Department of History

Dr. David Gerlach, Chairperson

The Department of History offers a major and minor in History.

Bachelor of Arts History Major

Degree Requirements

Six of the required credits for the major count towards the Core Curriculum Requirements.

One Core 100 Level Course (Pre-Modern, Western History) 13
One Core 200 Level Course (Modern, Global History) 13
HS-341American Main Currents I3
HS-342Main Currents in American History II3
HS-399Platt Seminar3
Take one course from each of the following:
HS-300-319, 400-419 Group A: Pre-Modern World History Elective3
HS-320-339, 420-439Group B: Modern European History Elective3
HS-340-369, 440-469Group C: United States History Elective3
HS-370-389, 470-489Group D: Modern Non-Western or Thematic History Elective3
HS-History Electives (any A-D group)6
HS-499The Tuleja Seminar 23
Total Credits36

Special Notes on Major Requirements

Minor in History

Degree Requirements

One Core 100 Level Course (Pre-Modern, Western History) 13
One Core 200 Level Course (Modern, Global History) 13
HS-399Platt Seminar3
HS-History Electives (any A-D group)9
Total Credits18

1     May count towards the Core History Requirement 


HS-121. The Western Tradition. 3.00 Credits.

An examination of the origins of early modern history with a special focus on Western civilization. Course Type(s): Addl Humanities.

HS-124. History of Ancient Science. 3.00 Credits.

This course explores both the theory and practice of the sciences of the ancient western world, and how they developed into today's sciences. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities.

HS-125. Pagans Christians and the Roman Empire. 3.00 Credits.

This course explores the history of the early Christian church in the context of the Roman Empire. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities, Oral Communications.

HS-200. World Perspectives. 3.00 Credits.

A chronological continuation of HS-121 with a greater emphasis on global developments. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities.

HS-201. History of National Liberation Movements. 3.00 Credits.

Students in this course will examine the history of liberation movements from the Age of Revolutions in the 18th century, to the anti-colonialist movements in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Students will explore the ways in which historical actors used Enlightenment ideals to inform the politics of liberation, and chart the successes, failures and unresolved consequences of those movements. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities.

HS-202. The Enlightenment and Human Rights. 3.00 Credits.

The class will explore the Enlightenment Era and its making of the modern world (for good and bad): rights, secularism, individualism, and the belief in human progress. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities.

HS-203. The History of Migrants and Refugees. 3.00 Credits.

This course explores how migration has shaped the modern world. It pays close attention to the experiences of migrants and refugees and the historical dynamics that put people on the move. Course Type(s): Addl Humanities, Interdisciplinary.

HS-204. Found of Lies Race-Racism in Modern Hist. 3.00 Credits.

Racial thinking is a fundamental and dynamic aspect of modernity. While it has no biological basis, race remains a central mode of knowing and shaping the world; privileging the West and Global North, while underdeveloping the East and the Global South. Racial ideas, emerging during the Enlightenment, underlie religious practice, scientific thought, nationalism, and political economy. This course will examine the history of race, the evolution of racial ideas, and the trajectories of institutional racism. Students will also trace antiracist movements and the ways in which women and men affirmed their humanity and contested White Supremacy in its myriad forms including chattel slavery, colonialism, Antisemitism, and racial apartheid. Course Type(s): Addl Humanities.

HS-205. Migration in Modern History. 3.00 Credits.

This course traces various migrations in different parts of the world from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It studies the causes and effects of these migrations, with particular focus on the experience of the migrants. Course Type(s): Addl Humanities.

HS-206. World War II and the Holocaust. 3.00 Credits.

This course studies the rise of imperialism, nationalism, fascism, socialism and communism that led to World War II. It examines how and why the war and Holocaust developed the way that they did. It also explores the human impact of the war and Holocaust as well as their lasting legacies. Course Type(s): Core curriculum course.

HS-290. History for Educators. 3.00 Credits.

This course is designed for students in the School of Education who will be taking the NJ teacher exams. The course introduces students to the key topics in modern global history. Students also work on classroom design and delivery for historical topics that are covered in the course. Course Type(s): Arts/Language, Addl Humanities.

