103. Development of the United States, 1607-1877.
This course surveys the creation and development of American society from the European invasions and settlement of North America to the reconstruction period at the close of the Civil War. While the course follows the chronological development of and changes in American society, it also considers, in some depth, the major ideas and social movements that gave shape to the nation through primary and secondary sources. Topics include Puritans, the American Revolution, slavery, the Great Awakening, federalism, sectionalism, the Civil War and Reconstruction drawing on the racial and ethnic diversity of the American experience. Also offered through Native American Studies and Peace Studies.
104. Development of the United States, 1877–Present.
The development of American society from the end of Reconstruction to the present. Emphasis is on the institutions, ideas and movements that have shaped modern American society. Using both primary and secondary material, the course discusses the chronological development of and changes in American society as well as such topics as industrialization, urbanization, consumption and popular culture, the United States as a world power, the civil rights and women’s movements, the Vietnam War, Watergate and the end of the Cold War. Also offered through Peace Studies.
105. Early Asian Civilizations.
An introduction to the history of Asia to 1800 CE. The course focuses on several themes, all turning around how cultures and societies evolve and develop in interaction with each other. We explore cultural encounters through trade, war and diplomacy, personal encounters between individuals of different cultures and the processes of cultural diffusion, and pay attention to geography and the critical use of primary documents. Also offered through Asian Studies, Global Studies and Peace Studies.
106. Modern Asia.
This course examines the Asian region from 1650 to the present. We discuss the creation, dismantling and continuing remnants of colonialism, World Wars I and II in the Asian context, the Cold War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and recent economic development. The course begins with an overview of Asian geography, culture and history. It is designed to introduce students to major events and issues of modern Asia and also to improve students’ skills in critical reading, writing, use of primary and secondary sources, and oral communication. Also offered through Asian Studies and Peace Studies.
108. Introduction to African Studies: History and Development.
This course serves as a broad, interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Africa. Course materials and readings are designed to give special emphasis to African initiatives and perspectives in shaping their own history. African interactions in a global context are emphasized to highlight issues such as the Atlantic Slave Trade and colonization. Other topics include cultural diversity, geography and environment, religious expression and development. At the end of the course students will be able to see how Africans have participated in world historical events and explain the many forces that have shaped African societies over the past 500 years. Also offered as African Studies 101.
110. The Scientific Revolution.
This course covers the development of scientific thought in the period 1500 to 1725. It examines changing views of nature in the fields of anatomy and physiology, astronomy and physics. Although the primary focus is on specific scientific developments, they are discussed in the context of concurrent social, economic and religious changes. The course fulfills the humanities distribution requirement. Also offered as Physics 110 and through European Studies.
115. Introduction to Caribbean and Latin American Studies.
This course is an introduction to the richness of Caribbean and Latin American cultures, the region’s turbulent history of conquest and colonization, the diversity of its peoples and history, and the challenges of its development. An important objective of the course is to examine our individual places in the histories of the Americas in comparative perspective. The course provides a framework for study on St. Lawrence’s Costa Rica or Trinidad programs. It satisfies both the humanities and the diversity distribution requirements and is a required course for CLAS minors. Also offered as Caribbean and Latin American Studies 104.
160. The Islamic World.
This course is designed as an introduction to the history of the Middle East and to some of the ways in which historians have approached that history. Topics to be considered include the development of classical Islamic culture, the nature of the Sunni–Shii split, the role of non-Muslims in Islamicate societies, jihad, gender and sexuality, and the relationship of the Middle Eastern history to wider historical changes. No previous knowledge or background in Islam or Middle Eastern history is required or expected.
203. Early Canada, 1534-1867.
After laying eyes upon the eastern coast of Canada in May 1534, the French explorer Jacques Cartier remarked that it resembled the “land that God gave to Cain.” Despite Cartier’s initial misgivings, Canada presented numerous opportunities to Europeans, as it had for the First Nations. For three centuries, the northern half of North America was an imperial domain of the French, and then of the British. In 1867, the Dominion of Canada was created, and the first steps toward the Canada that we know today were taken. This course explores the political, economic, social and cultural life of Early Canada, from the age of European contact to Confederation. Also offered through Canadian Studies.
