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

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
Major in history, 35 hours: HIST 104 or 121; HIST 105 or 123; HIST 111, 112, 344; 18 hours of electives at the 200-level or above, must include 9 hours at the 300-level or above, and must include at least: American (3 hours); European (3 hours); Asia/World (3 hours).

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

Minor in history, 22 hours: HIST 111 or 112; 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

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.

111 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.

112 AMERICAN HISTORY: 1865 TO THE PRESENT - 4 hours
A continuation of HIST 111. 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.

121 COMPARATIVE WORLD HISTORY TO 1500 - 3 hours
This course examines the emergence and development of political and social institutions in the world from ancient times to 1500, from a comparative perspective. It will examine the various ways in which societies have sought to legitimate political authority, how they have grappled with religious and philosophical questions, and how social classes and hierarchies have developed over time. The interconnectedness of world regions will be emphasized by examining the movement of people and the exchange of goods and ideas. C-4HH.

123 COMPARATIVE WORLD HISTORY FROM 1500 - 3 hours
This course examines the development of political and social institutions in the world from 1500 to the present, from a comparative perspective. It will examine the various ways in which societies have sought to legitimate political authority, how they have grappled with religious and philosophical questions, and how social classes and hierarchies have developed over time. The interconnectedness of world regions will be emphasized by examining the movement of people and the exchange of goods and ideas. C-4HH.

201 MEDIEVAL EUROPE - 3 hours
A survey of European economic, social, and political development from the late Roman period through the later Middle Ages. Fall, even years.

202 RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION EUROPE - 3 hours
A survey of European economic, social, and political development beginning in the late medieval period and including study of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the subsequent wars of religion. Spring, odd years.

 

203 EARLY MODERN EUROPE - 3 hours
A survey of European economic, social, and political development from the post-Reformation wars of religion up to the age of revolution, including study of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and early industrialization. Fall, odd years.

204 MODERN EUROPE - 3 hours
A survey of European economic, social, and political development from the Industrial Revolution up to the present 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.

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.

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. January. C-3GC.

226 EMPIRE - 3 hours
This course examines the practices and ideologies of imperialism and colonialism in a global context, with a special emphasis on Asia. It will explore the perspectives of colonizers and colonized people. C-3GC.

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. January.

236 ASPECTS OF AMERICAN SOCIAL HISTORY - 3 hours
The study of a particular aspect of American social history. This is a variable topics course that will feature offerings that focus on the life experiences of specific groups of Americans over certain periods of time. These groups will be defined by factors such as age, race, ethnicity, kinship, gender, class, ideology, and/or geographic location. Topics could include such things as: The African American Experience in Indiana, American Families in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Small Town and Rural Life in the 19th and 20th Century United States, Youth in 1920s (or 1960s) America, or Life in the Urban Industrial Cities of the Midwest. This course may be repeated once for credit if on a different topic.
C-3RC.

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. January. C-3GC.

244 TOPICS IN CHINESE HISTORY - 3 hours
This course will focus on the history of a specific period or topic in Chinese history. Topics could include: Ancient China, Late imperial China (1368-1912), and Modern China: From Imperial Rule to the People’s Republic. Themes addressed in the course include: the emergence and evolution of social and political institutions, class, and gender. Course may be repeated once for credit on a different topic. 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. January. 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.

255 THE PALESTINIAN-ISRAELI CONFLICT - 3 hours
The goal of this course is to provide background and to sketch the complexities of the divisions in Israel and Palestine. Specifically, this class is designed to acquaint students with the principal events, major figures, and different perspectives on the conflict. In studying these concepts we will take a cursory look at the origins of Islam and Judaism, the political background of the Middle East, and some of the diplomatic agreements that have tried to solve the enmity. We also examine the situation from looking at a variety of the attitudes of everyday people on all sides. Through looking at documents, oral histories, film, and short stories we will gain a better understanding of the importance and the difficulties of the Middle East. 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 104 or 105 or 121 or 123.

309 MODERN JAPAN FROM 1868 - 3 hours
This course examines the history of Japan from 1868 to the present. Major themes include political institutions, empire, modernity and gender.

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 104 or 105 or 121 or 123. 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 104 or 105 or 121 or 123. Spring, even years.

 

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.

337 WOMEN AND GENDER ISSUES IN EUROPEAN HISTORY - 3 hours
This course explores the historical development of European culture and society through the perspective of women’s and gender issues from ancient times to the modern era. Spring, odd years. Prerequisite: 104 or 105 or 121 or 123.

341 HISTORY OF AMERICAN THOUGHT AND POPULAR CULTURE IN THE 19TH CENTURY - 3 hours
An exploration of three or four different themes that were important in defining ways of thinking and cultural life in the United States during the 19th century. The course will focus on how these ideas were understood and expressed in both the intellectual and the popular culture of the period. Prerequisite: HIST 111 or HIST 112

342 HISTORY OF AMERICAN THOUGHT AND POPULAR CULTURE IN THE 20TH CENTURY - 3 hours
An exploration of three or four different themes that were important in defining ways of thinking and cultural life in the United States during the 20th century. The course will focus on how these ideas were understood and expressed in both the intellectual and the popular culture of the period. Prerequisite: HIST 112

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. Fall.

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 104 or 105 or 121 or 123; 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, 233, 325, 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 225, 311, 344; one course selected from: POSC 236, 237, 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.


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.

325 POLITICAL ANALYSIS (W) - 3 hours
Introduction to the use and interpretation of the statistical techniques commonly used in political science. Students will also learn how to present the results of an empirical investigation in a research paper. Prerequisite: ENG 111. Fall, 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 - 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. 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.