Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

HIST/GEOG 211 — Introduction to Geography (3)
The course will provide an understanding of the physical and cultural landscapes of the earth and the relationships between them. Topics include geographic tools and techniques; physiogeography and climate; human interaction with the environment; cultural, political and economic systems and structures, and the impact of the land on lives. This course is required for a Geography Minor and for a Secondary Education Citizenship Education certificate.

HIST 222 — History Through Selected Biography (3)
A study of a selected historical period or theme through the use of biography. The course will explore the thesis that a well-written biography provides insight into an historical period or theme. An analysis of the historian’s methodology as biographer will also be included.

HIST 246 — Latin America (3)
This class centers on Latin American interaction with and transformation of notions about modernity. The conquest of the hemisphere by European empires in the 15th century unleashed a cascade of revolutions in the economic, cultural, and political worlds and worldviews of both colonizers and colonized. In this class, we will investigate how these transformations resolved themselves in colonialism and its resistance; the growth of nationalism; negotiations about the “good society” in the newly emerging “nation-states” of Latin America; the creation and costs of economic modernization; and the region’s role in the Cold War. Area Studies.

HIST 250 — American Political History (3)
A survey of the historical development of the American political system from the Federalist Era to the current day. The course will examine growth of the major American political parties as well as third party movements. Primary focus will include political party philosophies and programs, ideas and forces which shaped the political system, men and women who served as party leaders, and significant state and national elections. Cross listed as PS 250.

HIST 252 — American Social History (3)
A topical examination of the development of American attitudes and institutions. This is the history of the people and the topics include the demography, race, ethnicity, religion, class, socio-economic status, gender, and lifestyle.

HIST 253 — American Ethnicity and Minority Group Relations (3)
The history and sociology of American racial and ethnic groups are examined along with their status in society. Emphasis is placed on the settlement process, cultural identity, accommodation, assimilation, cultural diffusion, segregation, inter-ethnic relations, and theories regarding race and ethnicity. Social sources of the patterns of discrimination will also be examined. The course draws on both historical and sociological research to explain how the American racial and ethnic heritage shaped contemporary American society.

HIST 258 — Pennsylvania Survey (3)
The course presents an overview of the state’s history; physical and cultural geography; government and political structure; and economic systems relevant to the Commonwealth’s location and spatial relationships. Also, current issues and events in Pennsylvania will be examined. This course is open to all History majors and other students; it is required for a Secondary Education certificate in Citizenship Education.

HIST 261 — Research & Methods (3)
This class should build the basic skills and methods needed for the study of history. Topics will include library and archival research, historical writing, historiography and interpretation, use of various computer applications, and the professional opportunities for the history major. Students will complete a supervised research paper that will be count as the Sophomore-Junior Project. This course is normally taken in the second semester of the sophomore year and is required of all History majors.

HIST 271 — Women in Western Civilization (3)
Daughters and dowagers, moms and mistresses, queens and queers, witches and workers, bundled with sex and science: women are often largely absent from the history books, although they have accounted for about half of humanity. This course surveys the historical and cultural roles of women from the beginnings of human history through classical, medieval, and early modern European periods up to the beginning of the 20th Century. As students analyze both representative individuals and general trends, topics will include theories of women’s history, legal rights and their influence on political participations, economic contributions, gender roles in family and community institutions, cultural constructions, and religious vocations. Cross-listed as WMST 373.

HIST 275 — Medieval Europe: 500-1500 (3)
The age of faith, the era of Chivalry, the chaos of war, the drudgery of serfdom, and the dawn of capitalism: this course offers a broadly based survey of the historical synthesis of Greco-Roman, Celtic, Judeo-Christian, and Germanic Barbarian cultures from the late Roman Empire through the age of medieval Christendom, ending with the Renaissance. We examine peoples and institutions, especially those of the knights, the clergy, the peasants, and the townspeople, which shaped this period of Western Civilization.

HIST 280 — Colonial Worlds (3)
Colonialism and its resistance is the emphasis of this course. We will investigate the processes (political, military, economic and ideological) that enabled the Western powers to hold sway over much of the world in the modern era and the manner in which colonized peoples resisted, transformed and found solaces in this domination. Special attention will be paid to the British and French colonial projects of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Area Studies.

HIST 282 — Asian Civilizations (3)
A survey of the major civilizations of monsoon Asia, ranging from the Indian Subcontinent through Indochina and Indonesia to China and Japan. Focus will be on the key political, social, and cultural developments of the major peoples from their beginnings to the present. Of special interest will be how they influenced each other and how they interacted with Western Civilization in the modern period. Area Studies.

HIST 303 — History of America’s Major Wars (3)
This course is a systemic examination of the major wars engaged in by the United States, analyzing the origins, accomplishments, and consequences of American involvement. The Vietnam conflict will receive intensive scrutiny and emphasis, particularly the decision-making process.