204. Modern Canada.
On July 1, 1867, the three British North American colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the United Province of Canada (early Quebec and Ontario) joined to create the Dominion of Canada. From the time of Confederation to the end of the Great War, Canada remained in the shadow of Great Britain. In the period following the war, the dominion moved toward closer relations with the United States. It is between these two empires, one across the Atlantic Ocean, the other on the North American continent that Canada’s evolution as a nation might be understood in the broadest sense. Yet, such an approach masks the internal forces that moved Canada from dominion status to one of the world’s most prolific international actors of the twentieth century. In this course, we will examine the “making” of modern Canada from Confederation to the end of the twentieth century by focusing upon the imperial and continental contexts, as well as domestic political, economic, social and cultural factors.
205. Nineteenth-Century Europe.
An overview of the political, social, cultural and intellectual history of Europe in the 19th century, from the French Revolution to the outbreak of the First World War. This era saw the disintegration of previous ways of understanding the world and the rise of new visions of cultural, social and political organization. Movements including liberalism, nationalism, socialism, feminism and imperialism sought to reshape the European landscape, while economic and scientific transformations altered Europeans’ experience and perception of the world. We consider a variety of texts, including novels, poetry, speeches, manifestos, visual art and music. Also offered through European Studies.
206. Twentieth-Century Europe.
An overview of the political, social, cultural and intellectual history of Europe in the 20th century. Wars, economic upheavals, revolutions and genocidal atrocities reshaped Europe in the first half of the century, radically altering the physical and psychic landscape. Feminism, socialism, communism and fascism challenged the political system, while the intellectual and artistic avant-garde questioned basic assumptions of European culture. The Cold War, decolonization and attempts to express a new European identity defined the second half of the century. We consider a variety of texts, including novels, poetry, speeches, art and films. Also offered through European Studies.
208. Ottoman Empire and the Early Modern World.
This course examines the rise and development of the Ottoman Empire from its origins in early 14th-century Anatolia to the end of the 18th century. In addition to tracing the development of political and military institutions, the course explores changing social relations, with particular attention to the role of women and non-Muslim populations in Ottoman society. A particular emphasis is the relation of the Ottoman Empire to wider global trends and its diplomatic, military and cultural interactions with Europe.
211. Women in Modern Europe, 1750 to the Present.
This course surveys the roles of women in the political, economic and social history of modern Europe. Beginning with the 18th century, the course traces the public and private activities of women and the changing cultural definitions of those activities up to the present. Topics include the Enlightenment, industrialization, revolutionary and wartime activities, feminist movements and the rise of the welfare state. Also offered through European Studies.
229. Introduction to Native American History.
This course introduces students to key themes in the study of the history of indigenous peoples, focusing primarily on those peoples and cultures currently residing within the border of the present-day United States. Topics range from creation stories and their value in the construction of Native histories to contemporary social and political struggles over land claims, the question of identity and the repatriation of cultural items. The course stresses the historical and on-going agency of Native American societies and emphasizes the theme of Native peoples’ creative adaptations to historical change. Also offered through Native American Studies and Peace Studies.
233. Colonial Latin America.
This course surveys the formation and historical development of colonial Latin America. We begin with initial encounters between indigenous peoples of the Americas and Iberians in the 15th century and end with Portugal and Spain’s loss of their mainland colonies in the Americas in the 1820s. Part of our task is to understand the dynamics of race, class and gender in the colonial societies that developed from the violent collision of cultures during the conquest. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Peace Studies.
234. Modern Latin America.
This course surveys the history and development of modern Latin America. We begin with a brief overview of the colonial and early national periods, but the main focus of the course is from 1870 to the present. Some of the issues that concern us include the historical roots of the human and cultural diversity of modern Latin America, the region’s relationships to a changing world economy, politics and human rights, and migration and diasporic cultures. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Peace Studies.
