Course Offerings

Fall 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

European Civilization, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Peterson, David S.

An introductory survey, featuring lectures and discussions of European culture, politics, religion and social life, and of Europe's relations with neighboring societies, from the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance, to the beginnings of the 16th-century Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

European Civilization, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Peterson, David S.

An introductory survey, featuring lectures and discussions of European culture, politics, religion and social life, and of Europe's relations with neighboring societies, from the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance, to the beginnings of the 16th-century Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

European Civilization, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

The rise of capitalism, Renaissance and Reformation, the age of absolutism, and the Enlightenment.

European Civilization, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

The rise of capitalism, Renaissance and Reformation, the age of absolutism, and the Enlightenment.

China: Origins to 20th-Century Reforms

HIST 103 - Bello, David A.

China's history embodies the full range of experience -as domain of imperial dynasties, target of imperial aggression, dissident member of the cold war Communist bloc, and current regional superpower in East Asia. This course tracks these transitions in political and social organization that, among other things, terminated history's longest lasting monarchical system, ignited two of its largest revolutions, began World War II and produced the most populous nation on earth. A wide range of cultural, political and intellectual stereotypes of China are challenged in the process of exploring its particular historical experience.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Myers, Barton A.

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Myers, Barton A.

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

Global History since 1300: Connections and Change from Genghis Khan to Boko Haram

HIST 174 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

A study of the increasing interconnection of various parts of the world from the 14th century to the present. The class focuses on mobility--the way that people, ideas, objects, and materials move through various geographic and social spaces and across borders throughout history. This course is thematic in its approach, emphasizing that 'globalization' is hardly a new phenomenon but has occurred for centuries. We examine the ways that peoples, communities, and nations made and remade themselves as they traveled across the globe over the past seven centuries. Equal emphasis on Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Global History since 1300: Connections and Change from Genghis Khan to Boko Haram

HIST 174 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

A study of the increasing interconnection of various parts of the world from the 14th century to the present. The class focuses on mobility--the way that people, ideas, objects, and materials move through various geographic and social spaces and across borders throughout history. This course is thematic in its approach, emphasizing that 'globalization' is hardly a new phenomenon but has occurred for centuries. We examine the ways that peoples, communities, and nations made and remade themselves as they traveled across the globe over the past seven centuries. Equal emphasis on Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

FS: First-Year Seminar

HIST 180 - Stillo, Stephanie E.

Topics vary by term and instructor.

Fall 2015 topic:

HIST 180-01: FY: Fashion in Global History (3). First-Year Seminar. Prerequisite: First-year class standing only. This course uses fashion as a way to explore economic, social, and political changes throughout the globe from antiquity to the French Revolution. By placing clothing and ornamentation within its historic context, we explore how different peoples have used adornment as a marker of status, conformity, and resistance. Topics include: the historic demand for luxury, the role of ornamentation in empire and colonialism, and the way fashion contributed to modern globalization. This course also offers students the opportunity to engage sources about fashion in global history through digital humanities projects. (HU) Stillo. Fall 2015

Imperial Russia, 1682 to 1917

HIST 220 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

From the rise to power of Peter the Great, Russia's first emperor, through the fall of the Romanov dynasty.

International Relations, 1919-2000: The End of European Hegemony

HIST 224 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

Topics include the Versailles peace settlement of 1919, the spread of the British Empire to the Middle East and birth of Palestinian nationalism, the impact of the Great Depression and totalitarianism on international relations, the outbreak of the Second World War, the Holocaust and foundation of the State of Israel, the Nuremberg Trials, decolonization in Africa and Asia, the origins of the Cold War, and the foundation of the European Economic Community. What have Europeans learned about conflict resolution from their experience of two world wars and numerous colonial wars?

Women in Russian History

HIST 228 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

Students read many accounts by and about Russian women to gain an understanding of how Russian women have been affected by wars, revolutions, and other major events and, simultaneously, how they have been agents of change from the beginnings Russian history up to the present.

Topics in European History

HIST 229B - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in European history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015 topics:

HIST 229A: Medieval Spain to 1609 (3). Corequisite: DH 190. The idea of coexistence (convivencia) in medieval Iberia has captivated scholars for centuries. This course examines the interactions between Muslims, Christians, and Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula from approximately 711 to 1609 C.E. Themes include: the rise of the Islamic west, religious tolerance, social diversity, crusading ideology, medieval Christian kingdoms, early inquisitions, Iberian expansion, and the contribution of Iberian history to the modern world. In the corequisite, students learn a variety of digital methodologies, including spatial history, networks analysis, and text mining. No prior experience required. (HU) Stillo. Fall 2015

Hist 229B-01: The Making of Modern Scotland from Braveheart to the Referendum (3).  Evoking images of kilts and bagpipes, castles and kings, whisky and haggis, the history of Scotland has long captured the attention of scholarly and popular audiences alike.  This course surveys the history of the Scottish people from the late medieval period up to the current debates surrounding the possibility of Scottish Independence and the future of Great Britain. Along the way, we examine the Wars of Independence (the age of William Wallace and Robert Bruce), the Renaissance and Reformation, the Scottish Enlightenment, the tragedy of the Highland clearances, emigration to North America, involvement in the British Empire, and development of Scottish Nationalism in recent decades. Above all, this course asks two interrelated questions: how was Scotland made, manipulated, imagined, and romanticized over the last seven centuries, and why do we remain fascinated by this small and beautiful country across the Atlantic? (HU) Brock.

Anthropology of American History

HIST 238 - Bell, Alison K.

This course explores issues within historic American communities that ethnographers often investigate among living groups, including cultural values, religious ideologies, class structures, kinship networks, gender roles, and interethnic relations. Although the communities of interest in this course ceased to exist generations ago, many of their characteristic dynamics are accessible through such means as archaeology, architectural history, and the study of documents. Case studies include early English settlement in Plymouth, Mass.; the 18th-century plantation world of Virginia and South Carolina; the post-Revolutionary Maine frontier and 19th-century California.

The United States, 1789-1840

HIST 242 - Merchant, J. H., Jr. (Holt)

The political, constitutional, economic and social history of the United States from the beginning of Washington's first term as president to the end of Van Buren's only term. Launching the Republic; Hamiltonian economic program; the first party system; the Revolution of 1800, the second war for independence; the second party system; westward expansion; Nullification; the Bank War; and the second Great Awakening.

