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History Programs

The History Major
The History Minor
Teacher Licensure History and Social Studies
Course Descriptions

The History Major
(33 semester hours)

Required:
HIST 143    (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144    (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement

Senior Exercise:
HIST 452    (3)    Senior Seminar

Choose 1 of the following courses: (Note: This requirement should be completed in the first or second year.)
HIST 103    (3)    Introduction to History: Intoxication and Addiction in America
HIST 104    (3)    Introduction to History: Medieval Heroes: Myth or History
HIST 105    (3)    Introduction to History: Doing Sweet Briar History
HIST 107    (3)    Introduction to History: Stalin and Hitler

Choose 1 course in U.S. History from the following:
HIST 135    (3)    America, Origins to 1877
HIST 136    (3)    The United States, 1877 to the Present
HIST 221    (3)    Spirituality and Religious Institutions in U.S. History
HIST 225    (3)    The U.S. South
HIST 228    (3)    Women in America
HIST 234    (3)     Manhood and Masculinity in America

Choose 1 course in European History before 1700 from the following:
HIST 121    (3)    Early and Medieval Britain
HIST 127    (3)    English History, 1500-1689
HIST 223    (3)    The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
HIST 224    (3)    The Medieval West, 400-1350
HIST 240    (3)    Gender, Sexuality, and Family in Pre-modern Europe
HIST 258    (3)    History of Crime and Punishment in the West
HIST 308    (3)    Encounters, Conquest, and European Expansion, 1350-1650
HIST 321    (3)    Studies in Medieval History
HIST 322    (3)    Renaissance and Reformation

Choose 1 course in European History after 1700 from the following:
HIST 203    (3)     Topics in Modern German History (when topic is appropriate)
HIST 333    (3)    The Great War in Europe
HIST 355    (3)    War and Society in Modern Europe
HIST 358    (3)    The Cold War as History

And choose 4 additional three-credit courses in history.

Recommended: A course in African history (HIST 269, HIST 272, or HIST 373) is strongly recommended.

Notes:
At least 3 of the courses (9 semester hours) elected for the major, in addition to HIST 452, must be numbered at the 300-level or above.

For the major in history, the P/CR/NC grading option may not be exercised for any course which could count toward the major. Additional information about the P/CR/NC grading option is available under the Academic Regulations heading in this catalog.

The History Minor
(18 semester hours)

Required:
HIST 143    (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144    (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement

Choose 2 three-credit courses in history at the 300-level or above.

Choose 2 additional three-credit courses in history.

Note: For the minor in history, the P/CR/NC grading option may not be exercised for any course which could count toward the minor. Additional information about the P/CR/NC grading option is available under the Academic Regulations heading in this catalog.
 

Teacher Licensure History and Social Studies
(36 semester hours)

Required:
ECON 101    (3)    Principles of Microeconomics
HIST 135      (3)    American, Origins to 1877
HIST 136      (3)    The United States, 1877 to the Present
HIST 143      (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144      (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement
HIST 223      (3)    The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
HIST 269      (3)    Africa in World Affairs
RELG 178    (3)    Introduction to World Religions

Choose 1 of the following sequences:
Sequence A
GOVT 159    (3)    Introduction to American Government
GOVT 213    (3)    Politics of Legal Order

Sequence B
GOVT 122    (3)    Introduction to Comparative Politics
GOVT 201    (3)    Government and Politics of East Asia

Choose 2 additional three-credit courses in government at or above the 200-level.


Course Descriptions

HIST 103

Introduction to History: Intoxication and Addiction in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. Historians argue that prior to 1800 there were no alcohol addicts, only people who overindulged in drink. This course introduces students to hisotrical inquiry by examining evidence bearing on this radical thesis. Other topics include the rise of the disease metaphor of addiction in the 19th century, the varied processes by which old and new psychoactive substances (e.g., tobacco, heroin, and cocaine) became "modern menaces," and the conditions behind the proliferation of behavioral addictions in the late 20th century. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 104

Introduction to History: Medieval Heroes: Myth or History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. We will analyze the historical record concerning six of the most famous figures from medieval Europe: Arthur of Britain, Charlemagne, the Cid, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Francis of Assisi, and Joan of Arc. We will then investigate the legends concerning each, and attempt to separate historical facts from quasi-historical fiction. How much of what we know about these “heroes” is actually true? Offered alternate years. This course cannot be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.W, V.1

HIST 105

Introduction to History: Doing Sweet Briar History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. This course explores the realm of historical explanation using the Sweet Briar archives. Each step in historical construction will be illustrated by short projects: locating sources, determining their contexts, analyzing sources with reference to their use as historical evidence, forming theory in response to evidence, and constructing narrative. Each student will combine these short projects to create a history of a topic of her choice. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.5

HIST 107

Introduction to History: Stalin and Hitler
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. An examination of the careers of Stalin and Hitler, with particular emphasis on that period (1933-1945) during which both were in power. Topics include each man’s role as leader of his country, his ideology, and his domestic and foreign policies. Special attention will be paid to the Holocaust and to the related question of whether the Soviet experience of the Gulag is in any way comparable. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 121

