History 100 Courses

These thematic courses are designed to introduce students (both majors and non-majors) to the discipline of history and foster an appreciation of the diversity of the historical past.  Each course will familiarize students with a wide-variety of primary and secondary sources, and teach them some of the basic analytical and writing skills historians use to interpret the past.

*Majors/minors can apply only one (1) HST-100 course towards completion of the program.

HST-104 Introduction to History: Reformers and Radicals in U.S. History (Yankaskas)
This course will examine Americans who, individually and in groups, offered radical alternatives to accepted patterns of social and political thought and behavior from early America to the twentieth century. Key questions will include: What have been the achievements and limitations of different approaches to effecting change in American culture and society? How have reformers and radicals been portrayed in works of art from fiction to film? Why has American culture valorized some radicals and vilified others? What can the ideas and actions of activists tell us about the broader contours of American history? About race, gender and class in America? About social change? About justice?

HST-105 Introduction to History: Themes in Modern European History (Tighe)
This course offers a one-semester introduction to the History of Europe and the development of European Civilization from the late Middle Ages to the present. It will focus on issues and problems in European history and try to explore major trends in the development of European thought and society and the growth of the modern state. After a two-week introductory section examining some ideas of "history" as a discipline of study, the course will spend roughly two weeks on each century from the fifteenth to the twentieth. In the process, we will focus on the Hundred Years War, the Bubonic Plagues and Great Schism of the late Middle Ages and the concurrent rise of "national monarchies"; the Renaissance and Humanism; Luther, Calvin and the Protestant Reformation; the growth of the modern state and the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century; the Enlightenment and political and social revolutions of the eighteenth century; the industrialization of Europe and development of nationalistic and revolutionary ideologies in the nineteenth century; and the world wars of the twentieth century.

HST-107 Introduction to History: China's Magical Creatures (and Where to Find Them) (D'Haeseleer)
A cultural history of the strange in pre-modern China. How did the Chinese people explain the existence of ghosts, demons, immortals, fox spirits, unicorns and many other strange creatures? What do the encounters between humans and these creatures tell us about the pre-modern Chinese worldview, and how much of that tradition is still alive in China now? 

HST-108 Introduction to History: World War One and Remembrance (Cragin)
As the Twentieth Century draws to a close, the century as a whole seems to have certain themes: social revolution, emergence of national states, the development of mass wealth and political participation, the appearance and then, seemingly, the passing of global conflict. Why did these develop in the Twentieth Century? Can they be traced to a common source? This course will look at the origin of these developments by examining the impact of the First World War (1914-1918) on individuals and on the social and political order.

HST-109 Introduction to History: Gender and Jim Crow (Antonovich)
This course explores the advent of Jim Crow in the American South when southern politicians took away the right to vote from African American men and imposed the stringent racial and social code of segregation in southern society. In our study of the period, we will ask: “Why did Jim Crow emerge?” and “How did southern men and women exercise power of participation in southern society in that framework?” We take a particularly close look at how rhetorical strategies and ideas about womanhood and manhood shaped the transition. Frequent writing assignments inclusive of analytical essays and analyses of primary sources will help you to develop your own perspectives on the development of Jim Crow as well as evaluations of the utility of gender as a category of analysis for interpreting political transformations. 

HST-112 Introduction to History: Movie-Made America (Malsberger)
Since their invention in the late 19th Century movies have both reflected and helped to shape our understanding of the American nation. Through selected readings in secondary and primary historical sources, and through careful analysis of feature films, this course seeks to explore both how our understanding of American history has been reflected in these forms of popular entertainment and how the films have helped shape our view of the nation.

HST-113 Introduction to History: The Birds & the Bees (Antonovich)
This course offers an introduction to the history of reproduction in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Topics include histories of birth control, fertility, sex education, pregnancy, maternal and fetal health, gynecology, and childbirth. We will explore tensions between individuals, community groups, the medical profession, and government agencies regarding sexual and reproductive health in the United States. We will also examine how medical and public health knowledge and practice have changed over time. An important part of this course will be to question how religious, socio-economic, and racial status influenced the reproductive lives of men and women throughout American history.

