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School of Humanities

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Summer 2020

 

HIS 101

World Civilization 1

Online (H080)

Dr. Joseph Peterson

This course is an introduction to the history of World Civilizations from their beginnings in the city-states of Mesopotamia and India almost 6,000 years ago, up to the Age of Exploration in fifteenth-century Europe. Our story begins when humans first domesticated animals, brewed beer, baked bread, exchanged goods, and wrote legends about their gods. It ends with European kingdoms fighting wars, making treaties, establishing their modern boundaries, and then turning outward—expanding their powerful reach across the globe and making contact (often violent) with new cultures and civilizations. As historians, it will be our job to explain and evaluate change over time—to understand how much we have in common with people of the past, but also how profoundly we differ from them. Themes include the rise of empires, the rise (and sometimes fall) of democratic political systems, the changing relationship between religion and politics, the increase in global connections and technological exchanges between people groups, the way groups construct their identities and distinguish themselves from enemies and outsiders, and the changing daily lives of ordinary people. We will learn about battles and grand diplomatic events, but we will be especially careful to read between the lines of our sources, to try to recover the perspectives of those who often were unable to leave us a record of their thoughts—women, peasants, workers, the colonized, etc.


HIS 102

World Civilization II

Online (H080)

Dr. Joshua Haynes

How did we get to where we are today? This course is designed to help us better understand the world in which we now live by examining some key global events and developments since 1500. Our goal will be not only to study important figures, societies, and events on their own terms, but to begin thinking about the world as a global network of social, cultural, economic, and political connections. In so doing, we will examine a wide array of materials and sources including historical documents, film, music, etc., all of which will help us to flush out the issues, people, and events which have shaped the modern world over the last five hundred years.

 

 HIS 430

The French Revolution and Napoleon

Online

Dr. Arad Gigi

The French Revolutionaries ushered in the modern world. We are living in the world made by the Revolution and continue to have similar disputes to those of the revolutionaries. The rise of nationalism, mass conscription and total war, separation of church and state, gender relations and roles and rights of women in modern society, race and slavery—the Revolution stimulated the largest slave rebellion in modern history that ended in the formation of the first black republic, Haiti— public ceremonies, constitutions, and so much more. As an important an event, the French Revolution also stimulated some of the most interesting scholarship in history. HIS430 introduces students to this amazing era and an opportunity to engage in these historical and historiographical debates. 

Topics include: nationalism, war, gender, religion, in the revolutionary period, festivals and cemeteries, slavery and abolition in the French empire, the Napoleonic Empire in Europe, the Napoleonic Code, and the legacies of the Revolution. Aux Armes! To Arms, Citizens!   

 

 

Fall 2020

 

HIS 101/102: World Civilization Registration Guide

  Find the right HIS 101/102 class for you!

  • Enroll in a big auditorium class like those taught by Dr. Chambers, Dr. Stur, Dr. Swope, Dr. Abra, and Dr. Haynes.
  • Enroll in the online section with Dr. Luckhardt. *Online requires discipline and motivation. If you lack this, it’s harder than a face-to-face class.
  • Dr. Ural’s class has students seated at tables of 6; lecture breaks every 15 minutes to ensure understanding before moving on.
  • Dr. Tuuri and Dr. LaPierre's classes are taught as a large lecture class with shorter meeting times (50 mins, 3x week).

 

HIS 101

World Civilization I

Online (H080)

Dr. Courtney Luckhardt 

In this course, we trace the story of civilization from prehistory through the fifteenth century.  Through a kaleidoscope of kings and slaves, warriors and philosophers, farmers and merchants, we will focus on certain themes. Four themes intersect in all the societies we study this semester.

1) religious development and syncretism

2) elite power and political organization

3) technological innovations

4) trade and economic development

To focus on these themes and questions, we will be close reading primary sources (that is, texts produced by the societies we are studying, not by modern scholars) from many different civilizations. We will learn history by doing it – this means that students will learn to read and interpret primary evidence and come to their own conclusions about pre-modern societies.

 

HIS 101

World Civilization I

MWF 11:00-12:00 (H001)

Dr. Rebecca Tuuri

This 3-credit-hour course will examine the origins of the human species to 1500 C.E. (Common Era) from a scholarly historical perspective.  We will consider how human beings around the world defined themselves through art, writing, music, food and/or other forms of cultural creation; religion; law; gender relations and other forms of social organization; and warfare.  We will also consider the important role that geography and climate have played in the development of human societies. Although this class will meet in a large lecture hall, we will incorporate discussion and active learning into our class.

