Fall 2021 Course Listing and Descriptions

You can find a link to the History Course Catalog here

Online (U800) Classes: Online History Courses are set up through University College, not through the History Department. The majority of the seats in these classes are reserved for University College Students. Any other available seats can be taken on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to enroll in the course during the enrollment period, you will have to wait until the first day of class, when any remaining reserved seats are released. We are unable to offer permissions or increase enrollment caps at this time. 

Course listings and descriptions
Course Day/Time  Professor  Description 

HST 101: American History to 1865

*This course includes the lecture and a weekly discussion section. By enrolling in discussion, you automatically enroll in the lecture.

M/W 9:30-10:25 Murphy

This introductory course will survey American history from the pre-colonial era to the Civil War. We will approach this period of history through a discussion of three themes. The first covers the period from the founding down to the middle of the eighteenth century and focuses on how Europeans from a medieval culture became Americans. The second theme explores the political, social and economic impact the Revolution had upon American society. And finally, we will focus on the modernization of American society in the nineteenth century and how that modernization was a major factor in causing the sectional crisis.

In addition to the two lecture classes a week, you will attend a small discussion class taught by one of the teaching assistants once each week.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Pre-Modern

HST 111: Early Modern Europe: 1350-1815

*This course includes the lecture and a weekly discussion section. By enrolling in discussion, you automatically enroll in the lecture.

M/W 11:40-12:35 Kyle

This course covers the history of Europe from the Black Death, which marked the end of the Middle Ages, to the French Revolution – the beginning of the modern world. While it will cover the major events of the period – the Renaissance, the Reformation, the English, French and scientific revolutions, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the growth of the modern state – the emphasis will be on changes in the lives of ordinary men and women. There will be a midsemester, a final, and two short (c. 5 page) papers.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 121: Global History to 1750M/W 11:40-12:35G. Kallander 

This course introduces students to global history from the thirteenth century through 1750 by focusing on social, economic, political, intellectual, and religious developments in major regions of the world: Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Beginning with the Mongol’s Eurasian empire, their transformation of the continent, and the spread of Islamic empires from Central Asia to the Atlantic, it traces the historical patterns of different world regions in the fifteenth century through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and European imperialism.  What types of exchanges were facilitated by maritime trade and trade diasporas? How were human interactions with their environment circumscribed by climate change and disease? The latter part of the course looks at global connections and local particularities facilitated by the spread of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Course themes include empire, disease, environment, slavery, religion, state-formation, and the rise of global trade. Topics will be covered thematically in general chronological order. Lectures will be supplemented by maps, visual materials, music, documentaries and films. All students are required to attend lectures and one discussion a week.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST 210 :The Ancient World

*This course includes the lecture and a weekly discussion section. By enrolling in discussion, you automatically enroll in the lecture.

M/W 10:35-11:30 Champion

This course surveys the history of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, and explores the classical roots of modern civilization. We will begin with the first civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the roots of western religion in ancient Israel; then proceed through Bronze Age, archaic and classical Greece, the Persian wars, the trial of Socrates, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic world, the rise of Rome, and end with the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of Christianity. The course will treat political, social, cultural, religious and intellectual history. We will focus on issues that the ancients themselves considered important – good and bad government, the duties of citizens and the powers of kings and tyrants – but we will also examine those who were marginalized by the Greeks and Romans: women, slaves, so-called "barbarians." The course will emphasize reading and discussion of primary sources, in order to provide a window into the thought-worlds and value systems of past societies.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 213 : Africa: Ancient Times to 1800T/TH 11:00-12:20Shanguhyia 

This course is a survey of pre-modern African history, presenting an overview of the main themes and chronology of the development of African culture and society. It provides an exposition of the regional and continental diversity and unity in African political, economic, social and cultural histories with special emphasis on major African civilizations, processes of state formation, encounters with the Euro-Asia world, Africa’s role in the international Trans-Saharan, Indian Ocean and Atlantic trades, ecology, and urbanization.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern 
HST 300: Conspiracy Theories in US HistoryMW 12:45-2:05Schmeller

