For good or ill, we cannot ever escape the past. As individuals and as communities, we are products of long and complex developments. The History Department offers a broad range of courses in which students explore the past and build deeper understandings of how our world has changed across time. Those courses will help you learn to think and write critically about politics, business, society, and culture.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from Antiquity to the 21st century, from social history to military history to the history of medicine and beyond, we offer substantive courses on a wide variety of fascinating topics.
For more information about any of these courses, please contact the instructor.
History Courses Taught at Wake Forest
The Department has grouped and numbered its courses as 100, 200, or 300 to indicate their key characteristics. 100 level courses approach broad spans of geographic space and chronology with a comparative eye. Many of these courses provide provide credit for Division I requirements. 200 level courses provide overarching surveys of regions or eras. 300 level courses investigate specific themes, allowing deeper exploration within a topic or period. It is not necessary for students to enroll in both halves of a 200 level survey, nor necessarily take the “earlier” course first. Faculty do not expect students enrolling in 300 level courses have already completed coursework on the particular theme or area of study.
If students have credit for two AP History courses on their transcript, they may take a 200 or 300 level history class for divisional credit. Students should speak with the Department or their advisor for more information.
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 103, 101 and 106, or 101 and 111.)
102. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h) Survey of modern Europe from the Old Regime of the 1700s to the present. Course content varies by instructor; please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D)
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for for both 102 and 104.)
103. World Civilizations to 1500. (3h) Survey of the ancient, classical and medieval civilizations of Eurasia with a brief look at American and sub-Saharan societies. Course content varies by instructor; please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D)
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 103, 101 and 106, 103 and 111.)
104. World Civilizations since 1500. (3h) Survey of the major civilizations of the world in the modern and contemporary periods. Course content varies by instructor; please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D)
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for for both 102 and 104.)
105. Africa in World History. (3h) Examines the continent of Africa from prehistory to the present in global perspective. Course content varies by instructor; please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D).
106. Medieval World Civilizations. (3h) This course provides an overview of world civilizations in the period from approximately 600 to 1600 C.E, examining cultures and societies in east Asia, India, Africa, and the Americas as well as Europe. We look for patterns and transformations common to all these societies and also identify differences in development over time. (CD, D)
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 106, or 103 and 106.)
107. The Middle East and the World. (3h) Examines, in its global context, the history of the Middle East region from the inception of Islam in the 7th century to the 20th century. Combines an introduction of Islamic civilization in its central lands with a close study of its interactions with other societies. (CD, D).
108. The Americas in the World. (3h) Examines North, Central, and South America in global perspectives from premodern times to the present with particular attention to political, economic, social, and cultural developments and interactions. Course content varies by instructor; please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D)
109. Asia and the World. (3h) Overview of Asia (primarily East, Southeast and/or South Asia depending upon the instructor) since 1500 with emphasis on economic, diplomatic, cultural, and religious interactions with the outside world. Please see detailed descriptions on individual faculty pages. (CD, D)
110. The Atlantic World since 1500. (3h) Examines the major developments that have linked the civilizations bordering the Atlantic Ocean from 1500 to the present. Themes include exploration, commerce, European colonization and indigenous responses, epidemic disease, religious conversion and revivalism, mestizo and creole culture, imperial warfare, revolution and nationalism, slavery and abolition, extractive economies, ‘scientific racism’, the black diaspora, decolonization, the Cold War, segregation and apartheid; dictatorship, neoliberalism, and globalization. (CD, D)
111. Ancient World Civilizations. (3h) Explores ancient civilizations from the perspective that each civilization is a reflection of local circumstances and the distinctive worldview that shaped its institutions to become a complex, state-organized society. (CD, D)
(N.B. students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 111, or for both 103 and 111.)
112. Big History: A History of the Cosmos and Humanity’s Place in It. (3h) This is not Mom’s or Dad’s history course. If you want to know what you are and where you came from, come along on a 13.8 billion year journey that draws on the sciences, social sciences, and history to learn why Carl Sagan called us “stardust contemplating the stars.” In this course we will learn how the physical, social, and mental worlds we inhabit came to be and how we might integrate disciplines that usually remain unconnected; this course will appeal to students interested in history but also the sciences and social sciences, and especially to any students who want to see how the pieces of their education fit together. (CD, D)
113. Health, Disease and Healing in World History. (3h) Examines political, economic, and cultural responses to sickness and disease in global historical context, paying particular attention to the intersection of religion and healing, as well as race, class, and gender, in ancient, medieval, early modern, pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial societies. (D)
119. Venice and the World. (3h) The history of Venice is intertwined with many of the central themes of world history. Students will examine the history of Venice from its foundation to the present day, examining the ongoing reciprocal interactions between the city-state, Europe, and the wider world. Offered in Venice. (CD)
120. Formation of Europe: Habsburg Empire and its Successor States. (3h) The development of Central and East-central Europe as a multiethnic unity under Habsburgs, 1526-1918, and its dissolution into successor states and subsequent interactions, 1918-1989. Offered in Vienna. (D)
121. The Golden Age of Burgundy. (3h) Burgundian society, culture, and government in the reigns of Philip the Bold, John the Fearless, Philip the Good, and Charles the Rash, 1384-1477. Offered in Dijon.
131. European Historical Biography. (1.5h) Study of biographies of men and women who have influenced the history and civilization of Europe.
132. European Historical Novels. (1.5h) The role of the historical past in selected works of fiction.
140. Modern Slovenia. (1h) Historical perspective of the politics, constitution and culture of contemporary Slovenia. Includes lectures and visits to relevant sites. Offered in Ljubljana.
150. U.S. History. (3h) Survey of U.S. history from the colonial period to the present.
162. History of Wake Forest University. (1.5h) Survey of the history of Wake Forest from its beginning, including its written and oral traditions. The course may include a visit to the town of Wake Forest.