History of Women in America, 1609-1870

HIST 257 - Senechal, Roberta H.

An examination of women's social, political, cultural and economic positions in America through the immediate post-Civil War. Changes in women's education, legal status, position in the family, and participation in the work force with emphasis on the diversity of women's experience, especially the manner in which class and race influenced women's lives. The growth of organized women's rights.

The History of the African-American People to 1877

HIST 259 - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

An intensive study of the African-American experience from the colonial period through Reconstruction. Special emphasis is given to the slave experience, free blacks, black abolitionists, development of African-American culture, Emancipation, Black Reconstruction, and racial attitudes.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269A - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

FALL 2015, HIST 269A-01: The American Century: U.S. History, 1945-Present (3). This course explores the history of the United States since the end of World War II. Major topics include the Bomb, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization and the consumer culture, race and civil rights, feminism, anti-feminism, and the gay and lesbian liberation movements, Vietnam and foreign policy, the rise of conservatism and neoliberalism, and the challenges of globalization. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269B-01: The United States in World War II (3). This course studies the causes, course, and consequences of World War II, with a particular emphasis on its impact on American life, culture, and politics. We focus on the war "over there" in Europe and the Pacific as well as the war "over here" on the home front. Topics include military and diplomatic strategy, the impact of the war on women and racial minorities, economic mobilization, the importance of science and technology, the development of nuclear weapons, and the Holocaust. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269C-01:The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age (3). An intensive survey of urban African American life from 1911 to 1940, with particular emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.  Our study examines art, literature, music, black intellectual thought, and political developments of the period. (HU) DeLaney

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269B - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

FALL 2015, HIST 269A-01: The American Century: U.S. History, 1945-Present (3). This course explores the history of the United States since the end of World War II. Major topics include the Bomb, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization and the consumer culture, race and civil rights, feminism, anti-feminism, and the gay and lesbian liberation movements, Vietnam and foreign policy, the rise of conservatism and neoliberalism, and the challenges of globalization. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269B-01: The United States in World War II (3). This course studies the causes, course, and consequences of World War II, with a particular emphasis on its impact on American life, culture, and politics. We focus on the war "over there" in Europe and the Pacific as well as the war "over here" on the home front. Topics include military and diplomatic strategy, the impact of the war on women and racial minorities, economic mobilization, the importance of science and technology, the development of nuclear weapons, and the Holocaust. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269C-01:The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age (3). An intensive survey of urban African American life from 1911 to 1940, with particular emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.  Our study examines art, literature, music, black intellectual thought, and political developments of the period. (HU) DeLaney

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269C - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

FALL 2015, HIST 269A-01: The American Century: U.S. History, 1945-Present (3). This course explores the history of the United States since the end of World War II. Major topics include the Bomb, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization and the consumer culture, race and civil rights, feminism, anti-feminism, and the gay and lesbian liberation movements, Vietnam and foreign policy, the rise of conservatism and neoliberalism, and the challenges of globalization. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269B-01: The United States in World War II (3). This course studies the causes, course, and consequences of World War II, with a particular emphasis on its impact on American life, culture, and politics. We focus on the war "over there" in Europe and the Pacific as well as the war "over here" on the home front. Topics include military and diplomatic strategy, the impact of the war on women and racial minorities, economic mobilization, the importance of science and technology, the development of nuclear weapons, and the Holocaust. (HU) Michelmore.

FALL 2015, HIST 269C-01:The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age (3). An intensive survey of urban African American life from 1911 to 1940, with particular emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age.  Our study examines art, literature, music, black intellectual thought, and political developments of the period. (HU) DeLaney

Modern Islamic Political Thought

HIST 270 - Blecher, Joel A.

This course investigates Islamic political thought and action from the 18th century to the present. The course begins with an examination of the commentaries, treatises, and debates among Muslim political thinkers in light of their historical context and the writings on Islamic politics from the classical and middle ages. Then, students compare historical case studies of modern Islamic political movements in practice in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, France and the U.S. Throughout the course, we contemplate a variety of themes: the relationship of Islamic law to the state, the meaning of "lslamism" and fundamentalism, the relationship of democracy and constitutionalism to the Islamic tradition, the influence of women's changing participation in the public sphere, the impact of colonialism, technology and new media. and the limits placed on political speech. the place of non-Muslims and Muslim minorities in the West. and the changing role of religious education and traditional authority.

Seminar: The Yin and Yang of Gender in Late Imperial China (10th-19th centuries)

HIST 285 - Bello, David A.

Relations between men and women are the basis of any human society, but the exact nature and interpretation of these relations differ from time to time and from place to place. The concepts of Yin (female) and Yang (male) were integral to the theory and practice of Chinese gender relations during the late imperial period, influencing marriage, medicine and law. This course examines the historical significance of late-imperial gender relations across these, and other, categories from both traditional and modern perspectives.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295 - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

A seminar offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, in a selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2015 topic:

HIST 295: Animal Behavior and Human Morality in Historical Perspective (3). This course deals with the history of the study of animal behavior in its bearing on human morality, from the beginning of the professionalization of the subject around 1800 till the present day. Time and again, tentative connections have been and are being made between the ways animals behave and how humans conduct themselves. Issues of gender and sexuality traditionally have been at the center of these considerations, but also marriage, the family, slavery, systems of government -- monarchy, republic, etc. -- war, aggression, altruism and more have been argued for or against on the basis of animal examples. Students explore how animal behavior studies invariably have been shaped by the contemporaneous socio-politics of morality; or, conversely, that the elucidation, justification, and legitimation of human moral conduct by means of animal habits has been, by and large, a social construct. (HU) Rupke. Fall 2015

Seminar on Nazism and the Third Reich

HIST 312 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

Common readings introduce students to some of the most lively debates among scholars about the causes of the failure of democracy in the Weimar Republic, the mentality of Nazi leaders and followers, the nature of the regime created by the Nazis in 1933, the impact of the Third Reich on the position of women in German society, and the degree to which the German people supported this regime's policies of war and racial persecution. Students develop a research topic related to one of these debates for analysis in a substantial research paper utilizing both primary and secondary sources.

