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You can find a link to the History Major Undergraduate Requirements and Course Catalog here

You can find a link to the History Minor Undergraduate Requirements and Course Catalog here.


Online (U800) Classes: Online History Courses are set up through University College, not through the History Department. The majority of the seats in these classes are reserved for University College Students. Any other available seats can be taken on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to enroll in the course during the enrollment period, you will have to wait until the first day of class, when any remaining reserved seats are released. We are unable to offer permissions or increase enrollment caps at this time. 

Course listings and descriptions


CourseDay/Time Professor Description 

HST 101: American History to 1865

*This course includes the lecture and a weekly discussion section. By enrolling in discussion, you automatically enroll in the lecture.

M/W 9:30-10:25Branson

This introductory course will survey American history from the pre-colonial era to the Civil War. We will approach this period of history through a discussion of three themes. The first covers the period from the founding down to the middle of the eighteenth century and focuses on how Europeans from a medieval culture became Americans. The second theme explores the political, social and economic impact the Revolution had upon American society. And finally, we will focus on the modernization of American society in the nineteenth century and how that modernization was a major factor in causing the sectional crisis.

In addition to the two lecture classes a week, you will attend a small discussion class taught by one of the teaching assistants once each week.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Pre-Modern

HST 111: Early Modern Europe

*This course includes the lecture and a weekly discussion section. By enrolling in discussion, you automatically enroll in the lecture.

M/W 11:40-12:35Kyle

This course covers the history of Europe from the Black Death, which marked the end of the Middle Ages, to the French Revolution – the beginning of the modern world. While it will cover the major events of the period – the Renaissance, the Reformation, the English, French and scientific revolutions, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the growth of the modern state – the emphasis will be on changes in the lives of ordinary men and women. There will be a midsemester, a final, and two short (c. 5 page) papers.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 121: Global History Until 1750

M/W 11:40-12:35G. Kallander

This course introduces students to global history from the thirteenth century through 1750 by focusing on social, economic, political, intellectual, and religious developments in major regions of the world: Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Beginning with the Mongol’s Eurasian empire, their transformation of the continent, and the spread of Islamic empires from Central Asia to the Atlantic, it traces the historical patterns of different world regions in the fifteenth century through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and European imperialism.  What types of exchanges were facilitated by maritime trade and trade diasporas? How were human interactions with their environment circumscribed by climate change and disease? The latter part of the course looks at global connections and local particularities facilitated by the spread of Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Course themes include empire, disease, environment, slavery, religion, state-formation, and the rise of global trade. Topics will be covered thematically in general chronological order. Lectures will be supplemented by maps, visual materials, music, documentaries and films. All students are required to attend lectures and one discussion a week.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST 208: Middle East Since the Rise of IslamM/W 12:45-2:05Cheta

This course is an introductory survey of Middle East history from the rise of Islam in the seventh century to 1900. It discusses major empires in Middle East covering topics such as culture and society, science and technology, and women and politics. We will approach the Middle East through the theme of exchange, considering the connections between Southwest Asia and North Africa and neighboring regions, as the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Other prominent themes include multiculturalism, reform, and modernization.

The course meets twice each week. There is no discussion section.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST 210: The Ancient WorldM/W 10:35-11:30Diem

This course surveys the history of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, and explores the classical roots of modern civilization. We will begin with the first civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the roots of western religion in ancient Israel; then proceed through Bronze Age, archaic and classical Greece, the Persian wars, the trial of Socrates, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic world, the rise of Rome, and end with the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of Christianity. The course will treat political, social, cultural, religious and intellectual history. We will focus on issues that the ancients themselves considered important – good and bad government, the duties of citizens and the powers of kings and tyrants – but we will also examine those who were marginalized by the Greeks and Romans: women, slaves, so-called "barbarians." The course will emphasize reading and discussion of primary sources, in order to provide a window into the thought-worlds and value systems of past societies.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 213: Africa: Ancient Times to 1800T/TH 11:00-12:30Shanguhyia

