Spring Semester Course Offerings
The following courses will be offered Spring Semester 2014. For more information, contact the faculty member teaching the course.
History 112: US History Since 1865
This course surveys American history since Reconstruction, exploring transformations in American politics, society, and culture. Though it is wide-ranging, it has as a unifying theme the question of how and why people have defined the American nation in different ways, and how those ideas have related to race and gender. Topics covered include the end of the westward expansion after the Civil War and Indian resistance, industrialization, immigration, World War I, African American migration and cultural innovation, the cultural turmoil of the 1920s, the Depression and New Deal, the Second World War at home and abroad, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement, feminism, other social movements, the Vietnam war and the anti-war movement, cultural politics in the 1970s, the new conservatism and 1980s culture wars, the 1990s, 9/11, the Gulf War, and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. (HBSSM, Hist, Intcl)
History 126: Human Geography
A survey of world geography combining the regional and topical approaches, the natural factors that shape the environment, such as climate, landforms and resources, will be considered, along with their impact on people, as studied in the fields of political, economic, and cultural geography. The primary focus of the course will be on basic concepts in cultural geography that will be of greatest use for students preparing to teach middle school and high school social studies. (HBSSM, Intcl)
History 150: Europe Since 1648
An introductory survey of European history from the end of the wars of religion in the seventeenth century to the present. Topics will include: the Scientific Revolution; the Enlightenment; Absolutism and the Emergence of the Parliamentary Government; the French Revolution and Napoleon; Reaction and Revolution in the early Nineteenth Century; the Industrial Revolution; Nationalism and Unification; the "New Imperialism" and the Coming of World War I; the "Thirty Years War of the Twentieth Century"; Postwar Europe: Cold War and Integration. (HBSSM, Hist, Intcl)
History 161: East Asian History
An introduction to the basic themes and content of East Asian history from the earliest times to the present. Students will explore the lives of both great and ordinary people who lived in what are now China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Students will consider how empire, international trade, relations of production, and ideologies affected the construction and reproduction of social and cultural groups. Offered alternate years. (HB, Hist, Intcl)
History 163: Modern Middle East History
Students in this course investigate the history of the Middle East, including Iran, Turkey, and northern Africa. The course begins with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258, but its focus on the 19th and 20th centuries allows students to understand the cultural and material processes that inform current events. The course provides important historical context for intellectual discussion among the Abrahamic traditions and requires students to consider social, economic, and cultural factors that may find expression in religious canon and practice. Offered alternate years. (HB, Hist, Intcl)
History 172: History of Modern Africa
This course surveys the history of sub-Saharan Africa from the 1880s to the present. The course examines African life under European colonial domination (from about 1880 to about 1960) and under independent states which succeeded colonial governments after 1960. A primary aim of this course is to explore the diversity of human experience in Africa during the colonial and post-colonial periods. The course makes use of several primary documents to portray ways in which men and women have dealt with the challenges of living in twentieth- and twentifirst-century Africa. (Same as AFRS 172) (HB, Hist, Intcl)
History 242: Medieval History
An introduction to medieval European history from the dissolution of the Roman Empire to the end of the Great Schism. The class focuses on western Europe, but pays close attention to its encounters with the Muslim east and the Viking north. Special emphasis is given to the flowering of medieval culture (monasteries, mystics, villages, and universities) as well as the crises of the period (crusades, heresy and inquisition, Hundred Years' War, and the Black Death). Offered alternate years. (HBSSM, Hist)
History 290: Gender and Women's History
Speaking for Ourselves: The History of African American Women
Lauren Kientz Anderson
Is Beyonce in control of her own image or is her image dictated by the media surrounding her and the audience consuming her music and videos? The answers to this question can only be understood within the full context of U.S. History. For the past three hundred years, African American women have struggled to define themselves in the face of persistent stereotyping by the national media, slave-owners, black men, and white women. This class will examine primary sources from black women about their lives, as well as historical monographs about the time periods in which black women lived. We will discuss the periods from the early twentieth century to the modern Hip Hop era. Students will be expected to present and lead discussion, read the weekly materials, and participate in a class-wide research project. (Same as GWS 290) (HBSSM, Hist)
History 321: Topics in American History
The US and the Cold War
No other event of the twentieth century – not the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Civil Rights Movement — shaped American history, politics and culture more than the Cold War. The Cold War created a world divided and dominated by two ideologically-opposed and antagonistic world powers, each possessing enough weaponry to destroy human civilization several times over. The US and western European democracies exchanged economic, diplomatic, military and psychological threats with the Soviet Union and its satellites from 1945 to 1991 when the latter collapsed. Periods of detente alternated with periods of high political drama. Open war between the US and the Soviets nearly broke out on several occasions, including the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. In addition, wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, plus a variety of smaller conflicts saw the two superpowers resorting to indirect war by proxy states to achieve their desired ends. The course focuses on the US role in these events as well as the impact of the Cold War on American culture. Prerequisites: curiosity and PAID 112 or equivalent. HBSSM and HIST.
