Courses and Curriculum
Curricular Requirements for the Major Core Curriculum:
All students complete Core Curriculum requirements as part of their overall Canisius education. These requirements can be found at http://www.canisius.edu/academics/core/
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.
The history major consists of twelve three-credit courses, which must include:
- At least one course focusing on the period before 1800
- At least two courses in American history
- At least two courses in European history
- At least two courses in the history of Africa, Asia, or Latin America
- A course designated “‘Historian’s Craft” (HIS 299)
- A course designated as a major seminar
- The thirty-six credit hours in history may not include more than 12 credit hours in 100-level courses, and must include 12 credit hours in 300-level courses. Ideally, students will satisfy the “Historian’s Craft” requirement before the end of the sophomore year.
Courses at the 100 and 200 level assume no prior college-level study. They are introductory courses for the major, and satisfy Field 4 requirements in the Core Curriculum. 100-level courses are broad surveys which furnish students with a general knowledge of the history and traditions of various regions and periods. 200-level courses are somewhat more specific in approach, focusing on individual nations outside the United States, specific populations, or particular themes. Both 100- and 200-level courses provide the student with an intellectual and chronological framework for further historical study and for work in other disciplines. Courses at the 300 and 400 level deal with a wide variety of specialized areas of historical inquiry. Some courses focus on major national or geographic areas, while others emphasize period, topical, thematic, or methodological approaches. These upper-level courses provide students with an opportunity for further development of their historical understanding as well as their skills in writing and critical thinking. They are appropriate for history majors and minors and for non-majors who have completed the Field 4 requirement and wish to continue their study of history at a more advanced level.
The history department offers a departmental honors program consisting of three advanced seminars: HIS 401 Historical Methodology, HIS 411 Senior Honors Thesis, and a History Seminar at the 400 level. These courses are designed to develop the research, writing, and analytical skills necessary for graduate and professional school. Students who complete these three courses with a 3.25 average and a 3.00 average in all their history courses graduate with honors in history. The History Honors program is appropriate for students majoring in history as well as Social Studies Education. It is compatible with the All-College Honors Program as well as the Core Curriculum. History majors also pursue a variety of off-campus experiences. Canisius offers study abroad programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia; any of these programs can be combined with the history major. The department offers a variety of opportunities for academic travel. In recent years students and faculty members have combined travel with study of the Holocaust, the American Civil Rights Movement, and Native American History. History students also undertake internships which offer the opportunity to explore opportunities outside academia, particularly in the exciting field of public history. A variety of extracurricular and co-curricular activities are organized by the History Club. Qualified students are invited to join Phi Alpha Theta, the national honors society in history.
Additional Course Considerations
Students majoring in history are strongly encouraged to study either an ancient or modern foreign language. Foreign language study is essential for those who plan to study history at the graduate level; at the undergraduate level, it plays a vital role in achieving the Core goal of global awareness as well as the history program’s objective of developing historical knowledge which is characterized by geographical and cultural breadth.
History is multifaceted; its students find connections with nearly every other discipline. Our students pursue dual majors in a wide variety of fields including Anthropology, Communications, English, European Studies, International Relations, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Urban Studies. History majors also pursue Pre-Law and Pre-Medical programs.
History majors interested in teaching at the secondary level often pursue a dual major in history and Adolescent Education/Social Studies. Those interested in this option should consult with faculty members in both departments to coordinate the dual major. Alternatively, history majors may enter the teaching profession by pursuing a master’s in education. Those interested in this “five year plan” should consult with their advisor in the department.
The history minor complements majors in other academic departments by providing students with exposure to the study of history that is both comprehensive and intensive. The minor is appropriate for any student who enjoys and wants to pursue an interest in history. Students in related disciplines such as English, communications, modern languages, psychology, political science, philosophy, and religious studies, as well as students interested in law, may be especially interested in the history minor.
The history minor consists of seven three-credit courses:
- Two or three 100-level courses
- Four or five courses above the 100-level.
The seven courses must include:
- At least one course focusing on the period before 1800
- At least one course in American history
- At least one course in European history
- At least one course in the history of Africa, Asia, or Latin America
With the permission of the department chair, transfer students and students with an exceptional secondary background in history may be allowed to substitute upper-level courses for the 100-level requirement.
