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Course Descriptions

Tentative Course Schedule 2017-19

105. United States History to 1877 (3)
covers the period from the first American Indian settlements to 1877, emphasizing the origin of the United States and the rise of democratic ideas and institutions.

106. United States History since 1877 (3) deals with the period 1877 to the present, emphasizing the development of the United States as an industrial and a world power.

110. Pre-Modern World History (3) surveys selected aspects of World History from the beginning of civilization to the fourteenth century CE. Traces the political, economic, intellectual and cultural institutions and trends of various world societies of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Western Hemisphere.

111. The Emergence of the Modern World I (3) surveys selected aspects of World History from the fourteenth to eighteenth century. Traces the political, economic, intellectual and cultural institutions and trends of various world societies of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Western Hemisphere.

112. The Emergence of the Modern World II (3) surveys selected aspects of World History from the eighteenth century to the present. Traces the political, economic, intellectual and cultural institutions and trends of various world societies of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Western Hemisphere.

Charles Lindbergh

210. The Roman Empire (3) provides an introduction to Roman Empire, from its mythical beginnings to its supposed fall in the fifth century CE.   It will introduce students to the political, social, and religious landscapes of this civilization and trace its interactions with the wider world.  Students will also explore the theories surrounding the end of Rome’s political power (5th century?  15th century?) and consider this civilization’s continued influence on the medieval and modern West.  In addition, the course will offer students the chance to read and analyze primary source (i.e. medieval) documents and modern scholarship.

215. Introduction to the Middle Ages (3) introduces students to the historical world of the Middle Ages (c.500-1500) and provide an overview of the people, events, and trends that made this age unique and dynamic.  Lectures, discussions, and assignments will stress both the changes and the continuities that occurred within this 1000-year span (especially in the western half of Europe) and highlight the variety of political, social, and religious landscapes.  In addition, the course will offer students the chance to read and analyze primary source (i.e. medieval) documents and modern scholarship.

220. US Women's History (3) explores the history of American women from the colonial period to the present. Course topics address the changing political, social, and economic views of women’s roles and responsibilities over time; the challenges and discrimination women faced (and continue to face) in the struggle to attain equal rights; and the diversity of women’s experiences across race, ethnicity, class, and region. Three of the most important questions that inform the course are: 1.) How did the “ideal” vision of womanhood mask the diversity of women’s lives? 2.) Did all women share the same goals when it came to their position in American life? 3.) Did the passage of time always signal progress? Students will use a survey text of American women’s history and a host of primary source documents from the time periods under study as they read, write about, and discuss the topic over the course of the semester.

230. The American Civil War (3) employs a wide variety of secondary and primary sources to examine the causes, development and the consequences of the American Civil War. 

240. The Holocaust (3) provides an overview of the state-sponsored murder of millions of Jews and non-Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. It examines important historical factors that occurred before the Third Reich’s rise to power, the development of policies aimed at Jews and other “undesirable” elements of the population and how those persecuted responded to them, the path of the Final Solution and the aftermath and legacy of the Holocaust.

245. The First World War (3) provides an overview of the conflict, beginning with the war's origins and includes its global reach, particularly through the colonial empires of the European powers.  It traces the path of the conflict from 1914-1918, focusing on major battles on land and at sea, and discusses the major military innovations of this era.  It examines changes on the home front as well as how the home front had an impact on the war front and vice versa.  It analyzes the war’s political, demographic, and cultural impact, including its representations in literature, poetry, and film.

250. Study Abroad Seminar (3) offers the opportunity to travel outside the United States, which enhances a student's knowledge and understanding of history and world cultures. In conjunction with an approved study abroad trip, students will attend pre-trip informational and organizational meetings. While traveling they will complete readings and/or written work and participate in group discussions. Upon return, students will submit a reflection paper that describes their activities, discusses their experiences and considers what was learned (both during organized excursions and more informal activities).

300. Historical Research Methods (3) introduces students to the basic skills of Historical Research and writing.  These skills include using databases, locating and evaluating primary and secondary sources, developing a thesis, employing evidence, and proper citation. 

310. Ancient History (3) provides an overview of the history of western civilization between c. 4000BCE and 500CE. Topics include political institutions, belief/religion, intellectual culture, interactions between societies, and daily life in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It also traces the transformation from Antiquity to the Middle Ages and the role of the so called barbarians in this transition.

