The discipline of history is at the core of a liberal arts education, illuminating the ideas, institutions, and sentiments by which people have attempted to order their world. The History Department exposes students to the richness and diversity of human history over time and in different geographic regions. In the course of their studies, students will develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their culture, and humanity in general.
To broaden their knowledge, students are expected to take a range of courses in American, European, Asian, African, Latin American, and ancient history. In addition, our classes span the centuries, from the earliest history to the modern day and are based on diverse methodologies, including political, social, intellectual, and cultural history. Students also enjoy opportunities to gain hands-on experience in colonial history, archeology, and museum studies at Historic St. Mary’s City, which is affiliated with the College.
The practice of history relies heavily on critical reading and many forms of analytical and narrative writing. Carrying out historical research and reporting their discoveries both in written form and orally, students develop their ability to listen and think critically and to communicate effectively. Students will also learn to think historically and to appreciate the contested nature, limits, and possibilities of historical knowledge as they explore the ways in which historians have interpreted the past. The study of history at St. Mary’s College thus lays a sound foundation for the future pursuit of a wide range of careers, including law, public policy, foreign service, library science, public history, academia, journalism, and international business.
LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE MAJOR
- learn about the richness and diversity of human experience over time and in different geographic areas
- develop their skills in critical and analytical reading and thinking
- hone their historical research abilities
- communicate to a variety of audiences effectively in both written form and orally
- think historically and appreciate the contested nature, limits and possibilities of human knowledge
- ultimately, develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their culture, and humanity in general, and relate past events to the present.
To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in history, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements:
- General College Requirements (See “Curriculum” section).
- A total of 48 credit hours of history courses, 36 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.
- One of the following courses:
- HIST 104: Historical Foundations of the Modern World to 1450
- HIST 105: Western Civilization
- HIST 108: History of the Modern World
- Two 200-level history courses.
- Area Studies: At least one course in each of the following areas:
- United States (HIST 200, 310, 311, 317, 371, 375, 392, 408, 415, 419, 425, 431)
- Europe (HIST 268, 272, 274, 321, 328, 329, 334, 342, 343, 345, 380, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386, 390, 393, 435)
- Asia, Africa, Latin America (HIST 206, 253, 280, 351, 352, 353, 360, 361, 369, 378, 379, 383, 394, 401, 455, 461)
- Comparative, Thematic, Global (Hist 219, HIST 264, 276, 324, 336, 396, 400, 432, 475)
- Cross-listed courses will be assigned to an area studies group by the department chair in consultation with the instructor.
- At least one upper-level history course with substantial course content from before the modern era. Such courses include HIST 328, 343, 351, 360, 381, 382, 383, 384.
- HIST 395. Theories and Uses of History (4 credits)
- Senior Project: This requirement may be satisfied by either (a) or (b) below:
- HIST 493/494: St. Mary’s Project in History (8 credits). Students choosing to do a St. Mary’s Project are strongly encouraged to take at least one 400-level history class prior to undertaking their SMP.
- Two 400-level history courses.
- A grade of C- or better must be received in each course of the major and the cumulative grade-point-average of courses used to satisfy the major must be at least 2.0.
The student will plan a program with an adviser to make a meaningful combination of courses. In their final two years, students should seek a balance between 300-level classes and 400-level classes, the latter of which include a 15-page research paper as part of the course requirements. The following model is suggested as a possible basic program in the major to satisfy the above stipulations:
- First Year:
One 100-level class listed under 3 above and one 200-level class.
- Sophomore Year:
One 200-level class, HIST 395 in the second semester and 8 credit hours in two of the fields listed in 5 above.
- Junior Year:
8 credit hours distributed among the required fields, including at least one 400- level class.
- Senior Year:
Either HIST 493/494 and two additional upper-level electives or two 400-level classes and two additional upper-level electives.
To earn a minor in history, a student must satisfy the following requirements.
- Completion of Core Curriculum requirements.
