Course Descriptions for Fall 2019
Below, you’ll find course descriptions for the undergraduate courses we’re offering during fall 2019.
HST 120: Intro to European History to 1648
Various Instructors and Times
This course is an introduction to European history from the Classical era to 1648. Topics covered might include Classical Greece and Rome, Early Christianity, Medieval Europe, the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, and the Reformation.
HST 121: Intro to European History since 1648
Various Instructors and Times
This course is an introduction to European history since 1648. Topics covered might include the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era, Industrialization, the Unification of Germany and Italy, Imperialism, the World Wars, the Cold War and the collapse of Communism.
HST 130: Intro to United States History to 1877
Various Instructors and Times
This course is an introduction to the political, cultural, social, and economic development of colonial America and the United States through the end of Reconstruction.
HST 131: Intro to United States History since 1877
Various Instructors and Times
This course is an introduction to the political, cultural, social, and economic development of the United States since the end of Reconstruction.
HST 150: Intro to Middle Eastern History
Dr. Nicolas Trepanier
Every day on the news we hear of the Middle East, yet the region never seems to become familiar or understandable. This course offers a basic introduction to the region and of Islam by looking at a number of key themes in a historical perspective. It also gives students an opportunity to develop their own critical perspectives on popular representations of the Middle East. Themes surveyed include the basic tenets of Islam as a religion, key moments in the history of the Middle East, the Sunni/Shi’i split, gender, Islamic law, the evolution of relations between the Muslim world and the West, and many others.
HST 160: Intro to Latin American History
This course surveys the history of Latin America from 1492 to the present. Over the term, we will examine the fascinating pre-contact origins and subsequent interactions of Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans. Simultaneously we will witness the changes taking place in the Spanish Empire they came to inhabit. After studying how these countries gained their independence, we will trace how nation building and social organization occurred through phenomena such as export-driven economies, dictatorships, revolutions, industrialization, foreign intervention, and globalization.
Here are some of the things you’ll learn about: Aztecs, Incas, Moors, Spaniards, The Reconquista, Human Sacrifice, Sun Gods, Tenochtitlan, Christopher Columbus, Hernán Cortés, Francisco Pizarro, Moctezuma, Huascar, Atahualpa, The Colombian Exchange, Wine, The Inquisition, Idolatry, Catholicism, Limpieza de Sangre, Race and the Casta System, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Franciscans, Jesuits, Transatlantic Marriage, Sexuality, Silver, Pirates, Wooden Ships, The Haitian Revolution, Simón Bolívar, The Mask of Ferdinand, Debt, Foreign Investment, Chocolate, Bananas, Coffee, Cuba Libre, José Martí, The Spanish American War, The Mexican Revolution, Frida Kahlo, Emiliano Zapata, Eva Perón, Populism, Military Dictatorships, Marxism, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, The Cuban Revolution, The Dirty Wars, Genocide, Rigoberta Menchu, Neoliberalism, Salsa, Samba, Soccer, Zapatistas, Drug Trafficking, Immigration, La Bestia, Xenophobia, The New Left, and many many more topics!
Section 1: Dr. Jesse Cromwell, T/Th 9:30-10:45
Section 2: Instructor Philip Baltuskonis, MWF 10:00-10:50
HST 309: The Middle Ages
T/Th 1:00 – 2:15
Dr. Frances Kneuepper
In seminar and lecture format, this course surveys the major events and trends of the Early and High Middle Ages. It therefore covers “European” history from the “decline and fall” of the Roman empire to the fourteenth century, which, by various reckonings, begins the Late Middle Ages or Renaissance. The relationship between medieval thought and political action receives special attention.
HST 311: Medieval Church And Empire
MWF 9:00 – 9:50
Dr. Lester Field
In seminar and lecture format, this course examines major events and trends in the development of the two dominant institutions of the Early and High Middle Ages. Since the medieval Church and the Holy Roman Empire respectively claimed descent from the ancient Church and Roman Empire, this course will study their institutional continuity (or perceived continuity), change, and relationship from Antiquity–especially from Constantine’s conversion (312)–to the Late Middle Ages. Students who successfully complete this course will have gained an elementary knowledge of the constitutional, legal, canonical, and regional dimensions of medieval Church and empire.
