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Course Descriptions

History faculty members teach a variety of courses that range from broad surveys to in-depth topical seminars. Students must take certain courses to meet major requirements, but beyond those classes students may choose to concentrate within a particular area or period or simply explore the past through a diversity of subjects.

  • Most 100- and 200-level History courses are taught every year (though not necessarily every semester).
  • Some lower-level and the majority of upper-level History courses are offered on a two-year cycle.

Want to know what we're offering next semester?
Check out our Spring 2015 course offerings.


History Core Courses

HIST 100-level courses are primarily offered to fulfill theme areas within the University Core. A student may choose to use one of these courses as an elective within the History major. Only one 100-level course may to fulfill the History major and Core requirements at the same time. Courses at the 200- and 300-level can count toward the Core requirements or History major/minor without any limitation.

HIST 151 and HIST 151C: Shaping of the Modern World
This survey of world history since 1900 examines major historical events around the globe and explores general themes such as tradition and modernity, war and peace, political revolutions and socio-economic change, the role of values and culture in historical development, and the complex relationship between the individual and society.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 161: Latin American Civilization
This course spans one thousand years of Latin American history, from 1000 AD to the present. It begins with the largest indigenous societies and then focuses on Spain's invasion of the western hemisphere and the resultant three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. Afterwards, the class examines Latin America's Wars of Independence in the 1820s and the significant changes that took place throughout the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The class revolves around political, socioeconomic, and cultural themes.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 162: East Asian Civilizations
This course surveys the development of East Asian civilization from ancient times to the modern age. Geographically it covers the countries of China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Subjects to be examined include religion and thought, political and socio-economic institutions, literary and artistic accomplishments, interactions with the West, and the transition from the traditional to the modern way of life. The course is intended to provide students with a general historical background and help them develop basic historical analytical skills so that they can better understand fundamental themes such as the relationship between diversity and unity in human life.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 165: Islam, the West, and the Modern World
This course introduces the history and significance of the cultural, social, and political contacts and conflicts between Middle Eastern and Western peoples. It addresses the controversial notion of "clash of civilizations" between the twentieth-century West and Islamic fundamentalism.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity
x-listing: PJCR 165 

HIST 167: Gandhi and the 20th Century
This course will explore the history and thought of Mahatma Gandhi during the movement for Indian independence, and examine the impact of his ideas on subsequent conflicts throughout the twentieth century, focusing in particular on the effort to secure justice in the face of political oppression, economic exploitation, racism and cultural bigotry, and environmental degradation.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Social Justice
x-listing: PJCR 167 

HIST 169: Reform & Revolution since 1900
This course, which focuses on pre-existing conditions of social injustice and resulting fights for social justice, surveys numerous social and revolutionary movements that occurred in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the United States from 1910 to the present.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Social Justice
x-listing: PJCR 169 

HIST 171: History of Christianity
This course traces the development of the Christian religion from its obscure origins to its present status as a diverse world religion with hundreds of millions of adherents. Our focus is on the ways in which the thought and organization of the Christian churches have responded to the enormously diverse socieites and cultures in which they have existed.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Faith and Reason

HIST 171C: History of Christianity (Learning Community only)
This course traces the development of the Christian religion from its obscure origins to its present status as a diverse world religion with hundreds of millions of adherents. Our focus is on the ways in which the thought and organization of the Christian churches have responded to the enormously diverse societies and cultures in which they have existed. Only students in Learning Communities may take this course.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Faith and Reason

HIST 172: American Religious Experience
This course explores the history of religion in American life from the colonial period to the present. We will focus on three themes: the ways in which religion has served to reinforce and challenge social and political structures, the relationship among the individual, the church, and the state, and the ways in which religious groups have responded to competition from secular ideas and structures.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Faith and Reason

HIST 174: Sacred Places: Faith, History, and Geography
Students will examine how sacred or holy places are identified with and reveal a culture's search for truth so as to gain insights into those cultures' unique worlds. As students study how the spiritual and physical coincide, they will also learn of shared themes among diverse cultures, such as how place grounds faith. Note: This course may not be counted toward the History major or minor.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Faith and Reason

HIST 200: Global Geography
Global Geography surveys the physical, political, economic, population, environmental, and human geographic aspects of the world. The objectives are to provide students a general global perspective and for students to understand the interconnectedness that exists among all people and nations. NOTE: Because this course was created to serve a constituency primarily outside the College of Liberal Arts, this course may not be counted towards the History Major or History Minor requirements.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

Area and National Survey Courses

HIST 203 and HIST 203C: History of the United States to 1877
This is a survey course that reviews the creation and development of American society, ideals, and institutions from colonial settlements to 1877.

HIST 204: History of the United States since 1877
This course covers the historical development of American institutions, ideals, and society since 1877

HIST 210: Caput Mundi: Rome (Italian Campus only)
Course description unavailable at time of print. Please contact the Classics Department for more information, as this course is cross-listed with and determined by them.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity
x-listing: CLSX 210

HIST 213: Western Civilization I
This is an introductory survey of the origins and characteristics of "western" cultures and societies, meaning those from the Mediterranean and spreading up to the Baltic Sea. After a short introduction to the bronze and early iron ages, the course emphasizes the classical era when Greek and Roman cultures fanned out through the regions, through the Middle Ages, and finishes with the Early Modern period when new states, new religious sects, and developments in technology, learning, and trade transformed the medieval world.
x-listing: CLSX 213

HIST 214: Western Civilization II
This course is an introductory survey of the development of European societies in their global context since the 1600s. It presents persons, events, ideas and institutions that have shaped the "Western World" from the 17th through the 20th centuries. In studying the interrelated histories of southern, eastern, northern, and western Europe, students learn the foundations of modern western identities that developed within and in juxtaposition to a world increasingly globalized via trade, religion, colonization, war, and social movements.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 220: Boom$, Bust$, & Bailout$
The course covers the cycling of good and bad times in a capitalist economy; the challenges of wealth, poverty, and economic inequality throughout American history; the complex and often conflicted relationship of government and business; the struggles of American workers for economic security; and the transforming accomplishments of inventors and business innovators.

