Professors Blackman, Coombs, Dinmore, Emmons; Associate Professors Frusetta, Greenspan, Hulbert; Assistant Professors Pagliarini, Stephan.
Chair: Robert H. Blackman

HISTORY 101-102. (3-3) EUROPEAN SURVEY. The study of Western civilization from the Renaissance and Reformation to the present century, with emphasis on those movements and institutions which have determined the form of the contemporary Western World. Students majoring in history must take this course no later than their junior year. Prerequisite: none. Offered: annually. Not open to seniors.

HISTORY 111-112. (3-3) UNITED STATES. The first semester covers the period from the establishment of the colonies to the close of the Civil War. Emphasis is on who we are as a people and the process by which we became a nation. The second semester begins with Reconstruction and continues to the present. Emphasis is on the rise of America as an industrial, financial, and military power and on the domestic political and social implications of that rise. Prerequisite: none. Offered: each semester. Not open to seniors.

HISTORY 130. (3) MICHELANGELO’S ROME AND SHAKESPEARE’S LONDON. Michelangelo and Shakespeare, the Sistine Chapel and the Globe Theatre: Rome and London long have been recognized for their vital artistic, intellectual, and architectural contributions to the early modern world and beyond. Rome was the center of papal government and the capital of Catholic Christendom, while London was becoming the political and commercial center of a growing Protestant empire. This course uses these two cities as a lens through which to examine early modern society and culture in a comparative context. Major topics include politics and urban government, religion, art and architecture, theater and ceremony, science and medicine, crime and the courts, and popular and elite culture. We also devote particular attention to the ways in which geography, environment, and urban space influence social and cultural development.

HISTORY 180. (3) THE MOTON STORY: PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. An investigation of the civil rights movement using the Moton school crisis in Prince Edward County as our focus of inquiry. The seminar looks at the “Jim Crow” system of segregation in Virginia, civil rights leaders and organizations that emerged to challenge that system, and the school desegregation crisis that unfolded in this region between the 1940s and 1960s. Prerequisite: none. Open to freshmen only unless with permission of the instructor.

HISTORY 201-202. (3-3) ENGLAND AND THE BRITISH EMPIRE. The origins and growth of English institutions and their spread to other parts of the world. Particular attention is devoted to the English contribution in government and law, to Britain’s relations with the rest of the world, and to the rise and decline of its empire. The second semester begins in 1700. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 201 in the fall semester; 202 in the spring semester.

HISTORY 203. (3) RUSSIA. A survey of Russian history covering the period from the founding of Kievan Russia in the ninth century to the end of Nicholas I’s reign in 1855. Prerequisite: junior or senior status, or permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 203 in the fall semester of odd years.

HISTORY 205-206. (3-3) EAST ASIA. This introductory survey covers the history of China, Korea, and Japan. The first semester concentrates on premodern East Asian history to the year 1800. Topics include the Chinese Confucian classics, Buddhism, the commercial revolution of the Song Dynasty, the Mongol invasions, the rise of unified kingdoms in Korea, Japanese mythology, court life in Heian Japan, the evolution of samurai society, and developments under the Tokugawa Shogunate. History 206 will focus on modern East Asian history from 1800 to the present. Topics include the Opium Wars, imperialism, Meiji reforms in Japan, the 1911 Chinese Revolution, Maoism, colonial Korea, World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, and the “economic miracle” in East Asia. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 205 in the fall semester; 206 in the spring semester.

HISTORY 207. (3) MIDDLE EAST FROM MUHAMMAD TO THE MONGOLS. This course follows the development of Islamic empires in the premodern period, from the rise of Islam through the Mongol invasions. It charts the emergence of political, cultural, and religious institutions, including the Sunni/Shi’ite divide, in Islamic societies from Spain and North Africa to Central Asia. Offered: fall semester.

HISTORY 208. (3) EMERGENCE OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST. This course begins with the early modern Islamic empires, the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals, and considers how their rise and fall contribute to the making of the modern Middle East. Topics include colonialism and imperialism, nationalism, reform, intellectual movements, and revolution in states from Morocco to Indonesia, ending in the present day. Offered: spring semester.

HISTORY 209-210. (3-3) LATIN AMERICAN SURVEY. The course is designed to increase understanding of our neighbors to the South. The first semester examines Pre- Colombian civilizations, the effect of European contact on those civilizations, the key features of Spanish and Portuguese colonization, and the issues leading to independence. The second semester looks at post-independence developments in the key nations of Latin America and devotes attention to inter-American relations. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 209 in the fall semester; 210 in the spring semester.

