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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of History

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Spring 2020 Courses


In this course, students will work with the Career Advisor for AddRan College of Liberal Arts, to learn to market themselves effectively to perspective employers. Students will learn to articulate the skills and abilities that they possess, the skills and abilities that employers look for. Upon completion of this course students will have a polished resume and cover letter, a working professional portfolio, and will have practiced their interview skills.

This is a lower-division, lecture course covering global development from around 10,000 BCE to 1500 CE. It covers the main political, social, and cultural trends in a variety of societies while at the same time stressing the global perspective. Thus, the first goal is learning the specific histories and cultures within a comparative global context. The rise and fall of civilizations will be studied within the conceptual frameworks including pre-modernity, social complexity, domestication of animals and plants, modes of production, sedentary versus the nomadic ways of life, and the rise and fall of pre- modern states. A second goal of the course is to develop the critical and analytical skills of students. In addition to learning historical content, students will also be engaged in the analysis of writing history through discussing a wide range of primary sources including museum objects and archival documents.


This course will explore the path of European history from the origins of civilization to 1348. Its principal elements include the early societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Israel, the political and cultural contribution of Greece and Rome, the rise of Christianity and Islam, the characteristics of the medieval world, and the Black Death.


A survey of the history of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, in which we see the development of the political, social and economic systems that characterize the modern world. This is also a period that has been dubbed "the age of extremes," in which Western civilization achieved some of its most glorious and its most barbaric feats: world wars and weapons of mass destruction, spectacular technological advances, history's greatest ideological conflicts, the collapse of empires, unprecedented social and economic progress, and a dramatically accelerated rate of change in all areas. We will focus on the common heritage and themes that make it possible to speak of 'European' history, while at the same time developing an appreciation for regional and cultural variations. The course will identify, explore, and define the developments of modern European history, question why they happened, and evaluate their impact.


Review of the evolution of the American nation from the discovery of the New World to the end of the Civil War era, with emphasis on major forces shaping its development. Readings, course requirements and course design vary with the individual instructor.

Review of the emergence of the American nation through the transitional crises of the past hundred years, with emphasis on the roots of movements persisting into the modern period. Readings, course requirements and course design vary with the individual instructor.

A thematic survey of the making of the United States from a multicultural perspective. Spanning the precolonial era to the present, the course includes units on Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, European immigrants, and Latinos/as--analyzing the different groups comparatively and in relationship to one another. In addition to history, the course includes elements of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and explores the intersections between race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.

This survey course is an introduction to the history, politics, culture and societies of the modern Middle East. The central issue is the major transformations of the last two centuries. We will focus on the domestic, regional and international forces that have shaped contemporary Middle Eastern realities. To understand how and why the Middle East changed from a relatively peaceful region into a radicalized environment, we will study particular Middle Eastern countries and the regional experience with European imperialism, authoritarian rule, the challenges of social and economic development, the rise of political Islam, the Arab-Israeli conflict, oil, and the role of the United States in the region.


This course explores the history of Latin America from Columbus to independence. We will consider the implications of Spanish and Portuguese expansion in the Americas including the fall of the Aztec and Inca empires, the Colombian exchange, the spread of Catholicism, the African diaspora, rituals of rule and popular resistance, race and society, piracy and imperial rivalries, networks of trade, and revolutionary movements of the early nineteenth century. Students will study first-hand accounts to assess the strategies used by institutions and individuals to negotiate aspects of governance and everyday life. Through a combination of lectures, discussions, and written assignments you will gain important analytical and research skills to evaluate multiple and often conflicting sources of information.


This course focuses on the region’s development from the 1820s to the present. Students will study the aftermath of independence, Latin America’s insertion into the global economy, the impact of modernization on society, and the region’s experimentation with various political models, including conservatism, liberalism, populism, neo-liberalism, and revolution. Special emphasis will be placed on culture, with analysis of music, film, art, literature, and dance. Students should expect to be active participants in class and to prepare readings for every session. They will examine documents and debate materials with their colleagues, and they will take essay-based exams and complete several small papers.


