History Course Descriptions
- HIST 101. The Medieval Web
Credits: 4. This course examines the development of the medieval idea of a “Christian Empire” from the time of Charlemagne to the mid-15th century. Through a close reading of contemporary texts of law, literature, religion and biography, students will explore such topics as the papacy, crusades, feudalism, scholasticism and medieval art. Prerequisite: ENGL 102. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 102. The Web of Europe since 1400
Credits: 4. This course investigates the genesis and movements of the modern period, from the Renaissance to the fall of the Iron Curtain. On the basis of contemporary documents, students will discuss such issues as nationalism, the Reformation, absolutism, religion in the Age of Reason, egalitarianism and totalitarianism. Fulfills humanities requirement; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives requirement.
- HIST 103. U.S. Origins: From Pre-Colonial Times to 1877
Credits: 4. This course begins by studying Native American cultures before European contact as well as emerging tensions as European populations migrated westward. Students analyze why the colonists revolted against Britain, how new democratic political institutions evolved, the complex place of African enslavement and how Reconstruction-era politics and reform traditions fostered a new industrialized nation state. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 104. Modern Times: The U.S. from 1877 to the Present
Credits: 4. This course analyzes how the United States became a mature, industrialized consumer society, a haven for peoples from around the world, a welfare state and a global superpower. Studying both the benefits and costs of 20th-century U.S. political and economic success enables students to understand some of the reasons why diverse social groups challenged the economic and political order. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives and social justice and environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 118. Legacies of History:The Case of California Indians
Credits: 4. This course tracks California history from the time before memory to present, and specifically engages the relationships between California Indians, settler colonial society, the power of the state, and the contested terrain of public memory. The course takes a presentist perspective, historicizing a number of critical contemporary issues facing California Indians, such as sovereignty, land use, casino gaming, disenrollment, recognition, political influence, public memory, and the relationships between Indian communities and academics. Fulfills humanities requirement; when “HP” precedes title, fulfills historical perspectives requirement.
- HIST 150. Special Topics
Credits: 4. Topics may include: The French Revolution, Vietnam Wars, American Rivers, Latin American History in Film. These courses fulfill requirements for the history major and minor. May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.
- HIST 205. American Imperialism, American Progressive
Credits: 4. The years 1890-1925 witnessed tremendous upheavals as America became a world power abroad while at home, reform movements flourished alongside anti-immigrant campaigns, the lynching and disfranchisement of African-Americans, a widening gap between rich and poor and a Red Scare. Students engage in a semester-long project to define this crucial era through the public writings of those who shaped it. Fulfills humanities requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives requirement.
- HIST 212. American Frontiers
Credits: 4. Defining frontiers as contested places where people met and struggled over control of natural resources, the labor necessary to exploit those resources and the right to define the boundaries of society, the course examines various frontier regions across North America from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives and social justice and environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 221. North Carolina: Demographic History
Credits: 4. Explores the demographic history of North Carolina from before the European invasion to the present, grappling with the idea and definition of immigrant, foreigner and outsider, as well as with issues involving regionalism, race, class, gender, religious difference and ethnicity. Fulfills humanities and social justice and environmental responsibility requirements; when "HP" precedes title, only fulfills historical perspectives and social justice and environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 222. North Carolina History
Credits: 4. Examines political, economic and social change in North Carolina from the period of exploration to the present. Begins with the state’s Native American and colonial roots and follows through the establishing of the commonwealth, slavery, the Civil War and North Carolina’s reinvention as an industrial leader in the 20th-century’s “New South.” Also explores the Civil Rights movement and contemporary changes in demographic character.
- HIST 223. Gender and Power in U. S. History
Credits: 4. Analyzes how men and women with diverse social and ethnic roots participated in transforming gender norms, identities and power relationships in U.S. society from pre-colonial times to the present. Students examine how economic institutions, political debates, legal decisions, changing sexual patterns and social activism have all contributed to redefining social expectations and daily life in contemporary U.S. culture. Fulfills humanities and diversity in the U.S. requirements.
