History 300 Courses
These courses examine topics or themes in history. Generally designed for students with one or more prior college level history courses.
HST-307, 308 - Orthodox Christianity: A Root of Russia (Tighe)
This course is a study of the history, doctrine, theology, and life of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Eastern Orthodox communities. Attention will be given to the interaction of religion and culture in these societies, the Orthodox Church, and other Eastern Orthodox communities.
HST-315, 316 - Renaissance (Tighe)
The course concentrates on the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the Northern Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Particular emphasis is given to the cultural, intellectual, and religious developments of that epoch.
Meets Department pre-Modern Requirement
HST-317, 318 - Reformation (Tighe)
Both the Protestant and Catholic Reformations are studied from primary sources. The course progresses from an examination of the origins and causes of the Reformation to a consideration of the various types of Reformation which occurred in sixteenth century Europe. It concludes with an examination of the impact of the Reformation upon European states and societies down to 1600.
Meets Department pre-Modern Requirement
HST-319 - The French Revolution & Napoleon (Cragin)
The French Revolution is perhaps the most important and most studied event in European history. It has been identified as the cause of the modern era’s deepest troubles and greatest triumphs, the root of Europe’s best and worst ideals. This course examines the figures and events of the revolution, particularly its origins, radicalization, and defeat. It explores the relationships between social and political conflict and foreign and domestic policy. Finally, by studying Romantic Nationalist, Marxist, New Social, Revisionist, and more recent interpretations of the Revolution and Napoleon, students will understand historians’ differing interpretations of its most critical turning points and the meaning of historical interpretation.
HST-321, 322 - America Confronts a Revolutionary World: Foreign Policy Since 1890 (Malsberger)
This course analyzes the causes and consequences of America’s development as a world power. Topics to be considered include the rise of an American diplomatic tradition during the colonial/Revolutionary era, nineteenth century continental expansion, and the evolution of American internationalism in the twentieth century. Primary emphasis is given to twentieth century developments.
HST-323, 324 - Constitutional History of the United States (Yankaskas)
This course traces the evolution and application of constitutional theories and concepts from our English forebears to the US today. The great controversies which reached the Supreme Court are examined in light of contemporary political and cultural values and of their enduring national importance.
HST-325, 326 - American Economic History (Malsberger)
This course, emphasizing the post-1860 period, examines both the roots of American economic growth and the impact that growth has had on American ideas, culture, and institutions. Topics to be considered include the rise of big business, changes in the internal structure of the business establishment, shifting attitudes of government toward business, development of a corporate culture, and the modern American economy.
HST-327, 328 - Women's America (Yankaskas)
Women, whether as daughters, wives, mothers, workers, scholars, or political activists, have played pivotal roles in American history. This course, an overview of American women’s history from colonial times to the present, examines the variety of women’s experiences through time by analyzing the myriad roles they played in the family, society, economy, and national politics. Specifically, using gender as its primary lens of analysis, this course seeks to uncover the broader contexts of American women’s experience by examining the dynamic interplay of women and men, values and culture, and discussing how structures of power linked especially to gender, but also to class and race, shaped women’s lives and mediated their experiences in the private and public worlds of America.
HST-330 - Books & Their Readers (Yankaskas)
his writing-intensive class will explore the history and meanings of print from Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the movable-type printing press to the advent of e-readers in the twenty-first century. Focusing primarily on the U.S. context, we will ask how, why, and what people have read, and what the meanings and consequences of reading have been for individuals, groups, and society at large. We will talk about the politics of literacy and censorship, the history of libraries, and the aesthetics of print. We will also think about books as objects, and about the history of their production, circulation, and consumption. The course includes hands-on work in Trexler Library Special Collections.
HST-337 - France from Napoleon to the Great War, 1814 - 1914 (Cragin)
In the century between 1814 and 1914, France transformed itself from a land dominated by diverse agrarian traditions to Europe’s most modern and unified nation. At the same time, France lost its Napoleonic mastery of Europe, declined as a great power, and sought a new future along two different paths: Imperialism and democracy. Students will examine the fall of old France: the decline of its monarchy, the frustration of its aristocracy, and the end of peasants’ rural isolation. The course gives particular attention to the rise of a new industrial France: a nation of deepening class divisions and tensions that exploded in four great revolutions.