HS-295. Credited Internships. 3.00 Credits.

HS-298. History Travel Course. 3.00 Credits.

This travel course will begin by preparing students to be both informed, ethical, and responsible world travelers as well as able to actively participate in a trip in learning and teaching about history, culture, religion, literature, and art of different countries. Additional travel course fee of $50. Course Type(s): International (Travel).

HS-300. History of Ancient Civilizations. 3.00 Credits.

This course traces the rise of ancient civilizations from their earliest roots to the early modern era. It places these civilizations in their global contexts and uses archeology, anthropology, and other methods to compare and study them.

HS-301. Introduction to Archeology. 3.00 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to archeology with its important interdisciplinary perspectives including History, Physical Anthropology, Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology.

HS-303. Medieval World1100-1500 AD. 3.00 Credits.

The rise and decline of feudal society - a political, economic and cultural history. Pre- modern World History.

HS-305. Historical Origins of English. 3.00 Credits.

In this course, students will learn about the historical development of the English language- how a Germanic language once known as Anglo-Saxon became forever transformed during the Middle Ages by an encounter with French, a Romance language with deep Latin and Greek roots. The basis of this course will be etymology, an exploration of the "true sense" (from Greek etymon, meaning "truth") of English words from all fields of study. Students will leave the course with their understanding of the intersection of history, language, and linguistics greatly expanded.

HS-320. History of Twentieth Century Europe. 3.00 Credits.

Europe in the twentieth century was supposed to represent progress and the height of civilization. Two world wars, communism and the Holocaust suggested otherwise. This course explores the sharp contrasts between their ideas of Europe.

HS-322. Rise & Fall of British Empire. 3.00 Credits.

Development and disintegration of British naval and colonial power from the pirates of Elizabeth I to the pilots of Elizabeth II. Modern Western History.

HS-323. History of Russia1613-1917. 3.00 Credits.

Political, social, and cultural history of Russia from the Time of Troubles to the Bolshevik Revolution. Modern Western History.

HS-324. History of Soviet Union. 3.00 Credits.

Internal change and development of Russia in the Soviet period.

HS-339. History of Germany 1815-1945. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of German history from the Napoleonic Era to the collapse of the Nazi regime. Modern Western History. Course Type(s): Writing Intensive.

HS-341. American Main Currents I. 3.00 Credits.

The formation of the American Republic from colonial times to the present.

HS-342. Main Currents in American History II. 3.00 Credits.

The formation of the American Republic from colonial times to the present.

HS-343. Colonial Experience to 1763. 3.00 Credits.

An investigation of the background and political, social and economic developments of the North American colonies to 1763. United States History. Prerequisites: HS-121 HS-122(9291).

HS-344. Alexander Hamilton's America. 3.00 Credits.

The Room Where it Happens!" "Not Throwing Away My Shot!" -- This course will use the masterpiece _Hamilton_ to explore the genius, power and peril of the social and political experiment that is America. Along with the musical, students will dig deep into primary sources, essays and other readings to illuminate and challenge the musical itself.

HS-345. The Era of the Civil War. 3.00 Credits.

A study of the period 1860-1865 with emphasis on the war itself and events leading to it. How did Americans end up killing one another on such a massive scale? The course will focus on the slavery debate, suffering, death, Lincoln, gender, black families, and the "fog of war.

HS-346. Wounds of War: the Reconstruction Era. 3.00 Credits.

Investigation of the political, economic, and cultural upheavals in the wake of America's most devastating war. Course will emphasize themes of emancipation, free labor, labor unrest (North and South), the "Lost Cause," and the violent struggle to redefine America from 1865 to 1900.

HS-347. American Republic 1919-1945. 3.00 Credits.

The triumphs and travails of urban industrialism, with emphasis on the politics, economics, and social changes of the Depression, the New Deal, and World War II. United States History.

HS-348. American Republic Since 1945. 3.00 Credits.

An analysis of American society and institutions since World War II. United States History.

HS-349. The American City through The Wire. 3.00 Credits.

