Spring 2018 Course Offerings

HIST 101: Introduction to Historical Thinking and Analysis

History “Boot Camp.” Provides an introduction to the discipline and craft of history and prepares majors for the senior research and methods seminar. Explores a particular area of historical study and teaches the fundamentals of historical inquiry – theoretical and practical. Take early in your first semester as a history major!

Section 1: The Mutiny on HMS Bounty, Jonathan Chu, MWF, 9-9:50 AM

*Requires an (easy) exceptions form and signature to satisfy US history breadth requirements. This section focuses upon a celebrated eighteenth-century mutiny to introduce students to the analytical skills and essay writing unique to the study of history. The Bounty mutiny, celebrated in a novel and three films,  illustrates the consequences of the American Revolution, cultural interaction in the South Pacific, scientific inquiry, and the reform of the British Navy. We will examine multiple texts—the usual primary and secondary written texts as well as film and historical novels. 

Section 2: Cheese Wars, Julie Winch, MWF, 2-2:50 PM

*Requires an (easy) exceptions form and signature to satisfy breadth requirements. What do the following have in common: King George III, fake news, religious toleration, a dozen U.S. presidents, the worst poet in Canadian history, giant maggots, gold sovereigns, World’s Fairs, and a 200-year-old international rivalry? Find out and you will never look at cheese in the same way again.

HIST 115L: Survey of Contemporary Asia

Sana Haroon, MW 12-12:50 PM; Friday online

International Diversity/World Cultures Asian History This course explores the cultures of empire in modern South Asian history from the 17th to the 20th century, with corresponding attention to the impact of imperial governance on the human experience of food production, consumption and trade. This course is a gateway for the Asian Studies major and for the History major.

HIST 125: Jerusalem: Sacred Space, Contested Space

Jason von Ehrenkrook, MWF, 10-10:50 AM

Pre-1800 History Requirement. This course traces the history of Jerusalem from the Bronze Age to the present. Using a sampling of relevant primary sources (e.g., literary, archaeological, iconographical), students will study the political, physical, and conceptual development of this urban space through its multiple destructions and reconstructions, considering especially the emergence of Jerusalem as a sacred space for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

*HIST 173: America’s National Pastime: The History of Baseball

Enroll in History 396; the change to the course number will be in Wiser in December

HIST 175: Comic Books in America: The History of Comic Books and American Society

Timothy Hacsi MWF 12-12:50 PM

US History requirement. Comics, from Wonder Woman to the Guardians of the Galaxy, have been shaped by American society and have in turn shaped popular culture, and are at times Very Serious Literature.  Take the class and learn more!

HIST 210: Labor and Working Class History in the United States

Steve Striffler, TuTh, 11 AM-12:15 PM

US History requirement. This course examines the history of labor and working people in the US from the colonial period to the present. It explores the diversity of work and working-class experiences, the history of labor movements, labor conflicts, and the larger processes of social, economic, and political change that have affected work and workers.

HIST 211: Foundations of Western Civilization

Maryann Brink, Online

European History/ Pre-1800 History requirement. This course uses case studies to survey European history from the 12th century BCE to 1650, especially politics, cultural history, and the ways the legacy of antiquity was understood and appropriated by later ages.

HIST 212: Modern Western Civilization

Matteo Casini, Online

European History requirement. This course explores how the term “Western Civilization” has been defined and redefined over the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries.

HIST 213: World History to 1800

Pre-1800 History requirement. “Around the World in Sixteen Weeks”: from Blombos, Africa to the Tang Dynasty, from Mauryan India to the Incan Empire, from the American and French Revolutions to the Haitian Revolution and Bolivar in South America. Don't'll miss a decade!

Section 01: Maryann Brink, Online

World history is as old as humanity itself. This course explores its contours as a coherent, vital field from human origins to the nineteenth century. Topics include environmental and economic change; the origins of societies and states; gender relations and women's roles; slavery, resistance and emancipation; the Atlantic and Industrial Revolutions; and the early phases of globalization. Special attention goes to working with primary sources, with invigorating walking tours in Boston.

