Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.


Chair, 2007-08: James J. Farrell, American cultural studies, 20th-century America, environmental history

Faculty, 2007-08: J. Laurel Carrington, medieval, Renaissance and Reformation; Gary DeKrey, Reformation and early modern Europe, Tudor and Stuart England, modern Britain; Jeane DeLaney, Latin American history and nationalism, Argentina and Brazil, modern Cuba; Robert Entenmann, East Asian history, Asian studies; Michael Fitzgerald, African-American history, Civil War and Reconstruction, Southern America; Steven Hahn, early America, Native American history; Timothy Howe, ancient Greece and Rome; Anna Kuxhausen, Russian and European history, Russian studies; Judy Kutulas, 20th-century American history, American women’s history, media history; Todd Nichol, immigration and Scandinavian history; Dolores Peters, France, modern Europe, gender

History explores the many facets of the human condition from the past to the present. History invites those who study it to develop an appreciation for the variety of human experiences. Demonstrating how the past shapes the present, the study of history also encourages an understanding of different world cultures, societies, and outlooks in their own terms. Students learn to analyze and to think critically about a broad range of issues and experiences. They also learn how to develop reasoned arguments and explanations from historical evidence.

Among St. Olaf departments, the History Department is distinctive in the variety of courses it offers for the college’s interdisciplinary programs. These courses are described here; and they are also listed in such program descriptions as American studies, Asian studies, environmental studies, and women’s studies. In addition, history courses fulfill several different general education requirements, according to subject matter. The department is a major provider of HWC, MCS-G, MCS-D, and WRI courses. Some history courses count toward ALS-L and HBS.

The study of history provides students with liberal arts preparation for a wide range of professional and personal vocations. Most history majors pursue careers in such fields as business, education, law, and government service.


St. Olaf’s history offerings are structured to help students achieve different learning goals at different levels. In Level I seminars, students approach history as a way of learning, through the critical reading of primary sources on specific historical topics. In Level I foundational surveys, they explore the broad historical development of the world’s major societies and cultures. In most Level II courses, students examine more specialized national, area, and topical developments. In Level II major seminars, students develop their skills of analysis, interpretation, argumentation, and expression. Finally, Level III seminars challenge students to recognize historical problems and to formulate their own questions about major historical issues, entering the ongoing debates of historians.

History courses at Level I do not have prerequisites. Level I seminars are only open to first-year students; Level I foundational surveys are open to everybody. History courses at Level II generally do not have prerequisites either, since many of them count for general education credit. The major seminars at Level II are especially designed for history majors, although other students may enroll as space permits. Level III courses generally require significant prior preparation; students with little or no background in a particular area or period should consult with the instructor before registration.


History majors are required to take nine courses, including one Level II major seminar and three courses at Level III. Three Level I courses (but no more than two seminars) may count toward the major. Students must take at least one course in each of three general areas, i.e., Europe, United States, and the non-Western world (Africa, Asia, Latin America). This area requirement should be fulfilled in Level I or Level II courses. At least two courses in the major must deal with the pre-modern period; see the departmental website or the History Department chair for the approved list of pre-modern courses. Other courses may meet this requirement if approved by the department chair.


Senior majors who seek a significant intellectual experience and who demonstrate high achievement in historical research and writing may apply for departmental distinction. Candidates must satisfy minimum grade point average requirements (3.30 overall, 3.50 in the major), prepare a paper under the direction of an adviser in the department and submit their work for faculty review. Students declare their interest to the chair of the Distinction Committee by Nov. 15 of their senior year. The formal review begins in mid-March.


The History Department supports several other programs:

  1. The social studies education major (see SOCIAL STUDIES EDUCATION) with a primary core in history is appropriate for those considering a career in high school teaching. In addition to the general requirements for the social studies education major (see EDUCATION catalog description and faculty), students in this major are required to complete a primary core that includes History 191 and another course in European history; History 198 and 199; and History 195 or a course in Asian, African, or Latin American history.
  2. The interdisciplinary historical perspectives concentration enables students to create a coherent group of five courses (from within and without the History Department) about a particular era, theme, or region of the world. See HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES for additional information.
  3. The Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum (FLAC) program offers students opportunities to integrate their foreign-language skills with the study of history. Students in specially designated history classes can use their Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, German, Russian, or Chinese so that nothing is lost to them in translation!
  4. History courses taken in St. Olaf off-campus programs can often be counted toward the major. Students who wish to count off-campus courses toward the major should seek approval from the department chair before beginning their programs. Some restrictions apply.
  5. Historical internships with academic content may also be accepted for major credit.