- HIST 225. African American History (AFAM 225)
Credits: 4. Examines major themes such as the African heritage, slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, migrations, labor, criminal justice, black nationalism, the Civil Rights Movement and current issues. Fulfills humanities and diversity in the U.S requirements.
- HIST 227. Urban Environmental History
Credits: 4. This course uses three urban case studies as lenses to explore urban environmental history. By restricting the focus to three cities, the course explores each deeply. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 233. Medieval Civilization: Crusades and Chivalry
Credits: 4. This course investigates medieval civilization through some of its most intriguing characters—crusaders, pilgrims and knights. The course also will explore developments in medieval church and religion, issues of international law or human rights, religious and ethnic diversity, social class and privilege and the romance and ethics of knighthood and courtly love. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 235. The Renaissance in Florence (ART 235)
Credits: 4. The course discusses the history of Renaissance Florence, its economy, society, politics and culture, in relation to the other major Italian city-states. A main theme of the course is how politics and religion combine during this time and find their expression in art and culture. Fulfills arts requirement.
- HIST 236. Reformation: Luther to Fox (REL 236)
Credits: 4. The course is designed to introduce students to a basic understanding of events and ideas of the Reformation era in Europe, ca. 1517 to 1660. A focal point of the readings will be the reformers’ view of the relation between political and ecclesiastical authority. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 237. Europe in Revolution, 1789-1918
Credits: 4. A study of the main issues in 19th-century Western Europe—industrialization, shift from monarchy to constitutional government, growth of nationalism, socialism and imperialism—and their impact on Europe by the eve of the war in 1914. Fulfills humanities requirement; when "HP" precedes title, fulfills only historical perspectives requirement.
- HIST 238. War and Peace: 20th-Century Europe, 1914-present
Credits: 4. This course compares different European countries and examines their relations with each other in a very ideologically driven century. While the course emphasizes politics and diplomacy, peace, war and socio-economic developments, it will also consider the history of the arts, science and technology, women, the environment, business, religion, ideas, law, culture and biography. Fulfills humanities requirement; when "HP" precedes title, fulfills only historical perspectives requirement.
- HIST 241. Africa Before 1800
Credits: 4. An overview of African history before European colonial rule, focusing on the Iron Age and related civilizations. Introduces the history of such ancient kingdoms and empires as Tekrur, Mali and Songhai, Benin, Oyo and Asante, the Swahili coast, the Kongo and Zimbabwe. Also explores the impact of the European and Arab slave trades. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 242. Africa Since 1800
Credits: 4. A survey of Africa from the European colonial era to the emergence of African nationalism and modern times. Examines the impact of foreign rule on Africa’s economic, social, cultural and political history. Focuses on the sub-Saharan Africa, exploring change in the southern region from both pan-African and global perspectives. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 245. Europe since World War II
Credits: 4. This class traces the political, diplomatic, economic, and socio-cultural development of Eastern and Western Europe from the close of World War II in 1945 to European unification and the transition from Communism in the late 20th and the early 21st centuries. It also sheds light on the emergence of mass consumerism, immigration and the tensions of multiculturalism, and the nature of everyday life in Western and in Eastern Europe. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirement.
- HIST 255. The Second World War
Credits: 4. This course examines the developments of the Second World War, and the war’s impact on states, societies and international relations. It especially contrasts contingency in negotiations and on the battlefield on the one hand, with more inflexible causes in culture and economics on the other. Fulfills humanities requirement
- HIST 260. Independent Study
Credits: 1-4. May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels. Involves weekly meetings with departmental advisors; and an oral or written examination.
