For more information, contact the faculty member teaching the course.
History 101: Introduction to US History for Elementary Education Majors
This course provides a basic survey of the social, economic, political, and diplomatic history of the United States for the students with little background in U.S. history. Answering the questions: What is America and what does it mean to be American? What is the nature of U.S. democracy? How do the lives of ordinary people intersect with the great events of our past? The course will emphasize content that will be of greatest use for students preparing to teach social studies in the upper elementary grades.
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 notation 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, 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, as well as natural factors that shape the environment - including 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"; and Postwar Europe: Cold War and Integration. (HBSSM, Hist, Intcl)
History 161: South Asian History
An introduction to the basic themes and content of South 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 Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal. 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 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 20th- and 21st-century Africa. (Same as AFRS 172) (HB, Hist, Intcl)
History 227: Public History
This course explores the various ways in which history is created, incorporated into and presented in U.S. popular culture. The course will combine hands-on work with local historical societies, museums, and other public history venues with academic study of public history techniques and ethical challenges. Topics may include the ways in which historical road markers, entertainment corporations (such as the History Channel and Disney), local and regional history associations present to the public and how the public interacts with these discourses on history. A comparison of the differences in purpose and audience between public and scholarly presentations of history is a central theme of the course. Offered alternate years. (HBSSM, Hist)
History 239: Black Influence on Popular Culture: African Americans in Music, TV, Sports, and Film
This course will investigate African American artistic creations and athletic achievement throughout the twentieth century. While that century began as an era in which black Americans were present in American popular culture primarily though blackface minstrelsy (white performers putting on boot polish in order to mimic stereotypically black features), black people currently influence every major arena of American popular culture. How did this come to be? How have African American responses to widespread stereotyping of themselves and their culture changed over time? How have media depictions of black people narrowed black and white perceptions of what it means to be a certain race, class, and gender? By reading a variety of works by historians, we will see how scholars have understood the development of black influence on American popular culture. We will also analyze a wide range of memoirs, songs, movie clips, TV shows, and sporting events in order to understand continuity and change within this topic. (Same as AFST 239) (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, 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 351: Topics in US History - Indian Country: Race, Gender, and Politics on American Frontiers
This course will examine the interrelated individuals, institutions, historical events, an ideologies that contributed to the Holocaust. In order to understand this genocide, we will begin our study with an analysis of some of the important historical factors that occurred before the Nazi rise to power. We will then examine the anti-Jewish policies the Nazis cobbled together during 1933-1938 and the varied Jewish responses to these policies. This historical background will inform our investigation of the Final Solution itself. In this part of the course, we will study the perpetrators, bystanders, and victims of the Holocaust. Finally, we will consider the Holocaust's aftermath and portrayal in film, museums and scholarship.
The readings will challenge us to think about the Holocaust from new perspectives, and we will work together to understand the role individuals played in this state-sponsored genocide. We will also compare the genocidal methods and tactics individuals, groups and states used in occupied Western Europe with those in the lands of the former Soviet Union. These comparisons will serve to highlight similarities and differences between "East" and "West" Holocaust narratives and give us a more complex understanding of this historical topic.
Please note that this course is focused on the study of the large-scale genocide of European Jews that occurred during World War II. While the Nazis and their allies also targeted the Roma for genocide there is little historical scholarship done on this topic. As a result this course will mainly look at issues related to the Jewish Holocaust.
History 371: "No one truly knows a nation until he has been inside its jail..." (Nelson Mandela, 1994): South Africa and Apartheid
South Africa's past is a painful history of deep racial discrimination, racialized violence, and segregation. But it is also a history of human resilience and the struggle for equality, justice, and peace. This resilience is exemplified by the participation of women and men from diverse racial and social backgrounds, who struggled to end the racists policies of apartheid in South Africa. This course examines the important philosophies underpinning the policy of apartheid and the equally powerful, and at times competing, arguments made by those who sacrificed their lives in opposition to it. The course will draw on multiple sources including autobiographies, biographies, and films so that students encounter multiple perspectives that will help them weigh the historical evidence regarding the controversies that mark South African history then and now. (Same as AFST 371)
History 485: Era of the American Revolution
This course on the American Revolutionary era begins in 1763 and goes to the election of Jefferson in 1800. Among the specific topics we will examine are the circumstances of the colonies in British America after the French and Indian War, the growing crisis between England and the colonies from 1763 to 1776, the movement for indpependence, the course of the war, the reasons for American military success and British failure, the Articles of Confederation government, the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, the increasingly harsh party battles of the 1790s, and finally, the so-called "Revolution of 1800." This catalog of topic events is fairly familiar to some of you but we will also explore issues of large-scale historical meaning: What exactly was the American Revolution When was it? Were there, in fact, multiple revolutions? Were the events we normally associate with the independence movement of the colonies simply the political acknowledgement of a de facto economic and social developments which were already well underway?
History 485 aims at contributing to your knowledge of this period of American history but also serves as the history department's writing intensive course (which is part of 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. We will be looking in some detail at the historiographic debates but also discussing your research topics and how the research and writing of your papers is proceeding.