Major

Ten courses at Dickinson (including approved courses while abroad and from transfer students)

I. Three courses in the Methods Core:
204
Any 300-level history course
404

II. Four courses in the Concentration:
The field of concentration usually covers a continental region but students may also define their own thematic concentrations that carry across regions.

III. Three Courses in Different Fields Outside of the Concentration
This usually means courses in three different regions of the world outside the continent of concentration.

Including chronological breadth:
Within the ten required courses, at least one course must be pre-1800 in orientation and at least one course must be post-1800.

Minor

204 and at least five additional history courses.

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The History major is a particularly flexible major. Students should take the methods sequence in order (204, a 300-level course and 404), but all other courses can be done in any order. Many history majors do a study-abroad program either for one semester or two – something the department supports. Most study-abroad programs offer history courses making this easier.

The guidelines are written for the entering student who thinks he or she might major in history. Rather than specify the courses that a student “must” have in a given semester, the following are general guidelines regarding types of courses that we suggest taking each year.

First Year 
One or two 100-level history courses or upper-level courses with good foundations from successful AP or IB coursework

Sophomore Year 
204, and one or two additional history courses

Junior Year 
A 300-level and two or three other history courses

Senior Year 
404 and remaining upper level history courses

NOTE: Students should plan their major in consultation with their advisors. 

Honors

Honors in the major require a minimum of two courses in independent research. Project proposals must be formulated and approved in the second semester of the junior year. Guidelines are on the History Department website. The project should be discussed with the department chair and faculty advisor. An oral examination is conducted by the department on papers judged to have honors quality.

Internships

Contact the Internship Office and/or an individual member of the History Department for information. Internships are ordinarily scheduled in the junior or senior years. Summer internships, perhaps at "living history" or museum sites, are also encouraged.

Opportunities for off-campus study

The Department encourages participation in the many off-campus options. The Dickinson programs in Bologna, Italy and Norwich, England are particularly attractive options for History majors.

Courses

105 Medieval Europe
This survey course will study the development of European civilization during the period ca.300 to 1300. It will consider the impact of such events as the decline of the Roman Empire, the Germanic invasions, the development of Christianity and the Church, the emergence of feudalism, the expansion of Islam and the Crusades, and the creation of romantic literature.

106 Early Modern Europe to 1799
Society, culture, and politics from the Renaissance through the French Revolution.

107 Modern Europe, 1789-2000
What does it mean to be "modern?" The course will examine the changing relationship between state and society, the growth of nationalism, the industrial revolution, liberalism, imperialism, socialism, secularization, urbanization, warfare, gender roles, the arts, and much more.

117 American History 1607 to 1877
This course covers colonial, revolutionary, and national America through Reconstruction. Include attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

118 American History 1877 to Present
This course covers aspects of political evolution, foreign policy development, industrialization, urbanization, and the expanding roles of 20th century central government. Includes attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

119 South Asia: India and Pakistan
A survey of ancient Indian civilizations, classical Hindu culture, the era of Muslim dominance, European imperialism, and issues confronting the subcontinent since independence.

120 East Asia: China and Japan
An introduction to the classical order in China and Japan followed by a consideration of the impact of Western intervention and internal change from the 18th century to the present. Special emphasis on the interaction between China and Japan in this period.

121 Middle East to 1750
The rise of Islam, the development of Islamic civilization in medieval times and its decline relative to Europe in the early modern era, 1500-1750.
This course is cross-listed as MEST 121. This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations distribution requirement.

122 Middle East since 1750
Bureaucratic-military reforms of the 19th century in Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, European imperialism, regional nationalisms, contemporary autocratic regimes, and the politicization of religion.
This course is cross-listed as MEST 122. This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

130 Early Latin American History to 1800
Survey of pre-Colombian and colonial Latin American history. Students explore the major ancient civilizations of the Americas, the background and characteristics of European conquest and colonization, the formation of diverse colonial societies, and the breakdown of the colonial system that led to independence. The course includes both the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas from a comparative perspective.
This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as LALC 230.

