For the college’s course catalog, please visit the Courses section. For courses currently offered, please visit the Schedule of Classes.

Survey overview of European History, with coverage ranging from late antiquity through the Enlightenment.
A survey of the culture, thought, politics, religion, economics, and society of the late antique world. This course will examine the Mediterranean world and northern Europe from the late Roman Empire (200 CE) to the Christianization of Iceland (c1000 CE), integrating the history of Western Christendom, Byzantium, and the early Islamic world.
A survey course on European civilization during the high and later Middle Ages, 1000-1453. Topics will include urbanization, religious and social reform, popular devotion, the crusades, scholasticism and universities, the rise of monarchies, the institutionalization of the Catholic Church, art and architecture, and the Black Death.
A survey of the political, religious, social, cultural, and intellectual developments in European history from the 1400s to the late 1700s. Topics will include European expansion, the Reformation and Wars of Religion, the Scientific Revolution, absolute and constitutional monarchies, the Enlightenment, and the anti-slavery movement.
A survey course on the history of Europe from the Enlightenment to the present which examines the major forces and dominant ideologies of the modern Western world. Topics include the industrial revolution, war, revolution and counter-revolution, nationalism, the development of European social movements, and the struggle between freedom and order.
A survey of the American past from the Revolution through the Civil War.
A survey of U.S. history from Reconstruction after the Civil War to the present day.
The civilization of China, Japan and Korea from classical times to 1600 C.E. Themes include: the earliest Chinese schools of social and political thought; the genius of political and economic organization which contributed to the unusual longevity of Chinese dynastic institutions; the Japanese adaptation of Confucian and Buddhist practices in different eras; the unique development of Japan's unified feudalism; the Korean development of Neo-Confucianism.
Beginning from an insider's view of how both prince and peasant saw the world around them before the encroachment of the West, this course analyzes the modern transformation of East Asia. Topics include: the conflict of Sinocentrism with modern nationalism in the Chinese revolution, the Japanese road to Pearl Harbor, and the colonization of Vietnam and Korea.
A survey of the history of the Islamic World from the rise of Islam to the 1800's. Beginning with the revelation of Islam and the emergence of the first Islamic Empire in the seventh century A.D., the course will examine the formation and development of Islamic Societies through a study of religion, political theory and practice, social structure, art, literature and the sciences.
This course examines the transformation of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries. It will cover such topics as political reform, integration into the world economy, changing role of religion, debates about women and gender, the rise of nationalism and recent political struggles such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
This survey course will introduce students to the history of Africa from the earliest times to 1880 - also known as pre-colonial African history. Though the focus is on Africa south of the Sahara, North Africa will be featured from time to time. Topics include the earliest human settlements in Africa, empires and kingdoms in East, West, and Southern Africa, Islam and Christianity in Africa, slavery, and the partitioning of the continent by powers in the mid 1800s.
This course examines myths about Africa, the history of colonialism on the continent in the 19th and 20th centuries, the rise of primary resistances to colonialism in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and how this fed the secondary and tertiary resistance movements from the 1930s through to the 1990s when the apartheid regime collapsed in South Africa. Through close readings of the historiography, students will grapple with the history of colonialism and the postcolonial era in Sub Saharan Africa.
A survey course on Latin America from Conquest through Independence. Topics include exploration of: 1) how Spain and Portugal conquered and colonized the Americas, 2) how they managed to maintain control over those colonies, 3) how the colonized (Indians, Africans, and mixed races) responded to the imposition of colonial rule, 4) the role of women and gender in colonial settings, and 5) the implications of colonialism for the study of modern Latin America.
A survey course on Latin America from Independence to the present focused on attempts to construct politics based on nation states and the evolution of capitalist economies; and, how social movements both reflected and drove these two major transformations. Topics include the social implications of various models of economic development; issues resulting from economic ties to wealthy countries; changing ethnic, gender, and class relations; and, the diverse efforts of Latin Americans to construct stable and equitable socio-political systems.
This seminar serves as an introduction to historical thinking and writing and is designed to allow students to continue to develop the skills and habits of mind associated with successful written and oral communication. Each seminar will focus on a special historical theme or topic, but all students will receive instruction specific to the crucial skills of non-fiction, expository college writing and oral communication as well as critical thinking and historical analysis. This course meets the elective requirement for the history major and fulfills the sophomore writing requirement.