This course is a survey of pre-modern African history, presenting an overview of the main themes and chronology of the development of African culture and society. It provides an exposition of the regional and continental diversity and unity in African political, economic, social and cultural histories with special emphasis on major African civilizations, processes of state formation, encounters with the Euro-Asia world, Africa’s role in the international Trans-Saharan, Indian Ocean and Atlantic trades, ecology, and urbanization.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST/IRP 300: International Relations in AntiquityT/TH 11:00-12:20Champion

This course explores interstate systems of ancient Greece and Rome through international relations theory.  The theoretical framework is applied to two famous historical narratives: Thucydides' portrayal of the great Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, and Polybius' account of the Second Punic War between the Roman Republic and its arch nemesis Carthage, led by the commander Hannibal.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-Modern

HST 300: WWII in EuropeT/TH 2:00-3:20Allport

The Second World War in Europe lasted for six years and cost the lives of more than 50 million soldiers and civilians. It transformed the continent's politics, economics, society, and culture. Its memory continues to haunt Europe and influences every aspect of the region's current affairs. Studying its causes, conduct, and consequences, then, is an essential precondition for understanding modern Europe. In this seminar we will combine close classroom readings of important primary and secondary sources with independent research on aspects of the conflict chosen by the students themselves. The end goal for each participant will be an original research paper drafted and presented to the class.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 300:  Development in AfricaT/TH 2:00-3:20Shanguhyia

This course is about the history of development in Modern Africa from 1800 to the present. Development here is defined as the quest for progress/improvement in human economic and social conditions. Focus is on the origins, meaning, and implementation of development as an idea and practice in modern Africa. Readings challenge the students to develop a critical assessment of these processes. The readings examine roles of several agencies and institutions in Africa’s development history, particularly states, administrators, international institutions, knowledge regimes, as well as geography, natural resources, labor, policy frameworks of postcolonial states. What has motivated these institutions and agencies to engage in development in Africa? What has been the vision of ordinary Africans regarding developments? Assignments include critical writing reflections and tests. The course is relevant to students interested in the historical, political, and international contexts of Africa’s development question. Students of history, economics, development, political science, international relations will particularly find the course relevant to their fields.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST 300: Commodities and the Modern WorldM/W 12:45-2:05Terrell

Commodities and the meanings we give them dominate the modern world. This seminar focuses on the means of producing and acquiring, the modes of consuming, and the cultural worlds constructed around material objects in the 19th and 20th centuries. Discussions will include topics such as empire, capitalism, politics, ideologies, identities, and globalization. As we progress, we will ask how these historical themes manifested in, and were transformed by changes in material life. 

Concentration: Europe/Global  / Period: Modern

HST 300/HNR 360: Modern American Politics Through Film

This Class is open to Honors Students ONLY

T/TH 3:30-4:50Thompson

This Class is open to Honors Students ONLY 

In this course we will examine major themes in the political consciousness and popular culture of modern America, as they are reflected in contemporary film. The focus will be both on particular events and movements and on more generalized and persistent concerns (discrimination, alienation and depersonalization, authoritarianism, violence, gender, sexuality, bureaucratization, corruption). We shall be examining “politics” broadly understood, through the lens of popular culture. The goal is to explore a range of movies as ways of interrogating how Americans understand themes of power, intersectionality, conflict and consensus.

We will meet as a class twice each week: once to discuss a film’s social and political context, and once to discuss the film itself. The week’s film will be shown online, in between those two meetings.

This class differs from most at SU in that it is intergenerational. In addition to those enrolled for credit, participants will include approximately ten people from Oasis, a program for “mature learners” (generally, retired professionals) in the Syracuse community. Their lived experiences and perspectives on both the movies and the themes they illuminate will be a major component of what this course is all about.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 300/690: Renaissance to RevolutionT/TH 2:00-3:20Brege

Entwined with the intellectual and cultural achievements for which the Renaissance is justly famous grew new approaches to power, money, and technology that laid the foundations for the modern world. This course traces how core Renaissance developments in state-building, diplomacy, warfare, technology, and a developing market economy interacted with new historical, observational, and mathematical approaches to knowledge woven into new epistemologies that unlocked religious and scientific revolution. From the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution to the growth of a system of powerful states underpinned by a mathematized fiscal-military establishment that drew on the financial resources of a burgeoning capitalist economy and the weapons of a society with an increasingly sophisticated approach to technological development, the course traces how the project of restoring the pure glories of classical antiquity culminated instead in Industrial Revolution, a permanently fractured and militarized Europe, and a secularizing Enlightenment that believed firmly in reason and progress.  