- HIST 264. The Asian Pacific in Modern Times
Credits: 4. Introduces the themes necessary to understand Asian countries today: cultural legacies, colonialism, the rise of nationalism and communism, war and revolution, as well as contemporary issues facing the region. Includes East Asian (China, Japan and Korea) and Southeast Asian (Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma and Thailand) countries. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 266. Contemporary Chinese Society in Film
Credits: 4. Examines the dynamic changes that have occurred in Chinese society since the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. Using Chinese feature films produced in the 1980s and 1990s, the course examines how economic reform has dramatically changed Chinese society and focuses on the relationship between art and politics in the People’s Republic. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 268. History of Chinese Women
Credits: 4. Traces the lives of Chinese women from the imperial age, when “for a woman to be without ability [was] a virtue,” through a revolutionary era (1850-1950) which broadened women’s options, to the socialist period, in which “women [were said to] hold up half the sky.” For each of these three periods, the course examines the multiple factors that shaped women’s experiences and the various ways women created a place for themselves. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 271. Colonial Latin America
Credits: 4. Explores Latin American history from the pre-Columbian era to independence in the early 19th century. The civilizations of the Aztec, Inca and Maya, the Spanish conquest and the formation of the colonial institutions that underlie modern Latin American reality will be examined. Focuses will also include racial, ethnic, and gender relations, and the development of regional identities. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 272. Modern Latin America
Credits: 4. An introduction to the history of Latin America from the wars for independence from Spain through the current era of struggles over democratization and globalization. This course emphasizes the actions and ideologies of Latin Americans—hacendados and peasants; masters and slaves; immigrants and indigenous peoples; elites and workers; politicians and masses; militaries and guerillas; men and women—in making their own history. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 276. Civil War and Reconstruction
Credits: 4. Examines the Civil War and Reconstruction period broadly by paying particularly close attention to its causes and consequences nationally between 1812 and 1890. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 288. History of East Asia to 1800
Credits: 4. This course introduces students to major trends in East Asian (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) history prior to 1800. Major themes in the course include traditional philosophies and religions such as Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, formation of aristocratic empires, rise of new elites, interaction between sedentary and nomadic civilizations, cultural identities, “technologies” of rule and trading networks, and East Asia from a global perspective. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 289. The French Revolution and Napoleon
Credits: 4. Examines the French Revolution and Napoleon’s rule from 1789 to 1814, exploring origins of the revolution, its moderate and radical phases, the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the period’s legacy. The course particularly illuminates tensions between tradition and change, democracy and dictatorship, justice and terror, and political ideologies and social realities. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 290. Internship
Credits: 1-4. May also be offered at the 390 level.
- HIST 302. Economic History of the United States (ECON 302)
Credits: 4. Examines key issues in U.S. economic history, including the emergence and spread of market institutions, the changing nature and conditions of work through different periods, the rise of big business and impact of industrial capitalism and the methods and outcomes of those who resisted these changes. Short research projects and a semester-long paper provide opportunities to engage in historical research.
- HIST 303. U.S. Social History and Social Memory
Credits: 4. Study of the methods, subjects of research and critiques of U.S. social history and its public presentation in museums, historical sites and popular culture constitutes an introductory unit and frames the fundamental questions raised in this course. The central focus in course readings and student research is the historical evolution of social diversity in the United States. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 308. The Underground Railroad
Credits: 4. Examination of abolitionist activity in the U.S. between 1800 and 1865, emphasizing the historical context, scope and impact of efforts by diverse peoples who helped the enslaved escape to “freedom” in the Northern states and Canada. Each student will help develop and participate in a re-enactment to illustrate how the Underground Railroad operated. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 311. The U.S. since 1945
Credits: 4. Analyzes recent significant events such as the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and its demise and their effects on contemporary U.S. society. The course also discusses the recent movements for social justice for African Americans, industrial and service workers, women of all classes and ethnicities, gays and lesbians, and other ethnic groups. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 312. Indians in American History since 1800
Credits: 4. Traces first the relationships between American Indians and the European colonial enterprises of the late 18th century and then explores in detail Indian efforts to chart their own path within an expansive and emerging United States over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the themes are dispossession, resistance, “civilization,” ecology and resource management, meanings of tribal identity. Fulfills humanities and diversity in the U.S. requirements.
