Core Courses and Electives-- Fall 2018

History Department Fall 2018 Courses

  • Methods courses to develop strong research and effective written and oral communication skills.
  • Applied learning courses to engage in direct application of skills, theories and models to real-world settings, creative projects or independent or directed research.
  • Survey courses in World, European, and U.S. History to better understand broad narratives of the past.
  • Coursework in World, European, and U.S. History at the 300-level to strengthen content knowledge and historical skills.

Research/Teaching Methodology Courses

(Majors only, minors with approval)

Dr. Mary Beth Sievens

Section 01 (32377) MWF 10:00-10:50AM (Only for fall 2018 first-year students)

Dr. Ellen Litwicki

Section 02 (32378) TR 3:30-4:50PM (Transfer section)

Theme/Description: This course is an introduction to the discipline of history and to the skills necessary to study history. The class will consider such questions as: What is history? Why do we study history? How do we study history? What skills can we develop by studying history? What careers does the study of history prepare us for? Students will learn strategies to effectively read textbooks, journal articles, and monographs; they will have opportunities to write precis and review essays; and they will be introduced to research sources available through Reed Library. The course will focus on teaching students to identify authors’ arguments, explain how authors build their arguments, and evaluate those arguments.

Dr. Steven Fabian

Section 01 (32628) MW 3:00-4:20PM

Description/Theme: From Colony to Country

After World War II, many African, Arab, and Asian colonies gained their independence from European imperialist powers.  Students will each undertake an individual research project to investigate a very significant question: what came next?  How did countries which were essentially created by foreigners create a sense of national identity among diverse communities?  How did they develop their economies to wean themselves off European dependence?  How did these vulnerable countries navigate the stormy waters of the Cold War?

This is not a lecture course about the history of nation building; instead, this course uses that subject as a means to provide an introduction to the methods and skills of historical analysis.  We will explore various types of historical sources, the approaches used by historians, and the tools of historical research and analysis.  You will learn how to do basic historical research; how to assess and interpret historical evidence; how to read a scholarly article; understand the meaning of historiography; and how to organize and present historical information using analytical writing.  This course also counts as a Fredonia Foundations course in the Oral Communications category.

Dr. Jacky Swansinger

Section 01 (495-33475/499-33568) TR 3:30-4:50

Theme/Description: Populism

Populism derives from the latin word populus, or the people, and its daily usage involves supporting the concerns of the people. In third century Rome, a political party evolved, Populares, wanting to care for the urban poor, supporting the commoners. Today’s term, Populism describes a political sentiment or movement based on the people’s perception that a peril threatens them, and action must occur to safeguard their future. This capstone seminar will focus on the history of populism, broadly defined. Students will read two/three books and a series of articles, before moving to research primary sources and secondary sources to answer questions and build arguments regarding the roots of populism.

Prof. Patrick Newell

Section 01 (32789) M 4:30-6:50PM

Theme/Description: Social Studies Methods is a course designed to provide teacher candidates with a foundation in the practical, day-to-day realities of teaching social studies to adolescent students. Our goal is to translate educational theory into skills that will help you become effective social studies teachers. These skills include the creation of instructional objectives, the construction of effective learning activities, the assessment of learning, effective classroom communication and management, and the use of instructional technology. To help you develop these essential skills, this course emphasizes the creation of daily lesson plans as well as unit plans. You will make in-class presentations based on lesson plans you develop to allow you to practice your instructional skills. The class will provide you with opportunities to reflect on your plans and presentations and to respond by making necessary adjustments to your planning and instructional practices.


Survey Courses

(Open to all, but primarily for Majors and Minors. Will not fulfill Fredonia Foundations)

Dr. Nancy Hagedorn

Section 01 (33725) TR 9:30-10:50

Theme/Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the major themes and events in American history from earliest settlement through the official end of Reconstruction in 1877. It offers students an overview, or survey, of American social, political, economic, and cultural development across the broad sweep of more than 300 years—centuries during which the foundations of modern American society were established. In addition to learning the “facts” of American history, students will also be exposed to the way historians work and use evidence and will be expected to begin to “think historically” as we examine and analyze a variety of historical sources and materials. .