239. Imperial Spain.
This course considers Spain as both an agent and an object of colonization. Its chronological sweep is broad, from ancient times through the 19th century. The central portion of the course focuses on Spain at the height of its imperial power, from the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries, with Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quijote (in a modern English translation) as an important source. Themes include religious, cultural and racial diversity in Spain and its empire, and the price of empire for Spanish development.
243. Origins of American Foreign Policy (Colonial Era to 1900).
Since its creation, the United States has been connected with the wider world through trade, immigration, territorial expansion, and war. This course examines the roots and characteristics of American foreign policy and foreign relations from colonial times through the nineteenth century, while giving attention to how domestic politics, public opinion, society, and culture responded to and shaped government policies and international relations. We also consider how ideas about race and gender influenced policies and relations with other nations; how the territorial expansion of the United States affected Native Americans; and how the peoples of other nations responded to U.S. policies.
244. Twentieth-Century U.S. Foreign Policy.
A history of the development and prosecution of American foreign policy following the emergence of the United States as a world power. Particular attention is focused on the effort to rationalize traditional democratic ideals with the expanding role of the United States as an imperialist world power. Much of the latter half of the course is devoted to an examination of the causes and consequences of the rivalry between the United States and the USSR and the post-Cold War era. History 243 or 104 is recommended but not required. Also offered through Peace Studies.
247/248. Special Topics in History.
Topics vary. Consult the department course guide for current offerings.
252. Conflict in Africa.
From discussions of Darfur, to genocide in Rwanda, conflict is often the center of contemporary discourse about Africa. But what do we mean by conflict in Africa? Is it as violent and widespread as the media portrays? This course uses case studies throughout the last two centuries of African history to examine broad social and political dimensions of conflict. Cases examine issues such as colonialism, ethnicity, generational tensions and genocide from diverse perspectives. The course is primarily discussion based and will challenge students to develop their thoughts on issues through oral debates and writing assignments. No prerequisites are required. Also offered as African Studies 252 .
253. Colonial British America.
In this course we examine the lives of the Native American, European and African inhabitants of Colonial British America. The history of colonial British America includes more than stereotypes of Puritans, Plymouth Rock, Thanksgiving and witches. By focusing on the social, economic and intellectual factors that comprised the colonial world, we come to understand the influences that reach beyond this era into the present day.
254. History of Modern France, 1815 to the Present.
This course provides an upper-level survey of French history from the Restoration through the Fifth Republic. The legacy of the 1789 Revolution, the origins of the Dreyfus Affair, the Vichy Regime and the Resistance, de Beauvoir’s feminism, de Gaulle’s and Mitterand’s presidencies, the rise of the National Front and the confrontation between Islam and republicanism are among many topics explored. The course includes cultural and social history as well as politics and foreign policy. Also offered through European Studies.
256. Slavery and Freedom in the Americas.
This course surveys the genesis and dissolution of the transatlantic slave trade and the slave societies that created the demand for this trade in both North and South America and the Caribbean. The perspective is Atlantic in scope, trying to understand the impact of this forced migration on Africa and Africans and on American societies, defined as all of the Americas, not just the U.S. We also discuss some of the movements to abolish the slave trade and slavery itself, examining how the people involved defined freedom. Also offered through African-American Studies, Caribbean and Latin American Studies and Peace Studies.
263. African-American History to 1865.
A survey of the social, political, cultural and economic history of African Americans from the 1600s to the end of the Civil War. Topics include the Atlantic slave trade, colonial and antebellum slavery, family life, resistance to slavery and African-Americans’ participation in the Civil War and contributions to the building of the nation. Also offered through African-American Studies.
264. African-American History, 1865-Present.
A survey of the social, political, cultural and economic history of African-Americans from 1865 to the present day. Topics include Reconstruction, the implementation of segregation, the Harlem Renaissance, African-Americans’ participation in both World Wars and Vietnam, the civil rights movement, the black power movement and activism in the 1980s and 1990s. Also offered through African-American Studies.
267. The Holocaust.
This course focuses on the development of the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945, within the contexts of Christian anti-Semitism, Nazi ideas of race and empire, and World War II. We also address the relationship between the Nazi genocide against the Jews and Nazi persecution of other groups such as Slavs, Roma and the disabled. Finally, we consider the Holocaust’s implications for Jewish and German identity, Christian and Jewish theology, international law, and understanding genocide broadly. Also offered as Religious Studies 267 and through European Studies and Peace Studies.