207. The High Middle Ages through the Renaissance. (3h) Between 1150 and 1550, Europe exploded from its boundaries, overturning religious and intellectual traditions and expanding geographically, economically, and politically. This class examines how and why these transformations in European civilization took place.
209. Europe: From Renaissance to Revolution. (3h) This course surveys European history from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, focusing on religious, cultural, political, and economic changes in pre-industrial Europe. Topics include the voyages of discovery and empire, absolutism and the formation of the modern state, religious reformations and popular belief systems, witchcraft, the scientific revolution, and the economic and social structures of everyday life, including the family and ideas about gender. This class adopts a comparative transnational approach to highlight the broader trends and regional interactions that shaped Europe in the early modern period.
216. General History of Spain. (3h) History of Spain from the pre-Roman period to the present day. Counts as elective for the Spanish major. Offered in Salamanca.
217. France to 1774. (3h) From the cave at Lascaux to the spires of Notre Dame to the splendor of Versailles, from Caesar and Charlemagne to Joan of Arc, Voltaire, and Émilie du Châtelet, one of the few Europeans mathematically competent enough to make Newton comprehensible, this course charts the efforts of men and women in what we now call France to provide for themselves and, in a world of differential advantage, to sustain communities that afforded a modicum of security, cooperation, and a world that contained, however clear or dim, the glimmer of meaning.
218. France since 1815. (3h) History of France from the restoration of the monarchy to the Fifth Republic.
219. Germany to 1871. (3h) Social, economic, and political forces leading to the creation of a single German nation-state out of over 1700 sovereign and semi-sovereign German states.
220. Germany: Unification to Reunification, 1871-1990. (3h) For much of the 20th century, Germany was at the center of world history. At first, it was a great power seeking to dominate Europe (ca. 1890 to 1945); then it became the center of the conflict between the United States and its liberal democratic allies on the one hand and the Soviet Union and its communist satellites on the other (1945 to 1990). This course will examine the complex, fraught, and all-too-often horribly fascinating history of Germany, as it came together into a unified nation, set out to seize hegemony in Europe, collapsed in catastrophic defeat and division, and eventually managed to unify once again under very new conditions in 1990. We will also be looking at how another industrial and post-industrial society grappled with the economic, political, and social problems that have challenged the nations of the world over the last 150 years.
223. The British Isles from 1485-1750. (3h) Examines the major themes and events in the history of the British Isles between 1485 and the mid-1750s, during which time England grew from a politically divided and provincial European state into a major imperial power. Includes the establishment of the Tudors and Stuarts; the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of religious toleration; the Civil War and a “modern” political revolution; the spread of constitutionalism; the growth of trade, urbanization, and empire; the expansion of the state and unification; new patterns of familial and gender organization; and the spread of print and learning. The course will also consider England’s relationship to its neighbors, Scotland and Ireland, and these British Isles within the context of early modern Europe.
224. Great Britain Since 1750. (3h) This course covers Britain’s development from the middle of the eighteenth century to the present, examining its place at the forefront of many of the trends that we think of as constituting modernity: representative government, rapid and urbanizing population growth, industrialization, financial and commercial globalization and imperialism, mass culture, and the rise, fall and reemergence of liberalism. Throughout we explore Britain’s transnational relationships, both within the United Kingdom, and between Britain, its Empire, its European neighbors, and its former colony, the United States.
225. History of Venice. (3h) The history of Venice from its origin to the fall of the Venetian Republic. Offered in Venice.
226. History of London. (1.5h, 3h) Topographical, social, economic, and political history of London from the earliest times. Lectures, student papers and reports, museum visits and lectures, and on-site inspections. Offered in London.
228. Georgian and Victorian Society and Culture. (3h) Social and economic transformation of England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular attention to the rise of professionalism and developments in the arts. Offered in London.
229. Venetian Society and Culture. (3h) Examination of Venetian society, including the role within Venetian life of music, theater, the church, and civic ritual. Offered in Venice.
230. Russia: Origins to 1865. (3h) Survey of the political, social and economic history of Russia, from its origins to the period of the Great Reforms under Alexander II. (N.B. students taking HST 230 cannot receive credit for HST 232/REE 200.)
231. Russia and the Soviet Union: 1865 to the Present. (3h) Survey of patterns of socioeconomic change from the late imperial period to the present, the emergence of the Revolutionary movement, and the development of Soviet rule from its establishment to its collapse. (N.B. students taking HST 231 cannot receive credit for HST 232/REE 200.)
232. Introduction to Russian and East European Studies. (3h) An interdisciplinary survey of Russia and the Soviet Union, including an examination of society, polity, economy, and culture over time. Also listed as REE 200. (N.B. students taking HST 232/REE 200 cannot receive credit for HST 230 or 231.) (CD)
240. African American History. (3h). African Americans have participated fully in the in the development of the United States. Particular attention is paid to African heritage, forced migration, struggles, identity, thoughts, arts, and global influence. The course proceeds both chronologically and thematically in their experiences from Africa to America, from slavery to freedom, from rural to urban, and from Jim Crow to Civil Rights, with each experience–enslavement, emancipation, migration, and enfranchisement–marking a fundamental transformation in black lives. (CD)
242. The Middle East before 1500. (3h) Survey of Middle Eastern history from the rise of Islam to the emergence of the last great Muslim unitary states. The course provides an overview of political history with more in-depth emphasis on the development of Islamic culture and society in the pre-modern era. (CD)
243. The Middle East since 1500. (3h) Survey of modern Middle Eastern history from the collapse of the last great Muslim unitary states to the present day. Topics include the rise and demise of the Ottoman and Safvid empires, socio-political reform, the impact of colonialism, Islamic reform, the development of nationalism, and contemporary social and economic challenges. (CD)
244. Pre-Modern China to 1850. (3h) his course surveys Chinese history from high antiquity to 1850. It covers such basic themes as the evolution of political, legal and social institutions, the development of major philosophical and religious traditions, and the achievements in science, technology, literature and the arts. Students are invited to explore these themes by engaging a variety of primary sources, ranging from archaeological artifacts, historical documents, philosophical texts, poems and novels to art works. (CD)
245. Modern China since 1850. (3h) Study of modern China from 1850 to the present, focusing on the major political, economic, and cultural transformations occurring in China during this period within the context of modernization, imperialism, and (semi) colonialism, world wars and civil wars, revolution and reform, and the ongoing processes of globalization. (CD)
246. Japan before 1600. (3h) Survey of Japanese history from the earliest times to the last great age of the samurai, with emphasis on political institutions (court and samurai), economic trends, cultural and religious practices, elite literature, and foreign relations.