HIST/GEOG 311 — American Cultural Geography (3)
A topical examination of the relationship between geography and cultural development in the United States. Topics to be studied include folk, popular and vernacular cultures; settlement patterns; regionalism; linguistics; race and ethnicity; religion; socioeconomic status; and forces of unity and diversity. The students will also become familiar with the methods and process of geographic study. Area Studies.

HIST 324 — Empires of Greece and Rome: 800 B.C.-A.D. 500 (3)
This class examines the interaction of warfare and culture which laid the foundation for Western Civilization and Europe. We will cover the growth, conflicts, and consequences of Greek city-states in the Ancient World, the Hellenistic expansion, the rise of the Roman Republic and its imperial power, and the fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

HIST 331 — American Business and Labor in Historical Perspective (3)
This class analyzes the development of American business from Colonial society to the present. In particular, the course will examine, from the perspective of historical continuity, the interaction of economic development with social and political factors.

HIST 333 — American Foreign Policy (3)
This class surveys the major stages of American interaction with other nations around the world. It analyzes both the ways in which American leaders have pursued their view of the national interest and the historical background of contemporary problems.

HIST 337 — The United States: Revolution to Republic 1763-1815 (3)
In this analysis of the American Revolution and the establishment of the American Republic, special attention will be given to Anglo-American ideas and institutions, British imperial policies and colonial reaction, Revolutionary ideology, and the social and political consequences of the Revolution. Also treated will be government in the Confederation period as well as the establishment of the Constitution, the ideological conflicts and factionalism in the Washington, Adams, Jefferson administrations, including foreign policy and the impact of Anglo-French conflict.

HIST 339 — United States Since 1945 (3)
This course will define the principal political, social, economic, and cultural forces after World War II. Emphasis will be given to the challenges and changes at home and abroad which the United States has experienced during the Cold War and in post-Cold War era with the development of the world’s largest military industrial-scientific complex. Also, the course evaluates the national and international growth of American business and corporate enterprise. Analysis of Civil Rights movements will privilege the voices of African-Americans, feminists, gays and lesbians, young people, and many new immigrants whose status requires re-examination. The impact of the communication and information revolution will also be included.

HIST 343 — The American Presidency (3)
The course will analyze the evolution of the Presidency by targeting the administrations of a select group of American Presidents. Emphasis will be on the leadership roles each exercised in shaping the character of the office, as well as the primary political, economic, and cultural forces of the respective historical periods. Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and several twentieth-century. Presidents will be the primary subjects. Cross-listed as PS 343.

HIST 344 — Violence in America: A Historical Perspective (3)
This class investigates factors within the societal framework that produced assassinations, rioting, ghetto uprisings, vigilantism, etc. The study excludes war. The primary focus is to examine, interpret, and analyze the evolution of this growing threat to society’s stability.

HIST 362 — Eastern Europe from the Enlightenment (3)
This course investigates Eastern European History from the Enlightenment: a period which saw the birth of the Eastern European national states, the expansion of imperial power and its destruction, the socialist experiment, globalization, “reintegration” with Europe writ large, and the possibility that Eastern Europe as an idea may no longer be tenable (or at least losing its explanatory power). Area Studies.

HIST 363 — Russia in Historical Perspective (3)
This course studies the crucial developments of the Russian state from the Kievan period to the present. Emphasis will be on the roles of ideology, geography , environment and history in forming, shaping and maintaining authoritarian government. The study of the contemporary period, especially that dealing with the creation, establishment and disintegration of the Soviet state, will receive intensive examination. Area Studies.

HIST 364 — Balkanisms: Southeastern Europe and the Making of the Balkans (3)
This course traces the development of the Balkans as a distinct cultural and geographical space from the time of the Byzantine Empire to the present. We will investigate the rise and fall of two great world empires (Byzantine and Ottoman), the creation of the Balkan national states and the mechanics of the Balkan communist systems through travel writing, art and architecture, and novels. Area Studies.

HIST 368 — Cold War Cultures (3)
This course explores the Cold War as a global struggle over differing visions of the “good life.” Each actor in the Cold War was continually defining what it meant to live well: how to balance the needs of the individual and society, how to understand consumption and leisure, how to balance public and private needs. Our investigation will focus on how these definitions were envisioned, enforced, and transformed through culture. How did people live the Cold War? What were its comforts and horrors? How were the intentions of Moscow and Washington met in the streets of Kabul, Prague, and Paris? How were these conceptions of the good life expressed through official, unofficial, and dissident culture?

HIST 371 — International Politics (3)
This course analyzes select aspects of international politics at three major levels: the international political system; the major actors in the system; the principal forms of interaction between actors in the system. Among topics are the balance of power; collective security; foreign policy decision-making; environmental factors; diplomacy, bargaining and war; arms control; role of non-national actors like multinational corporations and the United Nations. Case study illustrations will be utilized. The course is required for a Secondary Education certificate in Citizenship Education. Cross-listed as PS 371.

HIST 372 — Modern Britain (3)
This survey covers the British Isles from the Revolution of the 1680’s to the present, with attention paid to economic, social, political, and imperial developments. Themes will include the rise and fall of the world’s first industrial nation and its colonial empire; Victorian culture and society; and the modern welfare state and its discontents. Area Studies.