272. The New South.
A survey of the history of the Southern United States from Reconstruction to the present. The primary focus is on the political, economic and social history of the South, although attention is paid to its cultural history, especially through an examination of stereotypes about the South. A major theme is the interrogation of the notion of Southern “distinctiveness,” how that notion has served the needs of the nation outside the South and whether the South is still a culturally distinct region. Also offered through African-American Studies.
273. Civil Rights Movement.
This course examines the civil rights movement from Brown v. Board of Education to the battles over Affirmative Action at the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities today. The course traces the ideological developments and struggles in the movement, especially as major protest activities spread outside the South to the North and West; it focuses on the events of the movement and on the disagreements over strategies, tactics and goals among various civil rights organizations and leaders. The course uses a variety of texts to explore the movement, including memoirs, scholarly articles and monographs, Hollywood feature films and documentaries. Also offered through African-American Studies and Peace Studies.
280. History of Women in America.
This course examines the history of women in the United States in the context of broad social changes between 1600 and 1990. Political, social, legal, demographic and economic changes all shaped and informed the experiences of women in the colonies and the United States; the course examines how women responded to these changes and how they worked to bring about changes that improved the circumstances of their lives. Gender relations, race relations, industrialization, immigration and family structure provide focal points throughout the course.
282. Modern Japan.
This course covers Japanese history from the Tokugawa to the present. Treatment is thematic, including the rise and fall of the Tokugawa, Japan’s encounter with the imperialist powers, Taisho democracy, World War II and social/economic trends since that war. We will read novels, memoirs and biographies, and use film as well. Students will write response papers on the readings, give oral presentations on research projects, and take turns leading discussion.
283. Modern Iran.
This course examines the history of Iran in the modern era. After an overview of Iran under Safavid rule and the early Qajars, this course will focus on social, political, and cultural transformations in Iran from the late 19th century to the present. Topics of particular interest will include the question of “modernity,” the role of the ulema, the Constitutional and Islamic revolutions, the rise of political Islam, the role of Iran in regional politics, and issues of gender and sexuality. Classes will alternate between formal lectures and seminar-style discussions. The instructor assumes motivated students willing to work and to be challenged.
289/290. Independent Study.
Designed for the exploration in depth of a topic not covered by an existing course, an independent project requires a proposal designed with the faculty sponsor that is approved by the department chair the semester prior to its undertaking. Only one such course may count toward the major or minor.
292. Modern China.
This course covers three revolutions in modern Chinese history: 1) the rise of the Communist Party; 2) the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976, using memoirs of Chinese who lived through that decade; 3) the “economic revolution” of the 1980s and 1990s in the context of the Pacific Rim region. Also offered through Asian Studies and Peace Studies.
299. Seminar on Historical Research Methods.
This course, required for the major and the minor in history, is designed to offer students an opportunity to learn about and practice the tools of the historian’s craft while examining a particular topic in detail. The main focus is the “history of the history” of the particular topic, also known as historiography. While topics vary, the course proceeds in seminar fashion and entails extensive reading and writing assignments. Prerequisite: a 100- or 200-level history course.
308. European Imperialisms.
The development, transformations and decline of European imperialism with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. We focus on the ways that European constructions of gender and race influenced and were influenced by the encounters between colonizer and colonized. A partial list of topics includes the French in North and West Africa and Southeast Asia, the Dutch in the East Indies and Southern Africa, and the British in Ireland and India. Also offered through African Studies and European Studies.
311. Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Science.
This course examines a few of the major developments of the 19th and 20th centuries in some detail. Topics include evolution, genetics and a synthesis of the two; the wave theory of light and special relativity; the discovery of the atomic and nuclear structure of matter; and the Manhattan Project. Also considered are the various ways historians of science go about constructing the stories they write as well as some of the historiographic issues they face. This course satisfies the humanities distribution requirement. Also offered as Physics 311 and through European Studies.
