For good or ill, none of us can escape the past—ever. Both the world in which we live and we as individuals are products of a long and complex development. The History Department offers a broad range of courses that tell you about the past and that will help you understand yourself and the social environment in which you’ll spend the rest of your life. Those courses will also 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 interesting topics.
For more information about any of these courses, please consult the faculty member concerned.
History Courses Taught at Wake Forest
Majors may include within the required twenty-seven hours up to six hours of advanced placement or comparable work and up to six hours of any combination of individual study and directed reading other than the hours earned in HST 397. The student must have a GPA or 2.0 in history to graduate with the major.
A minor in history requires eighteen hours. Courses that the student elects to take pass/fail do not meet the requirements for the major or minor.
Highly qualified majors should apply for admission to the honors program in history. To be graduated with the designation “Honors in History”, the student must complete HST 391, present a honors-quality research paper, successfully defend the paper in an oral examination, and earn an overall grade point average of 3.3 with an average of 3.5 on work in history. For additional information, students should consult members of the department.
Students contemplating graduate study should acquire a reading knowledge of one modern foreign language for the master of arts degree and two for the Ph.D.
102. Europe and the World in the Modern Era. (3h) Survey of modern Europe from 1700 to the present. Focus varies with instructor. (CD, D) (Credit cannot be received 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. Focus varies with instructor. (CD, D) (Credit cannot be received for both 101 and 103, or 103 and 111.)
104. World Civilizations since 1500. (3h) Survey of the major civilizations of the world in the modern and contemporary periods. Focus varies with instructor. (CD, D) (Credit cannot be received for both 102 and 104.)
105. Africa in World History. (3h) This course examines the continent of Africa from prehistory to the present in global perspective, as experienced and understood by Africans themselves. (CD, D)
106. Medieval World Civilizations. (3h) This course provides an overview of world civilizations in the period generally understood as “medieval”—that is, from approximately 600 to 1600 C.E. The concept of a medieval, or middle, period in history originally came from European history, referring to the time between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, or to a rebirth of classical knowledge. One of the questions of this course is to examine cultures and societies in east Asia, India, Africa, and the Americas as well as Europe during the same time frame and to ask if there is such a thing as a “medieval” world history. Are there patterns, transformations, and developments common to all these societies in the medieval period?What characteristics do these widely differing cultures and geographic areas share, and where do they differ? (CD, D)
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 seventh century to the twentieth century. Combines an introduction to Islamic civilization it its central lands with a close study of its interaction with other societies. (CD, D)
108. Americas and the World. (3h) This course 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. (CD, D)
109. Asia and the World since 1500. (3h) Overview of Asia (primarily East, Southeast, and South Asia) since 1500 with emphasis on economic, diplomatic, cultural, and religious interactions with the outside world. (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; disease; religious conversion and revivalism; mestizo and creole culture; imperial warfare; enlightenment; revolution; slavery and abolition; extractive economies; nationalism; ‘scientific racism’; invented traditions; the black diaspora and negritude; 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) Credit cannot be received for both 101 and 111, or for both 103 and 111.
112. Big History. (3) Beginning 13.7 billion years ago and drawing on the sciences, social sciences, and history, this course offers a contemporary understanding of how the physical, social, and mental worlds we inhabit came to be. Its effort to integrate disciplines that usually remain unconnected should appeal to those who want to see how many of the pieces of their education fit together. (CD, 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 only 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. (Meets division I history requirement) Offered only in Vienna.
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 only 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) The period from 1150 to 1550 witnessed a dramatic transformation in the patterns and practices of European culture. During these 400 years, Europe exploded from its boundaries, overturning religious and intellectual traditions and expanding geographically, economically, and politically. The High Middle Ages saw the rise of towns, universities, and cathedrals; the Church faced reformations from within and without, and the personal bonds of feudal kingship gradually gave way to the bureaucracies of developing nation-states. These transformations did not go unchallenged; struggles over religious unity and political hegemony combined with natural disasters such as plague and famine to further upset the traditional order. The European Renaissance revived the learning of the classical world, using it to claim a place for human reason and creativity in society. This class will examine how and why these transformations in European civilization took place .
209. Europe: From Renaissance to Revolution. .(3h) Survey of European history from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Topics include the voyages of discovery, the military revolution, the formation of the modern state, religious reformation, witchcraft and the rise of modern science, and pre-industrial economic and social structures including women and the family.
