History BA

College of Liberal Arts
Undergraduate major / Bachelor of Arts

About this program

"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." —George Orwell

History is, along with philosophy and mathematics, one of the oldest academic disciplines still practiced today. History and astronomy are the only contemporary disciplines with their own Greek Muses (Ours is Clio).

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. 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.

At Metropolitan State, history is taught in ways that are both fascinating and important to everyone. Our courses tend to balance the actions of leaders and elites with stories of the grassroots movements that have challenged those elites and advanced popular agendas. Survey courses are offered in American history and world history, similar to those applied by history departments at many colleges and universities. However, a more distinctive feature of this curriculum is the large number of courses focusing on more specific topics, ranging from History of the Holocaust to The Vietnam War to Gender History. Many courses in the Metropolitan State history program offer opportunities for students to dig into documents and other archival material, "getting their hands dirty," as it were, like professional historians do, and learning to interpret evidence.

The faculty is comprised of both resident and community faculty members. They are both highly experienced teachers and distinguished scholars. The history program is both rigorous and flexible enough to allow our majors to focus on areas and topics of greatest interest to them. Students who aim to excel—in their studies, in their chosen profession and in life—will find in the Bachelor of Arts program in history at Metropolitan State a major that stretches their horizons and prepares them for a life of success and achievement.

Here is what one graduate of the program had to say:

“Through Metropolitan State University, I’ve been able to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in history while concurrently establishing a career at the Minnesota Historical Society. The staff instructors have created a history curriculum that is challenging yet entertaining and ultimately very rewarding. I feel that Metro State has prepared me well for a future in the history field.”

Student outcomes

By completing the history program, students will be able to:

  • write argumentative and analytical history essays;
  • critically evaluate historical interpretation;
  • create research questions and findings in the context of current historical scholarship;
  • carry out historical research in libraries and archives using their finding aids;
  • evaluate how social, political, economic, and/or cultural systems and traditions, including gender, race, and/or ethnicity, change over time.

Enrolling in this program

Current students: Declare your program

Once you’re admitted as an undergraduate student and have met any further requirements your chosen program may have, you may declare a major or declare an optional minor.

Future students: Apply now

Apply to Metropolitan State: Start the journey toward your History BA now. Learn about the steps to enroll or, if you have questions about what Metropolitan State can offer you, request information, visit campus or chat with an admissions counselor.

Get started on your History BA

More ways to earn your degree: Metropolitan State offers the flexibility you need to finish your degree. Through programs at our partner institutions, you can find a path to getting your History BA that works best for you.

About your enrollment options

Program requirements

C- or better in history courses used to complete the major.

Course requirements

Prerequisites

WRIT 131 Writing I

3 credits

This course is an introduction to expository writing principles and processes. Students develop skill at analyzing audiences, generating ideas, organizing and developing thoughts, drafting sentences, and revising and handling mechanics. Students write, revise and edit extensively. Prerequisite: Placement in WRIT 131 Writing I or WRIT 132 Written and Visual Communication on the writing assessment offered by Placement Assessment Office.

Full course description for Writing I

Requirements (120 credits)

Introductory level requirements (10 credits)

Required are 2 courses (minimum 6 credits) of introductory level electives; 100- or 200- level or HIST 302-309 courses can fulfill this requirement. Required also is HIST 301.

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.

Full course description for The American Past: From 1865

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…

Full course description for World History I: Patterns of Civilization to 1500

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.

Full course description for World History II: The Modern World, 1500 to the Present

HIST 301 Historical Interpretation

4 credits

What is history? It is often said that history should be objective, that it should provide just the facts, that it should bring people a sense of the past "as it really was." Those who study and write history professionally tend to view these demands as extremely naive. It is a fact that historians have produced radically different interpretations of particular events or developments in the past. The dominant interpretations of important events have changed greatly over time. The study of these changes is called historiography. Through the readings in this course, students confront such interpretive discrepancies and changes with respect to several important historical developments, which occurred in different parts of the world and in different eras.

