Course Descriptions

HI 100 Western Civilization I, Ancient to 1500: Citizenship, Democracy and Culture     3 CR
This course will provide students with an introduction to the historical development of Western Civilization from its roots in the ancient world to 1500. The themes and topics emphasized in the course will lead to a greater understanding of how this historical development occurred. The focus will be on the development of the common good resulting in ideas of citizenship and democracy, and in the growth of culture.

HI 102 Western Civilization II, Since 1500: Economies, Sciences, and Politics     3 CR
This course will provide students with an introduction to the historical development of Western Civilization in the last 500 years. The themes and topics emphasized in the course will lead to a greater understanding of how this historical development occurred. The focus will be on the development of economics, the sciences, and social and political ideas.

HI 129 History of Sports in America     3 CR
Examines the development of major spectator sports in America from their fragmentary, localized beginnings to their highly organized and enormously powerful present condition.

HI 203 Medicine, Disease and History     3 CR
This course is a survey of the history of medicine beginning with the Greeks to the 21st century.  The focus is on the development of medical knowledge, theory and practices.

HI 207 History of Latin America to 1826     3 CR
Examines the Spanish and Portuguese conquest and empire building, culture and society during the colonial age and the disintegration of the empires by 1826.

HI 208 History of Latin America since 1826     3 CR
Examines the historical development of Latin America beginning with the wars of independence to the end of the 20th century. Topics include Latin America and the world economy, 20th-century revolutions, the emergence of mass politics, the changing role of religion and foreign nations.

HI 209 The U.S. and Latin America through History     3 CR
Traces the connections between the two regions from the colonial period to the present. Topics covered include political, economic and diplomatic relations, border conflicts, immigration; and questions of identity.

HI 212 Contemporary Latin America     3 CR
An in-depth study of the changes in Latin America during the 20th century. Examines the major issues from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to the Cuban Revolution of 1959 as well as current problems. Topics include dependency, Marxism, Peronism, and social and political change in the region.

HI 214 French Revolution and Napoleon     3 CR
Traces the path of the French Revolution from its origins through each of its political phases from 1789 to 1799. It culminates with the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, his achievements and failures and the end of the empire in 1815.

HI 218 Modern France     3 CR
Follows the political, economic and religious developments from 1789 to the present in order to understand contemporary issues. It examines the last monarchy under Louis Philippe, the rise of democracy by 1848 and numerous political factions and World War I and II, culminating in the person of Charles de Gaulle. Attention is given to continuity and change to understand the character of France.

HI 222 United States History to 1865     3 CR
Examines American development from the period of exploration to the conclusion of the Civil War. Major themes include colonial society, the Revolution, 19th-century expansion and economic growth, slavery and the War for the Union.

HI 223 United States History since 1865     3 CR
Analyzes United States development from Reconstruction to the present, examining major social, political, economic and foreign policy developments and their impact on American life.

HI 224 Society in Colonial America     3 CR
This course examines the colonial period in the history of the United States, beginning with precontact Native American and European societies and concluding with the peace with Britain that ended the Revolutionary War. Particular attention will be paid to the motivations carrying men and women to North America, the interaction between indigenous peoples and colonists, the political and social structure of colonial communities, the development of racial slavery, and the ways in which communities reflected or rejected European society.

HI 225 African-American History     3 CR
Examines the forced migration of Africans to America, the condition and nature of slavery, abolitionism, emancipation, twilight zone of freedom, growth of civil rights and Black Power movements.

HI 226 The American Revolution     3 CR
This course examines the causes of the American Revolution in the context of economic, ideological and political change throughout the 18th century. Students consider the impact that the rebellion had on different kinds of Americans and whether the rhetoric of the Revolution fueled demands for change among these groups once the war ended. They will evaluate whether the American Revolution was a radical act in our history.

HI 228 The Immigrant Experience     3 CR
A comparative, historical study of American immigration focusing on motives for immigration, patterns of settlement, adjustment and subsequent generational experience of successive immigrant groups.