HISTORY 211. (3) COLONIAL AMERICA. After a consideration of the motives of English colonization and the actual establishment of the colonies, particular attention is given to the factors shaping the political, religious, economic, and social institutions in the eighteenth century. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.

HISTORY 212. (3) THE AGE OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. A survey which examines the processes which led to the creation of the American Republic. Emphasis is given to the causes of the Revolution and the emergence of American nationalism, the Confederation era, the creating of the Constitution, and the early years of the Republic.

HISTORY 213 (3) THE COMING OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1820-1861. Beginning with the Missouri Compromise and concluding with the booms of heavy artillery in Charleston Harbor, this course surveys the political, economic, social, and cultural factors that combined to trigger the American Civil War. Coverage focuses extensively on the events of the Sectional Crisis, from the rise of Jackson and Nullification to Nat Turner’s bloody revolt, the Mexican War, Bleeding Kansas, Secession Winter, and a host of other people, ideas, and events in between. Students will explore how the decades-long debate over slavery and its westward expansion ultimately fractured American politics—and convinced elite southerners that secession was the only way to preserve the institution. Prerequisite: None. Offered: fall semester.

HISTORY 214. (3) THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION, 1861-1877. Spanning from 1861 to 1877, this course surveys the American Civil War and Reconstruction from a variety of angles and perspectives. During the war years (1861-1865), it explores the organization of armies; weapons technology and tactics; the waging of war in all three major geographic theaters; social, economic, and cultural developments on the home front; widespread guerrilla violence; the roles of women, Indians, free African Americans, and enslaved peoples; as well as Union and Confederate attempts at international diplomacy. During Reconstruction (1865-1877), the course provides coverage of the restoration of the Union; the fight of freed people for social and political rights; and the rise of commemorative organizations and collective memory movements such as the Lost Cause. Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester.

HISTORY 215-216. (3-3) TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA. The United States from 1900 to 2000. The first semester (1900-1945) covers the responses of Americans to modernization, with emphasis on the reform movements of Progressivism and the New Deal. The first semester also examines U.S. involvement in the First and Second World War. The second semester examines the U.S. as superpower, the effects of the Cold War, and the domestic upheavals of the postwar period. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 215 in the fall semester; 216 in the spring semester.

HISTORY 219-220. (3-3) AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY. This course examines the experience of African-Americans in United States history. The first semester covers topics from the fifteenth century through the Civil War, including the origins of African-American culture in Africa, the Atlantic slave trade, the institutionalization of slavery, as well as slave resistance and culture. The second semester covers the Reconstruction Period to the present, including topics such as the rise of Jim Crow, the Harlem Renaissance, Garveyism, the Great Depression, wartime experiences, and particularly the civil rights movement. Prerequisite: none. Offered: 219 in the fall semester of odd years; 220 in the spring semester of even years.

HISTORY 221. (3) EUROPEAN IMPERIALISM. An introductory course in European history focusing on the interaction between Europe and the rest of the world, in particular the less-powerful nations that Europe was able to dominate in the latter half of the second millennium CE. Between 1500 and 1900, the states of Europe went from being minor players on the world stage to staffing the command center of the world economy. In this class, we attempt to discover how this happened and look for the causes behind European expansion arising both within Europe itself and in the decline of the powerful states in the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and the Far East. We also discuss the consequences of the two World Wars on European hegemony and the decolonization that followed them. This course has no prerequisites and is open to all students.

HISTORY 222. (3) MODERN FRANCE AND ITS EMPIRE. After 1789, France became a beacon of hope for those throughout the world who sought to establish just governments at home based on the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. In this course, students explore the complex course French history took between the French Revolution and the present, and the ways in which France’s domestic affairs have influenced the course of events in the modern world. Special emphasis will be put on the acquisition and later independence of France’s colonies in Africa, Asia and the Americas. When possible, students will be required to attend the French Film Festival at the Byrd Theater in Richmond. Prerequisite: none.

HISTORY 225. (3) ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO IN EARLY MODERN BRITAIN. In early modern Britain and its empire, what people drank, where they drank it, and with whom they shared the experience were marks of social, political, and economic status. Tobacco became a pillar of consumer culture, a focus of public debate, and a tangible component of the empire in metropolitan life. From the domestic production of beer, ale, and gin, to imported wine, to the imperial trade in rum and tobacco, this course takes alcohol and tobacco as lenses through which to examine the development of early modern and imperial Britain. Among the topics we explore are the social spaces and places of consumption; commodities and trade; product marketing and advertising; material culture; early modern health and medicine; religion and morality; technology and early modern industry; and intoxication and criminality. Prerequisite: none.