Seminar on The United States, 1840-1860

HIST 344 - Myers, Barton A.

An intensive examination of the sectional conflict: the Mexican War, Manifest Destiny, slavery and the territories, the abolition movement, the failure of compromise, and secession. Emphasis on the study of primary sources and class discussion of assigned reading.

Queering Colonialism

HIST 379 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course seeks to examine the many intersectional and overlapping threads in the histories of colonialism, gender, and sexuality. As authors like Achmat and Cohen have argued, colonialism has simultaneously supported and been supported by heteronormative, patriarchal, and white-supremacist regimes. This course looks at three avenues in which the 'normal' has been both created and contested in colonial histories: the body, belonging, and becoming. We read from a variety of disciplines, eras, and locations in order to understand how bodies can be made normal or 'queer.' We also examine how imperial structures of rule impact the daily lived experiences of people as they attempt to find spaces of belonging and potential for becoming part of a larger group. movement. or idea.

Directed Individual Study

HIST 403 - Peterson, David S.

A course which permits the student to follow a program of directed reading or research in an area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit each term of the junior and senior year.

Directed Individual Study

HIST 403 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

A course which permits the student to follow a program of directed reading or research in an area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit each term of the junior and senior year.

Directed Individual Study

HIST 403 - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

A course which permits the student to follow a program of directed reading or research in an area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit each term of the junior and senior year.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Myers, Barton A.

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Peterson, David S.

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.


Spring 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Topics in History for First-years and Sophomores

HIST 195 - Merchant, J. H., Jr. (Holt)

Selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topic:

HIST 195: Introductory Seminar on Thomas Jefferson (4). A seminar focusing on the life and times of Thomas Jefferson: planter, slave owner, husband, father, author, legislator, diplomat, Secretary of State, Vice President, President, sage. It devotes much of its attention to his two terms as president and also examines his life before his election to the presidency in 1801 and after the expiration of his second term in office. We analyze his strengths and weaknesses, his successes and failures, and his legacy. Includes readings in primary and secondary sources, discussion, weekly essays, and optional tours of Monticello and Poplar Forest. (HU) Merchant.

Fall 2014 topics:

HIST 195A-01: Introductory Seminar: Three Men Who Might Have Been President: John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster. (3). This seminar focuses on the public lives of three 19th-century Americans -- Calhoun, Clay, and Webster -- who wanted very much to be President of the United States but did not transform their dreams into reality. It analyzes their strengths and weaknesses, their successes and failures, and their legacies. Students read both primary and secondary sources; discuss their reading in class; locate, evaluate, use primary and secondary sources; organize and integrate sources into coherent narratives; and speak and write accurately, clearly, and concisely. (HU) Merchant

HIST 195B-01: Doomsday Science Then and Now. (3). In recent years, scientific doomsday literature has surged, along with popular publications of a similar kind. A preoccupation with global catastrophes, past and future, and related to the study of contemporary local and regional floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the like, has a long history in Western culture. This course looks at doomsday science and scientists from the past two and a half centuries, examining late-modern theories of global catastrophe, and explores why, in the course of the 20th century, neo-catastrophism has given renewed legitimacy to fears of "our final hour." (HU) Rupke.

Paris: A Contested City

HIST 210 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course, taught in Paris, examines how Parisian spaces have been contested and claimed since the French Revolution. We study how different actors and groups have used the city and its monuments in struggles over history, memory, and politics. Specific topics include how the French Revolution is memorialized in the city; class tensions and the remaking of Paris in the 19th century; the creation of Paris as an art capital; the battle for the memory of World War II; and the way in which contemporary actors-- politicians, protestors, tourists--move through and shape the city for their own purposes.

From Weimar to Hitler: Modernism and Anti-Modernism in German Culture after the First World War

HIST 215 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

Germany adopted an admirably democratic constitution after the First World War, and the Weimar Republic became a center of bold experimentation in literature, the arts, theater, cinema, and scholarship, but it also became a hotbed of radical nationalism and xenophobia. This course analyzes the relationship between art and politics through case studies in the debates provoked by anti-war films and poetry, the Bauhaus "international style" of architecture, the plays of Bertolt Brecht, expressionist art, and films and paintings to celebrate the advent of the "New Woman." Why did modernism inspire so much anxiety in Germany in the 1920s? To what extent did cultural experimentation contribute to the popularity of Adolf Hitler? What lessons did Weimar intellectuals in exile learn from the Nazi seizure of power?

The Art of Command during the American Civil War

HIST 244 - Myers, Barton A.

This seminar examines the role of military decision-making, the factors that shape it and determine its successes and failures, by focusing on four Civil War battles: Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Wilderness. Extensive reading and writing. Battlefield tours.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269 - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 269-01: The Freedom Ride. (4). An intensive study of the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of the Freedom Riders. This reading- and writing-intensive four-week study includes a two-week tour of major Civil Rights protest sites in the lower Southern United States. (HU) DeLaney.

HIST 269-02: Topic in U.S. History: Morning in America? Society, Culture, and Politics (4). An in-depth analysis of the United States during the Reagan presidency. While the bulk of the course focuses on the 1980s, it also provides an overview of the 1960s and 1970s and culminates with an evaluation of the legacy of the decade in contemporary America. Rather than studying a single theme across a long period of time, this class is designed to provide students with a variety of thematic approaches within a more confined time-period. Accordingly, while the focus is on national politics, we explore the impact of the decade on economic, social, environmental, religious, cultural, diplomatic, and political history. One of the key questions this class attempts to answer through the various thematic approaches is: How conservative were the 1980s? (HU) Michelmore. Spring 2015

Fall 2014 topics:

HIST 269A: The American Century: U.S. History, 1945 to the Present (3). This course explores the history of the United States after World War II -- a period sometimes referred to as the "American Century." Major topics include the Bomb, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization and the consumer culture, race and civil rights, feminism, anti-feminism, the gay and lesbian liberation movement, Vietnam and foreign policy, the rise of conservatism and neoliberalism, and the challenges of globalization. (HU) Michelmore.

