Fredonia Foundations--Spring 2020 Courses

Fredonia FoundationsFredonia Foundations and History

Contrary to popular perceptions, history is not about rote memorization, multiple-choice tests, or endless lectures. Rather, history is an inquiry into human experience. Historians ask questions, locate sources, identify, analyze, and interpret evidence, draw conclusions, and communicate to make the past accessible for diverse audiences. History is essential for active citizenship.  

In this spirit, we have created exciting new courses for Fredonia Foundations! Our classes will enable students to engage in a range of historical topics and issues that will foster creativity, critical thinking, and a broad global and diverse perspective of the human past.

Courses will change each semester so check back regularly for updates! 

For students entering Fredonia prior to the fall 2018, please note that:

  • HIST 150, 151, and 152 will fulfill the Other World Cultures CCC category
  • HIST 160 and 161 will fulfill the Western Civilization CCC category
  • HIST 170 and 171 will fufill the American History CCC category

Spring 2020 Course Offerings

HIST 150 Global Pasts

Other World Cultures/Critical Thinking & Analysis




Dr. Xin Fan

sec. 01--TR  8:00-9:20AM, CRN 14222--HONORS

sec. 02--TR 9:30-10:50AM, CRN 14223

Dr. Jacqueline Swansinger

sec. 03--TR 2:00PM--3:20PM, CRN 14224


Dr. Peter McCord

sec. 05--MWF 2:00-2:50PM, CRN 14753


The rise of China at the turn of the twenty-first century is the single most important event in contemporary world history. Within the past four decades, this country was quickly transformed from an impoverished agricultural society torn apart by wars and revolutions into a mighty industrial power in the global economy. What is the secret of China’s success? What is the cost of its rapid social change and development? And what impact does its rise have on a globally-minded citizen in Western society? These are the key issues that we will discuss in this course on China today. Through an interdisciplinary lens, students will design imaginary tours of Chinese cities, decode the myth of its political economy, and debate the role of traditional Chinese culture in this modernized society. We will also pay close attention to American media’s presentation of China, and rethink America’s future role in the globalized international society. Cities testify to the human spirit. Urban experience liberates capabilities that seem rarely to bubble forth from agricultural life. Intellect, culture, complexity, and wealth seem to rise naturally from the urban environment. Cities have existed for thousands of years, yet they remain an expression of the new.  The unique essence of each space is the result of its original conditions of creation, but also its rebirth due to disaster, war, industrialization, and rebuilding. In this course, we will examine six to seven cities rebuilt over the course of the last 150 years to discover what they say about our contemporary world.  Some of the cities we can choose from are: San Francisco, Istanbul, Beirut, Berlin, Nagasaki, Baghdad, Singapore, Melbourne, Pittsburgh, Shanghai, Jakarta, and Colombo Port City. This course will examine the conflicts and political upheavals that shaped World History in the 20th Century, from the Chinese and Mexican Revolutions through World Wars I and II, and the decolonization conflicts of the 60s and 70s.

HIST 151 Global Patterns

Other World Cultures/Creativity and Innovation


Dr. Steve Fabian

sec. 01--MWF 12:00-12:50PM,  CRN 14226

sec. 02-- MWF 1:00-1:50PM, CRN 14341

This course addresses a set of significant questions: how do you create a nation-state out of complexity and contention? How can different social, religious, and racial groups cohere as a single nation?  How can democratic governments be installed among peoples who have for generations lived under non-democratic governments?  How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of a democratically-elected majority?

By taking a course on this topic as non-western societies have experienced it, students will gain global awareness by understanding these issues through the eyes of another culture.  They will learn to appreciate the diversity of the human experience with regards to nation building using such examples as Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Palestine/Israel, Ghana, and the Congo among others.  We will also explore the related themes of nationalism and patriotism, and how media, art, and music are created and used towards promoting nationalist goals.