Dr. John Arnold

Section 01 (33813) TR 2:00-3:20PM

Theme/Description: This course introduces students to the broad narrative of western history from its origins through the sixteenth century of the Common Era. The course explores the development of various cultural and political traditions in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, their intermingling during the Roman Era, and their transmission and transformation during the Medieval Era. Students will attain knowledge of specific political, religious, and intellectual traditions and events that have contributed to the formation of a Western consciousness attain some understanding of the means by which historians conceptualize and engage in the historical project, and come to recognize the constructed nature of history itself

Dr. Markus Vink

Section 01 (33723) TR 12:30-1:50PM

Theme/Description: This course will focus on the early period: human pre-history and history 3500 BCE to about 1550 CE. The course is divided into four sections: the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and husbandry, along with the origin and development of urban life (the agricultural revolution and the rise of cities); warfare and monarchy, the political organization of human societies in the form of agricultural settlements, cities, regional kingdoms and universal empires (political community); the formation and expansion of ethnic and universal communities of belief based on religious teachings (religious community); and finally, the linking of the world by global land and sea trade following the creation of the Mongol Empire and European overseas expansion (unification of the world).


Applied Learning Courses

(Open to all. Will not fulfill Fredonia Foundations)

Dr. Nancy Hagedorn

Section 01 (HIST 202-33815) TR 2:00-3:20PM

Theme/Description: Using short lectures, reading, discussion, museum visits, and guest speakers, students will explore the history, role, and function of museums including the types and definitions of museums; dimensions, creation and management of collections; exhibition development; administration; ethics; and visitor experiences. Includes instruction and practice in writing for a variety of museum contexts and audiences. Designed for students interested in museums and curious about museum careers, this course serves as an introduction to museums and the field of museum studies and encompasses fields as diverse as history, the sciences, anthropology, art, and public administration. While many of our case studies will be drawn from the field of history museums, key questions that we will address include: What are museums and how are they distinguished from other community institutions? What is the history of museums? What functions do they serve? How are collections organized, preserved, investigated, and interpreted within museums? • What varieties of museums exist? What careers are available in museums? Why do people visit museums? How do visitors impact museums? How is research conducted in museums?


Ethnic Studies Courses

(Open to all)

Dr. Jennifer Hildebrand

Section 01 (CRN) TR 12:30-1:50

Theme/Description: The course explores the origins and evolution of Native America Studies as a program, placing it within the historical, political, social and cultural context in which it developed. Students will learn why a multi-disciplinary approach can be beneficial to the understanding of Native American experiences in North America. This course explores the different sets of knowledge produced by and about Native Americans and the complicated relationship between Native Americans and the United States government. By interrogating representations of Native American identity, this course will engage students in discussions about the complexity of race, self-representation, and cultural politics


World Regional Civilizations and Upper Level Courses

(Open to all, prereqs may be needed)

Dr. Steve Fabian

Section 01 (33816) MWF 12:00-1:00PM

Theme/Description: This course covers the history of Africa from the late nineteenth century to the present. It investigates political, social, and economic change in colonial and post-colonial Africa. Key questions include: how have the legacies of colonial rule shaped present day African states and societies? How have African states, leaders and intellectuals grappled with contemporary nation building challenges like political instability, economic dependency, ethnic tension, and democratization? The course will also address Africa’s place in the world and explore how global phenomena have affected Africa as well as how Africa has affected global events.

Dr. John Arnold

Section 01 (33817) MWF 1:00-1:50PM

Theme/Description: This course traces the development of Rome from a city-state through the Roman Empire and its fourth-century transformation. Includes the Primordia, the formation of the early republic and the Confederation of Italy, the Punic Wars and the conquest of the Mediterranean world, the conflicts of the late republic, Augustus and the empire, the origins of Christianity, the Third Century Crisis, and the Late Antique transformation.

Dr. Mary Beth Sievens

Section 01 (33818) MWF 2:00-2:50

Theme/Description: A survey of women's history from colonial times to present with emphasis on the changing status and definition of women's roles, race and ethnicity, and women's writings.

