Program Overview

The study of history helps students to develop skills, such as reading comprehension, analysis, cross-cultural comparison, and written argumentation, that are useful in a range of careers and avocations. The practice of law, political activity, policy studies, library science and museum work are careers that commonly follow from a collegiate study of history.

However, the usefulness of historical study is far greater than that of training individuals for a small number of occupations. All citizens -- of this country and of the world -- have good reason to learn history and to learn about the nature of history. In all classes, students come to see that, as both the powerful and the powerless have learned over and over, history is not a perfectly objective chronicle of the past, but rather an interpretation of that past. It is always partial. It can be no other way.

Still, these interpretations sometimes appear merely to tell the simple truth -- just the facts. Perhaps this illusion of objectivity is the source of history's power; perhaps this is why so many have concluded that so much is at stake in the question of who gets to write history and how. We are all a part of history, and in that sense, we understand ourselves only to the extent that the tellers of history allow us to do so. At the same time, historical education broadens students' knowledge and perspective, as they learn about people and places far removed from their own experiences. Thus, a goal in history classes is to empower students to develop a discerning eye on the stories about the past that are presented as the simple truth.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

Declare Your Program

Requirements

Requirements (19 total credits)

Each course can meet only one major requirement.

Introductory Level (4 credits)

  • HIST 301 Historical Interpretation

Introductory Level Electives (1 course, 3 credits)

  • 100 or 200 level U.S. history, western civilization or world history or Metropolitan State courses: HIST 302-309

Upper-division Level: Electives (2 courses, 8 credits)

  • Upper-division level courses in any geographical area and field are appropriate. (HIST 401 and 490 are not required, but students may choose to take this course in place of an upper-division course as long as prerequisites for those courses have been met.)

Upper-division Level: Women's/Gender History (1 course, 4 credits)

  • One course in women's or gender history (See the list below.)

Transfer Credits

Students can transfer up to 8 credits to meet minor requirements with courses designated as history only. Students cannot transfer courses from other disciplines, including multidisciplinary programs to meet major requirements.

Faculty-designed Independent Studies

Any upper-division course can be offered as a faculty-designed independent study.

Internships

Students may make use of internships in their programs of study. The History Department encourages serious and disciplined history minors to participate in internships which are well designed and academically beneficial. The department will sponsor one internship per student. An internship will be counted as a history course (HIST 350I) between 0.5 and 4 credits. For further inquiries contact history@metrostate.edu.

History Department
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55106-5000
Fax number, 651-793-1446.

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core, and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

 

How Admissions Works

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Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 19 total credits)

Partial Listing of Lower-division Courses

  • HIST 101 The American Past: To 1865
    3 credits

    This survey course traces U.S. development through colonial times, the making of the Republic, and the nineteenth century up to and including the Civil War. Students and instructor work together in solving historical problems and learning historical skills.

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  • HIST 102 The American Past: From 1865
    3 credits

    This survey course traces U.S. development from the end of the Civil War until the present day. Students study post war Reconstruction in the South, the return of legal and social discrimination against African Americans, the advent and results of the Industrial Revolution, the making of modern capitalism, the increasing political and economic roles of women, the two World Wars, and America as a world power and multiethnic society.

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  • HIST 103 World History I: Patterns of Civilization to 1500
    3 credits

    Does the world have a history? This course is based on an affirmative answer to the question. A history of the world must be more than a mere compendium of facts about disparate societies and traditions. In this course students study the interactions among far-flung civilizations in ancient and medieval times. However, for most of the period considered in this course, those interactions were quite limited. Therefore, a coherent account of human history as a whole before the modern era emerges in large measure from comparisons among independently developing societies, and from a search for common patterns of development. Both similarities and important differences receive due attention. Topics include: the change from hunter-gatherer societies to sedentary agriculture; the rise of cities, social stratification, and the beginnings of written culture and organized religion; the complex civilizations and empires of West Asia, East Asia, Africa, Mesoamerica, and Europe; gender relations across civilizations in the ancient world; and the beginnings of technological and cultural divergence in the medieval world.

