Spring 2017 Courses


103. Development of the United States, 1607-1877
104. Development of the United States, 1877-Present
108. Introduction to African Studies
110. The Scientific Revolution
115. Introduction to Caribbean and Latin American Studies
160. The Islamic World
3024. Introduction to Peace Studies


200. Sophomore Seminar: History of Work in the Adirondack North Country
204. Modern Canada
229. Introduction to Native American History
234. Modern Latin America
273. Civil Rights Movement
3023. Senegal in the World
3046. 19th Century Palestine
3047. Medicine and Empire
299EUR. Historical Research Methods: The French Revolution and the War of Historians
299CLA. Historical Research Methods: US & Cuba


333. The Age of the American Revolution
382. Genocide in the Modern World
4008. Human Rights in Latin America


473. SYE: Historical Fiction
480. SYE: Seminar in African History

Semester-specific course descriptions

3024/PEAC 100: Introduction to Peace Studies (Donna Alvah)

The purpose of peace studies is to explore the potential for nonviolent methods of building social, political and economic justice. This course intentionally searches for alternative ways of understanding conflict. We will ask questions such as: Can we define “peace” in more positive terms than the unrealistic “absence of conflict”? Can conflict be positive or even transformative? Are “peacemakers” different from the rest of us? Can we all learn to live harmoniously with others who are very different from us? And what are ways to cultivate the inner peace that gives people the strength and insight to deal with conflict creatively and positively?

200: History of Work in the Adirondack North Country (Melissane Schrems)

North Country Public Radio (NCPR) is partnering with Dr. Schrems and other university and public historians to collaborate on the North Country at Work Project. The multi-year project requires the collection of photos and stories into a digital, fully-searchable public archive. We will be collecting the past and adding to the historical narrative and public discourse on the nature of work in the North Country. The archive will house images, documents and audio from the late 18th century into the present. This course will form the basis of Saint Lawrence University’s contribution to this project. This is a project that combines public history and digital humanities and will provide students with experience these combined areas. Within the framework of the course, students will study the unique history of Canton, Potsdam, Ogdensburg and the surrounding areas while also working to gather and provide context for the collected images, documents and audio. The course will require class time as well as time spent with NCPR reporters, researchers, as well as possible field work.

3046: 19th Century Palestine (Howard Eissenstat)

The contemporary Arab-Israeli Conflict is often framed as an ancient rivalry with roots in the misty past. This mythology renders the conflict mysterious, unknowable, and, inevitably, irresolvable. There is not, however, anything particularly mysterious about this history, which has its roots in late 19th century questions of empire, nation, and race. This course will examine that history up to the founding of Israel in 1948, with an emphasis on showing how the conflict connected with larger world transformations. This course is not open to students who have already taken HIST 368.

3047: Medicine and Empire: Global Health in Historical Perspective (Rosa Williams)

Practices of healing and promoting health are always embedded in broader social relations. In this course we consider the relationships between medicine, power and inequality which shaped the roles played by medical practitioners and medical ideas in modern imperialism and in resistance to it. And we will examine the lasting effects of imperial and anti-imperial perspectives on the contemporary field of global health. While we will consider a range of imperial contexts, we will draw particularly on examples of European colonial rule and its legacies in sub-Saharan Africa.

299EUR: The French Revolution and the War of Historians (Judith DeGroat)

Revolutions come from and generate conflict at the time and in the histories written in their aftermath (& sometimes before they even ended). The French Revolution is no exception and, some argue, sets the model for scholarly debates on an historical topic. In this course, following a brief survey of the Revolution, we will examine the historiography that emerged in wake of 1815. Students will choose a topic among the many available and develop their own individual project that will culminate in an historiographical essay.

299CLA: US & Cuba (Evelyn Jennings)

This course is a seminar designed for students interested in majoring in History, although the subject matter may be of interest to others. Our purpose will be to hone the skills in research, analysis, and interpretation integral to the “doing” of history. The topics of the seminar are the shifting relationship and often close, but contentious interactions between the United States and the island of Cuba from the mid- nineteenth century to the present. We will examine how Cuba’s evolution from Spain’s “ever faithful isle,” to occupied colony and protectorate of the United States, to revolutionary beacon or nemesis in a global context of imperialism and Cold War has informed historical interpretations of the relationship between the two countries. We will be especially interested in the representations (in texts and images) of Cuba and Cubans and the US and Americans and how these representations affect or shape the way histories are told and remembered. Students’ research projects will focus on the revolutionary period from the mid-1950s onward. The final product of the course will be a paper analyzing how and why historians have interpreted a particular aspect of the US-Cuban interactions since the mid-1950s. Also offered as CLAS 299.

4008: Political Violence and Human Rights in Latin America (Tamara Feinstein)

Political violence and human rights abuses pervaded the Latin American landscape throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, driven by state and non-state actors. The repercussions impacted the political horizons, social relations, and cultural representations of those who lived through the era. This course explores three different genres of political violence (Central American Civil Wars, Southern Cone Dirty Wars, and Andean Civil Wars) through the lens of three distinct country case studies that embody each form of violence. We will examine the historical precedents, scholarly debates, and cultural footprint of this violence, while also engaging firsthand testimony from the region.

473: SYE: Historical Fiction (Liz Regosin)

In this advanced and intense reading and research seminar, we will explore the writing of history through the vehicle of historical fiction. We will consider how the process of researching, imagining, and writing historical fiction resembles the process of creating formal scholarly history. At the heart of both forms is research, which provides the necessary groundwork for understanding how people in the past made sense of their world and acted in it. In both genres, authors seek, through acts of imagination, to offer windows into the perspectives of people who lived in the past and to structure accounts that illuminate the significance of the events and ideas being researched. By reading and writing both formal scholarship and historical fiction, students will hone their skills in research, analytical thinking, writing, and story-telling, which are at the heart of the historical enterprise.