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School of Humanities

History Undergraduate Course Descriptions

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Spring 2024


HIS 202 
U.S. History Since 1877 
M/W 9:30 – 10:45 AM 
Dr. John Winters 
This course is a survey of American history from Reconstruction to the present day. Through lectures, readings, and in-class discussions, we will examine the major political events, social and cultural developments, and the economic changes that have impacted the nation since 1877. By the end of the class, we will have a better understanding of how we got to where we are today, who "We the People" included and excluded, and the many ways individuals and communities shape and are shaped by the world around them. 
HIS 204 
Baseball: A Global History of America's Game 
T/TH 1:00 – 2:15 PM 
Dr. Kenneth Swope 
This course provides an introductory overview of the history of baseball, discussing its invention and evolution over time, its connections to broader developments in American society, and its eventual expansion around the globe. In addition to learning the stories and traditions of the game and its players, students will learn about the economics and cultural impact of the sport. The course will also introduce students to the academic practice of history through the analysis of primary and secondary sources such as newspaper articles, films, and autobiographies. 
HIS 300 
Research Methods  
M/W 9:30 – 10:45 AM 
Dr. Max Grivno 
History 300: This course offers an introduction to history as an academic discipline and provides students with an opportunity to conduct basic research using primary and secondary sources. We will look at how the historical professional has evolved from its beginnings with Herodotus and Tacitus, through the rise of the historical profession in the research universities o the nineteenth century, to the modern era. As students learn about the profession, they will also learn about our university's remarkable collection of historical documents and the various digital platforms that are changing how we conduct research. 
HIS 306 
History in the Digital Age 
M/W 2:30 – 3:45 PM 
Dr. Patrick Hoehne 
What does it mean to practice history in a digital age? 
This course serves as an introduction to the exciting field of digital history. Over the course of the semester, you will engage with a digital tools, methods, and media spanning from web maps to machine learning to video games. You will have to chance to get some hands-on experience with these examples of digital history, while also developing your ability to critically appraise digital representations of the past. 
HIS 307 
Survey of African History, 1500 – present 
T/TH 2:30 – 3:45 PM 
Dr. Bafumiki Mocheregwa 
This course introduces students to the broad history of Africa from the 1500s to the present. It utilizes several modes of instruction including film and documentary evaluation, interview analysis, as well as a wide range of short and long texts to explore key themes in the making of Africa. It is designed with the assumption that most students know very little about Africa and to help them develop general ideas and specific themes, we will spend considerable time on discussions and lectures. Some of the key ideas the course explores include precolonial warfare and resistance to colonial conquest, African agency in the Atlantic Slave Trade system, economic changes in colonial Africa, and decolonization. The course also explores contemporary issues around the continent including some case studies of African women who made significant contributions to the development of their communities. In the process of taking this class, it is hoped that students will hone their critical thinking and analytical skills as well as reading, comprehension and writing capabilities. 
HIS 310 
Survey of Latin American History 
T/TH 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM 
Dr. Matthew Casey 
This course is designed to introduce students to the social, cultural, and political history of Latin America from pre-Columbian times to the present. The course will focus on four themes of fundamental importance to the region: (1) the challenge of political stability and economic growth, (2) the relationship between Latin America and other regions (3) the effects of racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequality in the region and (4) the way that ordinary individuals and groups both experience and shape larger historical processes. Each unit will begin with a broad overview of the region during a specific time period before focusing on one or more country case studies. Throughout the semester, students will be exposed to music, film excerpts, paintings, poetry and other non-traditional primary sources in order to understand the cultural history of Latin America. 
HIS 321 
Native American History to 1840 
M/W 1:00 – 2:15 PM 
Dr. John Winters 
This course examines the history of Indigenous North America from creation to the era of Indian Removal in the 1830s. We will look at Native American history by "facing east" from Indian country through readings and class discussions of Indigenous sovereignty, Euro-American colonialism, cultural resilience, and the extensive influence Indigenous peoples have on Euro-American history and culture. 
HIS 334 
Twentieth-Century Europe 
M/W 4:00 – 5:15 PM 
Dr. Brian LaPierre 
This course will examine the history of Europe from WWI to the present. Instead of focusing solely on Western Europe, this course will look at Europe broadly defined. In other words, this course will not only examine Britain, France, and Germany. It will also integrate the often forgotten histories of hinterland regions, such as the Balkans, back into the narrative of contemporary Europe. Similarly, this course will focus on much more than political history. It will also look at Europe's cultural, economic, and social complexities to uncover the diversity at the heart of this pivotal continent. 
HIS 360 
Modern Military History 
T/TH 11:00 – 12:15 PM 
Dr. Kenneth Swope 
This course will present an overview of global military history from the American Revolution to the present. Students will learn about major wars, campaigns, battles and military figures and learn how these events and people were connected to larger events and processes. Special attention will be devoted to classic texts on different dimensions of modern warfare. Students will study different conflicts around the globe to see how warfare has evolved in conjunction with broader socio-political and technological changes. Assignments include primary source analysis papers, essay exams, and a longer research paper. 