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 301: Practicum in the Study of HistoryM/W 2:15-3:35Cheta

What is History? How do scholars “do” history? This seminar introduces history majors to the methods and goals of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. The first part of the course will be spent discussing what exactly history is and has been. We will then move on to discussing the kinds of history that have developed across the century in the American Historical profession. Finally, students will spend a large portion of the course familiarizing themselves with the analytical and practical skills needed to develop their own research projects. 

HST 301: Practicum in the Study of HistoryT/TH 12:30-1:50Kumar

What is History? How do scholars “do” history? This seminar introduces history majors to the methods and goals of historical study, and to the skills needed to conduct independent historical research. The first part of the course will be spent discussing what exactly history is and has been. We will then move on to discussing the kinds of history that have developed across the century in the American Historical profession. Finally, students will spend a large portion of the course familiarizing themselves with the analytical and practical skills needed to develop their own research projects. 

HST 305: America in Crisis: US Civil War and ReconstructionM/W 4:45-5:05Schmeller 

The Civil War was a second American Revolution, and considerably more transformative than the first. Through lectures, readings of primary and secondary-source texts, discussions, and films, this course will show why. We begin by asking what led Southern states to secede in 1861, why the North resolved to restore the union by force of arms, and how emancipation evolved from a military expedient to a defining war aim. We will ask how changing military strategies and tactics related to political struggles over the objectives of the war, and why the war took so many lives. The role of political and military leaders – Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, to name a few – will be placed alongside the experiences of soldiers, slaves, and civilians. Our examination of Reconstruction will pay particular attention to the efforts of freedmen and women to secure their freedoms despite the hostility of white Southerners and the indifference of Northerners. Care will also be taken to understand the Civil War and Reconstruction in relation to larger social, economic, and cultural developments in nineteenth-century America, and to place them in global context. Finally, we will look at how Americans have remembered the war, from struggles over memorialization, to the persistence of "Lost Cause" mythology, to changing interpretations of the war advanced by historians in the twentieth century.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 311: Medieval CivilizationM/W 12:45-2:05Herrick 

This course explores European civilization from about 800 to about 1200. We will study kings, saints, and villains; faith and violence, love and hatred; ideas and beliefs. Our questions include: how did these people make sense of their world? How did they respond to crisis and opportunity? How did their civilization work? What was life like in medieval Europe? To answer these questions, we will mainly read primary sources that show us what medieval people themselves had to say about their world. Our goal will be to understand the past on its own terms. We will also emphasize the skills of close reading, strong argumentation, and clear expression of ideas.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 315: Europe in the Age of Hitler and StalinM/W 2:15-3:35Ebner

This course covers the major political, social, and cultural developments in Europe during the period of the two world wars. Major themes include the failures of liberal democracy and capitalism, the rise of authoritarian and totalitarian dictatorships, and the decline of Europe. In addition to a textbook, course materials include historical monographs, memoirs, novels, and films. Assignments include papers, in-class exams, and quizzes.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 320: Traditional ChinaT/TH 11:00-12:20Kutcher

In this course we will survey Chinese history from earliest times to the end of the Ming dynasty in 1644.  This seemingly remote time witnessed the formation of a complex government and society whose influence extended to much of East Asia. Ranging over the centuries, the class will explore some of the main currents in Chinese political, cultural, social, and intellectual history. These include:  Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Legalism as competing and sometimes intersecting philosophies; the imperial system and major changes in its form over time; the changing roles of women in society; popular rebellion and heterodox religion; and the place of science and technology in the Chinese past.

We will read a variety of texts in addition to a concise textbook.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST/SAS 328: Ancient and Medieval IndiaT/TH 3:30-4:50Kumar

This course surveys the history of the Indian subcontinent from 2000 BCE, when an urban civilization was thriving in the Indus Valley, to the seventeenth century, when the Great Mughals ruled over one of the most powerful empires in the contemporary world. While covering this vast time period, we will focus on specific topics pertaining to ancient and medieval Indian politics, economy, religion, society, and culture. Selected readings will examine forms of kingship, the rise of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, the position of women in society, the role of temples as social and political centres, the importance of overseas trade, and the Indian Ocean world.