- At least 24 credit hours in history, 16 of which must be taken at the 300 or 400 level. History courses should be drawn from at least two of the four areas of study: the United States; Europe; Asia, Africa, Latin America; and Comparative, Thematic, Global.
- A grade of C- or better must be received in each course of the minor and the cumulative grade-point average of courses used to satisfy the minor must be at least 2.0.
Students electing this special program will explore a variety of themes in colonial American history, including politics, economics, slavery, religion, literature, and Latin American topics. They will be graduated as having majored in history with due recognition by the History Department and the College that their field of concentration has been in colonial American history.
- All requirements for the history major.
- Colonial American Survey (HIST 219).
- At least one course in history related to American colonization. These include, but are not limited to, British History to 1688 (HIST 328) and Comparative Slave Systems (HIST 400).
- At least two courses related to topics (political, social, literary, economic, religious, etc.) in colonial American history. (Possible courses include ANTH 311, 313, 450; ARTH 306, 321, 322; ECON 412; ENGL 282, 365; HIST 310, 311, 378, 400, 431; MUSC 210/11.) Any course fulfilling the requirement must have a significant colonial American component.
- At least eight credit hours of advanced, specialized, or applied study in an internship or apprenticeship. This may include work at Historic St. Mary’s City; other regional museums with a specialty in colonial America; etc.
- A total of 24 credit hours in approved colonial studies courses.
A Master of Arts in Teaching program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies, and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.
Christine Adams (department chair), Thomas Barrett, Adriana Brodsky, Kenneth Cohen, Garrey Dennie, Linda Jones Hall, Charles Holden, Charles D. Musgrove, Gail Savage.
HIST 104. Historical Foundations of the Modern World to 1450 (4E)
A thematic and topical study of the political, social, economic, and cultural developments that established the early Western heritage and contributed to its influence on non-European peoples and cultures around the world. Representative topics will be explored within a chronological format: the emergence of civilizations; ancient cultures; the making of Europe; interactions with Asia; and the medieval world. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations. Formerly HIST 201. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 201.
HIST 105. Western Civilization (4E)
A thematic and topical study of the political, social, economic, and cultural developments that characterize the expansion of the West in the modern era and that contributed to its impact on the global community in the modern and contemporary era. Representative topics will be explored within a chronological format: tradition and transformation in science, religion, education and economics, the growth of the nation-state, the impact of overseas expansion, revolutions and ideologies that have shaped the modern world, the establishment of Western hegemony, imperialism and its aftermath, developments in science, technology, and the arts, and 20th-century wars and crises. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 108. History of the Modern World (4E)
From the mid-15th century onwards, European seamen launched maritime expeditions to Africa, Asia, and the Americas. In the process, societies and peoples almost completely unaware of each other were brought into sustained contact with profound consequences for all. By 1945, the existence of a global community was an accepted fact. This course examines the making of this global community between 1430 and 1950. It seeks to make sense of the ways in which events and processes arising in one part of the world migrated to other places and intersected with local realities to produce new, and often unexpected, historical trajectories. The course is attentive to the unequal power relations which often underpinned the interactions between different societies. The course equally focuses attention on these interactions as key mechanisms in the creation of a modern global community. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 200. United States History, 1776-1980 (4E)
A thematic and topical study of the political, social, economic, and cultural developments shaping the history of the United States from the Revolution to the present. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 206. East Asian Civilization (4AS)
This course studies the history of East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) from ancient times to the 1900s. Through reading a wealth of masterpieces in East Asian history, including philosophical and political writings, historical records, religious scriptures, songs, poems, plays, novels and personal memoirs, students will examine both the common and distinctive features of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures and recognize the cultural complexities of East Asia. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 219. Atlantic World Survey (4AF)
This course surveys the major themes and developments in the colonization of America from first contact until the late 18th-century Age of Revolution. It will take an “Atlantic” approach, comparing the motives, organization, and evolution of colonial empires as they competed with each other, Native Americans, and fomented internal dissension in an effort to secure wealth and power. The course concludes with an in-depth examination of how the British Empire achieved a fragile pre-eminence by the mid-18th century, and how that pre-eminence set the stage for the Age of Revolution. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 253. Latin American Civilizations (4AF)
This course will introduce students to the region and history of Latin America, beginning with pre-contact civilizations and closing with present day issues/events. Students will learn the particular themes and issues related to Spanish and Portuguese colonization and rule of the Americas, understand how those issues changed (and some remained the same) after independence (ca. 1820), discuss some of the more general theoretical questions related to Latin America’s position in the World System, and learn to see present-day Latin America with an eye for the way it is shaped by its colonial past and ‘dependent’ present. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 264. Introduction to Museum Studies (4AF)
Cross-listed course. The course description is noted under MUST 200. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Arts.