HISTORY COURSES: 2013-2015
CLS 103 Greek History 3 credits
See CLS 103 for course description. Fall
CLS 104 Roman History 3 credits
See CLS 104 for course description. Spring
HIS 106 The Medieval World 3 credits
The development of a distinctive European civilization between 500 and 1500. Emphasis on Europe’s contacts and conflicts with the “competing” cultures of Byzantium and Islam.(Field 4, Global attribute) Spring and/or Fall
HIS 107 History of Modern Europe to 1815 3 credits
The major political, economic, social and intellectual currents in Western Civilization from 1500 to 1815. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall and/or Spring
HIS 108 History of Modern Europe since 1815 3 credits
The major political, economic, social and intellectual currents in Western Civilization from 1815 to the present. (Field 4 Global attribute) Spring and/or Fall
PSC 111 Western Political Tradition II 3 credits
See PSC 111 for course description.
HIS 109 History of Asia to 1800 3 credits
Comparative study of civilizations, cultures, religions and institutions of the Far East, and South Asia. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall
HIS 110 History of Asia since 1800 3 credits
The various independence and revolutionary movements and their evolution into the modern nation-states of Asia. (Field 4, Global attribute) Spring and/or Fall
HIS 123 History of the United States: The Colonial Period to Reconstruction 3 credits
Introduction to major themes of American history through the Civil War including: the Columbian Exchange and colonization, American Revolution, paradox of freedom and slavery, emergence of a market economy, secession and Reconstruction (Field 4, Diversity attribute) Fall and/or Spring
HIS 124 History of the United States: 1877 to the Present 3 credits
Industrialization and urbanization of the United States with the accompanying social, economic and political problems; America’s emergence as a major power in world affairs. (Field 4, Diversity attribute) Spring and/or Fall
HIS 125 America’s Story I: The Early Years 3 credits
This course introduces the major events, figures and themes of American history form the Colonial period to Reconstruction with an emphasis on discussion and presentation of material. Not open to students taking or who have received credit for HIS 123. (Field 4, Diversity attribute, Oral Communication) Fall
HIS 126 America’s Story II: The Later Years 3 credits
The American Story is a course in American history that covers the late 19th century into the late 20th century as the US evolved into a major industrial and international power. This course satisfies the oral communication attribute. (Field 4, Diversity and Oral Communication attributes) Spring
HIS 131 Latin American History to 1830 3 credits
Pre-Columbian Indian civilizations. Conquest and colonization. Economy, society, and the Church. Eighteenth century reforms and independence. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall
HIS 132 Latin American History since 1830 3 credits
Overview of economy and society. Upheavals and revolutions in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Chile and Mexico (Field 4, Global attribute) Spring
HIS 202 History of Science 3 credits
Using case studies examines the history of science from the Scientific Revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries through the present. The primary emphasis is on science in society. (Field 4) Fall 2013
CLG 208 Greek Historians: Sources for Athenian History 3 credits
See CLG 208 for course description
HIS 211 Women in the Western World 3 credits
Comparative history of women in Europe, Britain and America from Renaissance to present. Deals with changing role of women in society, politics and the economy and on the development of feminism as an intellectual and political force. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall and/or Spring
HIS 212 Men and Ideas in History 3 credits
Role of ideas in historical change. Relationship between the ideas of a particular period and the social, political and economic forces that helped to shape them (Field 4) Fall and/or Spring
HIS 213 Twentieth Century Europe 3 credits
Major political, economic, social and intellectual currents in Europe since 1900. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall and/or Spring
HIS 220 The History of Food 3 credits
Explores the evolving role of food in western societies from the middle ages to the present. Topics will include the medieval fascination with spices, Europe’s adoption of “New World” foods like potatoes and tomatoes, the role of food shortages and rationing in wartime, and the recent emergence of a diverse international “foodie culture.” By investigating how our diets have changed over time, we will explore social, cultural, political and economic developments. In addition to reading assignments, class discussions, and written work, the course will include tastings and opportunities to experience the history and culture of food in the Buffalo-area. Fall 2013
HIS 226 History of Ireland 3 credits
Examines political, social and cultural developments from medieval origins through invasion, conquest, colonization and finally independence from Great Britain. Special emphasis on the development of Irish nationalism and on the emergence of Eire as a modern European state. (Field 4, Global attribute) Not open to students who have taken HIS 227. Spring
HIS 227 The Irish Story 3 credits
