What can you do with a History major anyway?

"What can you do with a history major?" Anything and everything. These activities have ranged from attending law and medical school, to becoming librarians and teachers, to working in banks, private industry, and even construction! Uniformly, our graduates comment on the skills they have learned as history majors which are applicable to any field of endeavor. They learn how to read critically, to write persuasively and with precision, and to be able to distill a large quantity of information into a manageable essence. Further, our graduates learn how to research a variety of topics from the distribution of fiber optic cable to the history of civil rights cases. They speak with precision and consequently are in demand in corporate and civic boardrooms, in classrooms and churches, and in universities across the country. Learning history is learning about the world and putting cultures and problems of the modern world into an appropriate context. In short, being a history major is preparing oneself for an ever complex world.

Major Requirements

A major program in history consists of at least nine courses, which must include:

- a foundation course in European history: HST-101, 102, 103, or 104
- a foundation course in North American history: HST-121 or 122
- a foundation course on the history of Africa, Asia, or Latin America: HST-141, 142, 145, 152, 155, 156, 161, 162, 165, or 166
- at least three advanced courses numbered between HST-200 and 399
- at least one course designated as the study of "pre-modern" history: HST-101, 102, 103, 141, 155, 161, 165, 201, 203, 206, 207, 208, 260, and sometimes HST-356 and 359, depending on their specific focus
- a senior seminar: HST-475

Courses that meet the "pre-modern" requirement may also satisfy foundation or advanced course requirements.
One First Year Seminar taught by a member of the History Department may contribute towards the major, but will not be considered as one of the three required foundation courses.
All exceptions to major requirements must be approved by the department chair.
If you have questions about our major, please feel free to contact us for more information!
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Course Descriptions

Below is a list of the courses offered by the Department of History, along with a description of each course. All history courses have the prefix HST. The courses are listed by the course level.

101 Ancient Europe and the Mediterranean
Survey of the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome to c.500 C.E. Coverage of social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious developments.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

102 Medieval Europe, c. 500 - c. 1450
Examination of European social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious developments from the break up of the Roman Empire (c.500) to the Renaissance (c.1450).
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

103 Early Modern Europe, c. 1450 - c. 1715
Examination of the European social, intellectual, political, cultural, and religious developments from the era of Renaissance and Reformation through the Age of Absolutism. Key themes include the Italian Renaissance, voyages of exploration, colonialism, printing press, Protestant and Catholic reformations, Scientific Revolution, religious wars, absolutism and constitutionalism, witch craze.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

104 Modern Europe, c. 1715 - Present
Course surveys the history of Europe from the time of the Enlightenment to the present. Major themes include: the Enlightenment; French Revolution; nationalism, socialism, liberalism; imperialism; the World Wars; fascism and communism; the Holocaust; post-WWII reconstruction and the Cold War;d decolonization, citizenship, immigration; the end of communism, evolution of the European Union.

121 North America and the United States to 1877
An examination of North American and United States history to 1877 in the context of western traditions and global interactions.

122 United States since 1877
An examination of United States history from 1877 to the present in the context of western traditions and global interactions.

141 Colonial Latin America
Survey of the Spanish and Portuguese Empires in the western hemisphere, from the first explorations and settlements until the achievement of independence in the 1820s. The course includes coverage or political and religious institutions and issues such as race relations and piracy.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major. 

142 Modern Latin America
Survey of Latin America since the nineteenth century. Topics include, but are not limited to nationalism, military authoritarianism, social revolution and the wealth inequities that have defined the region as part of the developing world. Case studies will often be used to highlight continental trends.

145 The History of Africa
Survey of Africa from earliest times to the present. Topics include, but not limited to: the peopling of the continent, the development of precolonial politics, cultures and economic systems; the African diaspora; European colonialism; and post-colonialism.

151 Early Middle East
A history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam (600s C.E.) to the emergence and growth of the Ottoman Empire (1400s). Topics of consideration are the life and contributions of Prophet Muhammad, the rise and rapid spread of Islam, the exploits and achievements of the Arab caliphates based in Damascus and Baghdad, the rise of the Turks, the age of the Crusades, and the coming of the Ottomans.