HIST 224: History of Things
This is an introductory survey in the field of material culture (the physical objects created and used by societies). Students will examine both everyday consumer items and special museum artifacts to learn how to read objects and their contexts to understand and create larger historical stories.
x-listing: ARHY 224 

HIST 226: The American Home
This course selectively surveys domestic architecture in the United States from colonial times to the present. Students will study important aesthetic, social, cultural, and economic factors that have influenced the forms of housing in the United States. In addition to examining the history of both popular and innovative styles, students will look at interior design to discover how the layout and decoration of homes changed over time to reflect different needs and aspirations. The course will use the rich and diverse housing architecture of the Pittsburgh region as a field school for visits and study, and there will be hands-on practice in methods related to historical research and historic preservation.
x-listing: ARHY 226
Course Attributes: Theme Area Creative Arts

HIST 231: Pre-Colonial Africa
This course examines African history from the development of human civilization to 1800. It is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the cultures, history, social structures and political organizations of Africa before the arrival of the Europeans. The focus includes, but is not limited to, the following subjects: Ancient African civilizations such as Egypt, Axum, Meroe and Kush; migrations and interactions of various African ethnic groups; state-formation in sub-Saharan Africa; trade in sub-Saharan Africa; and the impact of external factors upon Africa such as the slave trade, Islam and Christianity.
x-listing: AFST 231
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 240: Introduction to Archaeology (formerly HIST 314)
An overview of the discipline of archaeology. We will consider the discipline's aims, history, theories, and methods, and will devote considerable attention to its modern practice, problems, ethical concerns, and significance. Also, important will be the study of a wide range of archaeological sites throughout the world.
x-listing: CLSX 214 

HIST 241: Roman History
An investigation of the Roman state from foundation to fall. Topics will include politics, the military, culture, religion, society, and economy. Readings will include a wide range of carefully selected ancient texts.
x-listing: CLSX 252

HIST 242: Ancient Law
A survey including the contributions of the Greeks and of the Romans to the development of law.
x-listing: CLSX 242

HIST 243W: Jews Under Empire
An exploration of Jewish history in the imperial contexts of the Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. In particular, we will consider the strategies Jews employed to explain and live under empire through critical study of the creative and diverse corpus of ancient Jewish literature. A key focus will be religion, but we will also discuss politics, society, economy, and the military. Topics will include: the Jews of Ptolemaic Egypt, the Maccabean Revolt, the Hasmonean dynasty, Herod the Great, the Alexandrian riots of 38 CE, Jewish sectarianism, the First Jewish Revolt, and the emergence of Christianity.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity
x-listing: CLSX 243W

HIST 244: History of Ancient Medicine
Examination of the most significant medical theories and practices in the period from the Egyptian temple physicians to the doctors of the Roman Empire. Special attention will be given to Hippocrates and Galen.
x-listing: CLSX 244

HIST 245: Greek History
An examination of the development of Greek history and culture from earliest times up to the death of Alexander of Macedon.
x-listing: CLSX 245

HIST 246: Hellenistic History (not presently offered)
A survey of Mediterranean history from the death of Alexander until the accession of Octavian and the establishment of the Roman principate.
x-listing: CLSX 246

HIST 247: History of the Roman Principate (not presently offred)
Study of the consolidation of the Roman imperial structure from Augustus to the death of Commodus.
x-listing: CLSX 247

HIST 248: History of the Late Roman Empire (not presently offered)
Examination of Roman History from the accession of Severus to the death of Justinian.
x-listing: CLSX 248

HIST 249: History of Egyptian Civilization
A survey of Egyptian history and culture from the pre-dynastic period to the establishment of Roman rule in Egypt. Special attention will be given to the artistic, literary, and religious achievements of Egypt.
x-listing: CLSX 249

HIST 250: SPST: History Abroad
This is a special topics, study-abroad course. It focuses on analyzing historical "book knowledge" in the context of touring relevant sites and meeting other peoples.

HIST 251: African History 
This course covers African history from 1800 to the present. The focus includes such topics as African contacts with the outside world (including Europe and Indian Ocean world), the development of African societies in the face of increased European penetration, the "scramble for Africa" in the late nineteenth century, European imperialism and the African response, decolonization, and, finally, the major political, economic, and social challenges facing modern Africa. The information discussed includes economic, political, social, and military themes in order to provide students with a fuller understanding of the complex nature of modern African history.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity
x-listings: IR 251, AFST 251 

HIST 252: India, Pakistan, and South Asia
This course examines the complex histories of South Asia, from Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. The two largest countries, India and Pakistan, garner a great deal of attention, but the whole region is studied, with particular emphasis on the modern period.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity 
x-listing: IR 252, PJCR 252 

HIST 254: The History of the Modern Middle East
A study of the modern Near East with concentration upon the conflict between imperialism and nationalism, traditionalism and western influences in the area.
x-listings: IR 253, PJCR 254

HIST 256: Social History of China
This course examines the historical evolution of Chinese society and various aspects of social life in China. Subjects of study include philosophical and religious influences, major social institutions and customs, marriage and family, gender roles, education and employment, pastime and entertainment. Investigation will be conducted with particular attention to the relationships between tradition and modernity and between China and the West.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Global Diversity
x-listing: IR 256 

HIST 257: Russia before Communism
This course offers a broad survey of the rise of "Holy Russia" in the 9th century to the death of the "mad monk" Rasputin in 1916, but the focus is primarily on the rise and fall of imperial Russia from the 17th century to 1917. It examines the cultures and conflicts of the Tsars and serfs as it also looks at the wars to expand and secure the Russian state.