- HIST 314. Immigration & a Multicultural Europe, 1800-Present
Credits: 4. This class analyzes migration and immigration in Europe as both a cause and consequence of wider historical change from the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, through the upheaval of the World Wars, to the ethnic clashes of the 21st century. It will examine the engines of migration: the pull of employment, the push of poverty, the demands of terror and of war, the will of governments, and the choices of individuals. Further, it will consider how ethnicity, regionalism, nationalism, class, race and gender shaped the ability of immigrants to integrate into their new homes. Additionally, it will assess how the influx of new peoples reshaped the localities, regions and nations in which they arrived. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 315. The Civil Rights Movement
Credits: 4. Critically examines the reform movement that ended legal racial segregation, secured African American voting rights and renewed the quest for political empowerment, economic reform and social justice in the United States between 1948 and 1972. Includes discussion of related movements: black nationalism, black power, women’s liberation, community control and the “war on poverty.” Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 319. Europe Between the Wars
Credits: 4. This course focuses on one of the most turbulent and significant periods of modern European history: the period between the two World Wars from approximately 1919 to 1939. The course will deal primarily with the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, Great Britain and France, though students may explore other nations through independent research projects. Fulfills humanities requirement.
- HIST 324. American Rivers
Credits: 4. The course uses American rivers and their watersheds as focal points to study the various ways in which people have interacted with their environments and each other. It focuses on a few specific rivers, using a case-study approach to explore the issues which all rivers face. Additionally, students select a river of their choice on which they conduct a semester-long research project. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements.
- HIST 336. The Elizabethan Age (ENGL 336)
Credits: 4. This course centers on the political, religious and cultural changes in the British Isles between the reign of Henry VIII and the Glorious Revolution. Main topics of discussion include the Reformation and the Civil War (1642-45). Fulfills humanities requirements.
- HIST 343. Women in Modern Africa
Credits: 4. Explores the changing roles of women in 20th-century Africa, with emphasis on Ghana and South Africa. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 383. Imperial China
Credits: 4. Explores Chinese history from the time of Confucius to the mid-19th century. Themes include the struggle for unification, the interplay between Confucian and Buddhist values, China’s relationship to nomadic peoples, the growth of despotism, social organization patterns and China’s artistic and scientific contributions to the world. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 384. China in Revolution
Credits: 4. Analyzes the causes of five revolutions in 19th- and 20th-century China. Topics include the impact of Western imperialism on China, peasant uprisings, the nationalist struggle for “strength and wealth,” the rise of communism and efforts to create a socialist utopia under Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung) (1949-1976). Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 385. Medieval Japan
Credits: 4. Analyzes Japan politics, society, economy and culture from 1550 to 1850. Issues include the evolution of the samurai ethic (bushido), the warriors’ relationship to the arts, the rise of cities and a lively urban culture and changes in rural life. Fulfills humanities and intercultural requirements.
- HIST 386. Japan: The Road to War
Credits: 4. Examines Japan from the 1850s, when Commodore Perry “opened” Japan, until the early 1950s, when the Allied Occupation of Japan formally ended. Issues include the impact of the Meiji Restoration on Japanese politics and society, the rise of imperialism and militarism, the Pacific War and the legacy of military defeat and foreign occupation. Fulfills intercultural requirement.
- HIST 400. Research Seminar
Credits: 4. An advanced research and writing course required of all history majors. Students select their own topics and, using primary sources, engage in a semester-long project, which culminates in an oral presentation. Enrollment limited to junior or senior history majors who have successfully completed two history courses at or above the 200 level at Guilford.
- HIST 470. Senior Thesis
Credits: 2-4. Research and writing of a scholarly monograph.
- HIST 490. Departmental Honors
Credits: 2-4. Honors and credit with grade of B or above; credit only for grade less than B.