HI 229 Westward Movement in 19th Century America     3 CR
This course will allow students to understand the historical implications of the geographic expansion of the United States in the nineteenth century. In this course, we will piece together the various territorial gains and acquisitions and seek to understand their economic, social, cultural, and political causes and consequences.

HI 230 The Civil War     3 CR
Examines an epic and transformative period in U.S. history from a multidimensional perspective. The clash of arms, military and civilian leaders, lives of ordinary soldiers and civilians, politics and economies of the Union and Confederacy, and “new birth of freedom” that ended slavery are reviewed and discussed.

HI 231 The Cold War and American Society     3 CR
Explores the roots and development of the Cold War between the United States and U.S.S.R. (1946–91); its impact on American social, political, economic and cultural values and practices; and some of its long-term consequences for the nation's society and place in the world.

HI 232 Reconstruction and Post-Civil War America     3 CR
The purpose of this course is to examine the Reconstruction era (1865-1877) in American history. This period had tremendous political and social consequences on the country. We will read, discuss, and write about social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of the Reconstruction years with the goal of deepening your understanding of its significance in our nation’s history. Our analysis will begin long before Reconstruction itself and move past it as well into the 20th century.

HI 233 Gilded Age and Progressive Era     3 CR
This course will allow students to journey into the historical periods of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in American history. In this course, students will read a broad range of historical interpretations of the significant events of these periods, as well as immerse themselves in primary sources meant to illuminate the overall study.

HI 234 Catholicism in American Society     3 CR
Catholics have played a role in American history from the start. Christopher Columbus brought the blessings as well as the trappings of the Catholic Church with him when he "discovered" the New World in 1492. Just two years later, the pope issued a bull dividing that world physically in half for Spain and Portugal, while claiming it spiritually for the Catholic Church. In this course, we will consider the role Catholics have played not only in American religious life, but in its political, cultural, and socioeconomic development as well. We will trace the history of the doctrine of the separation of church and state and its effects on Catholic immigrants, outsiders in 18th and 19th century America who struggled to achieve mainstream status in the 20th century. Finally, we will examine the impact of the Second Vatican Council and where American Catholics stand in society today.

HI 235 Women in American Society     3 CR
This course examines the challenges faced by women in America from the colonial period to the present, as well as their contributions to the formation of the United States and our history. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which gender has been historically constructed in American culture.

HI 236 History of the Arab World I: From Muhammad—Ottoman Empire     3 CR
A study of the rise of Islam and the emergence of the Arabs as a world power. Discussion focuses on the achievements of Muhammad, the institution of the caliphate, Umayyad and Abbasid empires, Crusades and decline of Arab influence in the Near East under the pressure of Turkish expansion.

HI 237 American Environmental History     3 CR
This course considers the way in which Americans have imagined, experienced and debated the natural world from European colonists’ ideas about hunting, fishing and farming to the political debates about climate change in the early 21th century.  

HI 238 The Modern Arab World     3 CR
This course begins with the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and delineates the rise of the Arab states in recent times.

HI 242 Ancient Greek History     3 CR
This course surveys ancient Greek history from the Late Bronze Age to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (1500 BC – 431 BC). The aim is to understand the major movements that made possible the attainment of high culture in Greece in the classical period. The emergence of the Greek polis, the development of Athenian Democracy, the growth of Athenian Imperialism, and the rivalry between Athens and Sparta will receive special attention.

HI 243 Golden Age of Greece     3 CR
This course examines the development of high culture in archaic and classical Greece; above all we shall consider the art, literature, philosophy, religion and democracy of Athens from its foundations in the seventh century to the death of Socrates. The class will emphasize the historical context for the works of great figures such as Solon, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, the Sophists, Thucydides and Aristophanes. In addition, we shall discuss how the Athenians employed their art and culture to promote the values of the democracy and empire. Topics will include the role of Pericles in Athenian democracy, imperialism, and the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.

HI 244 Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War     3 CR
This course is a seminar that examines the Peloponnesian War and the brilliant historian who reported it. The class begins with an introduction to the ancient sources and to the general outlines of ancient Greek history and the institutions of the polis. Thereafter, most of the course involves discussion of topics connected with the Great War itself, such as Periclean strategy, the plague in Athens, civil war in Corcyra, the Pylos affair, the Sicilian expedition and the oligarchic revolution.