Early and Medieval Britain
CR: 
3.0

This course surveys British history from antiquity to the War of the Roses. Topics include the early Celts and Britons; the Roman occupation; Christianization of the British Isles; Anglo-Saxon Britain, the Norman conquest; and the development of the monarchy, Parliament, and the common law. It also explores historicity of such popular subjects as the Arthurian tales. V.1

HIST 127

English History, 1500-1689
CR: 
3.0

A survey of English history under the Tudors and Stuarts, with some attention to Scotland and Ireland as well. The course will begin with an examination of early modern English society, including social relations in local communities and family structure, familial relationships and the position of women. Other topics include: Henry VIII’s “break with Rome,” the Protestant Reformation, assessment of Elizabeth’s abilities as queen, the Civil Wars, Restoration politics and the world of Samuel Pepys. V.1, V.5

HIST 135

America, Origins to 1877
CR: 
3.0

An exploration of the origins and development of the American nation from the colonial period through the end of Reconstruction. This course will inquire into the nature of colonial society, the meaning of the American Revolution, and the emergence of a capitalist social order. Other topics include the rise of slavery and the origins and aftermath of the Civil War. V.1

HIST 136

The United States, 1877 to the Present
CR: 
3.0

The second half of the two-course sequence explores major developments, forces, and crises that have shaped American history since 1877. Particular attention will be paid to industrialism and immigration, the history of race relations, intensifying international engagement, and the emergence of–and challenges to–a liberal political agenda. V.1

HIST 143

Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
CR: 
3.0

An introductory survey of the major themes in European history between the 14th and 17th centuries. Topics include the Black Death; the rise of capitalism; the growth of cities and urban culture; monarchy and state building; the Renaissance; the Reformation and “Wars of Religion;” changing social and structures; and the Scientific Revolution. V.1

HIST 144

Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement
CR: 
3.0

This survey of European political and diplomatic history covers the development of the absolutist state to the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. Though focusing on political history, it delves into European developments in economics, industrialization, social Darwinism, nationalism, Marxism, imperialism, fascism, communism, decolonization, genocide, and the welfare state. V.1

HIST 203

Topics in Modern German History
CR: 
3.0

Course topics will alternate from year to year and may focus on Modern German History (1618-1918); Nazi Germany; the division and reunification of Germany (1945-2004); Prussia, Germany, and/or the Habsburg Empire; and the Holocaust. Offered alternate years.

HIST 206

Modern Israel
CR: 
3.0

The Jewish national movement arose in nineteenth-century Europe as a response to Enlightenment ideals. The growth of nation-states coupled with the spread of democratic ideologies prompted many Jews to experiment with many forms of social Utopia that eventually became the modern state of Israel. The study of contemporary sources will shed light on the origins of Zionist ideology, the role of women in the development of the kibbutz collective settlement, and finally, the conflict between Israel and Arabs after the founding of the state in 1948. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1, V.7

HIST 214

Building the Past
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: ANTH 114, CLAS 211, ENVR 101, or HIST 223 is suggested, but not required. This course explores how humans built and tried to sustain large-scale settlements in the pre-industrial past. We will examine innovations in construction techniques, city planning, resource utilization, and the human impact on the natural environment. Case studies include Etruscan and Roman engineering, ancient Greek site planning, medieval “organic” cities, and Renaissance urban design. We will also consider how past urban designs may provide solutions for problems facing megacities of the future. Offered alternate years. III.O, V.1

HIST 221

Spirituality and Religious Institutions in U.S. History
CR: 
3.0

Americans have long struggled to reconcile spiritual intensity with stable communal institutions. This course examines the historical development of this struggle, focusing in particular on its gendered dimensions and the formation of religious communities set apart from the mainstream of American life. We will also examine the impact of religious zeal on American political life and movements for social change, and inquire into the social and cultural forces behind the resurgence of fundamentalisms and the rise of therapeutic spiritual philosophies in the twentieth century. III.W, V.1, V.5

HIST 223

The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
CR: 
3.0

This course probes the origins, rise, and characteristics of the civilizations that appeared in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Italy in the centuries from the Neolithic era to the rise of Christianity. The political, religious, economic, social, intellectual, and artistic dimensions of these civilizations will be examined. We will also discuss the legacy of the ancient world for the modern west. Offered alternate years. May be counted toward the majors in classics. V.1

HIST 224

The Medieval West, 400-1350
CR: 
3.0

This course challenges the perception of the Middle Ages as the “Dark Ages” by introducing the cultural, political, intellectual and religious complexity of the period from the fall of the Roman empire to the Black Death. While focusing geographically on Europe, north Africa and the Near East, it also explores the medieval West in the context of sub-Saharan Africa and China. Offered alternate years. V.1

HIST 225

The U.S. South
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Not open to students who have taken HIST 339. A survey of Southern history from founding of Jamestown to the rise of the Sunbelt. Topics will include the plantation, slavery, white society, Civil War, Reconstruction, Redemption, and the rise of Jim Crow. The course will conclude with the South’s continuing efforts to deal with the legacies of its past. Offered alternate years. V.1, V.5

