Fall 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: Comparative Slavery and Freedom, Benjamin Johnson, MWF, 9-9:50 AM

*Requires an (easy) exceptions form and signature to satisfy US history breadth requirements. 

Section 2: The United States in the 1960s, Vincent Cannato, TuTh, 2-3:15 PM

*Requires an (easy) exceptions form and signature to satisfy breadth requirements. 

HIST 171: Leaches to Lasers: Medicine and Health in the United States

Olivia Weisser, TuTh, 11AM-12:15 PM

US History requirement. This course examines changing ideas about health and healing, epidemics, and illness from the colonial era to the 1900s. The course is designed for science majors and those who intend to enter the health professions, as well as for history majors. 

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

Timothy Hacsi, MWF, 11-11:50 AM

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 180: Family Secrets, or How to Become an Online History Detective

Julie Winch, MWF, 1-1:50 PM                                            

This is your chance to start researching your family. If you don’t want to look at your family, learn how to find out about a famous person or event. If you simply enjoy the challenge of hunting for information online, this course will allow you to develop your research skills as we explore a wide range of primary documents from the United States and beyond. I cannot guarantee that you will find your entire family history (or anyone else’s) online, but you will learn to become a “history detective.”    

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

Steve Striffler, TuTh, 9:30-10:45 AM

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, MWF, 2-2:50 PM

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

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.

Section 01: Camille Weiss, TuTh, 8-9:15 AM

Section 01C: Matteo Casini, Online

Section 02C: Matteo Casini, MWF, 2-2:50 PM

HIST 213: World History to 1800

Pre-1800 History requirement. 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 1C: 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, TuTh, 4-5:15 PM

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

HIST 224G: Revolutionaries

David Hunt, MWF, 1-1:50 PM

This course will analyze the costs and achievements of the Soviet experiment from the Russian Revolution of 1917 to the disappearance of the Soviet Union in 1991, with additional attention to offshoots of international communism in Cuba and the post-Soviet Russian Republic from 1991 to the present.

HIST 230L: Ancient Egypt

Kellee Barnard, MWF, 10-10:50 AM

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 251: South Asia and the India Ocean World: Trade, Labor, and Capital from 1800

Sana Haroon, TuTh, 2-3:15 PM

World Culture Distribution. This course will study two regions: the Indian Ocean region (which includes Southern and Eastern Africa, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, and parts of South East Asia) and the influence of South Asia in the creation of systems of state, and the circulation of goods, labor and capital through this region over two hundred years.

HIST 262: American Indian History to 1783

Maria John, MWF, 12-12:50 PM

Examines the histories of indigenous peoples of North America from their perspective, from the peopling of the Americas to indigenous North Americans’ engagement with global markets, diplomacy, and competing empires.

HIST 265: American History before 1877

Lisa Vox, 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: Timothy Hacsi, MWF, 10-10:50 AM

Section 02: Meaghan Duff, Online

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

Heidi Gengenbach, TTh 2-3:15 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 302L: Roman History

Kellee Barnard, Online

*Pre-Requisite: One 200-level or higher Classics course or one 200-level History course or permission of the instructor. This course focuses on the Roman state from its origins until the triumph of Christianity from about 700 BC to 300 AD. Republic and Empire receive equal attention. CLSICS 302L and HIST 302L are the same course. 

HIST 305: Later Middle Ages: Europe 1000-1450

Maryann Brink, Online

By the year 1000, Europe was a collection of fractious and fragile governments, a scattered population, few towns (with mostly barter economies) and frequent wars, but in the space of a few hundred years, forged a civilization that has been able to impose its culture on the rest of the planet.

HIST 326: Hitler, A Man and His Times

Paul Bookbinder, TuTh, 11-12:15 AM

In a century of powerful demagogues Hitler, charismatic, brutal, and consumed by hatred, was the individual who had the greatest influence on the course of the twentieth century.

HIST 330: The French Revolution

David Hunt, MWF 10-10:50 AM

The French Revolution shook every hierarchy: kings over subjects, lords over peasants, planters over slaves, men over women. It invented the Left and the Right in politics. It affirmed the principle of popular sovereignty with an unprecedented vehemence and specificity, and it provoked bloody civil and international conflicts. This course will explore its disputed legacy.

HIST 346: Women and Gender in African History

Heidi Gengenbach, TuTh,9:30-10:45 AM

African History. This course explores how gender shapes the lives of women and men in African history, and how women’s voices and experiences challenge stereotypes of Africa’s past. Drawing on life stories, fiction, and film, along with documents from precolonial and colonial times, the class will examine debates around sexuality, slavery, colonialism, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and civil war from a gender perspective.

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 364: India Since 1857

Sana Haroon, TuTh, 12:30-1:45 PM

International Diversity/World Cultures. This course introduces students to the study of territorial governance and cohesion of colonial India under British rule, and the subsequent rise of religious difference and the evolution of political systems resulting in the partition of the subcontinent upon decolonization in 1947.

HIST 380: The United States since 1945

Vincent Cannato, TuTh, 12:30-1:45 PM

This course examines American politics and culture from the end of World War II to the present.

HIST 388: American Soldiers in American Wars: History and Memory

Kevin Hoskins, TuTh, 9:30-10:45 AM

This course places the experiences, perspectives, and memories of American soldiers at the center of a historical study of U.S. wars from the Civil War to modern military conflicts. After covering the basic history of each war/conflict, the course will cover various historical interpretations of their origins and causes. The course will place great emphasis on understanding the lived experiences of American soldiers through their journals, letters, diaries, memoirs, interviews, and other primary sources. Finally, the course will also look at historical memory, both through the memories of soldiers themselves and as part of the collective memory of the nation.

HIST 395: The History of Boston

Michael Rush, Copley Square, Tu, 6-9 PM

HIST 478: SPecial Topics: Constitutional Convention

Jonathan Chu, MWF 9-9:50 AM

Americans presume that the  Constitution of 1787 was the product of genius, of great minds operating in a harmony attributable to “the special influence of Heaven.” Rather, the Constitution was the product of multiple social, political, and economic forces operating within a regulatory and legal vacuum. As an examination of the Convention debates illustrates, we will find that the document that emerged, the Constitution of 1787, was a momentary institutionalization of these multiple influences and the beginning of constitutionalism, of an open-ended, on-going process of regulatory and political reconciliation.

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: Social History of American Religions: Roberta Wollons, MW, 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