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  • HIST 104 World History II: The Modern World, 1500 to the Present
    3 credits

    This course examines the interactions among the world's peoples as they were brought increasingly into contact with one another after 1500. The rise of capitalism, colonialism and imperialism were closely linked to the creation of the modern world system, a system that took shape out of the cooperation and conflict among and between people as they were drawn into a world economy. Their experiences, the experiences of the people of the past as they both created and confronted the modern world, are thus central to an understanding of our own place in it.

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Partial Listing of Courses Between HIST 302 and 309

Partial Listing of Courses Between HIST 302 and 309

  • HIST 303 U.S. Economic Life: Business
    4 credits

    How did the economic undertakings of the first colonists in Virginia and Massachusetts grow into today's businesses? How did American businessmen and women shape the Industrial Revolution and how, in turn, did that revolution influence American business? What is distinctive about American capitalism, and how did it come to be what it is? These and other subjects make up the story of business in U.S. Economic Life.

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  • HIST 304 U.S. Economic Life: Working People
    4 credits

    What was the role of working people in the development of economic life in the U.S.? Who were the artisans and small entrepreneurs in the cities and the towns of rural America? How did slaves, sharecroppers and farmworkers contribute to the settlement of the continent? Students study what workers did, who they were, including women and people of color, how they contributed economically to society, and how work changed over time.

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  • HIST 305 U.S. Economic Life: Technology
    4 credits

    This course investigates the changes in American economic life from the late eighteenth century to the present, with a special emphasis on how technological developments have influenced these changes. Students explore the major technological innovations and their diffusion and impact, the social institutions that influenced and were influenced by these changes, and the ramifications of technological and social change upon the everyday material life of Americans.

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  • HIST 309 Women and Public Activism
    4 credits

    This course examines women's public activism in the United States from the Republican period to the social movements of the 1960s. Thematic emphasis is on an analysis of how women's position outside traditional politics determined the direction of their activism over time, with particular attention to the development of collective efforts to achieve legal, political, economic and social equality with men. Students consider how ethnicity, race and class differences among women affected these coalitions for social change. In addition, students learn to understand how the civil rights and women's movements created opportunities for women to change mainstream politics by the 1970s.

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Partial Listing of Courses Between HIST 302 and 309

  • HIST 310 American Indian History
    4 credits

    History 310 is a general survey of the history Native North American nations from pre-contact through the late 20th century. Partly chronological and partly thematic, the course makes use of readings, lectures, films, group projects, community investigation and class discussion to introduce students to the rich diversity of Native North American societies and cultures. A key focus will be the efforts of Native Americans to revitalize their societies through incorporating change within a culturally persistent world-view despite racism associated with the enormous European and European American pressure to assimilate into the dominant society. Course materials will also focus on how Europeans and European Americans were also confronted with the task of incorporating change introduced by Native Americans into their own world-view. The impact of contact and exchange profoundly affected both Native Americans and Europeans and is still affecting their descendants today. Students will be given the opportunity to explore Twin Cities' resources and take a turn at leading a class discussion. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

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  • HIST 311 African American History
    4 credits

    This course examines the history of African Americans and race relations in the United States from slavery to freedom. Emphasis is on putting the experiences of African Americans in the context of U.S. social, cultural and political history. The course encourages examination of primary sources (such as slave narratives, newspapers and speeches) to illuminate an African-American cultural and intellectual tradition in U.S. arts and letters. Assignments include library and/or other research.

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  • HIST 312 Beginnings of American Society: Colonial and Revolutionary History
    4 credits

    During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, American Indians, European settlers and African slaves forged a new society. Emphasizing experiences of accommodation and conflict among diverse peoples in early North America, this course offers a multicultural perspective on the colonial era. The course explores the expansion of European settlers into North America; the comparative development of French, Spanish and British societies; diplomacy and war among Europeans and American Indians; the origins of slavery; and the impact of gender in colonial society.