HIST 268. Russian Civilization (4AS)
A broad survey of Russian intellectual and cultural history from the early 19th century to the present. Major themes include the political and moral role of the writer in Russian society, the “superfluous man” in Russian literature, westernism versus slavophilism, the critiques of modernity by Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, the development of socialist thought, Eurasianism, utopianism, Leninism, Stalinism, and Russian nationalism. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 272. Ancient Mediterranean (4AF)
This course focuses on understanding the cultures of the ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, and the late antique Mediterranean World. These societies dealt with issues of religion and law, organization of government, military and cultural domination, and multi-ethnic integration. This course offers an opportunity to explore further these three civilizations in a comparative way and is useful to students who want a broad survey before the courses focusing on Greek, Roman, and Byzantine history or the upper-level seminars. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 274. Europe, 1815-1914 (4AS)
This course focuses on the history of 19th-century Europe, primarily of England, France, Germany, the Austrian Empire, and Russia, the five great powers during the long century of European ascendancy. Themes explored include changing political systems and ideologies in the 19th century; nationalism and revolution; the economy, especially the impact of industrialization; social class formation, including the rise of the middle classes and the creation of class consciousness; gender roles and conflict; imperialism; intellectual and cultural developments; and the breakdown of the balance of power before World War I. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 276. Twentieth-Century World (4AF)
This class will survey the important events that have shaped the history of the world during the 20th century. The course will emphasize the connectedness of political, economic, and intellectual innovations in assessing their global implications. Through class discussion of primary source materials, students will learn to apply the methodology of historical analysis to recent and contemporary developments. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanistic Foundations.
HIST 280. Africa and the African Diaspora (4AS)
Cross-listed course. The course description is noted under AADS 214. This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in Cultural Perspectives.
HIST 310. Historical Archaeology Field School (8Su)
A 10-week course in archaeological methodology sponsored by Historic St. Mary’s City Commission and St. Mary’s College. Practical experience is supplemented by seminars. This course is cross-listed as ANTH 310. Students may receive credit for either course but not both. Formerly HIST 410. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 410.
HIST 311. American Indian History (4AF)
An interdisciplinary, anthropological, and ethnohistorical analysis of Native American societies and cultures in the Americas from the first peopling of the New World through interactions with Euro-Americans from the 17th to the early 20th century. Archaeological, ethnographic, and ethnohistorical approaches are employed. This course is cross-listed as ANTH 311. Students may receive credit for either course but not both. Formerly HIST 211. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 211.
HIST 317. In Our Times, 1945 to the Present (4AF)
A study of United States’ foreign and domestic affairs since World War II with consideration of the interrelationships between the two. Students research topics of their choice relating to persons or events of major influence in the period. Lectures, readings, discussions, videos, slides, and audiotapes are used in the course.
HIST 321. History of Ireland (4AS)
This course surveys the history of Ireland from ancient times to the present day. The course first examines the development of Celtic culture and then traces the development of the political relationship between Ireland and England from medieval times through the 18th century. The course then takes up the evolution of Irish nationalism and identity from the 19th century down to the present day with an emphasis on furthering the student’s understanding of both the historical roots of present-day conflicts and the efforts to resolve those conflicts.
