History, a discipline that belongs to both the humanities and the social sciences, is the study of change over time. By exploring the complexities of peoples and societies in the past, the present becomes more comprehensible. As a core discipline of the liberal arts, history encourages students to think critically, to argue logically and to examine the values of their society and those of other societies.
By developing research, analytical, writing, oral communication and problem solving skills, the undergraduate major in History is valuable preparation for a broad range of occupations, for graduate and professional schools and for the responsibilities of informed citizenship. Recent history majors have pursued careers in education, law, government service, journalism, public history, social agencies, business and finance.
The History department brings historians and history makers to campus, encourages off-campus study and travel, shows films and documentaries, sponsors field trips to historical sites and assists students in finding history-related internships.
The History department offers introductory and advanced work in the following geographic fields: Africa, East Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
Students wishing to count courses taken off-campus toward a major or minor in history should note that approval is not automatic and that they must obtain prior approval from their academic advisors and the department chair
Courses in History
HIST 100A Topics: East Meets West: Hu Shi
HIST 107 Introduction to China and Japan. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
An interdisciplinary introduction to Chinese and Japanese civilizations from their beginning through the mid-19th century, stressing cultural ideals and the social relations of families and classes, including peasants and townsmen, bureaucrats, beggars and bandits, warlords and women.
HIST 109 African Civilizations. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
The precolonial and colonial history of Africa from 1500 to 1945: the early socioeconomic and political organization of African society; problems of state formation; organization of an acephalous society and African production and trade; the impact of capital on the African formation as seen in the slave trade; and the era of legitimate commerce and early capitalist penetration.
HIST 112 European Civilization II--1789-Present. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
A history of Europe from 1789 to the present, including French Revolution and Napolean, Industrialization, the Age of the Nation States, the struggle among liberal, communist and fascist ideologies, World Wars I and II, postwar reconstruction, decolonization and European integration. Counts toward European Studies minor.
HIST 115 Colonial Latin America. (1 course, Social Sciences)
The societies and cultures of Latin America from pre-Hispanic times to the early 19th century. Topics include indigenous societies, period of contact and conquest, resistance and accommodation in the emerging colonial regimes and the revolutions for independence. Emphasis on social relations and cultural practices of the diverse Latin American peoples.
HIST 122 Modern Middle East. (1 course, Social Science)
HIST 252 US-East Asian Relations. (1 course, Social Sciences)
This course will examine the interactions between the United States and the major countries in East Asia - China, Japan, and Korea - from the 19th century to the present. The topics that will be explored include cultural interactions and changing mutual images, the impact of imperialism, Asian nationalisms, the Pacific War, communism in Asia, the Japanese developmental state, and, more recently, China's rise as a capitalist state with Chinese characteristics.
HIST 257 Ethnicity and Conflict in South Africa. (1 course, Social Sciences)
HIST 263 Founding of United States Civilization. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
HIST 265 20th Century U.S. History. (1 course, Social Sciences)
United States social, economic, political and diplomatic history from 1900 to the present.
HIST 290B Topics: Technology and Change in the Middle East. (1 course)