Course Topics

(Click on the links to see course materials for each course)

Lifelong Learning Seminar: The World of the Vikings

This course will cover the “Viking Era,” approximately 780 to 1070 CE.  It will look at Viking society and culture as they developed in Scandinavia and in Viking settlements elsewhere.  It will also examine the technological developments (particularly maritime) which led to the Vikings’ expansion throughout Northern and Eastern Europe, and eventually across the North Atlantic. It will follow this general structure: Session 1 will examine Viking society and culture; Session 2 will cover Viking religion, art, and literature; Session 3 will look at Viking ships and maritime technology; and Session 4 will show how the Vikings used that technology to expand and establish settlements to the East and West.


HIST 150: Europe, 1648 to the Present

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.

HIST 185: Mobile to Margaritaville

This course will use the fiction and extensive musical repertoire of Jimmy Buffett as a focal point for studying world geography and the human interactions associated with it through the course of history. Geographic references in Buffett's songs and fiction will serve as a springboard for student presentations, discussion, and writing.

HIST 256: Scandinavian Immigration History

A study of the history of immigrants to the United States from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, and their descendants. Drawing on the rich ethnic resources of Luther College and Vesterheim museums, this course examines the nature of the immigration experience and the development within immigrant communities of a sense of old world ethnicity combined with a rising U.S. nationalism. Offered alternate years.

HIST 348/SCST 348: Vikings in History

This course covers the "Viking Era," approximately 780–1070 CE. It will examine Viking society, religion and mythology, social structure, maritime technology and shipbuilding, political developments, literature and arts, and Viking expansion.

HIST 351: Topics in European History

In-depth study of selected topics in European history, covering such themes as economic, social, political, intellectual, and military history. Possible subjects include: the Carolingians; medieval mystics; the Black Death; the Dutch Golden Age; Islam and Christianity: historical encounters; the history of Spain; the Age of Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment; the French Revolution and Napoleon; British history (different periods depending on instructor); Hitler and Nazi Germany.

History 352/SCST 352: Scandinavia and the Baltic

A survey of Scandinavian and Baltic history (including Finland and Iceland), beginning with the Viking age and ending with the current status of the welfare state in the relevant countries. Special emphasis on the Great Power periods of Denmark and Sweden in the 16th and the 17th centuries, and on the emergence of Norwegian and Finnish national movements in the 18th and 19th centuries. Discussion as well of current political and economic issues in Scandinavia. 

History 354: Russian History

A general survey of Russian-Soviet history from earliest times through and beyond the Soviet period to the present day. Special emphasis given to the Russian Revolution of 1917, rise of Stalin, World War II, reconstruction and collapse of the Soviet state.