HIST 324. Women in Modern Western History (4AS)
A survey of the development of political and social movements that worked on behalf of women and women’s rights from the middle of the 18th century to the present day in Europe and the Americas. Topics include the development of feminism, the suffrage movement, the changing economic position of women since industrialization, and the debates about the nature of women and their proper position in society and political life.
HIST 328. British History to 1688 (4AF)
This course will survey the history of the British Isles from ancient times to 1688. It will provide a full portrait of the development of society and culture in the British Isles, focusing on the development of institutions of governance and law, the changing nature of imperialism from ancient times to the 17th century, especially in North America, and the relationship between the economy and the experience of daily life. The course will pay particular attention to the development of the Anglo-American legal and political tradition that served as the background to the colonial experience in 17th-century colonial America. This course counts towards meeting the requirements of the Colonial History Concentration.
HIST 329. British History Since 1688 (4AS)
This course will survey the history of the British Isles from 1688 to the present day. It will provide a full portrait of society and culture in the British Isles, focusing on the development of political institutions, the changing nature of imperialism during modern times, the relationship between the economy and the experience of daily life, and the changing nature of British intellectual and cultural achievements. Formerly HIST 322, British Civilization: 1688 to Present. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 322.
HIST 334. Europe in War and Revolution (4F)
A topical study of the way in which war and revolution have impacted the development of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Topics include the French Revolution and Napoleonic Europe; the revolutions of 1848; the Russian revolutions; World War I; totalitarianism; and World War II. Formerly HIST 204. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 204.
HIST 336. History of the Jewish People in the Modern World (4AF)
By making use of extensive primary, secondary, and visual sources, this class will analyze and discuss the important religious, social, and economic transformations that the Jewish people went through as they entered, adapted to, and also helped shape the modern world. We will assess both Jewish people’s perspective as well as those of the societies in which they lived.
HIST 342. History of the Soviet Union and Russia (4S)
This course provides an introduction to the political, social, and cultural history of Russia and the Soviet Union from 1881 to the present. After an introductory section on the development of capitalism, modernization, and the revolutionary movement in late imperial Russia, the bulk of the course will examine the formation, growth, decay, and dissolution of the Soviet Union.
HIST 343. Medieval Russia (4AS)
This class will survey the early history of the state that becomes Russia, from the formation of the first East Slavic state (Kievan Rus’) to the accession of Peter the Great and the founding of the Russian empire. Specific topics will include the adoption of Christianity by the East Slavs and religious dissent; East Slav relations with steppe nomads and the impact of Mongol rule; state building and civil war; autocracy versus republicanism; and the continuities and discontinuities between the medieval East Slavic states (Kievan Rus’, Mongol Rus’, Novgorod, and Muscovy). The course will focus on three overarching themes: the structure and coercive power of the state; relations between social classes and the state; and political ideology and identity.
HIST 345. Imperial Russia (4AS)
An introduction to the political, social, and cultural history of imperial Russia (from 1700 to 1917). Themes include the formation and nature of the modern Russian state; the creation of the Russian empire; social and economic organization, the development and abolition of serfdom, and the experiences of peasants and nobility; westernization and the limits of westernization; the development of the Russian intelligentsia and the birth of the revolutionary movement; and the modernization of Russia in the decades before World War I. Formerly HIST 341. Not open to students who have received credit for HIST 341.
HIST 351. History of Traditional China (4F)
A survey of Chinese history to 1840. Investigated are the political, economic, and social forces that shaped and altered China over centuries; also highlighted is how the experience of traditional China relates to modern times and the rest of the world.HIST 352. History of Modern China (4S)
A survey of Chinese history from 1840 to the present. Emphasis is on the fate of traditional China in modern times, the conflicts and interactions between China and the West, the issue of Chinese communism, and the emergence of a new China in the age of reform.