Examines the evolution of Ireland as a state, a culture, and a society. Emphasis will be placed on the role of oral culture in Ireland through discussion of such topics as the tradition of craic, the political use of nationalist songs, the parliamentary rhetoric of Charles Parnell and Ian Paisley, and the preservation of the gaeltacht. Course is primarily discussion based; includes in-class debates and oral presentations as well as significant reading assignments and written work including midterm and final examinations. (Field 4, Global and Oral Communications attributes) Not open to students who have taken HIS 226. Spring
HIS 229 The Violent Century in Films 3 credits
The major events of the 20th century, including World Wars I and II, the Russian Revolution, the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism and the Vietnam War. (Field 4) Summer 2013
HIS 230 The Holocaust in Historical Perspective 3 credits
A historical survey of the Holocaust that places Nazi Germany’s campaign to exterminate European Jewry during World War II (1939-45) in a broader historical context by tracing the history of anti-Semitism from its origins in late antiquity to the emergence of racial anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall and/or Spring
HIS231/GER 236 The Holocaust in History and Literature 3 credits
Offered in conjunction with a Study Tour to Holocaust Sites in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland, this course explores the moral and theological implications of the Holocaust by visiting the sites where the genocide against European Jewry actually occurred. Open only to students who have had previous coursework in either the history or literature of the Holocaust. (Field 4)
HIS 234 The Atlantic World: Contact, Colonization, and Commerce 3 credits
Class examines the conflicts and cooperations of peoples living around the Atlantic Ocean between the 15th century and the 19th century, focusing especially on explorations and discoveries, colonization efforts and ideologies, the evolution of religious and racial identities, and the development of vast trade and commercial networks (including that of the slave trade). (Field 4)
HIS 235 From Jamestown to Yorktown: Making the United States 3 credits
Explores the political, economic, social, and cultural stories of North America from the era of pre-European contact through the settlement of the English colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the “revolutions” of the late seventeenth century, including the period of the American Revolution. (Field 4, Diversity attribute) Fall 2013
HIS 236 – From Washington to Lincoln: The Making of American Democracy 3 credits
Class focuses on the story of American history from the end of the Revolutionary War to the end of the American Civil War, especially examining political, economic, social, and cultural issues. (Field 4, Diversity attribute)
HIS 237 The Making of Modern America 1865-1920 3 credits
This course offers a survey of the major themes of one of the most dynamic periods in American History. Among the topics covered are Reconstruction, urbanization, industrialization, mass migration, the closing of the western frontier, Progressive Reform and the Great War and its aftermath. We will interrogate a variety of written and visual sources to better understand the major conflicts of the period and how they were resolved. (Field 4, Diversity Attribute)
HIS 240 Women in American History, Colonial Times to 1880 3 credits
This course explores the historical experiences of American women from colonial times through Reconstruction with attention to how the intersections of class, race and ethnicity affected women’s lives. It examines themes such as work, religion, family, law, slavery, citizenship, migration and immigration. (Field 4)
HIS241 Women in American History, 1880 to the Present 3 credits
This course explores the historical experiences of American women between 1880 and the present with attention to how the intersections of class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality affected women’s public and private lives. Special attention is paid to the themes of work, politics, citizenship and domestic life. (Field 4, Diversity attribute)
HIS 242 The Family in American History 3 credits
Few institutions rival the family in the power it exerts on American social and cultural life. This course explores patterns in American families from 1800 to the present with special attention to the impact of class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It is organized around the major themes in the American experience including slavery, urbanization, industrialization, migration, and war. (Field 4, Diversity attribute)
HIS 251 Sports in America 3 credits
Investigates sporting endeavors from informal folk games to today’s multi-billion dollar entertainment industry. Looks at the decline of amateurism, use of steroids, and practice of stadium welfare, as well as how America’s sporting culture has shaped society and been influenced by industrialization, urbanization, and commercialization. (Field 4)
HIS 254 First Peoples 3 credits
The story of the first peoples of the Americas from their initial appearance 20,000 years ago down to the present, with a special emphasis on native North America. Includes a survey of the histories and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, employing the latest findings from archaeology, anthropology, genetics, ethno botany as well as history. (Field 4, Diversity attribute)
HIS 259 Environmental History of the United States 3 credits
The evolving relationship between humans and the natural world. Topics include the ecological implications of the arrival of African and European peoples, westward expansion, roots and impacts of industrialization, the industrialization of agriculture, the increasingly complex built environment, the effects of mass consumption, and the growth of ecological consciousness. (Field 4)