247. Japan since 1600. (3h) Survey of Japan in the modern world. Topics include political and cultural revolution, state and empire-building, economic “miracles,” social transformations, military conflicts, and intellectual dilemmas. (CD)
249. Introduction to East Asia. (3h) Introduction to the histories and cultures of East Asia, from the earliest times to the present, focusing on China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, with some attention to the rest of South-East Asia, and emphasizing ecology and economy, trade and international relations, political ideology, religious belief, and cultural practice.(CD)
250. Premodern South Asia. (3h) An overview of the people and cultures of ancient and medieval India, this course delves into the rich history and traditions of one of the earliest human civilizations. By exploring religions, kingdoms, empires, scientific developments, classical literature, arts, architecture, and wars and conquests in India’s premodern history, this course raises larger questions of the significance of the premodern, evolution of societies, and patterns of human existence that are applicable across cultures and civilizations. Specific topics include urban nature of the Indus Valley Civilization, the earliest Hindu religious texts, Mauryan Empire and the political economy, the classical era of the Gupta Empire, the caste system, formation of Buddhism and Jainism, advent of Muslim rule, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagara Empire, and the Mughal Empire. This course utilizes a host of source materials including Sanskrit dramas, religious scriptures, political treatises, autobiographical narratives, royal edicts, monuments, and paintings to explore the diverse cultures and traditions of the Indian subcontinent.
251. Modern South Asia. (3h) With the context of the arrival of European trading companies and the emergence of the British political power, this course deals with the history of South Asia right before, during, and after the colonial era. It maps out a general history of various events and incidents of historical importance in a chronological as well as thematic manner. This course addresses the issues of colonialism/imperialism, modernity, religious identities, reforms, social movements, nationalism, struggle for independence, and the shaping up of new nation-states in the wake of decolonization. It aims to understand the historical contexts and complexities of modern nation-states such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and their place and significance in the world today.
254. American West to 1848. (3h) The first half of a two-semester survey course of the North American West, from roughly 1400 to 1850. Topics include indigenous trade and lifeways, contact, conflict, and cooperation between natives and newcomers, exploration and migration, imperial geopolitical rivalries, and various experiences with western landscapes.
255. U.S. West from 1848 to the Present. (3h) The second half of a two-semester survey course of the U.S. West, from 1848 to the present. Topics include industrial expansion and urbanization, conflicts with Native Americans, national and ethnic identity formations, contests over natural resources, representations and myths of the West, and religious, cultural, and social diversity.
256. The U.S. and the World, 1763-1914. (3h) The first half of a two-semester survey on U.S. foreign relations. Major topics explore the economic, political, cultural, and social currents linking the U.S. to Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia between 1763 and 1914. Particular attention is given to the influence of the world system—ranging from empire, war, and migration to industrial competition and economic interdependence—on U.S. diplomacy, commerce, and domestic politics and culture.
257. The U.S. and the World, 1914-2003. (3h) The second half of a two-semester survey of U.S. foreign relations. Major topics explore the economic, political, cultural and social currents linking the U.S. to Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia between 1914 and 2003. Particular attention is given to the influence of the international system—ranging from hot and cold wars, to decolonization, economic interdependence and transnational businesses and institutions—on U.S. diplomacy, commerce, and domestic politics and culture.
258. Colonial America. (3h) This survey of early American history explores the encounters between natives and newcomers in North America between 1492 and 1763. We consider the development of new communities and cultures, weighing the roles warfare, trade, race, religion, and slavery played in the creation of “new worlds for all.”
259. Revolutionary America. (3h) This course examines the political, social, and cultural transformations that unfolded in British North America between 1760 and 1800 as communities, nations, and empires contended for sovereignty over the continent. It considers the political upheavals that converted some British colonists first into insurgents and then into revolutionaries. We then analyze the unlikely unification of a cluster of disparate provinces into a confederated republic with a common cause and an emerging national identity.
262. The Sectional Crisis, 1820-1860. (3h) This course examines the deepening crisis between the states that led to Civil War in the U.S. The readings and assignments pay special attention to the contending contributions of politics, culture, reform societies, economics, and race. We carefully weigh questions of causation, responsibility, and inevitability in this conflict that reshaped the nation.
263. The U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction. (3h) This course takes up the narrative of the “Sectional Crisis” as the states descended into war in 1861, considering the ideologies and politics of the Union and Confederacy, defining social and economic forces, key events of the war, and the actions of black and white individuals in the North and South in the political readjustments which followed in Reconstruction.
264. Bitter Contests: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Conflict, 1877-1933. (3h) This course examines the post-reconstructed nation with special attention to the politics of equilibrium; the economic impact of industrialization and agricultural revolutions; the positive and negative aspects of rapid urbanization; immigration and the class, ethnic, and religious clashes that ensued; Jim Crow and civil rights; the growth of Big Business and labor’s response; Populism; the acquisition of an empire; Progressive reforms at city, state and federal levels; World War I at home and abroad; and the changing notions of femininity and masculinity. The course ends with the onset of the Depression and Hoover’s response to it.
265. History of the US since the New Deal. (3h) This course examines the institution of the New Deal as FDR’s response to the depression; wars at home and abroad, including World War II, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq I & II; the rise and fall of unionism; various movements from civil rights, women’s rights, welfare rights, Native American rights, to student rights; countercultures from the 1950s through the 1980s; government regulation of the environment; mainstream and new religions; science and technology; the growth of the Imperial Presidency; Watergate and beyond; and liberalism and conservatism.