HIST 353. History of Japan (4F)
A history of Japan from antiquity to the present. Surveyed are the origin of the Japanese people; the making of Japanese culture and institutions; the challenge of modern times and Japanese responses; militarism and imperialism; the “miracle” of postwar development; and the dialogue between tradition and modernity in a changing world.
HIST 354 History of Japan to 1600 (4 AF)
A history of Japan from antiquity to the period known as the Warring States. Beginning with the origin of the Japanese people, the course traces the making of “classic” Japanese culture and institutions through cross-cultural interactions and indigenous developments. It also focuses on the rise to prominence of the samurai class.
HIST 355 History of Modern Japan (4 AS)
This course investigates the transformation of Japan into the world power that it is today. It begins in the 1600s with the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate and a brief survey of Japanese culture and society at the time. Subsequent topics include the fall of the shogunate; the Meiji Restoration; industrialization and economic development; the rise of political parties; militarism and World War II; the American occupation, postwar recovery, and contemporary challenges.
HIST 360. Early African Civilization (4AF)
This course surveys the development of African societies from ancient times to 1800. It seeks to promote an understanding of how Africans produced indigenous and creative solutions to the challenge of creating sustainable societies in a pre-industrial age. The course pays particular attention to Africans’ religious and political concepts, forms of economic and social organization, expressions of music, art and architecture, in the attempt to map the march of civilization on the African continent.
HIST 361. African Civilization, 1800-1900 (4AF)
This course approaches 19th-century African history from the perspective of Africans’ continuing efforts to initiate and control the economic and political processes within the continent. The course examines the creation of large-scale political empires and pays close attention to the impact of revolutionary Islam in 19th-century Africa. The course closely examines the internal processes underway in African societies as Africans reorganized their political economy to counter the increasing penetration of the African continent by Europeans. The course explores the nature of the interaction between Europeans and Africans and seeks to explain why, in the last quarter of the 19th century, Africa’s political and territorial integrity collapsed before the force of European imperialism.
HIST 369. The History of Apartheid (4AS)
This course examines the imposition of white rule in South Africa, the development of apartheid, and the African challenge to white domination between 1900 and 1994. The course takes the view that the collapse of apartheid in the late 20th century did not begin with Nelson Mandela but was the culmination of multiple forms of struggle involving trade unionists, peasant activists, women’s groups, intellectuals, community organizations, church groups, as well as the better-known formal political and military organizations. The course thus approaches black emancipation in South Africa as a process whose roots go back to the beginning of the 20th century.
HIST 371. The Rise of Modern America, 1865-1945 (4AS)
As the United States enters into a post-industrial age, it is worth revisiting the issues and problems associated with the nation’s evolution into a post-agrarian society during the late 19th century. Issues of labor, race, gender, foreign affairs, and the role of government were quite contested as the United States entered this new economic reality. Through a selection of books and primary sources, the following topics will be explored: industrialization; the labor movement; the Populist movement; women’s suffrage and the birth of modern feminism; the rise of segregation; American imperialism; progressivism; World War I; the Great Depression and the New Deal; and World War II.
HIST 375. The American Revolution (4A)
This course examines the events, ideas, and conflicts surrounding the American Revolution. It begins with an overview of British foreign policy during the period of “salutary neglect” and ends with ratification of the Constitution in 1789. Among the themes treated are the political, economic, and religious causes; popular and elite views of the conflict; popular mobilization; changes in social structure; dissent from/alternatives to the Revolution; how the Revolution was both a conservative and a radical movement.
HIST 378. Colonial Latin American History (4AF)
This course will introduce students to the history and problems of colonial Latin America by focusing on particular themes and issues related to the Spanish and Portuguese colonization and rule of the Americas. Students will learn how those issues changed throughout the colonial period (1492- ca. 1820), understand some of the more general theoretical questions related to colonialism, and prepare to study modern Latin America with an eye for the way it is shaped by its colonial past. This course counts towards meeting the requirements of the Colonial History Concentration.