210. Colloquium in Historical Diversity. (3h) Broad examination of the historical roots of contemporary cultural issues through various themes such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality. Focus varies with instructor. (CD)
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) History of France from the Paleolithic period to the accession of Louis XVI with particular attention to the early modern period.
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.
222. The Renaissance and Reformation. (3h) This course examines the social, cultural, political, and religious transformations in Europe between c.1300 and c.1600. In particular, we shall look at the exuberant civic culture that emerged in the later European Middle Ages, especially in northern Italy and the northwest of Europe, and the cultural and intellectual revival of ancient traditions that were part of it. We will look at the impact of these changes on political participation, intellectual exchange, artistic expression, and everyday life. We will consider what role these changes had in the great theological and political upheaval that followed in the wake of Martin Luther’s challenge of the authority of the Catholic Church. We will ask how these two great transformations—the Renaissance and the Reformation—changed the face of Europe and shaped Europe’s encounters with the wider world in the Age of Discoveries. We will be reading extensive primary texts from the literature, philosophy, and theology of the Renaissance and Reformation, especially as they impacted Europe north of the Alps.
223. The British Isles to 1750. (3h) This course discusses religious reformations in the sixteenth century; political and scientific experiments in the seventeenth century; and the commercial revolutions of the eigteenth century. We will examine their effect on the way Englishmen and women conceived of their state, their communities, and themselves, exploring social relationships and the changing experience of authority. The course will also consider England’s relationship to its neighbours, Scotland and Ireland, and these British Isles within the context of early modern Europe.
224. Great Britain since 1750. (3h) This course addresses topics in British history from the Industrial Revolution to New Labour, with attention to how politics and citizenship were linked to imperial power. We will address industrialization, liberalism, and their discontents; colonization, decolonization, and immigration; social and urban riot and reform; world war; and the creation of the welfare state and its dismantling. The course will also consider Britain’s relationship with Ireland, and European integration.
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.
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.
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. Students taking HST 232/REE200 cannot receive credit for HST 230 or 231. (CD)
240. African American History. (3h) The role of African Americans in the development of the United States, with particular attention to African heritage, forced migration, Americanization, and influence. (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) Study of traditional China to 1850, with an emphasis on the evolution of political, legal, and social institutions and the development of Chinese religions, learning, and the arts. (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 1800. (3h) Survey of Japanese history from the earliest times to the coming of Western imperialism, with emphasis on regional ecologies, economic institutions, cultural practice, military organization, political ideology, and foreign relations. (CD)
247. Japan since 1800. (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)
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. The American Colonies to 1750. (3h) Explores the formative years of early continental America from its pre-contact peoples through the era of effective European settlements. Topics include the interaction among Native Americans, Europeans and Africans; borderlands; commerce; warfare; colonization; and slavery.
259. Revolutionary and Nation Making in America, 1750-1815. (3h) Explores the social, economic, cultural and political transformation of the diversity of peoples who occupied the continent during its revolutionary and national formative years. Commercial integration, the Seven Years War, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic are placed within their broader international context.
260. 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. We seek to learn about religions, scientific developments, literature, arts, empires, dynasties, cross-cultural interactions, and conquests and defeats in India’s premodern history. This class endeavors to understand the background of South Asia’s present by considering topics such as the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic Age, Hinduism, Mauryan Empire, Gupta Era, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, and the Mughal Empire. We use a variety of sources including Sanskrit dramas, religious scriptures, political treatises, autobiographical narratives, royal edicts, monuments, and paintings to explore the diverse cultures and traditions of India. (CD)
261. Modern South Asia. (3h) This course provides an overview of history, culture, and politics of modern South Asia beginning with the political ascendancy of the British in India in 1750s till date. The British started gaining political foothold since the mid-eighteenth century. It is a landmark in the history of the Indian subcontinent since a gradual defeat of the Mughal Empire gave way to the British starting a journey of conquest and expansion and the eventual formation of the British Empire. This course maps out a general history of various events and incidents of historical importance in a chronological as well as thematic manner. Topics include South Asian society and culture, British conquest and economic subordination, Indian responses to British intervention, socio-religious reform movements among Hindus and Muslims, role of women in the making of modern South Asia, the revolt of 1857, Indian independence struggle, Gandhi, Muslim League and the demand for Pakistan, partition of British India, role of Jawaharlal Nehru in the formation of independent India, post-independence Pakistan, and occasional and brief introductions to the South Asian states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. (CD)