Americans have frequently resorted to conspiracy theories for simple explanations of complex events and social developments, to demonize "outsiders" or expose "insiders," and to rouse popular anger for political gain. Through lectures, discussions of assigned readings, and research projects, this course examines conspiratorial thinking and its consequences across the broad span of American history, from the witch hunts of colonial New England, to revolutionary-era fears of British plots against American liberties, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century anxieties over the conspiratorial designs of Freemasons, Roman Catholics, abolitionists, the "slave power" and the "money power," Mormons, Jews, communists, and "the media." Particular attention will be devoted to the question of what a "conspiracy theory" is and what distinguishes it from other modes of explanation, especially in its peculiar use of evidence.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 300: American Military History T/TH 3:30-4:50 Allport 

Is there, as some historians have claimed, a distinctive ‘American way of war’ traceable over the four centuries since the beginning of the European colonization of North America? If so, what are its characteristics, how has it changed over time, and what does it reveal about a peculiar American attitude to state violence and the relationship between military and civilian society? In this course, we will examine the ‘small’ and ‘big’ wars of the United States from the colonial period to the ongoing campaigns in Afghanistan and Syria. Class meetings will be a mixture of lectures and discussion. Students will complete a number of primary and secondary source readings. Assessment will be based on class discussion and several reading and writing assignments." 

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 300: Commodities and Consumerism M/W 5:00-6:20 Terrell

Commodities, consumerism, and the meanings we give them dominate our world. This class seeks to understand how these relationships have developed and changed over time. People have always had "things," but the speed and magnitude of accumulation have changed dramatically. So too have the modes of producing, the means of acquiring, the practices of consuming, and the cultural worlds constructed around material objects.

This seminar focuses on Europe and its myriad global entanglements since about 1500. In our discussions we will employ the history of commodities, consumption, and consumerism to illuminate such topics as empire, revolution, capitalism, industrialization, free and unfree labor, democratization, fascism, communism, mass consumerism, war, and globalization. As we progress, we will ask how these historical processes manifested in, and resulted from, changes in material life.

Concentration: Europe/Global / Period: Modern 

HST 300: Cultural History in ImagesM/W 3:45-5:05 Lasch-Quinn

Selected ideas/movements/episodes concentrated on American/European cultural history, ancient and modern, as seen in images. Close-reading of texts, images, cultural artifacts. Representations of the self, emotion, ideas, and art of living as reflected in a range of primary sources including philosophy, literature, art, architecture, and film. Discussion of extensive common readings, art works, documentary films, and other materials, as well as individual original research. Hands-on visual workshop component. Reading/viewing journal, short writing assignments, presentations, and semester research paper related to cultural history in images. Students use common readings as a springboard to in-depth examination of a particular image as the centerpiece of their semester project. Students at any level from any program welcome.

Concentration: U.S/Europe / Period: Pre-Modern/Modern

HST 300: Transnational Middle East: Decolonization, Revolution, and Social Justice, 1960's-1980's

T/TH 12:30-1:50A. Kallander 

Anti-colonial movements across the Middle East inspired visions of social justice and revolutionary change that contributed to radicalism of the global 1960s. This course explores transnational political, social, and cultural movements across the Middle East (Southwest Asia and North Africa) from roughly the 1950s through the 1980s. We will begin with the Moroccan-based Souffles-Anfas (Breaths/Inspirations) and its platform of “experimental art and progressive politics” to consider the role of art in postcolonial societies and their transnational vision of struggle. In what ways did literary critique, cinema, and poetry festivals facilitate radical collaboration and exchange to challenge global or racial hierarchies? Algeria and the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962) offer examples of the significance of gender politics and women’s mobilization in revolutionary movements and socialist modernization. The success of the Algerian Revolution resonated with anti-colonial movements and the civil rights struggle in the US, most notably the Black Panther Party. Revolutionary ideologies also drew inspiration from Islam, combining Islam and Marxism as represented in the writings of Iranian intellectual Ali Shariati. While part of the radicalism of the global 1960s, we will examine the impact and barriers to social justice organizing whether imposed by colonial states, the global capitalist economy, or the Cold War, in relation to labor movements in Iraq and Bahrain and through a close study of the Arab nationalist movement in the Gulf and the revolution in Dhufar (Oman).