Section 02: Thomas Johnson, W, 6-9 PM – Copley Square


HIST 214: Modern World History

Social & Behavioral Sciences/ International Diversity. This class will explore world history during the past two centuries, concentrating on the transformation and modernization of the traditional, hierarchical, rural society of Europe during the period of the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, and the interaction between western and non-western societies.

Section 1: Gary Miller, MWF, 11-11:50 AM

Section 1C: Gary Miller, Copley Sq., M, 6-9 PM 

Section 02: Jennifer Susan Sutton, Online


HIST 230: Ancient Egypt

Kellee Barnard MWF 11–11:50AM

World Cultures requirement/ Pre-1800 History. This course examines the cultures of ancient Egypt from the period of its first political organization (c. 3200 BCE) until the death of its last true pharaoh, Queen Cleopatra VII, and the country’s first years as a Roman colony in the 1st century BCE. 

HIST 256: Skyscrapers and Shantytowns: Latin America Since 1800

Benjamin Johnson, MWF, 10-10:50 AM

International Diversity requirement/ Latin American History. Charts modern Latin American history with a focus on social and cultural histories, covering postcolonial independence, social movements, abolition, developmentalism, neoliberalism, and human rights. Special attention will be granted to contextualizing indigenous histories, women's histories, revolutions, and rural-urban migrations.

HIST 263: Modern American Indian Social and Political History: From the American Revolution to Standing Rock

Maria John, TuTh, 9:30-10:45 AM

US History requirement. This course examines the varied historical experiences of American Indians from the time of the American Revolution (as well as Native Hawaiians and Alaska Natives)  to the present, with a special focus on the 20th century. The course will examine the ways Native peoples in the U.S. acted in history, adapting and responding to the host of stresses that accompanied the rapid and often violent social, cultural, and environmental transformations of recent centuries. 

HIST 265: American History before 1877

Meaghan Duff, Online

Humanities requirement/ US History/ Pre-1800 History. Covers the European settlement of North America, its impact on American Indians, and  the development of the United States as well as its emergence as a modern nation.

HIST 266: American History since 1877

Humanities requirement/ US History. From the Civil War and Reconstruction through urbanization, immigration, industrialization. American imperialism and rise to world power cycles of  economic change and the Great Depression World Wars and Cold War worldwide and  domestically; wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; modern US culture. 

Section 01: Keven Hoskins, MWF, 10-10:50 AM

Section 02: Lisa Vox, Online


HIST 290G: Globalization in Historical Perspective: Food & Empire

Heidi Gengenbach, TTh 12:30-1:45 PM

This seminar addresses the history of globalization since 1500 through the lens of food and empire. Drawing on interdisciplinary studies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia, it explores the relationship between food and power in world history—and why we eat what we do today.

HIST 301L: Ancient Greek History

Kellee Barnard, Online

Pre-1800 History. Surveys the origin, rise and development of ancient Greek civilization from the arrival of the Greeks in Europe until the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC with emphasis on the rise and of palace culture, the emergence of the Greek city-state and the spread of Greek culture to the East.

HIST 316: Europe Since 1945

Spencer Di Scala, Online

European History requirement. Examines Europe’s recovery from the devastation of World War II, cultural, social, and political trends in West and East Europe, the fall of communism, and the development of the European Union.

HIST 324: Russia and the Soviet Union: From the 1917 Revolution to Putin 

Kevin Murphy, TuTh, 8-9:15 AM

European History requirement. How did the 1914 revolutionary movement that promised social and economic equality transform into such a brutally oppressive system under Stalin? How did the Soviet Union become a superpower and what were the reasons for its downfall? Through the use of primary documents, this course will answer these questions and emphasize social history: the ideals, aspirations, and actions of ordinary Soviet citizens.

HIST 334: Italy Since 1815

Spencer Di Scala, Online

European History requirement. The most significant events in modern Italian history including the Resorgimento, the Giolittian Era, the rise and fall of Fascism, the Republic, and the growth of terrorism.

