Undergraduate courses in History

Prerequisite Grade

All prerequisites must be passed with a grade of C- or better.

Lower Division

1 World History to 1500

An introduction to the study of world societies from a global perspective, dating from the Paleolithic age to the 16th century, and focusing on the development of civilizations, the rise of world religions, and the interactions and exchanges among peoples in Eurasia, Africa, India, Southeast Asia and the Americas. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.

2 World History Since 1500

An introduction to the study of world societies from a global perspective, dating from the 16th century to today, focusing on colonialism, political revolutions, industrialization, imperialism, the North-South divide, and twenty-first century globalization. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.

4 Western Societies and Cultures to 1500
An introduction to history through the study of Western Civilization from its origins in the Mediterranean world to the age of discovery in 15th-century Europe. Readings include primary sources as well as works dealing with issues of interpretation. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement.

5 Western Societies and Cultures Since 1500

This course will introduce students to "Western Civilization" as an evolving idea to be followed, contested, and redefined from the religious, social, and political upheavals of sixteenth-century Europe to contemporary debates over the role of Western values and traditions in an increasingly global society. Topics and themes may include: state-building, daily life and popular culture, war and revolution, nationalism and imperialism, and European/global integration. Through historical narratives, primary sources, literature, and multimedia, we will consider how questions over political and cultural borders, social and economic stratification, and shared and contested values pushed and pulled the people of "Western Civilization" closer together and farther apart--from each other and the rest of the world. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirment and the Common Good requirement.

10 Introduction to Historical Methods

Drawing upon primary-source documents and secondary works by historians covering a wide range of places and periods, this course introduces students to fundamental concepts of historical thinking, including methods of historical analysis, issues of interpretation, and inquiry into varied historical approaches and genres. Attention is also given to historical research strategies and writing skills.  Offered only in the Fall semester. This course fulfills the Writing in the Discipline core curriculum requirement and the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding requirment.

17 History of the United States to the Civil War

A chronological survey of American history from European colonization to the Civil War, with an emphasis on racial, ethnic, class and gender relations, immigration and migration, the rise and impact of social movements, and the relationship between North America and the world. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

18 History of the United States Since Reconstruction

A chronological survey of American History from Reconstruction to the present, with an emphasis on racial, ethnic, class and gender relations, immigration and migration, the rise and impact of social movements, and the relationship between the United States and other nations. This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

 

Upper Division

Note: Students must have sophomore standing to enroll in upper-division courses.

100 Topics in World History

Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by regular course offerings of the department. Topics are announced prior to registration each semester. This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

104 Historical Interpretation

This seminar on historiography addresses questions of historical methods, focusing on methodological controversies and interpretations within a specific area of history. Topics vary according to instructor. 

105 Modern Approaches to History

A study of the development of history as a scholarly discipline beginning with fundamental questions of method and research, followed by analysis of major controversies stemming from contemporary approaches to historical research and to public history. In addition, resident historians discuss the problems they encounter in their research and writing.

106 Seminar in Historical Research

The capstone of the History Department, this seminar expects students to demonstrate that they have mastered the skills of the discipline: using primary sources and interpreting them to make a historical argument that contributes to the historiography. Each student does a research paper (30 pages of text) under the guidance of the professor. Topics vary according to instructor.  Pre-requisite for students entering after Fall 2012:  History 10.

110 Topics in European History

Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by the regular offerings of the department. This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

111 Birth of Europe

A study of the early development of medieval society and institutions, emphasizing the formative influences of classical, Christian, and the Germanic culture in the creation of the Middle Ages. The course traces the Middle Ages from A.D 300 to 1000, considers such issues as medieval monasticsim and the papacy, the rebirth of the empire under Charlemagne, the origins of feudal society and the effects of Byzantine culture and the rise of Islam upon the Latin West. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement.

112 Europe in the High and Middle Middle Ages

A study of the years A.D. 1000 to 1450, that period in which the seeds of medieval culture, sown during the 700 preceding years, come into full flower—the age of the Crusades and chivalry, Romanesque and Gothic architecture, St. Francis, St. Thomas, and Dante. The course is divided into thematic sections treating the relationship between the Christian and Muslim worlds, papal-imperial politics, social and economic changes, the rise of the universities, and the waning of the Middle Ages. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirment.