HIST 379. Modern Latin American History Since 1820 (4AS)
This course will introduce students to the main events in the history of Latin America from Independence to the present. The class is organized around certain themes that cut across the Latin American continent: the development of political cultures, liberalism, neocolonialism, industrialization, nationalism, etc. We will explore the impact of these events on people’s lives, paying special attention to geographical regions, class, gender, race, and ethnicity.
HIST 380. History of Russian and Soviet Cinema (4AS)
This class surveys the Russian and Soviet cinema from the early 20th century up to the present, examining cinema as an art form, as popular culture, and as political propaganda. The course focuses on some of the most important directors in world cinema such as Eisenstein and Tarkovsky, but also on the type of popular cinema rarely seen in the West, including musicals, comedies, and action dramas. Class topics include the evolution of Russian/Soviet cinema aesthetics; censorship, propaganda, and creativity; and political/cultural liberalization and cinema.
HIST 381. History of Ancient Greece and the Hellenistic World (4AS)This course focuses on the cultural and economic aspects of Greek life as well as on the political and military conflicts within and without Greece. The time period begins with the Homeric era, continues through the flowering of Classical Greece in 5th-century Athens, covers the conquests of Alexander the Great, and concludes with the collapse of Hellenistic kingdoms in the face of Roman expansion at the time of Cleopatra. The settings extend from Greece to Persia, Anatolia, Syria, and Egypt.
HIST 382. History of the Roman Republic and Empire (4F)
This course will focus on the cultural and economic aspects of Roman life as well as on the political and military expansion of the Roman state. The time period covered extends from the founding of the Republic through the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 A.D. The setting is the entire Mediterranean world as it came under the influence of Roman power.
HIST 383. History of the Byzantine Empire (4AS)
This course covers Byzantine history from the reign of Constantine (306-336 A.D.) and concludes with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. Byzantine civilization, founded on the classical heritage of Greece and Rome, evolved into a unique culture which profoundly affected the medieval world in both East and West. The pervasive role of religion, the development of an extraordinary artistic and legal tradition, and the interaction with “barbarians,” Muslims, and Crusaders will be examined from primary sources as well as recent studies.
HIST 384. Medieval Europe (4AF)
An attempt to re-examine the Dark Ages in European history to show that it was an age of vitality, change, and diversity. Primary and secondary sources are used to explore the political, economic, religious, social, and cultural forces that shaped the Middle Ages. Topics of study include feudalism and the search for political order, courtly society, religious life and the work of medieval theologians, popular and aristocratic culture, and the waning of the Middle Ages.
HIST 385. Europe in the Age of Absolutism (4AS)
A survey of the social, cultural, and political history of the turbulent 16th and 17th centuries in Western Europe, a key transitional period between the medieval and modern world. Topics of study include ramifications of the Reformation, the Counter-Reformation, and the wars of religion; the conflicts between a constitutional and an absolutist conception of government; and the development of both courtly and popular culture.
HIST 386. The Age of the French Revolution (4AF)
Analysis of France in the 18th century with an emphasis on the historical processes leading to revolution, followed by an investigation of the classic and more recent interpretations of the Revolution itself and its consequences for French, European, and world history.
HIST 390. Holocaust: History and Meaning (4AS)
Cross-listed course. The course description is noted under RELG 390.
HIST 392. Topics in U.S. History (4E)
Topics in U.S. history to be determined by the interest of students and instructors. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 393. Topics in European History (4E)
Topics in European history to be determined by the interest of students and instructors. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 394. Topics in Asian, African, or Latin American History (4E)
Topics in Asian, African, or Latin American history to be determined by the interest of students and instructors. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 395. Theories and Uses of History (4E)
The development of Western historical thinking, with particular emphasis on the most significant speculative philosophies of history and the methodology of the historical discipline. An important goal of the course is a study of the relationship of history to other academic disciplines as tools for understanding the nature of human and social reality. Formerly HIST 490.
