Fall 2018 Offerings
HIST 115: Modern East Asia (HM)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, MWF, 11:50, CSB
This introductory survey to East Asia examines the political, cultural, and social history of China (including the PRC, Taiwan, and Hong Kong), Japan, and Korea (including the DPRK and the ROK) from the 17th century to the present. Students will analyze primary texts, literary works, and documents to find issues of continuity and change over time and across borders.
HIST 122: Revolution and Repression in Modern Latin America (HM)
Dr. Brian Larkin, TR, 9:55, CSB
¡Viva la Revolución! Latin Americans from many countries shouted their loyalty to revolutionary movements over the twentieth century. The revolutionaries sought to overthrow unresponsive and oftentimes corrupt, brutal governments. They also desired a new, more egalitarian society, one that more evenly distributed the wealth generated from the region’s rich resources. Most of these movements, however, failed. What caused Latin Americans to rise in revolution in the twentieth century? What were the revolutionaries’ goals? Why did most of these movements fail? This course seeks to answer those questions.
HIST 323: Religion in Latin America (HM, THEO)
Dr. Brian Larkin, TR, 1:05, SJU
This course examines the changing nature of religious cultures in Latin America from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. It includes the study of indigenous religious practices, the European “spiritual conquest” of the New World, the creation of syncretic forms of Catholicism, 19th century conflicts between religion and secularism, the spread of Protestantism in the 20th century, and the advent and course of liberation theology in Latin America. Within a historical context, the course examines the role of religion in shaping sense of self, forms of community, and human interaction with the physical world.
HIST 142A: The Old Regime to European Union (HM)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 1:00, CSB
This course examines European history since 1750, prior to the French Revolution, and concludes with transformation of the continent in the European Union. Students will examine various themes that shaped this period of revolution, modernization, and transformation in European society.
HIST 142B: Europe since 1750 (HM)
Dr. Brittany Merritt, TR, 2:40, CSB
This course examines European history since 1750, prior to the French Revolution, and concludes with transformation of the continent after the Cold War. Students will examine various themes that shaped this period of transformation in European society, such as the nature and effects of revolutions, imperial expansion and collapse, global war and genocide, and life under totalitarian regimes. Through our discussions of primary sources, combined with interactive activities like mock trials and debates, students will be able to develop their reading, critical thinking, and argumentative writing skills.
HIST 200A: Debating the French Revolution (4 or 2 credit option)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, MWF, 1:00, CSB
The ideas and events of the French Revolution continue to be hotly debated more than 200 years later. Was it a revolution of the bourgeoisie? What role did books and ideas play? Why did the revolution devolve into the Reign of Terror? Was the Revolution a success or a failure? Was women's position better or worse as a result? We will explore these and other questions by examining a variety of primary sources (such as documents that provide eye witness accounts of events, newspaper articles written from various political perspectives, revolutionary songs, artwork and political cartoons from the period) as well as secondary sources. We will begin to explore these and other questions through an intensive role-playing game in which you, the students, become revolutionaries and debate the future of France. Students will assume, research, and reenact the roles of various revolutionary factions in the National Assembly between 1789-1792. After the role-play portion of the course ends, you will continue to follow your characters from the Reign of Terror through the Napoleonic era to see how they might have reacted and fared.
HIST 330: Greece in the Classical Period (HM)
Dr. Jason Schlude, MWF, 1:50, SJU
The Classical Period in Greece (c. 480-323 BCE) is a cornerstone for western history, and its legacy very much extends into our modern world. In this course, we will concentrate on investigating Greek society and culture at this vibrant time. In particular, we will explore the complexities of Greek identity, broadly defined. At the heart of this course will be the contention that identity was (and is) not a fixed and immutable concept. Rather Greeks constructed and negotiated key elements of their identity as part of a dynamic social process. With this in mind, this course will focus on evidence that illustrates how Greek identity was articulated and debated in a social context in general and in certain social spaces in particular. Such "spaces" of interest will include political debates, battlefields, theatrical productions of tragedies and comedies, funerals, philosophical dialogues, legal trials, drinking parties, and athletic events. In considering how Greek identity was worked out in various ways in these different social contexts, we will learn about a wide range of Greek social and cultural practices related to government, ethnicity, the military, family, gender, religion, death, humor, intellectualism, the body, and education. Humans today are social animals, and the ancient Greeks were no different. Appreciation of the Greeks' intensely social orientation will lead us to new insights about them - and ourselves.