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  • HIST 313 The American Presidents
    4 credits

    The president of the United States is the most powerful political leader in the world. And yet Americans know astonishingly little about the person they elect to the highest office in the land, and even less about past presidents-who they were, what they did, how they helped shape the history of the United States and the world. At the same time, paradoxically, the genre of presidential biography is an extremely popular one with the reading public. This independent study is a critical and analytical exploration of the history of America's past leaders. Periodically historians are surveyed to determine how they "rank" the American presidents. Among the issues considered are why presidents have been ranked as they have, and whether these rankings reflect reasonable judgments of their accomplishments in office. As students read about these men-for that is what they always have been-they should what constitutes political success, and why people remember some presidents as "great," and others as failures. Also to be considered is the issue of "character."

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  • HIST 315 The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s
    4 credits

    The Civil Rights revolution of the 1960s represents the culmination of decades of effort, a change in civil rights legislation and a touchstone for subsequent "revolutions." It changed the then current laws and it relied upon law to demand those changes. Many of the debates started then, and continue today. Through reading, discussion, lectures and videos, students study the people, the events (as well as their antecedents and their progeny), and the ideas of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism.

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  • HIST 320 History of Asian Americans
    4 credits

    A majority of U.S. immigrants today come from Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The immigration pattern represents a significant departure from the past, when immigrants came from very different regions of the world. This course traces the unique story of Asian Americans following them from their early days to modern times when they have become full participants in the making of a multicultural America.

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  • HIST 327 American History at the Movies
    4 credits

    This course examines the ways in which the American movie industry has depicted major events and themes in American history and society, and considers both the accuracy of these depictions and their influence on popular understandings of the American past. Students are expected to rent and view movies, in addition to in-class viewing, and to read materials relating to both American cinema and historical topics. A general understanding of U.S. history is recommended.

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  • HIST 328 Women in Modern U.S. History
    4 credits

    This course examines how and why political, economic, and cultural events and social customs in modern America were influenced by and shaped the life experiences of women from diverse ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds. We will also examine when and how women organized collectively to improve the quality of their lives. The course introduces students to many aspects of women's everyday life in modern America-family life, sexuality, work, friendship, leisure, consumerism, and public activism-through documents, films, lectures, discussions, and recent scholarship in U.S. women's history.

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  • HIST 329 Legacies: History of Women and the Family
    4 credits

    This course analyzes the family as both a public and a private institution adjusting to and shaping social, political and economic changes in American life from the colonial period to the present. Even though contemporary debates about family values suggest a fixed pattern of family life, students learn how family patterns have changed over time in response to historical changes such as wars, slavery, the disappearing frontier, industrialization, immigration and migration, consumer culture, social movements and social protest, and the rise of the welfare state. Primary emphasis is on an examination of how women used their positions within the family to gain personal power and access to public institutions.

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  • HIST 331 Religion and Politics in America
    4 credits

    Religion has always been deeply enmeshed in American political life, despite the American tradition of separation of church and state. Today, some fear an erosion of that separation, while others complain that we live in a "culture of disbelief" where religion is not respected. This course examines controversies surrounding religious belief, religious practice and religious diversity in industrial America, giving students the opportunity to decide for themselves what the place of religion in modern America is and ought to be. Students of diverse religious backgrounds are most welcome, but a respect for the beliefs of others is a condition of participation. Overlap: RELS 355/555 Religion and Politics in America and Hist 531 Religion and Politics in America.

