College of Arts & Sciences

Department of History

Fall 2017 Upper Division History Courses

HIS 386: American Environmental History (Hyson) This course examines our historical place in the natural landscape. It will tell that story through the methods of "environmental history," examining ecological relationships between humans and nature, political and economic influences on the environment, and cultural conceptions of the natural world. Drawing on methods from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities, the course will survey over 500 years of North American environmental history, with topics ranging from urban pollution and suburban sprawl to agricultural practices and wilderness protection. (Ethics Intensive)

HIS 204: Latin American-U.S. Migration (Warren) Provides students with a deeper understanding of the processes that led migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States and their experiences after arrival. The course focuses on three interdisciplinary topics: community formation; the variety of individual and group experiences; and current policy questions for the hemisphere. This is a service-learning course; all enrolled students must commit to three hours of work each week with a community partner organization.  (Ethics Intensive and Diversity)

HIS 208: Historical Introduction to Asian Civilizations (Carter) Introduces students to the culture, politics, geography, art, and religious traditions of East and South Asia. It will also give a historical overview from earliest times to the present. The course will focus primarily on the Indian subcontinent, China, and Japan, with some attention also to Korea and Southeast Asia. Throughout the course students will also learn how questions of history and culture shape identities and animate public life in contemporary Asia.

HIS 385: History of Women in America Since 1820 (Sibley) The history of American women from the antebellum period to the current time. The course will focus upon the evolution of women’s family and work roles as well as their involvement in social reform and political movements and will emphasize both the unity and the diversity of women’s historical experiences, based upon factors such as race, ethnicity, class, and region. (DGNW overlay)

HIS 344: The Middle East Since 1798 (Schumacher) The history of the Middle East from Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 to the current struggles in the region related to the Arab Spring, the Syrian Civil War, the rise of ISIS, and the ongoing refugee crisis that has spread throughout the Mediterranean and into the Balkans and Central Europe. Learning about this area and period of history is not only valuable in itself but an essential part of understanding the modern world in general, from literature and the arts, to religion and culture, to global politics and economics.

HIS 317: The Rise of the West, 400-1000 (Lewin) In recent years, scholarly debate has raged over the effects of "The Fall of Rome"; what was once viewed as a catastrophe faces re-evaluation from historians, archeologists, and sociologists.   The slow merger of Roman, barbarian, and Christian cultures created a unique civilization, focused intently on survival in this world and salvation in the next. The course will examine the mental and physical constructs of this civilization, with the goal of appreciating the extraordinary creativity of a society with few hard and fast rules or institutions to guide it. (Writing Intensive) 

HIS 470: Seminar in American History: Slavery and the American South (Miller) This is a research seminar examining the development of and intersections between slavery and the American South, with the principal focus on the post-Revolutionary era through the Civil War. The seminar will include readings, evaluations, and discussions of important secondary works to engage the historiography on slavery and the American South and evaluations and discussions of representative varieties of primary sources (e.g., material culture, folklore, court records, correspondence, oral histories) to appreciate the richness and utility of such sources. (Writing Intensive)

HIS 473: Seminar in Eurasian History, 1989 and 1991: The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (Chakars) The most dramatic event of the late 20th century was the rapid and unexpected demise of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. This course will explore the background to this event, the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, the Baltic Independence Movement, the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the countries that emerged from these extraordinary changes. It will examine the role of nationalism, international politics, opposition movements, economics, and the experiences of individual leaders and ordinary citizens. Students will complete a significant research paper based on a related topic of their choosing. (Writing Intensive)

HIS 491: Philadelphia Area Internship (Abbas) The Philadelphia Area Internship Program supports student internships in the public sector, private sector, or in a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Philadelphia area.  In addition, the course focuses on developing writing and analytical skills.  Students work 10 hours per week (total 130 hours), write a resume and sample letter, keep a journal, read a book related to their internship and write a review, and attend and write about an SJU Career Development Center event.  Students who complete the requirements will receive 3 credits for one upper-division course in History, Political Science, or International Relations. (Writing Intensive)