113 The Age of the Renaissance

An exploration of the rise of humanism in Europe between 1350 and 1550. The course focuses upon the educational and artistic movements that began in Italy and spread north to the rest of Europe. Attention is given to providing a social and political context for the cultural achievements of the period. Renaissance culture will be examined in light of its classical and medieval roots. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement.

114 Early Modern Europe

A survey of 16th-century European society, emphasizing social and political changes brought about by widespread religious reforms. Attention is given to key religious figures, such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Theresa of Avila. This course will also explore cultural history, the impact of the printing press, and the spread of capitalism. Offered in alternate years.

115 France and Germany: From National Revolutions to the European Union

This course will address major theoretical and historiographic debates over national identities, nation-state formation, and citizenship. Drawing upon the case studies of France and Germany, we will trace the processes of defining European nationhood and citizenship since the end of the eighteenth century. Themes will include revolutions, the unification of people and political entities, imperialism and irredentism, domestic tensions between majority and minority interests, and steps toward European integration culminating in the European Union. We will examine changing definitions of French, German, and European citizenship to discuss how nations perpetually construct and redefine boundaries of inclusion and exclusion based on gender, class, race, ethnicity, and religion.  Offered in alternate years.

116 Transnational Origins of the Welfare State 

The European welfare state of the post-World War II era has been praised as the hallmark of post-war socio-economic recovery and stability, generous state-funded systems of education, health-care, and social safety nets, and models of social justice and human equity. Yet, critics see a system plagued by inefficiency, bloated government bureaucracies, discredited forms of socialism, and ongoing threats to individual liberty. This course will explore the origins and development of European social welfare out of the early industrialized economies of Great Britain, the United States, and Germany, and modern debates over the ideal level of government intervention and obligations to its citizens and non-citizens.  Offered in alternate years.

117 20th-Century Europe

A survey of European society from the outbreak of World War I to the present. Major themes include the failures of international stability, the problems of technological society, the effects of the Russian Revolution, the rise of fascism, the phenomenon of decolonization, and the development of the European Community, World War II and the Holocaust, the Cold War, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet system. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement.

118 The Victorian Empire 

The “sun never set” on the global British empire of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, but its scale alone makes it difficult to comprehend from the multiplicity of local and global perspectives involved in its construction, contestation, and evolution. This course will trace the development of the British Empire before, during, and after the heyday of Queen Victoria’s empire (1837-1901) from geographic, demographic, and temporal vantage points. We will explore the intertwined nature of imperial, national, and racial identities in the British Empire, political contestations over citizenship and belonging, imperial wars and revolutions, industrialization and class conflicts, changing gender roles and sexual mores, and the flourishing of popular imperial literature and culture around the world. Students will also engage independently and collaboratively with children’s and adult literature, historical and contemporary films, museum and cultural exhibits, and both scholarly and primary texts from and about the Victorian Era that continue to shape our own historical consciousness of the British, their empire, and the era. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.

119 German History

If national histories serve to reinforce common identities and traditions within the context of the modern nation-state, then what are we to make of the diverse central European peoples tied together by the questionable force of the German imperial state in 1871, only to be characterized by brutal dictatorship(s) and re-fragmented states throughout the twentieth century?  This course seeks to understand how aspects of tradition within the predominantly German-speaking regions of central Europe were weighed and mobilized in order to answer the questions of who are the Germans and what is or where is Germany? To this end, our course materials will explore the making of what have become trademark German political, social, and cultural traditions (poetry, fairytales, music, militarization, environmentalism, and beer drinking) within particular eras of German history since 1500. Offered in alternate years. 