 

HIS 101

World Civilization

TR 1:00-2:15 (H007)

Dr. Susannah Ural 

This class offers a sweeping examination of world cultures from the beginning of the human record through 1500 C.E. The idea is not to make you an expert on all of world history through the sixteenth-century. Rather, we want to expose you to the people, ideas, and events that shaped this period and help you learn how to interpret and analyze that information. This will make you a better informed and active member of society today. To accomplish these goals, you will attend weekly class meetings that include discussions about sources from the time period we are studying. Those are found in your e-reader Envisioning World Civilizations: A Primary Source Workbook. Primary sources are original documents or artifacts from the period under study. They could be laws, letters or diaries, drawings, pottery, weapons, songs, poetry, or many other things. Your reader is a collection of primary sources relating to cultures around the globe. Secondary sources are interpretations and analyses of the past, such as what you find in your main textbook, Voyages in World History, Brief Edition. Primary and secondary sources are the two key tools historians work with to test our theories and reach informed conclusions about the past. By exposing you to them, we are teaching you how to interpret the past for yourself, and how to critically assess information when it is presented to you in today’s world. Course assignments include short quizzes to help you understand the readings, short in-class writing practice (you turn in three of these), four examinations, required attendance and engaged participation, and, for your final project, the creation of a world civ meme.

HIS 101 will address the following learning objectives of the GEC:

  • Students will evaluate major developments in world history, the historical roots of contemporary global cultures, or the literary, philosophical, or religious contributions of world cultures.
  • Students will develop a topic and present ideas through writing in an organized, logical, and coherent form and in a style that is appropriate for the discipline and the situation.
  • Students will use Standard English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage.
  • Students will comprehend and proficiently interpret text.

 

HIS 102

World Civilization II

TR 1:00-2:15 (H002)

Dr. Joshua Haynes


How did we get to where we are today? This course is designed to help us better understand the world in which we now live by examining some key global events and developments since 1500. Our goal will be not only to study important figures, societies, and events on their own terms, but to begin thinking about the world as a global network of social, cultural, economic, and political connections. In so doing, we will examine a wide array of materials and sources including historical documents, film, music, etc., all of which will help us to flush out the issues, people, and events which have shaped the modern world over the last five hundred years.

 

HIS 322

American Indian History since 1840

TR 9:30-10:45

Dr. Joshua Haynes

HIS 322

This course is about the making of modern American Indian nations. We will examine broadly the varied experiences of American Indian peoples from 1840 to the present. Often portrayed as hapless victims of Euro-American imperialism, we will focus on the ways that Native Americans actively sought to shape their relationships with colonizers. We will examine the ways indigenous peoples in the United States responded to the host of stresses that accompanied the rapid and often violent social, cultural, and environmental transformations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will explore the ways Native Americans negotiated their encounters with other indigenous groups as well as with non-Indian peoples. We will pay particular attention to the ways Indians adapted and changed to preserve their territory, their cultures, their sovereignty, and their rights to self-determination.

 

HIS 323

The Vikings

TR 2:30-3:45

Dr. Courtney Luckhardt

HIS 323 

The image of the Vikings in modern popular culture has been as fierce warriors or as Wagner’s opera-singing Viking women. Another common view of Vikings is that of the blood-thirsty pagan barbarians who descended upon peaceful monks or settlements. This view is based on the sources written by the early medieval victims of Norse raids. The later medieval Scandinavian saga literature painted their warrior ancestors as noble savages, and historians have examined the Vikings as one of these two extremes.

        However, Viking raids were merely one part of a complex adaptation by the Norse to the marginal lands of Scandinavia. Raids were certainly a portion of that adaptation, but so too were explorations, foreign settlement, trade, and extended subsistence activities at the home in Scandinavia. The Norse were also savvy merchants, gifted craftsmen, hardworking farmers, and cunning political players who built kingdoms in Europe, established relations with the Muslim world, and even made it to the shores of North America. This course will explore the culture, history, arts and worldviews of the Old Norse, including their mythology, the saga literature, and their conversion to Christianity. We will also investigate how the Vikings have been understood and represented through the centuries between their days and ours.

 

HIS 329

Modern European Women’s History

TR 1:00-2:15

Dr. Allison Abra

 HIS 329

In the era of Women’s Marches and #MeToo, understanding women’s historical oppression, agency, and activism, as well as the ways that individual women and gender relations have influenced historical events, has perhaps never been more pressing. In this course we will survey the history of women and gender in Europe from the Enlightenment through to the present day. We will explore how gender has both shaped, and been shaped by key issues, ideas, and events in this period, including war and revolution; innovations in science, art, and industry; imperialism, state-building; social and political movements; crime, popular culture, and family life. We will examine how gender intersected with and helped to define other categories of difference such as race, class, sexuality, and nation. In so doing, we will consider the wide-ranging social roles and experiences of European women during this period – as mothers, workers, adventurers, political activists, and military combatants – through which they re-shaped the history of the continent and the world.