268. African History to 1870. (3h) This course is an overview of African history until c.1870. Because it covers a large geographical entity as well as an expansive temporal period, it is organized around a number of themes. Focusing largely on sub-Saharan Africa, we will examine Africa’s diverse geography and environments, agricultural and technological innovations, the operation of states and stateless societies, social and gendered formations, the creation and expansion of trading systems, slavery and the slave trades, religious change and revolutions, and European contacts prior to colonial rule. To facilitate our appreciation of these themes, we will examine case studies from various regions and time-periods. We will also analyze a number of source materials, including a range of primary sources, to increase our understanding of the diversity and range of pre-colonial African historical experience. (CD)
269. African History since 1870. (3h) An overview of African history from the abolition of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade to the post-colonial era of independent African nations with emphasis on African perspectives, initiatives, and agency. (CD)
273. History of Mexico. (3h) Examination of the history of Mexico from the colonial period to the present. (CD)
275. Modern Latin America. (3h) Survey of Latin-American history since independence, with emphasis on the twentieth century. The course will concentrate chiefly on economics, politics, and race. (CD)
284. Latin America’s Colonial Past . (3h) Studies the history of Latin America’s colonial past from the preconquest background to the wars of independence in the early nineteenth century. The course includes a Language Across the Curriculum component, which allows students to earn credits in Spanish by reading and discussing at least half of the texts in Spanish. (CD)
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 Soviety Union. Offered only 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 only in the Mediterranean.
305. Medieval and Early Modern Iberia. (3h) The cultures that flourished on the Iberian peninsula between the years 700 and 1700 were extremely diverse and contained often contradictory tendencies. Hailed by many as a haven of toleration and an example of co-existence between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the medieval period, early modern Spain and Portugal were bastions of Catholic orthodoxy and the Inquisition. Iberians were at the forefront of global exploration and discovery, but Spain’s empire by the seventeenth century had fallen behind its English and Dutch competitors. This course is dedicated to examining these seeming paradoxes, looking at the formation of religious, cultural and political identities and the economics of empire in the medieval and early modern period.
307. Italian Renaissance. (3h) This course examines the economic, 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. Many examinations of the “Renaissance era” end on or around the year 1500, leaving the impact of the discovery of the Americas, the religious reformations, and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution to the period often labeled as “early modern.” It is the purpose of this course to investigate to what degree these major transformations in western and world culture were rooted in and influenced by the social, cultural, political, and economic developments on the Italian peninsula beginning in the fourteenth century.
308. The World of Alexander the Great. (3h) Examination of Alexander the Great’s conquests and the fusion of Greek culture with those of the Near East, Central Asia, and India. Special emphasis placed on the creation of new political institutions and social customs, modes of addressing philosophical and religious issues, as well as the achievements and limitations of Hellenistic Civilization.
309. European International Relations since World War One. (3h) Surveys European International Relations in the 20th century beyond treaties and alliances to the economic, social and demographic factors that shaped formal arrangements between states. Covers the impact of new forms of international cooperation, pooled sovereignty, and non-governmental organizations on European diplomacy and internal relations.
310. Twentieth Century Eastern Europe. (3h) Examination of the history of twentieth century Eastern Europe, includeing 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.
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.
314. European Economic and Social History, 1750-1990. (3h) Changes in Europe’s economic structures and how they affected Europeans’ lives. Emphasizes how economic forces interacted with social and institutional factors.
315. Greek History. (3h) The course surveys the social and intellectual history of the Ancient Greek World from the eighth to fifth centuries B.C.E. 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 responses 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.
316. Rome: Republic & Empire. (3h) Survey of Roman history and civilization from its beginning to about 500 CE, with emphasis on the conquest of the Mediterranean world, the evolution of the Republican state, the growth of autocracy, the administration of the empire, and the interaction between Romans and non-Romans.
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.
319. Poland and the Baltic Region. (3h) Introduction to the history of Poland and the eastern Baltic littoral since 1760, covering the territory that later became Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland; emergence of independence after World War I; the Soviet experience; and re-establishment of independence during the break-up of the Soviet Union.
326. The Industrial Revolution in England. (3h) Study of the social, economic, and political causes and effects of the Industrial Revolution in England. Offered only in London.
