Course Offerings

Fall 2016

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, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

An individual who died in 1500 would have been surprised, if not bewildered, by many aspects of European life and thought in 1800. What changed over these three centuries? What stayed the same? Why should we in the 21st century, care? This course examines the history of Europe from the Renaissance through the beginning of the French Revolution. It explores the interplay of religion, politics, society, culture, and economy at a time when Europe underwent great turmoil and change: the Reformation, the consolidation of state power, the rise of constitutionalism, global expansion and encounters with "others," perpetual warfare, the rise of the market economy, the spread of the slave trade, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. This course discusses how these processes transformed Europe into the Western world of today, while also challenging ideas about what "Western," "European," and "Civilization" actually mean.

European Civilization, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Horowitz, Sarah

An individual who died in 1500 would have been surprised, if not bewildered, by many aspects of European life and thought in 1800. What changed over these three centuries? What stayed the same? Why should we in the 21st century, care? This course examines the history of Europe from the Renaissance through the beginning of the French Revolution. It explores the interplay of religion, politics, society, culture, and economy at a time when Europe underwent great turmoil and change: the Reformation, the consolidation of state power, the rise of constitutionalism, global expansion and encounters with "others," perpetual warfare, the rise of the market economy, the spread of the slave trade, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. This course discusses how these processes transformed Europe into the Western world of today, while also challenging ideas about what "Western," "European," and "Civilization" actually mean.

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 - 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.

Latin America: Mayas to Independence

HIST 130 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

An introduction to the "Indian" and Iberian people active from Florida to California through Central and South America between 1450 and 1750.

History of Africa to 1800

HIST 175 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

Examination of the history and historiography of Africa from the origins of humankind to the abolition of the trans- Atlantic slave trade. Topics include human evolution in Africa, development of agriculture and pastoralism, ancient civilizations of the Nile, African participation in the spread of Christianity and Islam, empires of West Africa, Swahili city-states, and African participation in the economic and biological exchanges that transformed the Atlantic world.

Topics in History for First-years and Sophomores

HIST 195A - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

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

Fall 2016, HIST 195A-01: The War That Will End War (3). Prerequisite: First-year or sophomore class standing. Idealists in Britain and the USA justified participation in the First World War by arguing that it would end all wars, but the horrific reality of battle confounded their expectations. In this writing-intensive seminar, we analyze four very different literary accounts of the experience of war: an autobiography of a British officer who became a pacifist in the trenches; an autobiographical novel by a patriotic German who never lost faith in his nation's cause; a collection of poems by British women who served as munitions workers or nurses; and the memoir of the "Arab Revolt" against Ottoman Turkish rule by "Lawrence of Arabia". Students are asked to ponder what lessons can be learned today from the "Great War" of 1914-1918. (HU) Patch.

Scandal, Crime, and Spectacle in the 19th Century

HIST 211 - Horowitz, Sarah / Walsh, Brandon M.

This course examines the intersection between scandal, crime, and spectacle in 19th-century France and Britain. We discuss the nature of scandals, the connection between scandals and political change, and how scandals and ideas about crime were used to articulate new ideas about class, gender, and sexuality. In addition, this class covers the rise of new theories of criminality in the 19th century and the popular fascination with crime and violence. Crime and scandal also became interwoven into the fabric of the city as sources of urban spectacle. Students are introduced to text analysis and data mining for the humanities.

Germany, 1815-1914

HIST 213 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

The impact of the French Revolution on Germany, the onset of industrialization, the revolution of 1848, the career of Bismarck and Germany's wars of national unification, the Kulturkampf between Protestants and Catholics, the rise of the socialist labor movement, liberal feminism and the movement for women's rights, the origins of "Imperialism" in foreign policy, and Germany's role in the outbreak of the First World War.

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.

U.S.-Latin American Relations from 1825 to Present

HIST 233 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

Examines the historical interaction between Latin America and the United States from Spanish American Independence in 1825 to the present. Explores the political, social, cultural, economic, and ecological dimensions of this relationship, focusing on such key themes as imperialism, development, military-state relations, the environment, the war on drugs, science and technology, and human rights.

The American Civil War

HIST 245 - Myers, Barton A.

The sectional crisis. The election of 1860 and the secession of the southern states. Military strategy and tactics. Weapons, battles, leaders. Life of the common soldier. The politics of war. The economics of growth and destruction. Emancipation. Life behind the lines. Victory and defeat.

