History Course Descriptions
The following courses are offered by the History Program:
HTY 101 Origins of Mediterranean Civilizations to 750 CE
This course explores the necessary components required for creating human civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea from the Paleolithic to 750 CE. Topics considered include constructed realities, religion, gender systems, human violence, political models, and more. Cr 3. Every Fall & Spring semester.
HTY 102 World History 750 CE to Present
This is an introductory survey of global history from 750 CE to the present. The course examines the political, economic, and cultural exchanges among peoples, states, civilizations, and empires over time. Our sources will include written records such as legal documents, novels, letters, and material culture such as maps, paintings, prints, and advertisements. We will trace how processes of globalization shifted over time from early Silk Road trade networks to the present day. Cr 3. Every Fall & Spring semester.
HTY 131 United States History to 1877
A basic survey and introduction to the field of United States History, covering the political, social, and economic development of the United States through Reconstruction. Cr 3.
HTY 132 United States History Since 1877
A thematic treatment of the United States and its peoples from 1877 to the present. Chronological coverage of the nation’s political, social, economic, intellectual, institutional, and diplomatic development provides the context for addressing the personalities and events of the country and its relations with the larger world. Cr. 3.
HTY 141 African American History to 1865
Topics covered in this survey course include the persistence of African culture in the Americas, the Atlantic slave trade, an in-depth analysis of slavery as it impacted women and children, and the early African American voice as found in primary sources. The course will use various forms of media in instruction and research. Cr 3.
HTY 142 African American History from 1865
A continuation of HTY 141. This course will cover such topics as Black leadership, lynching, the Harlem Renaissance, African Americans abroad, civil rights, and popular culture. The course will use various forms of media in instruction and research. Cr 3.
HTY 143 Native American History, 1450-2000
This course examines the historical experiences of North America's indigenous peoples with respect to their cultures. It focuses upon Native Americans as active agents in producing their history both before and after European contact, not just victims of white oppression and/or abstract social forces. Topics include Native cultural diversity on the eve of European contact; the dynamics of early Indian-European encounters; the political, spiritual, and gendered dimensions of Native accommodation and resistance; the construction and reconstruction of Indian identities in the era of the American Revolution; forced Indian Removal; the nineteenth-century struggles for the Great Plains; and the systematic placement of Native children in boarding schools and foster care during the twentieth century. Special emphasis will be given to the Wabanaki and other Native peoples whose traditional homelands make up the land we now call Maine. Cr 3.
HTY 144 Indigenous Peoples in the Atlantic World
This course places indigenous (Native) cultures, experiences, and perspectives at the center of Atlantic World history, a field that explores interactions between the peoples of the Americas, Africa, and Europe as these regions came to constitute a single, integrated system joined by the Atlantic Ocean. Topics include the migration of people, cutures, commodities, and dieseases; war and slavery, cross-cultural diplomacy, race gender, and religion. Students will learn how indigenous peoples changed the course of world history while protecting their autonomy and independence, even as their ways of life were challenged by colonialism. Cr 3.
HTY 152 The Islamic Near East
This is a basic, introductory survey of the history of the eastern Mediterranean/Near Eastern region ca. 600 C.E. to the present. The course emphasizes the origin and development of Islamic religion and the establishment, spread, and evolution of Islamic institutions in Arabia, Egypt, Mesopotamia (Iraq), Palestine-Syria, and Anatolia (Turkey). Attention is given to the historical and continuing interaction between the Islamic people of the Near East and non-Islamic people both within and without the region. Cr 3.
HTY 162 Modern Africa
This survey begins in pre-colonial Africa and moves through the colonial period to decolonization and the present day. This course examines political, economic, social, and cultural developments in African history by region, including changing patterns of kinship, government, colonialism, and anti-colonial nationalism. Cr 3.
HTY 171 Traditional East Asia
The history and culture of China and Japan from earliest times to about 1700, with emphasis on the composition of the “traditional” societies. Cr 3. Every Fall semester.
HTY 172 Modern East Asia
China and Japan since about 1700, emphasizing contrasting moves toward modernization in two traditional societies. Cr 3. Every Spring semester.
HTY 200 Reference, Research, and Report Writing
An introduction to research and writing, designed to prepare undergraduates for the requirements of upper-level courses in history and the social sciences with emphasis on practical methods of utilizing a library, locating materials, taking and organizing notes, and writing and rewriting research papers and reports. History majors are strongly encouraged to take this course in the sophomore year, but no later than the first semester of the junior year. Preference to history majors. Prerequisite: sophomore status or permission. Cr 3. Every Fall & Spring semester.
HTY 300 History Internship
The course introduces students to practices in public history. They apply those skills to a supervised internship in organizations dedicated to public history and/or preservation of historic materials. Students collaborate with staff to work on a project chosen in consultation with their supervisor. Students complete 120 hours at their internship site. Cr 3.
