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Featured Courses

Below are the upper division courses on offer by the Department of History for the Fall 2017 semester. You can find more detailed information (such as location and course syllabi) on the current Department of History class schedule. To register for History courses, login to CIS.

(HIST 3140) Victorian Britain

This course investigates some of the major social and cultural developments in Britain between the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of immigration legislation in 1905. Using the analytical categories of gender, race, and class, this course explores the themes of home and family, industrialization and urbanization, the rise of the Victorian state, the relationship between the nation and the empire, the tensions between science and religion, and the anxieties around sexuality and the body. Taught by Professor Nadja Durbach.



(HIST 3180) Republican France

This course covers the history of France from the foundation of the Third Republic in 1870 to the present. The principal topics to be covered include: the debates concerning the nature of republicanism in the early Third Republic and the transition to a system of mass democracy; expansion of the French empire in Indochina and Africa; the two World Wars; the Occupation of France during the second World War; the post-World War II recovery of France; the colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria; the Americanization of French culture; and changing ideas of France and French citizenship since the 1980s.  Taught by Professor Jim Lehning.


(HIST 3500) Premodern China

We trace the broad outlines of pre-modern Chinese history and its institutions and culture up to 1368. The first part of this course briefly surveys the archaeological evidence for early humans and pre-historic cultures and presents the political history, important personalities, and major events in the historical era. The second part of the course is devoted to a topical survey of developments and changes in society, government, land and taxes, economy, legal history, military, alien rule, religion, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts. Taught by Professor Mel Thatcher.



 (HIST 3555) Medieval India

Bloodthirsty kings. Politically savvy ministers. Women on the throne. Epic battles. Tragic deaths. No, this is not Game of Thrones, but rather the stories of medieval India. History 3555 “Introduction to Medieval India” begins with the arrival of Islam in India as raiders came across the mountains of modern day Pakistan and into the Indian heartland. The course moves south to the great empires of the Deccan and an epic “clash” between north and south. Finally, the class returns to see the might Mughal Empire grow and spread its power across north India. At the fringe, smelly bands of Europeans stepped wobbly-kneed off their ships and heralded the beginning of the colonial period. Join now, winter is coming!  Taught by Professor Ben Cohen.


(HIST 3580) Premodern Southeast Asia

This class considers early Southeast Asia through the lens of trade and travel, talking about the region as a crossroads joining China and the eastern Spice Islands to India and even Europe. Topics covered include Indian and Chinese influences on the region; the enduring mythology of the Spice Islands; the interplay between Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity; and the rise of colonial powers across Southeast Asia. Some time is also set aside to talk about art and interesting social customs in the region. Finally, we will read a number of first-person accounts from traders and travelers in premodern Southeast Asia. Taught by Professor ShawnaKim Lowey-Ball.



global islam

(HIST 4230) Global Islam

China has more Muslims than Saudi Arabia. India has more Muslims than Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan combined. And Indonesia has the largest Muslim population on earth. We think of Islam as a religion of the Middle East and North Africa, but the vast majority of the world’s Muslims are not Arab and do not live in those regions. This course explores Islam as it exists everywhere else. We discuss the military, political, intellectual, and economic reasons for Islam’s expansion into Africa, Asia, and Europe. We look at historical relations between Muslims and non-Muslims and ask what “counts” as orthodox Islam. We also discuss current news stories and try to understand them in historical context. Taught by Professor ShawnaKim Lowey-Ball.




Last Updated: 8/11/17