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History Course Offerings - Fall 09

HI 114: East Asia Before 1800, Dr. Richard Bohr

2-4-6, 11:20, HAB 120

A Survey of East Asia--including China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam--from ancient times to the dawn of the modern era. Explores the building blocks of East Asian civilization and analyzes the changes set in motion by the region's contact with the West between 1600 and 1800.


HI 120: The Latin American Experience, Dr. Brian Larkin

2-4-6, 2:40, Quad 349

Provides the historical background necessary to understanding the complex, contradictory nature of Latin American Experience. Thorough coverage of over 500 years of Latin American history for more than 20 different countries is impossible, so the course focuses on special topics.

HI 135: The Medieval World, Dr. Theresa Vann

1-3-5, 1:00, NEWSC 135

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.


HI 140: The European Experience

Dr. Cynthia Curran, 2-4-6, 1:00, BAC A109

Dr. Gregory Schroeder, 1-3-5, 2:40, Quad 360

A thematic survey of topics in European history since the Renaissance. Topics to be considered include the interaction of religion and society, the rise of nation-states, war and peace, political, social, intellectual and economic revolutions.


HI 152: The American Experience

Dr. Kenneth Jones, 2-4-6, 9:40, Quad 457

Dr. David Bennetts, 1-3-5, 8:00 (Quad 360) and 11:20 (Quad 344)

A thematic survey of United States History. Topics and period to be emphasized varies, but major developments in political, social, intellectual and economic history are examined.

HI 165: History Readings Group, Dr. Annette Atkins


In this course students and various members of the history faculty will read and discuss current and classic writings in the discipline. Topics will vary.


HI 200: Sophomore Colloquium, Dr. Richard Bohr

2-4-6, 1:00, HAB 118

The Victorian poet Rudyard Kiplin once wrote that "East is East, and West is West/And never the twain shall meet." This course seeks to prove him wrong by exploring the long, intimate relationship between East Asia and the West. In particular, we will study the initial East-West encounter through the Silk Road, Marco Polo, international trade, and missionary activism; trace the destruction of traditional East Asia in the wake of modern Western imperialism; analyze East Asia's efforts to achieve "self-strengthening" through the adaptation of Western ideas and institutions; assess Asia's contribution to Western culture; and envision East-West partnerships in the newly-dawned "Asian Century."

The course will employ such primary sources as memoirs, letters, autobiographies, treaties, newspapers, magazines, novels, film, photography, and artifacts as well as secondary sources. Through role play, debate, and other interactive formats, we will focus on East-West images and stereotypes. At semester's end, students will exhibit their projects on specific aspects of the East-West encounter to the CSB/SJU community.


HI 300H: From Books to Bytes, Dr. Theresa Vann

Wednesday Evenings, 6-9 pm, HMML

Books have served as a primary repository of human knowledge since their inception. Over the millenia, book technology has evolved from ancient papyrus scrolls to modern digital formats, 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.


HI 305: Gandhi, Nationalism, and Islamic Movements in India, Dr. Shushmita Hodges

Monday Evenings, 6-9 pm, Quad 344

The focus of this course is to study the Indian nationalist struggle beginning with the Revolt of 1857 and ending with independence and partition in 1947. Within the context of the anti-colonial struggle the role of Indian sepoys, landlords, peasants, rulers and leaders will be analyzed. The British response to the first war of independence or the sepoy mutiny of 1857 will be examined. The rise of the Indian National Congress in 1884 run by Indian elites educated in the west countered and threatened the established British administration. The nationalist struggle of this era included extremist leaders like Tilak and moderates like Gokhale who stamped the anti-colonial struggle with their unique perspectives. With the growing resentment to British colonialism came the Partition of Bengal in 1905 for administrative purposes along Hindu and Muslim factions. This sectarian division coincided with the Swadeshi Movement in Bengal and the formation of the All India Muslim League under the leadership of Jinnah in 1906. With the beginning of World War I Indians were forced to fight for the British based on a promise of freedom at the end of the war. However, at the end of the war Britain failed to grant India independence which spurred the activism of Indian National Congress. In response, the British introduced repressive measures like the Rowlatt Act that led to tensions culminating in the Amritsar Massacre in 1919. THe outrage of the Indian nationalists against the death of innocent protesters marks the beginning of Gandhi's entry into the freedom struggle.

From 1919 to 1947 while the Indian National movement was led by Gandhi using tactics of Ahimsa (non-violence and satyagraha) other leaders like Nehru, Bose and Tagore had an alternative vision to the path of independence. While Gandhi mobilized the masses within the confines of an anti-colonial struggle, Tagore through social reforms and Bose by forming the militaristic Indian National Army also influenced the course of the nationalist struggle. At the same time Tilak came to represent Hindu nationalism and Jinnah through, the Muslim League, demanded a separate Islamic State. The British responded with more violence to this political activity and with piecemeal, compromise reforms like a dual "power-sharing" government scheme.