268. African History to 1870. (3h) An overview of African history which examines topics crucial to the foundation and operation of different African societies prior to the beginning of colonial rule. Emphasizes individual case studies and primary source materials to access the diversity and range of pre-colonial African historical experience and varied methodologies historians have used to reconstruct African pasts. (CD)
269. African History since 1870. (3h) An overview of African history which examines topics crucial to African societies’ experiences with the onset, operation, and end of colonial rule. It also explores how some of African history’s best-known recent events, including South African apartheid and the Rwandan genocide, were products of a much longer history. Emphasizes primary source materials to enhance our understanding of Africans’ historical experiences. (CD)
275. Modern Latin America. (3h) This survey of post-independence Latin America and the Caribbean emphasizes social and political history, with the concept of conscious historical memory as a through-line. Our focus will be the formation of independent nation states and political regimes, and the quest for sovereignty and its challenges in the shadow of the United States, with particular attention to dictatorships and revolutions. Topics include the challenges facing Latin American political regimes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, development, urbanization and labor, prostitution and changing gender roles, neocolonialism and the meaning of national autonomy under the influence of the US, the causes and consequences of state terror, the experience of revolution from the perspective of everyday life, and the war on drugs.
284. Latin America’s Colonial Past. (3h) This course explores Latin America’s colonial past from pre-conquest indigenous civilizations to the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century. We will compare popular myths of Conquest to the concepts of Contact and the Columbian Exchange. Although indigenous populations were decimated by European violence and disease, robust communities adapted to their new environment, particularly in the Andes and Mesoamerica. Forced labor, both indigenous and African, often resisted domination, as exemplified in the Haitian Revolution. We will examine the variety of slave systems developed in the Caribbean and South America, and the maturation of other colonial institutions, such as the Inquisition and Catholic Church. The birth of new cultural practices and evolving systems of race, caste, gender and sexuality will be traced through primary sources including native language documents, slave narratives, inquisition records, letters, and castas paintings.
300 Level Courses
301. St. Petersburg to Leningrad and Back: A Brief History of Russia and the Soviet Union. (3h) Survey of Russian and Soviet history from the imperial period to the present through an exploration of the city of St. Petersburg and its environs. Students will examine the history of the city from Its founding by Peter the Great through the imperial period, the revolutionary era and the Soviet period, as well as the city’s transformation after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Offered in St. Petersburg.
304. Travel, History and Landscape in the Mediterranean. (3h) This course considers broader debates about the nature of “Mediterranean” societies in the late medieval and early modern period through case studies of particular places. Topics include cross-cultural cooperation and conflict, travel and travel narratives, the creation of national identities through public history, and contests over development and/or conservation of natural and cultural resources. Offered in the Mediterranean.
305. Medieval and Early Modern Iberia. (3h) This courses focuses on the interactions between Christians, Jews, and Muslims on the Iberian peninsula between 700 and 1700, examining both the pattern of events and the contradictions of conflict and co-existence between different faiths.
307. Italian Renaissance. (3h) This course examines the political, intellectual, and social developments in the Italian world from ca. 1350 to 1615, a period that marked a profound transition between the medieval and modern worlds. In addition to looking at how people at the time perceived events, we focus on how scholars have interpreted the Italian Renaissance over time.
308. The World of Alexander the Great. (3h) This course surveys the rise of Macedonia first under Philip II, and then his son, Alexander III, whose conquests fused the destinies of the Greek World and those of Asia and Africa. Even after the kingdoms of his successors yielded to the conquests of the Romans and Parthians, the composite Hellenistic Civilization, or imitations of it, prevailed for several generations in the lands between the Ganges River and Cornwall, and between Gibraltar and the Aral Sea. The course examines Alexander’s conquests, and then the main features of Hellenistic Civilization from about 350 until 30 B.C.E. Special attention will be given to aspects of Hellenistic literature, philosophy, science, religion, culture, and art.
309. European International Relations Since World War I. (3h) This course covers European international relations, broadly construed, from the lead-up to the First World War through to the fallout from the Euro and immigration crises. The course takes seriously the notion that international relations are more than just diplomatic relations; course readings and class discussions cover the roles of state and non-state actors, ideologies, economies, and socio-cultural forces in international relations. Although the course is arranged chronologically, it also seeks to make thematic connections, focusing in particular on the role played in international relations by the collapse of empires; domestic politics; popular mobilization on both the right and left; challenges to the nation-state in the form of transnational ideologies; sovereignty in both new and old forms; and currency, trade, investment, and financial settlements.
310. Twentieth Century Eastern Europe. (3h) Examination of the history of twentieth century Eastern Europe, including the creation of nation-states, World War II, and the nature of Communist regimes established in the postwar period. The course concludes with a discussion of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the challenges of European integration.
311. Special Topics in History. (1-3h) Subject varies with instructor.
312. Jews, Greeks, and Romans. (3h) Largely from a Jewish context, the course explores the political, religious, social, and philosophical values shaped by the collision between Jews, Greeks, and Romans, from the Hellenistic Period to the Middle Ages. The interaction brought about the end of antiquity, the rise of Christianity, and the establishment of a common culture that has largely defined the Western World: Judeo-Christian moral attitudes and Graeco-Roman civilization. There is no prerequisite or assumed knowledge of the period, but students should be prepared to examine religion from a secular, intellectual point of view.
313. The History of European Jewry from the Middle Ages to the Present. (3h) Examines the Jewish historical experience in Europe from the medieval period to the Holocaust and its aftermath. Includes a consideration of social, cultural, economic and political history, and places the particular experience of Jews within the context of changes occurring in Europe from the medieval to the modern period.
