» Course Offerings

Course Offerings


One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

HIS 111 Survey of Western Civilization I
An introduction to the Western tradition. From ancient Mesopotamia to the beginnings of the Reformation, the political structures, religious and philosophical beliefs, and cultural achievements of the Western tradition are emphasized. Fall Term.

HIS 112 Survey of Western Civilization II
An introduction to the Western tradition beginning with the Reformation and continuing to the present day. Political, religious and cultural themes are joined by economic and social advance in the modern world. Spring Term. 

HIS 116 Survey of Non-Western Civilizations
An introduction to the civilizations of India, Africa, China, Latin America and the Near East from circa AD 1500 to the present. Political, religious, cultural, economic, social and intellectual aspects of these societies will be examined using a variety of disciplines and methodological approaches.

HIS 170 Latin American History
A historical survey of Latin America, from pre-Columbian times to the present, with emphasis on the evolution of civilization and culture in the countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean basin. Beginning with the pre-Columbian indigenous societies, the course will then examine the conquest, colonial institutions, independence and the emergence of modern Latin American nations.

HIS 201 The History of Greece
A brief summary of earlier civilizations followed by a study of Greek political and cultural life, the military exploits of Alexander the Great, and the cultural patterns of the Hellenistic Age. Fall Term, alternate years.

HIS 202 The History of Rome
Rome from the earliest times to its decline with special emphasis upon the political, economic and cultural unification of the Mediterranean peoples, the transmission of culture to Western Europe and the rise of Christianity. Spring Term, alternate years.

HIS 204 History of the Middle East
An exploration of the historical roots of the peoples and cultures of the area. Topics are: the Judeo-Christian heritage, the Prophet Muhammad, the Crusades and the Ottoman Empire. This survey traces the origins of the conflicts in modern times.

HIS 212 The Role of Great Personalities in History
An examination of selected personalities who have made a major contribution to their age or time. Attention is given to the impact of the time and circumstances upon these persons. The assessment of several historical interpretations is used to evaluate the contributions of such personalities.

HIS 215 Introduction to Women’s History
This course will survey the history of women and gender in the United States from pre-European settlement to the present. The course will be structured on three main themes: women’s work and the sexual division of labor; the relationship between gender, politics, and the state; and women’s family roles and sexuality.

HIS 301 American History Before 1865
A topical survey of the history of America from the European, African and Native-American origins to the Civil War. Special attention is paid to our roots in Western culture and the blending with other cultures. A survey of the founding, independence, nation building and the disruption leading to the Civil War. Fall Term.

HIS 302 The United States from 1865 to the Present
A topical survey of the emerging facets of an increasingly complex industrial society emerging from the Civil War. Problems related to an increasingly urbanized, multi-national society with effects upon politics, economics and culture are examined. Movement on through to a postindustrial society will be traced. Spring Term.

HIS 303 United States Diplomatic History
The study of the diplomatic history of the United States from its inception as a nation to date. An examination of the foreign policy actions and trends in a chronological setting. Special focus will be on the war periods and the Cold War, from beginning to end. Alternate years.

HIS 304 The United States in the Twentieth Century
A concentrated study of the political, economic, intellectual and social factors in 20th-century America. An analysis of the meaning of such issues as World War I, the 1920s, the depression, World War II, postwar affluence and the 1960s. Special attention is paid to the dynamics of modern America, the end of the Cold War and the postindustrial society.

HIS 305 Imperialism and Colonialism
This course examines the origins, theories, and forms of imperialism and colonialism practiced in Africa, India, Latin America, and the Near East during the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention will be given to discerning the nature of imperialism and colonialism, as conducted by   European and non-European powers and viewed by the colonizer and the colonized.

HIS 306 Indigenous People of Latin America
This course examines the indigenous peoples of Latin America and how they have understood and maintained their ethnic identity from 1492 to the present.