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  • HIST 333 The Greening of America: Environmental History since 1900
    4 credits

    This course surveys the history of environmentalism in America over the last 100 years. Students are introduced to the ideas of the environmentalists-from Theodore Roosevelt and Rachel Carson to EarthFirst!'s Dave Foreman and Vice President Al Gore-about wilderness preservation, resource conservation, public health and, fundamentally, about the proper relationship between humans and the natural world. Environmentalist thought and actions are considered in the context of ecological and resource crises (such as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the oil crisis of the 1970s), of problems created by technological applications (such as the widespread use of DDT) and of particular cultural developments (such as the closing of the "frontier" at the turn of the century and the growth of the counterculture in the 1960s).

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  • HIST 334 The Great Depression of the 1930s
    4 credits

    Students study factors that caused the collapse of the U.S. economy in the 1930s and government action against the social and economic consequences of the Great Depression. Students also examine the experiences of women, African Americans, working people and organized labor, and agricultural communities during the Depression. In short, this course provides students with both a broad sketch of the main currents that shaped American society and more focused examples of how and why the Great Depression affected various communities. It also includes two short research projects.

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  • HIST 336 From Roosevelt to Reagan: American History, 1932-1980
    4 credits

    From the pit of the Great Depression to the struggles of World War II, the emergence of the Cold War, the growth of new social movements, and the rise of political conservatism, this course examines the course of American history from the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to the election of Ronald Reagan. The rise and fall of what historians call the New Deal order is examined. Familiar personalities and controversies are placed in a larger historical context. Political, social, economic, and cultural trends are analyzed. Both national leaders and grassroots movements receive attention.

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  • HIST 337 U.S. Foreign Relations 1898 to the Present
    4 credits

    The United States emerged from World War I as the world's economic giant and from World War II as the dominant military power. Compelled by the Great Depression and Hitler's Germany to assume a role of global leadership, the nation encountered opportunities and challenges as a superpower after 1945. It helped transform Europe and Japan into economic rivals, waged a costly and dangerous "cold war" with the Soviet Union, fought an inconclusive war in Korea, and suffered defeat in Vietnam. It acted like a "world policeman" yet could not control events in Latin America, the Middle East or Africa.

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  • HIST 341 The Vietnam War
    4 credits

    Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read 'Vietnam'." The American military experience in Southeast Asia, during the height of the cold war, was traumatic for many Americans, including many who did not share King's antiwar views. Years later, the Vietnam War remains a specter haunting American politics and culture. This course considers how the war came about, why it took the direction it did, what the alternatives were, how Americans have viewed the war since the 1960s and why it continues to matter so much to so many.

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  • HIST 342 The Sixties Experience
    4 credits

    What really happened in the 1960s in America? Why is this decade remembered as a watershed, and why does it remain so controversial? This course examines closely the popular social movements whose size and impact made the 1960s an era that many Americans found exhilarating, and others found threatening. This course also considers the political context within which these movements unfolded, and which they sought to alter. Students are encouraged to peel back the layers of myth surrounding the popular memory of the 1960s and to develop their own ideas of what truly occurred then, and why it seems to matter so much (and even whether it should).

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  • HIST 344 From Reagan to Obama: America Since 1980
    4 credits

    This course takes "current events" out of the headlines and into the realm of history. We examine controversies and developments that have marked American political and social life in the past 25 years. Issues such as Ronald Reagan's election, economic policy, abortion, affirmative action, welfare, "political correctness," the Iran-Contra scandal and the Gulf War are considered. The class brings the perspective of history to bear on Reagan's presidency, the power of the conservative movement and the opposition to that movement.

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  • HIST 346 Minnesota History
    4 credits

    In this course, students survey Minnesota history, its geography, economy and political history, focusing on the people who populated the territory and state from its earliest days to the present. Students learn through readings, maps, films, music, photographs, firsthand accounts and short stories. They relate events in Minnesota's history to national and international events, and to movements which have affected the state's social, political and economic development.