History of Women in America, 1870 to the Present

HIST 258 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of some of the major topics and themes in American women's lives from the mid-19th century to the present, including domestic and family roles, economic contributions, reproductive experience, education, suffrage, and the emergence of the contemporary feminist movement. The influence on women's roles, behavior, and consciousness by the social and economic changes accompanying industrialization and urbanization and by variations in women's experience caused by differences in race, class, and region.

The History of the African-American People since 1877

HIST 260 - DeLaney, Theodore C., Jr. (Ted)

An intensive study of the African-American experience from 1877 to the present. Special emphasis is given to the development of black intellectual and cultural traditions, development of urban communities, emergence of the black middle class, black nationalism, the civil rights era, and the persistence of racism in American society.

The U.S. in the Era of World War II

HIST 265 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

This course studies the history of the Second World War, with particular attention to its consequences for the United States. Major topics include the political and economic origins of the war, the American debate over intervention, American military and diplomatic strategy, the effect of the war on the U.S. economy, the consequences for mobilization for American society, and the myth and reality of the "Greatest Generation."

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269A - 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.

Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History

HIST 289A - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

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.

Seminar on The Great War in History and Literature

HIST 319 - Patch, William L., Jr. (Bill)

An advanced seminar in which students analyze different kinds of written accounts of the First World War (memoirs, autobiographical novels, poems, and diaries) by different kinds of participants, including common soldiers, government leaders, and women who worked on the "home front." In class discussions and two short papers, students evaluate the reliability of these witnesses and what the historian can learn from them about the psychological, cultural, and political consequences of the First World War in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Students choose one question raised in our common meetings for more detailed investigation in a substantial research paper integrating primary and secondary sources.

Seminar: America in the 1960s: History and Memory

HIST 355 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

Hippies, Flower Power, Panthers, Berkeley, Free Love, Free Speech, Freedom Rides, Dylan, Woodstock, Vietnam, Jimi, Janice, Bobby and Martin. The events and images of the 1960s remain a powerful and often divisive force in America's recent history and national memory. This course moves beyond these stereotypical images of the "Sixties" to examine the decade's politics, culture and social movements. Topics include: the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the Great Society and the War on Poverty, Vietnam, the Anti-War movement and the Counterculture, Massive Resistance, the "Silent Majority" and the Rise of the Conservative Right.

Seminar: Managing Mongols, Manchus, and Muslims: China's Frontier History (16th-20th Centuries)

HIST 386 - Bello, David A.

The unprecedented expansionism of China's last dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911), produced an ethnically and geographically diverse empire whose legacy is the current map and multiethnic society of today's People's Republic of China. The Qing Empire's establishment, extension and consolidation were inextricably bound up with the ethnic identity of its Manchu progenitors. The Manchu attempt to unify diversity resulted in a unique imperial project linking East, Inner and Southeast Asia. This course explores the multiethnic nature and limits of this unification, as well as its 20th-century transformations.

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) / Peterson, David S. / 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 - Horowitz, Sarah

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

Spring 2016

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.

Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union and the Resurgence of Russia

HIST 222 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

This course analyzes the reasons for the decline of the Soviet Union commencing in the latter part of the Brezhnev era and its collapse under the weight of the failed reforms of Gorbachev. It further traces the fragmentation of the USSR into fifteen republics and the simultaneous devolution of authority within the Russian Republic under Yeltsin. The course concludes with the remarkable reassertion of state power under Putin up to the present. Students write an essay assessing the Yeltsin transition and engage in a class debate at the end of the term on the prospects for Russia's future.

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 2016, HIST 269-01: The Freedom Ride (4). Additional fee. 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.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269 - Stoler, Mark A.

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 2016, HIST 269-02: Rise to World Power, 1776-1920 (4). In the late 18th century, the newly-independent United States was one of the weakest nations in the world. By the early 20th century, it was one of the most powerful. This course, in the history of U.S. foreign relations from 1776 to 1920, explores how and why this dramatic shift occurred. In the process, it emphasizes the interrelationship between domestic and foreign affairs within that history, as well as the origins and evolution of key American diplomatic principles, documents, and doctrines. The course also explores the beliefs Americans developed about their place in the world, their expansion across an entire continent, their acquisition of an overseas empire, and the causes and consequences of their participation in armed conflicts from the War for Independence through World War I. (HU) Stoler. Mark.Stoler@uvm.edu

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History

HIST 269 - Gildner, Robert M. (Matt)

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 2016, HIST 269-03: Race and Racism in the Americas (3). Studying the development of race across the early-modern Atlantic world, analyzing how the idea has influenced the history of peoples, nations, and knowledge in modern Latin America.  How did Europeans understand themselves in relation to African and Native American "Others"?   We situate race within the history of ideas before tracing its diffusion across the Americas from the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment to our own (post-) modern age, taking into account how religion, science, colonialism and capitalism have influenced both ideas of race and the practice of racism. (HU) Gildner.