Courses numbered 101-189 are seminars open only to first-year college students. Each focuses on a different topic, but all explore the fundamental problems of history, emphasizing analysis of primary sources and critical assessment of historical interpretations. Seminars are offered each semester and during the Interim.

101 Ancient Warfare

This seminar examines the social and political role of warfare in ancient Greek and Roman history. Students investigate the concepts of war and peace by considering the role of the soldier within society, details of tactics and logistics, and the impact of warfare on both combatants and non-combatants alike. The seminar uses primary sources to examine these themes. Offered annually.

111 Viking and Medieval Scandinavia

A survey of Nordic history from the time of the Viking expansion to the period of the Kalmar Union. Topics include Viking expansion and conquest; Nordic cultural and religious life; the coming of Christianity; the sagas and other literary sources; later medieval developments. Offered most years.

115 Courtly Love in the Middle Ages

The idea of courtly love typically evokes images of brave knights and fair ladies vowing eternal devotion in elegant language. How such a concept took hold in the early 12th century, and what the consequences have been for people of that time to the present, is the subject of our inquiry. This course will explore the ideal of courtly love, its social function, its role in literature, the arts, and music, its ambiguous relationship to Christianity and to the feudal system, and finally, its critics, through interpretive reading of texts from the period supplemented by background lectures and readings from secondary sources. Offered most years.

121 The Making of Modern Russia

This course explores the origins of the modern Russian empire. Using primary sources including chronicles, folktales, legal codes, letters, and religious icons, students consider Russia's development from a loose collection of princedoms into a powerful, multi-ethnic empire spanning 11 time zones. Topics include the impact of geography and climate, the Orthodox religion, Mongol rule, gender roles, the rise of autocracy, and social rebellion.

122 Europe and the Great War

Focusing on social and cultural history, students use literature, film, and propaganda to examine total war and its impact on gender, state, and society. How did the 19th century prepare Europeans for war? How did different experiences in the trenches and on the home front contribute to gender anxieties? Was the war an agent of progress or midwife to the brutality of the 20th century? Offered most years.

125 The Maya, Colonial Times to the Present

This course examines the history of the Maya peoples from the colonial to the present. Drawing upon missionary accounts, archeological sources and historical and anthropological works, students explore how the Maya -- despite the multiple traumas of conquest, demographic collapse, and state repression -- have managed to survive as a people. Specific topics include: Maya religious beliefs, the impact of Spanish conquest, changing sources of ethnic identity, and the emerging Pan-Maya movement of recent years. Offered periodically.

135 Nationalism and Revolution in Vietnam

This seminar examines the Vietnam War in the larger context of Vietnamese history and focusing on the Vietnamese side of history. Themes include the heritage of Vietnamese civilization, French conquest and colonial rule, nationalism and its relationship to Communism, the emergence of two Vietnamese states, and the causes and consequences of the Vietnam War. This course also addresses questions about ideology, the role of the United States in Asia, and the historical processes of nationalism and Communism. Offered during Interim.

150 Life History of African Women

This course offers an introduction to personal narrative as a form of historical expression. Reading includes several published life histories of African women, along with examples of African women's autobiography. Students learn about the lives of African women through their own stories, and they examine the process through which these stories are made available to us.

161 Race and Culture in Early North America

This seminar examines the interaction of Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans in early America from first encounters through the Seven Years War (1500-1763). Topics include race war and Native American resistance, the origins of American slavery, the transformation of European culture, and the development of colonial societies. Students work with primary documents and secondary sources that demonstrate a variety of methods and approaches. Offered periodically.

162 American Revolution

This course focuses upon the American Revolution as a crucible of cultural change. Students work with primary documents and secondary sources that address significant topics: social change in 18th-century North America; the politics of resistance and revolution; war and American culture; the Constitution and the Bill of Rights; the emergence of American democracy; and "outsiders" such as loyalists, Native Americans, women, and African-Americans. Offered periodically.

165 Slavery in the Americas

This seminar, using only eyewitness accounts, examines African slavery in the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Typical readings include the narrative of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs' autobiography, and the writings of slave-holders like Mary Chesnut. Topics include the slave trade, the origins of African-American culture, women and slavery, and the origins of the Civil War. The course concludes with an examination of the process of emancipation. Offered periodically.

