Course Offerings - Fall 2014

ASIA

HIST 114 East Asia Before 1800 (HM)
Dr. Richard Bohr, T/TH, 11:30
A survey of the history of East Asia -- China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam -- from ancient times to 1800.  The course examines the distinctive characteristics of each country and the similarities among them; analyzes the common values and institutions underlying the East Asian world order; and explores the potential impact of the region's early interaction with the West on East Asia's post-1800 "modernization."

HIST 117 Indian Subcontinent since 1500 (HM)
Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, M/W/F, 11:50
This class examines the history of the Indian subcontinent, one of the largest and most populous world regions, from the rise of the Mughal Empire to the advent and decline  of the British Empire. Important themes include wealth and power in pre-colonial India, the impact of British colonialism, as well as nationalist movements and the rise of Gandhi.  We will explore how the concepts of religion, gender, and identity evolved and changed during this time from multiple perspectives.

HIST 315 Islamists, Modernists, Mughals: Muslims in S. Asia (HM, IC)
Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, M/W (flex) 3:20

This class focuses on the history of Islam in South Asia and the development of a modern Islamic identity in the region, from the Mughal Empire to the twentieth century. South Asia contains more Muslims than  any other region, and it is central to understanding the political, religious, and cultural concerns of the Muslim World. Important course themes include the continuities and changes of South Asian Islamic traditions in precolonial and colonial India, the diverse reaction of Muslim leaders to the rise of European colonial influence in the region, and the development of contemporary Islamic movements -- some moderate and some extreme -- that have impacted our world.

HIST 319:  Modern Japan (HM)
Dr. Richard Bohr, T/TH, 2:40, CSB
This course traces Japan's modern transformation from feudal kingdoms to economic superpower.  Beginning with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, we will analyze the role of domestic change and international forces in the political, social, intellectual, cultural, and economic aspects of Japan's dramatic emergence on the world stage.  Through biographies, novels, newspaper articles, and videotapes, we will pay careful attention to Japan's relationships with its Asian neighbors, its interchange with the West, and the development of Japan's unique form of capitalism and economic security.


EUROPE

HIST 130 The Ancient World (HM)
Dr. Jason Schlude, T/TH, 12:45, SJU
An investigation of the origins of Western civilization. We will explore state formation and evolution in the ancient Mediterranean across 3500 years, focusing on the history of ancient Greece and Rome. In particular, we will learn how Western civilization was shaped by (1) a state's pursuit and control of resources, (2) the relationship of politics to society, economy, literature, religion, and art, and (3) the confrontation of Greece and Rome with the Middle East. Lectures will provide a narrative framework, but critical discussion of intriguing ancient evidence will be central. Through it, we will learn about figures including Xerxes, Pericles, Philip of Macedon, Alexander the Great, Pompey, Cicero, Caesar, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, Augustus, Nero, Trajan, and Constantine. By course's end, students will understand and know how to apply proper historical methodology and will enjoy a deepened knowledge of the origins of our modern Western world.

HIST 141: Europe from Black Death to the French Revolution (HM)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, T/TH, 8:20, CSB
Was the early modern period a time of fervent faith and intellectual traditionalism? Or was it an age of discovery where reason and science triumphed? Our examination of European history between the Black Death and Napoleon will investigate the tension between traditionalism and discovery by looking at the changing nature of religious and secular authority; intellectual developments in art, science, and philosophy; the roles of men and women in family and society; early modern globalization; the origins of the modern state.

HIST 142  Europe Since 1750: Old Regime to European Union (HM) 
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, M/W/F, 9:30, CSB

This course examines major themes in European history since roughly 1750.  Students will study the French Revolution and its legacy; the significance of class, gender, and religion for European society; nationalism and identity; world wars in the 20th century; imperialism and its aftermath; and the European Union.

HIST 333:   Gender and Society in Western Europe (HM, GE)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, T/TH, 11:30, 12:50

This course examines the images, roles and experiences of women and men in Western Europe from the Middle Ages through the French Revolution, and how these changed over time. While the focus will be on women, we will be studying the historical construction of both male and female gender roles.

Students will consider how gender can alter and deepen our understanding of the social, economic, political, religious, and cultural developments in medieval and early Modern Europe. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Renaissance and Reformation period.

Topics to be considered include: ideas about gender in medieval and early modern society; family, marriage, and sexuality; gender, work and culture;  religion and power; women and men on the margins of society; gender, politics and power.