152 Modern Middle East
Examination of the major political and social developments in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Attention divided among the Arab, Persian and Turkish peoples and states.

155 Ancient and Early South Asia
An introduction to South Asia from prehistory to the early 16th century. Focus on the transformations of human environments in the Indian subcontinent, such as river-valley settlements, urban development, early state formation, long-distance trade, and mobility. Major themes include: 1) interaction and integration, and 2) diversity of ritual and cultural practices. 
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major. 

156 Modern South Asia
Traces the history of South Asia from the 16th century to present. Focus on Mughal dynasties and Indo-Islamic cultures, European traders and the British imperial projects, multiple resistors to imperial rule, and the creation of and challenges facing postcolonial South Asia.

161 Ancient and Early Japan
Survey of Japan from its prehistoric origins to the early 17th century. Topics include, but are not limited to: archaeology and history, origins of "Japan," the emergence of the imperial state, court rulership, and the rise of the samurai.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

162 History of Modern Japan
Survey of Japan from the 16th century to the present. Topics include, but not limited to: Tokugawa societies and cultures, economic systems, Imperial Japan and world wars, global interactions, modernity and modernizations, and contemporary Japanese issues.

165 Ancient and Imperial China
Surveys the history of Chinese civilization from its origins to 1600. Topics include, but not limited to: ideals of cultural unity and division, classical philosophy, religious beliefs and practices, formation of imperial institutions, economic and intellectual revolutions, conflict and accommodation with neighboring peoples, and epic transformations of state and society. 
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

166 History of Modern China
China in the modern world: will examine major political, social, and cultural transformations of the period from the late Qing dynasty to recent dramatic reforms in mainland China and on Taiwan.

201 The "Fall" of Rome
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor
Did the Roman Empire fall? An examination of the events and interpretations of the Late Roman Empire, including the rise of successor kingdoms in the West and the survival of the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

203 The Crusades
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor.
An examination of the Crusading movement from 1095 to 1291, including its origins, decline, relations with both Byzantium and Islam, and its impact.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

206 European Reformations, c. 1400-1563
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Examination of European history in an age of evolving religious ideologies and increased interaction with the non-European world. Major themes include matters of religious content as well as political, cultural, intellectual, and social history.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

207 Germany and the Thirty Years War: European War & Peace
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor. 
This course carefully traces the complex political, religious, and social developments within the Holy Roman Empire during the two and a half centuries before the 30 Years War of the 17th century, as well as the multifaceted European diplomatic alignments that contributed to both the outbreak and longevity of this conflict in the German lands.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

208 Tudor and Stuart England, 1485-1714
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor. 
Analysis of the period that witnessed England's emergence as a major European power. Emphasis on political, religious, constitutional, foreign policy, and socio-economic transformations of this transitional period.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

209 Episodes in British History
May Experience ONLY (2 credits). Sustained historical analysis of a particular event or theme relating to the British Isles. Possible topics include Anglo-Saxon Riddles, Trial of Charles I, Scottish wars, Elizabeth I vs. Philip II, Irish conquests, Bridewell and Bedlam - Prisons and the Mad, Whigs & Tories, Habeas Corpus, London's Apocalypticism, Cornwallis in India and America, the Street and the Sewer in Victorian England, Cultural History of Jack the Ripper, Oswald Mosley and the British Union of Fascists, the Blitz, Brit Rock and Postwar Social Rebellion, Thatcher's Multicultural Britain.

210 French Revolution and Napoleon, 1789-1815
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor.
Investigation of ideas, forces and actors in this epic revolutionary period and analysis of results and contributions of Napoleonic dominance in Europe. 

211 Twentieth Century Germany
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor. 
Examines German history from the catastrophic violence of two world wars and the Holocaust, through the process of postwar rebuilding in East and West, to the peaceful revolution that ended the Cold War in 1989 and helped to initiate the 1990 reunification.

212 Post-1945 Europe
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Comparative history of Europe from WWII to present; examines a number of societies (the Soviet Union, France, Italy, Poland, Yugoslavia, Germany, Great Britain), highlighting differences and similarities between Eastern and Western Europe while exploring transnational movements and trends.