HIST 258: Bolshevik & Soviet Russia, 1917-1991
Russia underwent dynamic political and social changes between the October Revolution in 1917 to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922, and from World War II through the Cold War to the Union's collapse between 1985-1991. This course will explore how and why such changes occurred.
x-listing: IR 258 

HIST 260: Old Central Europe
The medieval and early modern history of the small nations situated between Russia and Germany on the east and west, and the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas on the north and the south.

HIST 261: Modern Central Europe
This course covers the fascinating modern history of the lands situated between Germany and Russia focusing on diverse ethnic groups, such as Poles, Croats, Slovaks, Serbs, Slovenes, Ukrainians, and Hungarians. The major themes include struggles for national independence, the impact of Soviet control after World War II, and the reassertion of national sovereignty after the end of the Cold War.
x-listing: IR 261 

HIST 263: Modern Italy and Europe, 1860 to Present (Italian Campus only)
The course will focus on the following topics: national unification, WWI, the rise and fall of fascism, WWII, the end of monarchy and establishment of a republic, the European Economic Community, post-WWII political instability and corruption, the Cold War and Red Brigades, the European Union and Euro, and the Mafia. Italian history will be examined within the larger context of European and global history.

HIST 265: England to 1715
This course recounts one of the great success stories of Western history: the rise of a remote island off the coast of Europe to the brink of global greatness. It will examine the development of her unique political system of parliamentary sovereignty, her economic and social strengths, her role in European politics, and her intellectual contributions to Western thought. The story is peopled with fascinating characters and England's institutions and ideas have had a fundamental impact on the United States.

HIST 266: Modern Britain
This course will examine the factors and forces of Great Britain 's internal development as well as its rise and subsequent relative decline as an imperial power in the world. It will study its unique political achievement of moving towards democracy without revolution. It will discuss the causes and course of its economic development. It will also describe the country's cultural contributions.

HIST 267: Uncovering Ireland (Duquesne in Dublin only)
This course provides an overview of Irish history from the arrival of Christianity up to modern times. Taking a documents-based approach, the course will explore the complexities, themes and modern-day relevance of major issues and events in Irish history such as the plantations, penal laws, the famine, independence, partition, and the outbreak of the Northern Irish troubles in the 1960s and ‘70s. In covering the waves of conquest, conflict, migration, and settlement that have shaped the political and social composition of modern Ireland, the course aims to situate Ireland within the context of European and wider history. Additionally, aspects of Irish culture will be explored through examinations of sport, music, and literature in their modern context.

HIST 270: Latin America: Conquest to Independence
A survey of Latin America from around 200 AD to the 1820s. The course begins with an in-depth look at the pre-Columbian Maya, Inca, and Aztec civilizations and their conquest by Spain. It then examines the socioeconomic, cultural, and political development of colonial Spanish and Portuguese society and the growing nationalistic tensions that led to the independence movement of the early 19th century.
x-listing: IR 270 

HIST 271: Modern Latin America
A survey of Latin American history since the 1820s that emphasizes the socioeconomic and political development of Argentina , Brazil , Chile , Mexico , Cuba , and Central America . Some of the themes emphasized will be Latin American economic underdevelopment, military rule, revolution, democratization, Liberation Theology, and the impact of these larger issues on the lives of ordinary people.
x-listing: IR 271 

HIST 277: History of Mexico
A survey of more than one thousand years of Mexican history beginning with the ancient Toltec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations and proceeding through the colonial period under Spanish rule. Emphasis is on Mexico since independence in the 1820s, especially political instability, the US-Mexican War, the Porfiriato, the 1910 Mexican Revolution, the PRI's seven decades of one-party rule, the transition to democracy, and NAFTA.
x-listing: IR 277 

HIST 291: History of Japan
This is a survey of Japanese history from antiquity to the present time. Examined are origins of the Japanese nation, the interplay between indigenous elements and outside influences in the making of Japanese culture and institutions, challenges of the modern age and Japanese reactions, militarism and imperialism, the "miracle" of post-war economic recovery and growth, as well as the ongoing dialogue between tradition and modernity in a rapidly changing world.
x-listing: IR 291 

HIST 292: History of Traditional China
This course surveys Chinese history from antiquity to mid-19th century. It traces the evolution of Chinese civilization, investigates major themes and aspects of this process, and examines traditional China in larger historical and cultural contexts to see how the Chinese experience, with its accomplishments and problems, relates to the modern age and outside world.
x-listing: IR 292 

HIST 293: History of Modern China
This is a survey of Chinese history from 1840 to the present. Issues examined include the fate of traditional China in modern times, China's relationship with the West, war and revolution, Mao and the communist movement, reform and economic expansion in the post-Mao era and their efforts on China and the world.
x-listing: IR 293, PJCR 293 

HIST 299: History Special Survey
This course provides an historical survey of a region or country offered by a regular or visiting instructor that is not normally covered in the department's listings. This designation may also be applied for one course transferred for credit from another institution if that course does not correspond to one of our offerings but does fit 200-level requirements.

Topical and Intensive Survey Courses

HIST 301: African American History I: Africans to African Americans, 1619-1865
This course reviews the African origins of black Americans, the middle passage, the development of plantation slavery, and the many historical changes that shaped African-American life and culture thereafter-from the Revolution to the Civil War. Topics include the impact of the Revolution on African-American life; the gradual decline of slavery in the post-Revolutionary North and the development of a free black community there; antebellum slavery, slave culture, and slave resistance; the black abolitionist movement; and African-American freedom struggles during the Civil War and Reconstruction. (With departmental or advisor approval, this course may be taken in lieu of HIST 203 for the History Major.)
x-listing: PJCR 301 

HIST 302: African American History II: Emancipation to Equality, 1865-present
The course emphasizes Black Americans' creation of a unique culture of struggle and resistance as they sought to give "freedom" meaning. It begins with the emancipation and reconstruction experiences, and moves to a sustained consideration of migration processes, the development of Jim Crow and the "Nadir"; and the emergence of protest movements and leaders throughout the twentieth century. Key issues include the changing status of African-American women, the emergence of black Americans in the professions, the dynamic dimensions of black popular culture, black protest movements and diverse black ideologies such as Afrocentricity and Nationalism, and an assessment of the current urban crisis. (With departmental or advisor approval, this course may be taken in lieu of HIST 204 for the History Major.)