HIST 269B: Afro-Latin America (3). This class examines the intrinsic role that African peoples have played in the historical formation of the geographic and cultural area known as Latin America. We survey the history of African descendant people in the Americas, from the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade to the Haitian Revolution; from the sugar plantation to the city street; from Brazilian Samba in the 1920s to the emergence of salsa music in Spanish Harlem in the 1970s. Topics include: slavery, the Haitian Revolution and its legacy, debates on "racial democracy," and the relationship between gender, race, and empire. (HU) Gildner.

HIST 269C: Slavery in the Americas (3). An intensive examination of slavery, abolition movements, and emancipation in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Emphasis is on the use of primary sources and class discussion of assigned readings. Writing requirements are lighter for this 269-level as opposed to the 366 course. (HU) Delaney.

Winter 2015 topic:

HIST 269: The American Experience with Guerrilla Warfare and Insurgency (3). Appropriate for juniors and seniors. This course dives headlong into the chaotic, destructive and brutally violent world that has been American involvement with irregular warfare. Over the past 400 years Americans have trained guerrillas, fought as irregulars, and sparked armed insurrections. This course looks at the broad typology of violence known as irregular warfare, including insurrections, violent revolutions, partisan and guerrilla warfare, U.S. Army/Native American conflict and 20th-century insurgency and low-intensity conflict. How do we define guerrilla warfare? Who chooses to become an irregular? Why do they do so? These are just a few questions we will engage. (HU) Myers.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 269-01: The Freedom Ride. (4). An intensive study of the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of the Freedom Riders. This reading- and writing-intensive four-week study includes a two-week tour of major Civil Rights protest sites in the lower Southern United States. (HU) DeLaney.

HIST 269-02: Topic in U.S. History: Morning in America? Society, Culture, and Politics (4). An in-depth analysis of the United States during the Reagan presidency. While the bulk of the course focuses on the 1980s, it also provides an overview of the 1960s and 1970s and culminates with an evaluation of the legacy of the decade in contemporary America. Rather than studying a single theme across a long period of time, this class is designed to provide students with a variety of thematic approaches within a more confined time-period. Accordingly, while the focus is on national politics, we explore the impact of the decade on economic, social, environmental, religious, cultural, diplomatic, and political history. One of the key questions this class attempts to answer through the various thematic approaches is: How conservative were the 1980s? (HU) Michelmore. Spring 2015

Fall 2014 topics:

HIST 269A: The American Century: U.S. History, 1945 to the Present (3). This course explores the history of the United States after World War II -- a period sometimes referred to as the "American Century." Major topics include the Bomb, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Cold War at home and abroad, suburbanization and the consumer culture, race and civil rights, feminism, anti-feminism, the gay and lesbian liberation movement, Vietnam and foreign policy, the rise of conservatism and neoliberalism, and the challenges of globalization. (HU) Michelmore.

HIST 269B: Afro-Latin America (3). This class examines the intrinsic role that African peoples have played in the historical formation of the geographic and cultural area known as Latin America. We survey the history of African descendant people in the Americas, from the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade to the Haitian Revolution; from the sugar plantation to the city street; from Brazilian Samba in the 1920s to the emergence of salsa music in Spanish Harlem in the 1970s. Topics include: slavery, the Haitian Revolution and its legacy, debates on "racial democracy," and the relationship between gender, race, and empire. (HU) Gildner.

HIST 269C: Slavery in the Americas (3). An intensive examination of slavery, abolition movements, and emancipation in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Emphasis is on the use of primary sources and class discussion of assigned readings. Writing requirements are lighter for this 269-level as opposed to the 366 course. (HU) Delaney.

Winter 2015 topic:

HIST 269: The American Experience with Guerrilla Warfare and Insurgency (3). Appropriate for juniors and seniors. This course dives headlong into the chaotic, destructive and brutally violent world that has been American involvement with irregular warfare. Over the past 400 years Americans have trained guerrillas, fought as irregulars, and sparked armed insurrections. This course looks at the broad typology of violence known as irregular warfare, including insurrections, violent revolutions, partisan and guerrilla warfare, U.S. Army/Native American conflict and 20th-century insurgency and low-intensity conflict. How do we define guerrilla warfare? Who chooses to become an irregular? Why do they do so? These are just a few questions we will engage. (HU) Myers.

Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History

HIST 289 - Luo, Di (Lara)

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in Asian or African history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topic:

HIST 289: Literacy Past and Present (4). This course explores the course question, "What does literacy mean?" In recent years, the once-accepted concept of literacy has been challenged: no longer is the simple, positive narrative viewed as having a direct, linear causal relation to expected social changes. Taking a historical approach, students gain a general understanding of the history of literacy with China as the main (but not only) case study. Key topics include communications, language, family and demographic behavior, economic development, urbanization, institutions, literacy campaigns, political and personal changes, and the uses of reading and writing. Our overall goal is to obtain a new and critical understanding of the place of literacy and literacies in social development. (HU) Luo.

Winter 2015 topic:

HIST 289-01: Modern China: Revolutions and Their Aftermath (3). This course provides a general but analytical introduction to the development of China during the 20th century. We review key revolutions that transformed China from a dynastic empire to a western-style nation-state—firstly Republic of China in 1912 and then People's Republic of China in 1949. And we examine the impact on everyday life brought by politico-economic development. With the general empirical information and interpretations about 20th-century China explored in this course, you become capable of making your own judgment about the chief historical themes, trends, and causes of events that have produced China at the beginning of the 21st century.   (HU) Luo

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 289: Seminar: Africa in Western Imagination (3). From benefit concerts to AIDS charities to study abroad literature, Africa is everywhere. And yet it is frequently explained only in absence or in suffering. Rather than being a place that is defined by what it is, often Africa is viewed by what it is not, and the term 'Afro-pessimism' has been coined by some to criticize such solely negative depictions of a vast and varied continent. What, then, is 'Africa': a location on a map, a geographical boundary? Who are 'Africans'? What does the idea mean and how is it used? This course draws on literature and popular culture to discuss the very idea of 'Africa' and how the concept has been created, redefined, re-imagined, and (de)constructed in differing times and spaces. (HU) Tallie.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295A - Stillo, Stephanie E.