Very few television shows have captured the realities of the American city and the imaginations of the American public more than the Wire. More than a crime drama, the Wire reminds the viewer that all the pieces matter, as each of the five seasons focuses on a particular facet of the city: the illicit drug trade, working class employment, municipal government and bureaucracy, children and the education system, and the print news media. Using the Wire as the primary text, this course will look at the history of American cities, paying close attention to each season's theme. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-350. The History of Sports & American Culture. 3.00 Credits.

The world of sports is a reflection of the larger world in which the games are played. This course will mine the game of baseball, boxing, basketball, football, Nascar, soccer and other sports to make sense of American history and its culture. We will use sports to shed light on America's history of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, greed, education, immigration, gambling, drugs and nationalism. Course Type(s): Core curriculum course.

HS-369. Racial Politics and the Cold War. 3.00 Credits.

This course traces the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the context of the global Cold War.

HS-370. History Through Documentary Films. 3.00 Credits.

Students will learn how history is told through the medium of documentary films. Students will also study the techniques and narrative devices that have been used in the making of documentaries.

HS-372. Modern Africa. 3.00 Credits.

This course studies the indigenous and imperial cultures of Africa since 1800 with emphasis on Anglophone and Francophone regions. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-373. Historyof Lat Amer:Encounter to Present. 3.00 Credits.

This course will explore the social, cultural and political history of Latin America, from the eve of the fifteenth-century "Encounter" to the twentieth-century rise of neoliberalism and its malcontents. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-374. History of Modern Asia. 3.00 Credits.

This class will examine Asian history from 1750-present. Topics such as colonialism, WWII and the rise of Asian countries will be stressed. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-375. The World Wars. 3.00 Credits.

A study of World War I and World War II focusing on their causes and effects, their military and home fronts, and the interrelationships of the two conflicts.

HS-376. Making Documentary Films. 3.00 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the production of historical documentaries. Students will learn to curate a variety of primary and secondary sources into a visual narrative. Students will be introduced to the techniques of directing, producing and filming documentaries.

HS-399. Platt Seminar. 3.00 Credits.

This research seminar, named in honor of Hermann Platt, is designed for new majors and minors to learn the methods and craft of the historian. Course Type(s): Senior Seminar.

HS-401. Women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. 3.00 Credits.

An exploration of the roles of women in pre- modern times, discussing the theological and social attitudes that often hindered their advancement and the accomplishments they achieved nevertheless in politics, society, and culture.

HS-402. The Islamic World 622-1800. 3.00 Credits.

A survey of the religious, cultural, and political developments of Islam from its inception and diffusion through the Middle East, Asia, and Africa until the rise of western hegemony in the modern period, exploring the struggles and schisms that still affect the world. Values course. Pre-modern World History. Modern Non-Western and Thematic History. Prerequisites: HS-121 HS-122(9291) OR HS-123; COMPLETE 6 CREDITS: 1 COURSE FROM COURSES PL-130 PL-140 AND 1 COURSE FROM COURSES TH-110 TH-120; Course Type(s): Values.

HS-404. Western Science & Occult. 3.00 Credits.

A look at astrology, alchemy, magic, and witchcraft from the ancient world to the Scientific Revolution, their place in the intellectual life, and how they were affected by new philosophical trends.

HS-405. A History of the Jesuits. 3.00 Credits.

The history of this religious community in the Catholic Church offers the scope for a cross cultural survey of the modern world on all the inhabited continents. Themes like evangelization, popular education, cross- cultural understanding, the scientific revolution, evolving church-state relations, and faith-justice issues run through the course. Modern Non-Western and Thematic History. Prerequisites: HS-121 HS-122(9291); COMPLETE 6 CREDITS: 1 COURSE FROM COURSES PL-130 PL-140 AND 1 COURSE FROM COURSES TH-110 TH-120; Course Type(s): Values.

HS-406. Ancient Gender and Sexuality. 3.00 Credits.

In this course, we will explore the diverse topic of gender and sexuality in the ancient world. We will examine a variety of ancient primary sources, both written and material/archaeological, that can provide us evidence for ancient thinking, expression, and lived experience of sexuality and gender. We will also consider ancient modes of philosophy, expression, and experience of sexuality and gender alongside modern perspectives on these topics, as they flow and evolve throughout human history and culture. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-419. Secret Lives of Ancient Women. 3.00 Credits.