HIST 228

Women in America
CR: 
3.0

Women’s experiences and past identities in America have been shaped by household structure and economics, religion, cultural assumptions and access to public life, among other factors. This course examines the history of women in America as daughters, mothers, wives, workers, individuals, and public actors to account for changing patterns of experience, opportunity and achievement. Offered alternate years. May be counted as a core course toward the minor in gender studies. V.1, V.5

HIST 234

Manhood and Masculinity in America

This course explores the ideals and activities associated with male identity, or manhood, from the colonial period through the present, paying special attention to the challenges posed by industrialization, immigration, and the entry of women into public and professional life in the ninetheenth and twentieth centuries. Other topics include the impact of racial hierarchies before and after the Civil War and the emergence of sexuality as a key component of masculinity in the twentieth century. Offered alternate years. May be counted as a core course toward the minor in gender studies. III.W, V.1, V.5

HIST 240

Gender, Sexuality and Family in Pre-modern Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 127, HIST 143, HIST 223, or HIST 224 recommended. This course explores gender and sexuality in Europe and the Mediterranean from late antiquity to the Industrial Revolution. It considers such topics as marriage and the family, “women’s work,” the influence of law and religion on gender roles and sexuality, and early debates about the differences between the sexes. It also investigates the conflicting theoretical approaches to understanding gender difference, sex roles and sexual identity. Offered alternate years. May be counted as a core course toward the minor in gender studies. III.W, V.1, V.5

HIST 246

The Soviet Union and Beyond
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 144 or HIST 245. A study of major political, diplomatic, economic, and social developments from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the presidency of Vladimir Putin. Special emphasis will be placed on the state’s continued expansionism and Soviet imperialism, Stalinism and de-Stalinization, World War II, and the Cold War. Offered alternate years.

HIST 258

History of Crime and Punishment in the West
CR: 
3.0

This course surveys the foundations and development of western criminal law, penal institutions, and criminal jurisprudence from antiquity to the modern world. Patterns of criminality and enforcement, attempts at controlling crime, and philosophies regarding crime and punishment will be explored. We will also examine current debates on such controversial issues as violence, the death penalty, and the prosecution of “crimes against humanity.” No knowledge of statistics or data analysis is assumed. Students will learn the necessary techniques and skills in the course. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. III.Q, V.1, V.7

HIST 261

Directed Study
CR: 
2.0

Prerequisites: One HIST course and permission of the instructor. The study of introductory level material by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.

HIST 269

Africa in World Affairs
CR: 
3.0

An introduction to modern Africa from 1880 to the present that concentrates on the experience of Colonial rule and its relation to the rise of national movements that led to the creation of independent states in the 1960s. Special emphasis will be placed on economic and political developments during the period of independence that affect Africa’s international relations. V.4, V.5

HIST 272

Pre-Colonial African History
CR: 
3.0

An introduction to the development of African political culture from the tenth to nineteenth centuries. After studying the historical foundations of local institutions, the course will focus on the formation of states before and during the period of the slave trade until about 1860. Emphasis on contemporary historical sources. V.4, V.5

HIST 308

Encounters, Conquest and European Expansion, 1350-1650
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143 or HIST 224. This course probes the economic, scientific, and territorial expansions that both fuelled and resulted from the “rebirth” of western Europe during the early modern era. Topics include Columbus’s voyages to the New World; the Portuguese slave trade in Africa; Italian and Ottoman commercial rivalries in the Mediterranean; Spanish, British and French colonization of the Americas; and Europe’s scientific responses to the new and strange environments being mapped and explored. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 312

Virginia: History and Memory
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135, HIST 136, HIST 221, or HIST 225. Virginia, home to founding fathers, Civil War battlefields, and former slave plantations, occupies a central if contested position in American cultural memory. This research seminar introduces students to the rich historical scholarship on Virginia's distinctive history and legacy from the pre-colonial period through the civil rights era. Students develop a historical research project drawing on the rich digital, archival, printed and public historical records available locally, in Central Virginia, and online. Offered every third year. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.O

HIST 315

Illness and Healing in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 103, HIST 135, HIST 221, HIST 228, HIST 234, or HIST 242. This course inquires into the religious, medical, and cultural forces shaping the experiences of illness and healing in America. Key topics include Puritan modes of suffering, medical pluralism in the nineteenth century, the rise and fall of “nervousness” and other diagnoses, the medicalization of behavior once thought immoral, and the popularization of psychology in the twentieth century. The course pays particular attention to historical shifts in the relations between sufferer, community, and healer, and how such shifts affect understandings of health and illness. Offered alternate years. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.O

HIST 319

The Playground of Empires: Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the 19th and 20th Centuries
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143, HIST 210, or HIST 216. Eastern Europe and the Balkans were traditional European borderlands for centuries. Due to the regions’ positions between expanding and contracting empires, they have been the “playground” of the Great Powers for the last three centuries. This course examines these struggles and the various reactions of the indigenous populations to the competing empires from the late 18th to the 21st centuries. Offered every three years. III.W, V.1, V.7

HIST 321

Studies in Medieval History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143. The millennium separating antiquity and the Renaissance witnessed the rise of western Christianity and capitalism, the invention of romantic love, the development of Islamic science, and the Black Death. Topics will alternate: Early Middle Ages or Dark Ages; High Medieval Renaissance(s); Medieval Iberia; The Disastrous Fourteenth Century. Offered alternate years. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. III.W, V.5