History 338: Slavery and Emancipation in the Americas: A Comparative History
Slavery has often been a feature of human societies across the earth. But slavery as it existed in the Western Hemisphere between the 16th and the 19th centuries occupies a prominent and important place in the institution's long and sordid history. Focusing on North America, the Caribbean, and Brazil, the course explicitly compares the reasons why slavery developed in these different places, the growing prominence of racial categories, the work that slaves performed, slave culture, slave control and slave resistance, the lives of free black people in these various societies, and finally, the different means and mechanisms by which slavery came to an end. Prerequisite: PAID 112 or equivalent. (Same as AFRS 338.) (HBSSM, Hist)
History 351: Topics in European History
Popular Religion and the State in the Reformation Age
This course explores the changes and conflicts that arose in Europe around issues of traditional or “popular” religious practices and states’ oversight of those practices as the result of the religious reformations of the sixteenth century. Students will read and discuss a variety of primary and secondary sources related to popular religion (including folk religion and witchcraft) and to the church and secular authorities who tried to control and change others’ religious behavior. Research into specific topics and questions of their own choosing will allow students to investigate the webs of power and authority that connected church, state, and people in early modern Europe.
History 371:Topics in African History
“A Revolution Betrayed?” Nationalism in South Africa and Zimbabwe
This class is an in depth examination of nationalism in Southern Africa. The aim is to probe the deep complexities of Southern Africa’s nationalist history including European conquest, early attempts at anti-colonial liberation, emergence of mass movements such as Nelson Mandela’s ANC and Robert Mugabe’s ZANU (PF), their ideological underpinnings including their relation to the United States and the Soviet Union, and the implications of national independence. Several of our readings (which include autobiographies from Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe) will help students understand the legacy of white rule and the unfulfilled dreams of ordinary men and women who participated in the anti-apartheid struggle. This course will be taught through a combination of discussion, lecture, selected historical documents, and films. Prerequisite: Paideia 112 or equivalent. (HBSSM, Hist). This course satisfies requirements for Africana Studies and History. (same as Africana Studies 371)
History 485: Junior-Senior Seminar
The History of the Family in Modern Europe
This semester's seminar will explore the history of the family in modern Europe. During the first part of the course students will read some of the most important scholarship that has defined this area of historical investigation, including examples of social history, women's and gender history, and childhood history. Students will discover the variety of approaches to the topic of the history of the family, while developing a research project in a case of their choice. This study will result in a journal-length article and an oral presentation of their research.
History 485 aims at contributing to your knowledge of this period of European history but also serves as the history department’s writing intensive course (which are part of the Luther’s all-college requirements). A critically important aspect of this course aims at increasing your analytical and writing skills by producing an extensive research paper. So we will be looking in some detail at the historiographic debates but also discussing your research topics and the how the research and writing of your papers is proceeding.