history of the Soviet Union from its ideological roots to its collapse as a communist power.
Introduction to Modern Southeast Asian History and Culture (I; 3, 0)
Examining all of Southeast Asia in general but focusing on Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This course will examine the transition from colonialism to independence in Southeast Asia and the cultural and political expression of that transition. Not open to seniors.
World History (I or II; 3, 0)
Introductory survey of world history. Examines how cross-cultural encounters and global exchanges of ideas, people, and goods have shaped world history.
Modern Latin America (I or II; 3, 0)
This course traces and analyzes major developments in Latin American politics, society, and culture from 1800 to the present.
Southeast Asia since 1800 (I or II; 3, 0)
Political-cultural transformations in Southeast Asia since 1800. Topics vary.
Contemporary Japanese History (II; 3, 1)
Political and cultural history of post-World War II Japan using various sources including film, anime, art, political cartoon, popular song. Crosslisted as EAST 256.
Perspectives: The Vietnam War (I or II; 3, 0)
A comprehensive examination of the conflicts in Vietnam from 1940 to 1981.
The History of Vietnam (I or II; 3, 0)
Intensive study of the history of Vietnam from the era of Chinese occupation in the second century BC to the present.
Chinese Diaspora (I or II; 3, 0)
Is the world becoming Chinese? This course examines the history of China outside of China. It explores the development of overseas Chinese communities around the world, including SE Asia and the Americas. Crosslisted as EAST 289.
European Imperialism and Colonialism (II; 3, 0)
Considers the rise, development, and fall of Western political and economic hegemony over the peoples and states of Asia and Africa since the late 19th century.
African History I (I; 3, 0)
Survey of Sub-Saharan Africa during the 19th century. Emphasis on aspects of social and economic change.
African History II (II; 3, 0)
The construction and destruction of colonial states and the impact of colonial rule on Sub-Saharan Africa.
China from Ancient Times to the 18th Century (I; 3, 0)
Chinese history and culture from their beginning to the middle of the Qing Dynasty, before that dynasty and China were challenged by the West. Crosslisted as EAST 233.
China Since 1800 (II; 3, 0)
China from the eve of its modern confrontation with the West to the present through years of traumatic challenge and change. Crosslisted as EAST 234.
From Shinto to Shogun: Pre-modern Japan (II; 3, 0)
This course will examine the cultural and institutional developments which constitute the Japanese heritage, with emphasis on classical Heian and early medieval court culture and late medieval samurai society. Crosslisted as EAST 254.
Modern Japanese History (I; 3, 0)
Japanese economy, society, politics, war, and diplomacy from 1868 to World War II; successes, crises, and conflicts in building a modern nation-state. Crosslisted as EAST 255.
The People's Republic of China (II; 3, 0)
A historical look at life in China under the rule of the Communist Party. Unprecedented triumphs and tribulations. Crosslisted as EAST 267.
Topics in Non-western History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Selected major issues in the study of imperialism and colonialism.
Race, Nation-state and International Relations (II; 3, 0)
The course examines the processes by which states as expressions of social relations that are embedded in political institutions have been used by social forces, nationally, and transnationally, to racialize nations, societies, and global politics. Crosslisted as IREL 245 and POLS 274.
Twentieth-century Afro-Caribbean and African-American Thought (II; 3, 0)
Study of the intellectual contributions and scholarly vision of people of African descent to sociological theory, social philosophy, and social change in the 20th century. Crosslisted as SOCI 280.
History and Film (I or II; 3, 2)
An introductory exploration of various aspects of cinematic representations of historical periods, events and agents.
Topics in Intellectual History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Topics will vary. Intensive study of major themes and thinkers in intellectual history.
European Intellectual History I (I; 3, 0)
A survey of the main currents of European philosophical, social, and political thought from the 14th through the 18th centuries.
European Intellectual History II (II; 3, 0)
A study of selected thinkers, ideas, communities of discourse, and intellectual currents from the late Enlightenment to the present.
Introduction to the History of Science and Technology (I or II; 3, 0)
A general survey of Western science and technology in relation to social and intellectual developments from ancient times to the present.
Introduction to the History of Medicine and Public Health (I or II; 3, 0)
A cross-cultural survey of medicine and public health, emphasizing how different societies have interpreted and responded to epidemic diseases.
Science and Technology in the U.S. (I or II; 3, 0)
A survey of intellectual, social, and professional developments in science and technology from Colonial times to the present, emphasizing federal science policy and politics.
Medicine in the U.S. (I or II; 3, 0)
Examines American experiences of health and sickness across gender, race, and class, and developments in medicine and public health from colonial times to the present.
History of Science I (I; 3, 0)
Natural science during the Scientific Revolution (ca. 1450-1700), including intellectual, philosophical, and social developments.
History of Science II (II; 3, 0)
Major developments in science and technology from the early 1800s to the present, and their social context and implications.
Topics in the History of Science and Medicine (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Topics vary: non-orthodox medicine; women and science; women and medicine; technology and social change. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Topics in Women's and Gender History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Topics vary. Instructors shape the content according to their own interests in seeking insights into the historical construct of gender in Europe and/or the United States.
Admission to a seminar course is by permission of the instructor only.
U.S. History to 1865 (I or II; R; 3, 0)
U.S. History since 1865 (I or II; R; 3, 0)
American Social History (I; 3, 0)
Everyday life, the family, pre-industrial and industrial society, social organizations and social conflicts, material culture, poverty and punishment. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
The American West (I or II; R; 3, 0)
This course examines the U.S. West. Topics vary.
African-American History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Focuses on recent developments in the field. Topics vary but may include slavery; African-American intellectual history; black feminism; race, class, and gender; social and political movements and cultural criticism. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
American Labor History (I or II; 3, 0)
This course explores the formation of the American working class. Issues such as political activism, economic transformations, gender roles, and shop-floor militancy will be covered. Not open to first-year students.
American Immigrants (I or II; 3, 0)
This course explores the history and consequences of American immigration. The cultural practices, work, political activism, and nativist challenges to various immigrant groups will be covered. Not open to first-year students.
American Industrialization and Political Development (I or II; 3, 0)
This course focuses on the development and relations between workers, political parties, laws, and social movements. Not open to first-year students.
European History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of selected issues. Topics vary.
Intellectual History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of selected issues. Topics vary. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
History of Science and Medicine (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of selected issues. Topics vary. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
African History (II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of selected issues. Topics vary.
Non-western History (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Intensive study of selected issues. Topics vary. Not open to first-year students.
The department encourages students to develop independent study programs with faculty members. In addition, interested and qualified students, in consultation with the chair, are encouraged to apply to the Honors Council for admission to the University honors program. The application normally would be submitted at the beginning of the fall semester of the senior year. Students who do honors work in history submit a substantial honors thesis, the equivalent of two courses of work in their senior year. Credit may be taken either in one semester of the senior year or in both.
Independent Study (I or II; R) Half to full course.
Selected topics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
Undergraduate Research (I or II) Half to two courses.
Undergraduate research projects in collaboration with a history department faculty member. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.