Did the Aryans invade India? Was the Ramayana a central text for all Hindus? Was the Gupta Empire truly a golden age? What was the impact of the Mughal conquest of Delhi? Through primary and secondary texts, lectures, and class discussions, students will find answers to these questions, and gain a fresh understanding of the Indian past and present.

Concentration: Global / Period: Pre-modern

HST/AAS 332: African American History through the 19th CenturyM/W 2:15-3:35Bryant
HST 341/PSC 329: Modern American PresidencyT/TH 12:30-1:50Thompson

This course will analyze the evolution of the modern presidency and its present operation. The focus of our attention will be on the years since the Second World War, and especially on those since 1960. The decision-making process and operation of presidential administrations from Kennedy through Trump will be studied in detail; we also will discuss the early challenges faced by the Biden administration. We shall consider the various roles that the president plays in government, politics and society. The presidency as an institution and as an individual office will be examined to identify factors that have contributed to the successes and failures of particular administrations. This course shall also examine the roles and influence of unelected officials (esp. senior White House staff), and popular attitudes toward both the symbolic and the practical presidency—especially as they have been shaped by the traditional mass media and the “new media” (especially online interactivity). We will consider what lasting effects, if any, events during the last quarter century have had upon the presidency as an institution.   Finally, we will leave space for discussion of breaking news and unexpected developments, especially those related to presidential politics.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 352: History of Ancient GreeceT/TH 9:30-10:50Champion 

Survey of ancient Greek political, economic, social and cultural history based on interpretation of primary sources, both literary and archaeological, from the Bronze Age through Alexander the Great.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST/JSP 362: Nazi Germany and the HolocaustM/W 3:35-5:05Terrell

In 1933, a radical and dictatorial regime came to power in Germany, remade the German state, and went on to orchestrate a vast program of mass murder in pursuit of a vision of biological purity and to launch a war of world conquest, ultimately killing millions. This course examines the history of German fascism, the Nazi state, and the Holocaust according to three primary lines of inquiry. In the first part of the course, we will address the question of how the Nazis came to power. What was Nazism, and why did it gain a popular following? Why did the Weimar Republic, the parliamentary democracy founded in 1918, fall (first to dictatorship and then to Nazism) in the early 1930s? In the second part of the course, we will examine the politics of Nazism in power. What was everyday life like for various Germans under the Nazi state, and why did many Germans come to support the regime? The course’s third section addresses war, genocide, and the legacies of Nazism and the Holocaust.  How did Nazi genocide policies develop, and how was it possible to implement them? What can the history of Nazi Germany teach us about other state-run mass murder programs?  How have Germans grappled with the aftermath of Nazi Germany?

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 365: Russia in the 20th CenturyT/TH 9:30-10:50Hagenloh

This course examines the historical experiment in communism that played out in the lands of the former Russian Empire in the twentieth century. In 1917, radical revolutionaries seized control and attempted to create a multi-ethnic state dedicated to the realization of Karl Marx’s utopian plans for a communist society. Yet the seventy years that followed were dominated by mass repression, genocide, world war, and crushing dictatorship in all spheres of life. When the USSR abruptly disappeared in 1991, few mourned its passing. What (if any) promise did the communist revolution hold for the residents of Tsarist Russia? Why did the utopian ideals propounded by Russian Marxists lead to Stalinist dictatorship? And did the USSR have any chance to reform after Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953, or was the system fatally flawed and doomed to collapse? In addition to addressing these issues, this course will provide a glimpse of what life was like for people who lived through the “experiment” itself.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 300: American Military HistoryT/TH 11:00-12:20Allport

Is there, as some historians have claimed, a distinctive ‘American way of war’ traceable over the four centuries since the beginning of the European colonization of North America? If so, what are its characteristics, how has it changed over time, and what does it reveal about a peculiar American attitude to state violence and the relationship between military and civilian society? In this course, we will examine the ‘small’ and ‘big’ wars of the United States from the colonial period to the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Class meetings will be a mixture of lectures and discussion. Students will complete a number of primary and secondary source readings. Assessment will be based on class discussion and several reading and writing assignments.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST/MES 374: Pop Culture in Middle East HistoryT/TH 12:30-1:50A. Kallander