A deep dive into the domestic life, religious identity, works, texts, and visual representations of ancient women.

HS-420. Social Documentary Filmmaking. 3.00 Credits.

In this course students will explore the history and methods of social impact documentaries as a tool for education, action and change. Students will also produce a final project, studying filmmaking from concept, to production and post production; culminating in an end-of-the year film festival.

HS-421. Nationalism in Modern Europe. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the philosophical foundations for the idea of nations from the late 18th century and studies how nations became the basis for states during the 20th century. Course Type(s): Writing Intensive.

HS-425. History of the Holocaust. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines the causes, experiences and aftermath of the Holocaust.

HS-440. Public History Community & Civic Memory. 3.00 Credits.

Statues, art exhibits, and even movies are "sites" of intense debate over authority to define history and collective memory. This course considers the ways in which the general public thinks about history. Looking at museums, historic sites, movies, and documentaries, this course will consider the methods of making historical knowledge more accessible. In the end students will produce a work of public history.

HS-441. Black History and the American Novel. 3.00 Credits.

What is racism? How did African Americans react to and contest racial oppression in the early 20th century? In this course students will find answers to those questions through an examination of Black history from the 1880s to the 1930s. Using Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man as a narrative lens, students will imagine the ways in which historical encounters (re)define racial identity by tracing the Black experience through the emergence of the Talented Tenth, the First Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Long Civil Rights Movement.

HS-442. The Long Civil Rights Movemnt in America. 3.00 Credits.

The campaign for civil rights in the broad context of 20th Century social movements, with particular emphasis on the African American struggle and how the work of individuals and organizations impacted American discourses on gender, labor, religion, sexuality and foreign policy. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-443. Religion in the U.S.. 3.00 Credits.

Explores the hothouse of religious experimentation and debate that followed the Revolution and that continues to shape modern America. This course will span from early American Calvinism to antebellum Utopian movements, to the influx of Catholicism and other ethnic religions, to the rise of the Evangelical Right. Grace, Polygamy, Anti-Catholicism, Perfectionism, Creationism, Sin, Slavery, Darwin, Jerry Falwell, Abortion. This class will explore the strange contours of the most "religious" nation in the modern world.

HS-444. History of American Immigration. 3.00 Credits.

Examination of the migration of various peoples to the U.S., and the development of the policy on emigration from the progressive era to the present. United States History.

HS-445. Bldg US Hist: Race Public Hist Memory. 3.00 Credits.

Through visits to historic sites in the South this course interrogates relationships between historical memory and social and political identities in the United States. Additional travel course fee of $50. Course Type(s): Domestic Travel.

HS-460. Culture of the 70's. 3.00 Credits.

This course offers an interdisciplinary cultural history of the 1970s in the United States. Particular attention will be focused on exploring the major events, trends, and social movements of the period through close analysis of its literature, film, music, television, and visual art. Topics will include the Women's liberation Movement, the Black Power Movement, urban decay and artistic renaissance in 1970s NYC, the birth of neoconservativism, and the politics of disco and the cultural backlash against it.

HS-471. Bearing Witness to War & Genocide. 3.00 Credits.

This course considers the history and interpretation of violence, destruction, ethnic cleansing, genocide and war; what does it mean to bear witness? Course Type(s): Values.

HS-475. The History of Rock to Hip Hop. 3.00 Credits.

The truths of a nation are most often heard in its music. America's musical evolution provides an invaluable gateway into U.S. history, and the ways in which race, class and gender shaped peoples' lives. In this course we will trace the history of American music, from blues and jazz to R&B and rock to hip-hop and soul, through the examination of lyrics, production, the artists and the music they created. Course Type(s): Pluralism.

HS-476. History of the Environment. 3.00 Credits.

This course examines humankind's relationship to the environments-natural and 'man-made'-that we inhabit.

HS-499. The Tuleja Seminar. 3.00 Credits.

Named to honor Professor Emeritus Thaddeus V. Tuleja, the seminar stresses historical methodology as it relates to a particular historical topic chosen by the professor offering the seminar. Course Type(s): Capstone, Writing Intensive, Senior Seminar.