HISTORY 230. (3) TWENTIETH-CENTURY EUROPE. A study of European history from 1900 to 2000, including such topics as the World Wars, the crisis of modernity and its social and economic repercussions, the challenge of Fascist and Communist ideologies, the Cold War, and efforts at European integration since 1945. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.

HISTORY 240. (3) FIELD METHODS AND PRACTICE IN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY. This course offers a hands-on introduction to basic excavation, recording, and laboratory techniques employed on historical period archaeological sites throughout the United States. The various topics covered include survey and excavation strategies, as well as the interpretation of ceramics, faunal remains, plant phytoliths and pollen deposits, and interpreting the spatial distribution of artifacts across sites and larger landscapes. Prerequisite: none. Offered: May Term.

HISTORY 250. (3) INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC HISTORY. The field of public history is a diverse and dynamic one, spanning multiple disciplines, professions, and audiences. It encompasses so many types of activities and approaches that it is difficult to define succinctly. In short, public history is the study and practice of producing historical information and interpretation for a public audience. We have all been exposed to public history when we have visited museums, watched documentaries, or even just stopped to read a roadside historical marker. As students in this class, you will learn some of the theory behind public history practice, receive an introduction to skills used in each subfield, and gain direct experience in working as a public historian through class projects.

HISTORY 255 (3) METHOD AND INTERPRETATION IN AMERICAN HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY. This course provides an introduction to the relatively new field of historical archaeology, particularly as it is practiced in the United States. The first part of the course focuses on fundamental archaeological principles and methods of data recovery, with the topics addressed including foundational concepts such as the Law of Superposition and Terminus Post Quem, as well as stratigraphic phasing, seriation, mean ceramic dating, and other analytical techniques that archaeologists use to sequence and date material remains. Using scholarly articles and essays, the remainder of the course surveys the differing scales of investigation and interpretive approaches that practitioners in the field utilize to gain insight into the lived experiences of people in the past from archaeological evidence.

HISTORY 260. (3)
THE CRUSADES. This course considers the emergence of Crusader rhetoric in Europe, the experience of the Crusades from both Christian and Muslim perspectives, and the development of the notion of jihad in the Islamic World. In addition to Greater Syria, it examines Crusades in Europe and against the Ottoman Empire. Students question how and why reference to the Crusades has been mobilized in the modern period. Prerequisite: none.

HISTORY 261. (3) THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE. This course examines the rise of the Ottoman Empire, how it legitimized and structured itself, diplomacy, and the relationship of the borderlands to the center. Students consider the discourses from Europe about the Empire
and Ottoman reform movements in the modern era. It also covers the rise of the Young Turks, constitutionalism, and the creation of the modern nation of Turkey, ending with how the Ottoman past has been remembered or erased. Prerequisite: none.

HISTORY 264. (3)  HISTORY OF HUNTING AND FISHING IN AMERICA. From Ice Age mammoth trackers and vast pre-Contact civilizations to market hunters, commercial fishermen, and recreational sportsmen, this course surveys the history of hunting and fishing in America and how the identities of American hunters and anglers have changed over time. Coverage includes: the role of hunting and fishing and related technologies in the social, cultural, economic, and political development of various American societies; the interaction of different peoples with North American flora/fauna and the commodification of the environment; the rise of distinctly American concepts of conservation, environmentalism, and wildlife management; and, how industrialization and digitization have forced modern Americans to grapple with notions of “traditional use,” “fair chase,” “trophy hunting,” “hunting rifle,” and even “the frontier” as our national identity continues to evolve. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 271. (3) GREEK HISTORY. An historical survey of the cultural, political, economic, and social aspects of Greek civilization to the time of the late Roman Empire. This course does not assume a knowledge of Greek and does not satisfy any of the language requirements. It carries credit toward a History major. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.[See also under Classical Studies.]

HISTORY 272. (3) ROMAN HISTORY. A comprehensive survey of the rise and decline of Rome as a world-state and as the matrix of subsequent Western civilization. Primary emphasis is placed on the social, political, economic, and diplomatic forces in the evolution of Roman supremacy in the Mediterranean. This course does not assume a knowledge of Latin and does not satisfy any of the language requirements. It carries credit toward a History major. Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years. [See also under Classical Studies.]