130 Topics in American History

Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by the regular offerings of the department. This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

131 Colonial History of the United States

This course examines the collision of peoples in colonial North America from the first contacts between Europeans and Native Americans through the importation of African slaves to the establishment of enduring white colonial settlement. Emphasis is placed on the global context of European expansion, the changing nature of Indian-white relations, the diversity of colonial settlements, the rise of North American slavery, Britain's ascendancy over its European rivals, and colonists' connections to British imperial and mercantile systems. Offered in alternate years.

132 The American Revolution and the Early Republic

Spanning the period from the 1750s to the 1830s, this course examines the transformations brought to colonial America by the Revolution, the establishment of nationhood and the Constitution, and the development of political and social democracy. Emphasis is placed on the international context of revolution and independence, the founding generation's debates and documents, the course of American race relations, and the rise of popular religion and politics. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirment and the American Diversity requirement.

133 Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction
An examination of American society and politics from the Age of Jackson to the end of Reconstruction. Major focus is on the Civil War as the great crisis of national unity. Topics include slavery and other sectional differences that underlay the conflict; the political events that led to war; the struggle on the battlefield and home fronts; emancipation and its effects; and the new nation that emerged after the "failed revolution" of Reconstruction. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement.

134 Recent History of the United States

A study of the United States from 1890 to the present with an emphasis on America's rise (and potential fall) as a global superpower, and its stuggle to address inequalites of race, gender and income, and competing visions of the "American dream". Offered in alternate years.

135 America in the World: The History of U.S. Foreign Relations

An examination of the nation's foreign relations, broadly defined, from commerce, wars, and imperialism in the 19th century through the challenges of war, hegemony, and global integration in the 20th Century. The roots of U.S policies are traced to domestic political, economic, and cultural influences as well as geopolitical considerations, and America's growing impact abroad is examined and assessed. Offered in alternate years.

136 Immigration and Ethnic Relations in American History

A study of immigrant groups in the United States from early nationhood to the present, assessing their response to and impact upon American society. Topics discussed include the global context of migration to America, "colonized" vs. immigrant minorities, problems of adjustment and assimilation in comparative perspective, ethnic politics and culture, nativism and conflicts over citizenship, black migration to the North, and competing theories of American ethnic and race relations. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

137 United States History in Comparative and Transnational Perspective

This course integrates American history into global frameworks of analysis by exploring connections and comparisons between the United States’ historical development and that of other nations. Topics include common experiences with European colonization, revolution and nation-building, political systems, frontiers and native peoples, slavery and race, reform and women’s movements, transatlantic and transpacific migration, industrialism, imperialism, and the rise and fall of the welfare state. Attention is also paid to the impact of American culture abroad. Offered in alternate years.

138 The Development of Modern American Culture

This course draws on documentary sources to illustrate and dissect American ways of life from the 1800s to the present. It analyzes popular novels, movies, oral histories, art, and social criticism to determine the changing shape of American culture, the various subcultures that compose it, and the relationship of culture to social and economic forces. Special attention will be given to race, region, class, gender, and religion as agents of diversity, and conversely, the influence of ideology, mobility, consumerism, and mass culture in unifying Americans. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

139 History of Women in America

A survey of American women's history from 17th century colonial encounters to the present with an emphasis on ethnic and class diversity, shifting definitions and cultural representations of womanhood, and the efforts of women to define their own roles and extend their spheres of influence. Offered in alternate years.

140 African-American History: 1619 to 1865

A survey of African American history from the late 15th century through the Civil War with an emphasis on comparative slave systems, slave culture and resistance, free black communities, black abolitionist thought and its connections to the broader Atlantic world, and the transition from slavery to freedom. Offered in alternate years.

141 African-American History: 1865 to the Present

A survey of African American history from Reconstruction to the present with an emphasis on structural barriers to full equality, black migration, institution building, the enduring struggle for economic, political, and social equality, and the transnational dimensions of the black freedom struggle. Offered in alternate years.    This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

142 History of California

A chronological survey of California history from its pre-contact beginnings to the present, with an emphasis on ethnic diversity, national and transnational interactions, enviornmental problems, social movements, competing visions of the "California dream", and contestations over the allocation of economic, social, and political power. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the American Diversity requirement.

