Fall 2023 Courses
Fall 2023 Schedule of Upper-Level Undergraduate History classes:
- Instructor: Dr. Dossey
- MWF, 10:25-11:15 AM
This course examines the interaction between Romans and the so-called “barbarians” such as the Goths, Huns, and Arabs from the 2nd to the 7th centuries CE. We will be addressing issues such as: the late Roman military – whether the enemies were getting stronger or the Roman army weaker; the “movement of peoples” - whether large-scale migrations really occurred; the ethnic identity of peoples like the Goths or Huns – did they have some basis in reality (as assessed by archaeology and scientific evidence); the incorporation of immigrants - both how well the Romans integrated them and how modern attitudes toward immigration have influenced the scholarship on the ancient “barbarians.” During most weeks, the class will take the form of lectures and discussion. However, on certain weeks, we will engage in historical role-playing in order to make events appear more “real” to you. Each of you will be given a key role for one of these weeks (Game Leadership) and research your character, write a short paper (usually in the form of a persuasive speech), and help write the procedures for play (the “Gamebook”). In addition to these assignments, there will be two in-class exams as well as occasional quizzes on the readings.
- Instructor: Dr. Dennis
- TuTh,10:00-11:15 AM
"19th Century German History" might sound a bit boring,
but this was THE era of modern political, cultural, and intellectual development and the Germans were right in the middle of it all! Against the background of political and social developments such as the Napoleonic Wars, the Restoration, the Revolution of 1848, the unification of Germany, the German Empire under Bismarck and Wilhelm II, and the events leading to the First World War, we will explore responses to these issues by leaders in German cultural life--which constitute initial responses to the conditions of our own lives! Discussing literary texts, visual arts and music, we will investigate intellectual leaders like Goethe, Heine, Marx, Wagner, Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, and Heinrich Mann, as well as the incredible music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, and Schoenberg. All of this will be done in a "blended" course format. It will involve independent study of online lectures (allowing you to go through them on your own time, at your own pace) combined with discussion of these lectures with the professor. As a 200-level class, research papers are not required, though they can be done for extra credit.
- Instructor: Dr. Johnson
- MWF, 11:30-12:20
- HIST 297E-01W is being taught as a Writing Intensive Class
- Cross-listed with ENVS 297-01W
- How did we kill off the passenger pigeon?
- Why do many Native Americans hate national parks? Why did white environmentalists used to hate Native Americans, but now love them?
- What did environmentalists in the 1970s think a sustainable society would look like?
- Why are the air and water cleaner now than when your parents were born?
- Is there hope that we can solve the climate change crisis?
All of these questions and more will be answered in this ground-level romp through United States history.
- HIST 299-01W, TuTh 1:00-2:15 PM, Dr. Kaufman
- HIST 299-02W, TuTh 8:30-9:45 AM, Dr. Schloesser
- Both sections of History 299 count toward the Writing Intensive requirement
- Open to History Majors - contact David Hays at email@example.com to register or for more information.
Prerequisite: 12 hrs in HIST
Description: This course studies the ways historians arrive at their interpretation of events. This is accomplished through a history of historical writing or through a special selected topic that illustrates the use of different methods by past and present historians. Students are expected to take this course after completing their four introductory courses for the major.
Outcome: students will understand that history is not a set of facts but a discipline that depends on competing paradigms and the ongoing interpretation of primary sources.
- Dr. Gross-Diaz
- TuTh, 11:30 am - 12:45 pm
Stinky peasants, feudalism, all-powerful popes? Not so much! Medieval Europe was a complex and connected world. Our studies will lead to a fuller appreciation of the richness of medieval society and its contributions to the modern world. Surveyed issues will include (among others) religion and race in Iberia, chivalry and violence, social reform and revolt, and reactions to the Black Death. Course will proceed through discussion of primary and secondary sources; research paper optional.
Instructor: Stabler Miller
Days/Times: TuTh, 10:00-12:45
Description: Sometimes termed the “Age of Faith,” the Middle Ages (c. 500 to 1500 CE) are also regarded as an age of violence, persecution, and religious intolerance. To what extent was this period truly an “Age of Faith” or a “persecuting society”? How did religious authorities and pious laypeople reconcile violence with the message of love in the gospels? What were the limits of belief? What were the limits of religious tolerance? In what ways did the process of defining “correct belief” (orthodoxy) depend on definitions of “wrong belief” (heresy)? Who decided? Who resisted, why, and with what consequences? To grapple with these complex issues, this course will approach the past by reenacting the past. Students will research and enact specific perspectives (inquisitors, notaries, priests, mystics, nobles, peasants, etc.) as a class.
Days/Times: TuTh, 11:30-12:45
Description: This is a course in the social and cultural history of Early-modern England. While not unaware of the political and constitutional developments of the Tudor and Stuart periods, it proposes to concentrate upon those enduring beliefs and continuing realities that formed the background to the lives of the great mass of the common people. It will focus, in particular, upon the tension between how early modern English men and women saw their world (ordered, hierarchical, stable, divinely sanctioned) and what their world was actually and increasingly like (disordered, socially mobile, unstable, secular). This tension will be explored through reading and critical discussion of the best and most recent work in demography, iconography, family history, women’s history, and the histories of material culture, popular culture, religion, education, and crime. Thus, students enrolled in this course will be exposed not only to current work on an interesting and important subject, but also to a wide variety of historical methodologies as well as the preoccupations and techniques of related fields such as anthropology and art history.
