Courses

Catalog Course Descriptions

Courses marked (A) are designated for credit in Group A (United States), those with (B) for credit in Group B (Europe), and those with (C) for credit in Group C (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East).  Courses marked with an (*) may be taken for either Group A, B, or C based on content as determined by the student’s adviser.  Courses marked with more than one designator may be counted in either group as marked.  Students may not count any one course for more than one group.  

Courses marked WI are designated Writing Intensive courses. 

Note that 300-level History Courses are offered on a rotating basis, typically once every 4-5 semesters.

HIST 101. World History to 1500.  (3)
A general survey of world history; study of the world’s major cultural areas, their unique achievements and their interaction with and relation to other societies. Covers the period up through the fifteenth century.  This course may be used to meet requirements for the minor in International Studies. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Humanities or Global Perspectives.

HIST 102. World History since 1500. (3)
A general survey of world history; a study of the world’s major cultural areas, their unique achievements and their interaction with and relation to other societies. Covers the period encompassing the sixteenth through twentieth centuries.  This course may be used to meet requirements for the minor in International Studies. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Humanities or Global Perspectives.

HIST 111. U.S. History to 1865.  (3)
Survey of national history from the colonial period through the American Revolution and early national period through the Civil War. Emphasis on economic, political and social developments as well as the growth of the representative and democratic process. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Social and Behavioral Sciences or U.S. Perspectives.

HIST 112. U.S. History since 1865. (3)
General survey of national history since the end of the Civil War. Explores economic, political and social developments in the United States and growing American involvement in world affairs. This course has been approved for Core Curriculum credit in Social and Behavioral Sciences or U.S. Perspectives.

HIST 295. The Historians Craft.  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Six hours of HIST at the 100 level.
This seminar will introduce students to the numerous facets of historical inquiry. Basic components of the course center on the nature and philosophy of history; historical interpretation; research, analysis, and writing; and the practical application of history. Its focus is on preparing students for upper-division courses in history while integrating work in their major into their overall university experience.  As a gateway class between the survey-level and upper-division History courses, HIST 295 is intended to be taken by History majors during their second semester sophomore to first semester junior year (before taking more than 6 credits of 300-level HIST courses).

HIST 300. The 20th Century World (A, B, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
An overview of the world in the 20th century with emphasis on the overriding themes from the historian’s perspective: nationalism, globalization, economic development, environmentalism. Course establishes a basis for the understanding of current events in historical perspective. 

HIST 302. War in the Modern Age (A, B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
General history of Western warfare, surveying the evolution of war, technology, and societies from the Middle Ages in Europe to the conflicts of the present-day.

HIST 303. Studies in Military History (*).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
In-depth study of a particular aspect of military history. Study may include such topics as leadership, World War II and causes of war.  May be taken for credit more than once when topics differ.

HIST 304. Environmental History (A, B, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
This course explores the history of the world through the lens of environmental history. Students will learn the basic methodologies of environmental history and then put these approaches to work investigating how a focus on the physical environment can help us understand the major historical processes of human history. This course deals with physical and social environments around the world, including the United States.

HIST 306. History of Women (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of the roles and changing status of men and women in the United States from pre-industrial times to the present. This course may be used to meet requirements for the minor in Women’s Studies.

HIST 307. Women in World History (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of the roles and changing status of men and women, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present, primarily but not entirely in Russia. Content includes the development of the field of women’s history as well as the interactions between sex and such topics as religion, class, education, family, and politics.  

HIST 309. Medieval Civilization (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of Europe from 300 to 1500 with an emphasis on the achievements of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries.

HIST 311. Ancient Near East (B, C).  (3)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of ancient civilizations stretching from Egypt to Persia with an emphasis on the development of enduring religious, cultural, and political traditions. 

HIST 313. History of  China (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Survey of Chinese culture and history. Covers diplomatic, economic, intellectual, political and social aspects of China. 

HIST 314. Imperial India: India from Mughal Times to the Present (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A general survey of South Asian history from the building of the Mughal empire to the present.  Topics include the nature of Mughal and British rule in India, the many peoples who have coexisted in India, and the blending of Muslim, Hindu, and British traditions.  Also emphasizes developments in South Asia since the end of British rule in 1947.

