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History

Course Descriptions

History Courses


HIS 101 Civilization to 1715 (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the development of civilization with emphasis on ancient, medieval, and early modern societies. The course includes political, economic, socio-cultural, and religious perspectives on major historical personalities and events. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 102 Civilization since 1715 (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of civilization from the death of Louis XIV to the present. The course emphasizes the political and cultural developments of Western society, including the influences of rationalism, industrialism, and nationalism. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 105 America To 1877 (HC) (4.00 SH). This course covers the birth of America in Europe, and traces the development of a new society based on the encounter of Native American Indians, European-American settlers, and African-Americans.. The course includes a detailed examination of the American Revolution, the creation of a new nation under the Constitution, westward expansion, Jacksonian democracy, sectionalism, slavery, economic development, changes in family and women’s roles, Romanticism, religion, reform, and the Civil War. The interplay of economic development, demographics, and social structure are highlighted. This course seeks to put U.S. history within a global context, while also exposing students to historiographical questions in an introductory fashion. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 106 America since 1865 (HC) (4.00 SH). A survey of American history from the end of the Civil War until the present. Major topics addressed include Reconstruction, immigration, urbanization and the rise of large-scale industry, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, and de-industrialization. Major themes include the changing role of women; the changing place of African Americans in US society; the interplay of economic development, demographics, and social structure; and the role of the United States in the world. This course seeks to put US history within a global context, while also exposing students to historiographical questions in an introductory fashion. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 210 History Of Pennsylvania (HC) (4.00 SH). This course will examine the social, economic, and political lives of Pennsylvanians from the period of European’s first encounter with Native American Indians to the recent economic and social changes resulting from the demise of large-scale manufacturing and the rise of the service economy. Particular attention will be paid to the region of western Pennsylvania and the interplay of local and global events/developments. Prerequisite: History major or minor with junior or senior standing or permission of instructor. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 222 Social&Intellectual History US (ST) (4.00 SH). A study of the major currents of the intellectual and social development of the United States. Topics include the development of public and private education, American philosophers and their thought, the relationship between religion and science, the evolution of social behavior, technological development and its consequences, and main currents within the arts. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 225 American History 1945-1974 (HC) (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the politics and culture of America from the end of 1945 to the resignation of Richard M. Nixon. Through lectures, reading, discussion, research, and presentations, students will explore this fascinating period. Special topics will include the Civil Rights movement, the war in Vietnam, campus unrest, the various liberation movements, and the many other significant transformations of the period. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 226 The American Civil War (4.00 SH). A study of the causes, events, and consequences of the American Civil War, with emphasis on the comparative strategy and tactics of the North and the South and the major personalities that shape the results. The course also covers the social and cultural conditions during the war. The reading of novels about the period, both contemporary and modern enhances the study of both military and non-military aspects of war, and helps us appreciate the current meaning of the war for Americans.

HIS 229 History of the US & the World (ST) (4.00 SH). An examination of the nature of American foreign policy from the Revolution to the present with emphasis on the rise of the United States as a world power. What influence did individual policy makers, domestic events, and perceptions about foreign cultures have on diplomacy? Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 232 Ancient Greece (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the political and cultural history of ancient Greece to the end of the Hellenistic age. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 233 Rome (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of Roman political and cultural history to 565 A.D. Special attention is given to the development of Roman political, social, and religious institutions. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 234 Early Christnty:Christ&Caesar (RP) (4.00 SH). An examination of the history of the Christian Church within the environment of the Roman Empire during the first five centuries of its existence, and of the interaction of the Church with that environment in its political, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural aspects. (Also listed as REL 131.) Meets Religious and Philosophical Though Intellectual Perspective requirement (RP).

