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Chair: Associate Professor Berger
Full Professors: Bardsley, Lempa
Associate Professors: Aguilar, Berger, Paxton
Assistant Professor of Practice: Anderson
Adjunct Faculty: Muhlfeld

The program in history acquaints students with the nature of historical inquiry and the antiquity and variety of human experience. Instead of relying on factual narratives, the program focuses on the analysis of primary sources, understanding history as a contested field of interpretations, and the skills of producing histories. The program prepares students to enter careers and graduate study in a variety of fields, including teaching and research, education, museums and historical restoration, library work, journalism, business, law, and public service.

The Major in History

The history major consists of ten (10) course units:

  • Three (3) 100-level courses: one from Group A, one from Group B, and one from Group C.  A course appearing in more than one list does not fulfill both categories:  students must take a second course in one of the other groups.

                 Group A
    • HIST 110. Latin America in the Colonial Era.
    • HIST 111. Modern Latin America.
    • HIST 115. History of Africa.
    • HIST 119. Arab-Islamic Civilizations.
    • HIST 120. The History of Native North America.

      Group B
    • HIST 113. The United States to 1877.
    • HIST 114. The United States since 1865.
    • HIST 120. The History of Native North America.

      Group C
    • HIST 112. Europe in Global Context.
    • HIST 116. Medieval Europe.
    • HIST 117. England through the Reign of Elizabeth I.
    • HIST 118. The Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome.
    • HIST 130. Ancient Greece.
  • Four (4) 200-level courses, two (2) of which must be HIST 270: Historical Methods and Interpretations and HIST 288: Internship in History.
  • Three (3) 300-level courses, one (1) of which must be HIST 371: Senior Seminar. Only one (1) of the courses numbered   HIST 381-388 may be used to satisfy the major requirements.

The Interdepartmental Major

A student wishing to use history as Set I of an interdepartmental major is required to take HIST 270: Historical Methods and Interpretations and five (5) other course units. Two (2) of the remaining courses must be at the 200 level and a third at the 300 level.

The Minor in History

The history minor consists of HIST 270: Historical Methods and Interpretations and four (4) other courses to be selected from at least two of the three major areas in the department curriculum (Europe, United States, outside the United States and Europe). In addition to HIST 270, at least one (1) other course must be at the 200 or 300 level.

The History Fellowship

The History Fellowship is a program for highly motivated history and history/education students of at least second-semester sophomore standing and a GPA of 3.50 or above in the major. Students accepted into the program will become History Fellows for one of the lower-level survey courses (previously taken by applicants who have received a grade of at least A–).  A History Fellow will be expected to:

  • Write a research paper of 20 pages in the area covered by the survey class.
  • Attend all class meetings, as well as individual meetings of students with the professor, and assist with class preparation.
  • Assist with or lead group discussions; tutor; moderate Blackboard discussions.

The fellows will enjoy one-to- one interaction with the faculty member(s) who serve as mentor(s), gain a sense of responsibility, learn to think strategically about pedagogical issues, and deepen their knowledge of the course material.

These teaching fellowships will be available to those who qualify for them and succeed in a competitive application process including an interview with the department chair.

Departmental Recommendations

  • 100-level courses are introductory surveys satisfying the M1 or M5 LinC requirements. Students will be introduced to the importance of primary sources in producing historical knowledge and some of the issues involved in interpreting them. These courses are open to all students without prerequisite.
  • 200-level courses address a wide range of thematic topics, with the emphasis on historical interpretations and historiography. Usually they do not satisfy LinC requirements (except a few courses that meet M5). They are open to all students who have completed a 100-level history course.
  • 300-level courses are seminars that encourage original research from primary sources (often in translation and in published form). These courses provide an environment for students to apply skills in historiography and source analysis developed in previous courses. Open to all students who have completed a 100-level history course and HIST 270: Historical Methods and Interpretations. Only one course numbered 381-388 may be used to satisfy the major requirements. A grade of C or better in HIST 270 is required to enroll in 300-level history seminars. In rare cases, exceptions can be granted by the department chair.