HTY 303 History of the Ancient Near East and Greece
This course surveys the early history of the eastern Mediterranean region from ca. 4000 to ca. 300 B.C.E. The evolutions of Near Eastern civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, and Anatolia are examined and related to the development of Greek civilization in the Aegean area. Special attention is given throughout to social and religious issues, e.g., the early history of Judaism. Cr 3.
HTY 304 History of Rome
This course surveys the political, social, and religious history of the Roman state from the eighth century B.C.E. to the fifth century C.E. Emphasis is given to the period of the Roman Republic (509-31 B.C.E.) and to the rise of Christianity within the Roman Empire. Cr 3.
HTY 305 The Historical Jesus
This course is a “workshop” wherein the participants analyze and evaluate a variety of documents (both ancient and modern) which purport to describe the life and career of Jesus of Nazareth. The goal is to develop historiographical skills (including writing) as well as to illuminate the subject’s life. Cr 3.
HTY 308 Polytheists, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire
This course, an exploration of the nature and function of religion in human society, uses the Roman Empire as a sample environment. The course will examine these independent religious communities as well as their interactions. Cr 3.
HTY 311 Medieval Civilization
Europe from late antiquity through the Carolingian Empire, Islamic Empire, Byzantine Empire, Medieval Church and State, and the coming of the Renaissance and Reformation. Cr 3.
HTY 324 World Wars I and II: European War and Diplomacy
A study of the causes, course, and consequences of the First and Second World Wars. The questions of inevitability and responsibility, the nature of total war, the workings of alliances, the effect of the military upon politics, the wisdom of the peace settlements, and the impact of war upon European society are among the subjects to be considered. Cr 3.
HTY 326 History of the British Empire
Why should a tiny island across the sea regulate the price of tea? This course explores Britain as it functioned within its empire, a vast web of connections which enabled Britain to shape the empire and also allowed the empire to shape Britain in return. The course examines the political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of the empire starting with Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and moving through the American colonies, Scramble for Africa, the World Wars, and decolonization. Cr 3.
HTY 330 Germany: Bismarck To Hitler
A study of the formation of the German Empire, the rise of a powerful industrial state, Weltpolitik and defeat in World War I, the Weimar Republic, Nazism and the Third Reich, Germany in World War II, and the partition of Germany in 1945. The course analyzes nationalism and examines cultural, social, and economic factors which help clarify Germany’s role in the modern world. Cr 3.
HTY 334 The Holocaust: Policy, Practice, Response
An examination of the roots of anti-Semitism in European history, the development of the policy of the extermination of the Jews and others in Nazi Germany, and the implementation of the policy throughout Europe during the Second World War. The varied aspects of the response of individuals and governments to the experience of the Holocaust are also considered. Cr 3.
HTY 335 Genocide in Our Time
This course will analyze the nature of evil/genocide by examining examples of governmentally or ideologically initiated murder. It will seek to understand the historical background and reality of victim, bystander, and victimizer. It will use a number of approaches, namely psychological, philosophical, religious, sociological, and political to help our understanding. Cr 3.
HTY 339 Global Women’s History
A survey of women’s lives in historical context, from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Emphasis is placed on various themes over time and across cultures, including those of work, family, political involvement, aspects of gender and class differences, and intellectual and cultural contributions. The field of women’s history and its methodology are also considered. Cr 3.
HTY 345 African Americans and American Justice
This course is an exploration and analysis of selected U.S. Supreme Court rulings on cases related to African American citizenship, civil rights and equal treatment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This course also explores the changing boundaries and content of state and national citizenship, from the early national period (during the slavery era) to the mid-twentieth-century. Cr 3.
HTY 346 The Civil Rights Movement
This course examines the creation of legalized discrimination in the United States and the process used by selected individuals and organizations to dismantle segregation. By illuminating the fight for social justice, economic opportunities, and educational advances, the course analyzes how the dynamics of the Civil Rights Movement changed the face of America. Cr 3.
HTY 347 Race and the Politics of Mass Incarceration
This course examines the cultural, political and institutional dynamics that produced and sustain mass incarceration in the United States. The course takes a short-range historical approach to studying linkages between the intersection of mass incarceration, racism, sexism, and poverty, and how these forces impact individuals, families, and communities of color. Cr 3.
HTY 351 Colonial and Revolutionary America
This course is an intensive study of American history exploring the social, cultural, and political developments that shaped the coming of the American Revolution. It examines the growing maturation of colonial society and the resulting breakdown of Anglo-American relations. It focuses on the ideological underpinnings of the Revolution, the conflict itself, and the struggle to ratify the Constitution. Thorough coverage is given to Indigenous-European relations and Native American perspectives. Cr. 3.