Speaking and Being Zulu in South Africa

HIST 277 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

"Sanibonani, abangani bami!" ("Greetings, my friends!") Want to learn more about an African language and culture? We spend the first two weeks intensively learning isiZulu, a language spoken by over 10 million people in South Africa. We also learn about the history of the Zulu people in southern Africa, covering topics from colonialism, racial discrimination, gender and sexuality, and music, and we enjoy Zulu music and film. "Masifunde ngamaZulu!" ("Let's learn about the Zulus!")

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295 - Stillo, Stephanie E. / Brooks, Mackenzie K.

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 2016, HIST 295-01: Introduction to Public History (4). Additional fee. An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of public history. During this course, students learn to engage with public audiences through a hands-on approach to public history projects. Students visit and critically examine Colonial Williamsburg, utilize easy-to-use software to create (collaboratively, with the Rockbridge Historical Society) a Lexington walking tour app, and evaluate the latest trends in New Media. Topics for this course include: the history of public history, interpretive writing, the creation (and contestation) of historical memory in monuments, museums and memorials, digital tools and exhibition, evaluation of cultural heritage sites, urban mapping, curation and content management, as well as oral histories and sites of conscience. (HU) Stillo .

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 2016, HIST 295-03: Science and Race, 1800 to the Present (4). What has been the role of science in debates about race, racism, and the rights of racially classified groups in society? We address this question by highlighting relevant aspects of the history of anthropology/ethnology, placing practitioners and their theories in the socio-political contexts of settlement expulsion-and-extermination of "savages", of slavery, racial eugenics, and the holocaust. We explore a new narrative which does not primarily highlight the "villains" of scientific racism -- as customarily has been done in the secondary literature -- but instead features the "heroes" of anti-racism, including such early unity-of-humankind anthropologists as Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, Friedrich Tiedemann, James Cowles Prichard, and the scientific polymath Alexander von Humboldt. "The presence of the past" is explored throughout, bringing history to bear on current affairs about equality and rights. (HU) Rupke .

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

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 2016, HIST 295-04: The History of Ghosts (4). This course explores the history of ghosts within their wider historical, social, and cultural contexts and asks why the belief in ghosts continues to be vibrant, socially relevant, and historically illuminating. Through our readings, discussions, and collaborative projects, we consider how ghost beliefs and ensuing legends serve as vehicles for exploring and expressing historical memory, and the ways in which our continued fascination with ghosts shapes history in the public imagination. We begin with a survey of the history of ghosts from medieval Europe to modern America, and the course culminates with student-led oral-history projects about the ghost legends and lore right here in Rockbridge County. (HU) Brock. Spring 2016 and alternate years

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295 - Cobb, James C.

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 2016, HIST 295-05: Making Sense of Southern Culture (4). This course connects the historical, racial, economic, political, musical, and literary dots that comprise the matrix of southern cultural identity. Introducing a comparative perspective that challenges preconceived notions of southern exceptionalism, it also encourages students to explore questions about the fundamental nature and sources of cultural identity itself and to appreciate it as a factor of truly global consequence. Students develop their skills in reading, interpretation, writing, and oral communication. (HU) Cobb. cobby@uga.edu

Politics and History: The Machiavellian Moment

HIST 307 - Peterson, David S.

Is it better to be loved or feared? How much of our destiny do we control? When are societies fit for self-rule? Can people be forced to be good? Niccolò Machiavelli, arguably the first and most controversial modern political theorist, raises issues of universal human and political concern. Yet he did so in a very specific context--the Florence of the Medici, Michelangelo, and Savonarola--at a time when Renaissance Italy stood at the summit of artistic brilliance and on the threshold of political collapse. We draw on Machiavelli's personal, political, historical, and literary writings, and readings in history and art, as a point of entry for exploring Machiavelli's republican vision of history and politics as he developed it in the Italian Renaissance and how it addresses such perennial issues as the corruption and regeneration of societies.

Seminar in American Social History

HIST 367 - Senechal, Roberta H.

An examination of selected topics in the social history of the United States. Requirements include a major research paper based on original source material. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2016, HIST 367-01: Seminar: 9/11 and Modern Terrorism (4). Terrorism is a form of collective violence famously illustrated in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington on September 11, 2001. This course provides an intensive interdisciplinary examination of the origins of the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist organization that launched them. The course also addresses the impact of the attacks and the future prospects of mass violence against civilians, as well as the role of the media in covering (and dramatizing) terrorism. Much of the course focuses on the social divisions and conflicts that lead to terrorism and its increasingly lethal nature over time. Topics include "old terrorism" (as seen in Northern Ireland and Algeria), "new terrorism" (such as that associated with Al Qaeda), the logic of terrorist recruitment, and the nature of and spread of weapons of mass destruction. (HU) Senechal.