HIST 303: Violence in U.S. Society
This course examines the historical significance of violence in America with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. It will examine the ways that violence has proven an indispensable part of American history, i.e. the ways that violence has become, in the words of Civil Rights activist H. Rap Brown, "just as American as cherry pie." The course considers political, economic, religious, psychological and social factors that can help to explain the prevalence of violence in our nation's history.
x-listing: PJCR 303

HIST 304: Spies, Assassins, and the European State
In this course, students look at cultural attitudes toward spying, how and why spy networks developed, and what the early ones looked like. They will also learn about the use of assassins and spies as a tool of statecraft and diplomacy and the relationship of technology to the work of spies and assassins. Overall, the course is a study of 19 th -century development of state bureaucracy.

HIST 305: Rome: Emperors, Popes, and Saints
This course examines the history and culture of the city of Rome from the classical and imperial age to the sixteenth-century. Focus will be placed on the institutions and historical figures that have been prominent in the shaping of the city and its history. The course highlight is a one-week, on-site learning tour of Rome during Spring Break.

HIST 307: History of Science
This course will concentrate on the developments in science since the 17th century. It will examine the development of modern scientific thought and the impact that scientific discoveries have had on the modern world.

HIST 309: The Scientific Revolution
Between the end of the fifteenth and the end of the seventeenth centuries the Western understanding of the natural world was transformed in ways that have probably done more than anything else to shape the world we live in today. This course will cover the well-known elements of that scientific revolution, including the discoveries of scientists like Galileo, Boyle, and Newton, and the philosophical theories of Bacon and Descartes. However, it will devote equal attention to the context of that transformation, including the social world of early modern science, developments in fields like natural history and alchemy, and political and economic factors influencing scientific theory and practice. Students will gain an understanding of the intricate complexity of the developing scientific enterprise.

HIST 315: Archaeological History of the Ancient Greek World
A survey of the archaeology of Greece from pre-history to the Roman period.
x-listings: CLSX 315 and ARHY 315

HIST 316: Archaeological History of Athens
An investigation into the topography and monuments of Athens and Attica, from the pre-historic to the Roman period.
x-listings: CLSX 316 and ARHY 316

HIST 317: Archaeological History of the Ancient Roman World
A survey of the archaeology of Italy from pre-history to the middle fourth century A.D.
x-listings: CLSX 317 and ARHY 317

HIST 318: Archaeological History of Rome
An investigation of the topography and monuments of Rome from pre-history through Constantine.
x-listings: CLSX 318 and ARHY 318

HIST 319W: Archaeological History: Seminar
Possible topics include the Bronze Age Aegean, the development of Vase Paintings, the Etruscans, etc.
x-listings: CLSX 319W and ARHY 319W

HIST 320: Colonial America
This course explores the "New Worlds" of North America from the 1500s to 1763. Although there is an emphasis on the English colonies, it also examines the dynamic societies of and relationships between other Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans as they met new challenges on the continent.
Course Attributes: Core Theme Area Global Diversity

HIST 321: American Revolution
Students examine what caused American colonists to war for independence from Great Britain and create a new nation. Besides examining social and military issues, this course surveys the political ideologies espoused by the revolutionaries from 1763 to the ratification of the Constitution in 1788 and the addition of the Bill of Rights in 1791.

HIST 325: Irish History
This course examines the history of Ireland from pre-history to the present, but concentrates on the modern period since the mid-1770s. The themes of special focus are: Irish identity, nationalism and unionism, economic development, cultural diversity, the Troubles and the peace process, and the economic rise of contemporary Ireland within the European Union. A series of case studies will be employed to analyze these themes in depth.

HIST 328: Early Republic: U.S., 1789-1850
This course covers the numerous challenges that the new American nation faced when its survival seemed in doubt. As they struggled to establish the federal government, the founders also had to face the conflict between Great Britain and France that would eventually entangle the United States in its first major war. After the War of 1812, the nation turned inward to confront economic development, democratization, and the growing impact of slavery. Americans struggled with powerful waves of social change. As the nation expanded across the continent, political conflict grew, as party leaders like Jackson , Clay, Webster, and Calhoun sought compromise on the issues that would eventually lead to civil war.

HIST 329: Pennsylvania and the American Nation
A history of Pennsylvania's societies and politics from the experience of its Native American peoples and European settlement, through its roles in the French and Indian War, American Revolution, and other national crises, to its rapid industrial development in the 19th century and its modern challenges of urban centers to the east and west and rural middle.

HIST 331: American Immigration
The course examines the dynamics of immigration to the United States from the 19th to mid 20th centuries. Within the broader survey, the instructor may focus on the arrival of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe, those coming from Southern and Eastern Europe, and peoples from Asia and Latin America.

HIST 333: American Women in History
This class traces the history of women's roles and women's lives from the time of the American Revolution to the present. In these years ideals of female behavior and the opportunities available to women have changed dramatically. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, students will consider the nature and cause of these changes.
x-listing: WSGS 333

HIST 335: Crime & Criminality: Early Modern Europe
The period from 1450 to 1800 was a golden age of fraud, violence, and other crime in Europe--not to mention activities we no longer consider criminal, or even possible, like heresy and witchcraft. This course examines the rich and often bizarre records of this criminality, in court records and in fiction, in order to understand how early modern societies, and rulers' attempts to police them, functioned and failed.

