Below you will find course descriptions for all the courses regularly taught by the history faculty at PC. The subject of the courses titled ‘Senior Seminar’ and ‘Topics’ vary with each semester and professor. Details are available from the faculty member or in the course listing distributed each semester.
Abbreviations: CO = Co-requisite ● POI = Permission of Instructor ● PR = Prerequisite ● RE = Recommended ● XL = Cross-listed
1100 Rise of World Cultures and Ideas (3) A study of the emergence and development of great ideas and cultures in the ancient and medieval eras.
1101 Introduction to the Modern World (3) A study of the development of great ideas and cultures of the modern era.
2200 American History I (3) An account of the political, economic, military, diplomatic, religious, and social development of the United States from the founding of the colonies to c. 1865.
2201 American History II (3) A continuation of the study of the United States from 1865 to the present.
2400 Ancient and Medieval Europe (3) This course will explore the major events, transitions, and junctures in Europe to c.1500. The course will emphasize the origins of western institutions and values such as democracy and Christianity. Key areas of study include the ancient Middle East, Greco-Roman culture, medieval life and culture, the Renaissance, and the Reformation.
2401 Modern Europe (3) This course will explore the major events, transitions, and historical junctures in Europe since 1500. The course will emphasize Europe’s interaction with the world, as well as the rise and fall of large European imperial projects. Key areas of study include the Enlightenment, European revolutions, the development of democracy, and the World Wars.
2800 Encounters Afar (3) Offered during the spring semester, this course involves students in an intensive study of a particular city’s or region’s history. The course culminates in a one-week study tour of the designated locale during Spring Break. (Extra fees for travel may apply.)
3210 Colonial and Revolutionary America (3) This course studies important themes in early North America, including the colonial era, the American Revolution, and the establishment of the new nation.
3211 Young America (3) This course studies issues confronting a new nation, including the rise of democracy, the exploration of the frontier and westward expansion, slavery and the South, benevolence and reform, and sectionalism and the Civil War.
3212 Emergence of Modern America, 1865-1920 (3) This course studies the evolution of the United States from Reconstruction to the end of the First World War.
3213 Modern America, 1920-Present (3) This course studies the development of the United States from the end of the First World War to present day.
3240 History of the South (3) This course is a survey of the history and culture of the South from the period of early settlement to the present. Special attention will be given to the Old South, the institution of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the New South, the Civil Rights movement, and the South in the Modern Era.
3241 Women in American History (3) This course will introduce students to major themes in American women’s history. It will examine the lives of women as workers, as family members, and as active participants in the public arenas of voluntary association and political activism. It will further explore the diversity of women’s experiences in terms of race, religion, class, and ethnic identity while also touching on the lives of specific notable women in American history.
3242 US Diplomatic History (3) This course is a survey of American foreign relations from 1890 to the present. Particular emphasis is given to America’s emergence as a global power and the Cold War.
3243 American Military History (3) This course is a survey of the military history of the United States from its European backgrounds to the contemporary age.
3244 Religion in America (3) (XL: RELG 355) This course is a survey of the American religious experience from colonial times to the present, with particular emphasis on the interaction of religion and American life.
3245 African-American History (3) (XL: RELG 356) This course is an examination of the African-American contribution to the life of the American people from the period of slavery to the present. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship of African-American religion to American history and culture. (Alternate years)
3270 Topics in American History (3) (May be taken more than once for credit) This course is a study of a particular event, theme, or era within American history. Previous offerings include the American Revolution, JFK Assassination, the Civil War, 1960’s America, the Vietnam War, and Native American History.
3410 Medieval England and France (3) This course compares the stories of the rise of England and France as medieval, Christian monarchies, emphasizing the career of Charlemagne, Anglo-Saxon Christian culture, and the rivalry that emerged between the kingdoms following 1066.
3411 Tudor and Stuart England (3) This course examines the upheaval and change that occurred in England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when religion and politics created crises that altered the course of English history and produced a Protestant and constitutional monarchy that was poised for leadership on the world stage.
3412 Modern Britain (3) This course will explore the modern history of Britain, including Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The course will emphasize the importance of the British Empire to modern Britain, and will explore the key political, social, and cultural events that shaped the modern era. The course will begin in the Georgian era and finish with the rise of neo-liberalism and globalization in Britain.