131 Modern Latin American History since 1800
Introduction to Latin American history since independence and the consolidation of national states to the recent past. Students explore social, economic, and political developments from a regional perspective as well as specific national examples.
This course is cross-listed as LALC 231.

150 History of Science
A global survey introduction to the history of science, technology, and medicine from ancient times to the present. The course emphasizes how scientific knowledge is created and used in the context of cultural, economic, social, and environmental change. Follows a comparative cultural approach, showing how knowledge of nature has developed in diverse places, including many parts of the non-Western world such as China, India, Mesoamerica, and the Middle East. Surveys major changes in ideas, institutions, and social context from the emergence of Western science in early modern Europe to the present.

151 History of Environment
Examines the interaction between humans and the natural environment in long-term global context. Explores the problem of sustainable human uses of world environments in various societies from prehistory to the present. Also serves as an introduction to the subfield of environmental history, which integrates evidence from various scientific disciplines with traditional documentary and oral sources. Topics include: environmental effects of human occupation, the origins of agriculture, colonial encounters, industrial revolution, water and politics, natural resources frontiers, and diverse perceptions of nature.
This course is cross-listed ast ENST 151.

204 Introduction to Historical Methodology
Local archives and libraries serve as laboratories for this project-oriented seminar that introduces beginning majors to the nature of history as a discipline, historical research techniques, varied forms of historical evidence and the ways in which historians interpret them, and the conventions of historical writing.
Prerequisite: one previous course in history.

206 American Environmental History
Examines the interaction between humans and the natural environment in the history of North America. Explores the problem of sustainable human uses of the North America environment form the pre-colonial period to the present. Also serves as an introduction to the subfield of environmental history, which integrates evidence from various scientific disciplines with traditional documentary and oral sources. Topics include: American Indian uses of the environment, colonial frontiers, agricultural change, industrialization, urbanization, westward expansion, the Progressive-Era conservation movement, changes in lifestyle and consumption including their increasingly global impact, shifts in environmental policy, and the rise of the post-World War II environmental movement.
This course is cross-listed as ENST 206.

211 Topics in American History
Selected areas and problems in American history. Suitable for beginning history students, majors, and non-majors.

213 Topics in European History
Selected areas and problems in European history. Suitable for beginning history students, majors, and non-majors.

215 Topics in Comparative History
Selected areas and problems in comparative history. Suitable for beginning history students, majors, and non-majors.

222 Feudal Europe
A study of the emergence of feudalism and an evaluation of its role in the development of western Europe.
Offered every other year. This course is cross-listed as a MEMS 200 topics course.

223 Renaissance Europe
A study of prevailing conditions (social, economic, political, and cultural) in western Europe with particular attention given to the achievements and failures of the Renaissance.
Offered every other year.

228 Italian History from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment
An examination of the principal events in Italian society, culture, religion, and politics, including the rise of the medieval monastic orders, Italian city-states, the development of commerce and industry, Renaissance Italy, the age of counter-reformation, and the Age of Enlightenment. Student research will utilize resources such as museums and libraries available in the Bologna area.
Offered in Bologna only.

230 Modern Germany
From the 19th century to the present. Emphasis on political and cultural responses to socio-economic change, including German liberalism, the Bismarckian settlement, origins of the world wars, Weimar democracy, and Nazism.
Offered every other year.

231 Modern France
French society, culture, and politics from the French Revolution to the present. Themes include revolutionary tradition, the development of modern life in Paris, the French empire, and the impact of World War I and II.
Offered every other year.

232 Modern Italy
A survey of social, cultural, and political developments from the beginnings of the Risorgimento in the 18th century to the post-war period, including the effects of the Napoleonic period, the unification of Italy, World War I, Fascism, World War II, and the Cold War.
Offered every other year.

234 Europe: 1914-1945
An examination of the evolution of European society between 1914 and 1945 under the impact of communism, fascism, and world war.
Offered every other year.

