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Academic Program > Major and Minor Fields of Study > History and Political Science

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History and Political Science

Chair Leonard A. Williams, Mark J. Angelos, Marjan Boogert, David F. McFadden, Benson C. Onyeji, Glenn R. Sharfman, Katherine A. Tinsley

The Department of History and Political Science encourages all students to explore the historical roots and contemporary forms of the world’s cultures, institutions and practices. Our programs are rooted in such liberal arts traditions as intellectual integrity, multidisciplinary interests and civic education. Our alumni are well prepared for graduate or professional studies in a number of fields, as well as for careers in education, government, law or business. The department is especially proud of its long-standing commitment to helping our students develop an international awareness and an appreciation for cultural diversity.

History is the study and interpretation of the human past. It emphasizes the interrelation of culture, social structure, economic conditions and political institutions. Through the study of history, students gain an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view and insights into ways of life and perspectives different from one’s own. Students taking courses in the field will learn about historical events, trends and causation. They will learn to use a variety of research skills and analytical categories in explicating and interpreting the past.

Political science focuses on the systematic study of collective decision-making and the interactions between power and interest in human affairs. Students of political science explore such topics as the institutional and socio-economic bases of political behavior; the cultures, institutions, and processes of contemporary political systems; the relations between and among nations; and the world’s major political philosophies. Through the study of political science, students learn the theories and research methods necessary for analyzing and understanding political life.

HISTORY
(Bachelor of Arts only)
Major in history, language concentration, 39 hours: HIST 214, 215, 344, 499; two courses selected from: HIST 201, 202, 203, 204; two courses selected from HIST 210, 220, 226; 15 hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor, at least nine hours at 300-level or above.

(Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science)
Major in history, quantitative concentration, 45 hours: HIST 214, 215, 344, 350, 499; two courses selected from: HIST 201, 202, 203, 204; two courses selected from HIST 210, 220, 226; MATH 210; 15 hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor, at least nine hours at the 300-level or above.

Major in history, general concentration, 39 hours: HIST 214, 215, 344, 499; three courses selected from: HIST 201, 202, 203, 204; two courses selected from HIST 210, 220, 226; nine hours of electives at the 200-level or above.

Majors must successfully complete the senior comprehensive evaluation prior to graduation. Details are available from the department chair.

Minor in history, 22 hours: HIST 214 or 215; two courses selected from: HIST 201, 202, 203, 204; two courses selected from: HIST 210, 220, 226; six hours of electives at the 200 level or above.

Requirements for teaching majors are available in the Office of Teacher Education.

Courses HIST

100 WORLD CIVILIZATIONS - 4 hours
A survey designed to study the development of civilization in the West and in the rest of the world from a comparative perspective. The course will explore major institutions and ideologies that have shaped the unfolding of world history. Fall. Spring.

104 INTRODUCTION TO EUROPEAN HISTORY: ANCIENT TO 1500 - 3 hours
A survey of the development of European society and western civilization from the ancient era through the early modern Renaissance. Fall. C-4HH.

105 INTRODUCTION TO EUROPEAN HISTORY: 1500 TO PRESENT - 3 hours

A survey of the development of European society and western civilization from the Protestant Reformation up to the present era. Spring. C-4HH.

201 THE MIDDLE AGES - 3 hours
A survey of the development of the culture and institutions of Western Europe from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Fall, even years.

202 RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION - 3 hours
A survey of the causes and achievements of the Renaissance and the Reformation as distinctive movements within the context of European history from 1300 to 1648. Spring, odd years.

203 EUROPEAN HISTORY: 1648-1848 - 3 hours
European history from the Peace of Westphalia to the revolutionary movements of the mid-19th century. Fall, odd years.

204 EUROPEAN HISTORY: 1848-PRESENT - 3 hours
An analysis of European development from the uprisings of 1848 to the post World War II era. Spring, even years.

205 ANCIENT EUROPE - 3 hours
A survey of European political, social, and economic development during the Greek and Roman eras, including study of Celtic and Germanic culture and society. C-4HH.