- Instructor: Dr. Suszko
- MWF 1:40 - 2:30 pm
The extraordinary popularity that nationalism has enjoyed over the last centuries among European as well as non-European societies makes it necessary to study this phenomenon in great detail. The course will begin by tracing the origins and various forms of nationalism, continue with the establishment of nation-states, and end with a discussion of various national, ethnic, and migration issues that dominate European and world politics today.
- Instructor: Dr. Jones Hemenway
- Tu, 4:15 - 6:45 pm
- Cross-listed with WSGS 330 - WSGS 330 is the course you register for.
This course focuses on the history and development of feminist thought and activism since the late eighteenth century. Attention goes beyond just U.S. and European feminist history, exploring Indigenous, Black, and postcolonial feminism to investigate their unique feminist ideas and the challenges they pose to "traditional" feminist thought and action.
Outcomes: Students will learn to identify key concepts, thinkers, activists; analyze and critique some of the major works; and develop an integrated understanding of the history of feminist thought, broadly conceived.
- Instructor: Dr. Pincince
- MWF, 2:45-3:35 pm
This course explores the historical processes of anti-colonial resistance and decolonization in the twentieth century. The end of modern colonialism and the emergence of new nation-states in Africa and Asia mark one of the most significant transformations in modern history. In an examination of late (or “New”) imperialism at the end of the nineteenth through the twentieth century, this course will consider the ways in which imperial agents justified their subjugation of colonized peoples and the multi-pronged ways in which colonized peoples came to resist and end colonial rule.
- Instructor: Dr. Hamilton
- MW, 2:45-4:00 PM
Description: Black History Matters
Recent years have witnessed a concerted backlash against theories and pedagogies that challenge one-dimensional experiences in history. Nevertheless, an exploration of the multi-layered experiences of diverse groups of Americans matters—including African American History. In this course, we will explore the varying intersectional experiences of African Americans during multiple critical periods in American History. We will focus on topics that include black experiences under American slavery, the Jim Crow period, and the years surrounding the Modern Civil Rights era, and the Black Power Movement. We will pay close attention to primary and secondary texts, including, where possible, music and the visual arts. We will tackle difficult topics, such as lynching, police brutality, mass incarceration, and sexual assault. As a main objective, we also will explore the various moments of agency that willed African Americans through such difficult periods and trials, while also gaining a better understanding of several theoretical frameworks, such as Critical Race Theory and intersectionalism. Student assessments will vary accordingly, and may include short responses/quizzes, tests, presentations, book and/or film reviews. Students can expect moderate-level reading and full class participation. Those familiar with the trajectory of American history are strongly encouraged to this course.
- Instructor: Dr. Gilfoyle
- W, 2:45 - 5:15 pm
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders. (Carl Sandburg)
From poetry to politics, even the nicknames evoke the complicated history of the region now called Chicago: "The Second City," "the Windy City," "the City of the Century," "city on the make" (Nelson Algren), Urbs in horto - "City in a Garden” (official motto), Ubi Est Mea - "Where's mine?" (Mike Royko), and "the gargantuan abattoir by Lake Michigan" (H.L. Mencken). Between 1600 and 2021, the Chicago region evolved from an area filled with Native American and Indigenous settlements to one of the three largest urban metropolitan regions on the North American continent. This courses examines that evolution by focusing on major themes in American urban history related to Chicago: the interaction of private commerce with cultural change; the evolution from commercial to industrial to service economies; rise of distinctive working and middle classes; the creation and segregation of public and private spaces; the formation of new and distinctive urban subcultures organized by gender, work, race, religion, ethnicity, and sexuality; problems of health and housing resulting from congestion; and the building of the physical city. Field trips and walking tours will be a vital component of the class. Students will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge of Chicago’s history, improve their writing ability, and develop critical thinking and communication skills. This course fulfills the theory requirement for the urban studies minor.
- Instructor: Dr. Gorn
- M, 4:15-6:45
A course on recent American History as seen through life stories. Our topics include immigration, ethnic communities, gender and sexuality, but we explore them by reading and discussing parts of classic memoirs such as Coming of Age in Mississippi, The Woman Warrior, Maus, and Angela's Ashes.
- Instructor: Dr. Mooney-Melvin
- Engaged Learning: This course counts toward the Engaged Learning requirement for graduation.
- For information, contact Dr. Mooney-Melvin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in gaining valuable professional experience while also earning three course credits? Want to earn your Engaged Learning Credit by working with institutions engaged in history-related projects? Consider continuing your education outside the traditional classroom with an internship this fall! Internship possibilities include historical associations and societies; oral history projects; museums and halls of fame; entrepreneurial history firms; genealogical services; preservation agencies; and archives and libraries. Interns work for a minimum of five hours per week in an internship position jointly agreed upon by the student and the internship director. Interns are also required to attend seminar meetings, keep a weekly journal, and write a paper related to the internship experience. Want to learn more? Check out these stories of graduate and undergraduate-level history interns and reach out to Dr. Patricia Mooney-Melvin for more details.