The processes initiated by Christopher Columbus's voyage in 1492 brought four continents and three "races" into interaction where there had been little or no communication. Those contacts, in many ways, profoundly shaped the world in which we live today. Drawing together the histories of Europe, Africa, and the Americas, this course explores the origins, development, and meanings of this new Atlantic World. Topics will include imperial expansion and colonization, the Colombian Exchange, European-Amerindian relations, slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the establishment of an Atlantic capitalist economy, and the struggles for autonomy and national independence in Euro-American societies.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Ancient, Medieval, or Early Modern History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
An examination of the political, social, cultural, and intellectual developments in Italy during the Renaissance. Topics will include the politics of the Italian city-states, mercantile culture, humanism, religious life, art and architecture, patronage, the impact of print, and diplomacy and war.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Western Europe were a period when traditional ideas and new ways of thinking about the world clashed with each other in many different ways, from the trial of Galileo in the 1630's to discussions of women's rights in the late 1700's. This course examines the social, political, and intellectual contexts of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment in order to better understand how the ideas of these periods emerged, how they were received by political and religious officials as well as by the general population, and what were some of the key impacts of these movements on Europeans' worldviews and understandings of their own societies.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Modern European History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
This course examines German history from the events leading up to the unification of the German state in 1871 through reunification in 1990. The course focuses on the shifting constructions of German national identity through 19th century expansion, defeat in two world wars, the Weimar and Nazi eras and Cold War division.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in American History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
This course surveys the history of women in the United States from 1848 to the present. We will explore the lived experiences of many different kinds of women and analyze the ways in which other categories of identity -- race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexual orientation, age, etc -- affect those experiences. We will also explore the development of feminist consciousness among U.S. women, and analyze attempts to expand that consciousness both nationally and globally. Cross-listed with WGST 223. (Spring)
This course will cover selected topics in Southern history from the establishment of the Southern colonies in the 17th century to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. It will explore the basic economic, social and political facets of Southern history, as well as such specific issues as race relations and the Southern literary imagination. Throughout the course, an attempt will be made to define the factors that made the South such a distinctive and important region in American history.
This course will examine the history of African-Americans in the United States from 1619 to the present with an emphasis on the processes by which African-Americans adjusted to and resisted their conditions. Topics will include African heritage, slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow, wartime experiences, the shift to urban life, the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, the rise of Hip Hop, and contemporary issues. (Fall Semester)
The purpose of this course is to compel students to think critically about the role of the United States in the world. We will trace the history of U.S. engagement with the world since 1890 - including foreign policies, economic policies, wars, trade relations, cultural exchanges, travel and tourism, etc. Students will be introduced to some of the more traditional dichotomies of diplomatic history, such as idealism versus realism, exceptionalism versus universalism, and unilateralism versus multilateralism. We will also be exploring innovative approaches to international relations history, especially those that weave class, race, culture, and gender into historical narratives of U.S. foreign relations.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in East Asian History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Middle Eastern History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
This course is a survey of the social, economic, political, and cultural interactions between the Middle East and the United States from the late eighteenth century to the contemporary period. The main goal of the course is to explore the different ways in which the policies of the U.S. have influenced the states and societies of the Middle East in the modern era. The course will start with a discussion of the early interactions through missionaries and merchants in the Ottoman Empire and then examine the role the U.S. played in the partition of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of the modern state system in the Middle East after WWI. In the second part, the course will examine the U.S. policies in the region in the Cold War context through an examination of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Mossadegh crisis in Iran and the Iranian Revolution in 1979. In the last part, we will look at the post-Cold War context and explore the Gulf War, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and its social, political, and economic repercussions both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Finally, we will look at the role of the U.S. policies in the context of the recent political mobilization in the Middle East (i.e. the Arab Spring).
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in African History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
This course grapples with a basic but fundamental question that has been at the heart of much scholarship on Africa: how is southern Africa's history distinct from the history of the rest of the African continent? To address this issue, this course takes a sweeping approach, covering major developments in southern Africa from the mid-17th century through the era of formal colonization and subsequent independence. We will be particularly interested in exploring the foundations and growth of a racial order in southern Africa, and more broadly examining the role that race has played in this region through the colonial and postcolonial eras. Major themes will include cultural contacts between Africans and non-Africans; the slave trade and its consequences; Shaka and myths surrounding the Zulu Empire; economic transformations in the colonial era; and the struggle for independence in different southern African countries.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Latin American History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
This proseminar serves as an introduction to the study of history. Each seminar will focus on a special field, theme, or topic, but all students will be introduced to certain critical skills of historical analysis, distinctive approaches, schools, or methods of historical writing and the nature of historical synthesis. History 290 also develops the skills of historical writing and fulfills the W requirement.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Comparative History at the intermediate level. May be taken more than once.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Ancient, Medieval, or Early Modern History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
A seminar that studies the crusading movement from different contemporary perspectives: crusader, eastern Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. The course examines some of the approaches that historians have taken to studying the crusades and the interpretive challenges they face. Topics include: who the crusaders were and what inspired them; how the ideas and practices of crusading were extended from the Levant to the Iberian peninsula, Constantinople, the Baltic, and even to those within Europe who were considered heretics and enemies; and how the Crusades have been understood in the modern world.