A seminar offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, in a selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 295-01: Europe, Africa, and the 18th-Century Search for the Blue Nile (4). This course follows the extraordinary journey of 18th-century naturalist James Bruce as he endeavored to discover the source of the Blue Nile. Bruce's expedition takes us through the Iberian Peninsula, the Levant, and eventually into the Horn of Africa. Using an original copy of Bruce's Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790) in Leyburn Library's Special Collections, we explore topics such as the history of science and print, early modern travel, and race in the scientific imagination. During this course, students curate a digital exhibition based on Bruce's journey. (HU) Stillo.

HIST 295B-01: Scientist as Political Leader (4). From the founding of the American Republic until today, a profound change has occurred in the educational background and professional training of US political leaders. While today nearly all are lawyers and/or businessmen, during the first half of America's history many of the nation's political figures had a background in science. Through the 20th century and into the 21st, the importance of science and technology in society has grown exponentially but, ironically, even the most elementary scientific literacy is no longer expected of presidents. How did this disconnect take place? The course also asks how the US contrasts with Great Britain and the European Continent. Two of Europe's most remarkable political leaders of the past few decades, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, brought a scientific background to highest political office. We conclude by considering the policy consequences of the presence or absence of scientific literacy among the West's political elite, focusing on such issues as climate change and energy. (HU) Rupke

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 295-01: Seminar: Art and Science from Leonardo Until Today. (3). Art and science are commonly assumed to be two distinct parts of our culture, requiring different talents, skills and even temperaments, and often taught in separate institutions. This distinction, however, has not always been so clear. In this seminar, we explore common denominators in art and science from Leonardo until today, focusing on the manifold ways in which science has been made part of art and art of science. We single out the Romantic Movement, and highlight great names in the holistic practice of art and science such as Coleridge, Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ernst Haeckel. Moreover, we address how increasingly possible commonalities in artistic and scientific creativity have been discussed in terms of perception, representation, and the science of the brain. (HU, pending faculty approval) Rupke.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295B - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

A seminar offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, in a selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 295-01: Europe, Africa, and the 18th-Century Search for the Blue Nile (4). This course follows the extraordinary journey of 18th-century naturalist James Bruce as he endeavored to discover the source of the Blue Nile. Bruce's expedition takes us through the Iberian Peninsula, the Levant, and eventually into the Horn of Africa. Using an original copy of Bruce's Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790) in Leyburn Library's Special Collections, we explore topics such as the history of science and print, early modern travel, and race in the scientific imagination. During this course, students curate a digital exhibition based on Bruce's journey. (HU) Stillo.

HIST 295B-01: Scientist as Political Leader (4). From the founding of the American Republic until today, a profound change has occurred in the educational background and professional training of US political leaders. While today nearly all are lawyers and/or businessmen, during the first half of America's history many of the nation's political figures had a background in science. Through the 20th century and into the 21st, the importance of science and technology in society has grown exponentially but, ironically, even the most elementary scientific literacy is no longer expected of presidents. How did this disconnect take place? The course also asks how the US contrasts with Great Britain and the European Continent. Two of Europe's most remarkable political leaders of the past few decades, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, brought a scientific background to highest political office. We conclude by considering the policy consequences of the presence or absence of scientific literacy among the West's political elite, focusing on such issues as climate change and energy. (HU) Rupke

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 295-01: Seminar: Art and Science from Leonardo Until Today. (3). Art and science are commonly assumed to be two distinct parts of our culture, requiring different talents, skills and even temperaments, and often taught in separate institutions. This distinction, however, has not always been so clear. In this seminar, we explore common denominators in art and science from Leonardo until today, focusing on the manifold ways in which science has been made part of art and art of science. We single out the Romantic Movement, and highlight great names in the holistic practice of art and science such as Coleridge, Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ernst Haeckel. Moreover, we address how increasingly possible commonalities in artistic and scientific creativity have been discussed in terms of perception, representation, and the science of the brain. (HU, pending faculty approval) Rupke.


Winter 2015

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

European Civilization, 1789 to the Present

HIST 102 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

The French Revolution and Napoleon, the era of nationalism, the rise of socialism, imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and European Union.

European Civilization, 1789 to the Present

HIST 102 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

The French Revolution and Napoleon, the era of nationalism, the rise of socialism, imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and European Union.

Japan: Origins to Atomic Aftermath

HIST 104 - Luo, Di (Lara)

This course traces the span of Japan's historical development from its origins through the Cold War, with a special, but not exclusive, emphasis on an environmental perspective. The first half of the course covers the emergence of indigenous Japanese society and its adaptation to cultural and political influences from mainland East Asia, including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Chinese concepts of empire. The second half covers Japan's successful transition from a declining Tokugawa Shogunate to a modern imperial nation to a reluctant U.S. Cold War ally from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.

History of the United States Since 1876

HIST 108 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A survey of United States History from Reconstruction to the present with emphasis on industrialization, urbanization, domestic and international developments, wars, and social and cultural movements.

History of the United States Since 1876

HIST 108 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A survey of United States History from Reconstruction to the present with emphasis on industrialization, urbanization, domestic and international developments, wars, and social and cultural movements.

History of the United States Since 1876

HIST 108 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of United States History from Reconstruction to the present with emphasis on industrialization, urbanization, domestic and international developments, wars, and social and cultural movements.

Modern Latin America: Túpak Katari to Tupac Shakur

HIST 131 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

A survey of Latin America from the 1781 anticolonial rebellion led by indigenous insurgent Túpak Katari to a globalized present in which Latin American youth listen to Tupac Shakur yet know little of his namesake. Lectures are organized thematically (culture, society, economics, and politics) and chronologically, surveying the historical formation of people and nations in Latin America. Individual countries (especially Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru) provide examples of how local and transnational forces have shaped the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of North and South America and the Caribbean, and the cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity that characterize a region too often misperceived as homogeneous.

Modern Latin America: Túpak Katari to Tupac Shakur

HIST 131 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

A survey of Latin America from the 1781 anticolonial rebellion led by indigenous insurgent Túpak Katari to a globalized present in which Latin American youth listen to Tupac Shakur yet know little of his namesake. Lectures are organized thematically (culture, society, economics, and politics) and chronologically, surveying the historical formation of people and nations in Latin America. Individual countries (especially Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru) provide examples of how local and transnational forces have shaped the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of North and South America and the Caribbean, and the cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity that characterize a region too often misperceived as homogeneous.