In the first millennium B.C., a settlement of Latin-speaking people established themselves on the plain of Latium. They built one of the great civilizations of antiquity, as they conquered not only the Italian peninsula, but the Mediterranean world. When the Roman people in Latium overthrew the early monarchies, they established the Roman Republic (rule by the senate), a form of government that served them well for almost five centuries. How did the Romans build such a dynamic civilization? As some historians have argued, it was about timing - they made the right decisions at the right time. They were also practical. Incorporating the ideas, culture and technology of conquered peoples into their own culture, they strengthened the Republic. In return, they extended their expertise in administration, conquest, law and warfare by spreading Roman culture and institutions into the territories of subject people. They practiced an inclusiveness that extended Roman citizenship to many of the conquered. We will also consider the challenges that the Roman state faced and the limitations of their power, as a series of civil wars tore the Republic apart, senatorial power declined, and Rome was transformed into one of the greatest empires in history. When Augustus established his principate (rule by emperors), peace returned to the Roman world. Although civil and foreign conflict erupted periodically, the Empire survived until 476 A.D., when the Visigoth Odoacer seized the imperial throne and the once powerful Roman Empire in the west was carved into a number of smaller Germanic kingdoms. What caused the fracturing of the Roman Empire? Was it the “barbarian invasion,” Christianity, social upheaval, or something else? Finally, why did the Western Empire fall, while the Eastern Empire survived for another millennium?


Contact Dr. Hidalgo for details.

Contact Dr. Hidalgo for details.


This course covers the period of modern Chinese history from the late Ming (17th century) to the death of Mao (1976), with particular attention to the 19th and 20th centuries. Through extensive primary and secondary source readings, students will identify and analyze the internal and external forces that have shaped the modern history this important East Asian state. This is a Writing Emphasis (WEM) class, which means that students will use writing as a means of gaining and expressing an understanding Chinese history.


This undergraduate seminar examines the ways in which societies from the ancient world to the present acquire, order, and assign value to material artifacts. A focus on circulation of objects across time will help us analyze the processes by which people detached things from their natural context and reinserted them into thematic sets based on aesthetic, religious, and scientific priorities. Topics of study include the culture of learning at the library of Alexandria, relics and devotional practices in medieval Europe, imperial menageries of the Aztec court, exploration and cabinets of curiosity in the early modern period, Victorian exhibitions of the nineteenth century, and Nazi art theft during WWII. Field trips to local museums, libraries, and private collections will allow us to consider, firsthand, the way publics have experienced objects in the past and how collections shape historical memory.


Prerequisites: HIST 10603, 10613 or 10703. This course outlines the basic problems and challenges of modern race relations, grassroots protest and social reform during the crucial era in U.S. history known as the Civil Rights Movement. By focusing on the key figures, events, and issues that defined the movement, this course traces the various political, economic, social, intellectual, and moral transformations that have taken place in contemporary American culture, politics and society from 1945 to present.

Department permission required.


When in June 2016 the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, it confounded pollsters, pundits, and worldwide public opinion. Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union (“Brexit”) continues to cause maximum chaos: it has toppled two Tory prime ministers, created grave uncertainty about consumers’ access to food and medicine, sparked the flight of jobs and capital to other countries, and has bitterly polarized the people into “Leavers” and “Remainers.”

This seminar-style course will use the past to explain the present of Brexit. By using the lens of History, we can enlarge our understanding of how Britain arrived at this moment and why Brexit has been so difficult to achieve. We can also examine how main actors in the Brexit drama like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, and Gina Miller have used Britain’s past to project their own competing visions of the future. To that end the course will examine in depth the major historical issues that have shaped the Brexit debate: Britain’s turbulent history in Ireland; its “hollow” victory in World War II; European unification; the end of the British empire; and the history of immigration and the making of multicultural Britain.