HIST 336: Catholic Church to 1800
This course will examine organization, practices, doctrines, and role in society of the Roman Catholic Church from the time it emerged into legality under the Emperor Constantine to its uneasy reconciliation with the Emperor Napolean a millenium and a half later. Questions investigated include: missionary endeavors; dissent and heresy; the changing nature of the papacy, episcopacy, priesthood, and religious orders; church-state relations; gender roles; and theologians and universities.

HIST 337W: Michelangelo: His Art, His World
This course examines the genius of Michelangelo in the context of the artistic and cultural forces which combined to create the Renaissance. 
x-listing:  ARHY 374W

HIST 338: Christianity & Islam: Contending Cultures
For over a thousand years, these two great monotheistic religions, and the civilizations built upon them, have challenged each other throughout the globe. This course examines in particular the clash between Christianity and Islam in Europe and the Near East.

HIST 340: History of Western Law
Primary emphasis will be placed on the rise of customary law, from its roots in ancient times until the modern era.

HIST 341: History of American Law
Law shapes the social order and social order and society shape the law. This course will discuss the legal principles that the first Americans brought from England and discover how the American experience has shaped the nation's legal system.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Social Justice

HIST 342: War in the Pre-Modern Era
This course examines how and why warfare effected western societies. It will look at the traditional components of military history but will also examine the wider issues concerning the way warfare has influenced politics, social arrangements, economics, and technology.
x-listing: PJCR 342 

HIST 346: World War II
World War II was, simply put, "the largest single event in human history." This course will examine its causes, course and consequences. While the military aspects of the conflict will be discussed in detail, the human factors, political realities and social effects will also be covered.
x-listing: PJCR 346 

HIST 347: War in Modern Society
A study and analysis of the phenomenon of war in the Western World from the Age of Napoleon to the present, with special emphasis upon the interrelationship between international conflict and social, political, and technological change.
x-listing: IR 347, PJCR 347 

HIST 351: U.S. Foreign Relations to WWI
An examination of the history of American foreign relations from the American Revolution to WWI. This is a study of the nation's exercise of sovereignty in foreign affairs, its rise to world power, and the internal and external conflicts that resulted.
x-listing: IR 351, PJCR 351 

HIST 352: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1917
The United States emerged as a major player on the world stage during and after World War I. This course will discuss the role that the country has played in international relations during the course of the 20th century and will also examine the domestic implications of the United States' rise to world dominance.
x-listing: IR 352 

HIST 358: Civil War and Reconstruction
An intensive study of the American experience from the roots of the sectional conflict in the expansion of the United States through the struggle over slavery, the War itself, and the controversies over the restoration of the Union.

HIST 360: Constitutional History of the United States
An analysis of the Supreme Court and constitutional development, stressing the major controversies in the field.

HIST 362: Civil Rights: Jim Crow to Present
The Civil Rights movement stands out as one of the most significant social and political developments of 20th-century American history. This movement, or rather collection of movements, ushered in major transformations in American life, in law, in social relations, and in the role of government. This course will examine the modern African-American freedom struggle, the legacy and modern implications of this movement, and other parallel or connected movements such as women's suffrage and rights, as well as other ethnic and class struggles.
Course Attributes:Theme Area Social Justice
x-listing: PJCR 362 

HIST 364: History of Sexuality in the United States, 1820-2000
This course will explore the history of how people in the United States identified themselves sexually and engaged in sexual behavior from the early nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. We will focus on representations of sexuality in popular texts ranging from sensational fiction to sermons, from advice manuals to advertisements and twentieth-century sex-ed films. We will consider issues such as the emergence of a gay identity in the late nineteenth century, changes in reproductive technologies, sexual violence, prostitution, male and female body ideals, marriage, courtship and dating culture, and many other related topics.
x-listing: WSGS 364 

HIST 367: Radical Democracy
This course will examine the global history of radical democracy from the French Revolution to Occupy Wall Street.  It traces various global attempts to practice democracy outside of the liberal representative model.  We will investigate such topics as democratic armies and factories, slave republics, pirate utopias, and even claims by some Germans that Nazi Germany "felt more democratic" than its predecessor the Weimar Republic. What sense are we to make of these exceptions to liberal representative democracy? We will ask what these radical ways of organizing and instituting society teach us and question why and how the liberal model has come to predominate our conception of democracy today.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Social Justice

HIST 368: French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era
This course examines how the French Revolution and Napoleonic era changed that nation and its people socially, culturally, politically, and economically. It also reviews the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars and how they affected not only the French but other European nations and peoples: how they changed the way Europeans viewed themselves and others; how governments were organized and states constructed; and how diplomacy was conducted.

HIST 370: Empire in Modern History
This course examines one of one of the most persistent and controversial aspects of modern history - the tendency of powerful nations to build empires and maintain them at almost any cost. "Empire in Modern History" raises important historical questions about the exercise of power, the use of trade as an imperializing force, notions of race and cultural superiority, the creation of the "third world," decolonization, and the lingering effects of imperialism into the twenty-first century. While the most famous "old" empires of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries sprang from western Europe, this course also analyzes the "new" empires of Japan, the Soviet Union, and the United States, all of which became very powerful in the twentieth century.
x-listing: PJCR 370 

HIST 371: Western European Transformations, 1815-1990s
The course begins with the establishment of the German Confederation in 1815, moves through the formal unification of Germany in 1871, and on to the "Deutsche Einheit" (German Unity) of 1990. While Germany is a central focus, other Western European nations also figure prominently as the class focuses on such developments as the emergence of civil society, political radicalism, industrialism, urbanization, and imperialism. The course will also address the evolution of European diplomacy with special attention to the great power rivalries, the impact of nationalism and mass politics, and the interplay between military and economic power.

