Skip to main content

AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of History

Main Content


Fall 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 In addition to learning historical content, students will also be engaged in the analysis of writing history through discussing a wide range of primary sources including museum objects and archival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.

Comprehensive survey of African Americans in the United States from 1619 to 1968 with special emphasis on the internal changes (such as citizenship, work, family, culture, religion, and community) and external challenges (such as slavery, racial segregation, urbanization, industrialization, major wars, and mass migrations) faced by African Americans from the start of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement.

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 lecture course covers the history of corsairs and pirates in the Mediterranean in the early modern period. The main goal of the course is providing a historical context for the “eternal war” between the Christendom and Islamic world in the Mediterranean. The course will start with covering the ideological justifications for the early modern naval warfare through tracing its historical origins in the Crusades and the “holy war.” We will continue with questioning the assumptions around the ideological justifications through histories of individuals and societies involved professionally in piracy and corso, particularly the Knights Hospitaller of Malta and North African Muslim cities of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. Yet, piracy and corso had a wider impact on the peoples living in the Mediterranean basin. Commerce between cities such as Istanbul, Venice, and Marseille was negatively attacked by the periodical pirate attacks, ensuing in a series of diplomatic crises between the early modern Muslim and Christian states. Pirates also cut short the journeys of passengers, merchants, and pilgrims of any faiths, resulting in the enslavement of tens of thousands of men and women on either side of the Mediterranean. Yet, piracy created vibrant and dynamic societies profiting from the “eternal war” on the Mediterranean. Through our weekly discussions, students will acquire the analytical skills to problematize the geographic, religious, and ethnic divisions between Europe, Asia, and Africa as well as those between Islam and Christianity.


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.

This course is an introduction to the history of modern East Asia from approximately 1700 to
1989. It will focus on the major political, economic, cultural, religious, and intellectual trends in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Students in this course will pursue a greater knowledge and understanding of modern East Asian history and civilization through a combination of readings, lectures, videos, discussion, and writing assignments. Readings include Katsu Kokichi, Musui’s Story, Richard Kim, Lost Names, and Le Ly Hayslip, When Heaven and Earth Changed Places.
This course will introduce students to the culture and civilization of Ancient Greece. The course will cover the political and military history, art, literature, philosophy, and science of Greece from the Archaic period to the incorporation of Greece into the Roman Empire. In addition, special emphasis will be placed on the enduring democratic and cultural legacy of Ancient Greece.

Contact Dr. Szok for details.

Contact Dr. Szok for details.

Michelangelo’s David, Machiavelli’s political savvy, the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci:  it is
easy to call to mind examples of the great advances in learning, creativity, and individualism that we associate with the Renaissance.  These developments also have significance for our own time, since traditionally we have taken the Renaissance to be a major turning point in history – the point at  which Western Europe left behind the medieval world to become ‘modern’ and to extend its political, economic and cultural dominance over much of the rest of the world.

Increasingly, though, scholars are questioning this perception of the Renaissance and its
significance as a break from the past.  Do the outstanding accomplishments of a few individuals truly represent the history of a time and place?  How many people actually had a Renaissance, and what did it mean to them?  In this course, we will consider these questions as we explore various aspects of the Renaissance, study its origins, and evaluate its significance.  We will examine the cultural and artistic accomplishments of the great ‘Renaissance men,’ as well as the lives of the ordinary artisans, merchants, and peasants who
made up most of the population.
 This course examines the position, contribution, cultural representation and socio-economic status of women in the Middle East from the advent of Islam to the present with particular focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By tracing women's legal status, sexuality, morality, family and social life, and female economic and political participation, this course seeks to shed light on the history of women in predominantly Muslim societies to challenge the notion that Muslim women have always been passively static and segregated in the Harem. The goal is to show how gender divisions and roles have been changing and dynamic over time. After an introduction to theoretical perspectives and debates on gender and women in the Middle East and Islam, the first section of the course deals with the early history of Islam and explores the much-debated question of the origins of gender inequality in Islamic societies. The second part examines the medieval and pre-modern periods and investigates women's actual place in society, as opposed to the idealized version, and discusses the question of the harem and the influence of women in political life. The third, and longest part of the course, covers the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It addresses the challenges posed by the impact of the West, the effects on women and female reactions to the challenges of imperialism and modernization and the rise of different types of feminisms, including state and Islamist feminisms. The final section addresses questions relating to the “return” of Islam in postcolonial Middle Eastern states and its repercussions for women in dress, employment, and morality. In addition to scholarly studies, the course benefits from fiction and documentary films and public literature to see how Middle Eastern public culture has defined and debated gender divisions amidst rapid political, social and economic changes.

Contact Dr. Szok for details.

 The Civil War was the central, pivotal event of United States history. More costly in lives than all the American wars that had gone before, and more than any that followed, the Civil War decided not only whether the United States would remain a nation but also whether it would remain a nation that tolerated slavery or take a large step toward living up to the promise of its founding document that “all men are created equal.” The war impacted every area of American society, North and South, from the home front to the war fronts. In this course we’ll cover the years immediately leading up to the war, the war itself, and its aftermath in the period called Reconstruction. Since this is a course about a war, you can expect to encounter a fair bit of military history, but we’ll also cover the political and social aspects of the conflict. The semester’s reading assignments will include Steven E. Woodworth, This Great Struggle: America’s Civil War; John G. Selby, Virginias at War: The Civil War Experiences of Seven Young Confederates; Edward K. Spann, Gotham at War: New York City, 1860-1865; and Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown, Sherman’s march in Myth and Memory. The course will include three essay exams.
 This course examines the constitutional history of the United States from the revolutionary era to the present (or as close to the present as we can get). Students will learn about the background and historical context of the events and cases that make up the constitutional history of the United States, including the arguments made by opposing sides in cases argued before the Supreme Court, the reasoning behind the decisions and opinions of the justices on the Supreme Court, and how constitutional law changes over time. They will also develop their abilities to use historical information in support of a position, enhance their skills in oral and written communication, interpret and analyze primary and secondary materials.

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.

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.