HIS 308 The Cuban Revolution
This course examines Cuba from the second Cuban War of Independence (1895–1898) until the end of the 20th century, with the majority of the course covering post-1959. The course will focus not only on the Cuban-U.S. relationship, but the role of ethnicity and gender in Cuba and how each impacted the revolution. January Term.

HIS 309 History of Mexico
A survey course of Mexican history from the pre-conquest period to the present. Topics discussed include Mesoamerican indigenous groups, the political and religious institutions, socio-economic structure, and cultural legacy of Spanish colonial rule, and Mexican efforts after independence to come to terms with the industrialized world while retaining national autonomy.

HIS 310 Revolutionary Leaders in Latin America
This course presents a comparative analysis of twentieth-century revolutions in Mexico, Central America and Cuba. The primary objective is to understand the complex nature of exploitation in Latin America, along with the intellectual responses to that oppression and the continuing struggles for social justice.

HIS 311 England to the Stuart Age
England from its beginnings to the age of the Stuarts. Political, social, and constitutional history is traced through the 16th century, including the rise of England as a European and colonial power.

HIS 312 Modern Britain
From the Stuart age to the present day. The course traces the formation of the United Kingdom, industrial and political development, intellectual life, and Britain’s role as an imperial power.

HIS 315 Survey of Economic History
A survey of economic history, from the ancient world to the present. The economic enterprises of the past are studied in the context of the societies which helped create them. Intellectual, political and social themes are used to analyze the achievement of economic activity.

HIS 316 Atlantic World History
The Atlantic World—the amalgamation of European, African and the Indigenous People of the Americas—created a New World. This course will cover 1492–1821  and examine how and why the interaction among these four continents resulted in unique societies and cultures.

HIS 320 History of Terrorism
This lecture/discussion course explores the phenomenon of terrorism in the modern age. We will be looking at the history of different forms of terrorist activity (i.e., nationalist, revolutionary/political, religion-based, and state-sponsored forms of terrorism). The course is structured around case studies of the use of terror by individuals, movements, and governments to further their agendas and/or enforce conformity and obedience. Students are required to take midterm and final examinations and to write a ten-page paper on a topic approved by the instructor. Prerequisite: junior/ senior standing or consent of the instructor. 

HIS 321 Immigration and Identity
This is a lecture/discussion course examining emigration and immigration during the nine- teenth and twentieth centuries. We will be looking at Europe, Latin America, and North America as both sites of departure and destina- tion for migrant populations. Our focus will be on how people have negotiated and/or adopted their identities and sense of self to new settings. Students will be required to engage in discus- sion sessions, take a midterm examination, produce two written assignments on topics approved by the instructor, and make a paper presentation.

HIS 326 Antebellum America
This course examines Antebellum America (1776–1861). These decades witnessed great political, social, and economic changes including the “Market Revolution” and the rise of “Jacksonian democracy.” It was a period of significant territorial expansion, technological innovation, and westward migration. Americans experienced a powerful religious awakening, new extremes in exploitation of minorities, and the intensification of regional animosities.

HIS 343 Medieval History
From the decline of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy with special attention given to feudalism, economic and cultural patterns of the period, and the life and struggle of the church.

HIS 344 The Renaissance and the Reformation
From the Renaissance in Italy to the close of the Council of Trent with emphasis upon the intellectual, artistic, social and theological developments culminating in the Reformation movements.

HIS 351 Disability in America
This course will examine the history of disability in America through the interdisciplinary lenses of science, technology, medicine, policy, and sociology. This course will ask why  and what we can learn by addressing the history of disability in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States. Through  a cultural study of disability we will examine the social construction of disability, its representations, and its changing meaning in a historical perspective. Our critiques will juxtapose disability and issues of gender, community, class, region, and race. Students will be invited to fundamentally reexamine American life and history through studying bodies and minds, identities, languages, cultures, citizenship and rights, power and authority, and what is “natural” and “unnatural.”

