History

Professors: G. Dipple, M. Mullin
Associate Professor: M. Preston
Assistant Professors: C. Conover, M. Pehl

History, the written record of the past, serves as the memory of humanity, and provides society with a common frame of reference. The study of history presents a panoramic view of human behavior, enhancing our understanding of self and others. This is true whether one studies the Western or the non-Western world.

Introductory courses supply both intellectual enrichment and a foundation for not only other history courses, but also for other fields of study such as religion, philosophy, science, politics, literature, music, and the fine arts. Embedded in our History curriculum are practices designed to enhance a student’s ability to conceptualize, analyze, research, write and speak well.

Students majoring in history develop a unique historical mentality, including an understanding of an interpretive approach to their sources. By an open-minded yet critical examination of evidence, they progress to self-directed research and writing, mindful of pertinent methodologies and philosophies of history. Majors may apply historical skills and perspectives by participating in various internship and study-abroad opportunities.

Some History majors continue their education for careers in college teaching, library science, law, public administration and the ministry. Many of our majors graduate into careers in secondary education, working in archival or museum settings, others gain employment in community service enterprises, the government or business. Whichever choice a student makes, the study of history allows a student to engage in a variety of occupations, whether at home or abroad. And remember, history does not judge the past, historians do.

History Major:

36 credit hours
Required Courses: 18 credit hours
HIST 110/114 — Western Civilization I (114-Honors section) (3 cr)
HIST 111/115 — Western Civilization II (115-Honors section) (3 cr)
HIST 120 — The American Experience to 1877 (3 cr)
HIST 121 — The American Experience since 1877 (3 cr)
HIST 251 — Methods and Philosophies of History (3 cr)
HIST 490 — Senior Seminar (3 cr)

Elective Courses: 18 credit hours
Electives must include one course from EACH of the following areas:
US History 
European History
Latin American History

*Where appropriate, and with departmental approval, a student may substitute an Interim course and/or another listed history course for the major.

History Minor:

18 credit hours
HIST 110/114 — Western Civilization I (114-Honors section) (3 cr)
HIST 111/115 — Western Civilization II (115-Honors section) (3 cr)
HIST 120 — The American Experience to 1877 (3 cr)
HIST 121 — The American Experience since 1877 (3 cr)
HIST — Electives numbered 180 or above (6 cr)

History Courses:

HIST 110 — Western Civilization I (Area 3.1A) (3 credits)
An introductory survey emphasizing the major economic, social, political, intellectual, and cultural developments of the Western world from the rise of civilization in the Near East to the end of the Reformation. Offered Every Semester.

HIST 111 — Western Civilization II (Area 3.1B) (3 credits)
An introductory survey emphasizing the major political, social, economic, intellectual, and cultural developments of European Civilization from the seventeenth century to the present. Offered Every Semester.

HIST 112 — Art History I: Prehistory to the Renaissance (Area 3.1A) (3 credits)
An introductory survey of artistic creations and their relationship to historical developments from the cave paintings through the Middle Ages. Cross-Listed with ART 112; Offered Every Fall Semester.

HIST 113 — Art History II: Renaissance through the 20th Century (Area 3.1B) (3 credits)
An introductory survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture and their relationship to modern history from the Italian Renaissance through the twentieth century in the United States. Cross-Listed with ART 113; Offered Every Spring Semester.

HIST 114 — Western Civilization I (Honors) (Area 3.1A) (3 credits)
Reserved for first year students with ACT composite scores of 28 or higher and strong academic records, the course examines the political, social, and intellectual accomplishments of Western society from the urban revolution in Mesopotamia to the end of the 16th century. Special emphasis is placed on historical sources, discussion, oral presentations, and analytical essays. Offered Every Fall Semester.

HIST 115 — Western Civilization II (Honors) (Area 3.1B) (3 credits)
Reserved for students with ACT composite scores of 28 or higher, or superior performance in HIST 110. This course examines the political, social, and intellectual accomplishments of Western society since 1600. Special emphasis is placed on historical sources, discussion, oral presentations, and analytical essays. Offered Every Spring Semester.

HIST 120 — The American Experience to 1877 (Area 3.1B – ELED majors only) (3 credits)
An interpretive survey of the events, ideas, and personalities that shaped the United States prior to 1877. Emphasis is placed on colonial beginnings, the War for Independence, the evolution of national institutions and a uniquely American culture, the conflict between nationalism and sectionalism, territorial expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Offered Every Fall Semester.