History of Islamic Civilization II: 1500 to the Present

HIST 171 - Blecher, Joel A.

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.

African History Since 1800

HIST 176 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

Examination of the history and historiography of Africa from the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present. Topics include precolonial states and societies, European colonial intrusions and African responses, development of modern political and social movements, decolonization, and the history of independent African nation-states during the Cold War and into the 21st century.

African History Since 1800

HIST 176 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

Examination of the history and historiography of Africa from the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present. Topics include precolonial states and societies, European colonial intrusions and African responses, development of modern political and social movements, decolonization, and the history of independent African nation-states during the Cold War and into the 21st century.

The Italian Renaissance in Its Historical Setting

HIST 203 - Peterson, David S.

Examines, through lectures and discussions, the Italian Renaissance within the framework of European religious, political and cultural development. The rise and impact of commercial and urban values on religious and political life in the Italian communes to the time of Dante. Cultural and political life in the "despotic" signorie and in republics such as Florence and Venice. The diffusion of Renaissance cultural ideals from Florence to the other republics and courts of 15th-century Italy, to the papacy, and to Christian humanists north of the Alps. Readings from Dante, Petrarch, Leonardo Bruni, Pico della Mirandola and Machiavelli.

Women and Gender in Modern Europe

HIST 206 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.

France: A Contested Nation

HIST 207 - Horowitz, Sarah

What does it mean to be French? What should France be? What lessons should we draw from French history? These three questions have been central to French political and cultural struggles and debates since the Revolution and remain so today. This course looks at how men and women--politicians, intellectuals, journalists, activists, ordinary citizens--have answered these questions. We study debates over citizenship in the Revolution, how individuals in the post-revolutionary era tried to make sense of their immediate past, and how the divides born of the Revolution explain the turbulent course of French politics until the mid-20th century. We also examine the battles over the memory of World War II and the Algerian War, and explore contemporary French debates over identity in an age of globalization and trans-national immigration.

Dictatorship and Democracy in Germany, 1914-2000

HIST 214 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

The failure of Germany's first attempt at democracy in the Weimar Republic, the interaction between art and politics, the mentality of the Nazis, the institutions of the Third Reich, the Second World War and Holocaust, the occupation and partition of Germany in 1945, the reasons for the success of democratic institutions in the Federal Republic, the origins of modern feminism, the economic collapse of the German Democratic Republic, and the process of national reunification in 1989-91.

Rule Britannia, 1688- 1990: The History of Britain from the "Glorious" Revolution to the Iron Lady

HIST 218 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

This course explores three centuries of British history, from the Revolution of 1688 to the era of Margaret Thatcher. Between these years, Britain became the world's pre-eminent industrial and imperial power— one that has had a profound influence on the history of America. Though only a small collection of islands in the North Atlantic, throughout these centuries Britain created, for good and for ill, an empire upon which the sun never set. At the same time, British society at home had to come to grips with dark underbelly of urban, industrial life - crime, disease, prostitution, unrest, etc. We examine the themes of revolution, economic growth, imperialism and decolonization, geopolitics, modern warfare, race and gender, and above all, ideas of "Britishness" across time and space. 

Rule Britannia, 1688- 1990: The History of Britain from the "Glorious" Revolution to the Iron Lady

HIST 218 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

This course explores three centuries of British history, from the Revolution of 1688 to the era of Margaret Thatcher. Between these years, Britain became the world's pre-eminent industrial and imperial power— one that has had a profound influence on the history of America. Though only a small collection of islands in the North Atlantic, throughout these centuries Britain created, for good and for ill, an empire upon which the sun never set. At the same time, British society at home had to come to grips with dark underbelly of urban, industrial life - crime, disease, prostitution, unrest, etc. We examine the themes of revolution, economic growth, imperialism and decolonization, geopolitics, modern warfare, race and gender, and above all, ideas of "Britishness" across time and space. 

Soviet Russia, 1917 to 1991

HIST 221 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

The revolutions of 1917, the emergence of the Soviet system, the Stalinist period, Stalin's successors, and the eventual collapse of the USSR.

Soviet Russia, 1917 to 1991

HIST 221 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

The revolutions of 1917, the emergence of the Soviet system, the Stalinist period, Stalin's successors, and the eventual collapse of the USSR.

Topics in European History

HIST 229 - Stillo, Stephanie E.

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in European history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2015 topics:

HIST 229-01: Objects of Desire: The Origins of Consumer Culture (3). This course explores how global products (particularly "exotic" foods and medicines) imported into Western Europe after the Age of Exploration initiated new patterns of production, consumption, and trade throughout the globe. Students examine how ownership and consumption of global objects normalized concepts such as: advertising, global commercial networks, cosmopolitism, social class, empire, consumerism, and black markets. (HU)

HIST 229-02: Blood, Sex, and Sermons: The History of the Reformations in Britain (3). The Reformation of the 16th century shattered the once unitary religious cultures of early modern England and Scotland. Although important continuities remained, the introduction of Protestantism wrought dramatic effects on society and culture in both countries, including intense conflicts over the nature of salvation, the burning of martyrs, the hunting of witches, religious migrations in and out of Britain, a reorientation of foreign policy, changes in marriage and baptismal practices, and more. In this course, we explore the lives and legacies of some of history's most fascinating figures, from Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in England to Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox in Scotland, while also constantly questioning how ordinary English and Scottish men and women experienced the Reformation and its aftermath. (HU)

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 229-01: Seminar: The Age of the Witch Hunts (3). This course introduces students to one of the most fascinating and disturbing events in the history of the Western world: The witch hunts in early modern Europe and North America. Between 1450 and 1750, more than 100,000 individuals, from Russia to Salem, were prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft. Most were women, and more than half were executed. In this course, we examine the political, religious, social and legal reasons behind the trials, asking why they occurred in Europe when they did, and why they finally ended. We also explore, in brief, global witch hunts that still occur today in places like Africa and India, asking how they resemble yet differ from those of the early-modern world. (HU) Brock.