Concentrations: Modern/Global / Period: Modern 

HST 300: Leonardo da Vinci's WorldT/TH  12:30-1:50Brege 

As the ideal-type Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci offers a window into the intellectual, artistic, and cultural ferment of the Renaissance. How did Leonardo transform himself into a living legend? This courses traces Leonardo’s path-breaking work in painting, engineering, architecture, anatomy, geology, geometry, and physics in the context of Renaissance politics and society. How did the world of the Renaissance enable this illegitimate son of a notary from the small town of Vinci to become a famous and honored polymath? What spurred Leonardo’s creativity and inventiveness? Leonardo learned from or influenced a generation of artists and intellectuals, from Verrocchio and Bramante to Raphael, even as he worked with Machiavelli and rivaled Michelangelo. The inventor from Vinci spent his whole career at the center of power. How did he successfully navigate the politics of the Italian Wars, which toppled so many princes and kings, prioritizing his curiosity all the while?   

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-Modern 
HST 301: Practicum in the Study of History

M/W 3:45-5:05


What is History? How do scholars “do” history? This seminar introduces history majors to the methods and goals of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. The first part of the course will be spent discussing what exactly history is and has been. We will then move on to discussing the kinds of history that have developed across the century in the American Historical profession. Finally, students will spend a large portion of the course familiarizing themselves with the analytical and practical skills needed to develop their own research projects. 

HST 301: Practicum in the Study of History
T/TH 12:30-1:50KumarWhat is History? How do scholars “do” history? This seminar introduces history majors to the methods and goals of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. The first part of the course will be spent discussing what exactly history is and has been. We will then move on to discussing the kinds of history that have developed across the century in the American Historical profession. Finally, students will spend a large portion of the course familiarizing themselves with the analytical and practical skills needed to develop their own research projects. 
HST 311: Medieval Civilization  MW 12:45-2:05 Herrick

This course explores European civilization from about 800 to about 1200. We will study kings, saints, and villains; faith and violence, love and hatred; ideas and beliefs. Our questions include: how did these people make sense of their world? How did they respond to crisis and opportunity? How did their civilization work? What was life like in medieval Europe? To answer these questions, we will mainly read primary sources that show us what medieval people themselves had to say about their world. Our goal will be to understand the past on its own terms. We will also emphasize the skills of close reading, strong argumentation, and clear expression of ideas.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 315: Europe in the Age of Hitler and Stalin M/W 2:15-3:35 Ebner

This course covers the major political, social, and cultural developments in Europe during the period of the two world wars. Major themes include the failures of liberal democracy and capitalism, the rise of authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships, and the decline of Europe. In addition to a textbook, course materials include historical monographs, memoirs, novels, and films. Assignments include papers, in-class exams, and quizzes.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST/SAS 329: The Making of Modern IndiaT/TH 3:30-4:50KumarThis course surveys the history of modern South Asia from the beginnings of British colonial rule in the eighteenth century to the formation of independent India and Pakistan in the mid-twentieth century.

The course has two broad themes. First, we will explore how colonial rule transformed Indian society, its political forms, culture, and economy. Second, we will study the emergence of the Indian nationalist movement, the challenges it faced, and the fissures within society – along lines of class, caste, and religion – that underlay the formation of modern India. We will also examine how the politics of nationalism impacted the histories of postcolonial India and Pakistan. Students will be exposed to a range of primary sources including fiction, memoirs, maps, documentaries, and films.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern 
HST 340/WGS 342: Women in America: 17th Century-Civil War M/W 2:15-3:35 Branson 

This course examines and analyzes the changing social, economic, and political roles of American women from European settlement to the Civil War. Using primary documents, historical essays, and fiction, we will explore how women's roles and identities have been defined by American society over different historical periods. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which women of diverse races, classes and ethnic groups have either embodied or challenged dominant social norms.  

This is primarily a lecture course with discussion of reading and writing assignments based on primary source material.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 341/PSC 329: Modern American Presidency

T/TH 12:30-1:50 Thompson This course will analyze the evolution of the modern presidency and its present operation. The focus of our attention will be on the years since the Second World War, and especially on those since 1960. The decision-making process and operation of presidential administrations from Kennedy through Trump will be studied in detail; we also will discuss the early challenges faced by the Biden administration. We shall consider the various roles that the president plays in government, politics and society. The presidency as an institution and as an individual office will be examined to identify factors that have contributed to the successes and failures of particular administrations. This course shall also examine the roles and influence of unelected officials (esp. senior White House staff), and popular attitudes toward both the symbolic and the practical presidency—especially as they have been shaped by the traditional mass media and the “new media” (especially online interactivity). We will consider what lasting effects, if any, events during the last quarter century have had upon the presidency as an institution.   Finally, we will leave space for discussion of breaking news and unexpected developments, especially those related to presidential politics.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 347: Modern American Politics through Fiction