HIST 376 — Early Modern Europe: 1500-1815 (3)
Much of our modern world views began in these centuries as the nations of Europe struggled with the boundaries and limits of their power and ideas. This course analyzes the emergence of modern Europe. Starting with the Renaissance and Reformation of the 16th century, this course surveys the development of the state system and the origin and evolution of the modern secularized nations in their constitutional and absolutist forms.

HIST 377 — German Europe: 1815-1945 (3)
This course surveys the political and cultural development of Europe from the fall of Napoleon to the fall of Hitler, focusing on the roles played by the German peoples. These include problems of unification and division, social adjustments of constitutional democracy and the rise of fascism, rule over different ethnic groups and racism, the arts and literature, economic and military competition between neighboring European powers, and the German attempt to dominate the European continent in two World Wars. Area Studies.

HIST 381 — Modern Middle East (3)
This course introduces students to a world quite different from Western Civilization, but of immense historical and contemporary significance. Special emphasis is given to the role of oil in focusing the interests of the two superpowers on an area of crucial economic and political significance. Chronological concern is with the recent past in which Arab expectations and power impact upon the world as a whole. Area Studies.

HIST 383 — China (3)
This course surveys the unique characteristics of civilization and institutions of China as they evolved in the contemporary era. Students will analyze the internal patterns influencing China’s response to Western impact, the collapse of traditional China, the Nationalist achievement, Communism and Mao Zedong, and contemporary China. Area Studies.

HIST 385 — Japan (3)
This course surveys the unique characteristics of civilization and institutions of Japan as they evolved, and their relevance in the contemporary era. Westernization, the first non-Western model of parliamentary development, and the rise of Japan to world power will be analyzed. The impact of the occupation, and the socio-political problems of a hybrid culture and industrial giant will be considered. Area Studies.

HIST 387 — World War II (3)
A multidimensional survey of the Second World War. The course will examine the major strategic choices which confronted the Axis and Allies 1939-1945 and the campaigns that followed; the unique Anglo-American alliance; relations with Soviet Russia and China; and the major wartime conferences. Topics of special interest will include American war mobilization, economic warfare; the role of women on the home front, the film and propaganda war, the strategic bombing controversy, and the atomic bomb decision.

HIST/GEOG 403 — Urban and Community Studies (3)
A study of the research, analysis, and implications in all stages of community development. An historical survey will be presented as a means of examining the present sociological, political, and economic state of American communities. Although Northeastern Pennsylvania subject matter will be utilized, the course approaches the material in a general and multi-regional manner. direct student participation in selected scholarly projects will be emphasized. Cross-listed as SOC 403.

HIST 415 — Senior Seminar (3)
This capstone course integrates discipline-specific knowledge into a culminating senior experience. Students must analyze and discuss all facets of historical presentations, including scholarly works and public history. Each class member will make an in-depth public presentation demonstrating some aspect of historical research, study, or professional involvement. This course is normally taken in the first semester of the senior year and is required of all History majors. Prerequisite: HIST 261 Research & Methods.

HIST/GEOG 440 — Seminar: Geographies of Europe (3)
Outside the conveniences of maps and ideas of tectonic plates, Europe has never been a fixed space; rather it has always resided within flexible and permeable boundaries of convention. Who belongs to Europe, who is excluded, and the consequences of this demarcation have changed dramatically over time. This course investigates the creation, transformation, and enforcement of these boundaries of Europe. Area Studies. Although designed as a stand-alone class, this course may also be used as the first part of the “Geographies of Europe” sequence: the second half will be a three-week King’s College Study Abroad program, “Geographies of Europe: Sofia- Istanbul” during the summer of 2010.

HIST 444 — Seminar: the Witch Hunts 1400-1800 (3)
From the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, many Europeans persecuted witches, seeing a new sect hostile to humanity. Through reading and discussion of primary and secondary sources, students will learn how these Europeans defined and treated their alleged witches, within the context of other economic, social, and cultural relationships. Included in this study will be the examination of new technologies and methods of rule in the rise of the modern state, and the roles of class and gender in focusing hostility on certain people, especially women. Cross-listed as WMST 444.

HIST 470-489 — Special Topics in History (3)
Courses on specialized historical subjects offered by the History faculty.

HIST 490-495 — Independent Study (3)
Study of a specific historical topic in cooperation with a History faculty member. Registration requires approval of the Department chairperson.

HIST 496-497 — Independent Research (3)
An advanced research project in a specialized area of History under close supervision of a History Department faculty member. Registration requires approval of the Department chairperson.

HIST 499 — Internship (3)
A one-semester, supervised, field experience in a work setting. A partial list of opportunities includes government agencies, the legal system, political offices, and historical societies. This course, or a study abroad course as approved by the Department chairperson, is required of History majors who are not also seeking Secondary Education Certification in Citizenship Education.

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