HIST 229-02: The Great War in History and Literature (3). No prerequisites. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, this course analyzes different forms of personal testimony about the experience of that war, including a famous autobiography by a British officer who became an ardent pacifist, Robert Graves, an autobiographical novel by the fiercely patriotic German soldier Ernst Juenger, a collection of poems by British women who worked on the "home front," and a useful theoretical work based on a close reading of hundreds of works by French combat veterans.  In class discussions will seek to develop standards to assess the reliability and historical authenticity of such testimony.  Students will be write three short papers on the required readings and choose another "witness" of special interest to them as the subject for a ten-page term paper.  Students with some background in twentieth-century English, German, or French literature are welcome in this course alongside all those interested in the history of the First World War. (HU) Patch

Topics in European History

HIST 229 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in European history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2015 topics:

HIST 229-01: Objects of Desire: The Origins of Consumer Culture (3). This course explores how global products (particularly "exotic" foods and medicines) imported into Western Europe after the Age of Exploration initiated new patterns of production, consumption, and trade throughout the globe. Students examine how ownership and consumption of global objects normalized concepts such as: advertising, global commercial networks, cosmopolitism, social class, empire, consumerism, and black markets. (HU)

HIST 229-02: Blood, Sex, and Sermons: The History of the Reformations in Britain (3). The Reformation of the 16th century shattered the once unitary religious cultures of early modern England and Scotland. Although important continuities remained, the introduction of Protestantism wrought dramatic effects on society and culture in both countries, including intense conflicts over the nature of salvation, the burning of martyrs, the hunting of witches, religious migrations in and out of Britain, a reorientation of foreign policy, changes in marriage and baptismal practices, and more. In this course, we explore the lives and legacies of some of history's most fascinating figures, from Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in England to Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox in Scotland, while also constantly questioning how ordinary English and Scottish men and women experienced the Reformation and its aftermath. (HU)

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 229-01: Seminar: The Age of the Witch Hunts (3). This course introduces students to one of the most fascinating and disturbing events in the history of the Western world: The witch hunts in early modern Europe and North America. Between 1450 and 1750, more than 100,000 individuals, from Russia to Salem, were prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft. Most were women, and more than half were executed. In this course, we examine the political, religious, social and legal reasons behind the trials, asking why they occurred in Europe when they did, and why they finally ended. We also explore, in brief, global witch hunts that still occur today in places like Africa and India, asking how they resemble yet differ from those of the early-modern world. (HU) Brock.

HIST 229-02: The Great War in History and Literature (3). No prerequisites. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, this course analyzes different forms of personal testimony about the experience of that war, including a famous autobiography by a British officer who became an ardent pacifist, Robert Graves, an autobiographical novel by the fiercely patriotic German soldier Ernst Juenger, a collection of poems by British women who worked on the "home front," and a useful theoretical work based on a close reading of hundreds of works by French combat veterans.  In class discussions will seek to develop standards to assess the reliability and historical authenticity of such testimony.  Students will be write three short papers on the required readings and choose another "witness" of special interest to them as the subject for a ten-page term paper.  Students with some background in twentieth-century English, German, or French literature are welcome in this course alongside all those interested in the history of the First World War. (HU) Patch

Early American History to 1788

HIST 240 - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

An intensive study of the political, constitutional, economic and social development of British North America from European discovery through the American Revolution and the years of the Confederation government.

American Experience with Guerrilla Warfare and Insurgency

HIST 246 - Myers, Barton A.

This course dives headlong into the chaotic, destructive, and brutally violent world that has been American Involvement with irregular warfare. Over the past 400 years, Americans have trained guerrillas, fought as irregulars, and sparked armed insurrections. This course looks at the broad typology of violence known as irregular warfare, including insurrections, violent revolutions, partisan and guerrilla warfare, U.S. Army/Native American conflict, and 20th-century insurgency and low-intensity conflict.

Populism, Progressivism, and the New Deal

HIST 248 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

The period between 1890 and 1937 has been called America's "Age of Reform." This intermediate-level course focuses on three key moments in this critical period in American History: the Populist Uprising of the late 19th century; the early-20th century Progressive Movement; and the New Deal of the 1930s. Topics include woman suffrage, economic reform, temperance and prohibition, agricultural reform, the income tax, liberalism, conservatism, and the growth of the national state. 

Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History

HIST 289 - Luo, Di (Lara)

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in Asian or African history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topic:

HIST 289: Literacy Past and Present (4). This course explores the course question, "What does literacy mean?" In recent years, the once-accepted concept of literacy has been challenged: no longer is the simple, positive narrative viewed as having a direct, linear causal relation to expected social changes. Taking a historical approach, students gain a general understanding of the history of literacy with China as the main (but not only) case study. Key topics include communications, language, family and demographic behavior, economic development, urbanization, institutions, literacy campaigns, political and personal changes, and the uses of reading and writing. Our overall goal is to obtain a new and critical understanding of the place of literacy and literacies in social development. (HU) Luo.

Winter 2015 topic:

HIST 289-01: Modern China: Revolutions and Their Aftermath (3). This course provides a general but analytical introduction to the development of China during the 20th century. We review key revolutions that transformed China from a dynastic empire to a western-style nation-state—firstly Republic of China in 1912 and then People's Republic of China in 1949. And we examine the impact on everyday life brought by politico-economic development. With the general empirical information and interpretations about 20th-century China explored in this course, you become capable of making your own judgment about the chief historical themes, trends, and causes of events that have produced China at the beginning of the 21st century.   (HU) Luo

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 289: Seminar: Africa in Western Imagination (3). From benefit concerts to AIDS charities to study abroad literature, Africa is everywhere. And yet it is frequently explained only in absence or in suffering. Rather than being a place that is defined by what it is, often Africa is viewed by what it is not, and the term 'Afro-pessimism' has been coined by some to criticize such solely negative depictions of a vast and varied continent. What, then, is 'Africa': a location on a map, a geographical boundary? Who are 'Africans'? What does the idea mean and how is it used? This course draws on literature and popular culture to discuss the very idea of 'Africa' and how the concept has been created, redefined, re-imagined, and (de)constructed in differing times and spaces. (HU) Tallie.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295 - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

A seminar offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, in a selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 295-01: Europe, Africa, and the 18th-Century Search for the Blue Nile (4). This course follows the extraordinary journey of 18th-century naturalist James Bruce as he endeavored to discover the source of the Blue Nile. Bruce's expedition takes us through the Iberian Peninsula, the Levant, and eventually into the Horn of Africa. Using an original copy of Bruce's Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790) in Leyburn Library's Special Collections, we explore topics such as the history of science and print, early modern travel, and race in the scientific imagination. During this course, students curate a digital exhibition based on Bruce's journey. (HU) Stillo.