HIST 121 — The American Experience Since 1877 (Area 3.1B – ELED majors only) (3 credits)
An interpretive survey of the events, ideas, and personalities which have shaped the United States since 1877. Emphasis is placed on the rise of big business, immigration, the closing of the frontier, American expansionism, the 1920s, the New Deal, World War II, and post-1945 diplomatic and social problems. Offered Every Spring Semester.

HIST 161 — Latin America at the Movies (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
As intellectuals have noted, the history of Latin America surpasses any fiction. In this class, you will have a chance to judge for yourself. By screening some of the best films of Latin America, we will explore seminal historical events that have left a permanent cultural legacy on the region. These movies will address complex topics like the consequences of 1492, slavery, the Cuban Revolution, violence in today's society, and ravages of the drug trade. These movies augmented by short lectures, discussion, and written assignments will help you better understand the history of Latin America and its people of today. Offered Occasionally.

HIST 180 — Red, White, and Black: The People of Early America (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
This course focuses on how Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans created a unique society along the Atlantic coast of North America during the colonial period of American history. Specific attention is given to how certain events such as Bacon’s Rebellion, Metacom’s War, the Great Awakening, and the 1760’s impacted the various groups comprising colonial America. Cross-Listed with NAST 180; Offered Every Third Interim.

HIST 201 — Dreaming the Middle Ages (3 credits)
This course is an examination of popular perceptions and constructions of the Middle Ages and their relationship to the reality of medieval life and history. Through film and literature we will examine common assumptions held in the modern world about the nature of central features of medieval life, culture and institutions. These assumptions will then be compared with the corresponding reality of existence in the Middle Ages. Offered Every Other Fall Semester.

HIST 230 — Cultural History of Mexico from the Aztecs to the Zetas (A3.6) (3 credits)
For American students, Mexico might be the best known and paradoxically the least understood foreign country.  You will learn the major events, people, and cultural trends that have shaped the Mexican people of today.  Our course will start with the major indigenous cultures (Aztecs of the title) and end with the current drug war (the Zetas cartel).  We will emphasize four main themes: the cultural weight of Catholicism, the complicated role of indigenous peoples in the nation-state, the epic struggle to govern a vast country, and the love/hate relationship of Mexicans with the United States. Offered Occasionally.

HIST 251 — Methods and Philosophies of History (W – Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
A foundational course for students majoring in history, it examines various intellectual approaches applied to the study of the past, the history of the discipline, and the methods of historical research and writing. It is designed to enhance student effectiveness in subsequent history courses. HIST Majors Only; Offered Every Spring Semester.

HIST 261 — History of Latin America 1450-2010 (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
This course gives you the essential information to understand the people and forces that have shaped today's Latin America. We begin in the era of European exploration in the 1450s and end with the violence of the drug trade at the turn of the twenty-first century. Along the way, we show how Latin Americans grappled with conquest, Catholicism, and slavery. We will analyze the dynamics of revolutions and radical politics of the twentieth century in places like Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, and Mexico. Offered Occasionally.

HIST 290 — A History of the American Press (W – Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
An examination of the development of American journalism from colonial times to the present. Using primary source readings and films, in addition to textbooks, the course will examine changes within the journalism industry itself, the response of that industry to changes in American society and culture, and the effects journalism has had on American life. Cross-Listed with JOUR 290; Offered Every Other Spring Semester.

HIST 300 — Revolutionary America (W - Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
Religious revivals, reasoned discourses, and cultural change characterize America in the 18th century. These phenomena shaped colonial demand for independence. This course explores the issues, events, ideas, and people that changed Englishmen into Americans and English colonies into an independent American Republic. Offered Every Other Spring Semester.

HIST 303 — History of the American West (W - Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
This course traces the rise of the “American West” in American consciousness from the early 19th century until today. Understanding that American western expansion looks different for the indigenous cultures of the trans-Mississippi West, the course asks students to re-think the “myth of the West” with the reality of western development. Offered Every Third Fall Semester.

HIST 305 — The Era of the American Civil War (3 credits)
Did the Civil War occur because of slavery, or was it over economics? Perhaps it was over the proper positioning of political power? This seminar styled course examines the causes and consequences of the "War Between the States." In addition to trying to understand the causes of the war, this course also focuses on the war itself and the consequences this conflict created for those who lived through Reconstruction. It concludes with an examination of how the Civil War continues to shape our understanding of America today. Offered Every Other Spring Semester.