HIST 344  Modern Germany (HM, GE, IC)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 10:40-11:35 am
This course examines the history of Germany in the modern era by asking the fundamental questions: "Who is German?" and "What is Germany?"  These questions, and the changing answers over time, will help us understand not only "Germany" but also more broadly common experiences of modernization.  Our study begins in the nineteenth century with "Germany" before the unification of 1871 and then proceeds to a fascinating succession of political and cultural states: Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, and Third Reich, and the post- 1945 Germanies.  The  course materials and our discussions will illuminate the diversity of experiences in German history by examining issues of political allegiance, ideology, social class, gender, religious confession, and regional identities.  The course emphasizes intensive reading and discussion of historical literature

HIST 348:  History of Ireland, (HM, IC, GE)
Dr. Cynthia Curran, M/W/F, 9:30, CSB
Few countries in the world have such a compelling, individual, and stirring history such as Ireland.  This course will examine the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, and the establishment of new political entities.  The traditional perspectives on Irish history have been swept away in recent years because of the new research of historians and because of the tragic events in Northern Ireland, and this course will offer the most current views on timeless Irish themes.  Careful attention will be paid to the interaction of Irish history and literature, including folklore, and while political matters will be interwoven, the stress will be on the social aspects of people's lives.  Through a discussion of politics, culture, and economics, we will explore how Ireland is a hybrid of culture and peoples.

Students will learn to distinguish between myth and reality in a brief examination of ancient Gaelic Ireland.  Through a careful examination of the political and the cultural evolution of 18th and 19th century Ireland, students will have a firm understanding of the issues of independence which have consumed the island in the 20th century.  Students will comprehend the role that such emotional issues as the Great Famine and massive emigration have played in shaping this nation.

HIST 374:  From Books to Bytes (HM)
Dr. Theresa Vann, M/W (flex), 3:20, SJU
Books have served as a primary repository of human knowledge since their inception. Over the millennia, book technology has evolved from ancient papyrus scrolls to modern bits and bytes all the while proving the adaptability and longevity of the book form.

Using the collections and resources of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library, this introductory course will examine the book both as an artifact and as an agent of cultural change. Students will learn the technology of the book; the innovations introduced by the book; and the book's impact on human culture on a global basis.

The goal of this course will be to provide an introductory vocabulary and a structure for students who wish to explore the history of books and printing from the ancient to modern world. The course will be organized around the following topics: the technology of the book; the book in ancient society, focusing on the development of writing and the alphabet; the classical book; the people of the book; the medieval book; printing; and the digital book.


LATIN AMERICA

HIST 121: Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas: From Indigenous Empires to Colonized Peoples (HM)
Dr. Brian Larkin, M/W/F, 8:20, CSB
This course examines the history of three indigenous peoples - the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas - from the rise of indigenous empires in the 1400s through their conquest and colonization by the Spanish.  Students will study everyday life among these pre-Columbian indigenous peoples, examine how small groups of Spaniards conquered these grand civilizations, and investigate how Spanish colonization transformed indigenous society and culture as Indians resisted and accommodated colonial rule.

HIST 321 Colonial Mexico (HM, IC)
Dr. Brian Larkin, T/TH, 9:55, CSB

The presence of the past immediately strikes foreign visitors to Mexico.  In Mexico City, the sprawling cosmopolitan capital of Mexico, ancient pyramids and Spanish colonial churches stand next to glass and steel skyscrapers.  Remnants of the colonial past are particularly visible.  Imposing Spanish cathedrals and palaces dominate the centers of almost all modern Mexican cities.  Spanish monasteries and government buildings dot the rural landscape.  The ubiquity of Spanish colonial art and architecture in modern-day Mexico testifies to the profound impact Spanish colonization had and continues to have on Mexico.  The question we will explore during this semester is three-fold:  1) how did the Spaniards colonize Mexico from 1519-1821, 2) how did this process of colonization shape new societies and cultures in Mexico, and 3) how does this particular history of colonization continue to affect Mexico today?  Major themes that we'll examine in our exploration of colonial Mexico include:  pre-Columbian culture, the Spanish conquest, religion, race relations, the family and gender, political reform, and independence.

  

UNITED STATES

HIST 152 American Experience (HM)
Dr. Shannon Smith, T/TH, 9:55, CSB

This course surveys the history of the United States from the Civil War to the present day.  We will explore the social experience of living in the U.S., the cultural ideas Americans used to understand their world, and the political and economic structures that shaped individual lives.  We will specifically address the meanings of equality and citizenship.  Who has been included or excluded from being an "American," and how has this changed over time?  We will use primary sources and scholarly articles to explore why the past matters to us in the present and to practice skills of critical thinking and analytical reading and writing.

