History Course Descriptions

HICC 101 The Human Journey: Historical Paths to Civilizations – 3 CR
Brings the student into contact with the complexities of human history through a study of various topics and themes selected from major civilizations. The approaches utilized vary from a consideration of political structures to the examination of art, literature and popular culture through an extensive use of primary sources.

HI 128 History of American Business Enterprise – 3 CR
Examines the development of business enterprise in America. Topics include the entrepreneur, rise of business specialization, the corporate form and “big” business, innovations in management and marketing, interplay of business enterprises and other aspects of American society.

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 202 Europe and the World, 1500 to the Present - 3 CR [free elective, does not count as European course]
This course is a second-semester history course on the historical development of Western Europe during the last 500 years in the context of world history. Through the study of European colonialism, world wars and capitalist economic expansion, it provides an understanding of the global nature of the history of the West.

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 210 Central American Conflicts – 3 CR
Examines problems in the historical development of Central America in the 20th century, including ideological and military conflicts, underdevelopment and dependency, challenges d by indigenous people, options for change offered by the left neo-liberalism and the Catholic Church.

HI 212 Twentieth-Century 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 216 Princes to Peasants – 3 CR
A survey of European social history from the 14th century to the late 19th century. Emphasis on the household and family, gender, social class and rank, the body and death and material and daily life.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 282 East Asia in the Modern World – 3 CR
Traces the history of China and Japan from approximately 1800 to 1950. Special attention is paid to each nation's struggle for modern development.

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 China in Revolution – 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 287 The Holocaust – 3 CR|
Explores man's inhumanity to man as exemplified by the Nazi murder of two-thirds of European Jewry. Historical, psychological, sociological and literary themes; prejudice in general and anti-Semitism in particular are studied and followed by an inquiry into the Nazi years.

HI 299 Special Topics in History – 3 CR
Designates new or occasional courses that may or may not become part of the department's permanent offerings. Courses capitalize on a timely topic, a faculty member's particular interest, an experimental alternative to existing courses, etc. Prerequisites established by the department as appropriate for the specific course. Course title is shown on the student's transcript. Consult the current course schedule for available topics.

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 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 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.