HIS 374 
African American History 1890 – present 
T/TH 9:30 – 10:45 AM 
Dr. Kevin Greene 
HIS 375 
Economic History of the United States 
T/TH 9:30 – 10:45 
Dr. Max Grivno 
History 375: This course offers a broad overview of American Economic History from the colonial period to the dawn of the twenty-first century. It covers a range of topics, including the role that economics played in the coming of the American Revolution, the ways in which slavery shaped the antebellum United States, and the ways in which the federal government has shaped the course of economic growth in the twentieth century. Along the way, we will examine the lives of American businessmen and women, common laborers, and the consumers whose tastes shaped the country's economic landscape. The course is geared toward aspiring teachers, but will be of interest to anyone with an interest in American History. 
HIS 400 
Senior Capstone Seminar—Topic: Communities in Crisis 
T/TH 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM 
Dr. Kyle Zelner 
Communities throughout history have had to deal with different crises, be they natural disasters, pandemics, crime waves, wars, civil unrest, or countless other catastrophes. 
HIS 400 is the required senior capstone class for all history majors and as such, the class will include a mixture of discussion seminars and considerable independent research/writing time. Along with a refresher on primary document research and historical writing, the first several weeks of the class will see students reading a number of articles and/or books about communities in crisis and discussing them in a seminar setting. 
For the remainder of the semester, students will research and write an original history of a community in crisis. The research paper (15-20 pages) must make extensive use of primary documents (such as newspapers, oral histories, diaries, letters, and other accounts) as well as the secondary sources written on their topic. The first draft of the paper will be evaluated by the professor and then redrafted to create a final manuscript. In addition to the major research paper, students will be required to give two oral presentations in the class. 
Some possible research paper topics might include: 
•What happened to New York City during the American Revolutionary War? 
•What happened to the community in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina? 
•How did the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 change life in Chicago? 
•What happened to London during the Blitz in World War II? 
•How did the Civil War affect the town of Vicksburg? 
•How did the community in Birmingham, Alabama experience the Civil Rights movement? 
The possibilities are almost endless . . . 
Required text: Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 9th ed., Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2018. 
Other readings as assigned. 
HIS 416/516 
World War II 
T/TH 4:00 - 5:15 PM 
Dr. Kenneth Swope 
This course covers the history of the Second World War, beginning with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and continuing through the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan and the War Crimes Trials afterwards. Citizens of most countries tend to study and remember the war (understandably) from only their own perspective. This class will attempt to rectify that problem by examining the war from the viewpoints of all the major combatants, exposing students to a variety of perspectives and interpretations and utilizing a range of primary source materials. Topics covered include the rise of fascism and militarism in Europe and Asia, the demise of collective security and appeasement, the grand strategies of the major participants, war crimes and atrocities, and the enduring memories of the war around the globe. 
HIS 417/517 
The Vietnam War  
T/TH 1:00 – 2:15 PM  
Dr. Heather Stur 
This course examines the military, political, social, cultural, and international aspects of the Vietnam War. 
HIS 458/558 
The Soviet Union and Post-Communist Russia 
M/W 11:00 – 12:15 PM  
Dr. Brian LaPierre 
For anti-capitalist intellectuals, the Soviet Union was a savior society that promised non-exploitative economic development and classless international cooperation. For its many conservative and liberal opponents, the Soviet Union was a militaristic monster that exemplified godless atheism, aggressive expansionism, and brutal state terror. In this class, we will look at the Soviet Union from all its angles–both good and bad. We will look at a state that dragged Russia from rural poverty to industrial modernity, eliminated illiteracy, equalized gender opportunities, achieved enviable scientific accomplishments, and instituted a generous cradle-to-grave system of state-supported social welfare. On the other hand, we will also look at a state that slaughtered and starved to death millions of its citizens and imprisoned millions more in the service of its utopian ideological goals. Topics to be explored include: the causes and consequences of the revolutions of 1917, Stalinism, the war of annihilation against the Nazis, the Cold War era clash of civilizations, the Gorbachev reforms, and the collapse of communism. 
HUM 402 
Digital Humanities Practicum 
M 6:00–9:00 PM ONLINE CHAT 
Dr. Patrick Hoehne 
Want to catch a horse thief? 
In this interdisciplinary undergraduate-level course, you will learn to use innovative computational tools and methods to contribute to a largescale digital humanities project. This semester, the class will work on a project centered around the reconstruction of a far-reaching, closely affiliated band of horse thieves and counterfeiters whose criminal activities spanned the length of the antebellum Midwest. This is a hands-on, apprenticeship-style course where you will receive training in tools like GIS mapping and network analysis and then apply those tools on real, public-facing research. All students will receive contributor credit for their work, and will leave with a toolkit of valuable digital skills. 

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