During the post World War II period, the demand for Indian independence became an iminent reality, as nationalist pressure was aided by the economic devastation in Britain and Europe which weakened the colonial grip on power. Soon after the elections in the Britain, the Labor Party came to power with Atlee as premier. The change in government signaled the end of the British Raj after protracted negotiation between Nehru, Jinnah and Mountbatten. At the Simla Conference in 1946 the future boundaries of India were decided, later resulting in a partioned India and an independent Pakistan. Gandhi's vision of Hindu-Muslim unity was destroyed by communal riots breaking out in India and Pakistan as the British departed, leaving the sub-continent divided along religious fault lines. A disillusioned Gandhi chose not to hold public office after independence, while Nehru became the first prime minister of independent India, and Jinnah the first president of Pakistan. Finally, in January 1948, Gandhi was slain by a Hindu extremist who disagreed with his conciliatory stance towards the Muslims ending the era and driving force behind Indian independence from British colonial rule.

HI 321: Colonial Mexico, Dr. Brian Larkin

2-4-6, 11:20, Quad 343

Begins with the Spanish conquest and ends with Independence from Spain in 1821. Includes the consequences of the conquest for Native Americans, the formation of new hybrid societies and cultures in a racially diverse world, gender relations, religion and the church, and 18th-century efforts to reform Mexican society according to Enlightenment ideals.


HI 337: The Age of Reformation, Dr. Elisabeth Wengler

2-4-6, 8:00, BAC A109

A study of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations in the 16th and 17th centuries with a particular emphasis on social history, including the causes and characteristics of religious change and its effects on European society and culture. Topics include the reception and implementation of the Protestant Reformation, Catholic responses to this challenge, radical religious movements, the role of women in religious reform, changes in family relations, and popular religion.


HI 344: Modern Germany, Dr. Gregory Schroeder

1-3-5, 11:20, Quad 343

This course examines the social, political, and cultural history of Germany in the modern era. It begins in the nineteenth century with a consideration of "Germany" before the unification of 1871 and proceeds to Imperial Germany, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the post-1945 Germanies. Topics will include nationalism, responses to political and social modernization, women's history, and the impact of the world wars.


HI 347: Modern Britain, Dr. Cynthia Curran

2-4-6, 9:40, BAC A108

Examines the main social, economic, political, and cultural features of Britain from 1750 until the present, covering Britain’s rise as a powerful modern state and subsequent decline on the world stage. Themes include the social consequences of industrialization, changes in crime and the criminal justice system, the welfare state, the rise and decline of the British Empire, the effort to maintain a British identity in the face of the European Union.


HI 350: Early America, Dr. Annette Atkins

2-4-6, 9:40, Quad 360

This course analyzes the interatctions of Native Peoples, Europeans, and Africans on the North American continent to 1763. We will look especially at the social, cultural, and economic interdependencies and conflicts among these people with an eye toward how these shaped the later United States.


HI 352: United States in the Early 19th Century, Dr. David Bennetts

2-4-6, 1:00, Quad 446

The birth and development of the American Republic. Emphasis on political, economic and social developments. Highlights range from the struggle over the Constitution to westward expansion, industrialization and sectionalism.


HI 389: Historiography for Social Science Majors, Dr. Annette Atkins

Monday Evenings, 6-9 pm, Quad 457

This course is designed for Social Science majors who intend to teach. It covers historical content, but with an emphasis on historiography, or the story of how a particular period or event has been told at different times. The other central goal of this course is to help students develop their ability to teach history in a secondary setting.


HI 395: Historiography and Methods: Cultural Ascendancy and Benevolent use of Power, Dr. Cynthia Curran

2-4-6, 2:40, BAC A108

The historiographic focus in this class will be on the evolving and changing interpretations of the British Empire. James Bryce, a 19th century British historian, noted that "the object of history is to discover and set forth facts." Through readings and discussion, students will examine whether this is possible or even desirable. In the 19th century, Britain was the first industrialized nation, it had the greatest navy in the world and it exerted the greatest global cultural influence. Was the British Empire a benevolent and progressive influence on suffering peoples or was it racist and self-serving? Why did its Empire decline? Is it possible to learn lessons from the past? Although this course uses the British Empire as its main subject, students will be encouraged to consider other empires in their final written assignment.


HI 399: Senior Thesis, Dr. Thomas Huffman

1-3-5, 8:00, Quad 339

Intensive research of a topic and preparation of a major paper. Required of every history major. 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.