Winter 2016

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.

Japan: Origins to Atomic Aftermath

HIST 104 - Bello, David A.

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 - 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.

Seminar: The Age of the Witch Hunts

HIST 219 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

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.

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 - 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 2016, HIST 229-01: England in the Age of Shakespeare (3). William Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived during a fascinating time of political turmoil, religious change, artistic expression, and global expansion. This class explores the history of England in these years, which span the important reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI and I. Together, we examine the era of personal monarchy and the growing resistance of parliament, the mechanisms of national consolidation and imperial growth, the discoveries and encounters with "others" beyond England's shores, the spread of religious convictions and contradictions, and the great literary and artistic figures of the day. We also investigate what life was like for the average men and women who lived and died during England's "golden age." (HU) Brock .

Discovering W&L's Origins Using Historical Archaeology

HIST 230 - Gaylord, Donald A.

Not open to students who have taken SOAN 181 with the same description. This course introduces students to the practice of historical archaeology using W&L's Liberty Hall campus and ongoing excavations there as a case study. With archaeological excavation and documentary research as our primary sources of data. we use the methods of these two disciplines to analyze our data using tools from the digital humanities to present our findings. Critically, we explore the range of questions and answers that these data and methods of analysis make possible. Hands-on experience with data collection and analysis is the focus of this course, with students working together in groups deciding how to interpret their findings to a public audience about the university's early history. The final project varies by term but might include a short video documentary. a museum display, or a web page.

The Evolution of American Warfare

HIST 243 - Myers, Barton A.

This course examines U.S. military history from the colonial period to the post-9/11 American military experience. Since this is a period of more than four hundred years, the course limits its focus to major topics and central questions facing the men and women who have fought in American wars. We trace the course of American military history by focusing on three themes: the early development of American military institutions, the evolution of military policy toward civilian populations, and the changing face of battle in which Americans have fought. All three of these themes relate to the central goal of this course, which is to gain a better understanding of how America's military developed in conjunction with and sometimes in conflict with American democracy.

America in the Gilded Age, 1870-1900

HIST 247 - Senechal, Roberta H.

A survey of the transformation of American society under the impact of industrialization and urbanization. It examines how business leaders, workers, farmers, and the middle class attempted to shape the new industrial society to their own purposes. Emphasis is given to social, intellectual, and cultural experiences and to politics.

The Old South to 1860

HIST 262 - Myers, Barton A.

A study of the making of the Old South. Slavery. Antebellum political, economic, social, and cultural developments. The origins and growth of sectionalism.

Profit and Prophecy in Islamic History

HIST 271 - Blecher, Joel A.

The Islamic financial sector is currently valued at over $1.6 trillion in assets. But what has been the historical relationship between Islam and economies of wealth? This discussion-intensive course engages the ideals and realities of Islamic commerce from the 7th century, in which Muhammad was reported to have been a merchant, to issues of Islam and capitalism in the modern and globalized world. Through social and intellectual historical inquiry, students investigate a range of themes including: poverty and charity, economic justice and the regulation of merchant capitalism, gender and inheritance, jihad and taxation of non-Muslims, and mystical traditions that reject worldly gain. Students learn to take a source-critical approach to primary Islamic writings in translation, including prophetic literature and legal commentaries, while being sensitive to issues in historiography. Prior knowledge of Islam or Islamic history is not required.

History of South Africa

HIST 276 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

This course aims to study the history of the country of South Africa with particular attention to both the uniqueness and the commonalities of its colonial history with other settler societies. Unlike other Anglophone settler colonies, South Africa never reached a demographic majority where white settlers became predominant. Instead, European settlers made fragile alliances against the African and Indian populations in their midst, solidifying a specific form of minority settler rule. This rule was crystallized in the near half-century of apartheid, the legal discrimination of the vast majority of the country for the benefit of a select few. Students emerge from this course as better scholars of a different society and of many of the historic pressures and struggles that are part of the history of the United States.

Africa in the Western Imagination

HIST 279 - Tallie, Tyrone H., Jr. (T.J.)

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.

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295A - 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.