3413 The Soviet Union: Terrible Greatness (3) This course follows the grand and brutal socialist experiment that began with the Russian Revolution in 1917 and ended in the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Special focus will be on the contrast between utopian visions of a glorious communist future and the harsh Soviet reality of the gulags and the terror of the secret police.
3414 Germany: The Restless Nation (3) This course explores the history of Europe’s most restless nation between 1871 and 2000. The course will pay close attention to Germany’s delayed formation as a nation state, the legacy of WWI and the rise of Nazism, the impact of WWII, and the successful re-integration of Germany into the Western world after 1945.
3415 History of Scotland (3) This course is a survey of the history of Scotland from earliest times to the 18th century. Principle themes of the study include how the Scottish interacted with the greater European world and in particular with England and how the Christian tradition developed culminating in the Presbyterian Church.
3416 History of Ireland (3) This course is a survey of the history of Ireland from the age of St. Patrick to the struggle for independence. Principle themes of the course include religion and culture, colonization and national identity, and crisis and immigration.
3440 Greeks, Romans, and Barbarians (3) This course studies the contributions of the Greeks and Romans to the West and how Greco-Roman culture was preserved or altered by post-Roman peoples.
3441 History of Christianity (3) (XL: RELG 357) This course is a historical survey of Christianity from its beginnings to the present. Particular emphasis is on the development of Christian thought and its expression in the Church.
3442 Renaissance and Reformation (3) This course studies the Renaissance and the Protestant and Catholic Reformations as transformational events that matured Europe out of its medieval past towards the modern era.
3443 French Revolution (3) This course examines the origins, course, and impact of the French Revolution of 1789. It covers the Enlightenment scholars’ challenge to the abuses of absolutist France under Louis XVI, the high aspirations of the early revolutionaries, the descent into the Terror, and Napoleon’s takeover of the Revolution in 1799. Special focus will be on the commemoration and changing meaning of the event over time.
3444 World War II in Europe: History, Experience, and Memory (3) This course will focus on the military, political, economic, and social dimensions of the war in Europe and the USSR. Topics and themes include: Hitler’s war aims, the uses of propaganda, civilian mobilization and “total” war, racial policies and genocide, and the collaboration and resistance of civilians under Nazi occupation. The course will conclude with a survey of the ways in which the war has been, and continues to be, commemorated and debated in the European countries that took part in the war.
3445 The Holocaust (3) This course will analyze the major events and the popular memories of the Holocaust. Using memory studies as well as history, the course will cover not only the development of nationalist politics, anti-Semitism and racisms within Germany, but how different social groups remember, interpret, and communicate this traumatic period.
3446 Global History of Sport (3) This course will explore the multiple historical perspectives on the importance of sport to cultural life across the globe. Sport can play a role in social cohesion, national morale, international relationships, economic vitality, and political power. This course will evaluate the roles that sports played throughout history, as well as how they fit within broader patterns of cultural change.
3470 Topics in European History (3) (May be taken more than once for credit) This course is a study of a particular event, theme, or era within European history. Previous offerings include Global Environmental History, Comparative Fascism, The Byzantine Empire, History of Sexuality, and World War II in the Pacific.
3610 History and Philosophy of Traditional China (3) This course examines the history and philosophy of China from early times through the late- Qing dynasty (1700). Special emphasis will be placed on China’s significant philosophical heritage, including such pivotal philosophers as Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Chuangzi, Mozi, and Sunzi.
3611 Modern China and East Asia (3) This course is a survey of historical developments and politics of China in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the period since 1949. Briefer treatment of recent histories and contemporary politics of Japan and Korea will be included.
3612 History of India (3) This course is a survey of the history and culture of India from ancient times to the present with an emphasis on the basic institutions of Indian life, the influence of British colonialism, and India’s experience since independence.
3613 The Middle East from Muhammad to Napoleon (3) This course is a survey of Middle Eastern History from the rise of Islam through the arrival of Napoleon in Egypt in 1798. This course explores the culture and history of the Islamic world with particular focus on the evolution and spread of Islam from the 7th century onward. Special focus is also given to the roles of women and religious and ethnic minorities in the region throughout this period.
3614 History of Cuba (3) This course examines the political, social, economic, and cultural history of Cuba from Spanish colonialism to the present. Key issues addressed in the course will include colonialism, slavery, neo-colonialism, independence, social revolution, economic development, and U.S.-Cuban relations.