HIST 315 — The United States Since 1945 (3 credits)
The central political, legal, and moral issue for the United States after 1945 was equality: of class and race, and later, of gender, sexuality, healthcare, and many other issues. To its credit, the nation duly acted to address these short-comings. However, this postwar "search for equality" raised, and continues to raise, important and challenging questions. What is equality? How is equality measured, or determined? Is legal equality sufficient? Is it even possible to live in an equalitarian society? This course will explore these and related questions as they have shaped American social and cultural history since the Second World War.  Offered Occasionally.

HIST 318 — Radicals, Reformers and Romantics (3 credits)
“Radicals, Reformers, and Romantics” is an examination of American radicalism, spanning from Early America to present. Radicalism can include political, social, intellectual, and cultural trends, from both the left and the right. This course will explore the individuals, groups, and the ideas that challenged main currents in American thought. Offered Every Third Fall Semester.

HIST 324 — The Reformation (W - Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
This course is a study of the history and theology of the Protestant Reformation. The primary focus is on the first generation of the Reformation, that is, the reform movements associated with Martin Luther and his contemporaries. We will also investigate how the Reformation unfolded within the social and political context of sixteenth-century Europe. Offered Every Third Spring Semester.

HIST 325 — A Revolutionary Time: Europe During the Modern Era (3 credits)
This course focuses upon the social, economic and cultural developments in Europe from the eighteenth century to the present. While the course spends time on such major changes as the industrial revolution, Imperialism, and nation building, it will seek to bring students a better understanding of the twentieth century through discussion of two world wars, the cold war, end of empire and the collapse of communism. Offered Every Other Fall Semester.

HIST 337 — History of Economic Thought and Methodology (3 credits)
The study of economic concepts and doctrines within the social context of the past and their impact on the development of economic theory and methodology. Cross-Listed with HIST 337; Prerequisite ECON 121; Offered Every Other Year.

HIST 345 — Ireland North and South: From Revolutionary Era to Troubled Times: 1798-1998 (3 credits)
This course examines the political, social and cultural history of modern Ireland. It begins with the 1798 Revolution which must be contextualized with late eighteenth century revolutions, including the American and French. We will move through the nineteenth century which is characterized by the worst famine in recorded history and ultimately culminate with Europe’s most deadly guerilla war. Throughout we will pay special attention to the role of gender in Irish history. Cross-Listed with GENS 345; Offered Every Other Fall Semester.

HIST 352 — History of the Lakota/Dakota (Area 3.6) (3 credits)
This course presents an historical analysis of Lakota/Dakota history from pre-European contact to the present. Examining the political, economic, familial, gender and educational transformations of the Lakota/Dakota over the course of three centuries, students learn to identify both the continuities and discontinuities within Siouan culture. Such an examination introduces students to a group of people whose culture, and some would say priorities, sit outside that of the majority culture. Cross-Listed with HIST 352; Offered Occasionally.

HIST 355 — Hitler and the Holocaust (3 credits)
This course focuses on two central aspects of the Nazi era in German history: the person of Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. We will investigate Hitler’s rise to power and the nature of Nazi rule and policies, especially the “final solution” or extermination of Europe’s Jews. All of this will be set against the backdrop of the history of Western anti-Semitism. The course will conclude with an investigation of the phenomenon of Holocaust denial and the place of the Holocaust in the history of modern genocide. Offered Every Third Spring Semester.

HIST 395, 396 — Internship (2-4 credits)

HIST 197, 297, 397 — Topics in History (2-4 credits)

HIST 398 — Honors in History (3-4 credits)
See major advisor. Candidates must have completed exceptional Senior Seminar research project. Prerequisites: CUM GPA 3.3; Major GPA 3.5; Permission of Department Faculty.

HIST 199, 299, 399 — Independent Study (2-4 credits)

HIST 490 — Senior Seminar (W - Area 2.1B) (3 credits)
All history majors, normally in their senior year, will produce a research essay which demonstrates a mastery of historical techniques and writing skill. The student chooses a topic based upon the courses previously taken that are numbered between 201 and 397. The student’s topic must be approved by the faculty member running the course. If the final product is of exceptional quality, it may be submitted to the department for a possible degree with honors. Offered Every Semester.