HIST 372: The Holocaust in Modern History
This course deals with one of the most significant and controversial events of the 20th century: the Nazi effort to totally annihilate Europe's Jews. That one of the most advanced nations embarked on the horrific policy of genocide gives the event a special place in modern history and raises a number of fundamental questions about the very nature of western civilization.
x-listing: PJCR 372 

HIST 374: The Vietnam Era
The purpose of this course is to create awareness among students of the significance of the Vietnam War in the recent history of the United States. Although the war is over thirty years old, its legacy has loomed over America foreign policy, American consciousness, and the American psyche since its happening.
x-listing: IR 374, PJCR 374 

HIST 376: Revolution: Modern Latin America
The course begins with an analysis of different revolutionary theories, followed by an in-depth examination of the Mexican, Cuban, Chilean, and Nicaraguan revolutions of the 20th century. Unsuccessful guerilla movements in Guatemala and Colombia as well as successful, peaceful social movements pertaining to women's rights also will be examined.
x-listing: IR 376, PJCR 376 

HIST 378: Modern Africa: Independence and Issues
The history of independent Africa is a turbulent one, filled with wars, political upheavals, social disasters and unrest, economic calamities and a smattering of great successes. This course covers a variety of topics in the history of Africa from the independence movements of the post Second World War era to the present. Topics include, but are not limited to the following: the gaining of African independence, Africa during the Cold War, various military, political and social conflicts that plague modern Africa, the role of the United Nations and the African Union in creating political and economic stability in present-day Africa, the successes of various African nations at creating stable and economically viable states, and finally what the future holds for Africa. These topics will be examined through a variety of perspectives such as ethnicity, political, religious, economic and social factors.
x-listing: IR 378 

HIST 379: East Asia and the U.S.
This course introduces students to the history of East Asia' s interactions with the United States . Among subjects examined are the political, economic and cultural contexts in which China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam encountered America; nationalist and imperialist struggles in the Far East and US involvement; the experience of American Christian missions in the region; Communist revolutions in East Asia and US policies; East Asia's economic "miracle" and its effects on the U.S.; and current challenges to peoples of the trans-Pacific community.
x-listing: IR 379 

HIST 381: East Asian History through Film
This course examines East Asia by utilizing both texts and feature films. It is a combination of general survey and topical study, covering major stages and themes in the development of Chinese and Japanese civilizations from ancient times through the modern era.
x-listing: IR 381 

HIST 382: Latin American History through Film
This course examines the last 500 years of Latin American history and uses feature films as its primary source. One-third of the semester will be devoted to the colonial period (1490s to 1820s), and the remaining two-thirds will focus on modern Latin America (1820s to present). The course and films emphasize Latin America's social and cultural evolution.

HIST 385: American Wests: Lands, Legends, Peoples
The heart of the North American continent was the stage for and challenge to empires and individuals seeking their destinies. The land and its diverse peoples from all over the globe-Native Americans, Chinese pioneers, Spanish soldiers and farmers, French trappers and traders, American miners and ranchers, and other actors-played dynamic parts in the epic of the American West. This course introduces students to multicultural contacts and conflicts on the borderlands between empires, nations, and peoples, the processes of community and cultural development in the West, and how the history of the West has appeared in the popular imagination.

HIST 386: The American South
This course offers an examination of a distinctive region that illuminates the construction of not only southern culture, but of American civilization.

HIST 387: Native American History
This course focuses on Native American societies and the nature of their contact and conflicts with European settler societies and then the United States from the 1490s to the 1880s. The course also surveys general cultural continuities and changes with reference to selected Eastern Woodlands and Plains tribes and nations.
Course Attributes: Theme Area Social Justice
x-listing: PJCR 387 

HIST 388: U.S. Since 1945
A discussion of selected contemporary issues, foreign and domestic, which illustrate the identity crisis in the U.S.

HIST 390: 20th Century Political Leadership
The 20th century saw a remarkable number of great leaders, both the good and the evil, in all parts of the world. This course will examine such world altering figures as Hitler and Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill, Mao and Gandhi, all of whom left their mark on our world.

HIST 391: U.S.: 1917 to 1945
This course studies the changes in American society from World War I to the end of World War II. Both domestic developments and foreign affairs will be covered. As the topic demands, events and circumstances outside the US will be treated. Domestically, the social, political, and economic changes that occurred during these years will be discussed in detail.

HIST 392: Germany: From Kaiser to Hitler
The history of Germany from the collapse of the empire to the destruction of the Third Reich. Emphasizing political, social, and economic aspects of the German Experience.
x-listing: IR 392 

HIST 393: Patterns in the Land: Environmental History
Woodie Guthrie wrote and recorded the song "This Land is Your Land" in 1956 celebrating the beauty and diversity of the American environment. This course traces the history of North America's environments, ecosystems, and societies by exploring the impact of the land upon its peoples and the impact of those peoples on the land. It covers a broad span of history from Indian mounds to American towns. Students will learn of settlement patterns, trade and transportation networks, and archaeological and ecological methods for understanding and preserving the land. They will also examine literary and artistic renderings, among other categories of experience and evidence, to understand the communities and cultures that developed upon and created American landscapes.

HIST 394: Historical Geography
A survey of the physical world which is the basis for a human civilization, past present, and future. What are the possibilities and limitations of different places for human development? How successful or unsuccessful were human settlements? Emphasis also on geography as an intellectual discipline and cultural phenomenon.
x-listing: HIST 502, IR 394

HIST 395: Pittsburgh: Place, Peoples, and Urban America
The course moves from the conflicts over control of the forks of the Ohio and through the eras of farms and forts, furnaces and industry, to explore the creation and growth of the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding area. Pittsburgh was not only one of the original gateways to the West but a pioneer in industrial and urban America. This course will examine Pittsburgh's cultural as well as social, political, and economic developments.

HIST 396: Public History: Peoples' Pasts
This course is about preserving, interpreting, and presenting history outside of academe. In looking at representations of the past beyond the classroom, students learn why and how peoples, in this case the American public, look at history the way that they do. Is public history supposed to be a matter of celebration, commemoration, or something else? While examining such issues, students will also survey various specializations across the field of Public History, including current museum, archival, archaeological, and historical preservation theories and practices. Students will also assist a community partner in a history project. (This qualifies as a service-learning course.)
x-listing: ARHY 396

HIST 399: History Special Topics
A topical exploration offered by a regular or visiting instructor that is not normally covered in the department's listings. This designation may also be applied for one course transferred for credit from another institution if that course does not correspond to one of our offerings but does fit 300-level requirements.

