History Course Descriptions

History Courses

HIS 101, 102 THE UNITED STATES I & II / 3 credits each
The American experience from the colonial period to the present.

HIS 201, 202 WESTERN CIVILIZATION I & II / 3 credits each
Major political, economic, cultural, and social forces and events from the time of the ancient Hebrews and Greeks to the present. The first semester will cover the ancient Hebrews and Greeks through the Reformation. The second semester will cover the Early Modern period through the present.

HIS 280 HISTORIOGRAPHY AND THE HISTORICAL METHOD / 3 credits
This course will teach students to do history for themselves. We will explore the process of doing history, practice those processes, and discuss the merits of different approaches to studying the past. Throughout the course we’ll research primary materials and work in archives, think hard about spotting and developing theses, probe the philosophical question of what history is, and learn historical content from an important field of American history. By the end of the course, students will have a historical research project of their own choosing well in hand and ready to be developed in HIS 480, our capstone course. Required for History majors and minors. Prerequisites: HIS 201-202 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.

HIS 296 BACH’S GERMANY / 3 credits
An investigation of four cities (Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, and Weimar) where the composer J.S. Bach lived and worked. Special emphasis will be placed on compositions written by Bach in each of these locales. (Same as MUS 296).

HIS 303 HISTORY OF IRELAND / 3 credits
This course will survey the history of Ireland from the arrival of the Celts to the present-day conflict in Northern Ireland. Major emphasis will be placed on explaining how Ireland’s history shaped and continues to shape its present. Prerequisite: HIS 201 or permission of instructor.

HIS 310 COLONIAL AMERICA / 3 credits
Was the American Revolution radical? This course will investigate that crucial question and, in so doing, will show students that there are layers of meaning to our founding moment that our current discourse about democracy and justice tend to obscure. Major emphasis in the course will be on constitutional issues, but those questions will also be consistently juxtaposed with social and economic history, so that we have experience comparing political theories of independence with the ways in which life was lived on the ground across this geographic space.

HIS 312 FOUNDING AMERICA / 3 credits
This course explores the era when Europeans established polities and societies on this continent. We will explore the histories of the various regions, types of colonies, array of people, and the important changes that took place culturally, socially, religiously, economically, and politically across the 150 years of colonial history. Major emphasis will be placed upon the fact of the diversity of peoples and cultures on this continent and the course will explore how that fact made possible what would become the United States of America.

HIS 315 U.S. FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY / 3 credits
Covers the evolution of U.S. foreign and security policy with particular attention to the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. The policy-making process, including the role of public opinion, the mass media, and Congress, will also be covered. Prerequisite: POL 205 or permission of instructor (Same as POL 315).HIS 320 METHODS

HIS 320 METHODS OF TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES / 2 credits
Acquaintance with materials, methods, and latest trends in the teaching of social studies.

HIS 325 HISTORY AND FILM / 3 credits
Students will watch several films on real historical events to ascertain their historical veracity. Students will research both the films and the actual events from the standpoint of professional historians and will demonstrate how films are very much the reflection of the society that produced them. Film topics will vary but will treat such issues as war, revolution, imperialism, colonialism, and the struggle of classes and social order.

HIS 329 THE EARLY CHURCH / 3 credits
The development of Christian thought and life to 600 A.D. Prerequisite: RPH 120 or permission of instructor. (Same as RPH 329).

HIS 331 THE MIDDLE AGES / 3 credits
This course is a survey of the History of Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire to the end of the 15th century. Topics include the Christianization of Europe, the evolution of feudalism, the rise of the papacy, the Crusades and the Hundred Years’ War. Prerequisites: HIS 201/RPH 201 or permission of the instructor. (Same as RPH 331).

HIS 334 RECENT EUROPEAN HISTORY / 3 credits
Dominant currents in Europe and its dependencies from the Congress of Vienna to the present.

HIS 340 THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND NAPOLEON / 3 credits
An exploration of the causes and consequences of this very decisive period, which witnessed the destruction of the Old Regime and the birth of the modern state. Consideration will be given to the ideology of the Enlightenment, social and political reforms, the forces of radicalism and popular violence, and the origin of nationalism. In addition, the career of Napoleon and its impact on Europe will be examined. Prerequisite: HIS 201 or permission of instructor.

HIS 345 HISTORY OF INDIA AND CHINA / 3 credits
A survey of the history of China and India from earliest times to the present. Included are the study of China and India prior to contact with the West, the impact of the West on these cultures, the rise of nationalism and anti-imperialism, and the rise of communism. Prerequisite: HIS 201 and 202 or permission of instructor.

HIS 349 THE GERMAN POLITICAL AND CULTURAL TRADITION / 3 credits
This course will consider the development of German political ideas and the evolution of German constitutional arrangements from the Reformation to the present. In addition to the Sonderweg thesis – which seeks to explain and understand Germany’s historical embrace of authoritarian political institutions – the course will also explore the rich German liberal and democratic tradition. In order to comprehend the complexity of German political thought, students will study the artifacts and writings of artists, philosophers, filmmakers, and poets, as well as historians and politicians. Prerequisite: HIS 202 or RPH 202. (Same as POL 349).

