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Department of History Courses
The Department of History offers the following courses:
HIST 105 -- World Civilization I -- 3 credits (every Fall, may also be offered in the Summer)
This course covers the history of the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, East Asian, Indian, Greco-Roman, Islamic, Early African, Ancient American, and European civilizations to the year 1500. Its goal is to give students an understanding of the history and diversity of world cultures as well as the common experiences of all human beings.
HIST 106 -- World Civilization II -- 3 credits (every Spring, may also be offered in the Summer)
This course is a continuation of History 105, covering the history of European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Latin American civilizations since 1500. It emphasizes political, social, cultural and economic change, as well as encounters and conflicts within and among civilizations.
HIST 130 -- World Geography -- 3 credits (every Spring, may also be offered in the Summer)
This course provides students an introduction to world geography. Through the use of map work, small and large hands-on projects, and field work, it deals with the distribution of human activities and concerns around the world, including languages, religions, social customs, economic activities, migration and settlement patterns, the availability and consumption of resources, and humanity's need and responsibility to protect and nurture the world and its varied environments. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Natural World Stewardship.
HIST220 -- American History I -- 3 credits (every Fall)
This course covers American history beginning with the experience of native Americans and continuing to 1865 with the end of the Civil War. It focuses on the economic, social, and intellectual forces that shaped nationhood in the region we know as the United States.
HIST 221 -- American History II -- 3 credits (every Spring)
This course covers United States history from 1865 to the present. It focuses on the ways industrial, demographic, and political change affected the people who lived in the United States. It attempts to help students assess the impact that recent historical developments have had on the development of modern culture in the United States.
HIST 255 -- Historical Biography -- 3 credits (odd year Spring)
Historical Biography is a rotating topics course that uses biographies of important historical personalities to provide insight into specific historical periods. These historical periods will vary with each course section and may include such subtopics as "Ancient Thinkers," "Ancient Rulers," "Enlightened Social Theorists," "Great Humanitarians," "Great Military Leaders," and "Dictators of the 20th Century" among others. Special attention will be placed on the role of biography as an historical tool and on biography as a form of writing. In doing so, the course will examine how biography can shape our understanding of the institutions, values, and people of the past and the present, including ourselves. Students will engage in significant amounts and varied types of written composition and review. This course satisfies the KWU Writing Intensive (WI) Requirement #2. Prerequisite: ENGL120 (or equivalent) with a grade of "C-" or higher.
HIST 280 -- Research Methods in History -- 3 credits (every Fall)
Research Methods in History enables students to learn the techniques of historical research. Students also learn the basic principles of historiography to understand how historians have understood history and how they develop arguments that fit into a scholarly conversation. This class is suitable for anyone who wants to learn how to find information in all its hiding places and learn how historians draw meaning from it. The course could be especially relevant to students in English, Religion, Philosophy, or the social sciences. HIST280 must be passed with a final grade of "C" or higher before a student may take HIST499 (Senior Thesis).
HIST 300 -- Eras in American History -- 3 credits (every Fall)
This course provides students the opportunity to study a definite chronological period in American history. Students will be able to gain more insight into the complexities of historical change by assessing the political, social, and economic factors that affected specific decades or eras. This class is intended to provide more detail and analysis regarding those topics than can be gained during a survey course. Under different subtitles the course may be repeated for credit. Possible topics include: The 1960s, The Civil War, The Roaring 20s, and America Now.
HIST 320 -- Hands-On History -- 3 credits (on demand)
This is a course that requires students to engage with the past using non-traditional methods of instruction. The instructional method may vary from year to year, depending on the instructor. Possible course concentrations are: creation of historical documentaries, research in and GPS mapping of historic locations, building websites of historic documents, conducting field work, or participating in Reacting to the Past role play. Reacting to the Past games explore important ideas of the past by recreating the historical context that shaped them. Students engage one another as members of factions or in individual roles in a series of historic assemblies. The course focuses on evaluation of primary sources and the innovative presentation of those sources through collaborative activity. Under different subtitles the course may be repeated for credit.
HIST 350 -- Making History -- Great Events and Turning Points that Influenced the World -- 3 credits (Every Fall, may also be offered in the Summer)
“Making History -- Great Events and Turning Points that Influenced the World” is a rotating topics course that investigates important events, ideas, and decisions in history that have influenced, even changed, the world. The course focuses on cause and effect, achievement and failure, and lessons learned throughout history. Course subtopics may include areas such as Modern Latin America, the Cold War, Ancient Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, the Holocaust and other Genocides, the World Wars, and the Emergence of the City and the Empire. Under different subtopics the course may be retaken for credit, per Liberal Studies and History Department policies. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Community and World Exploration. Prerequisite: ENGL120 or equivalent.