Advanced Courses

Courses at the 400-level require that students have taken the appropriate 200-level survey courses (such as the American or Western Civilization surveys), as well as HIST 311W: Writing History. The "W" indicates that it is a writing-intensive course.

HIST 401W: Medieval Europe
An exploration of the elements which, taken together, comprise the culture of the Middle Ages.
x-listing: HIST 501 

HIST 413W: Renaissance Europe: Courts and Nobles
This course will examine the life and culture of the early modern European aristocracy, particularly in the princely and royal courts of the period. From the Medici of Florence to Queen Elizabeth of England and Louis XIV of France, the courts of this ear were scenes of opulence, great literature, and brutal conflict, and have fascinated historians for centuries. Topics will include the social foundations of the nobility; ideology and political thought; artistic and literary culture; sex and gender; and warfare, violence, and dueling.
x-listing: HIST 513 

HIST 415W: Renaissance and Reformation Europe
The transformative movements that molded western civilization - the Renaissance and the Reformation - will be the subjects of this course. Particular attention will be paid to the changing understanding of human beings and their relationship to this world and their God. The social and political impact of these movements will be studied.

HIST 417W: Europe: Reason and Revolution
An examination of the history of Europe between 1648 to 1815, this course will concentrate on the rise of absolutism as personified by Louis XIV, the intellectual developments of the Enlightenment, the social and economic changes that underlay and undercut the ancient regime, and the great cataclysm of the French Revolution that ushered in the modern world.

HIST 419W: 19th Century Europe
An examination of the European experience between 1815 to 1914, with emphasis on political, social, and cultural trends.
x-listing: HIST 519 

HIST 422W: 20th Century Europe
A study of the European experience between 1914 and the present, centering, on such topics as the great wars, fascism, and contemporary trends in both eastern and western Europe.
x-listing: HIST 522, IR 426W 

HIST 428W: British Empire
This course will examine some of the major political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of the history of the British Empire since 1783. These include the abolition of slavery, the impact of industrialization on the empire, imperial wars, the expansion of empire into Africa, the world wars in an imperial context, and decolonization. Different historiographic themes will be analyzed in different semesters.
x-listing: HIST 528, IR 428W 

HIST 429W: Historic Preservation
This course is on the movements and organizations that developed to save, protect, and present historical sites. It introduces preservation law and procedures established to survey and list buildings and sites as national, state, and local treasures.
x-listing: ARHY 429W

HIST 430W: The Atlantic World, 1450s-1750s
The Atlantic Ocean was a great conduit of not just peoples, but of products, pests, pestilence, and ideas. Changes in Europe fostered exploration and colonization, which in turn promoted the development of empires, conflicts over trade and territories, and social and cultural innovations. This course examines some of the issues that connected and divided countries and peoples along the Atlantic rim in the Early Modern Era.
x-listing: HIST 530 

HIST 433W: Gender in U.S. History
This class focuses in on several key issues in the development of gender roles in North American from the colonial era through the present. While the bulk of the class will concern the evolving roles of women, we will also consider men's history and the history of sexuality.
x-listing: HIST 533, WSGS 433W, and WSGS 533 

HIST 441W: American Painting and Sculpture
Selected topics in 18th, 19th, and early 20th century American Art History are examined in the context of social, political, cultural and economic issues. Topic examples include: The Changing American Landscapes in the 19th Century; American Portraiture; American Impressionism; American Women Artists; The Rise of American Art Academies; Art Criticism and Patronage, Exhibitions, and Museum Institutions.  
x-listing: ARHY 441W and HIST 541 

HIST 442W: American Architecture
American architectural developments have been both dynamic and complex. This course provides students with a historical overview of North America's built environment from earthen houses to the concrete jungle. Lectures present noteworthy architectural styles, building types, and construction innovations from the pre-contact to modern eras, with attention also given to America's prominent architects and theorists. Students will learn what is distinctively "American" about the built environment. Students will assess what this continent's cities, landscapes, and buildings tell us about the American people. Students will gain tools for reading and understanding the architectural landscape as a way to "see" better America's pasts and present.
x-listing: ARHY 442W and HIST 542

HIST 443: American Decorative Arts
A survey of the decorative arts in the United States from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. In addition to considering style and production techniques, this course will investigate the social and cultural context within which such works were created and displayed.
x-listing: ARHY 443 and HIST 543

HIST 445W: Imperial Russia
An investigation of the political, social, and intellectual evolution of the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.
x-listing: HIST 545 

HIST 446W: 20th-Century Russia: Romanovs to Putin
This course examines the challenges to and overthrow of the Romanov rule, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and the creation of the new Russia since 1991. It explores political, social, and cultural issues.
x-listing: HIST 546, PJCR 446W 

HIST 448W: World at War
This topical course examines one or both of the world wars of the early twentieth century. The instructor may choose to focus on just one of the conflicts in depth (for example, just World War I) or provide a comparative study of both. In either case, the course examines the diplomacy leading up to, through, and concluding the conflict(s). It also explores the cultural and social changes, technological innovations, and political revolutions that contributed to and were part of the European struggles that became global battles.
x-listing: HIST 548, PJCR 448W 

HIST 450W: The Cold War
An analysis of the diplomatic and political struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union I the aftermath of the Second World War and the ideological conflict between free enterprise and communism around the world.
x-listing: HIST 550, IR 450W, PJCR 450W 

