Course Topics

HIST 101: Introduction to the History of the United States for Elementary School Teachers

This course provides a basic survey of the social, economic, political, and diplomatic history of the United States for 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.

HIST 112: Survey of U.S. History Since 1877

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.

HIST 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 history 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.

HIST 290: Gender and Women’s History

Faculty teaching this course will focus on the history of gender within their own period of expertise. The course will examine such gender questions as: Why and how should we study the history of gender? What do gender roles from the past tell us about our own gender experience? How do the histories of men and women as gendered persons intersect? The course will focus on these questions as they are related to the history of work, family, politics, and social behavior for the particular period and nation the instructor selects.

HIST 321: Topics in U.S. History

In-depth study of a selected topic in U.S. history. Instruction in this course will require students to read and assess monographs written by prominent historians related to the topic. Students will write an eight-to-10-page research paper on a subject linked to the selected topic. Topics may include but are not limited to: Revolutionary America, disease in the American past, history of the American family, U.S. immigration history, the Vietnam War.

Paideia 111, 112: Enduring Questions

A two-semester common course for all first-year students that addresses questions central to the human condition. It develops students' ability to read, write, analyze, discuss, and research by engaging with works from across the disciplines, drawn from different time periods and parts of the globe. As a signature course and a foundation for liberal learning, "Enduring Questions" is taught by faculty from all divisions of the college. Students may not withdraw from Paideia 111 or 112. If they fail the course, they must retake it in the next semester it is offered.

Paideia 450: Ethical Choices - Making Decisions for U.S. Schools

This course examines issues about schooling in the United States and explores the questions which educators, citizens, parents and students face regarding education. In addition to looking at features of schools, students examine the relationship between religion, politics and economics in the schools of our nation. Students explore religious and secular values and their effect on educational decisions and behaviors, particularly as those values related to ethnicity, race, class and gender. The course also discusses how contemporary educators, parents, citizens and students must understand the legacy of historical decisions about schools that continue to influence modern systems of education.

Paideia 450: Ethical Choices - From Sea to Mountain, Land Use Ethics in Hawaii

The Hawai’ian islands are uniquely diverse, both geographically and culturally. This diverseness, combined with the islands’ extreme physical isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, offers a rich environment for studying the relationships between humans and the land. Studying the landscape and natural resources of Hawai’i, we will investigate how Hawai’ian, Asian, and Western perspectives shaped historical land use patterns in Hawai’i, and how those perspectives still conflict today as Hawai’ians face the competing goods of economic well-being, environmental protection, cultural preservation and sustainability.