Curriculum

Curriculum

Core Courses

HIST 101          Western Civilization I

HIST 102          Western Civilization II

Required Major Courses

HIST 208          Intermediate History of the United States

HIST 401          Historiography

HIST 402/490    Senior Seminar/Honors Thesis

Elective Major Courses (five required – of which one must be an American History topic)

Intermediate Courses in History

HIST 224          Medieval Europe

HIST 225          Renaissance & Reformation

HIST 228          20th Century Europe

HIST 266          British Empire

HIST 267          Victorian Society            

HIST 290          History of Ideas

Advanced Courses in History

HIST 301          Topics in Church History

HIST 307          The United States Presidency

HIST 312          America: The Colonial Era

HIST 313          America: The Revolution through the Civil War

HIST 314          America: Reconstruction through the Present

HIST 322          Ancient Greece

HIST 323          Ancient Rome

HIST 335          History of Modern Italy

HIST 352          American Economic History

HIST 355          The American West

HIST 359          American Political History

HIST 362          The Crusades

HIST 363          Chivalry and Knighthood

HIST 367          War & Culture

HIST 372          The Holocaust

Minor in History

A Minor requires three history courses beyond the three required for the core curriculum.

Course Descriptions

HIST 101 WESTERN CIVILIZATION I

This unit will cover the rise of the Christian West, from its pagan origins to the Protestant Reformation and the Wars of Religion.  It is meant to work in conjunction with LITR 103 Classic Epics, and will help the students appreciate the roots and some of the glories of Catholic culture.

HIST 102 WESTERN CIVILIZATION II

This course examines European society beginning with overseas exploration in the fifteenth century to the Cold War.  It is intended to make the student aware of the breakdown of the medieval synthesis and reorientation of society along modern lines.

HIST 208 INTERMEDIATE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES 

This course is a survey of the American history beginning with the colonial era to the present.  The major political, social, and cultural developments will be examined.  Themes covered include American exceptionalism, church and state, America’s rise as a superpower, racialism, frontier identity, industrialism, post-industrialism and others.  This is a required course for the History major.  Prerequisite: HIST 101, 102; POLT 203 or introductory US history course. Required for all History majors.

HIST 224 MEDIEVAL EUROPE

This course will cover Western Europe from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire to the thirteenth century.

HIST 225 THE RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION

This course will survey the cultural flowering of Europe from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries, and the split in Christianity led by Luther and Calvin. 

HIST 228 20th CENTURY EUROPE

This course is a survey of twentieth-century Europe. All aspects of European history--political, economic, and social--are covered with an emphasis on cultural history.  The aim of the course is to trace the trajectory of European history from world predominance in 1900, to the nadir of 1945, to the recovery of the post-World War II era.  Topics include the two world wars, the Russian Revolution, the rise of totalitarianism, the Holocaust, the Economic Miracle, and European integration.  Special attention will be paid to the relationship between Europe and the United States.

HIST 235 HISTORY OF MODERN ITALY

This course will examine selected topics in the history of modern Italy from 1797 to 1992. Special attention will be paid to cultural and political developments.  Themes will include the role of violence in politics, the attempt to forge a unified state, the division between North and South, the rise of fascism, and the impact of war on Italian society.  Special attention will be placed on the increasingly secular nature of Italian society and the state’s at times problematic relationship with the Vatican.

HIST 266 THE HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

This course offers a survey of the British Empire from its origins in the 16th century to the era of decolonization after 1945.  It analyses how Britain, a small north European country, was able to conquer, settle and rule an empire that spanned the globe.  It assess how British citizens thought about their empire and how their various forms of imperialism transformed Britain.  It further considers the experiences of colonized people and how different regions of the world were affected by imperial rule.  Topics to be discussed may include explorations and colonial encounters, emigrant correspondences and diaries, visual culture (film, photography, paintings, sculptures, and newspaper cartoons), material culture (museums, exhibitions and advertising), literature (novels, poetry, travel narratives) and indigenous oral histories. 

HIST 276:  VICTORIAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE

This course surveys British cultures in the Victorian era from the 1830s to the end of the nineteenth century.  The approach emphasizes the transforming role of industrialization, urbanization, technology, and empire on British cultures throughout this period.  Some of the topics that may be covered include Victorian novels and short stores, “self-help”, vaudeville and melodrama, autobiography, drinking cultures, crime, childhood, marriage and gender, class, death and mourning, museums and exhibitions, art and photography, education and intellectual life, science and history, spectator sports, as well as present-day myths and debates about the Victorian era.

HIST 290 HISTORY OF IDEAS

This class will introduce students to landmark texts in western thought which will illuminate the interplay between transcendence and contingency in the history of ideas. The course begins with archaic Mesopotamia, Classical Athens and Imperial Rome. The middle section will examine the secularization of the state and the breakup of the medieval intellectual synthesis into strands of mysticism and nominalism. The concluding section will examine the degradation of art and the connections between ethics and religious belief. The texts which will inform the course discussions will be Leo Strauss, The City and Man and Natural Right and History.  This course is cross-listed as a humanities course: HUMS 301.

HIST 301 TOPICS IN CHURCH HISTORY

This course will examine selected topics relating to the history of the Roman Catholic Church, including: medieval monasticism, the age of revolution, lives of the saints, and the modern papacy.