HISTORY 277. (3) HISTORY OF WAR. Employing classic works on warfare and military history by theorists such as Thucydides, Sun Tzu, and Clausewitz, the course examines warfare from antiquity to the present with special attention to the relationship of military tactics and strategies to the evolution of technological, bureaucratic, and social organizations. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.

HISTORY 299. (3) INTRODUCTION TO HISTORICAL METHODS. A thematic course that introduces the methods, concepts and skills historians use to study the past, applied to a specific topic. The course reinforces student writing skills through an active research project that develops skills in source use, critical reading, crafting a research plan, and historical citation. Prerequisite: completion of Rhetoric 102. Offered: annually.

HISTORY 301. (3) GRAND STRATEGY AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR. An introduction to the grand strategies of the Second World War. Using Liddell Hart’s definition of “grand strategy,” the course looks at the strategies of major combatant powers, and to the economic, political, doctrinal and institutional contexts in which these strategies were shaped. The second half of the course traces how these grand strategies were applied through the war.

HISTORY 303. (3) BYZANTINE EMPIRE. A survey of the history, institutions, civilization, and society of the Eastern Roman Empire from Diocletian (284-305) through the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. Prerequisite: none. Offered: alternate fall semesters.

HISTORY 304. (3) MEDIEVAL CIVILIZATION. Beginning with the rise of the Islamic Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire, this course compares medieval civilizations in the Middle East and Europe. Themes include the emergence of religious institutions, culture and society, art and architecture, warfare and violence, and trade and exchange. The course ends with the advent of early modern empires and the foundations of the modern age. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 305. (3) THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT. A course on the social, cultural and intellectual history of the age of Enlightenment in Europe, 1660-1790, with a focus on primary source readings. The course goal is to give students familiarity with major Scottish, French, and German writers from the Eighteenth century, with a focus on the general themes of the Enlightenment, viz. religious toleration, liberty, scientific inquiry, an optimistic view of human nature, a belief in the ability of humans to fix their own problems, and a seemingly boundless belief in reason. In addition, students study the society and culture in which these ideas came to the fore and have the opportunity to do low-level research of a topic of their choice. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 307. (3) EARLY MODERN BRITAIN. This course adopts a thematic approach to examine early modern social, political, economic, and cultural developments in depth. Among the major topics are politics and political culture, social structures and institutions, the maintenance of order and the challenges of disorder, religion and religious life, urbanization and the growth of London, print and popular culture, and imperial development. Students also gain familiarity with different types of historical sources, methods, and interpretations through readings, discussion, and assignments. Prerequisites: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 308. (3) RENAISSANCE ITALY. This course examines the society and culture of Renaissance Italy. Major topics include politics in Italian republics and principalities, the development of papal Rome, art and patronage, work and leisure, social and civic ritual, religion, health and medicine, and humanism and education. In addition to these course themes, we examine the ways in which historical approaches, methods, and theories have changed over time. Assignments are designed to familiarize students with the practice of history and to develop skills in critical analysis, research methods, and the pursuit of independent research projects. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 309. (3) RENAISSANCE, REFORMATION, AND RELIGIOUS CONFLICT. This course examines the transformation of European society during the Renaissance and Reformation. Major topics include the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, violence and religious warfare, Renaissance politics and the court, and the development and spread of print culture. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 313. (3) HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN RELATIONS. A survey of America’s role in foreign affairs from the formation of the Republic to the contemporary period. Emphasis is given to the nature of American interests and the interplay between ideals and selfinterest as America experienced the transition from small-power to great-power status. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 317. (3) THE AMERICAN SOUTH. A study of the unique features of the Southern past which have distinguished the region from the rest of the nation. Emphasis is given to economic development, the role of race, the role of myth in the making of history, and political leadership. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 321. (3) COLONIAL VIRGINIA. An in-depth study of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay region to ca. 1763, the oldest, most populous, and wealthiest region in British mainland North America. The course provides students with a more temporally and geographically focused exposure to various historical methods and topics of inquiry through readings and discussion of Anglo-Indian relations, issues of social and economic development, labor systems, household organization, politics and imperial structure, and material culture. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 322. (3) HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN. The Caribbean has been a crossroads for European, African, and Native American peoples, all of whom have left a mark on its culture and history. This course examines the history of the Caribbean from the pre-Columbian period through the present. Topics covered include the era of European exploration and colonization, the rise of plantation economies, the development of Afro-Caribbean and creole cultures, and the significance of the region in 20th century geopolitics, particularly in terms of the Cold War. Students increase their knowledge of the extraordinary diversity of peoples and cultures that make up this region. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102. Offered: spring semester of even numbered years.