HIS 235 The Middle Ages, 300-1300 (HC) (4.00 SH). A socio-cultural examination of the development of early European society. Beginning with a basic definition of medieval society, the course emphasizes the emergence of feudalism, the middle classes, urban centers, and the earliest forms of the nation-state. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 240 Renaissance & Reformation (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the emergence of modern European civilization. Beginning with a review of early European society and institutions, then traces their replacements by the national state, capitalism, and the reformed churches. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 241 Early Modern France (ST) (4.00 SH). This period in European history witnesses the radical changes in politics, thought, society, and warfare. Special emphasis is given to absolutism, enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon, the rise of the middle class, and the importance of science and technology. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 242 England:Age of Elizabeth (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the transition from medieval to modern forms of political and economic life from circa 1485-1714. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 243 England:The Age of Empire (4.00 SH). A study of the emergence of modern England, with emphasis on the development of political democracy, the rise and fall of the British Empire, and the social and cultural history of the Victorian Age.

HIS 245 19th Century Europe (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the political, social, economic, and diplomatic background of Europe from the Napoleonic Era to the close of the century. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 246 Twentieth-Century Europe (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the political, economic, and cultural development of Europe from the opening of the century to the present. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 251 Medieval & Early Mod Russia (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the political, economic, and cultural development of Russia from the earliest times to 1860. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 252 Modern Russia (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the late Imperial structure and an analysis of the origin, development, and character of the Soviet state and society. Particular attention will be paid to the post-Soviet period (since the collapse of the USSR in 1991). Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 253 History of Religion in Russia (RP) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the Eastern Orthodox tradition, with particular attention to how it evolved and was celebrated in Russia. Students will explore the dogmas, liturgy, iconography, and history of the Orthodox Church, and attention will be paid to the relationship between the Church and the State, particularly under communism. Attention will also be given to a comparison of Orthodoxy with Western Christian faiths. (Also listed as REL 211.) Meets Religious and Philosophical Though Intellectual Perspective requirement (RP).

HIS 262 Japan (ST) (4.00 SH). A survey of the cultural, political, social, and economic history of Japan from the earliest times to the present. Particular attention will be paid to the period since the Meiji Revolution. Topics will include: the Shogunate and the imperial system; Buddhism and Shintoism; Japanese militarism; and Japan as a modern economic power. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 271 Latin America to 1825 (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of Latin America from its indigenous beginnings, through the colonial period, to the conclusion of the wars for independence. The influences of the indigenous and Iberian cultures on the development of the region are compared. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 272 Latin America From 1825 (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of Latin America from 1825 to the present with emphasis upon its political, cultural, and economic importance in world affairs. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 281 Africa to 1800 (HC) (4.00 SH). A survey of African history from the earliest times until 1800. The course examines major political, economic and cultural developments across the continent, including human origins, the great civilizations of the first millennium, and the slave trade. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 282 Africa since 1800 (HC) (4.00 SH). A survey of African history from 1800 to the 21st century. The course traces the major political, economic, and cultural developments on the continent, including European imperialism, African independence, and Africa in the age of globalization. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 301 America in the 1960s (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the politics and culture of America from the election of John F. Kennedy to the resignation of Richard M. Nixon. Through reading, discussion, research, and presentations, students will explore this fascinating period. Special topics will include the Civil Rights movement, the war in Vietnam, campus unrest, the various liberation movements, and the many other significant transformations of the period.

HIS 305 Marr, Fam, Sex in History (ST) (4.00 SH). A study of family over time, using legal, cultural, and socio-historical resources. Students will examine the historical roots of current social controversies, including abortion, divorce, child-rearing, family structures, and women’s roles in society. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 306 America in the Age of Revolution (4.00 SH). The course explores the American Revolution and the creation of the American republic in the context of global conflict and change in the period from 1763-1825.

HIS 307 Monarchs & Dynasties (4.00 SH). This course examines the role dynasties have played in the development of the modern nation-state. To accomplish this objective, students will examine not only institutions such as the royal court, but also will look at the family structure and anthropology of dynasties. The interplay between the private and the public roles of monarchical rulers is the central concern of this course, which will focus in particular on Russia, the Habsburg Empire, France and Britain. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 308 Cold War (4.00 SH). The second half of the 20th century was dominated by the rivalry of the United States with the Soviet Union. This course will research such questions as the following: How did this almost deadly confrontation start? How and why did it end? Where were the “hot spots” of the cold war, and why were they there? The course will also look at the domestic impact of the American-Soviet confrontation and explore such questions as how anti-communism affected American culture, Americans’ view of themselves, and ultimately America’s identity.