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  • HIST 348 U.S. Legal History: A Survey
    4 credits

    This course is a survey of U.S. legal history from the colonial origins of the U.S. Constitution to the "rights revolution" of the 1960s and 1970s and the "revival" of conservative constitutionalism in the 1970s and 1980s. The course will emphasize the tension between two ideological perspectives on the role of government. Should government function primarily to ensure collective rights and provide social control or to protect individual rights and liberties? These two perspectives on the function of government are evident in the shaping of law and public policy over the course of U.S. history. Students will learn how the concepts of individualism, rights, and equality have changed over time and how collective behavior and social movements have recast constitutional principles and judicial practices. We will explore these concepts and developments through consideration of the following subjects: commerce and the industrial state, civil rights and civil liberties, women and citizenship, and liberal versus conservative constitutionalism.

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  • HIST 350 Europe: Creation and Conflict, 1500-1789
    4 credits

    During this period in European history many commonly held ideas about humans, politics and religion were directly challenged. Students explore these new ideas, including the Renaissance, with its emphasis on humanism and secular politics; the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation to established religious thought and practice; and the importance of the seventeenth century Scientific Revolution and eighteenth century Enlightenment. Included are conflicts between-and within-different European powers and Europe's rapidly expanding contacts with the rest of the world.

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  • HIST 351 Europe: The Global Power, 1789-Present
    4 credits

    Students in this course study Europe's rise, and decline, as the dominating force in the world. The numerous political and economic systems which existed in Europe during this period-monarchy, democracy, fascism, capitalism, socialism, communism-are examined, and students explore how people living under these systems perceived them. The class also discusses the current movement towards a federal, "United States of Europe." Emphasis is placed on learning historical skills and using a variety of sources.

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  • HIST 354 History of the Holocaust
    4 credits

    The Holocaust, the extermination of six million Jews by Nazi Germany, took place in one of the most scientifically advanced and cultured nations in Western Europe-in a regime elected to power. This course examines how such an event could happen and why the Holocaust cannot be considered an accident. The course also considers implications for all minority groups living within a majority-dominated society.

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  • HIST 355 Problems of Contemporary Europe in Historical Perspective
    4 credits

    What is Europe? Who is a European? How broadly can Europe be defined? How have recent social, political, and economic changes affected Europe? Using the lens provided by the past, serious problems facing Europeans today are examined in an effort to understand the causes and consequences of issues that have importance not only within Europe, but also within the world community.

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  • HIST 357 Gender in Early Modern Europe
    4 credits

    This course explores gender in early modern Europe with an emphasis on women, both ordinary and elite. With lives and experiences as diverse as the Europe in which they lived, women in the period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century were not only daughters, wives and mothers, but also prophets, witches, writers, artists, artisans, queens and courtesans. Applying gender analysis to early modern European society allows for better understanding of how people both shape and are shaped by the time and place in which they live.

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  • HIST 361 Africa: From Ancient Times to 1800
    4 credits

    This course is a survey of the history of sub-Saharan Africa to approximately 1800, exploring developments in the cultural, sociopolitical and economic life of the region. Specific topics include the Neolithic Revolution; the Great Bantu Migrations; rise and decline of states; the impact of Islam; the impact of trade on political, social and religious changes; and early European settlements in southern Africa. (Also listed as EthS 349 Africa: From Ancient Times to 1800.)

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  • HIST 362 Africa: From Colonialism to Independence
    4 credits

    This course examines the European conquest of Africa and the struggle of the African people for independence and the effects of both on the present day socioeconomic and political conditions of sub-Saharan Africa. Topics include the origins of the Atlantic slave trade; the impact of European colonialism on the social, economic and political life of Africa; the African response to colonial rule; the significance of African independence; the lingering impact of colonialism in present day Africa; and the nature and character of apartheid.

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  • HIST 363 World Environmental History
    4 credits

    This course surveys the key themes and developments in world environmental history; that is, the history of how human societies have changed their environments and how the environment has influenced the courses of societies. It examines pre-modern cultures' intellectual, economic, and technological approaches to the environment, the role of epidemic and environmental transformation in the colonial age, and the revolutionary changes introduced to the environment in the modern period of industrialization and population growth and the rapid consumption of resources that has involved. The course places contemporary environmental issues in their deep historical contexts.