HST-339 - Popular Protests: Parades, Riots, & Mass Movements in U.S. History (Yankaskas)
While American life has always had its critics and reformers, certain movements have gained mass appeal, sweeping large numbers of citizens into action (and into the streets). This course examines such social movements in order to think about both the issues that have stirred Americans and various modes of popular protest from speeches and parades to riots to marching on Washington. We will consider not just what Americans of various eras sought from their government and their fellow citizens, but also the language of protest and what it might tell us about citizenship, public space, community, belonging, and power. We will examine the contexts that have given rise to mass action and continuities across protest movements over time. Specific examples will be drawn from at least three periods of American history and may include abolitionism, women’s suffrage, labor movements, the Civil Rights and modern feminist movements, and others.
HST-343 - Disability History in the United States (Antonovich)
This course is a thematic exploration of the history of disability in the United States, and is designed to give students a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of people with disabilities or mental illness. We will consider the experience of disability in the United States across time, space, and theme, from the colonial foundation of asylums, to the diverse experiences of disabled people of color, to the discrimination against disabled immigrants. We will consider the changing needs and treatment of disabled veterans, as well as the federal government's response to the demands of disabled citizens. The course will culminate in the successes and challenges posed during the twentieth century, such as deinstitutionalization, the rise of the disability rights movement in the twentieth century, and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
HST-345 - Disease and Medicine in American History (Antonovich)
This course focuses on the complex interplay of disease and medicine in the context of American culture and society over the last two centuries. It will examine the changing concepts of disease, the increasing success with which medicine has healed the body, and the development of the medical professions from the late eighteenth century to the present. It will also explore the ways in which Americans have employed diseases as social and cultural metaphors.
HST-347 - History of Public Health in America (Antonovich)
This course will explore the history of public health in America from the late seventeenth century to the present. It will examine the history of medical crises that evoked a public health response, including the development of formal institutions of public health and the environmental, industrial, and social aspects of public health in the contexts of the changing medical, political, and social environments of the United States. Topics to be considered include epidemic diseases, environmental problems, industrial medicine, social issues such as smoking, and development of departments of public health on local, state, and national levels.
HST-357, 358 - Alternative America: The Losers' History of the United States (Malsberger)
Much of the history we read is written by the winners of past conflicts. This course examines major events in America’s past, such as the ratification of the Constitution, the sectional conflict of the antebellum era, and the industrialization of the late nineteenth century, from the perspective of the losers in those conflicts. We will consider the criticisms made by the losers and their alternatives to determine how different the United States might have been had they prevailed.
HST-359 - Sex, Beauty & the Body in Brazil & the Caribbean (Ouellette)
This course examines Brazilian and Caribbean conceptualizations of sex, beauty and the body during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Beginning with the theoretical underpinnings of colonialism and the legacies of slavery, we will then examine how contemporary democracies and globalization have formed Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean identities, particularly among the female population. Major themes include sex work and sex tourism, constructions of beauty and plastic surgery, and the ways in which recent returns to democracy have shaped these actions and decisions.
HST-365, 366 - The African American Experience I: to 1896
This course examines the history of African Americans from colonial times until 1896, the year the Supreme Court sanctioned the notion of “separate but equal.” Specifically, it uses the writings of African Americans and other primary sources critical to their history to examine how events (such as the rise of slavery, the push for abolition, the Civil War, the start of Jim Crow) and cultural influences (such as race, class, gender, the law, Christianity, and family life) shaped African American lives and experiences until the end of the nineteenth century.
HST-367, 368 - The African American Experience II: since 1896
This course examines the history of African Americans from 1896, the year the Supreme Court sanctioned the notion of “separate but equal,” to the present. Specifically, it uses the writings of African Americans and other primary and secondary sources to examine how events (such as the rural exodus to urban centers after Plessy vs. Ferguson; the origins, progress, protest, and organizations of the modern civil and human rights movements; and urban renewal programs) and cultural influences (such as race, class, gender, the arts, the law, and the Church) shaped African American lives and experiences in the twentieth century.
HST-369, 370 - Jewish Latin America & the Caribbean (Ouellette)
This course studies the movement of Jewish people from Spain and Portugal to Latin America and the Caribbean, traces the adaptation of Jews and their descendants to multiple environments, and reflects upon the diversity of Jewish communities and traditions across the region. Major themes include Diaspora, Ethnicity, Race, Gender, and Memory. Topics include consolidation of Catholic Spain in 1492, expulsion of Jews from Spain and Portugal, and the Inquisition; the effect of Jews on modern Latin American national identities; and the surge of twentieth century anti-Semitism in political and cultural realms.