An intensive research seminar that considers both the ecclesiastical reforms and cultural and intellectual revival that marked the "long twelfth century" in Western Europe. Topics include ecclesiastical reform, medieval humanism, theologians and philosophers, mysticism, the discovery of the individual, the reception of Aristotle, the revival of Roman law, Gothic architecture, and the rise of the universities.
A seminar that examines the relationship between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe. Through a wide range of primary sources, written by medieval Christians and Jews, we will attempt to reconstruct how Christians and Jews imagined each other and what motivated them to act in the way that they did. We will examine some of the contexts for Jewish-Christian interaction and will explore the interdependence of Jews and Christians, economically, politically, and psychologically. Topics will include the medieval church and Jews, the legal status of Jews in the medieval state, economic roles, biblical exegesis, forced disputation, conversion, the crusades, accusations of host desecration and ritual murder, and expulsion.
The Protestant and Catholic Reformations were major movements in early modern Europe with far-reaching effects still felt globally today. In the sixteenth century, religious arguments interacted with political concerns, economic fluctuations, and social tensions to transform European states and societies. In 1500, the idea of a unified European Christendom, though imperfect, could still be defended. By the beginning of the seventeenth century, while Europeans as a group still believed in God, the influence of the Roman Church and of the Christianity more generally had begun to change. This course examines the religious ideas and arguments that burgeoned in the sixteenth century, the social and political contexts in which they developed, and the transformations in European society, culture and religious practices that resulted. Course materials focus especially on examining the relationships between ideas and actions/practices in order to understand the wide-ranging social impacts of the religious changes during the Reformation.
A seminar that explores and interrogates the roles, purposes, impacts, and views of violence in early modern European societies (1500-1800). The notion that early modern Europeans gradually repressed societal violence through a "civilizing process" continues to shape Western perceptions of the world and decisions regarding geopolitics today. The overarching goal of this course is to interrogate those assumptions about early modern European societies by examining a wide variety of categories of violence including: legitimate/illegitimate, domestic, gendered, state/official, popular, religious, intercultural/imperial, and military/wartime.
A seminar that examines ideas and practices regarding the divine, the demonic, and the supernatural in early modern Europe, with a particular focus on understanding early modern conceptions and treatments of people (largely but not only women) believed to be saints and/or witches. Readings and assignments explore how these beliefs and practices were tied to religious, social, political, legal, and economic developments, and how they changed (and did not change) over the early modern period.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Modern European History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
An examination of the causes and conduct of The Great War. The course addresses diplomatic and political events that led to the war and studies the military evolution of the war. The course also focuses extensively on the cultural mood before, during, and after the war.
This course explores the complex relationship of ethnic and national identity in Central and Eastern Europe from World War II to the present. This region experienced a tumultuous history during this time period, afflicted by war, occupation, dictatorship, and the displacement of populations. The late twentieth-century also witnessed a period of revolution and was at the centerpiece of the demise of the Cold War. In this context, questions of national belonging loomed large. Ethnicity played and continues to play a central role in the development of nationalism and historical memory. This course explores the experience and meaning of ethnicity in the context of shifting political realities and national contexts. Course topics include the impact of World War II on Central and Eastern European ethnic groups, the experience of ethnic minorities in USSR-dominated Cold War Europe, late twentieth-century revolutions in the region, and the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Early American History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
A study of the economic, social, and political aspects of American History during the 17th and 18th centuries.
A comprehensive study of the political philosophy, constitutional development, revolutionary excitement and military events of the American Revolution.
The United States as both a nation and a political state was forged during the two decades following the American Revolution. The foundations of the federal government were established during the 1790's and under the Republican administrations of Jefferson and Madison. Facing serious diplomatic challenges, the United States began to establish itself in the international community. The era also witnessed fundamental changes in racial, ethnic, and gender relations within American society. The course will offer a close examination of this pivotal period in American history.
