History

  • JOE P. DUNN, chair
  • ANGELA E. ELDER
  • JEFFREY POELVOORDE
  • JOHN M. THEILMANN
  • EDWARD C. WOODFIN

Department Mission Statement

To develop students with the traditional liberal arts skills: to read and analyze challenging material within their discipline, to write coherently, and to articulate their views competently. Through this preparation, our students will have the skills to pursue graduate study in various fields or to enter the job market successfully.

Student Learning Outcomes for History Majors

Because no common core of specific content knowledge is expected, each student through the individual course curriculum that she selects will pursue a somewhat different path. However, whatever the mix of specific study in different time periods and geographical areas, she will develop the liberal arts skills designated in the department mission statement. We trust that each student enhances her capabilities in the learning outcomes as she gains experience through completion of individual courses. The department’s assessment of the fulfillment of the learning outcomes resides in the Senior Capstone Seminar in which each student is expected to validate that she can:

  1. Read and interpret historical material and demonstrate how a historian approaches the study of the past.
  2. Conduct historical research by formulating valid research questions, identifying source materials, organizing data, and completing an article-length paper that reflects proper documentation and citation practices.
  3. Demonstrate the oral skills to present and defend research conclusions in a presentation before peers.

Consistent with the emphasis on preparing students for graduate study in a diverse array of fields or for success in whatever vocational fields that they pursue, a secondary identification that reflects that the department’s mission statement is being achieved is the annual record of our students’ post undergraduate accomplishments. Traditionally our majors have pursued law, international diplomacy, public policy, public administration, business, public history, teaching at the secondary or college levels, the nonprofit sector, library science, and many other fields too numerous to list. The department maintains records of the next step in the life process for each member of each graduating class of majors.The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Fine Arts.

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course Capstone experience.

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

HST 100 : MAJOR TOPICS IN MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY

Examination of key issues in modern European history, such as the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, Marxism, Imperialism, the Russian Revolution, Stalin, Fascism, Cold War, and post-Cold War. Students who receive advanced placement exam credit in European history with a score of three or better may not enroll for credit in HST 100. AP hours do not count toward the minimum hours for a major or a minor.

Credits

3

HST 110 : WESTERN CIVILIZATION TO 1648

A broad survey of the early development of political, cultural, social and religious life in the West. Topics will include studies of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Rome; medieval Europe and the Middle East; and Europe during the Renaissance and Reformation. Students who receive advanced placement exam credit In European history with a score of three or better may not enroll for credit in HST 110. AP hours do not count toward the minimum hours for a major or a minor.

Credits

3

HST 115 : TOPICS IN COMPARATIVE HISTORY

A topics course in world history that may be taken more than once if the specific topic is decidedly different from previous options taken. Students who receive advanced placement credit in world history with a score of three or better may not enroll for credit in HST 115. Students with the same requisite scores on AP European history at the discretion of the department may be allowed to take HST 115 for credit. Three hours credit/Four credits in Jan Term. Students may count only two of the three 100-level courses on a history major or minor. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non Anglophone.

Credits

3

HST 125 : FIRST YEAR SEMINAR IN HISTORY

First-Year Seminars constitute a common and academically significant experience in a student’s first year at Converse University. All incoming first-year students are required to take a 3-credit hour FYS in the fall semester, choosing from a variety of discipline specific topics. Each FYS carries the corresponding departmental prefix, but with the common course number (except for designated honors sections). Each FYS course is designed to have no more than 18 students, and counts in some designated category of the General Education Program. Strong writing and speaking components are required elements of the course. A course on a special topic in history, designed to fulfill the FYS GEP requirement. Open only to freshmen. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

HST 199H : FRESHMAN HONORS SEMINAR

A study of a selected subject within the discipline which will vary from term to term. The course is designed to encourage student participation in the intellectual processes through class discussion, research and writing, special projects, problem solving and evaluation and defense of positions. When the subject matter duplicates that of another course, credit toward graduation will be granted for only one of the courses. Offered periodically in fall in rotation with seminars in other disciplines.

Credits

3

HST 201 : AMERICAN HISTORY

A survey of US History from colonial times to the present. HST 201 deals with the period before 1877. The department accepts AP credit. AP credits do not count toward minimum hours for a major or minor. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

HST 202 : AMERICAN HISTORY

A survey of US History from colonial times to the present. HST 202 deals with the period after 1877. The department accepts AP credit. AP credits do not count toward minimum hours for a major or minor. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

HST 291 : SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISTORY

A course on a special topic not in the regular curriculum. HST 291 courses will introduce the methods of inquiry, analysis, and interpretation used in the discipline of history. If the topic is different, the course may be taken more than once. 

Credits

3 - 4

HST 299H : INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS COURSE

This course is team taught by members in two departments and is open to Nisbet Honors Program participants and to others who meet Honors Program guidelines. All students registering for these courses must register not only through the Honors Program but also with their adviser and the Registrar’s Office.

Credits

3

HST 303 : STUDY TRAVEL

The educational experience of a lifetime! A course on a special historical topic with an exciting travel component.  See firsthand the places where history happened.  HST 303 courses will introduce the methods of inquiry, analysis, and interpretation used in the discipline of history.  If the topic is different, the course may be taken more than once. Depending on the topic, the course may also satisfy the Non-European, Non-Anglophone North America GEP requirement and/or Women’s College designation.