315. A History of Greek Civilization. (3h) The course surveys the social and intellectual history of the Ancient Greek World from the eighth to fifth centuries BCE. Throughout this period the Greeks developed many ideas and institutions that were new to antiquity. These achievements will be seen as the result of the varied and rich response of a gifted people to a more complex and changing historical landscape than had existed in the ancient Near East. Though largely new, the Greek experience was not entirely unique. Some of it can be found in the thought and experience of our own civilization: democracy and philosophy, individual character and the freedom of social choice. We shall attempt to appreciate the significance of these achievements through the historians and philosophers who actually witnessed these events, from numerous Greek plays (comedy and tragedy), as well as from art and architecture. The main themes of the course will be: (i) the development of city life and colonization, and the revolutionary changes in society, culture, and religion that it brought; (ii) the ‘Classical Moment’; and (iii) the struggle between Athens and Sparta for control of the Greek world. No background in Greek History is necessary.
316. Rome: Republic & Empire. (3h) History 316 considers the history of Rome, a city-state, which constructed one of the most durable empires the Mediterranean Basin has ever known. The course will survey the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean from the first millennium BCE to the first millennium CE. The main issues and periods that we will explore are: The founding of the city and the rise of Rome as a power in the Mediterranean; The fall of the Republic; The refounding of Rome under Augustus; The consolidation of the Principate; Factors and institutions that held the Empire together; Rome on the defense in the Third Century CE; and The world of Late Antiquity.
317. The French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire. (3h) Revolution and wars that constitute one of the pivotal points in modern history.
318. Weimar Germany. (3h) This course is an exploration of the arts in Central Europe, 1905-1937, in historical context. We will read novels, stories, and poems; view some of the best of the early films; listen to challenging and stimulating music; and look at vibrant and provocative paintings, etchings, woodprints, and sculptures. All along we will be seeking to understand how these works of art, which speak to us still, are nonetheless rooted in a particular time and place, in the economic, social, and political institutions and developments of their day. Also listed as GES 331.
324. The History of Fashion. (3h) What does fashion and consumer culture have to do with politics? This course explores this question by focusing on the role of dress and display during the eighteenth-century age of Atlantic revolution in Britain, America, France, and Haiti. This class adopts a broad definition of fashion to include not only dress, but costumes, styles of personal adornment, manners and social etiquette, consumer objects, decorative possessions, and so on. As we will see, fashion served as a flash point for debating the political, social, and cultural conflicts wrought by commercialization, democratic politics, and imperialism, including ideas about proper gender order, social organization, and political representation.
325. English Kings, Queens, and Spectacle (3h) This course is a survey of the ways in which early modern English royal authority was created, legitimized, performed, and challenged through ritual, image, and text. We will adopt a broad and interdisciplinary approach to examine how politics took place across a variety of media forms, including ritual performances, processions, paintings, engravings, books, broadsides, ballads, and newspapers. Topics include: gender and power; court culture; the press and political revolution; popular politics and propaganda; graphic satire; and the commercialization of politics.
326. The Industrial Revolution in England. (3h) Study of the social, economic, and political causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution in England. Offered in London.
327. Power and Profit in Britain. (3h) Examines the people, ideas, and practices behind Britain’s years of global economic and imperial dominance between the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the beginning of world war in 1914. We will explore how commercialization was defended against criticism, how modern labor relations developed, how imperialism was both censured and championed, and how free trade became central to British politics and national self-conceptions. Thus emphasis is placed on the political and economic ideas that underpinned this period, which we will examine through course readings that include both canonical and lesser-known historical works of political economy. Topics addressed include the expansion of the marketplace and the creation of worldwide trade networks; the relationship between consumption, morality, and politics; the various forms of free and unfree labor that sustained the imperial economy; Victorian cities and urban poverty; gender and the domestic economy; and the social, political, and environmental consequences of industrial imperialism.
328. History of the English Common Law. (3h) Study of the origins and development of the English common law and its legacy to modern legal processes and principles.
329. British Empire. (3h) A survey of the Britain’s global empire from the seventeenth century to its continuing influence on the Commonwealth, Globalization and violent conflict today.
331. The United States as Empire, 1877-1919. (3h) Explores the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the United States joined in the global scramble for empire. Course examines the domestic and international causes of American imperial expansion; the modes of rule that the U.S. exercised in its formal and informal possessions; and the political and intellectual debates at home and abroad about America’s expansion as a world power.
332. The United States and the Global Cold War. (3h) Considers United States efforts to secure its perceived interests through “nation building” and economic development in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and much of Asia during the Cold War and after. Emphasizes the ideological and cultural dimensions of American intervention.
333. European Diplomacy, 1848-1914. (3h) The diplomacy of the great powers, with some attention given to the role of publicity in international affairs. Topics include the unification of Italy and of Germany, the Bismarckian system, and the coming of World War I.
334. Mystics, Monarchs and Masses in South Asian Islam. (3h) Introducing Islam through South Asian social, political, cultural, and intellectual history, this course considers the history of Muslim communities, movements, and institutions through the lenses of rulers, Sufi mystics, notable personalities, and the people of the Indian subcontinent. With more than one third of world’s Muslim population, South Asia’s Muslims share a common faith but they also reflect the diversity of religious beliefs and practices within Islam. This course aims to understand Islam as a faith in the context of India and South Asia and develop a better sense of the lived history of Muslims in the subcontinent. Specific topics include origins and early history of Islam, arrival of Islam in South Asia, political Islam, Sufism, literary texts, Islam and nationalism, Muslim nationalism, religious pluralism and conflicts, Islamic sects and beliefs, education, women, social reform, revivalism, and the emergence of Islamism.
335. Hindus and Muslims in India, Pakistan, and Beyond. (3h) Hindus and Muslims of the Indian subcontinent have had a long history of coexistence and conflicts. Despite tussles and skirmishes, the two communities and drawn upon each other’s strengths for more than a millennium. Drawing upon some key contemporary debates pertaining Hinduism and other Indic traditions, this course explores the social and intellectual history of modern South Asia by looking at people and institutions behind social and religious reforms, lower caste movements, gender dimensions, modernity, and variants of nationalism and politics. This course examines a range of issues cutting across regions, religions, gender, caste, and the periods of colonial and postcolonial South Asia.