243 English/British History: 55 B.C. to 1688
This course covers the emergence of a unified English society, and its political expression, to 1688 with particular attention to social, economic, and institutional developments.

244 Modern Britain since 1688
This course covers the political, economic, and social development of Great Britain, domestically and internationally, as a major power in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the abandonment of that role in the 20th century.

247 Early American History
An examination of North American history from the earliest contacts between European and American peoples to the eve of the American Revolution. Particular attention is devoted to the interplay of Indian, French, Spanish, and English cultures, to the rise of the British to a position of dominance by 1763, and to the internal social and political development of the Anglo-American colonies.

248 The American Revolution
This course will focus on the period between 1763 and the first decade of the 1800s in North America, a time of tumultuous upheaval, intellectual ferment, and sporadic but intense violence which culminated in the creation of the United States. It will cover topics such as the expulsion of the French from North America, the rise of the a bourgeois public sphere, colonial contestation over sovereignty with Great Britain, the role of the military and violence in the new nation, republicanism, and the immediate ramifications of independence on a wide variety of groups within North America, such as women, American Indians, and free and slave African Americans.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences and US Diversity distribution requirements.

253 Russia: Clans to Empire
An examination of the early formation of multi-ethnic clans into a large multinational empire. The course explores state formation, the role of women, church power, the arts, nationality conflict and figures such as Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, and Catherine the Great.

254 Russia: Quest for the Modern
This course explores Russia's attempts to forge modernity since the late 19th century. Students will explore the rise of socialism and communism, centralization of nearly all aspects of life (arts, politics, economics, and even sexual relations), and opposition to the terror regime's attempts to remake life and the post-Soviet state's attempts to overcome Russia's past.

257 European Intellectual History
Main currents of Western thought from the 17th century to the present with emphasis upon the interaction of ideas and social development.
Offered every other year.

259 Islam
An introduction to Islamic beliefs and practices in their classical forms: rituals, law, mysticism, and other topics. The course will consider aspects of Islamic cultures and societies in medieval and modern times.
This course is cross-listed as MEST 259 and RELG 259. This course fulfills the DIV I.a. or DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

270 African History from Earliest Times to C. 1850
This course provides an overview to the political, social, and ecological history of Africa. We will examine the peopling of the continent, the origins of agriculture, the growth of towns and the development of metal technology. Written sources before the 1400s are almost nonexistent for most of Africa, and so we will use archaeological and linguistic sources. The geographic focus of the course will be the Middle Nile, Aksum in Ethiopia, the Sudanic states in West Africa, Kongo in Central Africa, the Swahili states of the East African coast, and Zimbabwe and KwaZulu in Southern Africa. We will also examine the Atlantic Slave Trade and the colonization of the Cape of Good Hope.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

271 African History since 1800
In this course we will study the political, social, economic and ecological forces that have shaped African societies since 1800. We will examine in depth the Asante kingdom in West Africa, the Kongo kingdom in Central Africa, and the Zulu kingdom in Southern Africa. European's colonization of Africa and Africans' responses will be a major focus of the course.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

272 The Atlantic Slave Trade and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1450-1850
During several centuries of European colonization in the New World, a thriving slave trade forced the emigration of millions of Africans across the Atlantic-an immigration far larger than the simultaneous immigration of Europeans to the same regions. We will address not only the workings of the slave trade on both sides (and in the middle) of the Atlantic, but also the cultural communities of West and West-Central Africa and encounters and exchanges in the new slave societies of North and South America. Through examination of work processes, social orders, cultural strategies and influences, and ideas about race and geography, across time and in several regions, we will explore the crucial roles of Africans in the making of the Atlantic world.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement. This course is cross-listed as LALC 272. Offered every two years.