Credits

1 - 6

HST 330 : THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE

A study of a selection of Shakespeare’s plays within the context of Tudor and early Stuart history. In addition to class lectures and discussions, students will attend productions of the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and Stratford and visit sites connected with the history of the time. Cross-listed with ENG 330. Offered in the London Term.

Credits

3

HST 361 : THE MIDDLE AGES

A general survey of the Middle Ages from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance. Emphasis will be upon political, institutional, ecclesiastical and cultural history. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

HST 362 : NATIONALISM, IMPERIALISM, AND WORLD WAR I

An examination of the era surrounding the First World War. The course will include a study of Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, concentrating on the rising power of nationalism and the drive for world conquest that is known as the New Imperialism. It will also focus on the war itself, from its causes to its conduct to its thunderous significance in shaping the modern world. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

HST 365 : PROBLEMS IN BRITISH HISTORY

Several topics will be selected for study in depth. Among these will be the historical evolution of the British parliamentary system, the Irish question in British history, and an investigation of the current political and economic situation. The selection of topics will vary during successive offerings. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

HST 366 : BRITISH EMPIRE AND COMMONWEALTH

A history of the British Empire in America, Asia, Africa and Australia/New Zealand. Also qualifies as non- Western/World history. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

HST 375 : THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

A study of the historical background of the Vietnam War with assessment of the American experience in Vietnam. Emphasis is on Vietnam as a case study in the American foreign policy/national security process. Attention is given to the “lessons of Vietnam” and its role in assessing contemporary military conflicts. Cross-listed with POL 375. Also qualifies as non- Western major and Non-European/non-Anglophone. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

HST 409 : POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN FILM

This is a course on political violence and genocide in the 20th century as depicted in film. This course focuses on very disturbing material, including institutional, personal, sexual, and other forms of violence.

Obviously, it is not for those who cannot handle this excessive violence.

Credits

3

HST 420 : MODERN RUSSIAN HISTORY AND POLITICS

A political history of the evolution of Russia from the early 19th century through the present and an analysis of contemporary Russian politics and foreign policy. Attention is also given to the contemporary politics of countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

Credits

3

HST 425 : AMERICAN WEST

A survey of the era of European and American settlement, conquest and early development of the American West, from the sixteenth century to the early 20th century. Topics will include explorations; the experience of Native American peoples; the world of trappers, cowboys, miners and wagon trains; and the impact of settlement on the environment.

Credits

3

HST 430 : THE SOUTH SINCE 1877

A study of history of the Southern United States in the so-called New South period--the years from Reconstruction to the present. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

HST 442 : THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

A study of the black civil rights movement from the early 1950s through the 1970s and beyond. Cross-listed with POL 442.

Credits

3

HST 455 : AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

A study of the institutions and functioning of foreign policy/national security decision-making as well as selected topics of the Cold War and contemporary events. Cross-listed with POL 455. Offered on demand. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

HST 460 : PUBLIC HISTORY

A survey of best practices in public history, both as a career and field of study. Travel fees may apply.

Credits

3

HST 470 : ISLAMIC AND MIDDLE EAST POLITICS

An introduction to Islamic politics and to the comparative and developmental issues of the Arab world and the larger Middle East. The approach will be historical as well as contemporary. Cross-listed with POL 470 and REL 470. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non- Anglophone.

Credits

3

HST 473 : IMPERIALISM AND FILM

This course is a seminar that uses epic films to open up discussion of the history of modern imperialism. Watching a mixture of Hollywood and foreign films, students will read about imperialism and analyze both colonies and colonizers in light of their screen depictions. Topics may include methods of colonization, the role of technology in imperialism, the roles of women in colonies, and/or indigenous cooperation and resistance.

Credits

3 - 4

HST 474 : THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

A study of the modern conflict over the region of Palestine. The course will examine the religious, cultural, and historical background of the combatants; the troubled heritage of the Ottoman and British Empires in the region; Zionism; terrorism and counter-terrorism; the establishment and expansion of the state of Israel; the wars between Arabs and Israelis; the experience and resistance of Palestinian Arabs; and attempts to make peace. Non-European/non-Anglophone credit.

Credits

3

HST 477 : COLONIAL LATIN AMERICA

A study of Latin America from its pre-Columbian origins to the collapse of the Spanish Empire in the 1820s. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non-Anglophone

Credits

3

HST 480 : SENIOR SEMINAR

A course in methodology, research, and writing for history and politics majors. Students will write a senior thesis in the course. Cross-listed with POL 480. Offered annually in Fall Term. A student must have a 2.0 GPA in the major to enroll in this course. Capstone.

Credits

3

HST 491 : SPECIAL TOPICS IN HISTORY

A course on a special topic not in the regular curriculum. If the topic is different, the course may be taken more than once for credit. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

HST 496 : INTERNSHIP IN APPLIED HISTORY

Internships in archival administration, museum curatorship, management of historic properties, and historical restoration. Offered on demand. Pass/fail grading.

Prerequisites

Permission of the department.