HIST 322

Renaissance and Reformation
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 127 or HIST 143. The course will explore the social and cultural context of Renaissance and Reformation thought as well as the ideas and ideals of humanist intellectuals and religious reformers. The study of Renaissance Italy will include such topics as the family, sex and marriage, crime and criminal justice and social structure and politics in the city states as well as humanism and art. The Reformation section will examine traditional Catholicism and popular beliefs, as well as the ideals and goals of Protestant and Catholic reformers, and will assess the reformers’ achievements. The focus of the course may be EITHER Renaissance OR Reformation. Offered alternate years. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. V.5

HIST 327

Ethnohistory in the Balkans
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 144. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described Yugoslavia as a land of “butchery” and “barbarism.” This has been a common intellectual perception for centuries. This course, using a case study of the modern Balkans and the former Yugoslavia, examines and challenges this claim by exploring the intersection of ethnohistory and nationalism through the case study of the Yugoslav peoples and states to 2000. Offered every third year. V.1

HIST 330

The History of the European Union
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: GOVT 109 and HIST 210. The idea of a united Europe is not new. However, the only peaceful attempt to achieve unity occurred after the Second World War. This course critically examines how and why the organization evolved from a limited customs union and trade agreement in 1952 to one with a major role on the international political and economic stage today. Offered every three years. V.1, V.7

HIST 330

The History of the European Union
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: GOVT 109 and HIST 144. The idea of a united Europe is not new. However, the only peaceful attempt to achieve unity occurred after the Second World War. This course critically examines how and why the organization evolved from a limited customs union and trade agreement in 1952 to one with a major role on the international political and economic stage today. Offered every three years. V.1, V.7

HIST 333

The Great War in Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites HIST 144. Not open to students who received credit for HNRS 308 in Spring 2009. The Great War is often considered the bloody birth of the modern world. Arguably, it was the first “total war,” precipitated America’s entry onto the world stage, facilitated the Bolshevik Revolution, destroyed Europe’s multiethnic empires, and set the stage for fascism and World War II. This course explores the diplomatic, political, and economic history of the war and its myriad legacies. Offered alternate years. V.1

HIST 336

Civil War, Reconstruction, and the New South
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135, HIST 136, or HIST 225. This course examines the causes and consequences of the Civil War and the Reconstruction of the South and its effects on white and black Americans. We will pay particular attention to debates over the proper interpretation of these events and the role played by them in national memory. As part of the requirements for the course, students will conduct archive-based research on topics relevant to the course and to the research needs of the Legacy Museum of African American History in Lynchburg, Virginia. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. Offered every third year.

HIST 339

Slavery and Emancipation in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135 or HIST 225. This course explores the rise, development, and abolition of slavery in North America. We will consider the distinctive characteristics of American slavery and of master-slave relations, the development of regional slave cultures, and the impact of the internal slave trade. We will also consider changes in African American experience following emancipation. As part of the requirements of the course, students will pursue research in local and regional archives culminating in a project that serves the needs of local historical institutions. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. Offered every third year.

HIST 348

19th- and 20th-Century Nationalism
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 144. While nationalism has often played a legitimate and constructive role in political life, it has all too often been the source of intolerance, hatred, war, atrocity, and genocide. This course provides an opportunity for a close examination of the phenomenon of nationalism from its emergence in Revolutionary France to the end of the 20th century. It begins with an examination of some of the theories of nationalism and discussion of the relationship of nationalism to religion, language and culture, ethnicity, and regionalism. The core of the course is a series of case studies. Offered every three years. V.5

HIST 355

War and Society in Modern Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143 or HIST 144. The study of war will illustrate connections between social organization, technology, and values in various periods in early modern and modern Europe. The course will conclude with an historical view of military thinking during the age of nuclear weapons. Offered alternate years.

HIST 358

The Cold War as History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 210. This historiography course presents a number of major works by historians and political scientists. The students will learn the narrative history of the Cold War, will examine works by various Cold War scholars, and will analyze some of the major debates in Cold War historiography. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.7

HIST 361

Special Study
CR: 
1.0

Prerequisites: 100-level HIST course and permission of the instructor. The study of an intermediate level topic by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.

HIST 373

Making African History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 269 or HIST 272. By evaluating introductory African history textbooks in light of recent scholarship, the course will treat the variety of ways that historians construct a view of history. We will compare textbooks with regards to selected topics and then survey recent research in academic journals to show how fresh research and novel questions change our views of African history.

HIST 377

Internship
CR: 
1.0

Prerequisites: Three credits in HIST and permission of the instructor, department chair, and dean. This course is graded P/CR/NC only.

HIST 452

Senior Seminar
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open by permission to seniors. The seminar will deal with the question “What is history”? Primarily this will involve an examination of some of the best works of historians in the last few years. It also will consider ways in which people organize, analyze, and interpret past experience. III.O

HIST 461

Independent Study
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: One 100-level HIST course, one 200-level HIST course, and permission of the instructor. Pursuit of an upper level research project determined in advance by the student in consultation with a faculty member who will act as the sponsor.