Full course description for Historical Interpretation

Upper division level (24 credits)

Courses numbered HIST 302 and above are considered upper-division courses. Required from the list below are: Outside U.S History (2 courses, 8 credits); Women's and Gender History (1 course, 4 credits); Electives (any geographical area or field (2 courses 8 credits)

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.

Full course description for Topics Proseminar

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.

Full course description for Historian as Investigator: Historical Research

Capstone level (4 credits)

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.

Full course description for Historian as Investigator: Historical Research

Transfer credits

Students may transfer up to 16 credits to meet major requirements with courses designated as history only. Students may not transfer courses from other disciplines, including multidisciplinary programs, to meet major requirements.

Upper division electives

Though they are numbered above 302, if you choose, HIST 303, HIST 304, HIST 305, or HIST 309 can be used to fulfill the introductory level elective requirement.

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.

Full course description for U.S. Economic Life: Business

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.

Full course description for U.S. Economic Life: Working People

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.

Full course description for U.S. Economic Life: Technology

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.

Full course description for Women and Public Activism

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…

Full course description for American Indian History

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.

Full course description for African American History

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.

Full course description for Beginnings of American Society: Colonial and Revolutionary History

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,"…

Full course description for The American Presidents

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.

Full course description for The Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

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.

Full course description for History of Asian Americans

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.

Full course description for American History at the Movies

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.

Full course description for Women in Modern U.S. History

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.

Full course description for Legacies: History of Women and the Family

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.

Full course description for Religion and Politics in America

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).

Full course description for The Greening of America: Environmental History since 1900

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.

Full course description for The Great Depression of the 1930s

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.

Full course description for From Roosevelt to Reagan: American History, 1932-1980

HIST 337 American Empire: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1898

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.

Full course description for American Empire: U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1898

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.

Full course description for The Vietnam War

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).

Full course description for The Sixties Experience

HIST 344 From Reagan to Obama to Trump: 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 since 1980. Issues such as Ronald Reagan's election, economic policy, abortion, affirmative action, welfare, "political correctness," the Iran-Contra scandal and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars 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.

Full course description for From Reagan to Obama to Trump: America Since 1980

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.

Full course description for Minnesota History

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…

Full course description for U.S. Legal History: A Survey

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.

Full course description for Europe: Creation and Conflict, 1500-1789

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.

Full course description for Europe: The Global Power, 1789-Present

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.

Full course description for History of the Holocaust

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.

Full course description for Problems of Contemporary Europe in Historical Perspective

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.

Full course description for Gender in Early Modern Europe

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.)

Full course description for Africa: From Ancient Times to 1800

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.

Full course description for Africa: From Colonialism to Independence

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.

Full course description for World Environmental History

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.

Full course description for Behind the Great Wall: The Real China

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.

Full course description for Understanding Modern Japan

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.

Full course description for History of Japanese Popular Culture

HIST 373 US-Japanese Relations from a Racial Perspective

4 credits

This course examines US-Japanese relations from a racial perspective from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will examine official and popular discourse and media representations produced by both Americans and Japanese of race in the context of changing diplomatic and geopolitical relations of the two countries. Students will consider how the concepts of race and ethnicity were used to construct national and transnational identities. In addition, students will learn about past events, issues, and ideas in the two countries in order to compare, contrast, and analyze how race was mobilized to justify, as well as challenge social hierarchy and regional or global hegemony. COMPETENCE STATEMENT: Knows and understands specific concepts and approaches to history at an upper division level well enough to analyze racial issues in US-Japanese relations.

Full course description for US-Japanese Relations from a Racial Perspective

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.

Full course description for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

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.

Full course description for Latin American History I: To 1910

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.

Full course description for Latin America History II: 1910 to Present

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.

Full course description for Comparative Women's History

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.

Full course description for World War II: A Global History

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.

Full course description for Topics Proseminar

Women's and 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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