This seminar course covers the history of the Ottoman Mediterranean from the 14th to the 19th centuries. The course starts with examining the origins of the Ottoman dynasty in the fourteenth century, when it emerged as an Anatolian principality; its evolution into a sophisticated imperial administration in the early modern period; and its modernizing reforms in the nineteenth century. The main focus of the course will be the history of the early modern Mediterranean as a sea of exchanges and encounters between Islamic world and Christendom. Through weekly discussions of different themes, students will acquire analytical skills in order to problematize the geographic, religious, and ethnic divisions between Europe, Asia, and Africa. 

Some of the topics we will address in this course include the Ottoman expansion into Europe and the Middle East, piracy, religious identities, slavery, and gender.


Contact Dr. Hidalgo for details.


This class examines a period so tumultuous that one historian argued the nation stood at the brink of Armageddon. With the “frontier” allegedly closed and industries and cities experiencing explosive growth, some feared the country might come apart at the seams. Reconstruction, it turned out, left important issues unresolved and did not—could not—address others. The course approaches the era from the perspectives represented broadly by the groups named in the title. Beer drinkers stands for the dispossessed and those who didn’t enjoy full access to the American Dream. It includes immigrants, the working class, African Americans, women and others who struggled for rights and for a slice of the expanding economic pie. Not everyone in this group drank beer, but alcohol consumption represents one of the social issues middle and upper class reformers associated with this group.  Hell raisers refers to the era’s colorful reformers who identified a variety of social problems and attacked them aggressively. Carrie Nation famously vandalized bars with a hatchet in her temperance crusade. Mary Elizabeth Lease allegedly told Kansas farmers to “raise less corn and more hell” in her support of the Populist party. Muckrakers such as Upton Sinclair, whose gory depictions of work in Chicago’s slaughterhouses inspired better food inspection laws, also appear in this segment of the course. Finally, robber barons represent the people, almost all men, who profited handsomely from the period’s economic changes. The course will conclude by examining the likes of John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and James B. Duke who made personal fortunes and organized corporations so massive and powerful that they inspired reform efforts of their own. The concentration of capital, trusts, politics, and foreign affairs all fit into this section of the course.


A survey of Native American history within the geographic boundaries of the present-day United States. Organized chronologically and thematically, this course will explore indigenous experiences and responses to European settler- colonialism, American expansion, removal, boarding schools, termination, and twentieth-century cultural, economic, and linguistic revivals. We will investigate the historical context of contemporary indigenous issues surrounding Native rights and sovereignty including environmental justice, cultural appropriation (in sports, art, and fashion), gaming, and the ongoing controversy regarding the protection of Native women in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).


This course explores the history of Texas from the period before European contact to the present. We focus on the diverse people of the region and how they shaped an outpost on the Spanish frontier into an economically successful and culturally unique American state. From Native Americans to NASA and everything in between, this course has it all. Students read top-notch monographs on Texas history and primary source documents in addition to writing a short research paper.

This class combines the discipline of history and cultural studies to examine the realities of Afro- Latin Americans from the European conquest to the present. Students will study many facets of Afro-Latin American life in Cuba, Brazil and other parts of the region with a particular emphasis on music, religion, art, and literature. These and other cultural manifestations will serve as a lens to view broader historical patterns. A special section of the course will be devoted to Panama and to its urban, popular art traditions. The course will rely on occasional lectures, but it will depend more heavily on assigned readings and discussions. Students should expect to participate actively in the class and should come prepared to talk about their readings.

In this capstone seminar for History majors, students will research and write scholarly biographical entries for the Handbook of Texas Online ( These mini- biographies will be of Texas state legislators, beginning with the Republic of Texas era and extending into modern times. Each student will be assigned several entries. Research and writing will be closely supervised by the professor, and the goal is for each student to produce published entries, complete with footnotes and bibliographical information. This is your chance to become a published historian! Space in the course is limited.

This course, designed as a capstone experience for History majors, guides students through the process of conducting research and writing an original thesis based on relevant primary and secondary sources. Topics vary by semester and instructor.