Courses in History

HIST 110. Latin America in the Colonial Era. Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the Americas and struggles for independence, including ancient American civilizations, Iberian background and influence, Age of Discovery and conquest, development of colonial institutions, cultural and intellectual development, race and racial mixtures, colonial rebellions, wars of independence. (M1) 

HIST 111. Modern Latin American. Tradition and revolt in Latin America, the Hispanic-American caudillo, U.S.-Latin American relations, republican histories of Argentina, Mexico, and Cuba. (M5) 

HIST 112. Europe in Global Context.The history of Europe gives us initial insight into how the human construct called Western civilization has emerged. By exploring this history, we locate ourselves in time and place, thus helping us judge our position and possibilities. The course is an intellectual adventure in which we find our basic assumptions and values constantly challenged. What do we mean by "state" or "race"? What about our civilization is Western, and what is non-Western? (M1) 

HIST 113. The United States to 1877. American society, politics, and culture from the first settlements through Reconstruction, including the colonial experience, the Revolutionary War, the new political order, transformation of economic and social systems in the Jacksonian age, and the crisis of the republic in the Civil War. Designed to give overall perspective and an introduction that can be followed by more specialized coursework. (M1) 

HIST 114. The United States since 1865. American politics, society, and culture from the Civil War to the present, including Reconstruction, late 19th-century urban-industrial world, Populist-Progressive era, America's emergence as an international power in two world wars, the 1920s, Great Depression, and 1945 to the present. Designed to give overall perspective and an introduction that can be followed by more specialized coursework. (M1) 

HIST 115. History of Africa. History and cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. Topics include human evolution in Africa, traditional lifestyles and beliefs, development of African kingdoms, Atlantic slave trade, European colonialism, and problems of modern African states to the present. (M5) 

HIST 116. Medieval Europe. The emergence of Western European civilization from the remnants of Roman and Germanic cultures, c. 500-1500 CE. Topics include the spread of Christianity, evolution of aristocracy and peasantry, the growth of towns, clashes between church and state, the emergence of universities, and the demographic disasters of the plague and warfare of the late Middle Ages. (M1) 

HIST 117. England through the Reign of Elizabeth I. Survey from the Neolithic era to the start of the 17th century. Topics include Roman Britain, Anglo-Saxon Britain, Viking invasions, the Norman Conquest, the growth of law and Parliament, relationships between church and state, the Black Death, the Reformation, and everyday lives of members of each social class. (M1) 

HIST 118. The Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome. Explores the history of the ancient Near East and Europe from prehistoric times to the medieval era. Among the civilizations surveyed are those of the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans. (M1) 

HIST 119. Arab-Islamic Civilizations. The Near Eastern world from the late Byzantine through emergence and development of Arabic-Islamic civilization. Reviews pre-Islamic Arabia and the Near East, achievements of the Prophet Muhammad, establishment of the Islamic religion, the caliphate, and the Arab Empire, including Spain, North Africa, and the Middle East. Islamic religion, law, mysticism, literature, art and architecture, and the Arabic-Islamic renaissance and its impact on the West via Islamic Spain. Ends by considering the Arabic-Islamic world in modern times. (M5) 

HIST 120. The History of Native North America. Embracing hundreds of distinct cultures over a period of 15,000 years, the history of Indigenous peoples in North America is vast and complex. This course uses case studies of specific cultures from Mexico, the United States, and Canada to provide a thematic overview of the continent’s Indigenous history until the present. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach to issues such as trade, religion, warfare, colonization, disease, dispossession, and revitalization and introduce students to the methods scholars use to study oral cultures. In addition to written sources, we will draw on the insights of anthropology, archaeology, genetics, chemistry, and linguistics to expand our understanding of the history of Native North America. (M5)

HIST 129. Mexico: Revolution and Globalization. This course allows students to explore the issues associated with political revolution and economics globalization in Latin America by focusing exclusively on the modern history of a single nation, Mexico. After a brief survey of Mexico's indigenous and colonial experiences, this course primarily covers elements of Mexico's evolution during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, beginning with a comparison of Mexico's independence movement to the American Revolution. It continues through the circumstances surrounding the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the impact of NAFTA of 1994, and the political transition fostered by the 2000 elections. (M5) 

HIST 130. Ancient Greece. History of the Greeks through Alexander the Great, with emphasis on readings in primary sources including Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plato. Topics include the classical city-state, invention of democracy, emergence of Greek philosophy and science, and diffusion of Greek culture. (M1)

HIST 219. Bismarck to Hitler to Fischer: History of Modern Germany. Traces Germany's historical path from 1848 to 1990, starting with the German states' struggle toward modernization and unification in the late 19th century. Explores Germany's experience and role in World War I; the cultural euphoria, political misery, and economic despair of the Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933; and the Holocaust. Discusses Germany's role in the Cold War and the cultural battles of the 1960s, ending with the surprising national reunification in 1990. 