336. Gender and Power in African History. (3h) Examines understandings of gender and power in African societies, with particular focus on the last several hundred years. After addressing sources and methods, the course examines conceptions of gender and power in pre-colonial African societies, colonialism’s varied impacts on men and women, the gendered nature of independence, and the importance of gender and power to projects of nation-building. (CD)
340. Social and Cultural Change in Urban Africa. (3h) Examines the dynamism of African cities, with particular emphasis on ordinary people rather than political or economic authorities. Focusing overwhelmingly on the colonial and post-colonial periods, this course’s major topics include the diversity of African cities, colonial visions for urban change, and cities as sites of social transformations, national revolutions, and political impositions. (CD)
337. Women and Gender in Early America. (3h) Examines the historical context in which ideas of femininity and masculinity were constructed and their political, economic and cultural significance across race, class and gender from 1600 to 1865. (CD)
338. Sexuality, Race and Class in the United States since 1850. (3h) History of gender relations from the late-nineteenth century to the present. Analyzes the varying definitions of femininity and masculinity, the changing notions of sexuality, and the continuity and diversity of gender roles with special attention to race, class, and ethnicity.
339. Sickness and Health in American History. (3h) Analysis of the changing approaches to healing in American history. Examines indigenous systems, the introduction of European methods, the attempts to professionalize in the nineteenth century, the incorporation of modern techniques, and the reemergence of natural approaches in the twentieth century.
340. Social and Cultural Change in Urban Africa. (3h) While popular imagination suggests that the African past is largely a rural one, many of the continent’s most explosive social and cultural transformations have taken place in its cities. This course examines how urban residents have worked to creatively shape to some of sub-Saharan Africa’s major transformations. Major topics for the course include the social and cultural fabric of pre-colonial African cities, the impact of colonialism on African towns, cities as sites of revolution and independence, and the contemporary conditions and challenges facing contemporary urban residents. (CD)
341. Africans in the Atlantic World, 1750-1815. (3h). This course examines the Africans’ encounters with American Indians and Europeans in the colonies and their adjustment to slave traders in West Africa from 1750 to 1815, when Africans made up eighty percent of the immigrants to the Americas. How did Africans and African-descended people in Europe and its colonies respond to changes in European policy on the slave trade? Other topics include their identity as Africans, Afro-Europeans, and African Americans; African royal status and its implications for enslavement; reactions to loss, captivity, and enslavement; yearnings for liberation, both spiritual and corporeal; and the Africans’ role in abolitionism and revolution.
344. Early Modernity in China. (3h) Was early modernity unique to European history, marked by the rise of capitalism, the birth of the Renaissance Man, the triumph of the New Science and the spread of the Enlightenment? Or, was it rather a global phenomenon experienced differently in different cultures? This course addresses these questions through an in-depth exploration into Chinese history from 1500 to 1800, focusing on developments in economic life, material culture, intellectual discourses, literature and the arts.return to Africa as missionaries and colonists.
347. The Rise of Asian Economic Power since WWII. (3h) At the end of WWII, Japan, South Korea, and China faced economies ravaged by war. Yet within a few decades, all experienced high-speed economic growth and became some the world’s most dynamic economies. This course will examine the process of economic development in all three nations, paying particular attention to business practices, foreign trade, government and bureaucratic involvement in economic growth, and consumer and labor markets. It will also explore how the three nations have confronted recent challenges of national debt, increasing international competition, and aging societies.
348. Samurai and Geisha: Fact, Film, and Fiction. (3h) Focuses on two well-known groups in Japanese history, the samurai (warriors) and geisha (entertainers). By analyzing historical studies and primary sources, as well as works of fiction and films about samurai and geisha, the course considers how Japanese and Western historians, novelists, and filmmakers have portrayed the two groups and by implication Japan and its history in the modern period. (CD)
349. American Foundations. (3h) Interdisciplinary study of American art, music, literature, and social history with particular reference to the art collection at Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Lectures, discussions, and field trips, including a tour of New York City museums. Term project in American history. Also listed as ART 331, HON 393, 394, and MUS 307. Offered at Reynolda House in summer sessions.
350. World Economic History: Globalization, Wealth and Poverty, 1500-Present. (3h) Overview of the growth and development of the world economy from precapitalist organizations to the present system of developed and underdeveloped states. Focus on consumption as a means to understand economic change over time. (CD)
352. Ten Years of Madness: The Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966 to 1976. (3h) A history of the Chinese Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. Examines the origins, consequences, and collective memories of the catastrophic political events and the social and cultural transformations that took place in China during the last decade of Mao’s leadership. (CD)
353. War and Society In Early America. (3h) This course examines the evolution of military violence among the indigenous and colonial societies of North America between 1500 and 1800. We weigh how perceptions of atrocity and restraint evolved as communities collided and communicated. Students will explore how these experiences of violence shaped the evolution of race, religion, identity, and ideology in America.
354. The Early American Republic. (3h) This history of the formative generation of the United States considers the dramatic transformations of the constitutional, economic, and racial orders in the young republic from the 1780s through the early 1800s. In addition to the new constitutions and governments, we consider how duels, newspapers, wars, foreign affairs, slavery, and frontier conflicts shaped new expectations for politics, national identity, and culture.
356. Jacksonian America, 1815-1850. (3h) The history of the United States in the age of Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster. A biographical approach.