319. The Nuclear World.
Are nuclear weapons fundamentally different from conventional weapons? If they are, how did we allow them to become such a central part of our political world? In this course we examine the confluence of history and science that led from the discovery of nuclear fission to the first atomic weapons and beyond, to issues of use and control of nuclear materials today. To help us understand some of the complexities of the nuclear world, we will study and discuss both the scientific and the historical sides of the issue through scholarly accounts, primary documents, biography, fiction and film. This course satisfies the science studies distribution requirement. Also offered through Peace Studies and as Physics 319.
325. The Vietnam War.
This seminar examines the United States’ relationship with Vietnam between World War II and the present, concentrating on the period of the U.S. political and military commitment to the South Vietnamese government in its war against the communist nationalists (1955-1975). We consider a variety of perspectives — those of Vietnamese communists, anti-communists, and “the people in the middle”; of American supporters and opponents of the war — including policymakers, soldiers and demonstrators; and of other nations’ participants and onlookers. We also study how the war influenced American domestic politics, society and culture (and continues to do so). Also offered through Peace Studies.
331. Imagining the South.
“You should need a passport to come down here.” In 2002, a character in the movie Sweet Home Alabama used these words to characterize the South as a region so unlike the rest of the nation that it is better thought of as a foreign country. This course explores the various ways in which the South has been depicted by non-Southerners and Southerners alike. A variety of genres — historical texts, memoir, fiction, film, music — are used to interrogate the images of the South and to ask what national purposes these images have served and continue to serve. Also offered through African-American Studies.
333. The Age of the American Revolution.
An in-depth examination of the causes, progress and consequences of the American Revolution, including a summary of the constitutional, economic and social development of the colonies to 1763; the alteration of British colonial policy after 1763 and the American response; internal unrest within the colonies; the development of a revolutionary movement culminating in the Declaration of Independence; the war to secure independence; and the Constitution of 1787. Also offered through Native American Studies and Peace Studies.
334. Civil War and Reconstruction.
This course addresses the social, political and cultural issues surrounding the Civil War and the efforts to resolve them before, during and after the war. While attention is paid to the military nature of the conflict, special emphasis is on social and political developments that shaped the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Topics of study include the road to disunion; the dismantling of slavery; race relations before, during and after the conflict; amendments to the constitution; and the construction of citizenship in the post-war era.
352. Playing Indian: Native American Stereotypes in American History and Imagination.
When are Indians not Native Americans? When they are the stereotypes created as expressions of the cultural and historical hegemony of a predominantly non-Native society that obscures the diverse realties of the real people. Since the 15th century, when Native peoples were named “Indians” by a very confused explorer, Natives have been regarded as more historical objects than agents. We discuss the historical construction and use of “Indians” by colonists, modern (non-Native) Americans and Native Americans themselves, and examine Indian stereotypes in the construction of the American ideal in history, art, film, literature, television and music. Also offered through Native American Studies.
362. Topics in American Economic History.
This course offers an overview of the economic development of the United States. The specific topics covered will vary by instructor, but have included the economic causes of the American Revolution, the evolution of financial markets, the economics of slavery and Reconstruction, the Populist movement, the growth of government in the Progressive Era, the effects of war and other crises on the U.S. economy, and the Great Depression. Emphasis is placed on the role economic theory can play in understanding pivotal events of U.S. history and their relevance for current events. Prerequisites: Economics 251 and 252. Also offered as Economics 362.
365. Colloquium in American History.
Topics vary. Consult the department course guide for current offerings.
368. Palestine and the Arab-Israeili Conflict.
This class explores the development of two competing nationalism movements, Israeli and Palestinian, from their roots in the 19th century to the present day. Beyond gaining an understanding of the development of “the conflict,” this course pays particular attention to the development of both Israeli and Palestinian identities and societies. Other key considerations are the interaction between politics and history and an examination of some of the key historiographical debates in the field, including the wars of 1948 and 1967, the peace process, and the “authenticity” of national constructions and nationalist claims. Texts include secondary and primary source readings, novels, and films.