HIST 315. British Empire (B, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Traces a 500-year history of British imperialism from the passing of Poynings’ Law in Ireland in 1494 to the lowering of the Union Jack in Hong Kong in 1997. The scope will be global, and topics will range from politics, war, and economics to science, environment, and culture. Major themes will include the causes of imperialism, the mechanics of British expansion, the impact of empire on both the mother country and the colonies, and the reasons for decolonization.

HIST 316. Colonial Latin America (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A topical survey beginning with the conquests of Mexico and Peru by Spain and (to a lesser extent) Brazil by Portugal. Focus is on the impact on native Americans of Spanish colonialism and on the evolution of Hispanic-American institutions, family and kinship patterns and economic behavior. 

HIST 317. National Latin America (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A general survey of Latin American history from the creation of independent nations until the present. Emphasis on the economic modernization process and its consequences. 

HIST 320. The Vietnam War (A, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
History of the war covering the general background, French and American involvement and the present situation in southeast Asia. Focuses on military, diplomatic and domestic aspects of American involvement.

HIST 322. Middle East in the World: 600-1700 (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
This course covers the major cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental aspects of the history of the Middle East from the seventh to the eighteenth century. Students will learn about the history of Islam, the spread of the early Caliphates, and the imperial dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean world. Students who have already received credit for HIST 319 may take HIST 322 for credit.

HIST 323. Middle East in the World: 1700-Present (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
This course covers the major cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental aspects of the history of the Middle East from the eighteenth century to the present. Students will learn about the changing imperial situation in the region, the rise of nationalism, the end of formal colonization and the role of the United States in the region. Students who have already received credit for HIST 319 may take HIST 323 for credit.

HIST 325. African Civilizations (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Examines Africa’s social, cultural and economic institutions as they have evolved and changed through the ages. Topics include human evolution in Africa, state formation, the slave trade, early European contacts and colonialism. 

HIST 326. 20th Century Africa (C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Analysis of the events and trends that have shaped Africa and its peoples in the 20th century. Topics include the rise of nationalism, the impact of the two World Wars, struggles for independence, the impact of the Cold War, efforts at economic, social and political development in the post-Independence era, Africa in the Age of Globalization. 

HIST 330. African American History to 1865 (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
Examines the social, political, economic and cultural history of African Americans in the United States from the early 1600s to Emancipation. Topics include the Atlantic Slave Trade, the Origins of Slavery in British North America, Colonial Slavery and the Revolutionary Era, the development of a free black community, the Antebellum Free African American Population, Civil War, and Emancipation.

HIST 331. African American History from 1865 (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
Examines the social, political, economic and cultural history of African Americans in the United States from Emancipation through the Civil Rights Movement. Topics include Reconstruction, Segregation, both World Wars, the Great Migration, the Great Depression and New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement in both the North and the South, and Black Nationalism. Focuses on African American culture, racial identity, social consciousness, political thought, oppression and resistance.

HIST 333. Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic World (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisites: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of ancient Greece and the development of Hellenistic civilization from their archaic roots to 31 BC that places the Hellenic world in the larger context of the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world. 

HIST 334. Roman Civilization (B)   (3)  WI
Prerequisites: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of ancient Rome and the Mediterranean world from their archaic roots to about AD 500 that places the Roman world in the larger context of the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean world.

HIST 335. Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages (B)  (3)  WI
Prerequisites: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of the political, socio-economic, and cultural development of the areas encompassed by, or adjacent to, the Roman Empire from its waning days ca. AD 300 to the aftermath of the First Crusade, ca. 1125, that examines the development and interaction of the three distinct cultural spheres (Byzantium, Islam, and Latin Christendom) that lay at the foundation of the modem West.

HIST 337 English History to 1625 (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A general survey of English history to 1625. Topics include Britain before and during Roman times, the unification and Christianization of England, the Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman invasions, relations between church and state including the Reformation, medieval warfare, and the Tudor regime.

HIST 338. Modern British History (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A general survey of British history since 1625. Topics include the English civil wars and Glorious Revolution, British culture, foreign affairs and the building of the British Empire, the development of democratic and liberal traditions, industrialization, and the world wars.