HIS 310 Slavery in the Americas (4.00 SH). Slavery is one of the most heavily studied subjects in U.S. history. This course will review the extensive historiography of slavery in the western hemisphere with particular emphasis on the demographics, economics, and social repercussions of “the peculiar institution.” Slavery’s changing nature, from both sides of bondage, will be examined and compared with bound labor in other temporal and geographic settings. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

HIS 311 South Africa (4.00 SH). This course will explore the question of how South Africans can negotiate their past, which was marked by racial inequality and injustice, and form a new non-racial, democratic nation. To answer this question, the interactions of race, class, gender, and culture in South Africa from the 17th century to the present will be examined. Primary documents, films, music, and literature will help to illuminate the interplay between history and memory in South Africa.

HIS 312 Advanced Topics in History & Film (4.00 SH). This course explores, on a rotating basis, advanced themes in history (e.g., nationalism, war and other types of conflict, religion and society, etc.) through the viewing and study of films on historical subjects. The focus of the course is on both the cinematography of the films (i.e., the art and craft of filmmaking) and on matters of the historical accuracy and the historical context of the films. It is strongly recommended that students who are not history majors or minors take HIS 101 or 102 before taking this course.

HIS 314 Explorations:Disease in US History (4.00 SH). This course seeks to provide advanced students of history the opportunity to study the nature, course, and impact of diseases on and in the history of the United States. Attention will also be given to the definition and perception of disease and change over time in both. After reviewing the history of disease across the whole of U.S. history, the course will examine the nature, course, and impact of a series of particular diseases in substantial depth along with the historiography of those diseases.

HIS 315 Conservatism (4.00 SH).

HIS 316 Belief & Power in US Religious Hist (4.00 SH). This course on American religious history examines the changing nature of the religious landscape in the United States from the colonial period to the present. Students will critically analyze primary and secondary sources to study the religious history of the United States, including the key themes of the diversity of religious experience in a pluralistic country, the relationship between religion and the state, and the interplay of belief and power.

HIS 410 Historical Methods & Analysis (4.00 SH). An introduction to the research methods of the historian. This course will examine the nature and use of historical sources (primary and secondary), develop mastery of presentation and reference conventions, and introduce the ancillary historical disciplines (e.g., paleography, numismatics, vexillology, etc.). Although the emphasis is on skills, the course is topical, examining the history of a selected period, event, or culture. Required of history majors (normally taken in the sophomore year), but open also to interested history minors.

HIS 420 Historiography (4.00 SH). This course will expose students to classic works of history and introduce various schools of thought (e.g., Marxist, structuralist, annalistic, economic, feminist/gender) that characterize modern historical knowledge. Required of history majors (normally taken in the junior year). Prerequisite: C- or better in HIS 101, 102, and 410 or permission of instructor.

HIS 520 Travel Course (0.00 SH).

HIS 564 Field Experience/Internship (4.00 SH).

HIS 591 Field Experience/Internship (1.00 SH). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and the department chair.

HIS 592 Field Experience/Internship (2.00 SH). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and the department chair.

HIS 593 Field Experience/Internship (3.00 SH).

HIS 594 Field Experience/Internship (4.00 SH). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and the department chair.

HIS 610 History Capstone I (2.00 SH). The first course in the capstone sequence for history majors, this course will guide students in selecting topics, developing research questions, establishing methodological approaches and research plans, crafting bibliographies, and considering the historographical context of their topics.

HIS 662 Honors Research (2.00 SH).

HIS 663 Honors Research (3.00 SH).

HIS 664 Honors Research (4.00 SH).

HIS 672 Honors Research (2.00 SH).

HIS 673 Honors Research (3.00 SH).

HIS 674 Honors Research (4.00 SH).

 

Supporting Courses


EDU 452 Student Teaching Secondary (16.00 SH). A supervised course in student teaching open to secondary education majors who have completed the pattern of required courses. Students are required to participate in related evening/Saturday morning seminars. In addition to the regular tuition and fees, there is a student teaching fee. Prerequisite: Completion of all certification courses.

 

What can you do with a History degree?

Imagine yourself a teacher, lawyer, financial or policy analyst, minister, museum curator, archeologist, or librarian.