HIST 295B-01: Scientist as Political Leader (4). From the founding of the American Republic until today, a profound change has occurred in the educational background and professional training of US political leaders. While today nearly all are lawyers and/or businessmen, during the first half of America's history many of the nation's political figures had a background in science. Through the 20th century and into the 21st, the importance of science and technology in society has grown exponentially but, ironically, even the most elementary scientific literacy is no longer expected of presidents. How did this disconnect take place? The course also asks how the US contrasts with Great Britain and the European Continent. Two of Europe's most remarkable political leaders of the past few decades, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, brought a scientific background to highest political office. We conclude by considering the policy consequences of the presence or absence of scientific literacy among the West's political elite, focusing on such issues as climate change and energy. (HU) Rupke

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 295-01: Seminar: Art and Science from Leonardo Until Today. (3). Art and science are commonly assumed to be two distinct parts of our culture, requiring different talents, skills and even temperaments, and often taught in separate institutions. This distinction, however, has not always been so clear. In this seminar, we explore common denominators in art and science from Leonardo until today, focusing on the manifold ways in which science has been made part of art and art of science. We single out the Romantic Movement, and highlight great names in the holistic practice of art and science such as Coleridge, Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ernst Haeckel. Moreover, we address how increasingly possible commonalities in artistic and scientific creativity have been discussed in terms of perception, representation, and the science of the brain. (HU, pending faculty approval) Rupke.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295B - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

A seminar offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, in a selected topic or problem in history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2015 topics:

HIST 295-01: Europe, Africa, and the 18th-Century Search for the Blue Nile (4). This course follows the extraordinary journey of 18th-century naturalist James Bruce as he endeavored to discover the source of the Blue Nile. Bruce's expedition takes us through the Iberian Peninsula, the Levant, and eventually into the Horn of Africa. Using an original copy of Bruce's Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790) in Leyburn Library's Special Collections, we explore topics such as the history of science and print, early modern travel, and race in the scientific imagination. During this course, students curate a digital exhibition based on Bruce's journey. (HU) Stillo.

HIST 295B-01: Scientist as Political Leader (4). From the founding of the American Republic until today, a profound change has occurred in the educational background and professional training of US political leaders. While today nearly all are lawyers and/or businessmen, during the first half of America's history many of the nation's political figures had a background in science. Through the 20th century and into the 21st, the importance of science and technology in society has grown exponentially but, ironically, even the most elementary scientific literacy is no longer expected of presidents. How did this disconnect take place? The course also asks how the US contrasts with Great Britain and the European Continent. Two of Europe's most remarkable political leaders of the past few decades, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, brought a scientific background to highest political office. We conclude by considering the policy consequences of the presence or absence of scientific literacy among the West's political elite, focusing on such issues as climate change and energy. (HU) Rupke

Fall 2014 topic:

HIST 295-01: Seminar: Art and Science from Leonardo Until Today. (3). Art and science are commonly assumed to be two distinct parts of our culture, requiring different talents, skills and even temperaments, and often taught in separate institutions. This distinction, however, has not always been so clear. In this seminar, we explore common denominators in art and science from Leonardo until today, focusing on the manifold ways in which science has been made part of art and art of science. We single out the Romantic Movement, and highlight great names in the holistic practice of art and science such as Coleridge, Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ernst Haeckel. Moreover, we address how increasingly possible commonalities in artistic and scientific creativity have been discussed in terms of perception, representation, and the science of the brain. (HU, pending faculty approval) Rupke.

Seminar: The French Revolution

HIST 309 - Horowitz, Sarah

The French Revolution is one of the most fascinating and momentous events in European history. At once "the best of times" and "the worst of times," the Revolution was both the origin of modern democracy and a period of tremendous political violence - indeed, some say it is the origins of totalitarianism. In this seminar, we study the following questions: What are the origins of the Revolution? How did a revolution that began with proclamations of human rights turn into one of mass bloodshed in just a few short years? How did a desire for democracy lead to political violence? What was the nature of the Terror, and how can we understand it? We also examine how various schools of history have interpreted the Revolution, as well as the legacy of the Revolution.

Seminar: Revolutions in Latin America

HIST 337 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

Detailed analysis of 20th-century revolutionary movements in Latin America. Examines historical power struggles, social reforms, and major political changes, with in-depth exploration of Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, Peru, Chile, and Nicaragua. Explores the social movements and ideologies of under-represented historical actors, such as peasants, guerrillas, artists, workers, women, students, and indigenous people.

Seminar on Reconstruction, 1865-1877

HIST 346 - Myers, Barton A.

Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and the restoration of the Union. Congressional Reconstruction and the crusade for black equality. Impeachment of the President. Reconstruction in the South. The politics and violence of military occupation. Collapse of Republican governments and restoration of conservative control. Implications for the future.

The History of Violence in America

HIST 361 - Senechal, Roberta H.

An examination of the social origins, evolution, and major forms of extralegal, violent conflict in the United States, including individual and collective violence and conflict related to race, class, gender, politics, and ethnicity, especially emphasizing the 19th and 20th centuries. Major topics include theories of social conflict, slavery and interracial violence, predatory crime, labor strife, and inter-ethnic violence.

African Feminisms

HIST 378 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course critically examines the idea of African feminisms by looking at many different intersections of time, place. and position for African women. This traces multiple ways in which African women have sought to challenge patriarchal roles in both precolonial and (post)colonial contexts. Students leave not with an understanding of a singular or aspirational African feminism but rather with an appreciation of the ways in which African women have and continue to challenge. reframe, and negotiate a variety of social and political positions.

Directed Individual Study

HIST 403 - Peterson, David S.

A course which permits the student to follow a program of directed reading or research in an area not covered in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit each term of the junior and senior year.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Horowitz, Sarah

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Myers, Barton A.

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at www.wlu.edu/history-department/about-the-program/honors-in-history.