HISTORY 323. (3) THE INVASION OF AMERICA. This course examines the many complex aspects of Europe’s invasion of North America during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and early eighteenth centuries. Topics covered include the technologies and ideologies that drove European expansion as well as how the continent’s native inhabitants responded to the challenges and opportunities created by social, religious, economic, and environmental changes that occurred as a result of colonization. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 324. (3) EARLY MODERN ATLANTIC HISTORY. An examination of the Atlantic basin from 1500 to 1815 that integrates the histories of Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Students read and discuss numerous works addressing the reasons behind European colonization, the interactions of European explorers, traders, and settlers with the indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas, and how European expansion and the intermingling of disparate peoples it engendered shaped perceptions and ways of life in both the “Old” and “New” Worlds. The course also examines the emergence of Atlantic history as an important field within the discipline, and how its development has reflected broader changes in intellectual trends since World War II. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 325. (3) EAST ASIA IN THE AGE OF IMPERIALISM. This course emphasizes three themes pertaining to nineteenth-century East Asian history: 1) the upheaval felt as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean societies “modernized”; 2) the widely varying East Asian responses to Western imperialism; and 3) the sociocultural and economic impacts of early industrialization. Weekly readings mix translated primary sources, biographical accounts, and scholarly secondary sources. Topics covered include commercialization in preindustrial East Asia, the Opium Wars, the treaty port system, the Meiji Restoration, the Taiping Rebellion, efforts at modern state-building, transformations in social class relations, the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars, and the loss of Korean independence. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 206 is recommended.

HISTORY 326. (3) EAST ASIA IN REVOLUTION. This course examines the common experience of modern revolution in twentieth-century China, Japan, and Korea. Students read and discuss translated primary sources, oral histories, articles, and novels illustrating the many facets of this period. Occasionally, they also consider documentary and propaganda films. Course themes include East Asian struggles with westernization and “modernization,” mass political movements, industrialization and total war mobilization, World War II in Asia, imperialism and decolonization, the Cold War division of East Asia, radical Maoism, and individual experiences of war and revolution. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 206 is recommended.

HISTORY 328. (3) THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. A study of the origins of the French Revolution, following the transformation of its ideals in response to war and counter-revolution, and assessing its long-range achievements from 1789 through the Consulate. The French model and tradition of revolution as a recurrent theme in the 19th and 20th centuries is also examined. Prerequisites: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended.

HISTORY 329. (3) BRITAIN IN REVOLUTION. This course examines the tumultuous period of war and revolution in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the midseventeenth century. After years of warfare in three arenas, Charles I was tried and executed, monarchy was abolished, and a republic was established in its place. This was the era of John Hampden, Algernon Sydney, and Oliver Cromwell. It also was a time of imperial expansion and international warfare: following the regicide the English republic embarked upon the conquests of Ireland and Scotland, war against the Dutch, and the colonization of Jamaica. Among the topics to be examined are republicanism and royalism; the expansion of empire; news and the ‘explosion of print’; and the role of religious tensions and anti- Catholicism in war and revolution. In addition to these course themes we will examine the ways in which historical approaches, methods, and theories have changed over time. Prerequisites: Rhetoric 102; History 101 or Western Culture 102 is recommended. Offered: fall semester of even numbered years.

HISTORY 330. (3) AGE OF NAPOLEON. Can any one person change the course of world history? Napoleon Bonaparte believed that he could and he set Europe aflame. This course covers the period of Napoleon’s life, 1769-1821, with special focus on the period 1797-1815. Additional consideration is given to the myth of greatness that arose around Napoleon during his life and grew after his death. Students will learn about Napoleon himself as well as the world that made him possible and the times he lived in. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 332. (3) RUSSIAN AND SOVIET MODERNIZATION. This course interprets Russian and Soviet history since 1855 through the lens of modernization. The perceived need to reform society, the economy and the state has been a central theme in Russia’s political and intellectual history from the Great Reforms of the nineteenth century through the Putin era. The course traces this theme through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Prerequisites: completion of Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 333. (3) NAZI GERMANY. An overview of the origins, development, and consequences of the National Socialist regime of 1933-1945. Emphasis is given to the rise of the Nazi Party, the domestic (social, racial, and economic) policies of the regime, the origins of the Second World War and its importance in Nazi ideology, the occupation of Europe, and the Holocaust. Prerequisites: completion of Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 340. (3) MEXICO AND THE BORDER. The course reviews Mexico’s history since independence to provide context for a detailed exploration of current U.S.-Mexican border relations. Among the topics addressed are commercial and economic ties (including NAFTA and the maquiladoras); immigration--its history, its causes, and its consequences; and the economics and international politics of drug trafficking. These issues and others will be examined from an explicitly bilateral perspective. Prerequisite: none, but History 209 or 210 are recommended. Offered: fall semester of odd numbered years.