167 Trail of Tears

This course examines the origin and lasting effects of the Indian Removals of the 1830s. Topics covered include the culture and history of the Native peoples of the Eastern woodlands, U.S.-Indian policy, frontier life in the early U.S. Republic, and the life and personal involvement of Andrew Jackson. Students read from a wide variety of secondary literature and primary source material, and have the opportunity to conduct their own research. Offered periodically.

168 Rĝlvaag's America

On the basis of selected works of O.E. Rĝlvaag, including Giants in the Earth, this course considers the literature and history of Norwegian America in the later 19th and early 20th centuries. For the sake of comparison students also read selections from other Norwegian and Norwegian-American authors. Topics for consideration include ecology, family, gender, agriculture, economics, technology, urbanization, religion, immigration, ethnicity, and American pluralism. Offered periodically.

169 The Norwegian-American Experience

Students examine Norwegians in the U.S., 1820s to the 1990s, focusing upon the interplay of a transplanted set of values and cultural expressions with the demands of American life. Topics include mass emigration, adaptation to the new land, geographic patterns of settlement, political participation, religious life, education, the press, and literature. Comparisons are drawn to other ethnic groups in the U.S. Offered during Interim.

175 American Consumer Culture

The Mall of America is the result of more than 150 years of American history. This seminar traces the history of American consumer culture from Victorianism to Victoria's Secret. Students explore the histories of advertising, work and play, individualism and changing conceptions of the self, the economy, gender roles and changing sexual mores, and developing representations of class and race to see how they affect the buying and selling of goods and conceptions of the good life in places like the Mall of America. Offered periodically.

176 U.S. Culture, Ethnicity, and Immigration

The immigration of people from around the globe has been central to the making of the United States. The course examines how this experience has shaped ethnic and racial identities, neighborhoods and cities, workplaces, politics, and culture. Students focus especially on the dawn of the 20th and 21st centuries, as the immigrants' point of origin has shifted increasingly from Europe to Latin America and Asia. Offered periodically.

181 Civil Rights Revolution

Students examine the overthrow of American segregation through several decades of agitation for civil rights. This seminar focuses primarily on the South, though students also discuss northern race relations. Primary accounts from the era constitute the assigned readings. Among the topics covered are the segregated South, Martin Luther King and his critics, the Black Power movement, and the rise of white backlash politics. Offered periodically.

182 America Since World War II

This seminar examines American society since 1945, with particular emphasis on the years between 1945 and 1975. The main focus is social history. Topics include the impact of the Cold War, migration to the suburbs, post-industrial society, the culture of the 1950s, civil rights, the Vietnam War, the student movement, the sexual revolution, and Watergate. Sources include novels, essays, magazine stories, films, and documentaries. Offered most years.

183 Cynicism and Hope in Modern America

Cynicism has shaped American politics and society in the last decades of the 20th century. Concerns about public distrust, alienation, and civic decline reflect long-standing anxieties about American democracy. This course examines the history of cynicism and democratic hope, exploring how politics, public life, and citizenship have been understood, practiced, and contested in the 19th and 20th centuries. Offered periodically.

188 Topical Seminar

Selected topics in historical studies, depending on instructor.

189 Topical Seminar

Selected topics in historical studies, depending on instructor.


History 190-191, 194-195, 198-199 are offered as foundational surveys in European, global, and American history. These courses are open to all students seeking broad historical introductions to Western and non-Western societies. Foundational surveys provide both extensive historical coverage and opportunities for integrative learning. They carry general education credit, as appropriate, in Historical Studies in Western Culture and in Multicultural Studies. They are particularly appropriate for majors seeking background in each world area.

190 Europe from the Ancients to the Renaissance

This course surveys Western history and culture from its origins in the Ancient Near East to the Italian Renaissance. Topics include the ancient world, the beginnings of Christianity, the emergence and disintegration of Rome as a unifying power, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Through original texts and historical studies, students will explore relationships among religions, states, and societies and views of natural environments, family life, and gender roles. Offered most years.

191 Europe from the Reformation to Modern Times

This course surveys European history and culture since the Reformation. Topics include the impact of Protestantism, the development of nation states, the Enlightenment, revolutionary ideas and experiences, the Napoleonic era, imperialism, mass political movements, and global warfare. Through original texts, historical studies, and literature, students explore relations among religions, states and societies and understandings of liberty and reason, natural environments, family life, and gender roles. Offered most years.

