Course Offerings - Spring 2021

A Block:
HIST 142: Old Regime to European Union ((HM, HE, J1)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder—Morning

HIST 153: Growing Up in US History (HM,CI, GE, IC)
Dr. Shannon Smith—Afternoon

HIST 295: Badass Samurai and Beautiful Geisha: When Myth and History Collide
Dr. Elisheva Perelman—Afternoon

HIST 323: Religion in Latin America (HM, TU, IC)
Dr. Brian Larkin—Morning

HIST 328: Missionaries and Empire (HM, TI, TU, GE)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash—Afternoon

HIST 330: Greece in the Classical Period (HM, HE, M1)
Dr. Jason Schlude—Afternoon

B Block:
HIST 115: Modern East Asia  (HM, HE, T1)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman—Afternoon

HIST 301: The Invention of Race in 19th Century America (HM, CS, IC, GE)
Dr. Shannon Smith—Afternoon

HIST 337: The Age of Reformation (HM, TU)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler—Morning

HIST 344: Modern Germany (HM, GE, IC)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder—Morning

C Block:
HIST 152C: The American Dream: Reality or Illusion (HM, CI, GE, IC)
Dr. Ken Jones—Morning

HIST 319: Monsters and Modernity: Japanese History through Horror (HM, GE)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman—Afternoon

HIST 323: Religion in Latin America (HM, TU, IC)
Dr. Brian Larkin—Morning

HIST 329: Guns, Gold, and Slaves: Africa and the British Empire (HM, GE, IC)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash—Afternoon

HIST 399: Senior Thesis (EL)
Dr. Jonathan Merritt Nash—Morning

D Block:
HIST 141: Black Death to the French Revolution (HM, HE, T1)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler—Morning

HIST 328: Missionaries and Empire (HM, TI, TU, GE)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash—Afternoon

HIST 358: US Since 1960 (HM, GE)
Dr. Ken Jones—Morning

HIST 395: From Women’s History to Gender History
Dr. Shannon Smith—Afternoon

ASIA

HIST 115 Modern East Asia (HM, HE, T1)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, B block, Afternoon
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 295F Badass Samurai and Beautiful Geisha: When Myth and History Collide
Dr. Elisheva Perelman,  A block, Afternoon
From where do myths about historical figures arise? How do the realities of life as a samurai or a geisha differ from the lore? Why do these legends exist and for whose benefit? In this course, students will analyze sources (both primary and secondary, written and visual) that perpetuate the myths of these professions with those that provide the less glamorous aspects of such lives to discover how historical interpretations differ and to what end.

HIST 319 Monsters and Modernity: Japanese History through Horror (HM, GE)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, C block, Afternoon
A study of Japan’s transformation from feudal mosaic to economic superpower. Analyzes the “modernization” process set in motion by the Meiji Restoration of 1868; the impact of its Asian neighbors and the West on Japan’s economic and military rise; and U.S.-Japan relations since WWII using tropes of fear and horror. This course will employ both literary and historical primary sources. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

LATIN AMERICA

HIST 323 Religion in Latin America (HM, TU, IC)
Dr. Brian Larkin, A block, Morning/C block, Morning
The changing nature of religious cultures in Latin America from the pre-Columbian period to the present day. 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, examines the role of religion in shaping sense of self, forms of community, and human interaction with the physical world. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

EUROPE

HIST 141 Europe from the Black Death to the French Revolution (HM, HE, T1)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, D block, Morning
Students will investigate the tension between traditionalism and revolution from the Black Death through the Age of Napoleon. Highlights include examination of the religious revolution of theologians, political leaders and ordinary people that rocked the western Christian church in the 16th century, investigation of scientific discoveries and Galileo’s challenge to the geocentric model of the universe that challenged Europeans’ understanding of the world and their place in it, and analysis of new ideas about the political and social world put into action in one of the defining events of the modern age, the French Revolution.

HIST 142A Old Regime to European Union (HM, HE, J1)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, A block, morning
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 328 Missionaries and Empire (HM, TI, TU, GE)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash, A block, Afternoon/D block, Afternoon
This course focuses on the role of missionaries within the British Empire, focusing specifically on the African continent. Scholars have long debated the complicated relationship between missionaries and imperialism. Has the mission field been a place that aids imperial conquest, or one that resists it? What happens to religious belief in sites of colonial contact? In this course, we will explore these and other questions about the history of Christian missions and imperialism in Africa. In addition to studying the theological reasoning for missionary work, we will examine the effects of evangelism on anti-colonial resistance movements and postcolonial criticism. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 329 Guns, Gold and Slaves: Africa and the British Empire (HM, GE, IC)
Dr. Brittany Merritt Nash, C block, Afternoon
This course focuses on encounters between Great Britain and the African continent from the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present. Topics include slavery and imperial conquest; the role of African men and women in reshaping British colonial power; cultural exchanges between Africa and Britain; settler violence and warfare; and the aftermath of independence. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 330 Greece in the Classical Period (HM, HE, M1)
Dr. Jason Schlude, A block, Afternoon
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. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 337 The Age of Reformation (HM, TU)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, B block, morning
The western Christian church was splintered by a religious revolution in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But this was not simply a revolution made by theologians—ordinary men and women, from elites to ordinary people participated. The implications of revolutionary religious ideas about salvation, scripture, and faith were felt far beyond the pews, in everything from political life to family life. Students will investigate the far-reaching impact of the Reformation by analyzing the circumstances that led to it, the revolutionary ideas that characterized it, the agency of theologians, political leaders and ordinary people in its creation and establishment, and the changes it created in social life, marriage, gender, and the family, in Europe and in the “New World.” This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 344 Modern Germany (HM, GE, IC)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, B block, Morning
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 with an overview of “Germany” in the 18th and 19th centuries and proceeds to in-depth readings on the German Empire, 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. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