HIST 152 American Experience (HM)
Dr. Jonathan Nash, MWF, 1:00, CSB

What is the American Experience? This question drives our exploration of the North American past from the early-seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. The historical themes of violence, empire, liberty and faith guide our study. To help us understand these themes and the experiences of Americans, we will read and discuss historical monographs and primary documents. During the semester, students will have opportunities to strengthen their analytical reading, critical thinking, argumentative writing, and public speaking

HIST 350: Early America (HM, GE)
Dr. Jonathan Nash, T/TH, 11:30, CSB

Through discussion, reading, and writing we will explore the development of colonial society and culture.  We will look at the role of ideas, religion, gender, and race in the formation of regional differences and "American" identity. Many students have studied Columbus, Pocahontas, and the Mayflower since first grade.  This will not be a repeat of what you already know, but it will call on you to play active parts in the class, in leading discussions, in forming the questions that will shape our explorations.

HIST 353 Civil War and Reconstruction (HM, GE)
Dr. Shannon Smith, MWF, 11:50-12:45 pm

This course will explore the causes of the American Civil War, the experiences of war for soldiers, African Americans, and women at home, and the varied meanings and results of Reconstruction. We will also analyze the continuing relevance of the war in American society-in battles over state and individual rights, race, region, and memory. Using primary sources, scholarly articles, films, novels, and images, we will consider why the Civil War continues to evoke an emotional response today. Although topics will include some military history, the course will focus primarily on the cultural, social, and political ramifications of events.

HIST 357 U.S. From WWI to 1960 (HM)
Dr. Derek Larson, T/TH, 12:45, SJU

The period between 1920 and 1960 was marked by fundamental shifts in almost every aspect of American life. Technologically it spanned the gaps between horses and superhighways, telegraphs and computer networks, zeppelins and rocket ships, TNT and hydrogen bombs. Economically it ran from the unregulated boom of the 1920s, through the depths of the Great Depression, and into one of the longest periods of sustained economic growth in our nation's history. Politically it saw the end of the American socialist and Communist parties as significant players and the rise of new post-war coalitions and regional coalitions that reshaped political landscapes. International conflicts of this era, including WWII and the Cold War, continue to influence diplomatic, cultural, and economic relationships well into the 21st century. Cultural shifts-- including expanded civil rights for minorities and women as well as emerging generational divisions --yielded striking changes in communities across the nation, all during a period in which the US population grew by 75%.  Hist 357 will explore the key events of these four tumultuous decades, including the economy of the "Roaring 20s," the political and cultural responses to the Great Depression, life in wartime America of the 1940s, and the post-war economic and social changes that gave rise to the Baby Boom and greater economic opportunity for more Americans than ever before. We will examine primary and secondary sources ranging from novels to scholarly articles, popular films to newspaper advertisements, all with the goals of developing your sense of what happened during these decades, why those events happened, and what the longer-term consequences were for the American people. 

 

MAJORS' COURSES 

HIST 200: History Colloquium
Dr. Jonathan Nash, M/W/F, 10:40, CSB

 "A Struggle for Freedom": Resisting Enslavement in North America
What was a slave revolt? Historian Eugene Genovese suggests it was "a struggle for freedom." In this class, we will focus on enslaved peoples' struggles for freedom in North America during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. We will analyze their historical experiences within the larger contexts of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery in the Americas. We will use primary and secondary sources to investigate what we can and cannot know about the histories of enslaved people, and to understand the historian's craft. During the semester, you will have opportunities to hone your analytical reading, discussion, and historical thinking skills.

HIST 395: Historiography and Methods
Dr. Cynthia Curran, M/W/F, 1:00, CSB
Construction of Identities
 
Some observers believe that national identities are unchanging and archetypal but historians disagree. In the recent past there have been many challenging and creative historical studies of the construction of national identity, and is clear that identities are remolded through war, religion, trade and other disparate cultural pressures. As acts of union and disunion become increasingly relevant to our daily lives and politics, an historical context is essential to understanding unsettling changes.

In this class we will explore various approaches to identity construction, from the national/regional level to the cultural. Our readings might include works which focus on political caricature, definitions of masculinity and leisure pursuits as influences on a changing national identity.

HIST 399:  Senior Thesis
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, T/TH, 2:40, CSB
The primary concern of this course is the theory and practice of historical research.  Students will learn research strategies and techniques as well as explore questions about the validation, analysis, and interpretation of historical evidence.  Each student will participate in class discussions about the historical theories and practices in question, submit periodic written and oral progress reports about individual research projects, and write a major paper about your research project.

Research topics may deal with any time period, and geographic region, and use a variety of methodological approaches to history.  The instructor will work individually with each student as s/he moves through the stages of the research project.  In some cases, depending on the topic the student's research may be directed by another history faculty who will serve as a co-sponsor.