358. Race and the Courts. (3h) This course examines the impact of state and federal court cases upon the evolution of race relations in the United States. Beginning with Dred Scott, the historical context of each case is placed in juxtaposition to the social and political realities for the given time periods. The subjects addressed are voting rights, school desegregation, employment issues, race and sports, and race and the military. Case law, scholarly articles, as well as the Supreme Court Digest provide a foundation for analyzing government intervention, inaction, and creative interpretation. (CD)
359. Prostitutes, Machos and Travestis: Sexuality and Gender in Modern Latin American History. (3h) Beyond machismo, exoticism, and the virgin-whore dichotomy, this class links contemporary and historical investigation of sexuality and gender in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Prostitution, masculinity, and the transgender continuum will be the core subjects, which we will examine across time and space and from a range of perspectives. Cross-cutting topics will include women’s agency, violence, slavery, revolution, migration, multiple masculinities, queer and indigenous gender alternatives, public health, narcos, and media scapegoating. No particular background is required. (CD)
360. Jewish Migrations to the Americas. (3h) This course explores Jewish migrations across the Atlantic to the US and Latin America in order to address broader questions about mobility and identity for immigrants and ethnic groups more generally. Central questions across time and place include: Who is a Jew? Who decides, on what basis, and so what? The class begins with the early trans-Atlantic circuits of Sephardic Jews and the New Spanish Inquisition, and then focuses on the mass migration era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, due to the richer body of comparative literature available on that period. The evolution of Jewish racial identity is highlighted through comparison to African-Americans, Italian-Americans, Japanese-Brazilians, Arab-Brazilians, and other groups. Further topics include gender, social deviance, institutional life, the transnational effects of the Holocaust, varieties of Zionism, and the resurgence of anti-Semitism under military dictatorship. Just as our reading spans multiple genres, from fiction to memoir, so students create written and oral analyses in several genres, from fictional letter-writing to original research.
362. American Constitutional History. (3h) Origins of the Constitution, the controversies involving the nature of the Union, and constitutional readjustments to meet the new American industrialism.
363. The History of the Slave South. (3h ) Examination of the origins of southern distinctiveness, from the first interactions of Europeans, Native Americans and Africans to the Civil War and Emancipation. (CD)
364. The Making of the Modern South since the Civil War. (3h) Examines the complicated history of this region and its relationship to the nation and world since 1865 through its multiple political, economic and cultural reinventions. (CD)
365. Modern Native American History. (3h) Considers broad historical issues and debates about Native American identity, experiences with and memories of colonialism, cultural preservation and dynamism, and political sovereignty from 1830 to the present. Focuses on individual accounts, tribal case studies, and popular representations of Native people. (CD)
366. Historic Preservation and Conservation. (3h) Why and how should we save old buildings like empty mills or factories, shotgun houses or run-down mansions, abandoned hotels or boarded-up Main Streets? Why and how should we preserve the landscapes of old farms or mountaintops, Civil War battlefields or viewsheds of historic monuments? What could my company or organization do with an older building, or what would I do if I bought a 100- year-old house? These kinds of questions drive this course as we explore the movements in historic preservation and conservation in the U.S. and around the world. Through site visits to places such as 18th century Moravian towns, the Innovation Quarter downtown, and Reynolda Estate closer to campus, and through reading the story and legal frameworks of these movements, we examine the possibilities and challenges, successes and losses, that mark the effort to sustain our natural and built environment in the 21st century.
367. Issues in Public History. (3h) How do people learn history outside of the classroom and make sense of the presence of the past? This course introduces students to the major issues involved in the practice, interpretation, and public display of history for nonacademic audiences. Central themes include controversial historical interpretations, the role of history in popular culture, issues and aims in exhibiting history, and the politics of historical memory. This course focuses on major themes in community and local history, and challenges students to address interpretive problems and possibilities as historians working in public settings. In past offerings, students have presented their work in public exhibits. (N.B. This course is a requirement for the Cultural Resource Preservation interdisciplinary minor.)
369. Modern Military History. (3h) After the Vietnam War, where the US won all the battles but lost the war, the Department of Defense and others began asking how that could have happened. This course is designed to help Americans answer that question by putting military experience in a broader political, economic, cultural, and social context. We will talk about military technology, tactics, and strategy and about battles and wars, but we will always place them within the larger historical context. We can’t understand how the narrowly military elements developed and how and why they were successfully—or unsuccessfully—deployed unless we recognize the complex range of factors that influence both military choices and ultimate outcomes. Credit not allowed for both HST 369 and MIL 229.
370. Topics in NC History. (3h) The most recent presentation of this class researched and wrote on Winston-Salem’s musical history and proposed an exhibit on the topic for the New Winston Museum. Students explored topics of local history, music and performance, oral history, and curating museum exhibits. Throughout the semester, students conducted original research and oral history interviews with musicians and local venue owners while working in collaboration with curators at the city’s modern history museum. Students considered how music brings people together (or does not) and how it has shaped this community over time. By the end of the semester, students proposed an interpretive exhibit based on their research for display at the New Winston Museum during the summer of 2016.
371. Transgender History, Identity and Politics in the U.S. (3h) This course explores the experiences of and responses to transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex (TGI) people in nineteenth and twentieth century America. We will examine how scientific/medical authorities, legal authorities, and everyday people have understood and responded to various kinds of gender non-conformity. (CD)
372. Queer Public Histories. (3h) Explores how public history projects (oral histories, museums, archives, documentaries) document gay, lesbian, and queer communities in the United States. Discusses how historical and contemporary LGBTQ stories have been collected and examines the various queer identities that emerge through this process.
373. Anglo-American Relations since 1940. (3h) Study of the relations between the U.S. and Britain from 1940 to the present. Offered in London.