HIS 353 THE EVOLUTION OF WAR / 3 credits
This course is an exploration of warfare from earliest times to the present, viewing war as a social institution that must be seen in its fullest cultural context to be understood. Attention will be given not only to the historical development of war, but to its interrelationships with society and technology as well. Although the course focuses mainly on the West, it will have a significant global component in that the military experience of other cultures will serve as a vehicle of comparison. Prerequisites: HIS 201 and 202 or permission of instructor.

HIS 354 THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE / 3 credits
This course will examine the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire from 330-1453. Major emphasis will be on the political, social, and economic structures of Byzantium and the religion and culture of its peoples. The influence of Byzantium on the Slavs, Arabs, Turks, and Western European kingdoms will also be studied. Prerequisite: HIS 201 or RPH 201 or permission of instructor. (Same as RPH 354).

HIS 355 THE REFORMATION / 3 credits
This course will explore the causes and consequences of the Reformation. Major emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of the major reformers such as Luther, Calvin, and Loyola. In addition, we will explore its socio-political and cultural dimensions. Prerequisite: HIS 201/RPH 201, or permission of instructor. (Same as RPH 358).

HIS 356 THE SPANISH GOLDEN AGE / 3 credits
This course examines Spanish culture and society during the Golden Age of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Through the study of historical texts, we will explore some of the major issues of the age (the Inquisition, the Counter-Reformation, the problem of ethnic and religious minorities, and the rise and fall of empire). Prerequisite: HIS 201, or permission of instructor.

HIS 357 EARLY MODERN FRANCE / 3 credits
The course will cover the history of France from the “new monarchs” of the 15th century to the end of the Ancient Regime in 1789. Focus will be on gaining an understanding of such traditional themes as the consolidation of the French kingdom, the renaissance monarchy, the wars of religion, the development of absolutism, Louis XIV, the Enlightenment, and the forces that would eventually unleash the French Revolution. Great stress will be placed on understanding the larger economic and social forces that helped shape French history. In addition, students will explore some of the recent work in the areas of gender and cultural history. Prerequisite: HIS 201, or permission of instructor.

HIS 358 MODERN RUSSIA / 3 credits
The transformation of Russia in the 20th century, with special attention to the factors leading to the collapse of communism in the Gorbachev era and to the efforts to establish democratic institutions in the region thereafter. Prerequisite: POL 201, or permission of the instructor. (Same as POL 358).

HIS 361 THE CIVIL WAR / 3 credits
This course will focus on the Civil War as a military conflict. Great emphasis will be given to understanding the strategy, operations and tactics employed by both sides. Attention will also be given to the war in the context of international diplomacy and domestic politics as well as its impact on the nation. Prerequisite: HIS 101 or permission of instructor.

HIS 362 U.S. CONSTITUTION / 3 credits
Topics covered in this course include the evolving interpretation of the scope of power allotted to each separate branch of the national government, federalism, the legal and philosophical justifications for judicial review and the politics of Supreme Court decision making. (Same as POL 362).

HIS 366 ARKANSAS IN THE UNITED STATES / 3 credits
Arkansas from exploration to the present.

HIS 367 LIFE IN 20th CENTURY AMERICA / 3 credits
This course examines the history of the United States from the 1900s to the 1990s. Social history, domestic politics, influence of the media and popular culture will serve as themes while considering such topics as the Progressive Era, The Roaring Twenties, the Home Front during World War, the Great Depression, Cold War Culture, Counter Culture during the 1960s and others. Prerequisites: HIS 102 or permission of the instructor.

HIS 371 THE MIDDLE EAST / 3 credits
A survey of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present day. Major emphasis will be placed upon the development of Islamic society and culture. The impact and influence of the
West will also be considered. Particular attention will be given to the rise of nationalism, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the development of Islamic fundamentalism. Prerequisite: HIS 201 and 202 or permission of instructor. (Same as POL 371).

HIS 382 SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISTORY / 3 credits
Study of selected topics in history. Prerequisites will vary.

HIS 383 WORLD THEATRE HISTORY / 3 credits
A survey of world theatre from its ritualistic beginnings to the present day. It will include readings of selected plays from world cultures. Prerequisite: THE 101 or HIS 201 (same as THE 383).

HIS 399 HISTORY INTERNATIONAL STUDIES COURSE: Variable topics / 1 credit
Studies of varying topics in history, including a 2-week Nichols trip. Prerequisites will vary depending upon course topic.

HIS 411, 412 READINGS IN HISTORY I & II / 1-3 credits each
Reading and review of three to six monographs each semester. Tutorial.

HIS 460 PRACTICUM IN HISTORY / 1-3 credits

HIS 480 SENIOR SEMINAR / 3 credits
Preparation of a major research paper; some study of methodology in history. Prequisite: Senior standing or permisison of instructor.