HI 245 Alexander the Great     3 CR
This seminar will examine the Macedonian background, accession, military career and historical significance of Philip II’s son Alexander III.  The course begins with a preliminary analysis of the extant sources (epigraphic and numismatic as well as literary) and the historiographical tradition.  It will then proceed chronologically, studying special topics (e.g., the position of the Greek cities, logistical problems, the Exile and Deification Decrees, the new foundations, proskynesis and racial fusion) in their historical context.  The aim is to enable students to form a personal estimate of Alexander based on their understanding of the sources.

HI 246 Roman History: The Republic     3 CR
This course surveys Roman history from the legendary founding of Rome to the death of Julius Caesar (753 BC – 44 BC). The aim is to understand the major movements that made possible Rome’s conquest and domination of the Mediterranean world. The development of republican political institutions, the nature of Roman Imperialism, Rome’s encounter with Greek culture, and the fall of the Republic will receive special attention.

HI 248 Roman Empire and Christianity     3 CR
This course surveys Roman history from the death of Julius Caesar to the fall of the Roman Empire in the west (44 BC – 476 BC). The aim is to understand the transition from the Republic to the monarchy of Augustus; and the establishment of two hundred years of peace, prosperity and stability in the Mediterranean world. The social, political, and religious institutions of the Principate will receive special attention. The class also examines the rise of Christianity and how it went from being a persecuted Jewish sect to the state religion of Rome. In addition, we shall consider the relationship between Paganism and Christianity in late antiquity; as well the reasons for the decline and fall of the western empire.

HI 251 History of Coastal Communities in the North Atlantic, 1500 to the Present     3 CR
This course studies interactions between humans and environments on land and sea in New England, Newfoundland, Ireland, Scotland, England, Norway, the Netherlands, as they fished and traded over long distances creating vibrant cultures.

HI 252 Medieval Europe     3 CR
Topics include Feudalism and Christendom, Islam and the Crusades, the Carolingian Empire and the rise of national states. Important elements include art and architecture, cosmology and alchemy, hierarchy, the rise of the early Renaissance, as well as different types of work and “callings.”

HI 253 From Rembrandt to Van Gogh     3 CR
This course will study the history of the Low Countries through art and text. The art will be paintings, etchings, woodcuts, and other line drawings, with some reference to sculpture and architecture. This course will also pay attention to the development of art through the Late Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Neo-classical, and Post-impressionism. The Low Countries had a very unique development, and was a leader in the growth of modern institutions of capitalism and trade, toleration and plurality, political thought, and science and technology.

HI 254 The Renaissance and Reformation     3 CR
A study of the transition from medieval to modern society through investigation of political, social, economic, religious and cultural factors involved in the change.

HI 255 Celtic and Irish History     3 CR
Free elective, does not count as European course for major
Survey of the ancient history of Celts in Europe, through the medieval tribes and migrations highlighting important places of memory, mythology and heroes. It studies the rise of Celtic Christianity and its unique contribution to Western Civilization. The majority of the course will examine the modern political, economic, and social developments in Ireland, concentrating on nineteenth and twentieth century struggles for independence and modernization.

HI 256 Thousands are Sailing: The Irish at Home and Abroad, 1798-1922     3 CR
This course examines the complex cultural, political and economic relationship between the Irish in America and those at home from the Irish Rebellion of 1798 to the creation of the Irish Free State.

HI 257 History and Memory in Modern Ireland     3 CR
This course examines the collective and individual memories in Ireland through diversity of North and South, urban and rural, Catholic and Protestant, Irish and British. Some major events, such as the 1798 Rebellion, Famine, Land Wars, Home Rule, 1916 Easter Rising, 1920-21 War of Independence and Civil War.

HI 258 Britain and the Empire, 1714-1918     3 CR
This course will examine the history of the British Empire beginning with the earliest English explorations overseas and concluding with World War I and its impact on the future of imperialism worldwide.