371. Eighteenth-Century Europe and the French Revolution.
This course examines the origins of the French Revolution in 18th-century Europe and the revolution itself. Topics include social, economic and cultural as well as political questions; the consequences of the revolution for France, Europe and the world up to 1815 are considered. The ever-changing historiography of the revolution provides the organizing principle for the course. Also offered through European Studies and Peace Studies.
372. European Identities, 1700-2000.
This seminar examines the construction and transformation of European identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. The impact of the encounters between Europeans and non-Europeans on the culture and society of both old and new Europe is a particular focus. Beginning with the debates on national identity in the early 19th century and continuing with inter-European migration and colonial expansion, the course examines the developing relationship between European and colonial peoples that led to the establishment of significant immigrant communities in the West. The course concludes with an assessment of topics relevant to current European social and political concerns. Also offered through European Studies.
373. Japan and the United States in World War II, 1931-1952.
In this course we examine the relationship between Japan and the United States in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. We discuss anti-war 151 political activism in the U.S. and Japan, the internment of Japanese- Americans, the role of propaganda in both countries, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Allied occupation of Japan after the war. We work on writing and oral communication skills and discuss such concerns as how cultures understand and misunderstand each other. Also offered through Peace Studies.
375. Colloquium in European History.
Topics vary; consult the department course guide for current offerings. Also offered through European Studies.
376. Colloquium in African History.
Topics vary; consult the department course guide for current offerings.
377. Colloquium in Asian History.
Topics vary; consult the department course guide for current offerings. Also offered through Asian Studies.
378. Colloquium in Caribbean and Latin American History.
Topics vary; consult the department course guide for current offerings. Also offered through Caribbean and Latin American Studies.
379. Colloquium in Middle Eastern History.
Topics vary; consult the department course guide for current offerings.
382. Genocide in the Modern World.
The last two centuries have seen mass violence on a scale unprecedented in human history. Among the most horrifying forms this violence took was the attempt to systematically exterminate whole religious/ethnic/national groups, which Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide” to describe. In this course, we examine individual historical cases of genocide (including the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, Khmer Rouge Cambodia, and the Rwandan genocide) and also consider theoretical approaches that seek to explain its causes and dynamics. We also survey the history of attempts to prevent genocide.
471-480. SYE: Senior Seminars.
Seminars, restricted to senior majors and minors, are normally limited to 10 students and require the production of a substantial research paper. Successful completion of at least one SYE seminar course is required for the major. Odd-numbered courses are taught in the fall, even-numbered courses in the spring. Topics vary; consult the current department course guide for details. Prerequisite: One HIST 299 seminar.
471-472. SYE: Seminars in European History.
Also offered through European Studies.
473-474. SYE: Seminars in American History.
475-476. SYE: Seminars in Asian History.
475 also offered through Asian Studies.
477-478. SYE: Seminars in Comparative History.
480. SYE: Contemporary Africa.
From political strife to economic and social challenges, contemporary African issues current are often described as primordial conditions or products of recent political failures. However to understand Africa today, one must move beyond these simplistic explanations. This course will challenge students to use an interdisciplinary approach to examine how contemporary issues must be examined within a complex historical framework. As a research seminar a substantial portion of class time and assignments are devoted to producing a significant research paper. A background in history and African studies is strongly recommended. Also offered as African Studies 480.
These courses provide an opportunity for qualified juniors and seniors to obtain credit for work at local, state or national historical agencies, archives or museums. Supervision is provided by the host agency. Responsibility for evaluating the experience rests with the history department faculty coordinator. The internship must be set up in the prior semester at the initiative of the student, in consultation with one faculty member and the chair. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and chair of the department.
489,490. SYE: Independent Study.
To qualify, students must have a 3.2 GPA in the history department. Normally, students should have senior standing with a major or minor in history. Applicants must demonstrate that the study they wish to pursue has serious intellectual merit and that their objectives cannot be accomplished within the framework of existing course offerings. This course must be set up in the prior semester. Prerequisite: permission of instructor and chair of the department.
498,499. SYE: Honors Thesis.
See the description of the history honors program in the history department’s online Majors/Minors Handbook. Students should consult the department chair for complete details.