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  • HIST 370 Behind the Great Wall: The Real China
    4 credits

    This course provides a topical overview of modern China. It teaches students how China's modern development was shaped by tradition, geography and history. It presents Chinese history, geography, government and politics, rural and urban life, education, the family, art and literature, economic development, and foreign policy. Students study major changes that have affected women and the family as China moved from a traditional nineteenth century society through the transition to the modern world. Students are encouraged to share their family, community and work experiences of Asia with the class.

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  • HIST 371 Understanding Modern Japan
    4 credits

    After examining the underlying social, economic, political and cultural foundations from which a modern industrial nation emerged, this course considers Japan's imperialist adventure, its rebirth in the post-war era and the structures and forces which define Japan's position in the world. It includes study of the education system; business management practices; popular culture; economic and political trends; changes made to women's lives as Japan moved into industrialization; women's contributions to society and their current roles and status; and the development of modern classes.

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  • HIST 372 History of Japanese Popular Culture
    4 credits

    In this course, we will examine various aspects of Japanese popular culture from the Tokugawa period, through the imperial era (1868-1945), to the postwar/contemporary time (1945-present), though more emphasis is put on postwar Japan. Critical analysis of different forms of cultural production, from the theoretical and thematic perspectives of class, gender, globalization, modernity, national/racial/ethnic identity, sexuality, invented traditions, and war memory, will provide insight into Japanese history, culture, and society.

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  • HIST 380 Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
    4 credits

    Students study the changing faces of some of the United States' closest neighbors, Mexico and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean. Topics may include early American Indian societies, Columbus' discovery and its immediate aftermath, comparisons of the varied colonial experiences and each society's place in the modern world. Economics, social life, values and popular culture are all part of the mix of each country's history and their contemporary identities.

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  • HIST 382 Latin American History I: To 1910
    4 credits

    This course surveys the key themes and developments in Latin American History from ancient times to 1910. It is divided into three parts: The first introduces the history of indigenous Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean before conquest. The second covers the three hundred years of Spanish and Portuguese rule. The third examines the century of struggle for sovereignty and equality, after independence.

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  • HIST 383 Latin America History II: 1910 to Present
    4 credits

    This course surveys the last one hundred years of the history of Latin America, focusing on struggles to overcome economic dependency, underdevelopment, gross internal inequalities, a lack of democracy, and U.S. "hegemony" of domination. Students learn why Latin Americans faced these five challenges, and will be able to evaluate the many efforts of Latin Americans to grapple with them. Key historical developments, including globalization, environmental devastation, war, revolution and reform, and social movements will be surveyed. We will place contemporary issues facing Latin America in their historical context. Broad continental trends will be discussed and then tested by examining particular case studies.

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  • HIST 394 Comparative Women's History
    4 credits

    This course compares women as global citizens in a least two cultures or regions of the world. Topics to be covered include women's involvement in family, reproduction, work, education, social and public activism, and war as well as cultural, racial/ethnic, class, generational and ideological differences among women. We will examine these issues in such global contexts as capitalism, industrialization, imperialism/colonialism, socialism and international law.

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  • HIST 395 The Rise and Fall of Communism
    4 credits

    This course is a general overview of the history of communism. It examines how the theories of Carl Marx were put to practice by leaders such as Lenin, Stalin and Mao. The class focuses on the antagonism between communist and noncommunist states and on the impact the communist regimes had on the people who lived under them.

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  • HIST 398 World War II: A Global History
    4 credits

    This course offers students an overview of the World War II (1937-1945), emphasizing social and political history. This war was truly a global experience, and the European and Pacific theaters of the war are integrated into a world history perspective. Students learn about the causes and effects of the war, and come to understand the national, regional and global transformations that occurred during the course of the war itself. Military history is not emphasized, although some material in this vein is integrated into the larger perspective that students gain through a variety of reading and writing assignments.