HIST 359L: Women in Modern China

Judith Babbitts Online

International Diversity/ World Cultures requirement/Asian History. This course examines the social and cultural roles of Chinese women, and their changes over time. Emphasis is given to twentieth-century China, especially the People's Republic period.

HIST 363L: Modern Japan

Pamela Novick, Online

International Diversity requirement/ Asian History. Introduces students to the social, political, and economic developments in Japan, as it transformed from the quasi-feudal, isolationist society of 1850, to a modern, industrialized Japan.  Our study of social history considers the commonalities, but also the diversity of opinion, lifestyles and goals among the people of modern Japan.

HIST 365: Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in Modern History

Sana Haroon, MW, 2-2:50 PM, F online

Asian History requirement. In 1979, revolutionary change in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan marked the beginning of a new era of politics and religion in western Asia. Some referred to this year as the Islamic Millennium. 

HIST 386: Native American Health in Historical Perspective

Maria John, TuTh 2-3:15 PM

US History requirement. How do historians address Native American health? How have ideas about Native health and illness reflected broader attitudes and values in American life? This lecture class seeks to understand developments in the history of Native American health, healthcare, and policy in the context of concomitant social and political changes and against a backdrop of settler colonialism.

HIST 396: America’s National Pastime: The History of Baseball

Note: We are changing this course to History 196, so we do not recommend taking it to meet a 300-level requirement. As History 196, it will meet the History major elective. The change will be in Wiser by December.

Vincent Cannato, MWF 11-11:50 AM

US History requirement. Baseball has been dubbed “America's Pastime.” This course will trace the history of the sport from its mid-nineteenth-century origins to the present day. Among the themes we will be discussing: the struggles between labor and capital; the effects of urbanization and industrialization; demographic changes such as immigration and geographic shifts in population; the legacy of racial segregation and race relations; the effects of scandals and corruption; and the role of statistics to measure the interpret the game.

HIST 481: Research & Methods

Capstone course focused on research and writing and the production of an independent research project. As with HIST 101, each section focuses on a different historical problem. Take in your last semester or two.

Section 01: Conquests of Mexico, Benjamin Johnson, MWF, 8-8:50 AM

*Requires an (easy) exceptions form and signature to satisfy Latin American History breadth requirements. In this research and methods capstone course, you will draw together the skills you have learned as a History major as you complete a substantial research essay. You will define a major research theme, orient yourself in relation to the relevant historiography, conduct primary research, and write an argumentative paper. As a way to illustrate many of these themes, we will also study the history and historiography of the Conquest of Mexico.

Section 02: Social History of American Religions, Roberta Wollons, TTh, 4-5:15 PM

In this section we will study the history and historiography of American religions. The course will not emphasize theology, but rather religious identities and communities over time. In America, there are many kinds of Christianities along with a broad diversity of non-Christian belief systems. We will explore such topics as how historians have puzzled over the early Puritans, the fervent utopian and communitarian experiments of the antebellum and civil rights eras, women in religion, the range of religious diversity, and the ever evolving controversies over the separation of church and state. 

HIST 487: Cooperative Education/ Internship

If you find an internship – a training opportunity with academic content –you can work with an advisor in History to gain academic credit.  Check the internships bulletin board outside the History Department main office, McCormack 4/623.  

HIST 488/489: Independent Reading


HIST 490: Honors Theses 

If you are interested but not clear about the requirements, please speak to Professor Haroon for more information about enrolling in 487, 488/489 or 490

Questions about undergraduate courses? Contact the History Undergraduate Program Director, Professor Sana Haroon:




Check out this helpful list of course offerings in History organized by theme



Course Sequence

Students declaring their History major should take History 101 as soon as possible. They should also take one or two survey courses before moving on to 300-level courses. Below is a complete list of undergraduate courses in History. We expect to be adding a number of new courses over the next few years, and this list will be updated to reflect those new courses.

Courses in History

Below is a full list of course offerings in History