312. Early Middle Ages (3) examines the history of the early Middle Ages from c. 500-1000. It considers whether this era was a "Dark Age" of chaos and catastrophe or a time of transformation and creativity. Topics covered include the creation of the barbarian kingdoms, the Carolingian Empire, the Vikings, intellectual culture and reform, the influence of Christianity, religion and the cult of saints, gender roles, and daily life. Emphasis is placed on Western Europe, but the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim world are also discussed.

313. Later Middle Ages (3) examines the history of the Later Middle Ages from c. 1000-1500. Emphasis is placed on France, Germany, Italy, England, and Iberia. Topics include the growth of cities, the creation of universities, the crusades, monastic and Church reform, the papacy, religious expression and heresy, changing gender roles, and interactions between the West, the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim world. The impact of the Black Death, the Renaissance, and the transformation from the medieval to modern world are also covered.

317. Women in the Middle Ages (3) examines the experiences of women in the Middle Ages (c. 500-1500) and how their roles in society changed over the course of a thousand years. Topics covered include family life, motherhood, marriage, religion, expressions of piety, public and private power, education, and work. Emphasis is placed on Western Europe.

318. Nineteenth Century European History (3) deals with the political, economic and cultural development of Europe from the Congress of Vienna to World War I.

320. Twentieth Century European History (3) analyzes significant events and trends in modern Europe from World War I to the present. Emphasis is placed on Germany, France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

321. Early Modern European History (3) covers the period from the late Renaissance (1450 through the Enlightenment (1780). It deals with such topics as the late Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the expansion of trade, exploration and colonization, the rise of new systems of government (absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchy), the military revolution, the witch hunts of the 1500s and 1600s, and the Enlightenment.

Sun Yat-sen

344. East Asian History to 1800 (3) examines the origins and development of traditional civilizations of China and Japan to the 19th century. Emphasizes the development of the Confucian state and society, the rise of Imperial China, the emergence of aristocratic culture in Japan, the transition to Samurai rule and early contact with the West.

345. The Second World War (3) examines the origins, course, and impact of the Second World War. Beginning with an investigation of the causes leading up to the war, it traces the conflict through the major military campaigns, giving attention to operations in Europe, North Africa and the Pacific. The course examines strategic, doctrinal, and technological developments as well as the war’s impact on civilian populations and the manner in which the conflict transformed selected economic, social, cultural and political realities of domestic life for the major combatants.

346. Southeast Asian History (3) covers the development of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, the Philippines, and East Timor) in the historical context of conflict between the indigenous societies and the global community of the colonial powers. The course will contextualize and examine the pre-colonial order, the colonial powers in SEA, World War II and post-war independence movements. Political, social and intellectual trends with an emphasis on the diversity of experiences will be highlighted, but the course is intended as an introduction to a broad and diverse region of the world.

347. Modern China (3) examines China’s evolution from an imperial state to a revolutionary society dominated by the Chinese Communist Party. Attention shall be paid to political attitudes and elements of society and culture in contemporary China that reflect links to a past that remained influential both as an inspiration and a stumbling block as China remade itself in the twentieth century. In addition, the course explores discontinuities in modern Chinese history brought about by wars, imperialism, revolution, industrialization, and the other forces that broke down or decisively altered the underpinnings of Chinese society. This course’s reading and lectures are built upon five major themes: foundation and success of early Qing dynasty, peasant rebellion and Western imperialism, reform and revolution in the twentieth century, Republican China and its challenges, and the birth and development of the PRC.

348. The Western Impact on Modern Japan (3) explores the three ways Japan has become an empire during the past two centuries: through the restoration of imperial rule in the nineteenth century, through its imperialist expansion in Asia during the early twentieth century, and through its emergence as a global economic power in the post-War order. To understand these developments, one must examine the interplay between the internal dynamics of change in Japanese society, culture, and politics, on the one hand, and the impact of the West on Japan during these formative events. This will mean addressing how indigenous changes in Tokugawa, Japan interacted with pressure of Western Imperialism to cause the imperial restoration and reforms as well as the relationship between Japan’s imperial expansion and imperial rule at home.

350. Colonial Latin American (3) examines the process of encounter between the Old and New Worlds. It focuses initially on Pre-Columbian and Iberian societies prior to 1492 and it examines the social, political, cultural and economic impact of Spanish and Portuguese colonizations in South America. It devotes particular emphasis to countries such as Mexico, Peru and Argentina from the colonial to the national periods.