213 Nation and Race in Modern Europe
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Traces development of concepts of race and nation in Europe since the early nineteenth century. Topics include: scientific racism and eugenics; the origins of modern nationalisms; contemporary theories of nationalism; the roots of modern anti-Semitism; ethnic cleansing and genocide.

214 Russian History
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Russian political, social, and intellectual history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include: growth of bureaucratic empire, development of revolutionary movements, the Communist Part of the Soviet Union and its personalities and the Russian novel as a vehicle for dissent.

215 Women and Gender in European History
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Examination of the political, economic and social forces affecting women's lives in European society. Beginning with theories of patriarchy, the course covers the status of women during the Greco-Roman period, Medieval Europe, the Early Modern Period, the first Industrial Revolution and post-industrial society.

216 Rase and Empire: The British Experience from 1760
An examination of the rise and fall of the British Empire, focusing on the themes of cross-cultural interactions, changing understandings of race, and the growth of multiculturalism.

221 American (U.S.) Revolution
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Investigates the ideas, the violence, and the accidents that gave rise to an independent United States of America. Explores the relationship between the Revolution and broader movements such as nationalism and anti-slavery. Stresses the Revolution's European and global contexts.

223 United States, 1820-1890
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor.
The development of nationalism after the War of 1812, new party alignment, Jacksonian democracy, the Civil War with its causes and ramifications and the process of Reconstruction.

224 American (U.S.) Civil War
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Examination of the Civil War as a political, cultural, economic and military phenomenon, with focus on the 1861-1865 period. Topics include causation historiography, major battles and their political context, the role of ordinary Americans in the conflict, slavery and emancipation, economic effects, Reconstruction, and the war's enduring place in national memory.

225 United States Age of Reform, 1890-1941
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Examination, in some depth, of basic domestic problems and foreign policy in United States history of the period. Includes modernization, imperialism, entry and objectives in the World Wars, the complexities of the 1920's, the Great Depression and the New Deal.

227 United States since 1941
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Central focus on the evolving experience of the American people from 1941 to the present, and the conflicting social, racial, political, economic, and international forces which have shaped that experience.

228 United States Social and Intellectual History
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Emphasis on social reform movements and related ideologies from the American Revolutionary era to the late twentieth century. The evolving role of women and minorities in American society and their changing relationship to power will be examined through a focus on gender, race, class, region, and ethnicity in the American Revolution, and the antebellum reform era, WWII, the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s and the Cold War.

229 African American Experience
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Emphasis on the African origins of black Americans, the slave experience, the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and the civil rights movement.

231 History of Women in America
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
The history of women in America from the colonial period to the present. The focus is not on chronology, but on acquainting student with topics which disclose significant events, issues and problems in the changing experience of American women.

233 American Immigration History
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
History of immigration to the United States with particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, and citizenship. The course will examine gender and migration, incorporation into American society, the politics of nativism, and exclusion and immigration laws.

234 United States Foreign Policy since 1898
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Treatment of the diplomatic history of the United States from 1898 to the present. Emphasis on the rise of the United States as a global superpower.

236 United States South
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Investigation of the development of the South as a region and sections, with particular emphasis on economic and social history and the question of the uniqueness of the South. Special study devoted to race relations.

237 South Carolina
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Study of the development of South Carolina as an American state and its unique contribution to the Untied States as well as the way in which it reflects development in the South and the nation as a whole.

244 Revolution in Modern Latin America
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
An exploration of revolutionary movements in modern Latin America, considering their origins, evolution and outcomes. Case studies and a comparative methodology are likely. Possible cases are Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua. The role of the United States will be considered.

256 Gender History of South Asia
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Explores questions of gender in colonial and postcolonial South Asia, and its diaspora. Topics include "tradition" and "modernity," patriarchy, power and agency, sexuality, and nationalism. Thematically organized to present and critique gender, history, and South Asia, and to introduce global feminisms.

260 Courtiers and Warriors: Narratives of Japan
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
This courses focuses on the multiple narratives of Japanese history by examining the gender roles and ideals of courtiers and warriors. Concentrates on two interrelated themes: the historical reality and the construction of a mythical ideal - both positive and negative - in historical writings and popular culture in Japan, and exoticized elsewhere.
Satisfies the pre-modern requirement for the history major.