HIST 333: Gender and Society in Western Europe (HM, GE)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, MWF, 9:30, CSB
Students will investigate the forces that shaped the social and cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity and examine how they informed the identities, experiences, and imaginations of late medieval and early modern Europeans (1300-1800). Students will analyze the impact of gender on sexuality, family life, work, crime, religion, and intellectual life of early modern Europeans and how these intersected with socio-economic status, age, martial status, and religious identity. Students will uncover and analyze the gaps between gendered expectations and the lived experience of early modern men and women. Historical perspective allows us to uncover the origins, evolution, and persistence of gendered expectations and understand how they influence human experience.
HIST 344: Modern Germany (HM, IC, GE)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 2:10, CSB
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 unification of 1871 and then proceeds to a fascinating succession of political and cultural states: Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, the 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 347: Modern Britain (HM, GE)
Dr. Brittany Merritt, TR , 11:30, CSB
This course examines the main social, economic, political, and cultural features of Britain from 1760 until the present. These exciting and complex 250 years encompass the emergence of Britain as a modern state and powerful empire-builder, followed by its subsequent decline and decision to “Brexit.” The class will examine British history through the lens of gender, which we will also intersect with analyses of race and class. We will grapple with questions such as: What does it mean to “gender” historical processes like abolition and industrialization? In what ways have men and women of African descent adopted and transformed notions of “Britishness”? How did war, immigration, and decolonization shift British understandings of national identity? In the process of working through these and other questions, students will be able to develop their reading, critical thinking, and argumentative writing skills.
HIST 152A: Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in US History (HM)
Dr. Shannon Smith, TR, 1:05, CSB
How have Americans used protests, riots, rebellions, & social movements to claim the rights of citizenship? This course will explore the social experience of living in the U.S. from the Civil War to the present day, the cultural ideas Americans used to understand their world, and the political and economic structures that shaped individual lives. We will specifically address the ways that Americans have used protests to influence meanings of equality and citizenship. Who has been included or excluded from being an “American,” and how did collective violence change those definitions 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 152B: U.S. History—Liberty, Empire, & Faith (HM)
Dr. Jonathan Nash, MWF, 10:40, 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 152D: The American Dream—Reality or Illusion? (HM)
Dr. Ken Jones, TR, 11:30, CSB
Have you ever heard someone say that this is a free country where individuals can succeed if they are willing to work hard? This idea, known as the American Dream, forms the central theme of this course. Is the concept accurate? For whom? Should women and people of color have access? How do we respond to those who don’t succeed? The course begins in the late 19th century when Americans wrestled with the costs and benefits of an emerging world-class economy that was dominated by a few large companies, attracted millions of new immigrants, and denied access to women and minorities. We end with conversations about globalization, income inequality, women’s roles, Black Lives Matter, and immigration. In short, a major goal of the course is to help you navigate the world you are inheriting. It will also enhance the critical thinking and writing skills that are essential for success in college and beyond.
HIST 300C: Sport and Society in Recent US History (HM, GE)
Dr. Ken Jones, TR, 8:20, CSB
Sport holds a significant place in the lives of many Americans. We play, watch, and talk about sports; many find joy in sport video games or gambling on the outcome of live events. Sports programming dominates television on weekends, and we have multiple networks devoted to both live programming and the dissection of sporting minutiae. In short, sport consumes major portions of our attention.
Sport also shapes our society in many ways. Big time college athletes get the “promise” of an education while making millions for their institutions, professional athletes earn astronomical amounts, and the owners of sports franchises demand the public financing of stadiums as the price of staying put. On another level, even as the number of girls participating has grown, fan interest, especially at the professional level, is minimal. Furthermore, in the three most popular American sports, women find it difficult to be seen as having sufficient credibility to provide live commentary. On the other hand, at least some American minorities, particularly African Americans, have been able use athletic skill to improve their economic standing. Finally, we are increasingly aware that participants in many sports run the risk of serious injury, including permanent brain damage.