273 African Americans Since Slavery
Focuses on the history of Americans of African ancestry in the years following the American Civil War, which ended in 1865. The course examines several important transformations of African Americans as a people. In the first, we consider the transition from slavery to a nominal but highly circumscribed "freedom," which ended with the destruction of Reconstruction governments in the South. We consider the institution-building and community-building processes among African Americans, and the development of distinctive elite and folk cultures among various classes of black people. We examine the Great Migration north and west between 1900 and 1920, and the urbanization of what had been a predominately rural people. Fifth, we consider the differential impact of World War I, the Great Depression, and the New Deal and World War II on African Americans, and the creation of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's - 1980's.
Offered every two years. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement.

274 The Rise and Fall of Apartheid
The peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa in the early 1990s was widely hailed as the "South African Miracle." This course asks why such a transition should be considered miraculous. In order to answer our question, we will begin with South African independence from Britain in 1910 and study the evolution of legalized segregation and the introduction in 1948 of apartheid. After reviewing opposition movements we will move to a discussion of the demise of apartheid and the negotiated political order that took its place. We will examine the machinery and the deliberations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and debate its accomplishments. The course ends with an examination of memory and history.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

275 The Rise of Modern China
The history of China from the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1912 to the rise of China as a global economic and political power in the twenty-first century. Topics include issues of cultural change and continuity, the growth of modern business, women's rights, urban and rural social crises, the rise of modern nationalism, Communist revolution, the political role of Mao Zedong, post-Mao economic reform and social transformation, human rights, and prospects for Chinese democracy.
Offered every two years. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

276 Outsiders in America
Considers the process of self-discovery and the formation of collective identity among individuals and groups who have historically experienced discrimination, oppression, and ostracism by middle-class Euro-American society. These groups include the homeless and transient, African-Americans within slavery and for many decades after "freedom," the "new immigrants" from Eastern and Southern Europe in the years 1870-1920, gay and lesbian Americans, the "undeserving poor" among Southern whites, and persons with disabilities. Although the narrators and commentators we will read do not encompass all Americans who have been considered as "others", their writings can be used to ask questions about the formation of individual and collective identities among a number of varied subcultures.
This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement.

277 European Empires
This course will investigate the building, celebration and dissolution of the European empires moving from the 15th century into the 20th century. Definitions of imperialism as it developed over time will be discussed. The readings look at the effects of empire in Europe as well as some of the effects in the colonies, including works by Christopher Columbus, Willam Shakespeare, George Orwell, and Chinua Achebe.
Offered every two years.

278 European Women's History
This course will explore the lives of European women in the modern period (1789 to the post WWII period). It looks at both rural and urban women, issues of class, family and motherhood as well as demands for social and political rights for women. The readings include primary sources such as housekeeping guides, novels and war propaganda and as well as secondary sources such as biographies and anthropological studies.
This course is cross-listed as WGST 278. Offered every two years.

279 The History of Film
This course concerns the emergence and development of the film industry and the various conditions that have and continue to influence it. While artistic considerations are certainly important, the making of films is also a commercial enterprise in which financial concerns are paramount. Moreover, since films enjoy enormous popularity with virtually all in society, regardless of age or education, the political and moral content of films is a constant concern for private as well as governmental organizations. Therefore, this course is also about how competing and often incompatible tensions -- artistic, financial, political, and moral -- have influenced the making of films. This course is cross-listed as FLST 201.

280 Medieval and Renaissance Women
Women have always constituted approximately half of the human population, and yet at virtually all times and places they have been subordinate to men; and until fairly recently their history has been ignored. Beginning with the Ancient World and continuing up to the sixteenth century, this course will investigate the status and ideas about women in various cultures. Relying on primary documents, we will consider the influences that affected the position of women, and when the sources permit, how women regard their situation.
Offered every two years.

281 Recent U.S. History
Examination of the social, political, and economic development of the U.S. since the New Deal.

282 Diplomatic History of the United States
Description and analysis of the nation's role in world affairs, from the earliest definitions of a national interest in the 18th century, through continental expansion, acquisition of empire, and world power, to the Cold War.
This course is cross-listed as INST 282. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement.

283 Latin American-U.S. Relations
A study of political, economic, and cultural relations between Latin America and the United States from the early 19th century to the present. The evolution of inter-American relations is analyzed in light of the interplay of Latin American, U.S., and extra-hemispheric interests.
This course is cross-listed as LALC 283.

