HI 101. Western Civilization I (3)
This course explores the origins of Western Civilization in the ancient Near East and North Africa, its development in Greece and Rome, and its adaptations in the medieval period—with a particular focus on the Catholic and Benedictine contributions to the creation of a Western identity.
HI 102. Western Civilization II (3)
This course explores the major developments in Western Civilization from 1450 to the present. In particular, the course focuses on the connections between structural transformations and historical events in the areas of economics, politics, social institutions, and culture—including conceptions and depictions of a meaningful life, particularly from the perspective of the Catholic and Benedictine tradition.
HI 201. United States History: 1492-1865 (3)
A survey of the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural development of the United States to the end of the American Civil War.
HI 202. United States History: 1865-Present (3)
A survey of the political, social, economic, religious, and cultural development of the United States from Reconstruction to the present.
HI300. Introduction to Digital Humanities (3)
This course introduces students to the Digital Humanities, or the the integration of digital methods to approach history, literature, theology, philosophy, theatre, and art. The purpose of this approach is to study these disciplines in innovative ways, and to reach broad audiences beyond the classroom. In this course students will survey the practices, methods, and philosophies of the Digital Humanities, and participate in designing a Digital Humanities project. Previous coursework in computer science is not required.
HI 301. Historiography (3)
This course investigates the discipline of history itself and encourages students to think about their roles as academic historians. In the first part of the course, students will study the philosophy, uses and methods of the discipline. Thereafter, they will discuss the major historiographical schools and styles that have influenced the discipline since the nineteenth century through engaging with the great works that defined them.
HI 302. Special Topics (3)
HI304. Human Prehistory (3)
Prehistory generally refers to the time before writing was invented and practiced. This course is an introductory survey of Old World Prehidstory (Africa, Asia, and Europe) that begins with Paleoanthropology (the interdisciplinary study of human origins) and extends from the beginnings of archaeological traces (ca. 2.5 million years ago) to the beginnings of agriculture and pastoralism (last 10,000 years). Students will be presented with material that will allow them to fully understand the context and history of humankind leading to the modern condition.
HI 306. Socrates vs. Confucius: (3)
Comparative Political Cultures in World History
This course compares how different political cultures have emerged in world history, and the role of philosophy, art, and social structures in shaping these cultures. The two political cultures examined in depth are the Athenian democracy of ancient Greece through Plato’s Republic and the Ming dynasty of 16th century China through The Analects of Confucius. In exploring these texts, students will participate in the Reacting to the Past curriculum which uses debate and competition to increase students’ understanding of historical events.
HI 313. The History of the American South I: 1000-1865
The course examines the history of the American South from the pre-Columbian period to the end of the American Civil War. Students will examine the structures of Native American societies in the South, the impact of European colonization, the expansion of the United States into the region, the development of slavery, and the causes and course of the Civil War.
HI 314. The History of the American South II: 1865-Present
The course examines the history of the American South from the Reconstruction period to the early 21st century. Students will examine the efforts to restructure the region after the American Civil War, the emergence of Jim Crow, efforts to modernize the region during the Great Depression and World War II, the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, and the transformation of the region in the late 20th century.
HI 320: Leaders and Leadership in the Pre-Modern World (3)
This course will examine theories and examples of leadership from the ancient and medieval worlds. Beginning with a discussion of what the Rule of St. Benedict has to say about the subject, especially in its depiction of the role and duties of the abbot, the course then survey texts from a variety of pre-modern cultures, including ancient Greece and Rome, medieval Europe, and non-Western cultures such as ancient China. The examples to be surveyed will be drawn from the political, religious and cultural realms and will reflect a wide range of attitudes towards leadership, while maintaining a link with the Benedictine ideal outlined in the Rule and other texts. Students will learn about different theories of leadership, about successful leaders and their leadership styles, and about both the qualities of good leadership that have remained constant over time and those that have changed. Finally, they will consider how best they might embody leadership qualities in their own personal and professional lives.
