List of Courses
HIS 101 World History I (3 credits)
World History I is the first in a two-course sequence tracing the rise of world civilizations. It will examine the social, political, intellectual, and economic development of civilizations in Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas from the beginning until the 16th century. Main themes are the Neolithic revolution, urbanization, early empires, conflicts, and interconnections through trade, culture, and religions. More broadly the course will expose students to the use of primary and secondary sources and to the identification of change over time, causality, and contingency in historical knowledge.
HIS 102 World History II (3 credits)
World History II is the second in a two-course sequence tracing the rise of world civilizations. It will examine the modern social, political, intellectual, and economic development of civilizations in Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas from the 16th century to the present. Main themes include interdependency between the old and the new world, splendor, trade, and power in China, India, the Ottoman Empire, and Africa, the formation of modern citizenship in a global perspective, the great divergence, imperialism and decolonization, and the contemporary integrated world. More broadly the course will expose students to the use of primary and secondary sources and to the identification of change over time, causality, and contingency in historical knowledge.
HIS 103 History of Western Civilization (3 credits)
The course is a survey of western civilization and culture that emphasizes political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual developments. Students are introduced to contemporary source materials and to interpretive works of the major participants in western civilization from the Ancient World to the Renaissance. Some of the major historical movements to be covered include: the First Civilizations, Ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity, the decline of the Roman Empire, Rome's Successors, Byzantium, Early Islam, the Medieval Church, the Vikings, the Crusades, the Hundred Years' War, and the Renaissance. There are no prerequisites.
HIS 104 History of Western Civilization (3 credits)
The second in a two-course sequence: an historical survey of Western Civilization from c. 1500 to the present. It examines the political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual developments that shaped the West, including its relationship with other regions of the world. Topics covered include the Scientific Revolution, early modern state building, colonialism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the rise of modern political ideologies, imperialism, the World Wars, the Cold War, and terrorism. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources. There are no prerequisites.
HIS 105 Early American History (3 credits)
A survey of early American history emphasizing political, social, and intellectual trends. Students are introduced to works of major historians and to various interpretations of American history. The course will cover early American history from its beginnings through the early National period.
HIS 106 American History in the 19th Century (3 credits)
A continuation of HIS 105, covering American history from the early National period through the 19th century.
HIS 107 Modern American History (3 credits)
An introduction to the history of the United States from 1900 to the present. A continuation of HIS 105 and 106.
HIS 125 American Social History: A Film Study (3 credits)
A study of United States social and cultural movements since the late 19th century, with special emphasis on minority groups - Native Americans, African Americans, women, workers, immigrants, dissenters. In addition to lectures and books, the course will rely extensively on the use of media to illustrate the course of American history. No prerequisite.
HIS 207 History of the North American Indian (3 credits)
A survey of American Indian history with emphasis upon pluralistic beginnings, the culture of American Indian groups, Indian-White contacts, the impact of Federal Indian policy, and persistence and change in American Indian culture. No prerequisite, though it would be preferable to have taken HIS 105 and 106.
HIS 208 History of the Iroquois (3 credits)
This course will cover the history of the Iroquois peoples. It will describe the historical origins and development of the Iroquois Confederacy, and delve into issues that have had an impact on the confederacy over the years. Current legal problems, such as land claims, gaming, and taxing authority battles will be analyzed and discussed.
HIS 209 History of American Women (3 credits)
The course examines the experiences of American women as a group and as members of differing social classes and racial and ethnic groups in work, politics, family life, sexuality, and social organization from the seventeenth century to the present. The course aims to understand women's lives in the context of economic, political, and social changes in the U.S.; to discover the European, Latin American, and African roots of American women's lives; and to reconstruct our interpretation of U.S. history in light of women's experiences.
HIS 213 End of Empire: British Imperialism Since 1900 (3 credits)
This course is a study of world history and global issues through an examination of the British Empire in the twentieth century. Students will assess how British power operated and how it controlled its huge far-flung Empire. Independence movements from both the British and indigenous populations' perspectives, and the lasting ramifications of British rule, will be investigated.
HIS 214 The Global History of Sexuality (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the scholarly study of the global history of sexuality. Its main focus is to help students develop an understanding of ancient Greek and Roman societies based on comparisons with African and Indian societies of the Early Modern and Modern periods. Students will reflect on the influence of Western society on non-Western cultures. They will explore the changing ways that individuals, moral authorities, the tribe/state and scientific experts have conceptualized sexuality and gender. Topics covered include: age and rites of passage; childhood and adulthood; marriage; conception, birth, infanticide; the family; love; male and female homosexuality; women and property; and sex and politics.
HIS 216 U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1914 (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to United States foreign relations from World War I to the present. We examine foreign policies of U.S. presidents, debates among foreign policy analysts, and the way other nations have regarded the United States. Topics include imperialism, spread of American culture, the Cold War, different approaches to international cooperation, unilateralism, multilateralism, the role of military force, and changes in U.S. national security needs.
HIS 217 History of Work in America (3 credits)
This course examines labor in the United States from the early 1600s to the present, with special emphasis upon the working class and organized labor after 1830. We will explore major themes in the changing nature of work including conditions, experiences, outlooks, and conduct of workers. Topics include the history of strikes, organizing, and unionism; pink collar work; slave labor and indentured servitude; the effects of war on labor conditions; and gender and race in the workplace.
