History Courses Fall 2012

ASIA courses include:

HIST 114: East Asia Before 1800 (HM)
Dr. Richard Bohr, 135, 1:00
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 History of South Asia after 1500 (HM)
Dr. Jeffrey Diamond, 246,11:20
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, 1-3-5, 1:00
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. 

EUROPE courses include:

Dr. Theresa Vann,  246, 1:00       
A survey of the emergence of Western medieval civilization between the decline of the ancient world and the Renaissance. Possible topics include: men and women in feudal society, monasticism and the shaping of Western culture, the conflict between church and state, the transformation of a feudal into a commercial economy, the rise of Gothic architecture and scholasticism.

HIST 142  Europe since 1750: Old Regime to European Union (HM) 
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, 246, 8:00
This survey 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.

HI 333: Gender and Society in Western Europe (HM, Gender)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, 246, 11:20 
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.

HI 348: History of Ireland (HM, Gender, Intercultural)
Dr. Cynthia Curran, 135, 9:40

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.

HI 374:  From Books to Bytes (HM)
Dr. Theresa Vann, W. 6-9 p.m., HMML
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.


UNITED STATES courses include: 

HI 152: American Experience (HM)
Dr. David Bennetts 135, 8:00, 11:20
Jonathan Nash, 246,9:40
A thematic survey of United States History.   This section of HI 152 addresses issues and events in early American history that have contributed significantly to making of American culture and politics today.  We explore the role history has played in the making of the American people and the nation.

HI 350: Early America (HM)
Jonathan Nash, 246, 1:00

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.

HI 353:  Civil War and Reconstruction (HM)
Dr. David Bennetts, 2-4-6, 9:40
"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war.  The government will not assail you.  You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors.  You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect and defend' it." 

Thus did the new President, Abraham Lincoln, issue his challenge to the South in 1861.  The challenge was followed by the rapid secession of those southern states which would war against the Union for four long years.

What brought the nation to the point where a duly elected President would have to invoke the powers of his office to defend the Union against its own citizens?  Was it the crisis of slavery?  Lincoln said no!  Was it the denial of constitutional rights?  Lincoln thought not!  Was it the work of extremists (abolitionists and secessionists) on both sides?  The evidence suggests that they were a small and almost universally despised minority in both camps.  What then, causes the Civil War?  Our search for the causes of the war will include an examination of the crisis in the American two party system, the abolitionists, the uniqueness of Southern Society, the professed "failure" of the nation's political leadership, and the willingness of the American people to resort to violence to settle their differences.

This course also covers the war itself, with an emphasis on the way in which developments "behind the lines" influenced what happened on the battlefields.  Our discussions of the war years will center on the two related questions: How did the North win the War, and how did the South manage to avoid defeat for four years.  Finally, we will examine the nation's successes and failures in its effort to heal the wounds of war and restore the Union while securing the rights of former slaves.

HI 357: U.S. From WWI to 1960 (HM)
Dr. Derek Larson, 246, 11:20
Political, cultural and social change at home from World War I through 1960.   Topics include the impacts of major wars (WWI, WWII, Cold War, Korea) on civilian society, cultural conflict in the 1920s, economic changes and the Great  Depression, the evolving role of the Federal government, currents in popular  culture, the influence of technology, and the roles of race, gender, and other  individual factors influencing the American experience during the period.


LATIN AMERICA courses include:

HI 121: Pre-Columbia/Colonial Latin America: Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas

Dr. Brian Larkin, 135, 9:40
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, Cross-listed with THEO 317)
Dr. Brian Larkin, 135, 11:20-12:30
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.