UNITED STATES

HIST 152C The American Dream: Reality or Illusion (HM, CI, GE, IC)
Dr. Ken Jones, C block, Morning
When Americans talk about what makes our nation special or “great,” we often point to the idea of individual opportunity, or what historians call the American Dream. More specifically, the American Dream argument is that everyone has a chance to be successful, and that an individual’s talent and drive, rather than external factors, shape the outcome. In this class, we are going to ask how true the Dream is. Do all people have access? Are there groups who are simply excluded because of their race, gender, or other factors outside individual control? What have people done when the distance between the Dream and reality became intolerable? How has change occurred? We will start examining this question in the era when large monopolies began to dominate the economy, and end with contemporary arguments from Black Lives Matter to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

HIST 153 Growing Up in US History (HM,CI, GE, IC)
Dr. Shannon Smith, A block, Afternoon
This course will explore the historical experience of growing up in the United States through the intersection of race and gender. We will analyze the ways that childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood have been constructed, the social and cultural institutions which shape the range of experiences, and the factors that influence individual identities. We will explore the pressures, contradictions, and confusions of racial and gendered experiences, as well as how those ideas of “race” and “gender” developed in the first place. We will answer such questions as: How do we know that girls are supposed to wear pink and boys are supposed to wear blue, and who gets to decide? How do the range of ideals of femininity, masculinity, and other gender expectations impact us as we grow to be adults? How and why was the concept of “race” invented, and how do those ideas differ by class, sexual identity, religion, region, education, and other cultural and social markers? How have the life stages of childhood and adolescence been commodified over time— through advertising, film and television, celebrity culture, novels, magazines, music, and social media—and how have young people responded by creating their own youth culture and attempting to change social expectations?

HIST 301 The Invention of Race in the 19th Century United States (HM, CS, IC, GE)
Dr. Shannon Smith, B block, Afternoon
In 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” The daily news provides us with ongoing examples of how issues of race and identity continue to matter in the United States, but such questions have always plagued Americans. This course will explore the 19th-century development of ideas and practices of “race” in the US and analyze how and why those categories exist at all. While “race” was not actually “invented” in the 19th-century US, in those years Americans sorted through messy categories of ethnicity, slavery and freedom, religion, immigrant status, skin color, and other labels to determine who was an American and who had the power to decide. What would the United States look like? Why did some ethnic groups strive toward and become labeled as “white” while others were classified by “color”? (Is white not a color?) Major themes of the course include the intersectionality of race and gender, questions of belonging and citizenship, and how labor and the work that one performed shaped a person’s social, economic, and racial status, or relative “worth” in society. 

Through intensive reading and discussion, argumentative writing, and critical thinking, students will take a closer look at the racial possibilities, cooperation, and conflicts in the United States from the early 1800s to the early twentieth century.

HIST 358 United States Since 1960 (HM, GE)
Dr. Ken Jones, D block, Morning
Political, economic and social change in recent America. A central theme will be the way that the social/political changes of the 1960s, and the reaction against them, has divided our nation and shaped our recent history. Specific topics include the struggle for equal rights for minorities, the changing roles of men and women, the domestic consequences of our foreign wars from Vietnam through Afghanistan, the growth of political power among cultural conservatives, the causes and impact of growing income inequality amid expanding affluence, and arguments over the power of the Presidency and the primacy of the Federal government from the administrations of John Kennedy through Barak Obama. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

MAJORS’ COURSES

HIST 295F Badass Samurai and Beautiful Geisha: When Myth and History Collide
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, A block, Afternoon
From where do myths about historical figures arise? How do the realities of life as a samurai or a geisha differ from the lore? Why do these legends exist and for whose benefit? In this course, students will analyze sources (both primary and secondary, written and visual) that perpetuate the myths of these professions with those that provide the less glamorous aspects of such lives to discover how historical interpretations differ and to what end.

HIST 395G  Historiography: From Women’s History to Gender History
Dr. Shannon Smith, D block, Afternoon
In this course, intended for advanced History majors, we will analyze the development of historical interpretation in the field of women’s history and the transition to the study of gender history. We will explore how historians have interpreted the gendered past (primarily in US history) to gain a better understanding of the questions, approaches, theories, and even types of evidence that historians have used to construct arguments over time. This course emphasizes research skills and historical analysis in preparation for individual projects in HIST 399. Offered for A-F grading only.

HIST 399 Senior Thesis (EL)
Dr. Jonathan Merritt Nash, C block, Morning
This course is the capstone for the major. Students develop independent projects in collaboration with History faculty and write substantial research papers based upon primary and secondary sources. Students give formal oral presentations of their research. This course draws upon and synthesizes the skills developed in HIST 200 and 395. Those majors seeking to graduate with “Distinction in History” must take COLG 396 the spring of their junior year, History 399 fall of their senior year, and complete their Honors research and writing the spring they graduate. Prerequisite: 395. Offered for A-F grading only.