HIST 396. Topics in Comparative, Thematic, or Global History (4E)
Topics in comparative, thematic, or global history to be determined by the interest of students and instructors. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 400. Comparative Slave Systems in the Americas (4AF)
This course explores the establishment of slavery in the Americas. It details the extent to which slaves across the entire Americas were involved in the same process of hemispheric exploitation and debasement. The course is particularly sensitive to the experiences of the slaves themselves, seeking to understand how they made sense of their world. To that end, issues such as slave religion, family life, recreational forms, and the full range of cultural productions such as music, dance, and storytelling are investigated in order to get a glimpse of the complex pattern of responses which slaves created in the attempt to erect a zone of freedom even in their enslavement. This course counts towards meeting the requirements of the Colonial History Concentration.
HIST 401. The Caribbean Experience (4AS)
This course approaches the study of the Caribbean from the perspective of Caribbean people’s unceasing attempts to re-interpret and re-evaluate their history and to control their present destiny. Calypso and Reggae music, and the Caribbean “songs of experience” form the major primary sources from which we explore notions of race and identity, slavery and liberation, religion and government, and gender and sexuality within the Caribbean setting.
HIST 405. Spies, Sputniks, and Fall-Out Shelters (4AS)
This course focuses on how the Cold War structured culture in the United States and the Soviet Union. How did the West appear to the East and the East appear to the West? How did culture help to create the Cold War? What were the myths of consensus in communist and capitalist cultures? How did the dominant cultures and political systems foster cultural rebellion? We answer these questions by exploring such topics as the red scare, the Soviet cult of World War II, nuclear apocalypse and civil defense, consumerism, spy stories, Westernization in communist culture (e.g., jazz and rock), and the development of Russian and American nationalism.
HIST 408. The Civil War Era, 1820-1865 (4AF)
This is a reading- and writing-intensive course on the Civil War era in American history. We will read a number of secondary sources that examine the growing tensions between sections from 1820 through 1865, with a heavy emphasis placed on the critical role slavery played in bringing the nation to war. The class will then read and discuss some of the more important recent books on the war itself. Finally, students will research, write, and present a lengthy primary source-driven project of their choice.
HIST 415. Topics in U.S. History (4E)
Topics in U.S. history determined by interest of students and instructors. Possible topics include the American Revolution and the Early Republic. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 419. African-American History in America (4AS)
Significant aspects of African-American history in the United States from its colonial origins to the present are dealt with, using a variety of discussion techniques and intensive examination of pertinent historical studies. Related sociological, psychological, economic, and political aspects will be considered. The course seeks to make students aware of the richness of these studies and their impact on American society. This course is cross-listed as POSC 419.
HIST 425. The Great Depression and the New Deal (4AS)
This course examines the collapse of the economy as the 1930s began and the efforts of the Franklin Roosevelt administration to repair and reform American capitalism. The New Deal came to symbolize a wide range of hopes and fears for Americans as they struggled to make sense of a world seemingly falling apart. This course is reading-, research-, and writing-intensive.
HIST 430. Early Maryland Research Seminar (4AF)
This course operates as a capstone for humanities and social science majors interested in Maryland history. The course aims to broaden students' understanding of research methodologies, and provide a professional research experience. In the first half of the semester, students explore different ways to study Maryland history, including traditional historical documentary research methods as well as interdisciplinary approaches based on archaeology, cultural anthropology, sociology, statistics, art history, and literature. Students also will visit local institutions interpreting Maryland's past, in order to see how professionals apply these approaches in an effort to inform the public about the past's relationship to the present. Following a midterm examination to ensure understanding of these research methods, each student will spend the second half of the course working on a research project for one of these organizations. Students will produce a tangible final product that will contribute toward future interpretation and/or programming at the sponsoring institution. Prerequisites: CORE 101 and 4 credits from at least one of the following disciplines: history, anthropology, art history, English, sociology, political science, or economics.