HI 321: Leaders and Leadership in Modern History (3)
A continuation of HI320, this course examines leaders and leadership theory in the modern world. In addition to examples drawn from the worlds of religion, culture and politics, this course will include case studies of leaders and leadership in the business world, looking at figures who have revolutionized individual corporations and the economy at large. In doing so, it will examine the continuing relevance in the twenty-first century of the Benedictine ideal of leadership as outline in the Rule, and will provide students with a foundation upon which they will be able to build their own leadership style.
HI 328. The Roman Empire (3)
A study of the key historical developments that shaped the transition from Roman Republic to the Empire un Augustus Caesar, the establishment of Christianity within the Empire, and the decline of Imperial Roman government in the West. The course will explore the organization and culture of Roman society and the state, and the legacy of Imperial Rome today, through a focus on the reigns of selected emperors and the literature (in translation) and artifacts of the period.
HI 329. The Roman Republic (3)
A study of the key historical developments that shaped the form and expansion of the power of Rome from the city's founding to the collapse of the Republic. The course will explore the organization and culture of Roman society and the state, and the legacy of the Roman Republic today, through a focus on selected key figures and the literature (in translation) and artifacts of the period.
HI332. The Hollow Years: 1919-1939 (3)
This course is a global examination of the twenty-years between World War One and Two, an era of crisis and anxiety during which Europe and the United States experienced economic chaos and political extremism alon with social tumult and cultural exuberance. In addition to political and economic sources, we will use music, film, art, and literature from the period in an attempt to experience the era as directly as possible.
HI 333. World War II (3)
This course explores the impact of the World War II on global history, focusing on the political, social, and military dimensions of this conflict in both Europe and the Pacific. The course will examine the war from both the perspectives of the conflict’s notable political and military leaders, as well as the experiences of ordinary soldiers and civilians.
HI 334. Religion and Revolution in Early America (3)
This course examines colonial America through two important historical moments: the trial of Anne Hutchinson in the Puritan Boston (1637-1638), and the outbreak of the American Revolution in New York City (1775-1776). Each of these historical episodes highlights important issues concerning the role of religion and government in American society, and the changing meaning of freedom in American history. In exploring these events, students will participate in the Reacting to the Past curriculum, which employs student debate and competition to explore the past.
HI 335. Old Regime France (3)
This course examines French history from the establishment of the Bourbon dynasty in 1589, through its rise by 1700 to a position as the most powerful state in Europe, to its demise in 1789.
HI 340. Modern France (3)
This course surveys the history of France from the French Revolution to the present, and balancing attention to political and social developments with an interest in French culture.
HI 342. Hard in the Paint: Art and Society in European Culture
Over the course of the “long nineteenth century” painters were in the thick of debates over the direction of European society and culture, often attracting controversy and criticism on all sides. To be an artist necessitated a clear vision of what one wanted to achieve in the face of sometimes aggressive confrontation. Regardless of ideological persuasion, artists had to “go hard in the paint.” This course will examine and analyze the various movements of artistic expression in Europe from a late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries as a means of exploring shifting ideas about politics and government, economics and social class, family structures and human relationships, and religion and philosophies of human fulfillment.
HI343. Van Gogh and Gauguin: The Primal and the Eternal in Modernity
This course will explore how two painters redefined the purpose of art and the artist through their quests to discover the primal and the eternal within the personal and the individual, in the process helping to create the culture of modernity.
HI 350. The History of the Benedictine Tradition
This course examines the origins of the Benedictine tradition in late antiquity and its development to the modern period. The primary focus is on the prominence of the Benedictines during the medieval period, the “Benedictine centuries” as they are sometimes known, and on their coming to the United States in the nineteenth century. Throughout, we will place the Benedictine tradition in its social, cultural, political and religious context in order to better understand how it both shaped and was, in turn, shaped by the wider world in which it existed.
