Course Offerings Spring 2019


HIST 114 Introduction to Pre-modern East Asia (HM)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, MWF, 10:40, CSB
This introductory survey of East Asia examines the political, cultural, and social history of China, Japan, and Korea to the 17th century.  Students will analyze primary texts, literary works, and documents to find issues of continuity and change over time and across borders.

HIST 319 Japanese History Through Horror: Monsters and Modernity (GE,HM)
Dr. Elisheva Perelman, MWF, 1:00, CSB
This course examines horror in its myriad forms in the history and formation of modern Japan, from the 17th century to the present.  By exploring the historical context in which various literary, political, religious, and cultural sources are produced (and in turn, reflect) and what the works represent, students will gain a broader understanding of how, why, and what fears helped to shape the historical development of modern Japanese culture and society, and how these fears changed over time. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.


HIST 130 The Ancient World (HM)
Dr. Celsiana Warwick, 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 142B Europe Since 1750 (HM)
Dr. Brittany Merritt, MW, 2:10-3:30, CSB/TR, 2:40, CSB

This course examines European history since 1750, prior to the French Revolution, and concludes with transformation of the continent after the Cold War. Students will examine various themes that shaped this period of transformation in European society, such as the nature and effects of revolutions, imperial expansion and collapse, global war and genocide, and life under totalitarian regimes. Through our discussions of primary sources, combined with interactive activities like mock trials and debates, students will be able to develop their reading, critical thinking, and argumentative writing skills.

HIST 336 The Renaissance (GE, HM)
Dr. Elisabeth Wengler, TR, 1:05, CSB
Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Italy witnessed a burst of cultural and intellectual innovation. We will investigate the context for this through an examination of economy, politics, gender and family, religion, and social values of Renaissance Italians; we will also look at how these innovations were adapted and exported beyond Italy. A highlight of the course is the creation of virtual Renaissance art exhibitions; students curate an exhibit for which they research and write about selected Renaissance artworks to situate them in historical context. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 344 Modern Germany (GE, IC, HM)
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, MWF, 11:50, CSB
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.


HIST 323: Religion in Latin America (HM, TU)
Dr. Brian Larkin, TR, 9:55, 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.HIST 321 Mexico from Aztecs to Independence (IC, HM)


HIST 152A Protest, Riot, and Rebellion in US History (HM)
Dr. Shannon Smith, TR, 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 152C The American Dream: Reality or Illusion (HM)
Dr. Ken Jones, TR, 11:30, CSB

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 360 United States Environmental History (HM, cross-listed with ENVR 360)
Dr. Derek Larson, MWF, 12:40, SJU

Environmental history is the study of the relationship between humans and nature over time. This course examines the changing American understanding of nature in the 19th and 20th centuries with particular attention to the development of public policies toward natural resources and wildlife, the emergence of a new set of values recognizing non-utilitarian values in nature, and to the evolution of the conservation and environmental movements. Intellectual, political, economic, scientific, and social evidence will all be examined in the process of placing nature back into the human history of North America. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.

HIST 368 The United States and the World (IC, HM)
Dr. Ken Jones, TR, 8:20, CSB
An examination of the U.S. role in world affairs since 1929. Topics include isolationism, World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam and post-war adjustments, Reagan’s efforts to restore primacy, involvement in the Middle East, the search for a post-Cold War role, and the roots of the war on terrorism. This course is suitable for students of any major, including those who have not taken a previous history course.


HIST 200E Inventing the Conquest of Mexico
Dr. Brian Larkin, TR, 1:05, CSB

Students will examine the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire from 1517-1521 from multiple perspectives to develop a deeper understanding of the historian’s craft. Texts will include firsthand accounts of the conquest by Hernán Cortés, the captain of the intrepid band of Spanish adventurers, by Bernal Díaz, a foot soldier in Cortés’ army, and by anonymous Aztec Indians who lived through the fall of their empire. Students will also read later historians’ interpretations of the conquest and its consequences for Mexico.

HIST 395B Historiography: History, Memory, and the Politics of Remembering
Dr. Gregory Schroeder, TR, 8:20, 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 select any memory-related topic for their final project in this course. Offered for A-F grading only.

HIST 399 Senior Thesis (EL)
Dr. Shannon Smith, TR, 2:40, 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 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.