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Spring 2017 Offerings

HIST 114  East Asia Before 1800 (HM)
Dr. Ellie Perelman, MWF, 10:40, HAB 120, CSB
A survey of East Asia-including China, Korea, And Japan-from ancient times to the dawn of the modern era. Explores the origin and building blocks of East Asian civilization and analyzes the changes prior to 1600.

HIST 317 Talking About Revolution in Modern China (HM)
Dr. Ellie Perelman, MWF, 2:10, Richarda P39, CSB
This course looks at China in the 20th century and the intellectuals who attempted consciously to direct or deflect its agonizing transformation and incorporation into the "modern" world then dominated by Euro-America and the Soviet Union.  

HIST 141 Black Death to the French Revolution (HM)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, T/R, 9:55, HAB 119, CSB
Students will investigate the tension between traditionalism and revolution from the Black Death through the French Revolution.  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 that challenged Europeans' understanding of the world and their place in it, and analysis of new ideas about the political and social world that were put into action in one of the defining events of the modern age, the French Revolution.

HIST 142 Europe Since 1750 (HM)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 2:10, HAB 119, 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 topics, including the confrontation between the Old Regime and the French Revolution; gender and class identities in the 19th century; the Great War in the context of nationalism and imperialism; World War II and genocide; and Europe from Cold War to EU.  We finish the semester with current events.

HIST 330 Greece in the Classical Period (HM)
Dr. Jason Schlude, MWF, 12:40, Q254, 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. 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, T/R, 1:05, HAB 102B, CSB
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 349 Modern Russia (HM/GE)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 10:40, HAB 101, CSB
This course examines the political, social, and cultural transformation of Russia from a preindustrial autocracy in the 19th century to an atomic superpower and post-Soviet society in the 20th century.  Topics include the Romanov Empire, the Bolshevik Revolution, Stalinism, World War II, Soviet culture, the Cold War, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Readings include monographs, primary source documents, and the best novel about a revolutionary cement factory you will ever read.   

HIST 152A: Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in US History (HM)
Dr. Shannon Smith, T/R, 1:05, HAB 120, 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 Century (HM)
Dr. David Lavigne, MWF, 1:00, HAB 119, CSB
This course explores the history of the United States in the twentieth century, paying particular attention to events that have helped shape various communities within the nation and to the ongoing struggle to define just what "American" means. Topics covered will include changes in social, political, and economic life; the environment; race and gender relations; the growth of cities and industry; the American role in global conflicts; the progress of technology; the impacts of immigration and internal migration; and the role of popular culture in American society. We will approach the study of history with three major goals in mind: to develop knowledge of the basic "facts" of 20th century American history; to learn to think, speak, and write analytically about the past; and to better understand ourselves and the various communities to which we belong.

HIST 300P The Invention of Race in the 19th Century United States (HM/IC pending)
Dr. Shannon Smith, T/R, 9:55, HAB 120, CSB 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 357 US From WWI to 1960 (HM)
Dr. David Lavigne, MWF, 11:50, HAB 118, CSB
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 360 US Environmental History (HM)
Dr. Derek Larson, MW, 1:50, NS146, SJU
Environmental history is a field of study concerned with the changing relationship between humans and nature over time.  In this course we will explore the environmental history of the United States in the 18th-20th centuries, a period marked by continental expansion and settlement of North America by Europeans and the subsequent development of a uniquely American environmental history. Particular emphasis will be placed on the 20th century, a time marked by such advances as the creation new federal resource management agencies like the US Forest Service and National Park Service, the passage of key laws including the Wilderness Act and the Endangered Species Act, and a rising tide of public concern over the environment-- but also by the loss of the passenger pigeon and numerous other species, the resource drain prompted by the economic and cultural triumphs of consumerism, the rise of the automobile and nuclear weapons, the proliferation of synthetic chemicals, environmental disasters like Love Canal and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and near-universal declines in biological and landscape diversity. The political, cultural, economic, technological, intellectual, and of course ecological factors behind these events will be our major concerns as we read a variety of sources to examine the changing American relationship with nature over the past three centuries.

HIST 368 US & The World (HM, IC)
Dr. Ken Jones, T/R, 11:30, HAB 102B, CSB
We live in a world where the US is the super power, and have troops stationed in approximately 150 countries.  Believe it or not, it wasn't always this way.   This course will begin about 90 years ago when soon to be President Herbert Hoover argued that the use of military force was a sign of failure, and politicians during the 1930s insisted on disengagement from the world.  After exploring how we got into World War II, we will look at how the lessons we took from the preceding decades combined with the Cold War to create an approach to the world that is more familiar to 21st Americans.  We'll learn about the way that the Cold War shaped our outlook for roughly four decades, how it ended, and our efforts to adjust to a new reality.  We will end with by looking at the "war on terrorism" and how it has roots in our prior relationship with the world.

In addition to studying American actions and the underlying values, we will dig deeper into the complex cultures of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq to see how their reality affected our efforts to control those areas of the world.

This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 200  A Struggle for Freedom: Resisting Enslavement in North America
Dr. Jonathan Nash, MWF, 9:30, HAB 119, CSB
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 395B History and Memory: The Politics of Remembering
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, T/R, 8:20, Richarda N15, CSB
Students are expected to develop the skills and historiographical awareness required for their individual Senior Thesis project (HIST 399), and these goals are best achieved through the study of a specific subject matter. For this course, our subjects are the concepts of "history" and "memory," i.e., the ways in which countries and societies remember the past, what they remember, why they remember, and how they use memory. Sometimes, the things that are forgotten are as significant as what is remembered. The common readings focus on the politics of memory in Europe, but the approach is applicable for any country, region, or time period, and students may selected any memory-related topic for their final project in this course.

HIST 399 Senior Thesis (Capstone/EL)
Dr. Shannon Smith, M, 6:15pm, HAB 101, CSB
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 HONR 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.