HI 274 Contemporary America: 1929 to the Present     3 CR

HI 281 Introduction to the Civilization of East Asia     3 CR
An overview of the history of China and Japan from prehistoric times to the late traditional period (approximately 1800). Intended to enhance students' appreciation of the uniqueness and coherence of these two ancient civilizations.

HI 283 The History of Modern China     3 CR
Presents the history of modern China from approximately 1800 to 1920 emphasizing the decay of traditional culture and the Chinese response to the West.

HI 285 20th Century China     3 CR
Examines the history of 20th-century China focusing on the rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party and its efforts to transform China into a modern nation.

HI 299 History of Coastal Communities in the North Atlantic, 1500-present     3 CR
Human communities have lived in coastal areas since the dawn of time, using the sea for transportation and a source of food. After 1500 the rapid development of technology allowed greater exploitation of the sea with ships, fishing tackle, instruments for navigation, and better harbors, yet the sea has remained a challenge as storms, floods, and threats of climate change raise questions of sustainability through a better understanding of oceanography. Case studies include Newfoundland, New England, Ireland, Scotland, England, Norway, and the Netherlands. 

HI 300 The Vietnam War     3 CR
Free elective, does not count as Asian course for major
A survey of the war in Vietnam emphasizing the colonial origins of the conflict, United States and Vietnamese strategies and the causes of the American defeat.

HI 301 Historical Method and Criticism     3 CR
Required for all majors; offered every Fall semester
An introduction to the history of historical thinking and writing, the contemporary field of historical methods and theories and the research tools and skills necessary for the study of history and the writing of papers and essays.

IL 302 Information Literacy for History     1 CR
Extensive bibliographical research, with special attention to electronic and web-based research.

HI 311 Discovery and Conquest,1492 – 1598     3 CR
Free elective, does not count as Latin American course for major
Examines the major themes of the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas from Columbus's discovery of the New World in 1492 to the death of Philip II in 1598. Topics include Spanish and Indian worldviews, biological and demographic consequences of contact, development of a conquest culture in the Americas and the role of missionaries and conquistadors.

HI 322 U.S. Foreign Policy     3 CR
Evolution and expansion of American foreign policy from the Revolutionary period to the present. Analyzes the aims of foreign policy, influences upon it and its impact on the nation's domestic politics.

HI 325 African-American History     3 CR
Examines the forced migration of Africans to America, the condition and nature of slavery, abolitionism, emancipation, twilight zone
of freedom, growth of civil rights and Black Power movements.

HI 328 The Immigrant Experience     3 CR
A comparative, historical study of American immigration focusing on motives for immigration, patterns of settlement, adjustment and subsequent generational experience of successive immigrant groups.

HI 377 The Great Depression and New Deal     3 CR
Examines the origins and impact of the Great Depression and the transformative changes in American society and government created during the New Deal administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

HI 391 Internship Program     3-6 CR
Offers qualified students supervised field experience in an area allied with their own interests. Internships are arranged in advance of the semester they are to be taken. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

HI 395 Senior Seminar Preparation     3 CR
Each year the Department of History selects a sub-field of history to study in-depth for students registered for the Senior Seminar. This course looks at the historiography, debates, and issues within a given sub-field, preparing students for further study and writing of a major paper for the Senior Seminar (HI 396). 

HI 396 Senior Seminar     3 CR
This course is for Seniors who have taken HI 395 Senior Seminar Preparation and continue to give seminars on their capstone topic and complete a major paper.

HI 397 Senior Thesis Preparation     2 CR
Directed study of research in the review of literature for the Senior Thesis, by special arrangement with the assigned advisor.

HI 398 Senior Thesis     3 CR
Students are exposed to the experience of researching, writing and defending a major historical project. Permits students to learn, on a one-to-one basis with a project director, the importance of critical analysis and writing within the disciplines of history.

HI 399 Independent Study     1-3 CR
Directed study of a specific, well-defined topic, by special arrangement with an instructor and with the prior approval of the department chairperson.