 T/TH 3:30-4:40Thompson In this course we will examine major themes in the political consciousness of twentieth-century American society, as those themes are reflected in contemporary fiction. The focus will be on both particular events and movements (Progressive reform, the Cold War, women's liberation, civil rights, terrorism) and on more generalized and persistent concerns (alienation and depersonalization, discrimination, authoritarianism, violence, sexuality, bureaucratization, conformity, resistance, corruption).  During the term, each student will read eleven novels, will write four short papers, and will lead a class discussion. Class sessions will be divided between lecture and discussion, but with the emphasis decidedly on discussion.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern 

HST 352: History of Ancient Greece T/TH 9:30-10:50 Champion 

Survey of ancient Greek political, economic, social and cultural history based on interpretation of primary sources, both literary and archaeological, from the Bronze Age through Alexander the Great.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST/JSP 362: Nazi Germany and the Holocaust T/T 3:30-4:50 Terrell

In 1933, a radical and dictatorial regime came to power in Germany, remade the German state, and went on to orchestrate a vast program of mass murder in pursuit of a vision of biological purity and to launch a war of world conquest, ultimately killing millions. This course examines the history of German fascism, the Nazi state, and the Holocaust according to three primary lines of inquiry. In the first part of the course, we will address the question of how the Nazis came to power. What was Nazism, and why did it gain a popular following? Why did the Weimar Republic, the parliamentary democracy founded in 1918, fall (first to dictatorship and then to Nazism) in the early 1930s? In the second part of the course, we will examine the politics of Nazism in power. What was everyday life like for various Germans under the Nazi state, and why did many Germans come to support the regime? The course’s third section addresses war, genocide, and the legacies of Nazism and the Holocaust.  How did Nazi genocide policies develop, and how was it possible to implement them? What can the history of Nazi Germany teach us about other state-run mass murder programs?  How have Germans grappled with the aftermath of Nazi Germany?

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 365: Russia in the 20th Century T/TH 9:30-10:50 Hagenloh

This course examines the historical experiment in communism that played out in the lands of the former Russian Empire in the twentieth century. In 1917, radical revolutionaries seized control and attempted to create a multi-ethnic state dedicated to the realization of Karl Marx’s utopian plans for a communist society. Yet the seventy years that followed were dominated by mass repression, genocide, world war, and crushing dictatorship in all spheres of life. When the USSR abruptly disappeared in 1991, few mourned its passing. What (if any) promise did the communist revolution hold for the residents of Tsarist Russia? Why did the utopian ideals propounded by Russian Marxists lead to Stalinist dictatorship? And did the USSR have any chance to reform after Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, or was the system fatally flawed and doomed to collapse? In addition to addressing these issues, this course will provide a glimpse of what life was like for people who lived through the “experiment” itself.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 366: Modern East Africa 1850-Present T/TH 2:00-3:20Shanguhyia 

This course focuses on the history of Modern East Africa from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present. More specifically, it examines the global connections between East Africa and Asia and Europe, Western  imperialism, colonialism, slave trade and abolition, race and society during the colonial period and after, labor, nationalism, decolonization, political transformation, Pan-Africanism in the postcolonial period, and postcolonial challenges to development and state-building, as well as inter-state relations since independence. While focus will be concentrated on the core East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zanzibar, the course also looks at such countries as Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST 369: The World at WarT/TH 5:00-6:20Allport 

Fall 2018, the 100th anniversary of the momentous final year of the Great War and the 75th anniversary of critical, turning point battles in World War II, this course will study major developments in the military history of the first and second world wars. These were the conflicts that dramatically changed the course of history across the globe.

On World War I:  The setting for the war in the struggle for mastery in Europe to 1914.  The Schlieffen Plan and its fate in the critical early months of the conflict.  The creation of the killing ground of the western front trenches by 1915.  The massive attrition battles in the arenas of death at Verdun, the Somme and in Flanders Field.  The war in the east and its implications for the fate of Russia.  The war at sea to Jutland and after.  Warfare beyond the European battlefields.  The war in the air.  American entry and the final encounters 1917-18.