RELG 178

Introduction to World Religions
CR: 
3.0
A comparative survey of the world’s major religious traditions from the time of their foundation to the present. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how religious traditions both reflect and are formative in the cultures and societies in which they appear. V.5.

History is the study of the record of past human experience. Historians understand the term “record” in a very broad way, so that the line between history and various other disciplines is sometimes a thin one. History has its own methodologies, however, as interdisciplinary as it necessarily is in practice.

Work in the department is directed toward the achievement of two goals. On the one hand, the student gains insight into other times and cultures and the human condition generally as she learns about the past. She discovers what has endured and what is new. On the other hand, the student gains experience in gathering, evaluating, and interpreting large amounts of information as well as the opportunity to sharpen her ability to communicate her findings to others.

 

The History Major
The History Minor
Teacher Licensure History and Social Studies
Course Descriptions

 

The History Major
(33 semester hours)

Required:
HIST 143    (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144    (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement

Senior Exercise:
HIST 452    (3)    Senior Seminar

Choose 1 of the following courses: (Note: This requirement should be completed in the first or second year.)
HIST 103    (3)    Introduction to History: Intoxication and Addiction in America
HIST 104    (3)    Introduction to History: Medieval Heroes: Myth or History
HIST 105    (3)    Introduction to History: Doing Sweet Briar History
HIST 107    (3)    Introduction to History: Stalin and Hitler

Choose 1 course in U.S. History from the following:
HIST 135    (3)    America, Origins to 1877
HIST 136    (3)    The United States, 1877 to the Present
HIST 221    (3)    Spirituality and Religious Institutions in U.S. History
HIST 225    (3)    The U.S. South
HIST 228    (3)    Women in America
HIST 234    (3)     Manhood and Masculinity in America
HIST 312    (3)     Virginia: History and Memory
HIST 315    (3)     Illness and Healing in America
HIST 336    (3)     Civil War, Reconstruction, and the New South
HIST 339    (3)     Slavery and Emancipation in America

Choose 1 course in European History before 1700 from the following:
HIST 121    (3)    Early and Medieval Britain
HIST 127    (3)    English History, 1500-1689
HIST 214    (3)    Building the Past
HIST 223    (3)    The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
HIST 224    (3)    The Medieval West, 400-1350
HIST 258    (3)    History of Crime and Punishment in the West
HIST 308    (3)    Encounters, Conquest, and European Expansion, 1350-1650
HIST 321    (3)    Studies in Medieval History
HIST 322    (3)    Renaissance and Reformation

Choose 1 course in European History after 1700 from the following:
HIST 203    (3)    Topics in Modern German History (when topic is appropriate)
HIST 246    (3)    The Soviet Union and Beyond
HIST 319    (3)    The Playground of Empire: Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the 19th and 20th Centuries
HIST 327    (3)    The Politics of Identity in Central, Eastern, and Mediterranean Europe
HIST 330    (3)    The History of the European Union
HIST 333    (3)    The Great War in Europe
HIST 355    (3)    War and Society in Modern Europe
HIST 358    (3)    The Cold War as History

And choose 4 additional three-credit courses in history.

Recommended: An academic experience abroad is strongly recommended.

Notes:
At least 3 of the courses (9 semester hours) elected for the major, in addition to HIST 452, must be numbered at the 300-level or above.

For the major in history, the P/CR/NC grading option may not be exercised for any course which could count toward the major. Additional information about the P/CR/NC grading option is available under the Academic Regulations heading in this catalog.

 

The History Minor
(18 semester hours)

Required:
HIST 143    (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144    (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement

Choose 2 three-credit courses in history at the 300-level or above.

Choose 2 additional three-credit courses in history.

Note: For the minor in history, the P/CR/NC grading option may not be exercised for any course which could count toward the minor. Additional information about the P/CR/NC grading option is available under the Academic Regulations heading in this catalog.

 

Teacher Licensure History and Social Studies
(33 semester hours)

Required:
ECON 101    (3)    Principles of Microeconomics
HIST 135      (3)    American, Origins to 1877
HIST 136      (3)    The United States, 1877 to the Present
HIST 143      (3)    Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
HIST 144      (3)    Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement
HIST 223      (3)    The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
RELG 178    (3)    Introduction to World Religions

Choose 1 of the following sequences:
Sequence A
GOVT 159    (3)    Introduction to American Government
GOVT 213    (3)    Politics of Legal Order

Sequence B
GOVT 122    (3)    Introduction to Comparative Politics
GOVT 201    (3)    Government and Politics of East Asia

Choose 2 additional three-credit courses in government at or above the 200-level.