HIS 219 History of European Women Since 1500 (3 credits)
This course is an introduction to the history of women in Europe since the Reformation. Women in all parts of Europe, including Turkey and the European colonies, will be studied. Topics include women at work, in the family, in politics, and in communities as well as female heads of state, scientists, artists, and political activists. The course examines how European women, once defined by their family and marital status, have gained independence and individuality. The course also examines the effects on women of cultural and legal change since 1500. Sources focus on women's perspectives on their own lives. Representations of women in film, art, and literature will be used.
HIS 221 Mayas and Aztecs: An Introduction to the History of Ancient Mesoamerica (3 credits)
This course introduces students to the pre-Columbian peoples and cultures of Mexico and Central America, from the time of the first settlement of the Americas to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the sixteenth century. It uses the perspectives of history and anthropology to enable students to make sense of the rich religious and architectural traditions, sophisticated calendrical and writing systems, and elaborate social and political systems that developed in this region over several millennia.
HIS 223 African American History From Africa Through the Civil War Era (3 credits)
This course examines chronologically and topically the development of African-Americans from Africa, emphasizing the West African kingdoms, through the Civil War Era. West African culture and social life will be discussed in order to show how that culture was exploited by Europeans in the development of the slave trade. Students will spend several weeks studying the development of the institution of slavery and how slaves psychologically adapted to that lifestyle. The course also emphasizes the development of free Black communities in America during this period and the motivations for and efforts of African and non-African Americans to end slavery. The course concludes with a discussion of the reality and myth of Black participation in the Civil War and Reconstruction.
HIS 224 African American History 1890 to the Present (3 credits)
This course examines, chronologically and topically, the development of African-Americans from the post-Civil War Era to the present. Students will examine African-American responses to the legal institutionalization of segregation, including migration to the West, self-segregation, self-help, education, and the vote. Between discussions of Black participation in World Wars I and II, students will investigate the Harlem Renaissance and the development of jazz and the blues. Following a discussion of the Civil Rights Movement, the course will conclude with a discussion of Black conservativism.
HIS 226 History of the Civil Rights Movements: 1 940 to the Present (3 credits)
This course examines chronologically the efforts by African Americans to obtain full civil rights from the pivotal period of 1940-1955 to the present. The class focuses on first-hand recollections of the Movement by African and non-African Americans, documentary and popular film representations of the Movement, and federal and state government responses to the Movement. The class discussions will seek to dispel the myths about the Movement while exposing the stereotypes, distortions, and romanticism that surround the Movement. An integral part of that discussion will be evaluating the strategies utilized by those advocating and those opposing the movement for civil rights. The course concludes with an extensive discussion of black conservatism and efforts to "turn back the clock" on civil rights gains.
HIS 240 The Plains Indians (3 credits)
This course is a study of the Plains Indians from their earliest beginnings to the present time. It will take a detailed look at the rise and development of Plains Indian societies, nomadic and village dwellers; the contact and conflict with Euro-Americans; the challenges faced by the Plains Indians to their traditional way of life during the early reservation years; and the struggle by the Plains Indians to retain tribal sovereignty, politics and culture. The course will make extensive use of visual artifacts, paintings, photographs and film to illustrate and analyze the historical and mythic images of the Plains Indians.
HIS 250 The History of Ancient Egypt (3 credits)
This course details the history of Ancient Egypt from the Neolithic through the Roman period. The course examines the development of history in the Nile River Valley, including the economic, political, social, and religious developments, which shaped the region and formed the basis for much of the later cultures of the Near East. Topics covered include European colonialism and the development of early historiography in the Near East, state formation, the age of pyramid building and the reasons for monumental architecture, the significance of early documentation and the cultural legacy of literature, the rise of imperial Egypt, the art and significance of mummification, the tomb of Tutankhamun, and the impact of the Hellenistic age. Students will analyze the significance of primary sources in forming a historical narrative of Egyptian history.
HIS 261 The Civil War (3 credits)
This course will examine the American Civil War (1861-1865) in its many aspects. Such topics as the origins of the crisis, the break-up of the Union, the major military campaigns, the actions and motives of Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Davis, and other key players will be explored, as well as the legacy of the war for future generations of Americans. Though military affairs will be emphasized, social, political and economic topics will be covered as well. There will be an extensive use of media.
HIS 276 American West: Film Study (3 credits)
We will study the settlement of the American West as it has been reflected in popular literature and films, focusing on the distinction between the actual frontier experience and the way that experience has been presented to us in our entertainment. Special emphasis will be placed on the Plains Indian, the mountain men, and the cowboys.
HIS 286 The American Worker: A Film Study (3 credits)
This course studies the American working class since the late Nineteenth Century and how Hollywood film has depicted the struggle of working people to enhance their lives within the capitalist system. The course will explore through lecture, film and readings such topics as the rise of the union movement; the great strikes; ideological controversy within the labor movement; and the role played by African-Americans, women, immigrants and radicals in working class history. Students will view in class major films dealing with the working class, such as The Molly Maguires, Matewan, The Grapes of Wrath, On the Waterfront, Salt of the Earth, and Norma Rae.
HIS 292 Collision of Cultures: America and Europe (3 credits)
This course will explore the collision of cultures that resulted from the voyages of Columbus and the European contact with the American continents. The life and career of Columbus and the Spanish conquest of the new world will be covered. The impact of this conquest on both European and American cultures and on subsequent world history will be examined.