194 Global Histories from Ancient Times to 1500

Students use original texts, historical studies, and literature to examine, comparatively and chronologically, the evolution of selected cultures and societies before 1500. They explore topics such as political, cultural, and economic exchange, religious practices, human interaction with the environment, forms of political authority, family life, and gender roles. Offered most years.

195 Global Histories from 1500 to the Present

This course takes a comparative and chronological approach to studying the diverse cultures of the modern world. Through original texts, historical studies, and literary sources, students examine such themes as the rise of American imperialism and its impact on the native peoples of the Americas, Asia, and Africa; the emergence of the nation state and new ideologies; the spread of American influence in the world; human interaction with the environment; challenges to religion and traditional life-styles; and innovation in family and gender structures. Offered most years.

198 American History to 1865

This course examines the development of American culture and society from the Columbian encounter through the Civil War. Topics include the interaction of Europeans, Africans, and indigenous peoples in early America; the social development of the British colonies; the evolution of American slavery; the Revolution and the Constitution; industrialization, expansion, and reform in the 19th century; and the Civil War. Offered most years.

199 American History Since 1965

As they study the development of American institutions and society from the Civil War to the present, students examine economic, social, and political themes with a special emphasis on changing interpretations. Major topics are Reconstruction, urbanization, populism, progressivism, depression, New Deal, foreign relations, civil rights, social reform, equality for women, and other recent trends. Offered most years.


201 Major Seminar: Ancient History

This course explores topics in Ancient History, designed to emphasize active skills of critical reading, textual and contextual analysis, historiographical argument, and historical writing.

202 Ancient: Near East

This course is a history of Western civilization's earliest cultures, the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Hebraic Kingdoms, and the great Empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Persia. Offered occasionally.

203 Ancient: Greece

This course is a history of Western civilization's primary cultures, Ancient Greece from the Bronze Age through the "Golden Age" of classical Greece and the empire of Alexander the Great. Offered most years.

204 Ancient: Rome

This course is a survey of Mediterranean civilization from the early history of Italy through the Roman Republic and Empire. Offered most years.


210 Major Seminar: European History

This course explores topics in European History, designed to emphasize active skills of critical reading, textual and contextual analysis, historiographical argument, and historical writing. Offered most years.

211 The Early Middle Ages

This course examines European history during the period of about 300 to 1000. Topics include the culture of late antiquity, the foundation of Christian institutions, the age of migrations, the Byzantine Empire and its relationship with the West, the emergence of Islam, the Carolingian revival, the manorial system, and the development of feudalism, with attention given to women's roles in medieval society throughout the course. Prerequisite: History 190 recommended. Offered every second year.

212 The High and Late Middle Ages

This course covers European history in the period of about 1000 to 1500. Topics include the medieval papacy, the Crusades and reconquest of Spain, towns and commercial life, the medieval monarchy, scholasticism in the setting of the universities, late medieval spirituality, and the crises of plague and warfare in the late Middle Ages, with attention given to women's roles in medieval society throughout the course. Prerequisite: History 190 recommended. Offered every second year.

217 Age of the Renaissance

Students examine intellectual, political, social, and spiritual currents, 1300 to 1550, particularly in the city of Florence, but also in broader Italian and European Renaissance contexts. Topics include humanism, the political life of the northern Italian city states, changes in spirituality and in the life of the church, the status of women, and the development of political theory. Readings include Petrarch, Machiavelli, and Erasmus. Offered most years.

218 Reformation Europe

Students study Protestant and Catholic religious movements, Luther and other Reformers, political and social institutions, the Protestant family, intellectual traditions, and popular culture and beliefs in this interdisciplinary approach to Reformation Europe. Students also investigate the rise of nation states, theological debates, the wars of religion, science and learning, printing and communication, and capitalism. Offered most years.

219 Reformation England

Students survey politics, religion, and society from the Reformation through the era of the Glorious Revolution. Using both contemporary authors and historical writings, students examine the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, the introduction of Protestantism, the Anglican Church and its puritan critics, the conflict between the Stuart kings and parliament, the revolutions of the 17th century, and the establishment of liberty for conscience. Offered periodically.

220 Modern Britain

How did Britain emerge as the world's first "super power"? Students examine British history from the Revolution of 1688 through the era of World War II. Topics include the aristocracy, the impact of the Industrial and French Revolutions, liberalism and capitalism, Victorian culture, the working class and political reform, the women's movement, the imperial achievement, the issue of Ireland, and the challenge of the world wars. Offered periodically.