HST-371 - The Inquisition (Ouellette)
This course explores the origins of the Inquisition, its place in the Spanish Reconquista, and its role in Colonial Spanish and Portuguese America. The institutional dynamics influenced religious, economic, political, and socio-cultural organization - particularly in the New World - and we will trace the diverse investigations of Jews, Africans, Spanish, Portuguese, mestizos, and women. The course relies heavily on inquisitorial records and unearths the prosecution of indigenous idolatry, the persecution of Jews, and the roles of race and gender in tribunal sentencing.
HST-373 - Environmental History of Latin America (Ouellette)
An overview of environmental issues in the region known as Latin America and the Caribbean since its “discovery” in the early sixteenth century through the present day. This course explores settlement, disease, deforestation, and social inequalities through the lenses of colonialism and the Columbian Exchange, capitalism, and globalism. A variety of topics are considered, including health care, the Amazon, ecotourism, and sexual tourism.
HST-375, 376 - Race, Ethnicity, & Gender in Latin America & the Caribbean (Ouellette)
This course examines race, ethnicity, and gender within the context of the African Diaspora, Indo-American populations, European Colonialism, and the resulting cultural hybridity of Latin America and the Caribbean. Major themes include resistance to colonial constructions of racial, ethnic, and gendered hierarchies; forms of labor (slave, forced, and coerced) and their relationship to these categories; immigration and eugenics; and state discourses about race, ethnicity and gender in Modern and Revolutionary Latin America and the Caribbean.
HST-377, 378 - Gender & Sex in European History (Cragin)
Over the past six hundred years, definitions of what it means to be male and female have changed remarkably. This course explores the changing nature of men’s and women’s identities, conditions, social status, and thought, as well as the development of their political, social, and cultural powers from the fifteenth century to our day. Special emphasis is placed on the history of gender in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Russia. The course examines gender as an analytical category, distinguishes gender from sex, and raises our consciousness of gender’s variability. It exposes the forces - cultural, social, economic, and political - that have altered gender in history.
HST-391 - The Mongol Legacy (Stein)
The Mongol invasions changed the societies of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. The Mongol armies swept away long-established states and introduced new political arrangements and ideologies. This course will investigate the rise and fall of the Mongol world empire with special emphasis on how these developments affected the states and peoples of the Middle East. The conquests of Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century followed a pattern established by earlier Eurasian steppe empires. We will also study the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of the nomadic invasions. The period of study is bracketed by the rise of the Mongol world empire at one end and the conquests of Tamerlaine at the other.
Meets Department pre-Modern Requirement
HST-393 - Israel, Palestine, and their Neighbors (Stein)
The struggles in Palestine and Israel are difficult, divisive, and long-lived. This course will examine the origins and development of these conflicts. We will discuss a range of topics, including the emergence of Zionism, pan-Arabism, and Palestinian nationalisms, the war between Israel and the surrounding Arab states, the rise of paramilitary nationalist groups, the role of the world community and particularly the United States, and continuing efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the region’s problems. Particular emphasis will be placed on the diversity of perspectives regarding the region, its history, and potential solutions.
HST-395 - Sultans, Harems, & Slaves: The Ottoman Empire (Stein)
This course will examine the history of the Ottoman Empire from its rise in the mid-fourteenth century to its demise in the early twentieth century. We will trace the development of the Ottoman state from a small warrior principality on the frontiers of Byzantium to a multi-ethnic, multi-religious world empire ruling the Middle East, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. We will consider Ottoman state institutions; relations with other states, Muslim and Christian; minority rights and communal conflict; the impact of the rise of the European Great Powers; the development of nationalisms; and the emergence of national successor states in all regions of the former empire.
Meets Department pre-Modern Requirement
HST-397 - Women in the Middle East (Stein)
This course surveys the history of women in the Middle East from the advent of Islam in the seventh century to the present. We will investigate the role of women in Islam as a religion and examine the range of women’s experience in different periods and places in the Islamic Middle East. Topics may include the role of women in pre-Islamic Arabia, family law in Islam, the status of women in Islamic societies, Muslim women, and the effects of secularism, nationalism, socialism, and fundamentalism in the modern period.