HST-114 Introduction to History: Holocaust in Cinema (Cragin)
Film is one of the primary means by which people across the world come to think about the Holocaust. And the cinematic representation of the Holocaust is deeply inscribed by historians’ and popular conceptions of the Holocaust contemporary to each film. Our study of Holocaust film, therefore, is necessarily a study of the history of the Holocaust, the history of its changing representation, and the great debates on its origins, development, and impacts. Students will devote most of the semester to examination of films on the Shoah from six countries. The films of the United States, Great Britain, Italy, France, Germany, and Poland will allow us to compare and contrast different nation’s memories of these events and to explore the surprising controversies that surround popular representation of the Holocaust. 

HST-117 Introduction to History: Mediterranean Encounters (Stein)
The Mediterranean Sea has long been the arena for interactions between the peoples and cultures of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. This course will explore the changing diplomatic, military, economic and cultural relationships in the Mediterranean during the Early Modern period. Particular focus will be on the encounters between the Ottoman Empire and its European counterparts. Readings will emphasize the experiences of both European and Ottoman travelers, merchants, captives, soldiers and diplomats.

HST-119 Introduction to HistoryFrontiers in History (Stein)
This course uses the frontier as an excellent perspective from which to study history—an approach that is particularly useful when placed in a comparative context. The course will first examine the theoretical and historiographic study of frontiers, including Frederick Jackson Turner's "Frontier Thesis" of American history and its critics, attempts to apply Turner's ideas to other parts of the world, Owen Lattimore's work on Inner Asial and recent anthropological studies of frontiers and colonial expansion. This will be followed by an analysis of specific problems and cases from a variety of cultures and historic periods, including frontiers in ancient Rome; frontier conflicts in medieval Spain and England; the interactions between the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires in the early modern period; European expansion in North America and Southern Africa; ethnicity and identity among frontier populations; and depictions of frontiers in literature and film.

HST-123 Introduction to History: Half the Sky: Women in Chinese History (D'Haeseleer)
Where are the women in Chinese history? Men dominate the pages of most textbooks and surveys of Chinese history: emperors, generals, and scholar-officials are the ones making history. Yet “Women hold up half the sky,” as chairman Mao said, and there were female warriors, historians, poets, artists, rulers, and one even proclaimed herself “Emperor”. This course uncovers that hidden half of Chinese history. Using primary sources in translation, including many written by women, this course traces the story of women from the early traditional patriarchal society up to the twentieth century

HST-126 Introduction to History: Coming to America (Yankaskas)
Since its “discovery,” America has been the destination for a staggering number of immigrants. Many of these immigrants, especially those of European origin, came to America largely by choice. Leaving the Old World behind, they came here in pursuit of freedom—be it defined in religious, political, or economic terms. By contrast, others, such as Africans, came here involuntarily. In this course, we’ll look at the narratives written by various male and female immigrants of differing races and ethnicities from the 1700s to the present day. We’ll use these narratives, along with the works of historians, to talk about why and how various peoples came to America and what they hoped to find or achieve here. We’ll also talk about how such factors as race, ethnicity, gender, and class shaped their experiences once they got here. 

HST-128 Introduction to History: Medicine and Power in African History (Runcie)
This course offers an introduction to the history of medicine, healing, and disease in Africa from the precolonial period to the present. We will explore how Africans have innovated, struggled, and adapted in efforts to create healthy communities in the face of changing social, political and environmental contexts. We will also study the role of medicine in European colonization in Africa and the advent of global health campaigns on the continent. Through these topics, we will ask how different groups’ claiming of the power to heal has shaped African societies over time. A major theme of this course will be the dynamic interactions of various forms of healing, both “traditional” medicine and “biomedicine,” in African history. A second major theme will be connections between medicine and political authority in African societies over time. 

HST-131 Introduction to History: World War Two and Memory (Cragin)
The course examines the memory and commemoration of World War I and World War II, with an emphasis on European memories. Students will study the political, social, and cultural construction of both personal and national memories during and after the wars. We will read about and discuss the fierce debates regarding major political decisions, personal initiatives, the experience of war, and issues of personal and national guilt and responsibility for war crimes in order to understand the practice of history.