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  • HIST 401 Topics Proseminar
    4 credits

    This proseminar is an advanced-level discussion course, required for history majors. It focuses intensively on scholarly literature produced by historians around a specific topic. The topic changes from one offering to the next; the topic will be stated in the university's course schedule each semester. In each offering, students will read and carefully analyze several historical monographs and analyze the methods and approaches used by the assigned authors.

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  • HIST 490 Historian as Investigator: Historical Research
    4 credits

    Taking the role of professional historians, students conduct research in archives and libraries, use local collections of historical documents, read and produce projects in oral history, research distant archives through the Internet, and help to inventory community-based records. Students investigate at length one topic of their own choosing, using two or more methods of historical research. They discover the excitement of using documents written "at the time," of finding "the truth" in history, and of researching and writing about a topic of personal interest. Traditionally, the class has involved both history students and students outside the discipline. History majors should take the capstone course at or near the end of their study in history. Discipline preparation has not determined performance.

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History Minor Women's/Gender History

  • HIST 309 Women and Public Activism
    4 credits

    This course examines women's public activism in the United States from the Republican period to the social movements of the 1960s. Thematic emphasis is on an analysis of how women's position outside traditional politics determined the direction of their activism over time, with particular attention to the development of collective efforts to achieve legal, political, economic and social equality with men. Students consider how ethnicity, race and class differences among women affected these coalitions for social change. In addition, students learn to understand how the civil rights and women's movements created opportunities for women to change mainstream politics by the 1970s.

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  • HIST 328 Women in Modern U.S. History
    4 credits

    This course examines how and why political, economic, and cultural events and social customs in modern America were influenced by and shaped the life experiences of women from diverse ethnic, racial, and class backgrounds. We will also examine when and how women organized collectively to improve the quality of their lives. The course introduces students to many aspects of women's everyday life in modern America-family life, sexuality, work, friendship, leisure, consumerism, and public activism-through documents, films, lectures, discussions, and recent scholarship in U.S. women's history.

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  • HIST 329 Legacies: History of Women and the Family
    4 credits

    This course analyzes the family as both a public and a private institution adjusting to and shaping social, political and economic changes in American life from the colonial period to the present. Even though contemporary debates about family values suggest a fixed pattern of family life, students learn how family patterns have changed over time in response to historical changes such as wars, slavery, the disappearing frontier, industrialization, immigration and migration, consumer culture, social movements and social protest, and the rise of the welfare state. Primary emphasis is on an examination of how women used their positions within the family to gain personal power and access to public institutions.

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  • HIST 339 History of Sexuality: Modern Perspectives
    4 credits

    This course will examine the tension between the private life and public controversies about sexual expression and identity in modern U.S. history. Students will consider the preconditions that gave rise to collective behavior calling for increased regulation of private life as well as examine when, why, and how groups organized to reclaim individual rights to free expression. Consequently, this course is organized around the following sources of public debate about sexuality over time: reproduction and reproductive freedom; patterns of sexual behavior within and outside of the family; consumer culture and mass media; and the formulation of sexual identities.

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  • HIST 357 Gender in Early Modern Europe
    4 credits

    This course explores gender in early modern Europe with an emphasis on women, both ordinary and elite. With lives and experiences as diverse as the Europe in which they lived, women in the period from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century were not only daughters, wives and mothers, but also prophets, witches, writers, artists, artisans, queens and courtesans. Applying gender analysis to early modern European society allows for better understanding of how people both shape and are shaped by the time and place in which they live.

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  • HIST 394 Comparative Women's History
    4 credits

    This course compares women as global citizens in a least two cultures or regions of the world. Topics to be covered include women's involvement in family, reproduction, work, education, social and public activism, and war as well as cultural, racial/ethnic, class, generational and ideological differences among women. We will examine these issues in such global contexts as capitalism, industrialization, imperialism/colonialism, socialism and international law.

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