222 Modern Scandinavia

This course offers a survey of modern Scandinavian history from the period of the Protestant Reformation to the present with special attention to recent developments. Foreign Language Across the Curriculum course available in Norwegian. Offered most years.

224 Modern Germany

This course provides a survey of the history of Germany with emphasis on the period from 1700 to the present. Through primary sources, literature, and historical accounts, students examine Germany's development from a collection of independent states to a great power, focusing on the social, cultural, and political impact of national unification, rapid industrialization, world wars, and European union.

226 Modern France

This course surveys the history of France since 1774, tracing elements of stability and upheaval from Old Regime to the 5th Republic. Emphasis is on the revolutionary tradition and the development of republicanism, social history of the 19th century, de Gaulle and his legacy, and the Socialist experiment. Foreign Language Across the Curriculum course available in French. Offered most years.

227 French Revolution and Napoleon.

Students examine seminal events, institutions, and doctrines of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras, with special attention to the 18th-century background to the Revolution, its impact on Europe in the 19th century, and its legacies in the modern world. Using primary and secondary sources, students explore the drama of the period and consider the variety of historical approaches to, and interpretations of, the Revolution. Offered most years.

230 Imperial Russia

Russia's modern history from Peter the Great to the revolution of 1917 centers on the tsarist autocracy and popular movements to limit its power. Students assess Russia's economy, culture, and religion against the background of the country's westernization. Foreign Language Across the Curriculum course available in Russian. Offered most years.

231 20th-Century Russia

This course begins with the Communist revolution of 1917 and traces the growth of the Soviet Union under Lenin, Stalin, and their successors. Students analyze the "crisis" of the Soviet system in order to explain why the last of the European empires collapsed in 1991. Foreign Language Across the Curriculum course available in Russian. Offered most years.

232 History of Orthodox Christianity

The history of Orthodox Christianity focuses on three features of Orthodoxy as they developed over time: theology, worship (liturgy, sacred art, and architecture), and monasticism. Theology includes the early church fathers and later figures of the Byzantine era and modern Russia. Liturgy, sacred art, and architecture are examined in the context of the iconoclastic controversy (8th and 9th centuries) and its aftermath -- monasticism as it developed on Mount Athos in Greece and in Russia. Offered periodically.

233 Fall of Soviet Communism

This course explores the reasons behind the dramatic collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 by examining Soviet political and economic life, the Cold War, nationality and ethnic developments, and the Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe, as well as cultural, religious, and environmental issues. Offered during Interim.

237 Women in Medieval Europe

Students explore the experiences of women in both religious and secular life from the period of the late Roman Empire through the 15th century. Topics include women's roles in the early church, changes in the status of women from the late Roman Empire through the Carolingian period, women's monasticism, marriage and the family in the feudal system, courtly love, and late medieval spirituality. Offered periodically during Interim.

238 Women in Early Modern Europe

This course introduces students to a selection of topics in women's history during a transitional period in the West and helps them develop a sense of the methodologies of women's history as a field. Topics include the status of women in Renaissance Italy, female rulers during the early modern period, women in the context of humanism, changing conditions for working women, women and the arts, witchcraft, and the impact of the Reformation. Offered periodically during Interim.

239 Women and Gender in Modern Europe

Students analyze women's experience and notions of gender in Europe since 1700. Themes include the definition of domestic ideology from the Enlightenment through industrialization to the Victorian period, gendering citizenship in the nation-state, the impact of science and technology on women's lives and bodies, the development of feminism(s), and women and gender in socialist and fascist regimes. Offered most years.


240 Major Seminar: Non-Western History

This course explores topics in Non-Western history, designed to emphasize active skills of critical reading, textual and contextual analysis, historiographical argument, and historical writing. Offered most years.

241 HIstorical Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America

This course examines issues of race and ethnicity in Latin America from colonial times to the present. Although not directly comparative, by highlighting the region's distinctive tradition of racial mixture the course provides students with a model of race relations that contrasts sharply with that of the U.S. The course also concerns changing ideas about race in Latin America and the impact of these ideas on debates over national identity. Offered periodically.

242 Modern Latin America

An overview of the evolution of Latin American societies since 1750, this course examines the consequences of independence, 19th-century economic imperialism, and the 20th-century transitions to more urbanized, industrialized ways of life. Students examine major Latin American nations and compare their revolutionary and counter-revolutionary trajectories toward the establishment of authoritarian states. Applied Foreign Language Component available in Spanish. Offered most years.