Dr. Jennifer Hildebrand

Section 01 (33786) TR 11:00AM-12:20PM

Theme/Description: This course will provide the student with an in-depth look at the history of African Americans’ civil rights in the United States (or the denial thereof). An examination of the struggle for civil rights among the African American community before the Civil Rights Movement — even during the slavery era — will set the stage for the mass action and protest that erupted in the 1950s and 1960s. As we continue to trace the movement’s evolution, we will turn to the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s and the conservative backlash of the 1980s and 1990s before we close with a discussion of the state of African American civil rights today.

Dr. Najia Aarim

Section 01 (33783) TR 3:30-4:50PM

Theme/Description: This course examines race and ethnic relations in the United States. The course is divided into two units. First, we study some basic concepts, such as ethnicity and race, racism and ethnicism, racial and ethnic stratification, prejudice and discrimination, and the theoretical models of race relations. Then, the course moves to an examination of the role of ethnicity and race in shaping collective and personal identities, and a discussion of the major debates and controversies surrounding race and ethnic relations in the United States.

Dr. Ellen Litwicki

Section 01 (33472) TR 12:30-1:50PM

Theme/Description: Since the mid-19th century, monuments & memorials have spread across the U.S., dotting American cities and towns. Recently there has been much controversy over Confederate monuments, but such conflict is not new. This course will examine the historical roots of America’s many monuments and memorials. We will consider such questions as: Who decided/decides what people or events should be memorialized? What types of things are most memorialized? What is the purpose of such monuments? How do they shape public memory of American history? What stories do they tell? Do they favor some stories/people/events over others? What hasn’t been memorialized, and why? Do monuments & memorials present an incomplete, or even false, version of history? We will focus particularly on Washington, D.C, but will also consider local monuments, as well as some international comparisons. Among other assignments, students will complete a final project conceptualizing a monument or memorial honoring a person/group/event that has not previously been memorialized.


Dr. John Staples

Section 01 (33473) MW 3:00-4:20PM

Theme/Description: This course addresses the history of the Soviet Union from ca. 1932 to the 1990s as it is reflected in popular culture. The films, fiction, and music that comprise the core of the course will range from the mainstream and state-sponsored to the dissident underground. They will thereby reveal how the state understood itself and wished to be understood, and how growing disaffection with the Soviet system was voiced.

Dr. Xin Fan

Section 01 (33819) TR 2:00-3:20PM

Theme/Description: One way or another, East Asia related topics have become part of our daily conversation in America today. When will the high-tech giant Niantic release the next generation species in the augmented reality game Pokémon Go? Why is the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un acting so “irrationally crazy”? Or, will China take America over as the new global superpower of the 21st century? East Asia, as a cultural region, presents ordinary Americans with not only enormous opportunities but also seemingly insurmountable political challenges. This course, in collaboration with Niigata University in Japan, is an attempt to make sense of modern East Asian society through various approaches of scholarly inquires. After a quick survey of the recent history of East Asian countries, we will dissect the modern relationships in East Asian society, culture, and economy through group discussions, video presentations, and international dialogues (for this semester, with students at Niigata University specifically). In doing so, we will come to a better understanding of how modernity has shaped the identities of the local people, and in return to acquire a critical view to rethink some social, cultural, and political issues back in our own society.

Dr. Eileen Lyon and Dr. Peter McCord

Section 01 (33820) MWF 12:00-1:00PM

Theme/Description: In this class, you will learn the causes, conduct and consequences of the war fought between 1914 and 1918. You will also learn about how the war is remembered and commemorated. The causes include long- and short-term causes, most of which were structural rather than event-driven. The consequences of the war range from the immediately obvious, such as human suffering and national exhaustion, to longer-term political effects including the contested borders in the Middle East. The course is not, strictly speaking, a military history course, although you will learn about some of the larger battles campaigns, and important military issues, such as militarism, war production and technology. Ideally the course will balance political, social, economic and military topics to give a complete understanding of this difficult subject, a war that ended in November 1918. Students will accomplish these goals through reading, lectures, and discussion, as outlined below on the course schedule. Importantly, students will work on projects of their own making, which they will present to the class at the end of the semester, so that students may learn from each other what aspects of the war still resonate a century later.