History Course Suggestions (BA)
BA General Education Requirement: 6 credit hours (2 courses)
Although any history course will fulfill this requirement, the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History recommends that students fulfill the BA requirement by taking courses at the 100-level. Freshmen are not allowed to register for the upper-division history courses (300-level or above courses). Students must have the permission of the department in order for a history research seminar at the 400-level to fulfill this requirement.
Hst 120. Introduction to European History to 1648. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the main political, social, and cultural developments in Europe from the Classical Era to 1648. Students are encouraged to acquire a clear understanding of the important people, places, and events that influenced the course of historical change, and to develop their ability to interpret and analyze sources that shed light on the diversity of experiences of those who lived in the past.
Hst 121: Introduction to European History since 1648. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the main political, social, and cultural developments in Europe since 1648. Students are encouraged to acquire a clear understanding of the important people, places, and events that influenced the course of historical change, and to develop their ability to interpret and analyze sources that shed light on the diversity of experiences of those who lived in the past.
Hst 130: Introduction to US History to 1877. This course introduces the major themes and events in the history of the United States from the initial confrontations of native peoples with Europeans on the North American continent through the conclusion of Reconstruction following the American Civil War. Throughout the semester, students will focus attention on the evolution of American nationalism – that sense of being American, of constituting a new nation populated by a new people. In addition to exploring how such a diverse people created that sense of commonality necessary to American nationalism, students will also question how those Americans responded when challenged by various groups to improve or expand their sense of national identity, of what it meant to be an American.
Hst 131: Introduction to US History since 1877. This course introduces the major themes and events in the history of the United States from the nation’s emergence from Reconstruction to the present. Throughout the semester, students will follow two essential themes that characterized American development during this period: first, students will study the successes and failures of capitalism as a defining characteristic of American business and society, beginning with the industrial and incorporation revolutions of the late nineteenth century to the challenges posed by the global economy; and secondly, students will explore how the nation has responded to repeated social and political confrontations, which are labeled “the challenge of the minority,” however that minority might be defined. These challenges are particularly important in our history for they mark periods of social activism wherein the very concept of what it means to be an American has been called into question. This activism was usually sparked for the purposes of reforming and improving the nation, although it was never easy for those being criticized to recognize it at the time.
History of Other Regions
Hst 150: Introduction to Middle Eastern History. This course aims to provide a basic frame of reference to the Middle East region and to Islam through a survey of a number of key themes and their historical background. Students will be expected to develop the ability to apply this newly acquired knowledge to a critical reading of popular representations of the Middle East. Themes surveyed will include the basic tenets of Islam as a religion, Sunni/Shi’I split, gender, Islamic law and many others.
Hst 160: Introduction to Latin American History. This course introduces students to the major issues in the history of Latin America (Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries) from its indigenous roots to the present day. Lectures and readings proceed chronologically and are subdivided into three major periods: colonial Latin America, 19th century, and 20th century. Specific topics may include indigenous roots; encounter, conquest, and colonization; colonial economy and society; imperial crisis and independence; state formation in the 19th century; the end of slavery and immigration; social conflicts and nationalism; industrialization, development, democracy, and populism; the Cold War in Latin America; drugs and violence, poverty and crime.
Hst 170: Introduction to African History. In this course students will examine the history of Africa since about 1600. The course begins with a review of slavery in Africa and the Atlantic slave trade and the subsequent shift to ‘legitimate trade’ – the shift to an export economy not tied to slaves. From there students will discuss the origins of imperialism and the European conquest of Africa, with particular attention to Africa’s economic and social changes. In the final weeks of the course students will examine the process of decolonization and the challenges faced by Africans in the years since independence.
Hst 180: Introduction to East Asian History. This course deals only with East Asia: China, Japan, and tangentially Korea. It is a region, which despite its different forms of government and society today, has a common cultural heritage that distinguishes it from Southeast or South Asia. The course begins in the 17th century, the last flowering of the traditional world, and follows the very different histories of China and Japan through the 20th century. The course will be concerned with such issues as the breakdown of traditional Chinese civilization, Japanese modernization, Western imperialism in Asia, Japanese militarism, the rise and development of Chinese Communism, US-East Asia relations. Each student will gain at least a fundamental understanding of some of the characteristics of East Asian history and civilization.