243 20th-Century Cuba

This course examines the history of 20th-century Cuba, especially the 1959 revolution and its aftermath. Students study the transformation of Cuban political culture, the obstacles to economic and agrarian reform, education, the role of women, human rights, U.S. policies toward Cuba, and the future of Cuba after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The role of charismatic leadership in Latin America and the possibilities for revolutionary changes in the Americas are also examined. Offered periodically during Interim.

244 Revolutionary Cuba (Abroad)

What is Cuba really like? In this course, students visit health clinics, government agricultural cooperatives, and schools and take extended field trips to the countryside. The program focuses on the Revolution and historical memory, as students explore -- through visits to museums and monuments -- how the Cuban government has sought to shape the citizenry's understanding of the past. Offered periodically during Interim.

250 Chinese Civilization

This course studies Chinese civilization from its beginnings to the end of the 19th century, providing an overview of traditional Chinese thought, culture, institutions, and society. Students examine the development of philosophy and religion, achievements in art and literature, and social and economic change. This course also considers foreign conquest dynasties, Chinese expansion into Inner Asia, and China's relations with the West. Offered most years.

251 Modern China

Students examine reform and revolution at the end of Qing dynasty; the creation and collapse of the first Republic; warlordism, cultural change, the rise of Chinese nationalism; Japanese invasion, civil war, and the Communist victory; the People's Republic since 1949; economic and social change, Sino-Soviet conflict, the Cultural Revolution, Maoism and Mao's legacy, and China's recent economic and political transformation. Applied Foreign Language Component available in Chinese. Offered most years.

252 Japanese Civilization

A study of Japan from the origins of the Yamato state culture to the emergence of modern Japan, this course provides an overview of traditional Japanese thought, values, and culture. This course examines social, economic and political change, intellectual and religious history, and the development of Japanese arts and literature, as well as Japan's relations with China, Korea, and the West. Offered most years.

253 Modern Japan

This survey of modern Japan from about 1800 to the present examines the political transformation of the Meiji Restoration, the industrial revolution and social and cultural change, the rise and fall of party government, militarism and Japanese expansionism in World War II, the American occupation, and postwar social, political, economic, and cultural developments. Offered most years.

260 South Africa

In this broad survey of the history of Southern Africa (with a major emphasis on the Republic of South Africa), students engage in readings and classroom activities focusing on the following themes: race and ethnicity, gender, environmental studies, migrant labor, and apartheid and resistance. These focal points illuminate the broader context of change in the South African past. Offered most years.

261 Landscapes and Landmarks of South Africa (Abroad)

This course introduces students to the multiple and contested histories of South Africa in the terrain that was their source and their theater. Students visit historical sites and discover their meaning through literature and lectures, theater, music, story telling, and conversation and explore how contemporary history and culture draw on old narrative, historical, musical, and artistic traditions and how the historical identities of places, spaces, and the land have changed through time and with changing interest or perspective. Offered during Interim.

267 Modern Middle East

In this survey of the modern Middle East from the 16th century to the present, students explore the changing nature of political and social institutions. Topics include: Ottoman society and institutions, the impact of the West, creation of the nation-state system, and the evolution of current conflicts in the region. Offered periodically.


270 Major Seminar: American History

This course explores topics in American history, designed to emphasize active skills of critical reading, textual and contextual analysis, historiographical argument, and historical writing. Offered most years.

272 Women in America

This course surveys women's experience in American life from the colonial period to the present. Students examine the changing economic, social, and legal status of women, society's attitudes towards women, and the growth of a women's movement. Offered most years.

275 Environmental History

By examining the interaction of people and environment on the North American continent from the 15th century to the present, this course shows how history "takes place" in ecological contexts that change over time. Students compare Native American and Euro-American religious beliefs, social values, economic aspirations, and technological developments and examine their consequences for the flora, fauna, and peoples of the continent. Offered most years.

277 African-American History

In this study of African Americans in U. S. society from African origins to the present, students explore the African heritage, the experience of slavery, segregation, and the rise of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The course pays particular attention to the issue of black nationalism as a force in American life. Offered most years.