This seminar explores history, social change, and culture in the Middle East through the lens of film, music, television, fashion, and the internet. How are sensitive political issues portrayed or elided on the screen?  How are gender roles and national identities constructed and depicted through music, film, and social media?  How are significant political events and conflicts represented and remembered through film?  How does popular culture challenge or reinforce dominant stereotypes about the Middle East?  In feature film, documentaries about music, and cartoons, we will read these cultural texts alongside academic analysis to broaden our understanding of the complexity, diversity, and richness of the modern Middle East.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST/WGS 379: Gender, Race and ColonialismT/TH 9:30-10:50A. Kallander

This course will explore the intersection of gender, race, and colonialism in colonial ideologies and imperial practices in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Beginning with a theoretical approach to the study of gender (as distinct from the study of either women or men), colonialism, and Orientalism, themes include the role of gender and race in discourses of modernity, civilization, and domesticity, the construction of national identity, imperial masculinity, race and science in colonial empires, the representation of women in consumer culture and imperial propaganda and contemporary issues relevant to the understanding of race, gender, and power. The readings concentrate on British and French colonialisms in the Middle East, India, and the Caribbean in comparison American and Japanese imperialism. These include the examination of how colonial expansion and racial ideologies influenced gender and social relations within Europe.  Though our focus is on the historical contexts of colonialism, our readings represent a variety of disciplines including anthropology, literature, feminist theory, and cultural studies, in addition to history.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 381: Genocide, Atrocity and Political ViolenceT 12:30-3:15Ebner

This course examines genocide in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The term genocide initially referred to the Nazi massacre of millions of European Jews during WWII. Since the defeat of Nazism, the term has been applied to many instances of mass killing that occurred before and after the Holocaust. This course seeks to answer several important questions about genocide. What constitutes genocide? Why study genocide as a unique historical phenomenon? What are the implications of labelling an incident of mass killing “genocide?” How effective have international tribunals been in punishing and preventing genocide? What about episodes of violence and atrocity that do not meet the criteria? Finally, can genocide be prevented? If so, how? In our exploration of this topic, we will examine how the victims of genocide are ’constructed’ by perpetrators, paying particularly close attention to factors such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, political beliefs, indigeneity, and territoriality (who occupies and holds political sovereignty over territory).

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 386: U.S. Crime and SocietyT/TH 3:30-4:50Cohen

This course addresses crime, deviance, and dissent in American history from the colonial period to the present, considering the ways in which the state has encouraged order and conformity among its constituents. We will examine how industrialization, immigration, urbanization, emancipation, and war transformed American society, causing the breakdown of older forms of social control such as church and community while producing significant discontented and dispossessed populations. This course also examines the expanding role of the state in controlling "deviant" behavior beginning in the late-nineteenth century and the reordering of legal priorities in the latter half of the twentieth century. Major topics include police, radicalism, alcohol, vice, sexuality, and organized crime.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 393: East Asia and the Socialist Experience M/W 2:15-3:35G. Kallander

Before globalization became the buzzword in East Asia, socialist thought based on Marxist-Leninism was the dominant discourse and played a major role in shaping the region from the beginning of the twentieth century to today.  Socialism has been one of the most influential forms of “modernity” for over a billion people in communist East Asia (China, North Korea, Vietnam and pre-1990s Mongolia).  Non-socialist countries (South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and today’s Mongolia) have also been influenced or “subverted” by socialism.  Since its introduction to East Asia, socialism has crossed borders, classes, groups, gender and cultures, shaping and reshaping the maps, lives, politics, economies, scholarship, art, literature and public and private spaces of East Asia, altering how the various peoples of the region construct their realities, define themselves and their pasts, and view the world.