HIS 363 History of Russia
A study of the cultural and political history with emphasis upon reformists and revolutionary tendencies. The rise and fall of the Russian empire; from autocracy to Communism and beyond. What makes Russia unique and what it has in common with the West.

HIS 385 United States and the War in Vietnam
A study of the forces of politics, economics, and ideology in inclining the United States into the war in Vietnam. This has been one of the most controversial wars of the 20th century, and an examination of the factors surrounding our involvement and withdrawal provides insights into different cultures as well as the politics of the Cold War.

HIS 390 Illinois History
.25 credit
A survey of Illinois state history and the Illinois Constitution for the benefit of students having to take the content test for teacher licensure. It also seeks to expose the students to the history of Chicago and the major Native American tribes in the state. Pass/No Pass grading.

HIS 405 History of American Culture and Thought
An examination of the social and intellectual currents that influenced several aspects of the American character from colonial times to the present. Manifestations of these social and 
intellectual products are traced from the Puritan community to the 20th-century dilemma of democratic rule. Consideration is given to the complex problems of mature nationhood, urbanization, industrialization, and the increasing secularization of society. Upon request.

HIS 415 Topics in Women’s History
This course focuses on the conflicts and coalitions of women across lines of race, class, and national origin. It compares the experiences of different groups of women to the state in areas including citizenship, suffrage, sexuality and reproduction, social welfare and nationalism.

HIS 420 History and Memory of the Spanish Civil War
This course examines the construction of meaning(s) around the Spanish Civil War.  Students will be looking at historical reconstructions and popular understandings of the conflict and their bearing on the evolution of Spanish political culture since the 1930s. Students are expected to participate in discussion of assigned materials, lead at least one discussion session during the term, and to produce a research paper on a “site of memory” related to the conflict. Prerequisite:  junior/senior standing or consent of the instructor.

HIS 440 Teaching History in Secondary School
This course acquaints the student with the variety of techniques, methods, and approaches in the teaching of history through a schedule of personal consultations, assigned readings, and classroom visits. Students familiarize themselves with some of the most recent developments in the field. Prerequisite: SEC 300, SEC 310. Fall Term.

HIS 443 The History of Europe from 1815 to the Eve of the First World War
An analysis of the spirit of 19th-century Europe as reflected in the political revolutions, the rise of nationalism, the unifications of Italy and Germany, and the scientific and cultural movements of the period.

HIS 444 Europe in the Twentieth Century
A topical survey of the dramatic events occurring in the 20th century including two world wars, Bolshevism, Fascism, a bipolar world and the process of emerging nations.

HIS 445 Topical History Seminar
Topics change each term. The seminars are taught by different members of the department and acquaint the student with the nature of historical inquiry and the use of primary sources. Can be repeated for credit.

HIS 451 Seminar in Historiography
A detailed and intensive study of the art and the science of the writing of history. Lectures, discussions and class reports. Students are urged to take this course offered in the January Term. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing or consent of instructor. Upon request.

HIS 452 Senior Thesis
This course is required of every student majoring in history and is to demonstrate the research, writing, and analytical skills of the graduating senior. To be taken in the first or second term of the senior year, this research paper will provide evidence of what the student has learned by having been a history major in terms of knowledge, skills and insights. The topic of the paper will be selected by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor.

HIS 468 Internship
.50 or 1.00 credit
Credit given for students employed by historical agencies, museums and similar institutions. Students must recognize and demonstrate the connection between their academic studies and their field experience in regular reports to the faculty supervisor. Recommended for students intending to pursue employment in museums and foundations or graduate work in museum studies/local history. Pass/No Pass grading. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing and permission of the department chair.

HIS 492/292 Independent Study
A student majoring in the Department of History is encouraged to engage in independent study. The area of investigation must be approved by the chair of the department. A thesis must be presented, giving evidence of the scope of research and depth of insight gained. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

HIS 495 Honors Independent Research
.50 credit
This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of history culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance. Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

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