Since both lectures and class discussion presuppose that the student has done the reading assigned for the week, the mid-term and final exam will therefore hold the student accountable for all the reading, which is the essential component of each class. Class discussion is a key to understanding this reading and not a substitute for it.
HST 317: Late Middle Ages and Renaissance
T/Th 4:00 – 5:15
Dr. Jeff Watt
This course will deal with the major trends in political, social, intellectual, and religious history of Europe for the period roughly covering 1300-1517. Special attention will be given to the cultural movement known as the Renaissance, especially in Italy, with several lectures dedicated to the art and literature of the Renaissance. Assignments include one mid-term exam and a final examination as well as either two shorter papers (about 5-6 pages each) or one longer paper (10-12 pages).
The Black Death, ed. Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt
Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier
Christopher Columbus and the Enterprise of the Indies: A Brief History with Documents, ed. Geoffrey Symcox and Blair Sullivan
Dante, Divine Comedy: Inferno
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Lauro Martines, Fire in the City: Savonarola and the Struggle for the Soul of Renaissance Florence
Ramie Targoff, Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna
HST 343: History of the Holocaust
THIS IS A WEB-BASED COURSE
Dr. Joshua First
This online course takes an in-depth look at the genocidal policies of Nazi regime and its allies during the Second World War. During the period 1941-1945, much of Europe’s Jewish population was destroyed, especially in Eastern Europe. We will grapple with the early and modern history of anti-Semitism, why such hatred was transformed from the realm of popular violence to a state policy of systematic mass murder in Nazi Germany, and how the Nazis and their allies accomplished such horrific acts of mass murder. The final portion of the course addresses how Jews and non-Jews alike have remembered the Holocaust, and used memory of the Holocaust to advance other political and human rights agendas. Through listening to lecture, interviews, podcasts and other audio and visual materials, along with extensive reading and analysis of both historiography and primary sources, students should leave History 343 with a complex understanding of the Holocaust, in addition to a clear sense of how and why it matters today, and how we go about understanding and interpreting it.
HST 347: Science in the Modern World
T/Th 9:30 – 10:45
Dr. Theresa Levitt
Science and technology have become defining features of modern life. This course examines how this came to be, and how in turn the conditions of modern life have shaped man’s views on the natural world. It will cover many topics, including:
- the Scientific Revolution, during which new models of exploring nature were proposed in both the physical and life sciences
- the place of science in an industrializing, secularizing world, focusing particularly on cosmology and evolutionary biology
- the environmental movement
- the development of nuclear weapons and the role of scientists in public life
- the genetic revolution and its implications
Several questions will interweave this material: Does our knowledge of the world depend on the conditions in which we create it? Can science be separated out from the rest of human cultural activity? How has science come to play the role that it does in our lives?
HST 351: Muslim World — Middle Ages to WWI
MWF 1:00 – 1:50
Dr. Nicolas Trepanier
This course offers a survey of the history of the Muslim world from the thirteenth century to World War I. It explores the rise, expansion and decline of the three “gunpowder empires” (Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal), paying equal attention to their internal developments and their relationship with the Western World.
Early on, we will concentrate on internal dynamics such as the impact of nomadic societies and empires, Islamic Law, Sufism and Christian/Jewish populations under Muslim rule, as well as Islamic art and architecture. Later in the semester a greater emphasis will be put on the related phenomena of modernization and westernization, the rise of nationalism and the long-term consequences of World War I.
HST 362: History of Mexico and Central America
MWF 2:00 – 2:50
Dr. Enrique Cotelo
The Colonial Heritage, the Científicos, or the Revolutionaries? What went right and when went wrong? In this course, we will start in the colonial period but we will concentrate on the national histories of Mexico and Central America. In particular, we will study the nature of diverse societies that emerged from the conquest and colonial experiences, and the legacies of conflict common to contemporary Mexico and Central America. We will examine the formation and development of these countries as well as the regional and sociopolitical fragmentation, conflicts and inequalities in the area. There is no prerequisite for this course, except upper-class standing. Class work and homework are consistent with 300-level classes in history. All class lectures and readings will be in English. The course assumes no knowledge of Spanish or indigenous languages.