HIST 355 -- Political History and Expression -- 3 credits (even year Spring)
Political History and Expression is a rotating topics course that focuses on political events and theories in an historical context and, specifically, the manner in which politicians express their ideas and the manner in which their constituencies respond. The goal is to understand the communicative relationship between governments and governed, in oral, visual, and subconscious manners, and determine the role and contribution that such communicative relationships have had in the development of significant periods of political history. Different sub-topics may include "Comparative Totalitarianism," "Democracy from Athens to Philadelphia," and others. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Human Expression. Under different sub-topics the course may be retaken for credit, per Liberal Studies and History Department policies. Prerequisite: ENGL120 or equivalent.
HIST 380 -- Reacting to the Past -- 3 credits (Every Spring)
“Reacting to the Past” is a rotating topics course that uses role playing to immerse students into particular moments of social, political, and intellectual debate and change. Students run these games and assume various roles in debates. In addition, students engage primary sources from the events and use them to defend their arguments, with the purpose of succeeding over others in difficult and complicated scenarios. The outcomes do not have to follow the actual historic events -- students are free to “alter” history, using the original sources to support their positions. Each course section will typically play 2-3 reacting games. Game topics may include Democracy in Athens, Revolution in France, The Trial of Anne Hutchinson, India on the Eve of Independence, The Council of Nicaea, The Reformation Parliament, The Trial of Galileo, and many others. Under different subtopics the course may be retaken for credit, per Liberal Studies and History Department policies. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Human Expression. Prerequisite -- at least one of the following: ENGL120, HIST105, 106, 220, or 221 or equivalents.
HIST 400 -- Studies in U.S. History -- 3 credits (even year Spring)
This course provides the opportunity for the intensive study of United States history. Under different subtitles, the course may be repeated for credit. Possible topics include: Women's History, History of Religion and Politics, and History of Immigration in the United States.
HIST 410 -- History of Kansas and the Great Plains -- 3 credits (odd year Spring)
This course informs students about the development of the state of Kansas. It provides information about the geography, history, and character of Kansas as well as its role in the larger region of the American great plains.
HIST 420 -- Studies in European History -- 3 credits (even year Fall)
This course provides the opportunity for advanced study in European History. Under different subtitles the course may be repeated for credit. Possible topics include: History of Spain, European Peasant Society, From Renaissance to Revolution, and History of Soviet Russia.
HIST 425 -- The Lessons of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust -- 3 credits (every Spring)
This course investigates the history of Germany, its domestic policies, and its relationships with its neighbors just before and during World War II. Its purpose is to understand how and why a great nation of good people followed a dictator down the path of racist nationalism and worldwide conquest to become responsible for mass destruction and the deaths of millions of innocent people. In addition to learning the historical facts and evaluating what happened and why, students will determine what lessons can be learned from Nazi Germany and the Holocaust and how these lessons can be applied today; to the students themselves in their private lives and relationships with others, to the United States as a leading member of the international community, and to the world community at large. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Personal Awareness. Prerequisite: ENGL120 or equivalent.
HIST 460 -- Internship -- variable (1-12) credits (Fall and Spring)
Students will work as interns in local institutions under the supervision of the institution and the History Department faculty. The goal is to develop practical skills outside of the classroom.
HIST 490 -- Directed Study -- variable (1-3) credits (on demand)
In consultation with the faculty, students may design special projects. With faculty approval, these may be substituted for required courses. See Independent Study or Directed Study under Alternate Means to Academic Credit in the Academic Catalog for a more detailed description.
HIST 499 -- Senior Thesis -- 3 credits (every Spring)
This course will guide students through the capstone project of their undergraduate careers. Each student will write an original research paper based on primary sources, using the resources of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, the Smoky Hill Museum, or other local archives. The course is open to history majors as well as pre-law students and students from other majors who desire an advanced research experience. Prerequisite: HIST 280. HIST499 must be passed with a final grade of "C" or higher.
INTD 200 -- Great Decisions -- 3 credits
Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is the centerpiece of the longest-running civic education program in the United States devoted to foreign affairs. The purpose of this course is to empower students to discuss global issues shaping U.S. foreign policy and the world and to understand the impact locally. The topics are chosen by the Foreign Policy Association and are considered important and (perhaps) the most controversial foreign policy and international affairs issues of the year. This course satisfies one of the Liberal Studies Requirements for Community and World Exploration.