374. Protest and Rebellion in Latin America. (3h) Study of the history of protest movements and rebellions in Latin America from primitive and agrarian revolts to mass working class and socialist organizations. (CD)
375. Black Lives. (3h). This course explores both the lived experience and the historical reality of African Americans. Black lives are profoundly shaped by their group experience, influenced in no small part by the role of racism. The biographical approach individuates historical figures struggling to fashion identity. Topics include character development, intimacy, gender roles, public and private personas, self-deceptions or defenses, and personal perceptions and biases. The craft of writing biography is taught throughout the semester. (CD)
376. Civil Rights and Black Consciousness Movements. (3h) During the latter half of the twentieth century, African Americans organized mass movements for equality, cultural reclamation, black political power, and community control that had national and international ramifications. Course themes include communities organizing for change, the impact of mass demonstration and urban riot in modern mass society, the relationship between media and movement, sports heroes and societal change, social stratification of race, social implications for religious and political institutions, the sociology of violence and nonviolence in social movements, public policy and social conflict, gendered and class relations in organizational structure and leadership, the social implications of childhood and youth in mass movements, war and societal change, and prisons and redemption. (CD).
378. Race, Memory and Identity. (3h) Explores the collective memory and identity of American-Indian and African-American communities and their response to historical trauma in their cultural imagination, spirituality, and political and social activism. Also listed as REL 348. (CD)
380. America at Work. (3h) Analyzes historical change in the U.S through the lenses of work and workers, owners and innovators, businesses and technologies, management and leadership since the colonial era. (CD)
381. Religious Utopias and the American Experience. (3h) Religious groups of many different origins have found in North America an open space for creating settlements that would embody their ideals. This course surveys a range of such 18th- and 19th-century communities, including Moravians, Rappites, Shakers, and the Oneida and Amana colonies. Also listed as REL 346
382. Religion in the Development of American Higher Education. (3h) This course examines the role of religious groups in the founding of American colleges and universities, and explores how their role has changed across history up through contemporary trends and issues. Seven major themes provide the framework of the course: the heritage of religion in European higher education; institutions of higher education founded by specific American religious groups including Congregational, Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, and Jewish traditions; religion in the liberal arts curriculum; religious activities in student life; the relationship of colleges and universities with religious sponsors and constituents with a special focus on controversies such as science and religion; the impact of universities on liberal arts colleges; and the trends toward growth and “secularization” in the last fifty years. Cross-listed as REL 390.
384. Global Outlaws in History since 1500. (3h) Examines the motivations, ideologies, goals, and behavior of those who have been deemed “outlaws” to international society since 1500, including pirates, terrorists, smugglers, and war criminals. Also analyzes the role of power in creating the global regimes that define and target such activities, and the way that outlaws have been portrayed and conceptualized over time.
385. History through Film: Bollywood and the Making of Modern India. (3h) The relationship between film and history is of great importance, particularly due to the way filmmakers depict and interpret the past to mass audiences. While films enable the viewers to visualize history, they can also oversimplify and even blatantly distort the past. Juxtaposing films, documentaries, and television series with textual primary sources and secondary readings, this course seeks to understand how Hindi cinema— popularly known as “Bollywood”—recasts Indian history and culture, with due consideration to how films themselves are interpretations of the past they portray as much as they are primary sources of their own time and place. Based on a thematic arrangement, this course will give a selective survey of the history and culture of modern India.
387. The Last Great Muslim Empires. (3h) Examines in a comparative way central themes in the history of the Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid Empires in the early modern period (1400-1800). Considers the ways in which Muslim rulers fostered political legitimacy, ruled over non-Muslim and heterodox subject populations, and recruited persons of diverse religious and ethnic background into state service. (CD)
388. Nation, Faith, and Gender in the Middle East. (3h) Traces the development of nationalism and its interaction with religious, transnational, and gender identities in the Middle East in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include Zionism, Arabism, Turkish nationalism, and Islamic revivalism.
389. The British Empire in the Middle East. (3h) This course covers the eighteenth- to twentieth-century history of the British Empire in the diverse area commonly referred to as the Middle East: the Arabian peninsula, Egypt, Sudan (the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium) and portions of the former Ottoman Empire that fell under British mandate after World War One, namely Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan. It also places British interest in the Middle East in a broader global context, paying particular attention to intra-European imperial rivalries as well as to Britain’s presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, Persia and India. Themes include scholarly theories of imperialism; techniques of imperial rule; local collaboration and resistance; social and cultural facets of imperialism; economic, environmental, and legal foundations and impacts of British rule in the Middle East; decolonization; memories of imperialism; and the historical roots of contemporary relations between the Middle East, Britain, and its most significant post-war ally, the US.
390. Research Seminar. (4h) In the history seminar, students write a major paper based on original research. Usually three sections are offered each term, with different faculty offering guidance in their field of expertise. We strongly recommend that students enroll in a 390 where they have previous experience with the field or theme.
392. Individual Research. (4h) Most history majors undertake their capstone research paper in the HST 390 seminar. With a faculty member’s permission, students may elect to pursue their project individually. Ask faculty whether 390 or 392 best suits your research.
395. Internship in History. (1-3h) Local internships, arranged in consultation with a faculty advisor, offer students the opportunity to learn and apply skills while building professional and community connections. Internships vary according to student interest, and can involve archives, museum programming and development, collections management and preservation, or original research. History students have completed internships for credit at The Reynolda House, the New Winston Museum, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Historic Bethabara Park, Korner’s Folley, and other regional institutions. Students taking HST 395 for 3 credits read about and discuss the theoretical issues related to museums with a faculty supervisor and write reflective and critical essays to enhance their learning. (N.B. this course can contribute to the Cultural Resource Preservation interdisciplinary minor.)
397. Historical Writing Tutorial. (1.5h) In this tutorial, students work with a member of the faculty to revise and expand a major writing project. Most students improve projects initiated in History 390 or 392. While these course hours do not count towards major or minor requirements, successfully completed hours do contribute to overall course hours for graduation.
398. Individual Study. (1h-3h) Students may design and pursue a project in an area of study not otherwise available in the Department. Interested students can design projects in consultation with interested faculty members. (N.B. the Department must review and approve proposals; projects will be the equivalent of advanced coursework).
399. Directed Reading. (1h-3h) Under faculty supervision, students may design a concentrated course of reading in an area of study not currently available in the Department.