HST 371: History of Southern Africa
T/Th 11:00 – 12:15
Dr. Zachary Kagan-Guthrie
Overwhelming racial oppression and triumphant democratic liberation. Fabulous mineral riches and brutal economic exploitation. Glittering wealth and grinding poverty. An exceptionally violent past and a Rainbow Nation present. The history of South Africa is definitely exciting; it is also much richer and much deeper than these black and white images suggest. By examining the historical complexities of southern Africa, students who take this course will be equipped to answer difficult questions about the burdens of the past and the possibilities of the present in societies confronting the legacies of economic exploitation and racial oppression. What historical factors led South Africa to adopt a system of official state racism? What policies were used to create and enforce that system? How did that system change from the 19th to the 20th century? Finally, what does this history mean for the region’s present-day challenges?
HST 406: U.S. — World War I to World War II
Dr. Hilary Coulson
This course will study in depth the development of the United States from World War I through the end of World War II. The course will focus on the political, economic, social and diplomatic aspects of American growth. Special emphasis will be placed on the 1920s including the social revolution, the rise of organized crime, hero worship in the form of Al Capone and Charles Lindbergh, and the ever-growing popularity of Jazz. The course will also examine the Great Depression and how Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal tried to resolve the crisis. Finally, World War II will be looked at from a political and social viewpoint with particular concern for the Japanese internment and the dropping of the atomic bomb.
HST 407: U.S. — The Nation since 1945
THIS IS A WEB-BASED COURSE
Dr. Wendy Smith
This online course will examine the social, political and cultural changes that occur from the end of WWII to the present. Themes will include the Cold War (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars), Economic Development (prosperity in the ‘50s, stagnation in the ‘70s and beyond), the Civil Rights Movement (African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Women, and the Gay Rights Movement), and political developments like the creation of the New Left and the New Right. Topics will be divided as evenly as possible between domestic affairs and foreign policy.
HST 410: Native America, Pre-Contact to 1850
MWF 11:00 – 11:50
Dr. Mikaela Adams
This course surveys American Indian history from the period before European contact to the 1850s, focusing on how indigenous people negotiated dramatic changes in their lives. Students will develop an understanding of and appreciation for Native and non-Native cultures, federal policies and local adaptations, systems of domination, and efforts at resistance. The course will begin by examining indigenous creation stories and the migration of Paleo-Indians to the Americas. Students will explore pre-contact Native North America and gain an understanding of the diversity of American Indian societies and cultures. Students will examine how Native people interacted with the newcomers, formed alliances, and engaged in warfare and trade. Following the American Revolution, the United States formally recognized the political status of Native nations through treaties. Nevertheless, Americans worried about the ramifications of having sovereign tribes within the new country’s borders. Students will learn how Indians responded to “civilization programs” and other efforts to end their tribal identities. Students will explore the connections between American expansion and Indian removal, and how eastern tribes dealt with threats to their lands and resources. The class will end in the decades after Indian removal by examining how Native people rebuilt their lives in Indian Territory, and how tribes further to the west managed the arrival of the first American settlers to the region.
HST 414: African American History to 1865
T/Th 11:00 – 12:15
Dr. Charles Ross
This course explores a simple but profound question: “In what sense is African American history the story of the quest for freedom?” Perhaps we should first ask, “What did it mean to be free?” In the first part of a two-part survey of African American history, we will explore these questions together as we consider the dramatic changes the lives of African Americans in the United States from the colonial period to the end of the Civil War. Through thought-provoking course readings, primary sources, lectures, and discussions, we will explore the fundamental tensions within the paradox of slavery and freedom, which marked the making of “America” from its very beginnings and continue to trouble and shape ideas about “Americanness,” citizenship, and opportunity even today. The course will privilege free and enslaved African Americans’ independent economic activities; Afro-Mississippi history; and the intersections of race, gender, and class within the African American experience.