This course also includes the use of an innovative approach to engage students in answering the above questions by placing them directly in the shoes of people who grappled with these issues in different places and different time periods. For a section of the course, students will assume the roles of historical characters and political factions themselves, and engage in debate, discussion, and alliance building centered upon the above questions.  This experience focuses on Mexico in the early 20th century as its citizens grappled with reforming their nation in the midst of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920).

HIST 152 Global Perspectives

Other World Cultures/Global Perspectives & Diversity


Dr. Markus Vink

sec. 01--TR 8:00-9:20AM, CRN 14227

sec. 02--TR 9:30-10:50AM, CRN 1423

This course focuses on the early period of world history: human pre-history and history covering the period from 3500 BCE to about 1550 CE. Because of the length of the period and the complexity of the topics covered, the approach is thematic and comparative emphasizing multiple global perspectives and diversity. No attempt is made to provide a comprehensive narrative or to survey the whole period. Instead, course material will emphasize a few major themes of ‘processes’, such as the development of agriculture, the formation of cities and classical empires, the spread of universal and ethnic religions, global integration and exchange, which give a special character to the period. These processes are then illustrated by examples or ‘cases’ from Africa, the Americas, and Eurasia. These “cases” are then compared and contrasted in order to explore and expose various “patterns.”

    HIST 160 Western Pasts

    Western Civilization/Critical Thinking & Analysis



    Dr. Eileen Lyon

    sec. 02--MWF 10:00-10:50AM, CRN 14230

    Dr. John Arnold

    sec. 03--MW 3:00-4:20PM, CRN 14231--HONORS

    This course critically examines major social, economic and cultural aspects of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Europe. Particular attention is given to modern ideologies such as liberalism, socialism and nationalism. Changes in the culture of work wrought through industrialization, the effects of demographic change and other social movements are discussed. The revolutions of 1789, 1830 and 1848 are also considered in the context of ideological and social currents. This course critically examines the development of the distinctive features of the history and the economic, social, and cultural institutions of those peoples who lived around the Mediterranean Ocean during the centuries from 2500 BCE to 14 CE. Cultures under consideration include Egypt, Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome. The course brings critical thinking and analytical skills to the study of such course themes as geography as a determining factor in the development of political and economic institutions; such political systems as divine kingship, democracy, and the republic; and the economic systems of redistribution, reciprocity, and market economy. Particular attention is paid to their ideological purposes as achieved through art and literature.

    HIST 161 Western Patterns

    Western Civilization/Creative Thinking & Innovation

    HIST 170 American Pasts

    U.S. History/Critical Thinking & Analysis



    Dr. Nancy Hagedorn

    sec. 01--TR 2:00-3:20PM, CRN 14236


    Dr. Paul Lubiencki

    sec. 02--MW 3:00-4:20PM, CRN 14237

    sec. 03--MW 4:30-5:50PM, CRN 14238

    This course examine the narratives, or "stories" of early American history by examining the sources historians have used to describe witches and withcraft during the 17th century. We will foucs primarily on the unusal events that erupted in 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, and surround Essex County, but in order to understand those events, we will also need to examine early New England society, politics, and religion, as well as the broader international context of witch hunting in Europe and England. This course explores working class cultures and struggles in the historical development of the United States from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis is placed upon the diverse cultures and ideologies of the immigrants who came to America seeking a better life and who became (and still are) the foundation of our nation’s industry and labor. We will examine working people as well as their efforts to organize in concert and to create free and independent labor organizations including trade unions, labor parties, and mutual aid societies. We will examine the impact of this on our history.

    HIST 171 American Patterns

    U.S. History/Creative Thinking & Innovation


    Professor Elisabeth Davis

    sec. 01--TR 9:30-10:50AM, CRN 14755

    sec. 02--TR 11:00-12:20PM, CRN 14756

    The 1800s was a time of immense change in the United States.   In the years leading up to and following the Civil War, Americans experimented with new gender roles, religious values, economic and industrial standards, technology...and more. This course will explore the changes that occurred in American life during the long nineteenth century.


      Take the next step