Course Descriptions

HIST 103

Introduction to History: Intoxication and Addiction in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. Historians argue that prior to 1800 there were no alcohol addicts, only people who overindulged in drink. This course introduces students to hisotrical inquiry by examining evidence bearing on this radical thesis. Other topics include the rise of the disease metaphor of addiction in the 19th century, the varied processes by which old and new psychoactive substances (e.g., tobacco, heroin, and cocaine) became "modern menaces," and the conditions behind the proliferation of behavioral addictions in the late 20th century. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 104

Introduction to History: Medieval Heroes: Myth or History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. We will analyze the historical record concerning six of the most famous figures from medieval Europe: Arthur of Britain, Charlemagne, the Cid, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Francis of Assisi, and Joan of Arc. We will then investigate the legends concerning each, and attempt to separate historical facts from quasi-historical fiction. How much of what we know about these “heroes” is actually true? Offered alternate years. This course cannot be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.W, V.1

HIST 105

Introduction to History: Doing Sweet Briar History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. This course explores the realm of historical explanation using the Sweet Briar archives. Each step in historical construction will be illustrated by short projects: locating sources, determining their contexts, analyzing sources with reference to their use as historical evidence, forming theory in response to evidence, and constructing narrative. Each student will combine these short projects to create a history of a topic of her choice. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.5

HIST 107

Introduction to History: Stalin and Hitler
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open to first-year students and sophomores; others by permission of the instructor. An examination of the careers of Stalin and Hitler, with particular emphasis on that period (1933-1945) during which both were in power. Topics include each man’s role as leader of his country, his ideology, and his domestic and foreign policies. Special attention will be paid to the Holocaust and to the related question of whether the Soviet experience of the Gulag is in any way comparable. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 121

Early and Medieval Britain
CR: 
3.0

This course surveys British history from antiquity to the War of the Roses. Topics include the early Celts and Britons; the Roman occupation; Christianization of the British Isles; Anglo-Saxon Britain, the Norman conquest; and the development of the monarchy, Parliament, and the common law. It also explores historicity of such popular subjects as the Arthurian tales. V.1

HIST 127

English History, 1500-1689
CR: 
3.0

A survey of English history under the Tudors and Stuarts, with some attention to Scotland and Ireland as well. The course will begin with an examination of early modern English society, including social relations in local communities and family structure, familial relationships and the position of women. Other topics include: Henry VIII’s “break with Rome,” the Protestant Reformation, assessment of Elizabeth’s abilities as queen, the Civil Wars, Restoration politics and the world of Samuel Pepys. V.1, V.5

HIST 135

America, Origins to 1877
CR: 
3.0

An exploration of the origins and development of the American nation from the colonial period through the end of Reconstruction. This course will inquire into the nature of colonial society, the meaning of the American Revolution, and the emergence of a capitalist social order. Other topics include the rise of slavery and the origins and aftermath of the Civil War. V.1

HIST 136

The United States, 1877 to the Present
CR: 
3.0

The second half of the two-course sequence explores major developments, forces, and crises that have shaped American history since 1877. Particular attention will be paid to industrialism and immigration, the history of race relations, intensifying international engagement, and the emergence of–and challenges to–a liberal political agenda. V.1

HIST 143

Early Modern Europe, 1350-1650
CR: 
3.0

An introductory survey of the major themes in European history between the 14th and 17th centuries. Topics include the Black Death; the rise of capitalism; the growth of cities and urban culture; monarchy and state building; the Renaissance; the Reformation and “Wars of Religion;” changing social and structures; and the Scientific Revolution. V.1

HIST 144

Modern Europe, 1700-2004: From Absolutism to EU Enlargement
CR: 
3.0

This survey of European political and diplomatic history covers the development of the absolutist state to the 2004 enlargement of the European Union. Though focusing on political history, it delves into European developments in economics, industrialization, social Darwinism, nationalism, Marxism, imperialism, fascism, communism, decolonization, genocide, and the welfare state. V.1

HIST 203

Topics in Modern German History
CR: 
3.0

Course topics will alternate from year to year and may focus on Modern German History (1618-1918); Nazi Germany; the division and reunification of Germany (1945-2004); Prussia, Germany, and/or the Habsburg Empire; and the Holocaust. Offered alternate years.

HIST 214

Building the Past
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: ANTH 114, CLAS 211, ENVR 101, or HIST 223 is suggested, but not required. This course explores how humans built and tried to sustain large-scale settlements in the pre-industrial past. We will examine innovations in construction techniques, city planning, resource utilization, and the human impact on the natural environment. Case studies include Etruscan and Roman engineering, ancient Greek site planning, medieval “organic” cities, and Renaissance urban design. We will also consider how past urban designs may provide solutions for problems facing megacities of the future. Offered alternate years. III.O, V.1

HIST 221

Spirituality and Religious Institutions in U.S. History
CR: 
3.0

Americans have long struggled to reconcile spiritual intensity with stable communal institutions. This course examines the historical development of this struggle, focusing in particular on its gendered dimensions and the formation of religious communities set apart from the mainstream of American life. We will also examine the impact of religious zeal on American political life and movements for social change, and inquire into the social and cultural forces behind the resurgence of fundamentalisms and the rise of therapeutic spiritual philosophies in the twentieth century. III.W, V.1, V.5

HIST 223

The Ancient World, 8000 BC to 300 AD
CR: 
3.0

This course probes the origins, rise, and characteristics of the civilizations that appeared in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Italy in the centuries from the Neolithic era to the rise of Christianity. The political, religious, economic, social, intellectual, and artistic dimensions of these civilizations will be examined. We will also discuss the legacy of the ancient world for the modern west. Offered alternate years. May be counted toward the majors in classics. V.1