HST 429: U.S. Gender History
T/Th 2:30 – 3:45
Dr. Eva Payne
This course explores U.S. gender history from 1800 to the present. What is a woman? What is a man? How should each act? What is “natural” and what is “cultural” about gender? And what is the relationship between sex, gender, and sexuality? This course examines the surprisingly diverse and changing ways that Americans have answered these questions, as well as the ways that conflicts over gender in the past have shaped those of the present. We will explore these changing conceptions of gender and investigate how they differed according to class, race, geographic location, and age. An important premise of this course is that understanding how a society defines gender roles and behaviors can illuminate social relations as a whole, providing an important perspective on U.S. history more broadly.
HST 432: U.S. Economic History
MWF 11:00 – 11:50
Dr. Rebecca Marchiel
This course is a survey of the economic development of the U.S. from colonial times to the present. Major themes will include the ways public policies have shaped markets and the ways that Americans’ ideas about the economy changed over time. We will explore colonization, slavery, the industrial revolution, nineteenth-century bank wars, the creation of a national currency, the Gilded Age money question, the Great Depression, New Deal economic reform, post-World War II affluence, the rise of economic inequality at the end of the twentieth century, and the 2008 financial crisis. Graded work will include short quizzes, two papers, and two exams.
HST 452: The History of Mississippi
This course examines the history of Mississippi from early settlements to the present. Key topics that the course will address include: the history of Chickasaws and Choctaws in the state; slavery in antebellum Mississippi; the coming of the Civil War; Reconstruction and Redemption; the origins of Jim Crow and patterns of race relations in the state; Mississippi’s literary and cultural scene; the effects of federal economic policies on the state; the migration of white and black Mississippians within and outside the state; the development of black freedom and white resistance movements; political realignment and economic development in the late-twentieth century; and key debates in contemporary Mississippi.
Section 1: Dr. Matthew Bailey, T/Th 2:30-3:45
Section 2: TBD, T/Th 11:00-12:15
HST 490-1 HON: Disease and Medicine in American History
MW 3:00 – 4:15
Dr. Mikaela Adams
This honors course will introduce honors students to the field of medical history and will use disease as a lens to reinterpret the American past. We will explore how epidemic diseases affected colonial projects in the Americas, how disease environments influenced the growth and practice of slavery, how disease shaped American political development and the progress of the Revolutionary War, how Americans conceptualized ideas about medicine and health in the nineteenth century, how disease affected western expansion, how struggles against disease during the Civil War influenced the development of the medical profession, how segregation created disparities in healthcare during the Jim Crow years, how disease became racialized in United States immigration policy, how the expansion of the federal government in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries changed public health campaigns, how the United States responded to the global influenza pandemic in 1918, how Americans have gendered and stigmatized certain diseases, how campaigns to eradicate disease following the Second World War reflected Cold War politics and society, how the United States responded to the AIDS epidemic, and, finally, what recent outbreaks of SARS, H1N1, Ebola, and Zika reveal about the future of disease in a globalized world.
This course is only open to students in the Honors College.
HST 490-2: The History of Mass Incarceration in the U.S.
MWF 10:00 – 10:50
Dr. Garrett Felber
The United States represents only 5% of the world’s population, but holds 25% of its prison population. As one of the only developed nations to impose the death penalty, our country holds more prisoners than any in the world (1 in 100 Americans are incarcerated) and spends $75 billion in annual taxes to support the prison industrial complex. The prison has become a metaphor for the racial injustice and state violence of American society more broadly and basic rights such as education and political sovereignty have been denied the unfree. The prisoners’ rights movement has worked to expose the inhumane conditions of incarceration through successive prison strikes in 2016 and 2018, yet there remain more Black men under criminal justice supervision today than were enslaved prior to the Civil War. This course will explore the historical origins of this modern carceral state and contemporary solutions by criminal legal reformers and prison abolitionists.