On World War II:  The heritage of Versailles and the rise of Hitler.  After appeasement and isolationism – the war begins in Poland with blitzkrieg and the shaping of new tactics and strategies as well as the use of new weapon systems.  The Fall of France and the Battle of Britain.  Barbarossa and Hitler’s run of victories against the Red Army.  Pearl Harbor and America’s road to war.  Counter-attack in the west and the making of allied strategy.  From Stalingrad to the Kursk Salient and beyond as the war changes course in eastern Europe.  The Pacific war from Midway to the offensives in the Central and Southwest Pacific.  Holocaust – the war against the Jews.  Closing the ring in Europe.  Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the decision to use the atomic bomb.

Films will be used as one tool for understanding the nature and scope of the wars that changed the world.

Concentration: U.S. or Europe / Period: Modern
HST 385: United States Legal History T/TH 12:30-1:50 Cohen

This lecture course examines the role of law in the history of the United States from its origins as a British colony to the present day. It looks at law not only as a functional response to American social transformation, but also as both a powerful constitutive force shaping everyday life and as a principal component of American political mythology. The course will examine constitutional, common, and statute laws, as well as legal culture and institutions. Key subjects include economic expansion, southern slavery, the civil War amendments, laissez-faire constitutionalism, legal realism, the New Deal, and the civil rights movement. Assignments include midterm, final, 10-12 page paper, and short presentations on the readings.

Concentration: U.S./Period: Modern

HST 397: Modern KoreaM/W 2:15-3:35G. Kallander 

This course examines political, economic and social history from the middle of the nineteenth century until today.  Topics range from traditional Korea, colonialism and colonial modernity, national division, Cold War politics and the Korean War to nation building and nationalism, economic and social development, South Korean democratization, North Korean culture and society, inter-Korean affairs, the nuclear issue and security, the Korean diaspora and the “Korea Wave.”  Although we focus on Korea, discussions must also include other players in Korean affairs (i.e. the U.S., China, Japan and Russia).  By contextualizing Korea in East Asia and the world, students will have a deeper understanding of the internal and external forces that have shaped Korea and the impact Korea has had on its neighbors and beyond.  The course will rely on translations of primary sources, secondary scholarship, films and short story translations.  Requirements include weekly reading assignments, informal reaction papers, class discussions, a midterm, a final exam and a paper assignment.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST 401: America and the Middle East  W 9:30-12:15 Khalil

This is a research and writing seminar that will focus on the historical interactions between the United States and the area now called the “Middle East.” Students will examine a particular aspect of that relationship (political, social, economic, military and/or cultural) during a defined time-period in a 25-page final paper that relies largely on primary sources.

Concentration: U.S or Global / Period: Modern

HST 401: Genocide in the Modern World T 12:30-3:15 Ebner

This course examines genocide, atrocity, and political violence in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The term genocide initially referred to the Nazi massacre of millions of European Jews during WWII.  Since the defeat of Nazism, the term has been applied to many instances of mass killing that occurred before and after the Holocaust. This course seeks to answer several important questions about genocide. What constitutes genocide? Why study genocide as a unique historical phenomenon? What are the implications of labelling an incident of mass killing “genocide?” Many scholars also agree that the label “genocide” is limiting and politicized. Therefore, the course will also pursue alternate understandings of mass killings, atrocities, and violence by reading and discussing new and emerging scholarly literatures. Finally, the course will explore genocide, atrocity, and political violence through multiple lenses, including race, class, and gender.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 401: Oral History and Political ViolenceM 12:45-3:30McCormick

This research seminar will explore the practice of oral history through the lens of political violence.  It employs an inter-disciplinary approach to consider how historians use the recollections of individuals as historical “documents” when analyzing traumatic events in global history. We begin by establishing a common base of knowledge of the practice of oral history, including studying the ethics and logistics of interviewing both victims and victimizers. We focus on the question of memory – of the individual and collective – to gauge how recollections evolve in relation to the past and in response to events in the present. With this foundation, we proceed to study examples of recent work on the topics of oral history and political violence in Latin American and African history. We will then lay the groundwork, including working with subject librarians, to prepare students to work with existing collections of oral histories in cases drawn from global history. Using these interviews, students will craft an argument about an example of political violence and prepare a twenty-page research papers.   

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern 

HST 495/496:  Distinction in History     

Instructor Consent Required

Students doing the thesis will take 3 credits of HST 495 the first semester and 3 credits of HST 496 the second semester (2 semesters for a total of 6 credits), which may begin in their junior or senior year.  Students should register for HST 495 and 496 upon approval from the faculty advisor and Undergraduate Director.