History 260 Canada and the World 3 credits
A survey of Canada’s place in world history from the colonial period to the present. Among the topics examined are Native-Canadians, the British- French rivalry for North America, Canada’s emergence as a nation within the British empire, Canada-US relations and the modern multicultural Canadian state (Field 4)
HIS 261 The City in American History 3 credits
This course is a survey of the development of the city in America from its colonial origins through the early twentieth century. (Field 4)
HIS 263 Wars of Latin America 3 credits
Wars of independence and major conflicts of the nineteenth century. Military history of Mexican, Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions. Border clashes and guerilla insurgencies of the twentieth century. Argentina’s war with England. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall 2013
HIS 280 The Making of Modern Africa 3 credits
Development of modern Africa from the diverse societies of pre-colonial Africa through the impact of imperialism to an examination of the problems facing modern African states. (Field 4, Global attribute) Fall 2013
HIS 299: “Historian’s Craft” 3 credits
These courses are designed to introduce students systematically to the analysis of historical texts, the standards of historical writing, and the methods of historical research while exploring specific topics of historical interest. Topics vary each semester; at least one course in this category will be offered each semester. (Writing Intensive Attribute)
HIS 300 Historical Geography 3 credits
Examines the interaction between the historical process and human, physical and cultural geography. Required for dual major in history and social studies education. Spring 2014
CLS 300 Roman Law and Society 3 credits
See CLS 300 for course description
CLS 301 The Age of Cicero 3 credits
See CLS 301 for course description
CLS 308 Pagans and Christians 3 credits
See CLS 308 for course description
CLS 311 Alexander the Great 3 credits
See CLS 311 for course description
CLS 312 The Greek Enlightenment 3 credits
See CLS 312 for course description
HIS 302 A Life in the Colonial Atlantic World 3 credits
Investigates the story of the colonial Atlantic world through the life and experiences of one of America’s founding fathers, such as the philosopher and theologian Jonathan Edwards, focusing on the early modern European context of which most colonists were heirs, the founding of the New England colonies in the 17th century, the transformation of these colonies in the expanding Atlantic world of the 18th. century, and legacies in the age of the American Revolution and the early 19th century.(Writing Intensive attribute)
HIS 305 Race in Early America 3 credits
Class focuses on “race” in early America (from exploration and contact of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the mid-nineteenth century), concentrating on the interactions of Americans of various ethnicities and colors, the social, economic, religious, and cultural implications of these actions, and the development and evolution of raced identities as a result of such contact.
HIS 306 The American Religious Experience 3 credits
Overview of major thoughts, movements and personalities of American Religious History from colonial era to present. Catholicism used as a model, focusing on themes of immigration and Americanization as central to understanding religious landscape of the U.S. (Field 1)
RST 325 Early Christianity 3 credits
See RST 325 for course description
RST 327 Modern Global Christianity 3 credits
See RST 327 for course description
CLG 308 Readings in Greek History: Sources for Athenian History 3 credits
See CLG 308 for course description
HIS 309 World War I 3 credits
A study of the origins, conduct and aftermath of the Great War from a global perspective. Emphasis on the diplomatic, social and military aspects of the War.
HIS 315 The Renaissance 3 credits
This course examines the intellectual and cultural ferment, court society, politics, commercial activity and daily experiences of Renaissance Europe. We will also consider how the Renaissance, which took root in the Italian states, found distinctive expression throughout Europe.
HIS 316 Reformation Europe 3 credits
The Reformation from Luther to the 30 Years War. (Field 1)
HIS 319 The Enlightenment 3 credits
Intellectual, cultural and social history of 18th century enlightenment with specific emphasis on Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu and Rousseau.
HIS 320 The French Revolution and Napoleon 3 credits
The transformation of aristocratic Europe into a modern society controlled by a bourgeoisie and oriented toward scientific and industrial progress.
HIS 331 Britain’s Monarchy 3 credits
The history of Britain’s monarchy from the end of the middle ages to the present. Emphasis on the transformation of the monarchy from the center of government in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to a largely symbolic, even vestigial constitutional mechanism in the twenty-first. (Oral Communication Attribute)
HIS 332 Medieval and Early Modern England 3 credits
Growth of English society and government from 1154 to 1688. Topics include the evolution of parliamentary government and the social effects of reformation and revolution.
HIS 333 Britain in an Age of Revolution 3 credits
Social and political history of eighteenth century Britain. Emphasis on responses to the American, French and Industrial revolutions.