327. Profit and Power in Britain.(3h) Examines economic ideas and British society between 1688 and 1914. Topics include connections between consumption and identity; the relationship of morals to markets; the role of gender and the household; knowledge, technology, and the industrial revolution; and the place of free trade in the political imagination.
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.
330. Race, Religion, and Sex in Early Modern Europe. (3h) Explores issues of race, ethnicity, and gender in Europe between 1400 and 1800. Topics include contact and conflict among Jews, Muslims, and Christians; marriage, the family, and sexuality; migration and immigration; and slavery and conquest in early European colonies and empires. (CD)
331. The United States in the Age of Empire, 1877-1919. (3h) In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries the United States joined in the global scramble for empire. This 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 in Islam. This course aims to understand Islam as a faith in the context of 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, literature, Islam and nationalism, Muslim nationalism, religious pluralism and conflicts, Islamic sects and beliefs, education, women, social reform, revivalism, and Islamism. (CD)
335. Hindus and Muslims in India, Pakistan, and Beyond. (3h) 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. Specific topics covered in this class include social and religious reforms, lower caste movements, religious conversion, status of women, Indian nationalism, Hindu nationalism and right wing movements, political participation, democracy, and the question of identity. This course thus examines a range of issues cutting across regions, religions, gender, caste, and the periods of colonial and postcolonial South Asia. (CD)
336. Gender and Power in African History. (3h) Examines the close relationship between understandings of gender and power in African societies, with particular focus on the last several hundred years. After addressing the sources and methods scholars have used to address these topics, the course examines conceptions of gender and power in pre-colonial African societies, the impact of the colonial period on men and women, the gendered nature of nationalism and independence, and the importance of gender and power to many of Africa’s post-colonial challenges. (CD)
337. Gender in Early America. (3h) History of gender roles from the colonial period to the mid-nineteenth century. Examines the social constructions of femininity and masculinity and their political and cultural significance. (CD)
338. Gender, Race and Class since 1800. (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 Society. (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) Explores Africans’ experience in the Atlantic world (Africa, Europe, and the Americas) during the era of slave trade by examining their encounters with Indians and Europeans and their adjustment to slave traders in West Africa.
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.
347. Japan since World War II. (3h) Survey of Japanese history since the outbreak of the Pacific War, with emphasis on social and cultural developments. Topics may include occupation and recovery of independence, the “1995 System”, high-growth economics, and the problems of prosperity in recent years. (CD)
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 only.
350. Global Economic History. (3h) Overview of the growth and development of the world economy from precapitalist organizations to the present system of developed and underdeveloped states. (CD)
351. Global Environmental History. (3h) Analysis of environmental aspects of world history from the beginning of agriculture to the present. Focus on how humans have used the environment to different ends. Topics include forests, agriculture, water, urbanism, science, warfare, conservation, energy, and perceptions of nature.
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) Examines the evolution of warfare among the indigenous and colonial societies of North America between 1500 and 1800 and considers the roles of economics, class, gender, race, religion, and ideology in cultures of violence.
354. The Early American Republic. (3h) A history of the formative generation of the United States. Considers the dramatic transformations of the constitutional, economic, and racial orders, as well as new performances in politics, national identity, gender and culture.
355. History of Nature Conservation in Latin America. (3h) Explores the human dimensions of nature conservation in Latin America in a global perspective. Topics include the methods used by different cultures and societies to conserve natural resources (including forests, fields, waterways, and wildlife), the social consequences of environmental protection, and how conservation changed over time. Taught only in Latin America. (CD)
356. Jacksonian America, 1815-1850. (3h) The United States in the age of Jackson, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster. A biographical approach.
357. The Civil War and Reconstruction. (3h) The political and military events of the war and the economic, social, and political readjustments which followed.
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. Bitter Contests: Industrialization, Urbanization, and Conflict, 1877-1933. (3h) This course will examine 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 will end with the onset of the Depression and Hoover’s response to it.
360. US since the New Deal. (3h) This course will examine 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.
361. Economic History of the United States. (3h) The economic development of the United States from colonial beginnings to the present.
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 American South to Reconstruction. (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 American South since the Civil War. (3h) Examination of sharecropping, segregation, political reform, the sunbelt phenomenon, the Civil Rights Movement, and southern religion, music, and literature. Includes a service learning component. (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. Studies in Historic Preservation. (3h) Analysis of history museums and agencies and of the techniques of preserving and interpreting history through art/facts, restorations, and reconstructions. P—POI.