HIST 224

The Medieval West, 400-1350
CR: 
3.0

This course challenges the perception of the Middle Ages as the “Dark Ages” by introducing the cultural, political, intellectual and religious complexity of the period from the fall of the Roman empire to the Black Death. While focusing geographically on Europe, north Africa and the Near East, it also explores the medieval West in the context of sub-Saharan Africa and China. Offered alternate years. V.1

HIST 225

The U.S. South
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Not open to students who have taken HIST 339. A survey of Southern history from founding of Jamestown to the rise of the Sunbelt. Topics will include the plantation, slavery, white society, Civil War, Reconstruction, Redemption, and the rise of Jim Crow. The course will conclude with the South’s continuing efforts to deal with the legacies of its past. Offered alternate years. V.1, V.5

HIST 228

Women in America
CR: 
3.0

Women’s experiences and past identities in America have been shaped by household structure and economics, religion, cultural assumptions and access to public life, among other factors. This course examines the history of women in America as daughters, mothers, wives, workers, individuals, and public actors to account for changing patterns of experience, opportunity and achievement. Offered alternate years. May be counted as a discipline-based core course toward the minor in gender studies. V.1, V.5

HIST 234

Manhood and Masculinity in America
CR: 
3.0

This course explores the ideals and activities associated with male identity, or manhood, from the colonial period through the present, paying special attention to the challenges posed by industrialization, immigration, and the entry of women into public and professional life in the ninetheenth and twentieth centuries. Other topics include the impact of racial hierarchies before and after the Civil War and the emergence of sexuality as a key component of masculinity in the twentieth century. Offered alternate years. May be counted as a discipline-based core course toward the minor in gender studies. III.W, V.1, V.5

HIST 246

The Soviet Union and Beyond
CR: 
3.0

A study of major political, diplomatic, economic, and social developments from the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 to the second presidency of Vladimir Putin. Special emphasis will be placed on the state’s continued imperialism, Stalinism and de-Stalinization, World War II, the Cold War, and the political systems of the USSR and its successor states. Offered alternate years. V.1, V.7

HIST 251

The Idea of Race

Prerequisite: HIST 107, HIST 144, HIST 344, or HIST 348. Race is a relatively new idea in Western civilization, and the course traces its creation in the eighteenth century as a response to Europe's exploration of the world beyond its borders, through the nineteenth century's growth of "race science" and Imperialism, and finally into twentieth century versions in such diverse movements as Fascism and anti-colonialism. V.1, V.5

HIST 258

History of Crime and Punishment in the West
CR: 
3.0

This course surveys the foundations and development of western criminal law, penal institutions, and criminal jurisprudence from antiquity to the modern world. Patterns of criminality and enforcement, attempts at controlling crime, and philosophies regarding crime and punishment will be explored. We will also examine current debates on such controversial issues as violence, the death penalty, and the prosecution of “crimes against humanity.” No knowledge of statistics or data analysis is assumed. Students will learn the necessary techniques and skills in the course. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. III.Q, V.1, V.7

HIST 261

Directed Study
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: One HIST course and permission of the instructor. The study of introductory level material by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.

HIST 308

Encounters, Conquest and European Expansion, 1350-1650
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143 or HIST 224. This course probes the economic, scientific, and territorial expansions that both fuelled and resulted from the “rebirth” of western Europe during the early modern era. Topics include Columbus’s voyages to the New World; the Portuguese slave trade in Africa; Italian and Ottoman commercial rivalries in the Mediterranean; Spanish, British and French colonization of the Americas; and Europe’s scientific responses to the new and strange environments being mapped and explored. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.1

HIST 312

Virginia: History and Memory
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135, HIST 136, HIST 221, or HIST 225. Virginia, home to founding fathers, Civil War battlefields, and former slave plantations, occupies a central if contested position in American cultural memory. This research seminar introduces students to the rich historical scholarship on Virginia's distinctive history and legacy from the pre-colonial period through the civil rights era. Students develop a historical research project drawing on the rich digital, archival, printed and public historical records available locally, in Central Virginia, and online. Offered every third year. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.O

HIST 315

Illness and Healing in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 103, HIST 135, HIST 221, HIST 228, HIST 234, or HIST 242. This course inquires into the religious, medical, and cultural forces shaping the experiences of illness and healing in America. Key topics include Puritan modes of suffering, medical pluralism in the nineteenth century, the rise and fall of “nervousness” and other diagnoses, the medicalization of behavior once thought immoral, and the popularization of psychology in the twentieth century. The course pays particular attention to historical shifts in the relations between sufferer, community, and healer, and how such shifts affect understandings of health and illness. Offered alternate years. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. III.O

HIST 319

The Playground of Empires: Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the 19th and 20th Centuries
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: GOVT 109, HIST 143, or HIST 144. Eastern Europe and the Balkans were traditional European borderlands for centuries. Due to the regions’ positions between expanding and contracting empires, they have been the “playground” of the Great Powers for the last three centuries. This course examines these struggles and the various reactions of the indigenous populations to the competing empires from the late 18th to the 21st centuries. Offered every three years. III.W, V.1, V.7