HIS 334 Britain in the Age of Victoria 3 credits
Social and political history of 19th-century Britain. Topics include the transition from rural to urban society, the evolution from aristocratic to democratic politics, and the emergence of characteristically ‘Victorian’ social and cultural patterns.
HIS 335 Britain in the Era of Total War 3 credits
Social and political history of Britain from 1901to the present. Topics include the impact of two world wars, the loss of Empire and Britain’s changing relationship with Europe. Emphasis on Britain’s transition from a hierarchical society to a theoretically classless one, and from a United Kingdom defined by “Englishness” to one which is multinational and multiethnic.
HIS 336 Modern Mexico 3 credits
History of Mexico since the Mexican Revolution. Society, petroleum, and one-party rule until 2000. Mexico in the twenty-first Century.
HIS 337 The History of Globalization 3 credits
A survey of the cultural, institutional, economic and historical origins and nature of today’s global economy. (Justice attribute)
HIS 338 Britain’s Empire 3 credits
The growth and character of the British Empire from 17th century throughout the 20th. Emphasis in social, cultural and political impact of colonization and decolonization in such regions as India, Africa, the Caribbean and Australia.
HIS 339 Nazi Germany, World War II and the Holocaust, 1933-45 3 credits
An intensive study of the Third Reich from Hitler’s appointment as chancellor in 1933 to the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945. Course will focus on the political, diplomatic and military history of the Third Reich with special attention on the mass murder of European Jewry.
HIS 342 The Global Cold War 3 credits
In 1946 Winston Churchill proclaimed that an “Iron Curtain” had fallen across Europe, dividing the world into two hostile camps – the “freedom loving West,” and the “Totalitarian East.” This course examines the history of the Cold War from the Soviet-Dominated side of the Iron Curtain, focusing on events such as the arms race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war in Afghanistan.
HIS 344 Imperial Russia 3 credits
This course examines the history of the Russian Empire from the time of Ivan the Terrible to the fall of the Romanovs in 1917. It traces the political, social, and cultural history of Russia during this period, focusing on the expansion of empire, intellectual debates about Russia’s place in the world, and the development of the Russian revolutionary movement.
HIS 345 The Soviet Union and After 3 credits
This course examines the history of the Cold War between 1945 and 1991. It focuses on the attempts of the Soviet Union and the United States to extend their influence and models of development into Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe through armed interventions, covert operations, espionage, and propaganda. Some of the events and topics covered in the course include the origins of the Cold War, the Korean, Vietnamese, and Afghan Wars, the Cuban Revolution, the Arms Race, Détente, decolonization, and the fall of the Soviet Union. Fall 2013
HIS 346 The Age of European Fascism, 1919-1945 3 credits
A comparative analysis of fascist movements and regimes in Europe between the two world wars with particular attention devoted to fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.
HIS 347 The History of Marxism 3 credits
History of Marxism as an intellectual tradition, with emphasis on writings of Marx and Lenin, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. (Field 2, Justice attribute)
HIS 348 Twentieth Century Marxism 3 credits
Examines the history of Marxist thought from the beginning of the 20th century to the collapse of the Communist regimes in central and eastern Europe in the turmoil of the early 1990s. (Field 2, Ethics attribute) Fall 2013
HIS 350 Modern Eastern Europe 3 credits
Examines the history of Central and Eastern Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries. Particular emphasis will be placed on the struggles for national independence leading up to WWI, the emergence of new nation-states during the interwar period, World War II in the East, the Stalinization of Eastern Europe after the war, and the fall of Communism in the late 1980s.
HIS 352 Cuban Revolution 3 credits
Origins of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel Castro and the insurrection. Confrontations with the United States: Bay of Pigs and Missile Crisis. The construction of a socialist economy and a new society. Cuba in the Twenty-First Century
HIS 355 Chinese Culture and Civilization before 1900 3 credits
The course traces the roots of Chinese culture and civilization from the ancient period to the end of the Imperial era. Among the topics considered are Confucianism, the Dynastic cycle, and intellectual and scientific advances.
HIS 356 Twentieth Century China 3 credits
Examines the evolution of Chinese society from the imperial era, through the world wars, the Communist Revolution and the re-emergence of China as a major economic and political power. Fall 2013
HIS 357 The Old South 3 credits
Investigation of the American South from colonization to the Civil War. Special attention will be paid to those factors which seem to make the South a distinct region, especially the peculiar institution of slavery.