263 Atomic Bomb in History and Culture
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
The explosion of the atomic bomb over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagaski in 1945 ushered in a new era of warfare, of scientific prominence, of civic anxiety, and political challenge. This course explores the interaction of science, politics, strategy, and culture in the studies of historians as well as in the literature, films, and theatre in twentieth century Japan and the United States.

264 Gender and Teaching in East Asia
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
This course explores social and material structures (technologies) that have shaped gender roles in East Asia, looking at mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Korean experiences. This deliberately broad definition allows us to historically trace the interaction between social norms, material artifacts, and cultural change from the 16th century to the present. 

268 Twentieth-Century China
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
This course invites students to investigate, interpret and debate China's turbulent twentieth-centry experience. Following an intensive introduction to Chinese history and approaches to historical analysis, students will embark upon an examination of the extraordinary political, social and cultural transformations of this century through a series of case studies structured largely around sets of primary source documents.

307 Life on the Margins in Early Modern Europe
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166.
Major topics in this social history of early modern Europe will include women and the family, poverty and social welfare, disease and health care, criminality and punishment. Special attention will be given to experiences on the "margins" of society.

315 Historiography
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Exploration of the definition of historiography and studies of varying schools of historiographic interpretation. 

321 History of Urban and Suburban America
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Historical sources of growth and decline; dynamics of natural and built environments; neighborhoods and social space; factors of gender, class, ethnicity; migration; urban exchange networks, hinterlands and suburbs; historical mechanisms of political power, urban planning; and cultural production. Emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

322 Stimulating Historic Communities in Visual Space
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Application of architectural modeling, GIS, and gaming technologies to simulation of historical communities in virtual reality. Collection and interpretation of local history evidence. Introduction to virtual modeling tools. Theories of interpretation. Focus on case studies of selected historical communities. Students will construct final projects based on these case study communities. May Experience ONLY.

351 Travel Study in Africa
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Investigation of key events, movements and individuals in a particular region of Africa. Specific topics and period to be determined by the instructor in conjunction with the Africa study abroad program.

352 Travel Study in Latin America
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Investigation of key events, movements and individuals in a particular region of Latin America. Specific topics and period to be determined by the instructor in conjunction with the Latin America study abroad program.

353 Travel Study in South Asia

355 Travel Study in India
Focus on interactions between various players in India's complex political and sociocultural past over the last 500 years. Mughal, British, nationalist, and postcolonial periods are addressed. India as both a product and producer of long-distance trade, migration, power plays, and global influence.

356 Travel Study in Eastern Europe
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history of by permission of instructor.
Investigation of major events, movements and individuals that have shaped the history of the region which includes the former Holy Roman Empire, German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires since the later Middle Ages. Specific topics and periods to be determined in conjunction with the Eastern Europe study abroad program.
May satisfy the pre-modern requirement for history major, depending on the specific focus.

359 Travel Study in the United Kingdom and Ireland
Prerequisite: one course numbered between 101 and 166 in history or by permission of instructor.
Investigation of key events, movements and individuals in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Specific topics and periods to be determined by the instructor in conjunction with the United Kingdom and Ireland study abroad program.
May satisfy the pre-modern requirement for history major, depending on the specific focus.

465 Experiential Learning in Local History
Use of experiential learning to examine local history. Through internships and project-orientated assignments, students apply their academic training in a professional setting or produce scholarly projects for a public audience. Weekly seminar focusing on local history with a culminating, formal presentation required. Variable credit.

475 Senior Seminar in History
By arrangement with the department Chair.
A required course for all majors. Discussion-based meetings will explore a specific historical topic and the related historiography. Students will conceive, design, and execute their own research project connected to the main topic of the seminar. All seminars include an assignment encouraging students to integrate and to reflect upon their varied classroom, travel study, and internship experiences over the course of the major.

501 Directed Independent Study
By permission of instructor.
Majors may pursue an independent study project in cooperation with any member of the department. Topics and the type of project will vary with the interest of individual students. Variable credit.


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