HIST 307 THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENCY

An historical study of the constitutional design and practical operation of the U.S. Presidency as well as the selection of presidents. The course examines the rise of the modern presidency, the character of executive power, and the nature of democratic leadership.  This course is cross-listed as a politics course:  POLT 307.

HIST 312 AMERICA: THE COLONIAL ERA

This course will examine the American colonies from the founding to the end of the French and Indian War in 1763.

HIST 313 AMERICA: THE REVOLUTION THROUGH THE CIVIL WAR

This course will examine the origins of the American Revolution, the development of the American government, expansion, sectionalism and the sources of the American Civil War.

HIST 314 AMERICA: RECONSTRUCTION THROUGH THE PRESENT

This course will survey the failure of Reconstruction, the industrialization, the rise of the United States to great power status, the Jazz Age, the New Deal, the Second World War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, and the globalization of America in the late 20th century.

HIST 322 ANCIENT GREECE

Students will explore select topics regarding political, military, cultural and social trends in the history of Classical, Hellenistic or Roman era Greek civilization. By analyzing primary texts and leading class discussion, they will learn how to evaluate ancient evidence for the history of Greece, assess the relative reliability of ancient historians and use documentary evidence.

HIST 323 ANCIENT ROME

Students will explore select topics regarding political, military, cultural and social trends in the history of the Roman Republic, Empire and the Late Antique period. By analyzing primary texts and leading class discussion, they will learn how to evaluate ancient evidence for the history of Rome, assess the relative reliability of ancient historians and use documentary evidence.

HIST 352 AMERICAN ECONOMIC HISTORY

This course will examine the growth of the American economy from colonial agricultural origins to the most powerful force behind contemporary economic globalization.

HIST 355 THE AMERICAN WEST

This course will survey the history of the American West from Spanish colonization to the 1950s.  Employing various interpretive perspectives, it will discuss the West as both a meeting place of various races and nationalities and as a frontier of the burgeoning United States.  Themes will include exploration and settlement, race and ethnic relations, gold and land rushes, urbanization, tourism, film, music and literature and the West as myth and symbol.   

HIST 359 AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORY

This course will examine the history of American politics from the Constitutional convention to the present. 

HIST 362 THE CRUSADES

This course will primarily examine the wars fought between Christianity and Islam for control of the Holy Land, but will also study how the concept of a holy war was adapted and applied on and within the borders of Western Europe.  Topics to be researched and discussed will include:  the origins/motivations of the movement; crusading in the Levant, Spain, the Baltic region, and against heretics; and the decline of the movement in the Later Middle Ages.

HIST 363 CHIVALRY AND KNIGHTHOOD

This course examines the martial culture that arose in the Central and High Middle Ages.  Specific points of interest include:  the rise and decline of the knight; the ceremonies and practices of knighthood; the Church and chivalry; warfare and chivalry; courtly life; heraldry; and the Tournament.  Particular focus will be placed on investigating the perception versus the reality of the concept of chivalry.  As such, the course readings will be interdisciplinary; consisting of a cross section of available literature and historical documents.

HIST 367 WAR & CULTURE

This course will examine the social and cultural impact of war in the twentieth century. Topics include Total War, mass bereavement, war and faith, war and memory, and representations of war in the arts.  The course will center on the First and Second World Wars although there may be occasional topics devoted to other wars.  

HIST 372 THE HOLOCAUST

In this course, we will examine the historical background and history of the Holocaust, the systematic persecution and mass murder of six million Jews throughout Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe by the German Nazi government during World War II. In so doing, we will discuss Jewish life in Germany before World War II, the historical roots of Nazi anti-Semitism, Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi Party, which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945, the formulation and implementation of Nazi anti-Jewish legislation, including the infamous Nuremburg laws of 1935, the establishment of Jewish ghettos and Nazi death camps, and the planning and carrying out of the “Final Solution,” the extermination of Europe’s Jews. Among other topics to be discussed may be the role of Pope Pius XII and the Catholic Church during the Holocaust, the experience of Jewish Holocaust Victims and Survivors, Christian Resistance to the Nazis, Nazi Physicians and the Holocaust, and the post-World War II Nuremburg Trials and the issue of Nazi War Criminals.

HIST 401 HISTORIOGRAPHY

Study in the philosophy of history and the methods of various sample historians. Methods and instruments of research will also be stressed. (Required for history majors.)

HIST 402 SENIOR SEMINAR

The senior seminar is the capstone course for all majors.   Examining a topic of their own choosing, students will hone their skills in written and oral argument through the production of an essay of no less than 30 pages and a presentation of their research.  Prerequisite:  HIST 401

HIST 415 SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISTORY

This course may be offered on different topics based upon the expertise of the faculty and student interest. Topics may include: Anglo-Scottish Wars of the 14th Century; Modern America; Nationalisms; Political Biographies; Roman History; United Kingdom; 19th Century Gold Rushes; or Waning of the Middle Ages.

HIST 490 HONORS THESIS

The History Honors Thesis is an optional course open to History Majors in their Senior Year and it may serve as replacement for HIST 402.  It is intended for students interested in further studies in History or a cognate discipline, or for those who wish to pursue a particular historical topic in some detail. The Senior Thesis is a substantial piece of research, and is assessed based on an essay of no less than 50 pages and a public presentation of research. It requires an element of original research, to be agreed with the individual supervisor. Admission is at the discretion of the Chair. Prerequisite: HIST 401