HI 351. Eating and Drinking in the Ancient and Medieval History
Food and drink are essential elements of life, and the experience of eating and drinking is one that we share with all other humans, past and present. But what we eat and drink, how it is produced, and how we consume it have all changed over time. For example, mice in the kithcen today would be considered cause for concern, but to the ancient Romans who stuffed and roasted them they were considered a delicacy. For these reasons, examining the history of eating and drinking provides insight into both the universality and diversity of the human experience. This course will examine the historical development of food production and consumption from the Agricultural Revolution that produced the first sedentary cultures (c. 10,000 BC) to the end of the medieval period (c.1500 AD), focusing on literary, artistic, and archaeological sources. We will discuss what kinds of things people ate and drank, how they acquired them, and the social and cultural rituals associated with eating and drinking.
HI 355. The Vikings: from Pagan Pirates to Christian Princes
The Vikings announced their arrival in Western Europe with a series of debilitating raids on Britain, Ireland and the continent in the late eighth and ninth centuries. They struck terror into the hearts of Latin Christendom’s record-keepers, the monks, whose monasteries were so often the Vikings’ primary targets. To this day, the Vikings are remembered as pirates and marauders, as pillagers and plunderers, yet they were so much more than that. As explorers, merchants, colonizers and mercenaries, they represented a complex civilization whose impact can be detected from North America to Baghdad. In this course we will examine the Vikings’ home societies as well as their interactions with foreign peoples through trade and through warfare. We will seek to understand the impact of the Vikings on the regions to which they travelled and how contact with foreign societies changed the culture of the Vikings’ homelands, most especially through their conversion to Christianity. The course will be framed around a series of primary sources that will include the material culture of the Vikings, their sagas and a variety of other documents.
HI 360. The Crusades
The Crusades were a series of wars that began in the late eleventh century. Kings, nobles and commoners; Christians, Jews and Muslims; all felt the impact of the Crusading movement that lasted in various forms into the early modern period. This course will discuss the history of the Crusades from their origins in the Latin West through the establishment of Crusader states in the Holy Land in the twelfth century to the gradual collapse of the Crusading movement in the later medieval period. We will examine the theories of just and holy war that underlay the idea of the Crusades, the identities of those who participated, their goals, and how the experience of Crusading was played out East and West. Finally, since the Crusading knight is one of the most iconic images of the medieval period, we will draw the semester to a close by looking at modern perceptions of the Crusades in both the Christian and Muslim worlds.
HI 375. Africa Since 1400
This introductory course surveys major movements and historical problems in the development of the civilizations of Africa from pre-colonial times to the twenty-first century. The story of independent African kingdoms and empires will be emphasized and the impact of Islam will receive attention. Changes since 1500 will be considered against the backdrop of challenges from abroad—including European colonialism, westernization, and above all, the Atlantic slave trade—but it is the initiatives and responses of Africans and the evolution of African institutions which will occupy center stage. The course also will attempt to relate recent events in Africa, particularly those affecting economic development and the environment, to the historical past to underscore important problems facing Africa and the world in the twenty-first century. The ultimate objectives are to broaden the understanding of the African continent and its peoples, and, from this, to inculcate an appreciation for the richness of African history and cultures.
HI376. Continental Africa on Film
This course will explore the history of Africa since 1945 through the viewing of films by African directors such as Ousmane Sembene, Abderrahmane Sissako, Rachid Bouchareb, and Michelle Bello.
HI 380. Antislavery in the Atlantic World
This course will explore the ideas, practices, interactions, and legacies of African, American, and European movements to end slavery in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
HI 385. The Cold War
This course explores the origins, evolution, and impact of the Cold War on world history, spanning from 1945 to 1992. In particular, the course focuses on the political, social, cultural, and military dimensions of this global conflict, focusing particularly on the United States and the Soviet Union. The course will examine this period’s notable political and diplomatic controversies, and assess the profound impact of the Cold War on American culture.