HIS 358 Traditional Japan 3 credits
This course examines the roots of Japanese history and culture from ancient times. Among the topics studied are early Japanese religion and society, the court culture of the Heian era, Japanese feudalism and the transition to the modern world in the Tokugawa period.
HIS 359 History of Japan: 1868 – Present 3 credits
Development of modern Japan from Restoration of 1868 to the present.
HIS 364 Technology in America 3 credits
Exploring the history of technology in the United States from the nineteenth century until the rise of the popular Internet, this course examines technology development and use in the context of politics, culture, and social justice. (Justice attribute)
His 365 U.S.–Latin American Relations since 1898 3 credits
U.S. occupations in the Caribbean and Central America. The Mexican Revolution. The CIA operations in Guatemala and Cuba. The Cold War in Latin America. The Nicaraguan Revolution and turmoil in Mexico.
HIS 370 Murder & Madness in Modern America 3 credits
Focuses on American murder cases and episodes of madness since 1900, including assassinations, ideological killings, serial killings, spree killings, contract murders, and garden variety household murders. Also looks at how murderers have been punished and how murder stories have entertained American society. Fall 2013
HIS 371 Colonial America
Major themes, persons, developments, and issues of the history of early America, from approximately 1500 to 1763. The focus will be on the natures of North American and European societies before first contact; the settlement and nature of the English colonies in the Chesapeake, New England, the middle colonies, and the Carolinas; Indian and European contact and conflict in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the “revolutions” of the late-seventeenth century; the growth and maturation of the colonial economy, society, and culture (including religion); and the eighteenth-century battle for empire.
HIS 372 American Revolution 3 credits
Exploration of the political, social and constitutional issues in the era of American Independence. In particular we will try to answer the question, “Was the American Revolution truly revolutionary?”
HIS 382 New York State History 3 credits
This course explores the history of New York State from its colonial origins through the twentieth century in the context of major themes in American history. Special attention paid to slavery, ante-bellum reform movements, New York City, progressivism, immigration. Throughout we will study the people -- famous and infamous, rich, poor, and middling -- who built the Empire State.
HIS 383 The Gilded Age and the Progressive Era 3 credits
This course examines topics in the political, economic and social transformation of America between 1877 and 1920. During these tumultuous decades, the United States entered a period of sustained economic and industrial growth, creating new wealth, jobs, and generally a higher standard of living for many Americans. Nevertheless, the social, political, and economic inequalities raised significant questions about democracy in America.
HIS 384 The Roaring Twenties 3 credits
This course examines the extraordinary decade of the 1920s in America, which saw the “noble experiment” of Prohibition, the hedonism of “flaming youth,” the changing role of women; the automobile revolution; and the reactions of white supremacists, Christian fundamentalists, writers, and the “New Negro.” It was also a time of escapism, following a generation of reform and the horror of the Great War. Many Americans now delighted in gold-fish swallowing, flag-pole sitting, bathtub gin and Al Capone, larger-than-life athletic contests, and movie-watching of vamps like Clara Bow. There was never a decade like it before or since.
HIS 386 The Civil War Era 3 credits
Covers the events leading up to the War, including abolitionism and Bleeding Kansas. There will also be an in-depth examination of the military strategies and tactics of the War as well as the process of modernization that War engendered. The course will conclude with an analysis of the successes and failures of Reconstruction. Fall 2013
HIS 387 Representations of the Holocaust in Film and Literature, Art and Music 3 credits
For many historians, the defining moment of the twentieth century is the Holocaust — the systematic and deliberate extermination of an estimated ten to twelve million people, of whom six millions were Jews. This senior capstone course explores representations of the holocaust in literature and film since the end of World War II. Texts include memoirs and reflections of those who survived the Holocaust, literary and poetic representations of the Holocaust, in part by survivors and in part by writers who viewed the Holocaust from a distance and cinematic representations of the Holocaust. The course will conclude with a careful reconsideration of the moral dimensions of the Holocaust. (Field 3, Ethics attribute) Fall 2013
HIS 390 Civil Rights Movement 3 credits
Examines the African-American movement to end racial injustice. Focus is on dramatic events since World War II, black leaders and organizations, white allies, the Ku Klux Klan, and the federal government’s response. The far-reaching impact and the legacy of the movement will be considered. (Justice attribute)
HIS 391 Immigration and Ethnicity in American History 3 credits
This course explores the role that immigration has played in American social, political, economic, and cultural life from colonial times to the present. It examines the causes of mass immigration to the United States at different historical time and the formal and informal attempts to exclude/ include immigrants in the fabric of American life.