HIST 321

Studies in Medieval History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143. The millennium separating antiquity and the Renaissance witnessed the rise of western Christianity and capitalism, the invention of romantic love, the development of Islamic science, and the Black Death. Topics will alternate: Early Middle Ages or Dark Ages; High Medieval Renaissance(s); Medieval Iberia; The Disastrous Fourteenth Century. Offered alternate years. May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. May be counted toward the major in Spanish as the one course allowed to be taken in English. III.W, V.5

HIST 322

Renaissance and Reformation
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 127 or HIST 143. The course will explore the social and cultural context of Renaissance and Reformation thought as well as the ideas and ideals of humanist intellectuals and religious reformers. The study of Renaissance Italy will include such topics as the family, sex and marriage, crime and criminal justice and social structure and politics in the city states as well as humanism and art. The Reformation section will examine traditional Catholicism and popular beliefs, as well as the ideals and goals of Protestant and Catholic reformers, and will assess the reformers’ achievements. The focus of the course may be EITHER Renaissance OR Reformation. Offered alternate years. May be counted as an auxiliary course toward the minor in gender studies. V.5

HIST 327

The Politics of Identity in Central, Eastern, and Mediterranean Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: GOVT 109, GOVT 122, HIST 143, or HIST 144. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair once described Yugoslavia as a land of “butchery” and “barbarism.” This has been a common popular and intellectual perception for centuries. This course, using case studies of the modern Balkans and Mediterranean, with a particular focus on the former Yugoslavia, examines the intersection of identity, ethnicity, and politics. It critically examines the rise of nationalism, which challenged centuries older regional, local, dynastic, and religious identities. We explore how politicized identities coopted and warped aspects of other identities, which ultimately sparked resistance and violence, leaving legacies of division and mistrust that plague the region today. Offered every third year. V.1, V.7

HIST 330

The History of the European Union
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: GOVT 109 or HIST 144. The idea of a united Europe is not new. However, the only peaceful attempt to achieve unity occurred after the Second World War. This course critically examines how and why the organization evolved from a limited customs union and trade agreement in 1952 to one with a major role on the international political and economic stage today. Offered every three years. V.1, V.7

HIST 333

The Great War in Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites HIST 144. Not open to students who received credit for HNRS 308 in Spring 2009. The Great War is often considered the bloody birth of the modern world. Arguably, it was the first “total war,” precipitated America’s entry onto the world stage, facilitated the Bolshevik Revolution, destroyed Europe’s multiethnic empires, and set the stage for fascism and World War II. This course explores the diplomatic, political, and economic history of the war and its myriad legacies. Offered alternate years. V.1

HIST 336

Civil War, Reconstruction, and the New South
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135, HIST 136, or HIST 225. This course examines the causes and consequences of the Civil War and the Reconstruction of the South and its effects on white and black Americans. We will pay particular attention to debates over the proper interpretation of these events and the role played by them in national memory. As part of the requirements for the course, students will conduct archive-based research on topics relevant to the course and to the research needs of the Legacy Museum of African American History in Lynchburg, Virginia. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. Offered every third year.

HIST 339

Slavery and Emancipation in America
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 135 or HIST 225. This course explores the rise, development, and abolition of slavery in North America. We will consider the distinctive characteristics of American slavery and of master-slave relations, the development of regional slave cultures, and the impact of the internal slave trade. We will also consider changes in African American experience following emancipation. As part of the requirements of the course, students will pursue research in local and regional archives culminating in a project that serves the needs of local historical institutions. This course may not be taken on a P/CR/NC grading option. Offered every third year.

HIST 355

War and Society in Modern Europe
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 143 or HIST 144. The study of war will illustrate connections between social organization, technology, and values in various periods in early modern and modern Europe. The course will conclude with an historical view of military thinking during the age of nuclear weapons. Offered alternate years.

HIST 358

The Cold War as History
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: HIST 144. This historiography course presents a number of major works by historians and political scientists. The students will learn the narrative history of the Cold War, will examine works by various Cold War scholars, and will analyze some of the major debates in Cold War historiography. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.7

HIST 361

Special Study
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: 100-level HIST course and permission of the instructor. The study of an intermediate level topic by an individual student or by a small group of students under the immediate supervision of a faculty member.

HIST 377

Internship
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: Three credits in HIST and permission of the instructor and department chair. This course is graded P/CR/NC only.

HIST 452

Senior Seminar
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisite: Open by permission to seniors. The seminar will deal with the question “What is history”? Primarily this will involve an examination of some of the best works of historians in the last few years. It also will consider ways in which people organize, analyze, and interpret past experience. III.O

HIST 461

Independent Study
CR: 
3.0

Prerequisites: One 100-level HIST course, one 200-level HIST course, and permission of the instructor. Pursuit of an upper level research project determined in advance by the student in consultation with a faculty member who will act as the sponsor.

RELG 178

Introduction to World Religions
CR: 
3.0

A comparative survey of the world’s major religious traditions from the time of their foundation to the present. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how religious traditions both reflect and are formative in the cultures and societies in which they appear. V.5