Check out the History Department Courses for Spring 2011

Advising week has begun and the history department has a great list of  upper-level history classes on the books for spring 2011.  I include below all the course descriptions for the upper-level History 300 “major courses”:

HIST 305: Historical Archaeology: Greece and Rome
This class introduces students to the field of “historical archaeology.”  Our objective will be to understand how the methods of archaeology relate to and produce historical analysis, interpretation, and conclusions.  The course will focus on the material culture of the Greek and Roman Mediterranean as revealed through several centuries of archaeological investigation.  But in Spring 2011, we will also be conducting local archaeological investigations in the Dillsburg area: surveying  a cemetery dating from the late 1700s, an excavating an outbuilding at the Stauffer Farm.  Students will have a chance to participate in real-time archaeological fieldwork  and use the results for research in local history.


HIST 321: The Age of Monarchy: 17th- and 18th-Century Europe
Our goal is to make sense of the varied, complex, and rich histories of the human experience in “early modern” European society (from the Wars of Religion until the end of the French Revolution). Topics include those listed in the Messiah College Catalog: “the rise of modern nation-states, absolute monarchs, constitutional governments, the spread of printing, the Enlightenment and its critics, changing patterns and practices of daily life, traditional religion in an emerging scientific culture, and Europe’s colonial settlements.” We will also examine the changing nature of state and social domination in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The basic course structure of the course is divided into three broad parts: (1) monarchy and the rise of absolutism as a political system intent on creating new forms of bureaucratic intervention, (2) the Enlightenment Project, understood both as a process and as a period in history, that is purportedly the intellectual origin – secular, rationalist, and individualist – of the modern world (purportedly because an irrationalist strain of critics, running from the German Romantics to the Frankfurt School and most postmodernists, argue that the “Enlightenment” is totalitarian – to use Horkheimer and Adorno’s phrase), and (3) the political upheavals of the late eighteenth century. What are the causal relationships between the political, mental, and social revolutions of the period?

HIST 352: African-American History since 1865.  Gen Ed: Pluralism
A study of historical change in the lives, experiences, legal status, and social status of African-Americans from the abolition of slavery to the present. Special attention is given to African-American campaigns to secure political and social equality. Meets General Education Pluralism in Contemporary America requirement.


HIST 374: History of Modern India and Pakistan
An examination of the broad contours of south Asian history after 1500 by considering the histories of those parts of the sub-continent covered by India and Pakistan (and by extension, Bangladesh). We will also make a brief detour through the Himalayan world by looking closely at the history Gorkha (present-day Nepal). Major themes include the Mughal Empire; European colonial interventions and indigenous responses expressed through reform, rebellion, and nationalism; the painful emergence of south Asian nations and their postcolonial predicaments. These themes will also intersect with the following concerns: Mughal state making, colonial governance and its forms of knowledge, subaltern histories, gender and caste studies, communalism, and discourses on development.


HIST 383: South Africa: Struggle for Freedom.  Gen Ed: Non-Western Studies
This course examines one of the most amazing freedom movements of the 20th century.  In 1994, black South Africans finally achieved majority rule after more than 100 years of struggle against white minority rule.  This course will  explore the peoples and societies of South Africa, and the ways in which they responded to the increasing pressures and expansion of white rule.  Particular attention will be paid to the movements which fought against the most racist system the world has seen: the Afrikaner apartheid regime established in 1948.  The role of Christianity and the church and the role of the international community, particularly the U.S., in the anti-apartheid struggle will also be examined.


HIST 399: Topics: Early American Republic
This course examines the early years of the United States from the ratification of the Constitution through the War of 1812.  In 1789, Americans were faced with the task of building working political institutions out of the principles set forth in the Constitution and establishing a stable and unified society out of a divided and diverse collection of societies and peoples.  American leaders also had to deal with a slew of international crises that brought them into conflict with powerful European countries that showed little respect for American interests.  In the decades following the American Revolution, American leaders and citizens were forced to define exactly what independence from Great Britain meant in the context of everyday life.  Would the country be predominantly rural and agricultural or urban and commercial?  Would the character of the new nation be defined by the ideas of elite founding fathers or by the will of ordinary people?  How did the rapid changes taking place in the nation during the early republic influence the plight of women, Native Americans, slaves, and free blacks?


HIST 407: Secondary Social Studies Curriculum and Design [for certification students]

A seminar emphasizing disciplinary content issues that are specific to secondary school social studies teaching.  Areas of focus include curricular and instructional decision-making processes; classroom management strategies, assessment techniques, adaptations for exceptional learners; instructional technology applications; and professional development.  This course is designed specifically for History-Social Studies majors during their Professional Semester.

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