206 WOMEN IN EUROPEAN HISTORY - 3 hours
A survey of women in European history during the medieval, early modern and modern eras. This course will examine the participation of women in various aspects of European society, including economic, religious and family life. Prerequisite: HIST 100, 101, or 104. Spring, odd years.

210 EAST ASIA IN THE WORLD: PAST AND PRESENT - 3 hours
A history of East Asia from ca. 1700 to the present, this course places East Asian history in the context of global history. It discusses how the study of East Asian history contributes to an understanding not only of East Asia itself, but also of the interconnectedness of world regions and of the universal human condition. C-3GC.

214 AMERICAN HISTORY: COLONIAL PERIOD TO 1865 - 4 hours
The evolution of American social and political institutions, the development of government under the constitution and the political, social and economic movements that culminated in the Civil War. Fall. C-4HH.

215 AMERICAN HISTORY: 1865 TO THE PRESENT - 4 hours
A continuation of HIST 214. The rise of the industrial state, the emergence of the United States as a world power, and social trends and reform movements. Spring. C-4HH.

220 AFRICAN HISTORY - 3 hours
A survey of the history and cultures of Africa south of Sahara including an examination of the European impact and the emergence of contemporary African states. Fall. Spring. C-3GC.

226 EMPIRE - 3 hours
The history of European empires, especially focusing on the British Empire in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. An examination of the perspectives of colonized peoples and the nature and results of imperialism.

227 RACE AND ETHNICITY IN AMERICAN HISTORY - 4 hours
A survey of the experience of various racial and ethnic groups in colonial, 19th and twentieth century America. It will offer the opportunity to explore the ways in which American society has reacted to “outside” groups, and to explore how these groups have seen themselves and shaped their own interaction with American society and culture. Spring, odd years. C-3RC.

234 HISTORY OF FOODWAYS - 3 hours
An exploration of the history of diet, cooking methods, and foods in the Americas from the 16th century through the 20th century. The contributions to American foodways of Native Americans, African Americans, and other ethnic groups will be emphasized in addition to studying changes in cooking technology and ideas about proper nutrition. The class will include hands-on food preparation sessions. Fee required.

240 ORAL HISTORY TECHNIQUES - 1-3 hours
A survey of the methodological issues, techniques and applications of oral history. Students will learn the steps necessary to prepare an oral history project, including background research, interviewing techniques and transcription. They also will learn about preservation, cataloging procedures, and the legal and ethical issues involved in doing oral history.

241 TOPICS IN JAPANESE HISTORY: COURT AND ARISTOCRACY IN HEIAN, JAPAN, 794-1185 - 3 hours
The Heian period, or classical Japan, was the peak of the imperial court and it is famous for its art, particularly poetry and literature. Using the rich writings of female authors such as Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji), this course examines the life at the Heian court. Topics include religion, marriage and inheritance, and conflict. C-3GC.

250 HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST - 3 hours
This class will explore the events surrounding the Holocaust. We will study the motives the Nazi regime had in their murderous campaign for a new world order, the reactions of the victims, decisions of bystanders, and the role of religion, psychology, and politics in the history of the Holocaust.The effect of the Holocaust on the concept of justice will also be discussed. C-3RC.

252 COMPARATIVE CIVILIZATION - 3 hours
An examination of the history of various civilizations of the globe through visits, readings and discussions which focus on areas under study. The course is always an off-campus offering. May be repeated on different topics. January.
C-3GC.

307 EARLY MODERN JAPAN, 1600-1868 - 3 hours
This course examines the Tokugawa period in Japanese history, also call the early modern period. Major themes include the system of government, the implications of the status system that - at least in theory - divided the population in strictly separate classes, and relations between the central government, headed by the shogun, and the more than 260 largely autonomous domains. Prerequisites: HIST 100, 101, 104, or 105.

315 BRITISH HISTORY - 3 hours
A broad survey of the political, social and constitutional history of the British Isles. Particular emphasis will be placed on relations between England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Prerequisite: HIST 100 or HIST 101 or HIST 104 or HIST 105. Fall, even years.