HST 490-3: Black Women Enterprise and Activism
W 1:00 – 3:30
Dr. Shennette Garret-Scott
This course focuses on enterprising women and their political and social activism from the
antebellum period through the 1990s. Stressing “enterprise” instead of “entrepreneurship”—or
even “business” —allows us to embrace a wider range of black women’s independent economic
activities: formal and informal, traditional and non-traditional, legal and extralegal, for profit and philanthropic, as well as professional services and businesses. We will explore intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and place to force a reconceptualization of what is political and how even a small measure of financial autonomy enhanced—and constricted—women’s nationbuilding, citizenship, and community development activities. Through selected readings, primary sources, class discussions, and an individual research project, you will explore the ways black women mediated contradictory meanings of femininity, race, and business. Those meanings changed over time and informed how they imagined citizenship, social and economic justice, and women’s rights.
HST 498-1: Mississippi’s Local Histories, 1817-1918
M 4:00 – 6:30
Dr. Anne Twitty
This capstone seminar for history majors will explore Mississippi’s local histories from statehood to the end of World War I, with a particular focus on how race, slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow shaped various individuals, families, towns, cities, and counties throughout the state. Students enrolled in this course will conduct primary source research using census records, local newspapers, public records in local county courthouses, and/or private papers in local archives, and contextualize their findings through secondary source research, with the goal of developing new narratives about our familiar surroundings. These efforts will culminate in the production of a 20-page research paper, the findings of which will presented at the conclusion of this course in both an oral presentation and the creation of a public history display.
HST 498-2: The Cold War in International Perspective
M 1:00 – 3:30
Dr. Chiarella Esposito
This is a History senior capstone seminar whose primary objective is to instruct students about how to write a 25-page research paper. Paper topics will have to deal with the history of the Cold War in International Perspective, including but not limited to: the Postwar Settlement; the Origins of the Cold War; Reconstruction; the Berlin Crises; Decolonization; the “Third World” between the Superpowers; the Cuban Missile Crisis; Soviet-Chinese relations; the Korean War; Vietnam; Nuclear Deterrence; Détente; Protest Movements of the 1960s and 1970s; Terrorism; the Crisis of Communism; the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe. The paper should be based both on primary and secondary sources.
HST 498-3: The Homefront in the American Civil War
T 1:00 – 3:30
Dr. April Holm
The Civil War was a period of great changes for Americans, North and South. Some of the most profound transformations in American life occurred off the battlefield: enslaved people gained their freedom, women took on new public roles, and politicians drafted legislation that continues to shape the United States to this day. Students in this seminar for history majors will pursue a research project focusing on the Civil War homefront. They will develop a related research topic and undertake original historical research for, write, and revise a final paper of approximately 20 pages in length. Students are responsible for demonstrating consistent research and writing progress and will present their findings to the class at the end of the semester.
HST 498-4: Pirates of the Early Modern Caribbean
Th 1:00 – 3:30
Dr. Jesse Cromwell
Perhaps no other historical group has been as misunderstood or mythologized as pirates in the early modern Caribbean. Through movies, children’s stories, alcohol and breakfast cereal advertising, sports teams, and Halloween costumes, popular culture has maintained a fascination with pirates, but rarely understood the sea robbers on their own terms or in the context of their time. In this course, we will study the trajectory of Caribbean piracy from its infancy as an exploratory pursuit into the Americas to its use as a major military arm of Spain’s rivals, and finally its suppression as European states consolidated their overseas possessions. Our ultimate goal will be to research and write a substantial research paper on any aspect of piracy and/or its bordering maritime histories. Discussions, readings, and assignments will debate important questions such as: How did buccaneering shape the geopolitics of imperial powers from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries? Were pirates the terrorists of their age, the oppressed flotsam and jetsam of the Caribbean, or some mix of the two? What were the lifecourses of maritime raiders? And finally, how did the Spanish populace and government they raided respond to such affronts? In many cases, the answers to these questions are truly stranger than fiction.