How did we get here? Much of the description above would be very different if we traveled back a century, so one thing this course will do is to provide a brief overview on the how and why of change, while also examining areas of continuity. Using stories from a variety of sports, we are going to think about what drives athletics, and the ways that sports have shaped social change over the last century. More specifically, we’ll examine ways that sport reflects/affects racial attitudes, and its interaction with assumptions about gender roles. We’ll also look various economic and legal aspects of sport, from Title IX to big time college athletics, television, labor relations, and the complex dance of private ownership and public subsidies.
HIST 353: Civil War and Reconstruction in American Culture (HM, GE)
Dr. Shannon Smith, MWF, 11:50, CSB
This course will explore the causes of the American Civil War, the experiences of war for Union and Confederate soldiers, free and enslaved 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 355: Slavery in the Atlantic World (HM, IC)
Dr. Jonathan Nash, TR, 9:55, CSB
This class will provide students with a thematic introduction to Atlantic history, one of the most exciting fields of recent historical scholarship. Historian J.H. Elliott defines Atlantic history as the study “of the creation, destruction and re-creation of communities as a result of the movement, across and around the Atlantic basin, of people, commodities, cultural practices, and ideas” between the late-fifteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. We will begin by exploring the methodology of Atlantic historians and conclude by reflecting on the use of the “Atlantic World” as a historical concept. In between, we will study the meetings and migrations of Europeans, indigenous Americans, and West Africans; trans-Atlantic exchanges of commodities such as chocolate, tobacco, and sugar; competitions for land, labor, souls, and wealth; how slave traders tried to transform captured Africans into slaves; how enslaved people asserted their humanity; and, lastly, revolutionary upheavals. While learning the histories of the Atlantic World, students will have opportunities to strengthen their analytical reading, critical thinking, argumentative writing, and public speaking.
HIST 357: US From WWI to 1960 (HM)
Dr. Derek Larson, MW (flex), 1:50-3:10, SJU
This course offers a focused examination of United States history from World War I through the beginnings of the Cold War. Topics include the impact of World War I both abroad and at home, prosperity and cultural conflict during the 1920’s, the Great Depression and expanded role of the federal government, the impact of World War II both abroad and at home, the origins of the Cold War, and the affluent society of the 1950’s. Particular attention will be given to identifying the ways in which the United States participated at a global scale and to uncovering the diversity of voices (by race, class, gender, ethnicity, etc.) that shaped U.S. history. Class meetings will be run seminar style and consist of discussion of common course readings/films. The main assignment will be an original research paper on a topic of the student’s choice (for the time period 1914 to 1960).
HIST 200A: Debating the French Revolution
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, MWF, 1:00, CSB
The ideas and events of the French Revolution continue to be hotly debated more than 200 years later. Was it a revolution of the bourgeoisie? What role did books and ideas play? Why did the revolution devolve into the Reign of Terror? Was the Revolution a success or a failure? Was women's position better or worse as a result? We will explore these and other questions by examining a variety of primary sources (such as documents that provide eye witness accounts of events, newspaper articles written from various political perspectives, revolutionary songs, artwork and political cartoons from the period) as well as secondary sources. We will begin to explore these and other questions through an intensive role-playing game in which you, the students, become revolutionaries and debate the future of France. Students will assume, research, and reenact the roles of various revolutionary factions in the National Assembly between 1789-1792. After the role-play portion of the course ends, you will continue to follow your characters from the Reign of Terror through the the Napoleonic era to see how they might have reacted and fared.
HIST 395A: Interpreting the American Revolution
Dr. Jonathan Nash, TR, 1:05, CSB
“Who shall write the history of the American Revolution? Who can write it? Who will ever be able to write it?” asked John Adams in a July 1815 letter to Thomas Jefferson. “Nobody; except merely in its external facts,” Jefferson replied. Adams and Jefferson were wrong. Few events in the history of humanity are as well known as the American Revolution. Historians have written thousands of texts to investigate and interpret this one historical event. In this course, we will explore how historians interpret the American Revolution to identify and analyze changes in historiography — historical interpretation — over time. Studying changing historical interpretations of the American Revolution will allow us to gain a better understanding of the methods — questions, approaches, sources, and theories — historians use to interpret this event. While studying the historiography of the American Revolution and the methods of its historians, you will practice and strengthen your critical reading, argumentative writing, discussion, and historical thinking skills
HIST 399: Senior Thesis (EL)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, TR, 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.