286 New Nation
Reading and research in the political, economic, and social developments of the U.S. during the first generations of official nationhood, from the writing and ratification of the Constitution to the end of the Mexican War.

288 Civil War - Reconstruction
A study of the political, economic, social, and intellectual aspects of 19th century America from 1848 to 1877. Attention is given to the causes and course of the Civil War and evaluates the results of Reconstruction.

304 Historiography and Advanced Methods
In this course, students will focus on how historians build their arguments and engage in historiographical debates. After a short review of HIST 204, the course will examine historiographical discussions, their evolution, and the state of the research agenda on a given theme, topic, or field. Students will typically produce a substantial essay.
Prerequisite: 204.

311 Studies in American History
Selected areas and problems in American history. Designed for majors and for non-majors who have taken courses in related fields.

313 Studies in European History
Selected areas and problems in European history. Designed for majors and for non-majors who have taken courses in related fields.

314 Studies in European History
Selected areas and problems in European history. Designed for majors and for non-majors who have taken courses in related fields.
Offered in Bologna only.

315 Studies in Comparative History
Selected trends and problems studied comparatively in various periods and geographical areas. Designed for majors and for non-majors who have taken courses in related fields.

333 The First World War
A study of the causes, progress, and consequences of the first global conflict of modern times. Particular attention is paid to the political and social impact of total warfare on the participating nations.
Offered every other year.

350 American Science, Technology and Medicine
Explores the development of science, technology, and medicine in the United States, from the eighteenth century to the present. By viewing science, technology, medicine as powerful way of making and using knowledge of nature and the body that have developed over the past few centuries, we will examine such questions as: Who has done science, technology, and medicine, and where have they done these activities? How have science, technology, and medicine been funded and directed by business, government, disciplines, and private foundations? Who has owned and exerted control over knowledge of nature and ways to manipulate or control it, as types of intellectual property? How have American science, technology, and medicine reflected and participated in wider social, economic, and political developments? What have been the cultural roles of the scientist, inventor, engineer, and health professional? How has the authority of modern science, technology, and medicine become established? How has the relationship among science, technology and medicine evolved? How have changing technologies affected the environment, and vice versa? How have changing medical ideas and practices shaped human health? Our overall goal is to understand how modern science, technology, and medicine have come to play such central roles in American society.

358 19th-20th Century European Diplomacy
European diplomatic history from the Congress of Vienna through World War II.
This course is cross-listed as INST 358. Offered occasionally.

371 The Arab-Israeli Conflict
A study of conflict through four phases: the early stages of the Zionist movement and its impact in Ottoman Palestine to 1917; Zionist immigration and settlement and Arab reaction during the Mandate period; the creation of Israel and its wars with the Arab states to 1973; and the rise of a Palestinian Arab nationalist movement and the challenges it poses to Arab states and Israel.
This course is cross-listed as MEST 231. This course fulfills the Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

373 Ecological History of Africa
This course provides an introduction to the ecological history of Africa. We will focus in some detail on demography, the domestication of crops and animals, climate, the spread of New World crops (maize, cassava, cocoa), and disease environments from the earliest times to the present. Central to our study will be the idea that Africa's landscapes are the product of human action. Therefore, we will examine case studies of how people have interacted with their environments. African ecology has long been affected indirectly by decisions made at a global scale. Thus we will explore Africa's engagement with imperialism and colonization and the global economy in the twentieth century. The course ends with an examination of contemporary tensions between conservation and economic development.
Offered every two years. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

374 African Women's History
This course examines the role of women in African societies since the nineteenth century. Lectures and readings will be arranged thematically. Themes include sexuality and reproduction, the household, women's economic activity, political power, religion, colonialism, and democracy. After a discussion of gender, we will analyze pre-colonial production and reproduction, family life and religion in the twentieth century, women's roles in nationalist politics, the politics of female genital mutilation, and the lives of two contemporary African women leaders. Readings, including historical studies and novels, songs, and art, will be drawn from across the cultures and languages of Africa.
This course is cross-listed as WGST 374. Offered every two years. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and Comparative Civilizations graduation requirement.