351. Modern Latin America (3)
emphasizes the historical developments which followed political independence in 1810. It centers around the impact of Iberian colonization on contemporary forms of political, social and economic organization in both Meso and South Americas. Themes such as development, social inequality, racial identities, imperialism and authoritarianism will surface frequently as the course moves into the contemporary period.

353. History of Mexico, Pre-Columbian to Present (3) traces the history of this important Latin American country from its Pre-Columbian era to the present. It focuses on the merging of both native groups such as the Aztecs and the Mayas with the Spanish colonizers, forming a unique society in the New World. Mexico’s distinctive historical phases, from colonization to independence, will also be closely examined to deepen the understanding of the 1910 Revolution and its course throughout the twentieth century.

354. History of Argentina (3) examines the transformation of Argentina from colony to modern nation, and investigates such topics as caudillismo, federalism, populism, military government, and democratization.

356. History of Modern Africa (3) surveys the history of Africa with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa in the period after 1800. Topics include state formation, African systems of belief, colonialism and its legacy, labor, migration, and the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa.

A portrait of a Native American, by 19th century painter George Catlin.

368. Religion in the United States (3) studies Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism and other religious movements. It examines the development and interaction of religion with other aspects of culture in the United States. Offered in alternate years. See listing Religion 368.

372. Empires of North America (3) examines the colonization and conquest of North America from the sixteenth through the 19th centuries. The course employs a comparative approach to the study of North American empires in this era, examining their internal governance and interactions with their neighbors.  The course will examine both empires constructed by indigenous peoples, such as the Comanche and Iroquois empires, as well as those constructed by European nations, such as the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch empires in North America.

374. Ohio History (3) is a survey of the economic, cultural, political and social history of Ohio, from prehistoric time to the present.

378. Gender and Sexuality in American History (3) evaluates the changing interpretations of gender and expressions of sexuality in American history from the time of first contact.  Introducing students to the idea that gender is not a fixed category but rather a concept shaped by culture, the course examines a variety of populations and time periods in US history to highlight the changing understandings of masculinity, femininity, gender identity, and sexual behavior. 

379. Youth in Modern America (3) investigates US history through the lens of youth experiences.  This course examines media, education, and the marketplace to illuminate the changing understandings and expectations of the youth population.  The shared – and sometimes conflicting – messages of these influences reveal goals, tensions, and contradictions of broader American culture and society.

380. The History of the American Dream (3) traces the evolution of the concept of the American Dream from the time of the nation’s founding to the present day.  Examining elite culture and political views as well as individual perspectives, the course investigates populations who enjoyed easy access to benefits of the Dream as well as those who found the Dream elusive or unfulfilling.  Establishing the Dream as a flexible ideal, interpreted and reinterpreted across generations, this course allows students to develop an argument about the Dream’s core components through the exploration of primary source evidence.

381. 1950s America (3) analyzes the history of the 1950s through the lenses of an idealized America Way of Life, alternatives to that ideal, and as a product of historical memory. Topics include suburbanization; the nuclear family and domestic life; expectations of sex and gender; the influence of popular and material culture; generational tensions; the Cold War; and Civil Rights and other rights-based movements. Through examination of historians’ evaluations and primary source evidence of the time period under study, this course allows students to identify how historical narrative and popular views of the past are constructed – both by those living during the time and those who look back on the era.

385. American Environmental History (3) studies human societies and their relationship to their environment over time. The focus is on the environmental history of North America from pre-Columbian times to the present. Topics explored include the Columbian exchange, evolving concepts of man’s relationship to nature, the government’s role in conservation and preservation and the emergency of an environmental movement in recent decades.

390. Topics in History (3) deals with selected topical courses such as Early Warfare, Baseball, Gender and History, Public History.

398. Internship in History (1-3) is designed to offer students supervised history-related work experience. Prerequisite: prior permission of the instructor.

420. Readings in History (3) permits students to explore historical topics in depth under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite: junior or senior history majors or permission of the instructor.

460. History Research Seminar (3) emphasizes methodological and bibliographical research techniques in the discipline of history. Students research and write on specific topics to meet acceptable standards of historical analysis and style. Prerequisite: junior or senior history majors or permission of the instructor.


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