HI 200: History Colloquium - Germany from the Weimar to the Third Reich, 1919-1945
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, 135,2:40
This course will focus on Germany during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich, two vastly different societies.  After World War I, Germans faced questions about national identity, economic crisis, political revolution, utopian ideas about the future, sex, racial policy, war, genocide, and more.  Should we support the Bolsheviks and spread revolution to Germany?  Why are women voting and holding public office now? Can I borrow your sex manual? Aren't you afraid "modernity" will destroy the German people?  Why doesn't everyone like the Nuremberg party rally as much as I do?  Why do my neighbors exclude me just because I am Jewish? Why is there a satellite concentration camp in my town?  What is really happening on the Eastern Front?

The course will include readings on Weimar and the Third Reich, but a substantial proportion of the materials will be primary sources such as novels, oral histories, government documents, art works, film, newspaper articles, and the like.  Students will have many opportunities to become historians using the sources from this fascinating period.

HI 381: Readings Seminar - Crime, Violence, and the Law in early modern Europe
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
What does crime, violence, and their prosecution reveal about a society? While certain acts are considered criminal in most ages and societies (murder for example), other behaviors were deemed criminal in only certain eras.  Similarly, certain violent actions deemed acceptable at one moment have been deemed unacceptable at another.  

This section of History 381 will focus on works of historians who have investigated violence, crime, and its prosecution in early modern Europe. We will look at a variety of historical monographs that use different sources, approaches, and methods to studying violence, crime, and the law. This course will examine crime and violence in every day life, and not warfare.  Attention will be paid to specific political and local contexts.  Questions for consideration include: What types of acts and behaviors were deemed to be deviant and criminalized in early modern society and why?  What types of violence were acceptable and what types unacceptable and why? How did gender, class, race, and religion influence the definition of crime and the individual's ability to navigate the legal systems?  How were crimes prosecuted, who had the authority to prosecute crimes, and how and why did this evolve over the period?  What are the sources for a history of violence, crime, and law and what methods have historians used for mining and interpreting them?   
The class will be structured as a discussion-based seminar, with books taking center stage.  Students will also learn how to locate, use, and write critical book reviews as part of the process of mastering the historical monograph as a form of historical inquiry and argument. Learning "how to read a history book" is a rewarding and important skill to master-this class will help you do just that, while exploring the fascinating history of early modern violence.

HI 389: Historiography and Methods
Dr. Annette Atkins, M, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
*This section of HIST 389 is designed for Social Science majors who are Secondary Education minors.  This course does not count towards the history major.
This course has multiple goals.   At the most basic level, it is intended to make you more familiar with the history of the United States and how the stories of the American past have evolved and changed.  We will pay some particular attention to the experience of Minnesotans - including Native Americans - in that larger narrative.  It is also designed to increase your readiness to teach High School History and to send you into student teaching with an greater understanding, confidence, even a set of notes that will inform your classroom work.  The course will also be of value and interest to students who would like an overview of American History and would like to "do" some history.

HIST 395:  Historiography and Methods - History of the American West
Dr. Derek Larson, 246, 2:40
This course will explore the historiography of the American West, coving such topics as the impact of U.S. expansion on the environment and native peoples of the West, the realities of violence in "frontier" towns, the political and economic relationships between Eastern cities and their Western counterparts, and the evolution of the 20th century West into an overwhelmingly urban society in the midst of a sparsely populated hinterland.  Special attention will be paid to historical debates over the "meaning of the West," the introduction of race, class, gender, and environment as themes in these debates, and the varying types of evidence historians have used to interpret the region's past.  Readings will include Richard White's It's Your Misfortune and None of My Own: A New History of the American West, Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, several monographic treatments of Western issues, at least one western novel, and 8-10 Western movies screened outside of class.

HI 399 Senior Thesis
Dr. Brian Larkin, 246, 9:40
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. 

History Colloquium has several goals for students: to understand history as interpretation, to learn to analyze and interpret primary sources, to make and assess historical arguments, and to solidify their identity as historians.

 A thematic survey of United States History. This section of HI 152 addresses issues and events in early American history that have contributed significantly to making American culture and politics today.  We explore the role history has played in the making of the American people and the nation.