318 ITALIAN HISTORY - 3 hours
An examination of historical developments on the Italian peninsula. This course will examine a wide variety of social, political, economic, and cultural developments demonstrating the significance of Italy to Western society. Prerequisite: HIST 100, 101, 104, or 105. Spring, even years.

325 ASPECTS OF AMERICAN SOCIAL HISTORY - 3 hours
The study of a particular aspect of American social history. The chosen topic will focus on a specific aspect of the lives of ordinary Americans at various time periods.This course will usually be offered in January and may include field trips or off-campus study as appropriate. Course may be repeated once for credit on a different topic.

329 WOMEN IN AMERICAN HISTORY - 3 hours
A survey of the experience of various groups of women in colonial, 19th and 20th century America. The nature of family life and the technology and management of the household will be ongoing themes. Specific topics of relevance also will be pursued, including women’s roles in religious life of the colonial period, development of women’s rights and suffrage in the 19th century, and the impact of women’s increasing participation in the paid labor force. Spring, even years.

344 HISTORIOGRAPHY AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (W) - 3 hours
This course will focus on the techniques and methods used in the historical profession. In addition to the study of historiography, students also will begin the process of researching and writing a paper based on primary source materials. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor.

350 QUANTITATIVE METHODS IN HISTORY - 2 hours
An exploration of methods for analyzing and interpreting quantitative historical source material and research. Prerequisite: MATH 210.

430 MEDIEVAL FOUNDATIONS OF WESTERN SOCIETY - 3 hours
An advanced study of the European Middle Ages, exploring the impact of medieval European social, political and economic institutions on modern Western society. Examines the creation of western commercial, political, legal and educational systems, the formation of western ideas about gender and class relations, and the relationship of the medieval West to non-Western societies of the time, particularly encounters with the world of Islam. Prerequisite: HIST 100 or 101; junior or senior standing. Fall, odd years.

460 RECENT AMERICAN HISTORY - 3 hours
An examination of social, political, economic and intellectual forces that have shaped American thought and policy since World War II. Fall, even years.

475 INTERNSHIP - 3-12 hours
Student interns will work in the historical field under the supervision of a professional historian. Internships will generally involve work in public history. No more than three hours may be used to meet requirements in the major. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and department chair.

499 SENIOR THESIS - 1 hour
Supervised research in primary source materials culminating in a paper, which will satisfy the requirements of the Senior Comprehensive Evaluation. Prerequisite: HIST 344.

380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and the vice president and dean for academic affairs also must approve. A set of guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.

385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours
An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Baccalaureate Degree
Major in political science, 39 hours: POSC 121, 140, 201, 222, 233, 487; POSC 321 or 322; one course selected from: POSC 225, 311, 344; one course selected from: POSC 236, 237, 253; one course selected from: POSC 360, 365, 367; nine hours of electives in political science.

Majors must successfully complete the senior comprehensive evaluation prior to graduation. Details are available from the department chair.

Minor in political science, 24 hours: POSC 121, 140, 201, 233; POSC 321 or 322; one course selected from: POSC 224, 311, 344; one course selected from: POSC 237, 252, 253; one course selected from: POSC 360, 365, 367.

Requirements for teaching majors are available in the Office of Teacher Education.

Courses POSC

121 American National Politics - 3 hours
An introductory study of national government, emphasizing contemporary structures and processes and their influence on public policy. Fall. C-4HP.

122 STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS - 3 hours
An introductory study of state and local government, emphasizing contemporary structures and processes and their influence on public policy. Spring. C-4HP.

140 INTERNATIONAL POLITICS - 3 hours
An introductory survey of theories of state behavior and analysis of political and related forces that operate in the international system, including nationalism, ideology and economic interest. Fall. C-4HP.

201 POLITICAL CONCEPTS - 3 hours
A discussion of important concepts (such as freedom, equality, justice, and democracy) related to contemporary political issues and events. C-3RC.


222 POLITICAL ANALYSIS (W) - 3 hours
Examination of the fundamental approaches and research methods used to explain political phenomena. Prerequisite: ENG 111. Fall, odd years.

