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History Course Offerings - Fall 2017

ASIA

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 319 Monsters and Modernity—Japanese History Through Horror
(HM, GE)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, MWF, 2:10, CSB
This course examines horror in its myriad forms in the history and formation of modern Japan, from the Tokugawa period to the present.  By exploring the historical context in which literary works are produced and what the works represent, students will gain a broader understanding of what fears helped to shape modern Japanese culture, society, and history.

EUROPE

HIST 130 The Ancient World
(HM)
Dr. Jason Schlude, MWF, 10:20, SJU
In this introduction to the ancient Mediterranean world (c. 3000 BCE-500 CE), we will cover key moments in the history of Greece and Rome. Possible topics include: the Trojan war, the golden age of Sparta and Athens, the career and campaigns of Alexander the Great of Macedon, the rise of Rome and its Mediterranean power, and the ultimate fall of the Roman Republic and Empire. A central theme for the course will be how to practice ancient history through comparative analysis of both literary and archaeological evidence. In this way, students will develop an understanding of important events in and diverse approaches to the study of Classical antiquity.

HIST 142A 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, T/R, 9:55, 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 201A: Debating the French Revolution  (2 credits, AB Mod)
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.   

HI 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 346: Cold War Europe
(HM, IC)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, TR, 11:30, CSB
After the Second World War, European countries entered a new era shaped by the ideologies of the victors: the era of the Cold War.  The conflict divided Europe politically, economically, culturally, and even physically between the US-oriented West and the Soviet-dominated East.  This division, which ultimately spread from Europe to the rest of the globe, determined much of the world in the second half of the 20th century. We will begin with an overview of the Cold War era to explore basic political, economic, social, and cultural developments after the unprecedented disruptions caused by the Second World War.  Then we will examine more closely four case studies: Poland and its postwar memory; Czechoslovakia and its culture under communism; East and West Germany and their divided nationality; and France and its postcolonial identity and society.  Course materials will include a basic textbook, scholarly books and articles, literature, films and documentaries, and primary sources.  Students will be evaluated on the basis of discussion and several essays.

HIST 347  Modern Britain

(HM, GE pending)
Dr. Brittany Merritt, TR, 1:05, 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, and its subsequent decline to a rather minor role in the world power structure.

While we shall proceed along a chronological framework, the class will adopt a thematic approach to British history.  By the end of the semester, students will have a firm grasp of cause and effect, in addition to understanding such themes as the true nature and scope of industrialization and the emergence and decline of the welfare state.  We will not neglect many of the dominant concerns of social historians which include a sensitivity to class and gender.

LATIN AMERICA

HIST 121 Aztecs, Incas & Mayas
(HM)
Dr. Brian Larkin, MWF, 9:30, 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 323 Religion in Latin America
(HM, TU)
Dr. Brian Larkin, MWF, 10:40, CSB

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.

UNITED STATES

HIST 152A: Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in US History
(HM)
Dr. Shannon Smith, T/R, 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 152D The American Dream:  Reality or Illusion? 
(HM)
Dr. Ken Jones, TR, 8:20, 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, T/TH, 11:30, 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 influence one’s understanding of cultural identities.

HIST 350: Early America
(HM, GE)
Dr. Jonathan Nash, T/TH, 9:55, CSB
“Early America was a catastrophe—a horror story, not an epic,” writes historian John M. Murrin. We will explore the “horror story” of Early America from the earliest sustained contact between Europeans and Native Americans during the fifteenth century until the mid- to late eighteenth century. We will attempt to understand Early America on its own terms, rather than as a prelude to the United States. We will examine the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of Early America by investigating the experiences of Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans. We will focus on themes of power (intersections of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality), religion, enslavement, and violence to analyze how various people met, clashed, cooperated, and remade themselves and their worlds. While studying the histories of Early America, you will have opportunities to strengthen and refine your analytical reading, argumentative writing, public speaking, and historical thinking.

HIST 369 Gender in US History
(HM, GE)
Dr. Shannon Smith,  MWF, 11:50, CSB
This course will use gender as a tool of analysis to explore how gender and sexuality have influenced Americans’ personal identities and interactions with others, and how these seemingly separate “private” and “public” concerns often overlapped.  Historically, in what ways have Americans defined what it means to be a man or a woman, and how have those definitions influenced one’s status within the nation?  In this course we will explore the varied meanings of masculinity and femininity from European colonization to the present day, and how those meanings have changed based on the needs or anxieties of the time—even for events and issues which seem to have little to do with gender or sexuality.  This course will help you think critically about documents and other sources that you encounter in daily life: who produced it, what assumptions about gender or public/private life the author makes, and how those assumptions influence one's understanding of cultural identities.

MAJORS' COURSES

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 Historiography and Methods
Dr. Jonathan Nash, TR, 1:05, CSB
Interpreting the American Revolution
“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.