375 Europe's Dictators
Contrary to the hope of contemporaries, World War I was not "the war to end all wars." Instead, at its end Europe emerged into a world of unprecedented turmoil and confusion, a time that was nonetheless permeated with hope, idealism, and possibility. This course explores European politics, society, gender, and culture between 1918 and 1945, focusing on the extreme developments in Germany, Russia, Spain, and Italy during this time. We will examine the emergence, development, form, and consequences of the rule of Hitler, Stalin, Franco and Mussolini and explore the relationship of these dictators to the states that sustained them.
Offered occasionally.

376 The Holocaust
The course explores the causes of the Shoah/Holocaust from anti-Semitism, the eugenics movement, the growth of the modern state, and the effects of war. Themes will also explore perpetrator motivation, gendered responses, bystanders and rescuers, and the place of the Holocaust among other genocides. The course also deals with the continued relevance of Holocaust studies to the present by looking at issues of reparations for victims and commemoration/representation in museums, monuments, literature and films. More broadly, students will learn to assess human rights violations, the problems of states limiting the rights and freedoms of their citizens and the horror of state violence that was at the center of most of the previous century and continues in the twenty-first century. Students will approach the Holocaust thematically and conceptually, which will equip them to interpret facts as you encounter them through further study.
This course is cross-listed as JDST 316. Offered occasionally.

377 Consumerism, Nationalism and Gender
This reading seminar examines the development of consumerism and nationalism in Europe and America beginning in the late 18th century and continuing on into the post-WWII era - from American Revolutionary boycotts to French fast food establishments. We will look for overlaps or polarities between the movements and the way gender interacted with both of them. Students may be surprised at the gendered aspects of both movements. We will consider, for example, the historical development of the image of women loving to shop, and we will study propaganda from the two world wars with men in uniform and women on the "home front." Our readings will include both promoters and critics of each movement.
This course is cross-listed as WGST 377. Offered every two or three years.

378 Society and the Sexes
This is a reading seminar that investigates three separate but interrelated threads - the history of sexuality, the history of the body and the construction of gender - in both pre-industrial and modern Europe. The course explores how definitions of male/female and feminine/masculine have changed over time and how they shaped the life experiences of men and women. Readings will include medical opinions, legal texts, diaries, novels, and political debates.
This course is cross-listed as WGST 378. Offered every two or three years.

388 African-American History
A survey of black history from pre-colonial Africa and the origins of slavery in the American colonies to the urban migrations of the 20th century.
This course is cross-listed as AMST 301 (African-American History).

389 Native Peoples of Eastern North America
A survey of major development among Native Americans east of the Mississippi River from approximately A.D. 1500 to the present, using the interdisciplinary methodologies of ethnohistory. Topics to be addressed include 16th and 17th century demographic, economic, and social consequences of contact with European peoples, 18th century strategies of resistance and accommodation, 19th century government removal and cultural assimilation policies, and 20th century cultural and political developments among the regions surviving Indian communities.
This course is cross-listed as ANTH 223.

392 Immigrant America
This course examines the experiences of immigrant and migrant Americans from the 17th through the 20th centuries, with special emphasis on the periods 1870-1914 and 1965-present. It will analyze the changing context of the immigrant and migrant experience as depicted in historical, autobiographical, and fictional narratives.
Offered every other year.

394 The Family in America
Traces the history of the American family from the colonial period through the present, using an interdisciplinary approach that combines readings in demography, social history, psychology, literature, and anthropology. Topics explored include family formation and gender creation, marriage and divorce, family violence, and the social impact of changing patterns of mortality and fertility.

404 Senior Research Seminar
An examination of the historiography of a major topic, culminating in a substantial research paper based in significant part on the interpretation of primary sources.
Prerequisite: 204 and 304 (or its equivalent), or permission of instructor.