HIST 220. The Holocaust. (Also IDIS 220) Discusses the persecution and mass killing of European Jews by Nazi Germany. Describes anti-Semitism in historical context and explores the complexities of ultimate moral choices by asking how a cultured civilization produced mass killers and an educated class went unprotesting to its extermination. Students will explore the experience of those who were sent to the camps, how they constructed a kind of everyday life, and how gender influenced their experience. Finally, we study how and why the world outside Germany—foreign governments, intellectuals, religious and humanitarian groups—reacted to or failed to confront the Holocaust. (U2) 

HIST 221. History of the Body. This course explores the history of the body by focusing on its relationship to medicine, health, sports, and society since 1500. We explore how science, medicine, and sports have “made” our bodies. We will ask, whether the body could be a machine and whether there is one sex or two sexes. We will investigate how the bodies moved, how they were exercised, and how the sports developed. We will then explore the ways the bodies were dressed. Finally, we will take a look at how the body became political, how it was defined in terms of race and otherness. We engage these themes through readings, discussions, analysis of images and movies, and writing. An integral part of this class is to see the history of the body as a contested field of changing historical interpretations. (U1) 

HIST 222. History of 18th-century Moravians. Bethlehem is a fine example of an 18th-century Moravian community. It was part of a world-wide network of Moravian communities and mission stations. In this course, we will explore the Moravian world. How were their congregations organized? What did Moravians believe and how does this relate to other religious groups? How did they perceive their own history and how did Moravians record history? 18th-century Moravians were highly controversial and we will take a look at some of the polemical writings. In the course we will also explore issues of gender, race, and sexuality. 

HIST 227. Modern South Africa. (Also POSC 227). This course will introduce and analyze the modern history and politics of the Republic of South Africa and its neighbors. The course will emphasize the development of political, economic, and social structures; current actors; and prospects for change. Specific topics will include British, Afrikaner, and Portuguese colonial policies; the development of African nationalism and the transition to majority rule; and the policies and prospects of modern Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. (M5)

HIST 237. Popular Culture in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Customs, beliefs, and activities of ordinary people during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Topics include witchcraft, riots and rebellions, carnivals, and heresies. Attention to historians' methods of approaching the lives of ordinary, non-elite people of the past and the ways in which they explore the lives of subalterns using sometimes hostile sources. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 238. Women in Europe 500-1700. (Also WGSS 238) Experiences of women and attitudes toward women in medieval and early modern Europe, especially on ways in which women's lives were shaped by social status, marital status, and religion. Students will develop their ability to identify arguments within historical writing, assess ways in which historians use evidence, and understand some of the major debates among historians about women and their status. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 241. Early America. Background and settlement of North American colonies, development of British colonial policy, colonial civilization, and the revolutionary movement to separate colonies from the empire and create a new nation. Fall. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 243. The United States from The Market Revolution to the Civil War. Internal development of the U.S. from the War of 1812 through the Civil War and Reconstruction, including the westward movement, reform impulses, social and economic effects of early industrialization. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 244. Race & Citizenship in Modern US History. Students in this course examine connections between race, ethnicity, inequality, and citizenship status in late nineteenth-, twentieth- and early twenty-first-century U. S. history.  We consider the roles race and ethnicity have played in determining who can and cannot become a U.S. citizen. We also study the ways in which the entitlements of citizenship have or have not been distributed equally to all in the nation.  We investigate as well the various forms political activism by communities of color has taken regarding citizenship rights and the range of demands activists have made in efforts to secure full citizenship. In addition, we explore the ways that public policies and laws have contributed to intensifying and alleviating racial disparities.  Ultimately, we look to history in an effort to make sense the racial landscape that exists today. (U2)

HIST​​​​​​​ 245. The United States 1945 to the Present. Topics include the Vietnam War, the civil rights revolution, the counterculture of the '60s, conflicts in Israel and the Gulf War, the Nixon administration and its moral and constitutional crisis (Watergate) in the '70s, the "Reagan Revolution" of the '80s, and the Clinton administration and its moral and constitutional crisis in the '90s. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 250. The History of Canada to 1885. An introduction to major themes in the history of Canada from pre-contact times until the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Special attention will be given to major historical debates and the changing nature of historical interpretation around such topics as relations between Europeans and First Nations, the fur trade, women and society in New France, Loyalists, the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada, responsible government, Confederation, and the Riel Rebellions.