280 Immigration and Ethnic Studies

The U.S. cannot be understood without a knowledge of immigration and ethnic history. The continuing influx of Europeans, Africans, and Asians had an enormous impact upon American culture, institutions and social order. This course emphasizes European immigration in the 19th and 20th centuries and its consequences in America. It focuses on the emergence of multiple ethnic subcultures and their interaction with the American environment. Offered periodically.

282 Native American History

This course is a comprehensive introduction to Native American history and culture that covers fifteen thousand years of human life in the Americas. Topics examined include Native religions; European invasions and colonization; Indian Removal; the Reservation system; the effects of U.S. "Indian Policy"; Red Power activism; the recent American Indian Renaissance; and the ongoing struggle for Native sovereignty in U.S. courts. Students also have the opportunity to conduct research individually and in groups to study in greater detail a tribe or issue of their choice. Offered most years.

288 America in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era

In studying the impact of the Civil War era on American society and politics, students focus on slavery, emancipation, and race relations. They also address the impact of industrialization on northern society, encompassing immigration and nativism, the westward movement, and the dispossession of Native Americans. The course situates the dramatic political and military events of the era in the wider evolution of American life. Offered most years.

290 Reel America: U.S. History in Film

Students examine the limitations and the enormous potential of film in depicting and interpreting past events in U.S. history. They analyze films using a variety of theoretical models and explore the connection between the present and the interpretation in film of famous past episodes in U.S. history, including, but not limited to, the American Revolution, the Civil War, Custer's "Last Stand," and the turbulent events of the 1960s. Required writing assignments enable students to demonstrate their analytical skills. Group projects offer the opportunity to write screenplays. Offered during Interim.


294 Internship

298 Independent Study

299 Topics in History

This course offers selected surveys in historical studies. Topics depend on instructor. Recent topics have included "Native American History" and "Reel America." Offered periodically. May be repeated if topics are different.


Please note that Level III seminars presume significant prior knowledge of the subject.

European History

301 Ancient History Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in ancient history, depending upon the instructor. Offered periodically. May be repeated if topics are different.

302 Greek Civilization

Students study the emergence and development of Greek civilization from the early Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period, concentrating on such topics as the Homeric Age, Greek colonization of the Mediterranean basin, Athens' evolution from democratic city-state to imperialist power, the Golden Age of Athens, social and intellectual trends and Alexander. Prerequisite: History 203 or permission of instructor. May be repeated if topics are different. Offered periodically.

303 Roman Civilization

This seminar covers the emergence and development of Roman civilization from the founding of Rome to the end of the Western Empire. Students explore such topics as the Greek and Etruscan legacy, evolution from republic to autocracy, the Augustan Age, Pax Romana, social and intellectual trends, the triumph of Christianity and Rome's final transformation. Prerequisite: History 190 or 204 or permission of instructor. May be repeated if topics are different. Offered periodically.

310 Seminar: Medieval Europe

This seminar covers various topics in the history of medieval Europe, depending upon the instructor. May be repeated if topics are different.

315 Seminar: Early Modern Europe

This seminar covers various topics in early modern European history, depending upon the instructor. May be repeated if topics are different.

320 Seminar: Modern Europe

This seminar covers various topics in modern European history, depending upon the instructor. Recent topics have included "The Holocaust and History," "Race, Gender, and Medicine," and "Stalin." Offered most years. May be repeated if topics are different.

Non-Western History

340 Non-Western Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history, depending upon the instructor. Offered periodically. May be repeated if topics are different.

345 East Asian Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in East Asian history. Recent topics have included "World War II in East Asia and the Pacific" and "Nationalism and Communism in Southeast Asia." Offered periodically. May be repeated if topics are different.

350 Comparative History Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in comparative history, depending upon the instructor. Offered periodically. May be repeated if topics are different.

American History

370 American Seminar

This seminar covers varying topics in American history, depending upon the instructor. Recent topics have included "Women and Slavery," "The American Revolution," and "American Consumer Culture." Offered most years. May be repeated if topics are different.

375 Problems of Contemporary America

This course examines American life, politics, and foreign policy from the Cold War to the present. Using a variety of readings, students explore some of the contradictions of modernity and the transformation of America into a post-industrial society. History 199 recommended. May be repeated if topics are different. Offered periodically.


394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.

397 Senior Thesis Seminar

This capstone seminar is open to all history majors for independent research and discussion of historical issues. Although it serves all majors, it is also appropriate for those writing a paper for consideration for distinction. With the consent of the instructors, students may complete a research project that satisfies the requirements of the thesis seminar and another Level III seminar.

398 Independent Research