Winter 2016, HIST 295A-01: Science, the Paranormal and the Supernatural (3). In modern -- especially late-modern -- times, science has become the adjudicator of truth -- truth in terms of fact and law-like rationality. The result has been a retreat of the occult, of many superstitions, and the uncovering of fallacies and frauds. Yet large sectors of modern society have remained enamored of the paranormal. Even scientific practitioners themselves, including Nobel Laureates, have kept alive a belief in telepathy, precognition and such-like phenomena. Equally persistent, especially in religious circles, has been the conviction that miracles do happen; and, again, great scientists and medical practitioners have supported these and similar notions. More recently, the study of "wonders" has emerged as a separate field of inquiry: anomalistics. This course explores the fascinating history of the uneasy relationship between science and its contested boundaries where fact and fiction overlap. (HU) 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.

Winter 2016, HIST 295B-01: Animal Experimentation and Animal Rights in Historical Perspective (3) . In this course, we deal with the place of animals in Western society. More particularly, we trace the history of the use of animals as living objects of laboratory experimentation and explore the controversies that vivisectional practices have engendered. Do animals have rights? What to think of animal liberation activism? To what extent has animal experimentation been essential to the progress of science, especially medical science? We examine these questions in the wider context of humane movements, and of organisations/ societies that have been established for the prevention of cruelty to animals. (HU) Rupke .

Seminar: Topics in History

HIST 295C - Stillo, Stephanie E. / Fuchs, Ronald

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.

Winter 2016, HIST 295C-01: Consumerism and Vice in the Age of Empire (3). This course explores how the China Trade shaped European and American culture during the early modern period. Students work with the faculty to create a digital exhibit, offering a unique opportunity for hands-on experience in exhibition development, historical research, and working with historic objects in a gallery/museum setting. Using a recently acquired collection of 18th - and 19th-century Chinese armorial game counters (similar to modern day poker chips), this class examines topics such as: early modern consumerism, gaming and gambling culture, global trading networks, and the use of coats of arms as a form of personal identification and family pride in Europe and America. (HU) Stillo and Fuchs .

Seminar: Politics and Providence: Medieval and Renaissance Political Thought

HIST 306 - Peterson, David S.

How did religion shape politics and the development of political institutions in the Middle Ages? This seminar surveys the evolution of political thought from St. Augustine to Machiavelli. We examine Christianity's providential view of history, church-state relations, scholasticism, the revivals of Greek and Roman philosophy, humanism, and the origins of the modern state. Readings include St. Augustine, John of Salisbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Leonardo Bruni, and Niccolò Machiavelli.

Seminar in Russian History

HIST 322 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

Selected topics in Russian history, including but not limited to heroes and villains, Soviet biography, Stalin and Stalinism, the USSR in the Second World War and origins of the Cold War, the KGB, and the decline and fall of the Soviet Union and the re-emergence of Russia. May be repeated for degree and major credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, HIST 322-01: Seminar in Russian History: The USSR in WWII and the Origins of the Cold War, 1939-1953 (3). Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing. Sophomores admitted with instructor consent. Note: Completition of HIST 102 or 221 is recommended but not required. Counts as elective credit within the history major and the Russian area studies major and minor. This seminar examines the role of the Soviet Union in the Second World War and in the origins of the Cold War through analysis of original Soviet documents (in English translation), documentary film, and scholarly studies. Students discuss all assigned readings in class and write a research paper on a topic of their choice with the instructor's approval. (HU) Bidlack.

Seminar: The History of the American Welfare State

HIST 354 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

This course surveys the history of the U.S. welfare state from its origins in the poorhouses of the nineteenth century to the "end of welfare as we knew it" in 1996. The historical development of the American welfare state is covered, touching on such key policy developments as Progressive Era mothers' pension programs, the Social Security Act of 1935, Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, and the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. Although this course focuses primarily on the United States, students are also asked to compare the U.S. case with the welfare states of other western democracies - including Great Britain, France and the Scandinavian nations - to understand how and why the United States took such a different path. Moving beyond simple policy history, students engage such questions as how the U.S. welfare state has reflected, reinforced, and in some cases produced class, racial, and gendered identities.

Seminar: The Struggle Over China's Environment

HIST 387 - Bello, David A.

The course covers the more recent periods of China's so-called "3,000 years of unsustainable growth" from about A.D. 618 into the present. Themes focus on China's historical experience with sedentary agriculture, fossil fuel and nuclear energy, wildlife and forest management, disease, water control, and major construction projects like the Great Wall.

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 - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

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.

Senior Thesis

HIST 473 - Stillo, Stephanie E.

This course serves as an alternative for HIST 493. Please consult the department head for more details.

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 .

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Blecher, Joel A.

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