3615 Colonial Latin America (3) This course is a broad survey of the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of colonial Latin American history from the arrival of Columbus to independence throughout the region. Themes explored in this course include new cultural encounters, conquest, religion, economic development, labor, and independence.
3616 Modern Latin America (3) This course is a broad survey of the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of Latin American history since independence. The course highlights the historical similarities and differences within the region, as well as the area’s achievements and enduring problems.
3617 History of Japan (3) This course explores the history of Japan from its origins through the late 20th century. Particular attention will be focused on the Meiji reform period of the late 19th century, and Japan’s rise to global power between the world wars.
3618 History of the Modern Middle East and North Africa (3) This course explores the modern history of the Middle East and North Africa from the arrival of Napoleon in 1798 through the first Gulf War. Particular emphasis will be placed on the impact of European imperialism and the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, the emergence of modern Turkey and Egypt, the origins and legacy of the Arab-Israeli conflict, decolonization in French and Italian North Africa, the role of oil in the region, the impact of the Iranian Revolution, and the legacy of the first Gulf War.
3640 Gender and Family in Chinese History (3) This course explores the familial and gender roles that have dominated Chinese society since traditional times. Consideration will be given to the historical influence of Confucianism, and primary emphasis will be placed on the 20th century intellectuals who have sought to reform these traditionally conservative elements of Chinese society.
3641 Violence and Terror in Modern History (3) This course will pursue a comparative examination of violence and terror in modern history. The class will explore the use of violence and terror in modern conflicts as well as the means through which marginal political and religious groups (Irish Republican Army, PLO, and al Qaeda) have used violence and terror to call attention to their respective causes.
3642 Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (3) This course explores issues of race and ethnicity in Latin America from the colonial period to the present. In particular, the course examines how ideas of race and ethnicity have intersected with political, economic, and socio-cultural developments in the region. The course also considers the ways in which race, class, and gender have interacted in Latin America.
3670 Topics in Areas Studies History (3) (May be taken more than once for credit) A study of a particular event, theme, or era within Area Studies. Previous offerings include History of the South Pacific, The Jesuits in Asia, Revolutions in Latin America, Slavery and Abolition in the Americas, etc.
4000 Senior Seminar Prerequisite (3) (PR: POI) This course runs concurrently with a 3000-level course and serves as a content-based prerequisite for HIST 4001.
4001 Senior Seminar (3) (PR: JR or SR status; HIST major; POI) This course consists of readings, discussion, and oral and written reports on a topic selected by the department faculty.
4002 Introduction to Historiography (3) This course will introduce students to the various approaches historians have taken to understanding and interpreting the past. The course will emphasize the various perspectives and goals of historians, with an emphasis on those developed in the 20th century. Though it is intended primarily to prepare students for further studies in history and the humanities, it will be of value to all history majors.
4003 Honors Research (3) See Catalog.
4004 Reading (1-3) (PR: JR or SR status; Minimum GPA = 2.75) Reading is designed for students desiring better grounding in the literature of an area of historical study. Hours earned in Reading may be applied to the elective credits of the history major or minor by permission of the department. A maximum of three credit hours of HIST 4003, 4004, 4005, or 4007 can be taken in a semester, and a maximum of six credit hours in HIST 4004, 4005, and 4007 may be applied to the history major or minor. See Catalog.
4005 Directed Study (3) (PR: JR or SR status; Minimum GPA = 2.75) Directed Study is designed for students interested in pursuing additional study in an area of the student’s choosing. Each directed study will culminate in a research paper or its equivalent. Students must have a GPA of 2.75 or better. Hours earned in Directed Study may be applied to the elective credits of the history major or minor by permission of the department. A maximum of three credit hours of HIST 4003, 4004, 4005, or 4007 can be taken in a semester, and a maximum of six credit hours in HIST 4004, 4005, and 4007 may be applied to the history major or minor. See Catalog.
4007 Internship (3) Internships must have a history component in order to receive credit as HIST 4007. Hours earned in Internship may be applied to the elective credits of the history major or minor by permission of the department. A maximum of three credit hours of HIST 4003, 4004, 4005, or 4007 can be taken in a semester, and a maximum of six credit hours in HIST 4004, 4005, and 4007 may be applied to the history major or minor. See Catalog.