367. Issues in Public History. (3h) Introduces students to the major issues involved in the practice, interpretation, and display of history for nonacademic audiences in public settings. 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. Explores some of the many ways people create, convey, and contest history, major themes in community and local history, and the problems and possibilities of working as historians in public settings.
368. The Sectional Crisis, 1820-1860. (3h) Examines the deepening crisis that led to Civil War in the U.S., with special attention to politics, culture, reform, economics, and questions of causation, responsibility, or inevitability.
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 North Carolina History. (3h) General chronological survey of North Carolina with emphasis on selected topics.
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 only 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. Historical Black Biography. (3h) 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) A social and religious history of the African-American struggle for citizenship rights and freedom from World War II to the present. (Also listed as Religion 341.) (CD)
3760. Anglo-American Relations since 1940. (3h) Study of the relations between the United States and Britain from 1940 to the present. Offered in London.
377. American Diplomatic History. (3h) Introduction to the history of American diplomacy since 1776, emphasizing the effects of public opinion on fundamental policies. (CD)
378. Reconciling Race. (3h) Comparative history of twentieth-century racial oppression, black rebellion, and religious reconciliation. Also listed as REL 348. (CD)
380. America at Work. (3h) Examines the people who built America from 1750 to 1945. Themes include free labor versus slave labor, the impact of industrialization, the racial and gendered realities of work, and the growth of organized labor and its political repercussions. (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.
383. Revolution and Culture in Latin America . (3h) Explores the links between revolutionary movements and cultural expression in Latin America and the Caribbean. The course includes a Language Across the Curriculum component, which allows students to earn credits in Spanish by reading and discussing at least half of the texts in Spanish. (CD)
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, war criminals, and violators of copyright. Also analyzes the role of power in creating the global regimes that define and target such activities.
385. History through Film: Bollywood and the Making of Modern India. (3h) Juxtaposes historical films made by the world’s largest film industry based out of Bombay/Mumbai with textual primary sources and secondary historical works and seeks to understand films as both interpretations and sources of history. Explores specific themes such as nation, gender, caste, and community that are critical to understanding modern Indian and South Asian history and culture. (CD)
387. Islamic Empires Compared: The Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals. (3h) Examines in a comparative way central themes in the history of the three great Islamic empires of the early modern period (1400-1800). Considers the problem of political legitimacy faced by Muslim rulers, transformations in Islamic religious practices, and the relationship between war and other aspects of Islamic society and culture.
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.
390. Research Seminar . (3h) Offered by members of the faculty on topics of their choice. A paper is required.
391. Honors Seminar. (3h) Seminar on problems of historical synthesis and interpretation. Honors students must take HST 391. P—POI.
392. Individual Research. (3h) Writing of a major research paper. May be taken in lieu of HST 390 in pursuit of honors in history. P—POI.
395. Internship In History. (1-3h) Internship in the community that involves both hands-on experience and academic study. Juniors and seniors only. P—POI.
397. Historical Writing Tutorial. (1.5h) Individual supervision of historical writing to improve a project initiated in History 390 or History 392. Does not count toward major or minor requirements. P—POI.
398. Individual Study. (1h-3h) Project for a qualified student in an area of study not otherwise available in the department; subject to approval. Work must be equivalent to an upper-level course.
399. Directed Reading. (1h-3h) Concentrated reading in an area of study not otherwise available. P—POI.
- The West in Popular Culture (Blee)
- The Great Depression Through the Eyes of American Novelists (Caron)
- The Two Reconstructions: Civil Rights in America (Escott)
- Thomas Jefferson and His World (Gillespie)
- Alexander the Great (Lerner)
- Herodotus: Father of History, Father of Lies (Lerner)
- W.E.B. DuBois against Racism (Parent)
- Before and After 1607: Virginia’s Founding (Parent)
- African Expressive Culture as History (Plageman)
- Exploring India through Travelers and Travelogues (Rahman)
- “The Merry Apocalypse”: Modernism and Fin-De-Siecle Vienna (Rupp)
- World War II (Rupp)
- Images of Wealth and Poverty in the U.S. (Smith)
- The Dirt on Development (Wakild)
- Power and Dissent in Modern Arabic Literature (Wilkins)
- The Mystery of Qi: The Chinese Perspective on the Body, Mind, and Personal Well-Being (Zhang)