HIST 452W: Modern Germany 1872-1991
Since the 1870s, arguably, no other country has left more of an impression on the continent of Europe, if not the world, than Germany. The issues raised by Germany's rise to power, from colonial questions to the Treaty of Versailles, from fascism to the Holocaust, dominated world politics and war from the turn of the century through 1945. Efforts to ensure that human societies would not repeat German mistakes have had an equally profound impact; The European Union, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations, all owe their existence to the German legacy. This course will examine the history of Germany from its first unification (1871) to its second (1991). Our aim is twofold: First, to learn, in detail, the history of a people who lived through two Empires, three Republics, and three World Wars. Second, to unearth all the ways that German history has made us - i.e., how this history is concealed in the ways we think about ethics, politics, and culture today.
x-listing: HIST 552 

HIST 461W: African American History: Multiple Voices
An examination of the experiences of African Americans in the United States beginning with Antebellum slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, turn of the century America, the Civil Rights movement, and their continuing struggle to attain true equality in American society. This course will examine these topics primarily through the exploration of key political and autobiographical texts including the works of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Marcus Garvey, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and others.
x-listing: HIST 561, PCJR 461W 

HIST 465W: Reform in America
From its founding to the present day, the United States has been noted for the strength of its reform movements. Whether they were striving to end drinking, prostitution, political corruption, or slavery, to achieve rights for women or minorities, to stop unpopular wars, or to usher in a Christian or socialist utopia, reform-minded Americans have banded together to try to achieve political and social change. In this course, we will consider the membership, motives, rhetoric, tactics, and consequences of social movements.
x-listing: HIST 565, PJCR 465W 

HIST 470W: History of Urban America
This course examines the development of the American city with special focus upon changes in land-use patterns, social class arrangements, political organizations, mobility and migration, ecological patterns, industrial and commercial developments, transformation of the built environment, and the creation of a national urban policy.
x-listing: HIST 570 

HIST 472W: Work and Enterprise in American History
An analysis of the forces which have shaped American industrialization, focusing on the impact of unionization and the development of big business on the everyday lives of Americans from pre-industrial craftsmen to industrial workers.
x-listing: HIST 572 

HIST 473W: U.S. Cultural and Intellectual History (summer)
A survey of major movements in thought and culture including religion, science, the arts, and philosophy, including moral, political, and economic thought.
x-listing: HIST 573 

HIST 476W: Individualism in American History (summer)
A study of American individualism as demonstrated in the writings of politicians, novelists, political theorists and others who have dealt with this important aspect of American culture.
x-listing: HIST 576 

HIST 477W: Nature & the American Experience (summer)
Is nature to be tamed or protected? How have Americans responded to the incredible and at first untamed natural bounty that greeted them? What impact have these natural surroundings had on the development of the American character? These are some of the issues dealt with in this course.
x-listing: HIST 577 

HIST 482W: Inter-American Relations
An examination of U.S.-Latin American relations since the mid-19th century. Topics covered will include Manifest Destiny and the U.S.-Mexican War, the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898, the construction of the Panama Canal, U.S. economic and military penetration of the Caribbean and Central America, the Good Neighbor policy, the CIA-backed coup in Guatemala, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic, the Contra War in Nicaragua, NAFTA, Latin American migration to the U.S., and Narco traffic.
x-listing: HIST 582, IR 482W, PJCR 482W 

HIST 483W: Mexico and the U.S.
This course focuses on U.S.-Mexican relations since the 19th century and covers the Texas rebellion and annexation, the U.S.-Mexican War, American economic penetration during the Porfiriato, U.S. military intervention in the Mexican Revolution, the expropriation of American-owned lands and oil companies in the 1930s, Mexican migration to and repatriation from the U.S., the Mexican foreign debt crisis, the narcotics trade, NAFTA, and the Mexican immigrant community in the United States.
x-listing: HIST 583, IR 483W

HIST 485W: China in Revolution
This course investigates changes in China during the 20th century, with a focus on the Chinese communist movement. Topics examined include the meaning of revolution in the Chinese context; ideology, causes, events, and personalities of the Chinese revolution; consequences and impact of the revolutionary movement.
x-listing: HIST 585, IR 485W, PJCR 485W 

HIST 488W: China and the West
This course explores China's encounters with the West from early times through the modern age, with an emphasis on cultural exchanges. It opens with a survey of Chinese history and Sino-Western interactions over time and then focuses on topics such as the Silk Road, the Chinese Empire and the Philosophes, Christianity in China, American influence and Chinese liberalism, Marxism and Chinese communist revolution, Chinese culture in the West and Western presence in China today.
x-listing: HIST 588, IR 488W 

Methods Courses

HIST 311W: Writing History
Required for all History majors. In this seminar course students sharpen the skills necessary to the practice of history. Students will work on increasing their proficiency in analyzing and interpreting both primary and secondary sources, developing their research skills, and improving their writing.
x-listing: ARHY 311W

HIST 490: History Internship
This is a special elective for a history major interested in and qualified to apprentice with a history organization (archive, museum, or historical society). The student has to meet both College (2.5 GPA) and departmental (at least 2.7 in a minimum of 5 history courses) requirements to take the internship. To earn 3 credits the student must have 120 contact hours with the history institution. Two credits require 80 contact hours, and 1 credit requires 50 contact hours. The student will also have a writing assignment. There is also the Liberal Arts internship, CLPRG 401, but it will not count for the major. For College procedures, see their website.

HIST 491W: Senior Honors Seminar
Students desiring to graduate with honors in History must take this class. Such students must first ask for permission to take this course. In this seminar, students review elements of historiography and writing and then pursue primary source research on a topic of their choice. They will write a lengthy research paper under close faculty direction.
x-listing: HIST 691 

HIST 499W: Directed Reading: Selected Historical Topics (1-3 credits)
With permission from the Department and close consultation with a faculty member, students can undertake an in-depth exploration of a topic of their choice that culminates in either a lengthy primary-source-based research paper or a series of shorter papers that analyze secondary sources and support a historiographical understanding of that topic.