HIST 339. Scotland and Ireland in the Modern Age (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A general survey of Scottish and Irish history in modern times.  Topics will range from William Wallace through the Reformation to Bonnie Prince Charlie and from Drougheda through the Great Famine to the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  Themes will include state building, identity formation, and relations between Highlanders and Lowlanders, Celts and Saxons, and Protestants and Catholics.

HIST 341. Early Modern Europe (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
A study of European history from 1300 to 1789  that explores the crisis of the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, revolt and revolution, constitutional development,  science and the Enlightenment.

HIST 342. Revolutionary Europe, 1789 to 1890 (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of modern European history from 1789 through 1890. Topics include the French Revolution, Napoleon, Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, the first Industrial Revolution, Urbanization, Liberalism, Socialism, Nationalism, and the second Industrial Revolution.

HIST 343. Europe Since 1890 (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of political events which brought on two World wars, their economic and social impact on Europe; shift of world power away from Europe; adjustments made in consolidation of European community since 1890.

HIST 345. Czarist Russia (B, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Russian history from formation of the Kievan State through fall of the Romanovs.

HIST 346. Soviet Russia (B, C).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Russian history during the Soviet Era. Domestic and diplomatic policies examined as well as Russian social conditions in 20th Century.

HIST 347. Stalin and Stalinism (B, C). (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Critically examines the era in Soviet history known as Stalinism.  It explores the biography and the personality of Joseph Stalin.  Topics include: Stalin's political machinations to grab power, the establishment of the Gulag prison camp system, the show trials and great terror of the 1930's, Stalin and World War II, and the beginnings of the Cold War.  Students learn the core concepts of the Stalinist ideology and how it varied from earlier and later Soviet theories and practices.  They contemplate levels of collaboration with and resistance to the system.  Students also examine the legacy of Stalinism at home and abroad. 

HIST 349. Modern Germany: From Bismarck through Hitler (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of German history from 1870 to 1945. Topics include Bismarck and national unification, World Wars I and II, Hitler and National Socialism. 

HIST 350. Modern European Intellectual History (B).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
Explores the relationship between thought and its social context in Europe since 1750. The course draws on philosophical, scientific, and cultural texts, and focuses on the political implications of philosophical reflections, scientific investigation, and cultural criticism. 

HIST 352. Virginia History (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Comprehensive survey of history in Virginia. 

HIST 354, 355. American Social History (A).  (3,3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
An intensive study of American life, customs, character and social problems. HIST 354 covers the colonial era through the mid-19th century and HIST 355 from mid-19th century to the present.

HIST 356. History of American Religious Thought (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Course offers a survey of important developments in American religious thought including Puritanism, Unitarianism, Transcendentalism, New Thought and Positive Thinking, the Social Gospel, Fundamentalism, and Neo-Orthodoxy.

HIST 360. Colonial America (A). (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study of Native American societies before contact, as well as an analysis of the establishment and development of English colonies in the New World before 1750.

HIST 361. Revolutionary America (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Study and analysis of the causes of the Revolution, the War for Independence, the Confederation period and the impact of the war. 

HIST 364. American Slavery (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100-level.
Course provides an in-depth study and analysis of the institution of slavery as it developed in the United States. Particular focus will be placed on the institution from the perspective of the slaves themselves. Topics include the Atlantic Slave Trade, Origins of Slavery, Colonial Slave Systems, Proslavery Defense, Abolitionism, Slave Culture, Resistance, and Emancipation.

HIST 365. America’s Civil War (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
This course is a survey of the social, political, military, diplomatic, and economic events of the American Civil War. It explores the causes, character, conduct, and consequences of the American Civil War. Broad themes to be investigated are: the crisis of union and disunion in an expanding republic; slavery, race, and emancipation; and the experiences of modern, total war for individuals and society.

HIST 368. The Populist and Progressive Era (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Examines the political, economic, and social history from 1877-1917. Special emphasis on the role of the Populists within the social and cultural context of American history and the contemporary treatment of the origins and aims of the Progressive movements.

HIST 372. Southern History and Culture (A).  (3)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
This course explores the major historical and cultural characteristics that make the American South a distinct region. Topics include the agricultural tradition, politics, literature, family and gender, the arts, music, religion, race relations, and the role of social class in historical and contemporary contexts. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the characteristics that distinguish Southern history and culture. The course will proceed from a topical perspective. Each main topic will be examined within an historical and chronological framework.