HST 133 Introduction to History: The Crusades (Stein)
The Crusades are usually studied from the vantage point of the Western Europeans who invaded the Middle East.  In this course we will examine how those peoples who “got crusaded” viewed these events.  How did the Muslims, Jews, and Eastern Christians of the medieval Middle East respond to the presence of Frankish invaders from Europe?  Although our focus will be the Crusades of the 11th-13th centuries, we will also investigate the persistence of the idea of the Crusade—both literal and metaphorical—into the modern period.

HST-136 Introduction to History: The Nazi in the Popular Imagination (Cragin)
The course examines the representation of the Nazi in popular novels and films and assesses these images in light of past and recent historical scholarship. We will begin by establishing a good understanding of the origins and development of Nazism in Germany from the 1920s to 1945. Students will spend most the course analyzing how different countries and different eras refashioned the Nazi as people’s hero, inhuman monster, sympathetic dupe, comedic object, ambitious common man, criminal clown, and cruel perpetrator of crimes against humanity. This examination will expose students to cultural roots of the changing interpretation of Nazism since its inception.

HST-137 Introduction to History: People and their stuff in Chinese History (D'Haeseleer)
From fine paintings and calligraphy in imperial collections to everyday household items like chopsticks and tea cups, and from the Great Wall to the small needle of the magnetic compass, objects and the way people interacted with them tell us much about China’s past.  This course explores the historical context of some of the most iconic objects of Chinese history, and traces the link between China’s traditional material culture and the present.  We also look at how attitudes towards objects and their historical significance have changed through the centuries.

HST-139 Introduction to History: Visual Culture in Latin America (Ouellette)
This course explores how Latin American personal and national identities are formed and expressed through visual mediums, such as film, caricatures, sketches, paintings, photography, and the written word from the point of European contact to the present. Through selected images and text, we will explore how images are transmitted, consider how Latin Americans project and receive images of themselves, and trace change over time. Materials for the course include political cartoons from and about Latin America, and a text that examines images of race and ethnicity in Brazil. Identifying what images and texts reveal (and obscure), this course considers the creation of nations through race, ethnicity, gender, and politics. 

HST-147 Introduction to History: Popular Culture in Latin America (Ouellette)
Examining the culture “of the people” of Latin America, this course explores a wide spectrum of “popular” practices located outside the realm of “high culture,” including samba, carnivals, folk ritual and magic, oral narratives, sports, and televised soap operas, or telenovelas. By underscoring broad and diverse cultural production, this course demonstrates how popular culture facilitated mobilization and resistance of the people. It also examines western influences, portrayals of race, class, gender, and how state regulation of culture influenced these processes.

HST–149 Introduction to History: Remembering the American Revolution (Yankaskas)
This course will examine the history of the American Revolution and its lasting resonances in American culture and politics. We will begin by briefly examining the Revolution itself and the ways that it changed - and failed to change - American politics, culture, and society. Then, we will look at some ways that the story of the Revolution was remembered, retold, fictionalized, and even spoofed during the first century after its conclusion. Using sources ranging from newspapers to novels, we will look at the war as moral lesson, as myth, as farce, and as powerful touchstone for a number of social and political movements from anti-slavery and women’s rights to labor activism and partisan politics.

HST–151 Introduction to History: African Independence and Liberation (Runcie)
This course will examine the long struggle for African liberation from the impact of colonial rule, an intellectual and political movement spanning the twentieth century into the present day. In the early 1960s, the map of Africa transformed. After decades of European colonial rule, newly independent African nations raised national flags, elected independent governments, and launched a new era.  Despite the gaining of political independence across much of Africa, however, many questions remained for Africans about how to confront the ongoing impact of colonialism on their societies. Even after independence, European countries continued to exert significant political and economic power in African countries, and African communities continued to live with the racialized global inequities that colonialism produced. In recent decades, Africans have been asserting the ongoing need for “decolonization” or liberation in areas spanning African literature, international political economy, museums, global public health, and the university. This course will explore how African intellectuals, artists, political figures, and everyday people shaped the formation of independent African nations-states, debated the meaning of independence from colonial rule, and continued to struggle for liberation in all facets of society.  Examining this topic through a variety of angles including politics, economics, gender, and language, this course will provide students with an interdisciplinary introduction to major themes in modern African history.