HIST​​​​​​​ 255. The United States and Latin America: History of Their Relations. Explores the historical creation and transformations of a variety of relations connecting the nations of Latin America with the United States. Students will discuss issues of national sovereignty, economic development, political revolution, defense strategy, human rights, and immigration as they pertain to these relations. Attention to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America in their interaction with the United States. (M5) 

HIST​​​​​​​ 260. Environmental History. Explores the changing relationship between human agency and the environment over the course of world history. Themes include the agricultural and industrial revolutions, the integration of world ecozones, historical epidemiology, and the impact of technological change on the environment. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 265. Introduction to Experimental Archaeology. Introduction to Experimental Archaeology focuses on learning about the past by recreating and reverse-engineering artifacts, structures, and techniques. For example, we will create some stone tools through flint knapping, create some premodern pottery using bonfires and/or kilns, and collaborate on construction of a structure or other large project. The course has a lab component, for which a lab fee will be charged. The course may require a weekend camping trip and a trip to a museum. Class meetings will be held on Moravian's campus and at the Deputy Center in Bangor. (U1)

HIST​​​​​​​ 270. Historical Methods and Interpretations. The first half of the course introduces the main philosophies and schools of historical analysis: Marxist history, psychohistory, Annaliste, women's, social, and cultural history. Topics include contributions of major historians and current historical debates and controversies. In the second half, students receive a systematic introduction to historical research, including major research tools in the field, research methods and strategies, models of historical research, preparation and evaluation of formal presentations on historical topics. Required for history and historical studies majors. Prerequisite: Any history course. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 288. Internship in History. This course will accompany students as they complete internships, providing them with a structure and format for reflecting on their experiences. Students will meet as a group once per week and complete at least 8 hours per week of fieldwork. Fieldtrips will examine the ways in which public history is constructed and presented. Students will also explore their own career plans. Prerequisites: junior or senior class-standing, and at least one 100-level history course.

HIST​​​​​​​ 371. Senior Seminar. Students will prepare a research paper suitable for delivery at an undergraduate conference. Topics, which must be approved by the instructor, may be from any area of study covered in the department courses. One member of the department will direct the seminar and hold its weekly meetings, but all history faculty will serve as advisors as the students prepare their projects. Prerequisites: Senior standing and completion of at least one history seminar and HIST 270, or permission of instructor. Fall. One 2-hour period. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 374. Seminar: History of the Emotions. What are emotions? How have they been used and manipulated throughout history? Was a middle-class man (or woman) entitled to have emotions? What is love, and what have been its institutions over time? The seminar will examine the emotional background of French and German dueling in the 19th century, as well as the emotions and reactions of those whose duty was to destroy all enemies of the nation. This research seminar explores one of the most profound features of human identity over the last 500 years, and one that has received little attention from history. 

HIST​​​​​​​ 375. First People of North America. Provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary methodology of ethnohistory with which students will explore the history of First People within the U.S. and Canada. Because of the diversity and complexity of First People's cultures, this course will explore select themes, including but not limited to oral history, cosmology and religion, colonization, disease, trade, and cultural change and continuity. Using primary sources, students will write an ethnohistorical research paper on a topic of their choice.

HIST​​​​​​​ 376. Medieval Peasants. (also MDVL 376). Provides an introduction to the primary sources, methodology, and historiographical debates surrounding the late-medieval English peasantry. Topics covered include the effects of the Black Death, the extent of community and cohesion within peasant villages, changes in inheritance practices, and mechanisms of charity. Students will write article-length papers based on both primary and secondary sources. Prerequisite: Completion of HIST 270 with a grade of C or better. 

HIST 377. WI: Modern Mexico. This course explored the creation of modern Mexico from a social and cultural perspective. It begins with an analysis of the independence war followed by a study of the difficulties faced by the new nation such as the Mexican-American War. Then we examine the conditions generated by the dictatorship of General Porfirio Diaz, who ruled the country for more than three decades, resulting in a civil war: the Mexican revolution. We will look at the institutionalization of the social revolution, the rise of nationalism and the social movements that have created present-day Mexico. The course concentrates on three main themes: race, gender and public health. Our journey is based on the analysis of a vast array of primary sources and secondary sources which not only include official documents, newspapers or images; but also literature, art, cinema and other cultural manifestations. Prerequisite: any 200-level HIST course. (WI)

HIST​​​​​​​ 385. History Fellowship. Highly motivated history and history/education students may be chosen as History Fellows: teaching assistants for the lower-level survey courses. They will assist the professor in preparing the class; serve as tutors; and lead group discussions and moderate Blackboard discussions. The fellows will enjoy one-to-one interaction with faculty, gain a sense of responsibility, learn to think strategically about pedagogical issues, and deepen their knowledge of the course material. The fellowship ends with a substantial research paper or journal. Prerequisites: Second-semester sophomore standing (or higher) and GPA of 3.50 or above in the major; a grade of at least A– in the survey course to which the fellow is assigned; competitive application process, including interview with department chair.

HIST​​​​​​​ 190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.
HIST 286, 381-383. Independent Study.
HIST 384. Independent Research.
HIST​​​​​​​ 288, 386-388. Internship.
HIST​​​​​​​ 400-401. Honors.