The early decades of the 19th century witnessed fundamental structural changes in the economy, society, and politics of the United States. This course will examine the consequences of this rapid growth. It will trace the evolution of capitalism, the rise of a middle class culture, the development of a two-party political system, and the national quest for self-identity and unity.
An exploration of the causes and consequences of the Civil War. The course will examine such topics as the breakdown of the political process in the 1850's, the secession crisis, the transformation of Northern and Southern societies during wartime, and the African-American experience of emancipation.
An exploration of American philosophy, literature, religion, and social and political theory from the seventeenth century through the Civil War. The course examines the underlying themes manifested throughout these different expressions of culture. Attention will be given to several themes such as the split between the genteel and vernacular traditions.
Intensive study of selected period or topics in American History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
Since 1868, Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment has served as the principal benchmark for legal debates over the meanings of equality in the United States. This course explores the origins of the amendment in the post-Civil War period and the evolution of its meanings throughout the late nineteenth, twentieth, and early twenty-first centuries. We will examine closely the contested interpretations of equal protection and due process; the rise, fall, and rebirth of substantive due process; and the battles over incorporating the Bill of Rights. We will pay particular attention to how struggles for racial and gender equality have influenced debates over the amendment, and how the amendment has reshaped the parameters of U.S. citizenship.
This course explores the history of the African-American urban experience. In the mid-18th century, the African-American community began to transition from a rural to an urban population. By the mid-20th century, African-Americans had become an overwhelmingly urban group. The course examines the process of the rural-to-urban transformation of African-Americans and the ways in which they have confronted, resisted, and adjusted to urban conditions of housing, employment, education, culture, and public space.
This seminar will examine the struggle for African-American equality from the 1930's to 1970. The course will begin with the origins of the Civil Rights Movement during the New Deal and World War II. We will then explore the key campaigns, figures, organizations, and guiding themes of the Movement. Special attention will be paid to the processes by which grassroots activism forced responses from the federal, state, and local governments.
This course explores the history of the ideology of Black Power and its various dimensions and incarnations from its origins in the early 20th century to its significance in the present. Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to: definitions of Black Power, applications of this ideology to politics and economics, artistic aesthetics, gender dynamics, key figures and organizations, current manifestations, meanings for the African-American community, and reactions from the larger American society.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in East Asian History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Middle Eastern History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in African History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Latin America History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
This course critically examines gender and sexuality in Latin America. Particularly it will explore the various attempts by the ruling elite to define acceptable and deviant gender roles and sexual identities, how the non-elite resisted the imposition of those elite notions of propriety to create their own codes of conduct, and how those conflicts have changed over time. Cross-listed with WGST 383.
This course critically examines the history of the social construction of race and ethnicity in Latin America. In it, we will explore how historians have employed race and ethnicity as methodological categories in order to elucidate the histories of Latin America from the pre-Hispanic era through the modern period. Particularly we will focus on the various attempts by the ruling elite to deploy race in the ordering of society; and, how the non-elite resisted the imposition of those elite conceptions of racial and ethnic hierarchies to create their own codes of conduct, and how those conflicts have changed over time.
Intensive study of selected periods or topics in Comparative History at the advanced level. May be taken more than once.
For many, the history of slavery is synonymous with the southern United States. But slavery was not limited to the US and by approaching slavery from a comparative perspective, we will deepen our understanding of slavery as an institution, slaves as historical actors, and therefore the legacies of slavery throughout the Americas. We will explore regional differences within slaves' opportunities to form families, to create cultures, to rebel, and to labor for their own benefits; as well as the interactions of African cultural visions and Christianity.
This course focuses on histories of women around the world since the eighteenth century in order to examine the various ways in which women have struggled first to claim and then to maintain power over their bodies and experiences. The course analyzes sources that speak to women's efforts to assert political, economic, cultural, and personal power in society and in their own lives. Topics include a study of the development of organized women's movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and an examination of the extent to which women have been successful in building coalitions to achieve power. The course also examines the role of other categories of identity in these struggles for power, including race, class, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Cross-listed with WGST 396. (Spring)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
Required of senior history majors. The senior seminar will provide students with a significant research experience culminating in the writing of a substantial research paper and the public presentation of their work.
Research in selected topics of History.
Research in selected topics in History.