HIST 431. Early American Political Thought (4A)
This course examines, in depth, American political thought from 1630 to 1800. It analyzes the major Anglo-European intellectual traditions that shaped the thought of early Americans: classical liberalism and classical republicanism as they emerged from the thinking of early modern Britain and the Enlightenment; and reformed Protestantism in America. It examines how the American revolutionaries drew on these traditions to justify revolution and then explores how they both used and modified the same traditions of thought to create the American Republic.
HIST 432. History of Medicine (4AS)
This course surveys the history of medicine from ancient times to the present in the Western world. After briefly examining the practice of medicine in ancient and medieval times, the course will focus on the development of modern, scientific medicine. Topics will include medicine and the scientific revolution, the development of medical institutions and professions, medicine and imperialism, the definition of disease, and the changing position of the patient.
HIST 435. Topics in European History (4E)
Topics in European history to be determined by interest of students and instructors. Possible topics include women, gender, and family; contemporary Europe; and the Ancient World. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 455. Topics in Asian, African, or Latin American History (4E)
Topics in Asian, African, or Latin American history to be determined by interest of students and instructors. Possible topics: Vietnam war and revolution, African culture, and international relations in Asia. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 461. Gender in Latin American History (4AS)
While popular misconceptions of Latin America claim that gender identities were fixed and static, this course wishes to highlight how contested gender prescriptions were, and how the negotiations over what was accepted and appropriate for women’s and men’s behavior shaped the social and political history of Latin America. What made men “honorable” or “macho,” for example, just as women’s role as mothers and caregivers acquired various meanings over different historical periods. Sexuality (what was accepted for both men and women) also cannot be understood without a historical perspective. And gender identities, throughout, were much affected by race, class, and ethnicity. This course, in short, examines the construction of gender identities in Latin America over 500 years of history.
HIST 475. Topics in Comparative, Thematic, or Global History (4AS)
Topics in comparative, thematic, or global history to be determined by interest of students and instructors. Possible topics: modern imperialism, the world since 1945, and Cold War culture in the United States and Soviet Union. May be repeated for credit if the topic is not repetitive.
HIST 493. St. Mary’s Project in History I (4E)
The St. Mary’s Project in history consists of two parts: HIST 493 and HIST 494. No credit for HIST 493 will be granted until satisfactory completion of HIST 494. The project experience is designed for students to demonstrate the ability to conduct historical research, interpret historical evidence, and produce a substantive written work. Students begin the project experience in the first semester with an approved topic and meet regularly with a faculty mentor throughout the two semesters. During the first semester of the project experience, students attend a seminar devoted to a study of historiography and methodology. The seminar provides the context for students to begin the project research, define the issues to be investigated, and develop a method of inquiry appropriate to the topic. The seminar also serves as the setting for the presentation and discussion of the completed project. Prerequisite: approval by faculty mentor and department chair of the student’s major(s).
HIST 494. St. Mary’s Project in History II (4E)
In the second part of the project experience, students complete the research, compose the finished product, and present the results to the College community. The project, which may take many forms, draws on and extends knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. The faculty mentor supervises the project research. The project seminar is the setting for the presentation and discussion of the completed project. HIST 493/494 satisfies the historiographical requirement for the major in history. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of HIST 493. Consult faculty mentor for project guidelines.
HIST 398, 498. Off-Campus Internship (4-16E)
A variety of off-campus experiential learning opportunities can be arranged through the Career Development Center. The off-campus internship is an individually designed experience that allows the student to explore the relationship between learning in the classroom and the practical application of knowledge in everyday work situations. Prerequisites: Admission to the Internship Program and approval of the department chair. (See “Internships” under “Academic Policies” section.) Credit/no credit grading.
HIST 199, 299, 399, 499. Independent Study (1-4E)
This course consists of an independent creative or research project designed by the student and supervised by a history faculty member. The nature of the project, the schedule for accomplishment, and the means of evaluation must be formalized in a learning contract prior to registration. (See “Independent Study” under “Academic Policies” section.)