150 Topics in Latin American History
Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by the regular offerings of the department.  This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

151 Women in Latin American History

An examination of the participation of women in struggles for social justice in Latin America, analyzing what has motivated women to abandon traditional roles and how they have shaped debates about human rights, democracy, feminism, ecology, and socialism in selected Latin America counties. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement; the Global Perspectives requirement; and the Common Good requirement.

152 Revolution in Latin America

A study of the struggle for social justice in Latin America, with an emphasis on origins, class and gender participation, global contexts, successes and failures of revolutions in Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Nicaragua, and selected contemporary countries. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement; the Global Perspectives requirement; and the Common Good requirement.

153 The African Diaspora in Latin America

The course follows the African heritage of the Caribbean, Brazil, and the Atlantic coast of Central and South America. It examines the origins of the African population, the roles it has played in economic, political, and cultural developments in the region, as well as the ongoing stuggle for social justice against racism and discrimination. Offered in alternate years.

154 Latin America, the United States, and the Drug Trade

An examination of the origins and development of the north-south drug trade, exploring the roles played by countries like Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico; and the impact of the trade and the drug wars on US-Latin America diplomatic relations, democracy and human rights. Offered in alternate years.

155 Latin American Environmental History

A review of the latest scholarship in the field, including topics such as the role of disease in the Spanish conquest, monocrop plantation agriculture, conservation, the destruction of the tropical rainforest, the ecological effect of oil extraction, nuclear power, chemical and pesticide use, and the meanings of sustainable development. Countries covered  vary from year to year. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural Understanding core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.  This course is also Sustainability Related.

160 Topics in Asian History

Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by the regular offerings of the department. This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

161 Modern Japan

The course begins in 1603 with the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate and ends with present-day Japan. Emphasis is placed on social, cultural, enviornmental and economic history. Special attention is given to transformations of Japanese society and the changing nature of its interactions within the region of Asia and across the globe over the course of this historical period. Offered in alternate years.

162 Modern China

The course begins in 1911 with the toppling of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty and ends with the split identity of present-day Communist China and the  Republic of China in Taiwan. Emphasis is placed on social, cultural, environmental, political, and economic history. This course examines one of the most tumultuous eras of Chinese history and traces China's emergence from a stuggling young republic to a growing superpower. Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.

163 Ethnic Identity and Conflict in China

An examination of the perception of ethnicity in China during ancient, Imperial, modern, and contemporary periods.  The course explores concepts of difference, race, ethnicity, and identity, as well as conflicts and policies derived from these notions, including the experience of specific groups as they tried to become part of mainstream Chinese society or to distinguish themselves from it.  We will learn how ethnicity played a role in the construction of empire and nation in Chinese history.  Offered in alternate years.  This course fulfills the Social, Historical, Cultural core curriculum requirement and the Global Perspectives requirement.

170 Topics in African History
Analysis of a selected theme, problem, era, or region not covered by the regular offerings of the department. This course may be taken more than once as topics vary.

171 African History to 1850

A study of human origins in Africa, black migration, the expansion of Islam in Africa, the slave trade, and the rise of ancient kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, Zulu. The course analyzes the cultural identity of Africa before slavery, and the influence of ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Meroe cultures on subsequent sub-Saharan civilization.  Offered in alternate years.

172 African History Since 1850
A study of the major themes of state building, Islamic revolutions, colonialism, nationalism and pan-Africanism, the role of the military in recent decades, African decolonization and economic development in the context of the modern world. The course emphasizes the development of African contemporary culture in comparison with that of selected nations and regions of the developed world. Offered in alternate years.

197 Special Study

An independent study or research course in subject matter not offered by the department.  Students must submit a proposal the semester prior.  History 10 and approval from the instructor and department chair required.  See "Independent Study in History" section on the departmental website for details and forms before meeting with the department Chair.

199 Special Study—Honors
An independent study or research course for upper-division History majors with at least a 3.0 GPA in history. Students must submit a proposal the semester prior.  History 10 and approval from the instructor and department chair required.  See "Independent Study in History" section on the departmental website before meeting with  the department Chair.

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