225 PUBLIC POLICY - 3 hours
An overview of the policy-making process, the methods and theories of policy analysis, and contemporary policy issues and controversies. Prerequisite: POSC 121 or POSC 122. Spring, even years.

230 CONTEMPORARY POLITICS - 3 hours
A study of structures and processes in various political systems. The course is often an off-campus offering, incorporating readings, discussions, or field experiences. May be repeated on different topics. January.

233 COMPARATIVE POLITICS - 3 hours
Comparative analysis of selected national political and economic systems, emphasizing distinctive political cultures, institutions, practices, organizations and decision-making processes. Spring. C-4HP.

236 COMPARATIVE FOREIGN POLICY - 3 hours
A survey of foreign policy of both developed and developing countries. The issues studied include non-military concerns such as financial policy, communication technology, human rights, environmental problems, international trade, transnational crime, and terrorism. C-3GC.

237 AFRICAN POLITICS - 3 hours
This course explores the various aspects of contemporary politics in Africa. It seeks to understand why Africa is lagging behind in world affairs, and what appropriate strategies or policies should Africa pursue in its quest for development. The main objective of this course is to examine the causes and prospects for sustainable development in Africa following centuries of slavery and colonialism. C-3GC.

253 ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS - 3 hours
An examination of how political forces shape environmental choices and how political processes are used to address and manage environmental problems. The interplay of local, national, and international environmental problems and policies will be examined. Fall, even years.

274 TOPICS IN AMERICAN POLITICS - 3 hours
An investigation into a particular topic related to politics and government in the United States. Possible topics: civic skills, election campaigns, voting behavior, political parties, interest groups, law and the courts, liberalism and conservatism, justice. May be repeated on different topics.

311 SUPREME COURT AND THE CONSTITUTION - 4 hours
An introduction to the Supreme Court and to constitutional law in the United States. The course will provide students with a framework for understanding major controversies in such areas as civil liberties, civil rights and criminal procedure. Prerequisite: POSC 121. Spring, even years.

321 ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL POLITICAL THOUGHT - 3 hours
Analysis of the political thought of significant ancient and medieval theorists. Exploration of such topics as human nature, justice, the state, obligation, freedom, equality, the common good and the nature of political thinking. Fall, even years.

322 MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT - 3 hours
Analysis of the political thought of significant modern and contemporary theorists. Exploration of such topics as human nature, justice, the state, obligation, freedom, equality, the common good and the nature of political thinking. Spring, odd years.

344 CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY - 3 hours
A study of the political dynamics within and between two primary governmental institutions in the United States. Prerequisite: POSC 121. Spring, even years.

360 INTERNATIONAL LAW - 3 hours
A survey of the development of the rules and principles of international law, and their present applications in world politics. Emphasis upon the contributions of international institutions in fostering political and economic change, managing social conflicts, and strengthening states and the state system. Prerequisite: POSC 140. Spring, even years.

365 INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY - 3 hours
Examination of the basic concepts, mechanisms and concerns of international political economy. Particular attention is given to how the state and market systems operate and interact. Prerequisite: POSC 140. Spring, odd years.

367 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION - 3 hours
A study of international organizations. Emphasis upon the United Nations and its peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peace-enforcing roles, as well as its contributions to world order. Prerequisite: POSC 140. Fall, even years.

370 MODEL UNITED NATIONS - 1-2 hours
Supervised preparation for and participation in Model United Nations sessions. May be repeated to a maximum of four hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

372 MOCK TRIAL - 1-2 hours
Supervised preparation for and participation in intercollegiate mock trial tournaments. May be repeated to a maximum of four hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

475 INTERNSHIP - 3-12 hours
Long-term or extensive participation in formal internships with governmental or non-governmental organizations. No more than three hours may be used to meet requirements in the major. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor and department chair.

487 CAPSTONE SEMINAR - 3 hours
Advanced explorations of topics in political science, focusing on current research within the discipline. Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor Fall.

380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and the vice president and dean for academic affairs must also approve. A set of the guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.

385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours

An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.