Note: This course is one that helps to fulfill the requirements of the Women’s and Gender Studies minor

 

HIS 333

Europe in the Nineteenth Century

TR 9:30-10:45

Dr. Joseph Peterson 

HIS 333

Napoleon, Jane Austen, and Beethoven… Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sherlock Holmes, and Jack the Ripper… Mary Shelley, Mary Cassatt, and Mary Baker Eddy… Frederic Chopin, Sigmund Freud, and Harry Houdini… steamships, railroads, and Women’s Suffrage… “Human Rights,” World Fairs, the Eiffel Tower, and the scramble for Africa… Impressionism, germ theory, dynamite, and the Boy Scouts… the first bicycles, the first department stores, the first machine guns… the first hipsters, the first human zoos and concentration camps, and the first science fiction… The first age of mass literacy, mass advertising, and mass politics… The first recorded use of the word “socialism,” of the word “antisemitism,” of “feminism,” “nationalism,” “dystopia,” “agnosticism,” and “homosexual.” Why are so many of the issues and questions raised by nineteenth-century Europeans still with us today? Why does an age so seemingly distant and innocent—so “Victorian”—still feel so modern? What makes us modern, for that matter? We cannot begin to understand our present without understanding its origins in the nineteenth century.

 

HIS 373

African-American History Survey, 1619-1890

MW 9:30-1-:45

Dr. Rebecca Tuuri

This is a course that encompasses the history of African Americans from the beginning of slavery in the Americas through 1877. It is a history of great courage, endurance, and pride as well as of cruelty, indifference, and sadness. This course will not only provide students with an overview of significant events, movements, and people from the beginning of the Atlantic Slave Trade through Reconstruction, but equally importantly, it will illuminate cultural formation and efforts towards freedom and equality within enslaved and free African American communities. We will learn about this history by reading scholarly work about slavery and the words of the enslaved and free from this time period.  We will pay extra attention to how larger American society, especially that of white America, has manipulated images and ideas about African Americans from the past to the present.  Finally, we will consider how “memory,” literacy, and access to archival sources has affected American and African American historiography. 

 

HIS 400 

History Capstone

As American as Motherhood and Apple Pie: A History of Nationalism in the United States

MW 11:00AM - 12:15PM

Dr. Andrew P. Haley

HIS 400

Americans lack a common ancestry or a shared religion. We have no official language and the national anthem is loved by few. And yet for over two hundred years it has meant something to be an American. This course examines American nationalism, the common threads of political and cultural meaning that create nationhood and considers how various definitions of the nation have brought us together and torn us apart. The class will explore case studies—from Thanksgiving to baseball, from the Pledge of Allegiance to the Great American Novel—in order to better understand how Americans have defined what it means to be an American.

History 400 is a capstone research seminar. During the first half of the course, we will collectively explore examples of American nationalism in a discussion-based seminar. Discussions will be based on readings from a variety of primary sources (novels, plays, movies, autobiographies, songs, and more) and secondary sources. During the second half of the course, with ample support from the instructor, students will conduct their own historical investigation into the controversies surrounding national identity in the United States or abroad. Students will be required to prepare and submit a research proposal, an outline, an annotated bibliography, and a final fourteen-to-seventeen-page research paper. Students are also required to do two ten-minute oral presentations and create a web page.

 

HIS 448

The Holocaust

TR 11:00-12:15

 Dr. Joseph Peterson

HIS 448

An event of extreme evil and inhumanity—perpetrated hardly more than a generation ago in the heart of the modern, “civilized” West—the Holocaust is a challenge to historians: can history help us understand how humans could commit such genocidal acts? What are some of the long-term roots of Antisemitism? Is Christianity to blame? Or is it modern racial “science”? What historical conditions led to the rise of Nazi Germany and its attempt to exterminate Europe’s Jews? What made perpetrators willing to execute Jews at close range or to herd them into gas chambers? What range of

choices—from compliance to resistance—did Jewish and other victims really have? Is it ever okay to compare other acts of evil to the Holocaust? How has the Holocaust challenged and influenced faith in humanity and in God? How is the memory of the Holocaust still used and abused today, in political, historical, and theological debates? We will use readings, films, photographs, and survivor testimony to explore the answers to these and other questions. (Description adapted from Dr. E. Umansky)

 

HIS 485

From Cruise Missiles to Terrorism

The World of Warfare Since Vietnam 

MW 11:00-12:15 

Dr. Andrew Wiest

HIS 485

This class will investigate the trends in warfare since the close of the Vietnam War. While the west, still focusing on the Cold War, was involved in a revolution in military practice based on the ever expanding miracles of weapons technology, practice in much of the rest of the world trended toward tactics of insurgency and protracted war. And, while the world’s superpowers often dawdled, smaller nations asserted their place in warfare as states crumbled into a 4th generation of conflict. A close investigation of these military/social trends will focus attention on the Arab-Israeli wars, UN peacekeeping, both Gulf wars, the Russian wars, terrorism, and the ongoing Global War on Terror.

 

 

SPRING 2020 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS  

 Fall 2019 Course Descriptions

 

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