HIS 394 Contemporary Middle East 3 credits
History of Middle East from the last days of the Ottoman Empire through mandate system established by Versailles Peace Conference to struggle for independence during and after World War II.
HIS 396 Politics and Society in American Film 3 credits
This course explores the history of film, the quintessentially democratic art, in the United States with special attention to the origins of the moving pictures, Hollywood and its Golden Age, and the assault against the movies by the House Un-American Activities Committee. We also examine how the movies represented some of the major social and political conflicts in America life. Themes include immigration and ethnicity, gender roles, racial conflict, urban life, labor, and American individualism.
HIS 399 U.S. Foreign Relations since 1898 3 credits
The rise of the United States as a world power since the Spanish-American War of 1898. The struggle against Germany in Europe. The Cold War against the Soviet Union and Communist China. U.S. military interventions and CIA operations in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.
HIS 401 Historical Methodology 3 credits
Methods of historical research and criticism, including consideration of basic bibliographical and reference works, note-taking, and evaluation of sources. Research paper required. Prerequisite: History honors students and others with permission of chair. Fall
HIS 411 Seniors Honors Thesis 3 credits
Research and writing of a thesis to satisfy requirements for graduation with Honors in History. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and/or permission of the chair. (Writing Intensive attribute) Fall
HIS 420 Food in History 3 credits
Examines the always fundamental but constantly changing role of food in society from the medieval period to the present. Themes include changing relationships of power and class, the impact of trade and technology, and the process of economic and cultural globalization. (History Seminar)
HIS 421 Nature and the Arts of Angling, Restoration, and Contemplation 3 credits
As an exercise in the genre of cultural history, this course is an introduction to the history, literary and cultural significance, and practice of fly fishing in America, as well as around the world. Students will also examine the religious themes and the “spiritualization” often attached to fly fishing, which have been expressed in some of the most loved writings in the English language. Students will additionally gain a basic knowledge of fly fishing and an understanding of the ecological, ethical, and justice-related issues surrounding the sport. (Core capstone)
HIS 440 Seminar on Genocide and Human Rights in the 20th Century 3 credits
This course explores the high incidence of genocide in the 20th century and the response of the international community to the problem of genocide. It focuses on five discrete instances of genocide beginning with the massacre of the Hereros and Namaqua in German South-West Africa from 1904-07, the Armenian Genocide in Turkey during World War I, the Jewish Holocaust in World War II, the genocide accompanying the break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1980s, and ending with the genocidal attack of the Hutu on the Tutsi in Rwanda in the 1990s. It also examines the efforts of international community to address the problem of genocide and concentrates in particular on the affirmation of the doctrine of human rights in the period after World War II.
HIS 450 America and the Holocaust 3 credits
Explores the response of the United States to the Holocaust, the systematic extermination of an estimated ten to twelve million people, of whom six million were Jews, during World War II. It examines the implications of the American response to the Holocaust for the inequities and prejudices that remained at the core of American life in the mid-twentieth century. (Core capstone)
HIS 460 The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt 3 credits
Explores the decades popularly known as the Gilded Age and Progressive Era with special attention to Theodore Roosevelt, what he famously called “the strenuous life,” and his efforts towards the achievement of a more just economic and social order. Attention to Roosevelt’s responses – imperfect as they were -- to domestic challenges including monopoly, labor unrest, and conservation, and international crisis including the Spanish American War and World War I. (Core capstone) Fall 2013
HIS 468 Reservation Experience 3 credits
Students participate in cultural immersion programs on the Navajo, Hopi, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, or Lakota Reservations, learning about native history, culture, customs, and ceremonies. (Diversity attribute)
His 487 Representations of the Holocaust in Film and Literature 3 creditsSenior Capstone course that explores the representations of the holocaust in literature and film since the end of World War Two. (Core Capstone; seniors only, not open to students who have taken HIS 387)
HIS 498 Internship 3 credits
Internships may be arranged with a variety of organizations including the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site Foundation, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and the Coloured Musicians Club museum. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and permission of the chair and associate dean.
HIS 499 Independent Study 3 credits
Offers the opportunity to conduct a program of independent readings and/ or research on a topic of the student’s choice under the supervision of a member of the History Department. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and permission of chair and associate dean.