HTY 353 Gender in Native North America, 1450-1850
This course uses gender as a lens to investigate the history of North American's Native peoples from the pre-Columbian era through the mid-nineteenth century. It will explore how Native and Euro-American notions of gender, shaped through societal behaviors, community and familial expectations, and political rules, influenced first encounters and the subsequent development of cross-cultural interactions. Cr. 3.
HTY 354 From Jefferson to Jackson
This course explores the complex dynamics that shaped American society and culture from the eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. It uses the conflicting sociopolitical, ideological, and economic views of Hamilton and Jefferson to investigate the development of party politics, the spread of slavery, religious revivals, the market revolution, westward expansion, and Indian removal. Thorough coverage is given to U.S.-Native American relations and President Jackson's Indian policies. The semester concludes by investigating the growing sectionalism between North and South that will eventually culminate in the Civil War. Cr 3.
HTY 356 Civil War and Reconstruction
An examination of the period 1850-1877, dealing with the background and causation of the war; Lincoln and the secession crisis; the military, political, diplomatic, and economic aspects of the Civil War; and the challenges and ultimate failure of reconstruction after 1865. Cr 3.
HTY 357 The Gilded Age in America, 1869-1898
The United States in the age of enterprise with emphasis on the development of political and economic radicalism, the commercialization of agriculture, the rise of the American city, new directions in social thought, concentration of industrial wealth and financial power, and American foreign policy. Cr 3.
HTY 358 Early Twentieth-Century United States, 1898-1938
The United States from 1898 to 1938. Analysis and interpretation of cultural, economic, and political developments of the Progressive Era, World War I, the 1920s, and the Depression and New Deal. Cr 3.
HTY 360 History of Maine
A survey of Maine’s social, economic, cultural and political life from exploration and early settlement to the present. Cr 3.
HTY 364 History of Women in the United States
A chronological survey of the evolving role of women in the development of the United States from the colonial period to the present. Cr 3.
HTY 366 History of Religion in America
A history of religion in American society from the colonial era to the present, examining theology, organization, leaders, critics, and the religious contribution to the American experience. Cr 3.
HTY 374 Photographing American History
This course focuses on how the invention of photography in 1839 forever altered the ways humans understood and made sense of both their past(s) and their present(s). Students analyze major historical events and moments in American history as captured through a camera, learn to read photographs as texts, and explore how the photograph has shaped American history and culture. Cr 3.
HTY 375 History of American Popular Culture
This course presents selected examples of American popular arts and entertainments from 1830 to the present and places them in their historical and critical contexts. The course emphasizes that the production and transmission of culture is a reaction to social, political, and economic forces and events. Cr 3.
HTY 377 Chinese Thought: Confucianism, Daoism, and Zen Buddhism
Prior to the modern era, the Chinese interpreted their world through traditional idea systems, the most prominent of which were Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. This course will explore these traditions: their assumptions and values, their varieties and internal tensions, and their relationships to the larger social system. Cr 3.
HTY 380 The 1960s
This course examines social, political, economic, and cultural developments in the United States in the period from 1960 to 1970. It also looks at events worldwide, and the contested meaning of “The Sixties.” Cr 3.
HTY 388 Revolution of Modern China
A course on the political history of modern China from the 1840s to the present. Focusing on the political, social, and cultural revolutions, this course will examine their causes, courses, and consequences, particularly the ways in which these revolutions shaped the course of the political development of modern China. Cr 3.
HTY 390 Traditional Japan: Court and Warriors
This course examines Japanese history before 1800. The primary focus will be on major political and social trends that led to the transformation of state and society. Attention will also be given to religious beliefs, rituals, art, and literature. Cr 3.
HTY 391 Japan's Rise and Fall as a World Power, 1868-1945
This course examines Japan's reaction to the expansion of Western powers in East Asia in the 19th century and discusses how Japan's remarkable modernization gave rise to imperialist ambitions. It explores the interplay of domestic, regional and international events and trends that led to empire and war. Cr 3.
HTY 394 Selected Topics in History
An analysis of a selected historical problem not already covered by regular course offerings in history will be offered. The course may be repeated for credit when different topics are offered. Cr 3.
HTY 398 Independent Study in History
An independent research course offered only in fall or spring semester, primarily for juniors and seniors. The course material should not be part of regular department offerings. To enroll for the course, the student, in the prior semester, must present a proposal to an appropriate professor who will agree to mentor and evaluate the project. The normal outcome is a research paper. Application forms are available in history offices on both campuses. Cr 3.
HTY 400 Senior Seminar
The capstone to the major and required for the degree, this seminar explores the nature and the craft of history. The topic will vary but will always be a particular theme or set of issues to which the student will be expected, through discussion and writing, to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in previous history courses. Prerequisites: HTY 200 and senior status. Preference to history majors. Every Fall & Spring semester. Cr 3.