HISTORY 345. (3) THE MONGOL EXPANSION. In this course, we will consider: 1) the rise of the Mongols amid many medieval Eurasian pastoral civilizations; 2) why a small Mongol population managed to conquer a large swath of the world’s surface; 3) what available sources can and cannot tell us about the Mongol khanates; 4) the material, religious, and cultural exchanges promoted under Mongol rule; and 5) how the Mongol expansion and its legacies crucially shaped the evolution of Eurasian successor states. We will focus our attention on the rise of Chinggis Khan in the twelfth century through the closing of the steppe in the eighteenth century. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 205 is recommended.

HISTORY 346. (3) SAMURAI CULTURE IN JAPANESE HISTORY. This course traces the rise and fall of the samurai in Japan, as well as the distinct impact these warriors left on Japanese and global culture. Although we will primarily focus on history and historiography, we will also draw from theatre studies, religion, literature, and political philosophy. In the first half of the semester, we will study the historical transformation of the samurai from looselyknit bands of provincial warriors to a powerful and mythologized political elite. In the second half, we will examine the Tokugawa shogunate, the transformation of samurai from warriors to bureaucrats, and the demise of samurai society after the 1868 Meiji Restoration. Through these in-depth explorations, we will develop a culturally and historically sophisticated view of the samurai. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102; History 205 is recommended.

HISTORY 410. (3) TOPICS IN EUROPEAN HISTORY. A seminar focusing on selected topics in modern European history such as the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Concert of Europe, the Second Empire, Bismarck’s Germany, the Belle Epoque, or Imperialism, using primary and secondary readings, class presentations, and discussion. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 412. (3) TOPICS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. A seminar investigating selected topics in twentieth-century American life and politics, utilizing readings, student papers, and class discussions. Prerequisite: senior or junior status. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 420. (3) TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE HISTORY. A seminar investigating selected topics in cross-societal, historical studies. Topics to be offered may include comparative revolutions; colonialism; the trans- Atlantic slave trade; or themes in European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin-American development. Prerequisite: Rhetoric 102.

HISTORY 499. (3) COLLOQUIUM. This course is devoted to close study of selected secondary studies and primary sources for a particular thematic or chronological topic in Asian, European, or American history. Students are expected to participate regularly in class discussions of assigned readings, to make occasional oral reports on specific topics, and to write a number of analytical essays of short-to- moderate length. Each colloquium is intended to provide the student with a solid grounding in both the history and historiography of a particular era or subject, and also to prepare the capable and interested student to undertake advanced research for a senior thesis (History 500). Normally, two colloquia—one American, one non-American—are offered each semester. Enrollment in a colloquium is limited to 10 students, and preference is given to senior and junior History majors. Prerequisite: completion of History 299.

HISTORY 500. (3) SENIOR THESIS. An exercise in research and advanced composition, to be written in the spring semester of the senior year. The thesis investigates in detail some historical topic of interest to the student. The student works under the guidance of a member of the history department in selecting, researching, and writing his essay. Prerequisite: History 499.


To earn Departmental Distinction in History, the student must meet all of the following requirements: To be eligible to apply, the student must normally have a 3.3 GPA for History courses; have a 3.0 GPA overall; and must have completed at least one 300- or 400-level History course by the end of the junior year.  In the spring of the junior year, the history department must approve the student’s proposal for a thesis, exhibit, or public history project on which the student must ultimately receive no less than a B+. By the end of his junior year he must have taken at least one 300- or 400-level History course. After taking History 499 no later than the fall of senior year and earning a grade of no less than B+, the student will proceed to History 500 in the spring of senior year. At the end of the spring semester, the student must pass an oral defense of the project before the project committee and members of the history department. All members of the project committee must be satisfied with the student’s defense of the project in order for the student to receive Distinction.

updated 8/8/23