HIST 373. Appalachian History (A).  (3)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Inquiry into uniqueness of the Appalachian region including the people and their history, livelihood, religion, speech, music, social mores, folklore and politics. Emphasis on 20th century. 

HIST 375. American Immigration (A).  (3)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
This course is a study of immigration in American life. The course traces the history of immigration to the United States from the colonial era to the present with a special emphasis on issues of assimilation, pluralism, and multiculturalism.

HIST 381. Recent America  (A).  (3)  WI
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
An in-depth study of major political, diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural developments in U.S. history during recent decades. 

HIST 385. Public History (A).  (3) 
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Introduces students to the field of applied or public history and to the role that historians play in such diverse activities as historic preservation, historic site interpretation and management, historical societies, governmental historical organizations, and museums. 

HIST 392. Special Topics in History (*).  (3)
Prerequisites: At least three hours of history at the 100 level and advance permission of the instructor.
Detailed study of topics or period of history not covered in current course offerings. A new course description is available each time the course is offered. This course may be taken more than once for credit with a different topic.

HIST 400. Digital Archives (A).  (3)
Prerequisites: HIST 295 or permission of instructor
This introduction to and practicum in the field of digital archives will cover the creation, presentation, analysis, and research of digital archival collections. Students will immerse themselves in archival material of historical significance and gain hands-on experience with digital archives. May be taken more than once for credit. A maximum of 3 credit hours may be applied towards the History Major. (*) Group A, B, C depending on content.

HIST 466. History Travel Study (*).  (3-6)
Prerequisite: Three hours of HIST at 100 level.
Involves domestic and/or international travel.  Students will participate in the investigation of historical topics in relevant locations.  One of the goals of the course is to allow students to better understand and relate to historical issues specific to countries and regions by exploring them 'on location.' This course may be taken again for credit with different topics or areas of study.  Designation of the course as counting for area 'A,' 'B,' or 'C' of the History major will depend on the course content, and must be established before the student enrolls.  This course can count for a maximum of 3 credit hours in any one of those areas of the History major.  A maximum of 6 credit hours of travel study may be applied towards the History major.  A maximum of 3 credit hours of travel study may be applied towards the History minor or the Social Science major.    

HIST 488. Honors Thesis.  (3)

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the Honors Academy, completion of all other Honors Academy requirements, a minimum 3.5 GPA in all courses and in history, senior standing.

Conducting research and writing a thesis for a bachelor’s degree with honors in history. In order to receive honors credit, the student must receive a grade of “A” or “B” for the thesis. Course may not be repeated.

HIST 490. Internship.  (1-15)
Prerequisites: 12 hours history; junior standing, minimum 2.5 GPA, departmental approval.
A one semester internship with historical agency, society, museum or other relevant institution. Student receives both academic and agency supervision. Course does not count toward fulfillment of the requirements for the history major. Course may be taken for variable credit and can be taken more than once for up to a total of 15 credit hours. Pass/Fail grading.

HIST 495.  Senior Seminar.  (4)  WI
Prerequisite: HIST 295 (completed with a “C” or better); History major; senior standing; completed 12 credit hours of 300-level HIST courses; or permission of instructor.
A seminar focusing on a topic, or related group of topics in European, United States, and/or non-Western history. This seminar will serve as a senior capstone experience for History majors bringing together critical thinking, research, writing, and communication skills. Specific topics of seminars change each semester in accordance with the interests of instructors and needs of the department. This course will encourage engagement in primary and secondary sources, historical analysis and argument, and an understanding of historical interpretation. Completion of a senior writing project is required. HIST 495 is required for all History majors. It may not be used to fulfill coursework in the three fields of required history courses. May be taken for credit more than once when topics differ.

HIST 498. Independent  Study (*).  (1-6)
Prerequisite: At least three hours of history at the 100 level and advance permission of instructor.
Student works closely with one member of the department who defines the requirements for the course which vary among instructors. A topic of study is defined and the student works, largely independently, through the semester, to research and report on the topic. Each instructor will define by nature of the content of the study whether it meets History major requirements in Group A, B, or C