HI 399. Americans in Paris
This course explores the breadth and scope of Americans’ relationship with France and, in particular, its capital city, Paris. The objective is to probe the various images Americans have created of Paris as a place of happiness, intrigue, and enmity and examine how and why these images were created.
HI 401W. Senior Thesis
This seminar is designed to prepare history majors for the senior thesis. The seminar will discuss research skills and methodologies essential for completion of the thesis, and explore research resources useful in obtaining access to primary and secondary sources. Students will demonstrate their mastery of these skills by the completing the senior thesis and presenting their research findings to the seminar and the college community.
HI 404. Early Christian Ireland
This course explores the social, cultural and political history of Ireland from the time of St Patrick to the dawn of the English invasion in the twelfth century. Through an examination of a series of primary sources, such as annals, saints’ lives and law tracts, we will discuss some of the great themes of early Irish history. These topics will include the conversion of Ireland to Christianity, the Golden Age of Irish monasticism, the impact of the Viking wars on Irish society and the context of the English invasion in the twelfth century. We will try to understand the unique nature of Ireland’s Celtic culture while also acknowledging the place of Ireland within the European context.
HI 405. Christianity and Colonialism
This course will examine in detail the role Christianity played in the development of the European empires from 1500-1950. Topics to be covered include: missionaries, definitions of conversion, encounters with other religions, relationships with the secular state, conflicts between Christian confessions, definitions of “civilization,” gender roles and identities, critiques of colonialism, converts and their roles, martyrs, utopias, and contemporary legacies.
HI 411. Modern Britain Since 1945
A study of some key themes in British political, social and cultural life in the years between 1945 and 2001. The course will focus particularly on: the evolution of Britain’s “unwritten: constitution and the role of the monarch in a parliamentary democracy; emergence of the Welfare State; the Special Relationship with the United States during the Cold War years; growing secularization, and the cultural revolution that took place in the Sixties and Seventies; the impact of immigration on British society; the government of Margaret Thatcher; and Tony Blair’s “Cool Britannia.”
HI 412. The Civil Rights Movement in America
This course examines the impact of the Civil Rights Movement in American history. In particular, the course explores the origins of this movement, the movement’s leadership and organization, the movement’s successes and shortcomings, and how the movement influenced other aspects of American society. This course will focus on the notable icons of the civil rights era, as well as the experiences of ordinary citizens advocating social change.
rituals for coping with the end of life, and ways in which the experience of death has been used to promote identity and order in Western societies.
HI 413. Nation of Nations: Immigration in American History
In the introduction to his 1855 masterpiece, Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman hailed the contributions of immigrants to make America "not merely a nation but a teeming nation of nations." This course examines the creation of our "nation of nations" by focusing on the impact of immigration on American history. The course will study the major waves of immigration that remade America from the colonial period to the present. The course will also explore the varied experiences of the ethnicities that arrived to America's borders and the social, cultural, and political reactions to their arrival. The course will also feature the contributions of immigrants to American society through music, popular culture, and cuisine.
HI 415. Edmund Burke, “Enlightenment,” and Modern Revolution
This course will consider the American and French revolutions of the late eighteenth century from the perspective of contemporary European thinkers such as Edmund Burke, Tom Paine, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. How similar did these revolutions appear to Europeans, in their origins and aims, and what was their longer-term effect on politics, religion, and society in Modern Europe?
HI 416. Vietnam Wars
The struggle for Vietnam occupies a central place in the history of the twentieth century. This course will put that struggle in its broadest context, looking at the wars that have involved Vietnam, beginning with early conflicts with China, conquest by France, World War II clashes with Japan, decolonization battles with France, war with the United States, the occupation of Cambodia and Laos, and continuing skirmishes with China. In addition to studying the historical narrative of these events, the course will focus on global economic, political, social, and cultural consequences of these Vietnam wars.
HI 452. Internship
Provides an opportunity to apply historical techniques while working in museums, archives, landmarks, libraries and other institutions, both on and off campus.
HI 498. Directed Readings (3)
HI 499. Independent Study (3)