Description: This course provides three hours credit for students engaged in history related internships in the public and private sectors. Students will be able to obtain an internship position, to learn on-the-job from an experienced practitioner in a wide variety of public and private sector settings, to draw links between their present situation and historical research, and to develop critical thinking and communication skills.
Days/Times: MW, 2:45-4:00
Description: Covering southeast European areas once ruled by the Habsburg, Venetian, and Ottoman Empires, the course explores the following issues: the rise and fall of empires; nationalism and nation-formation; Communism and postsocialist transformations; popular culture and politics; and experiences of war, organized violence, and international intervention.
Days/Times: TuTh, 10:00-11:15
Description: This upper-level history course examines the ways that images and understandings of the future have shaped cultures, societies, economies and politics in different places and times.
Our exploration of this topic will range across the globe and across centuries, with considerable attention paid to a modern 20th- and 21st-century interest in futurism. We will trace this interest both in the science of foresight and in science fiction. Imagined tomorrows often involve stories about technology and transformation, though we should not let this blind us. Examining the future in historical terms and with a historian’s appreciation of contingency and context provides a prism though which we can gain insights into the projection of human power—over others, over chance, and over the natural world.
Students in the course will encounter theoretical and historical understandings of time and temporality, as well as gain exposure to a range of practical futuring and speculation techniques. Students will conduct original historical research and sharpen their critical reasoning and writing skills.
Days/Times: TuTh, 11:30-12:45
Description: The civilizational importance of sub-Saharan Africa was virtually ignored until around sixty years ago. The belief was that Africans had never evolved civilizations of their own; if they possessed a history, it could be scarcely worth the telling. Furthermore, Africans had lived in universal chaos or stagnation until the coming of the Europeans. The purpose of this course is to provide nuance to this narrative with an examination of the multitude of African empires and kingdoms that arose from the beginning of the 4th century of the common era(CE) till the beginning of the European colonial period ( mid 1800s). Issues such as what factors are required for a geo-political entity to become an empire, what causes an empire to thrive, what causes it to decline and collapse, the role of religion, specifically Islam in the rise of African empires will be treated throughout the course of the semester.
Days/Times: TuTh, 8:30-9:45
Description: This course explores the fundamental contributions slavery and the slave trade made to American economic development. It challenges the widespread assumption that “free markets” were essential features of nineteenth century economic history, a period that witnessed the convergence of plantation and industrial capitalism. Finally, drawing on interviews with former slaves, the course foregrounds the experiences of enslaved people to put human beings -rather than economic theory and statistics -at the center of slavery’s economic history.
Days/Times: Th, 6:00-8:30
Days/Times: Th, 2:30-5:00
Description: This is an interdisciplinary research seminar on the history of eating disorders. In class, students will engage in intensive, primary-source based research individually and in small groups. All students will be contributing to the same larger question: How and why did eating disorders become so prevalent in the United States and around the world during the late twentieth century? By the end of the semester, each student will have produced an original 15-20 page research paper based on primary and secondary sources, and will have the opportunity to present research to the public at a student symposium “History of Psychiatry: Eating Disorders.” By experiencing both the successes and failures of original archival research, students will gain a deeper understanding of the historical research process, as well as contributing to the development of a database of primary source materials related to the history of 20th century psychiatry.
There are no prerequisites, although a background in psychology and/or research experience will be useful.
Days/Times: Tu, 2:30-5:00
The purpose of this course is for you to produce a significant argumentative research paper based on your own analysis of primary sources and framed with historical contextualization by means of appropriate secondary sources. Primary sources are material, artistic, and intellectual products from the period and place that you are studying (including, but not limited to, writings, art, statistics, literature, architecture, material objects, and interviews); secondary sources are academic studies (books or academic articles by contemporary scholars). A good rule of thumb is that an academic secondary source will usually have footnotes and a formal bibliography. The paper you write for this class may be about any topic and time period in history as long as you can read the primary sources in their original language or can find adequate primary sources in translation.
As a research seminar, there are no lectures and most classes are discussion-driven. There are many weeks when class does not meet in order to allow you time to work intensively on your paper. The semester also includes mandatory individual meetings with me as well as opportunities for peer feedback; take advantage of these chances for feedback and expect to do a lot of revising.
Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to work under the direction of a faculty member on a particular area of interest that is not part of the department's usual curriculum.
Outcome: Students will gain an understanding of a specific area of history through the close reading of selected texts and the preparation of a research paper.
GENERAL GUIDE TO HISTORY COURSE NUMBERS
- HIST 101-104: These courses satisfy Foundational (Tier 1) Historical Knowledge
- HIST 208-213: These courses satisfy Tier 2 Historical Knowledge
- HIST 250-298: Courses designed for non-majors as well as majors/minors: typically have less intensive reading and writing
- HIST 299: Historical Methods - required historiography course for History majors
- HIST 300-399: Courses for students wanting to learn more deeply about a specific subject