This course examines how socialist theory was adapted to fit East Asia and the resulting historical consequences.  It is not a rigorous analysis of political theory or governmental structures, nor does it idealize socialism. Rather, it provides a sweeping historical account of how socialist East Asia arose, developed, “failed” and responded to the challenges of globalization in the twentieth century. The course begins by briefly examining socialist thought and its introduction to East Asia at the end of the nineteenth century, its popularity among radical study groups in the 1920s and its appeal to anti-foreign and anti-colonial nationalist movements. Next, we examine how socialism in one form or another became the dominant scholarly, political, and cultural trend or “threat” in East Asia.  It ends with the political, economic and social changes taking place throughout socialist East Asia today. Through a chronological, geographical and topical approach, the course examines such issues as: the tensions between tradition and “socialist” modernity; the formation of communist parties in China, Japan and colonial Korea, and the various reactions against them; the role of the Soviet Union in East Asia; communist “revolutions” in Mongolia, China, North Korea and Vietnam; revolution and women; spaces and places in public and private socialist architecture; art and literature; economic development and lifestyles; “subversion” by radical socialist groups and leftist scholarship in South Korea and Japan; US involvement in East Asia during the Cold War (including the Korean and Vietnam Wars); the crisis for socialist East Asia after the collapse of the USSR; and the transition underway from centrally-planned to market-oriented economies and the resulting implications for these societies and the peoples who live in them.

Goals: By the end of the semester, students will be able to think and write critically about nuanced historical issues; understand the major differences between Chinese, North Korean, Vietnamese and Mongolian forms of “socialism”; have an in-depth knowledge of the degree to which socialism has influenced all levels of society throughout East Asia; and articulate how the collision between socialism and globalization has radically altered East Asian societies today.

Concentration: Global/Period: Modern

HST 401: Indigenous Authors in and out of the Archives
Luedtke

This research seminar challenges the phrase, “history is written by the victors.” In the first hundred and fifty years of its existence, the United States pushed its boundaries westward by dispossessing hundreds of Native nations of their lands through acts of violence, coercion, manipulation, and deceit. The United States then claimed a second victory through the monopolization of the historical narrative. These narratives typically whitewash the violence of dispossession and erase Native Americans from the present and future by mythologizing them as vanishing in the past. This seminar focuses on the Native authors who adapted to the United States’ growing print culture to continually maintain cultural survival by boldly writing themselves back into existence. By exploring Native writings from throughout the long nineteenth century, students in this class will produce several short primary-source research papers, ultimately leading up to a 25-page final paper on Native authorship.

Concentration: U.S., Global and Period: Pre-Modern, Modern

HST 401: The Barbarian Middle AgesW 12:45-3:30Diem

There are two ways of understanding the ‘Barbarian Middle Ages’: The period we define as the European middle ages begins with the establishment of “barbarian” kingdoms within the borders of the Roman Empire. “Barbarian” is, in this context, largely a descriptor of the ‘others’, i.e. those who are not Roman. This term does not necessarily hold the same meaning as the term holds today.

There is, on the other hand, the negative verdict of the entire middle ages as a barbarian  period – a period of violence, intolerance, fanaticism and dire life circumstances. In modern colloquial discourse, ‘medieval’ is, generally, a very pejorative term, often used in problematic contexts.

After reading primary sources and scholarship on the barbarian origins and on modern perceptions of the middle ages, students in this class are invited to develop individual research projects that explore either aspect of the ‘barbarian middle ages’.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-Modern

HST 401: America and the WorldW 9:30-12:15Khalil

This is a research and writing seminar that will focus on the relationship between the United States and the World. The seminar will examine how the transformation from colony to hyperpower influenced America’s interactions with and perceptions of the rest of the world. Students will examine a particular aspect of that relationship (political, social, economic, military, or cultural) during a defined time-period in a 25-page final paper that relies largely on primary sources.

Possible paper topics include:

  • An examination of the relationship between the U.S. and a particular state or non-state actor
  • An analysis of America’s interactions and policies toward political and religious movements
  • An assessment of the U.S.’s role in a particular conflict;
  • A study of the role and influence of international institutions and transnational corporations
  • Popular culture (media, literature, and movies)
  • American Missionaries
  • Immigration

Concentration: US, Global / Period: Modern

HST 401: History of Disease and PandemicM 9:30-12:15Takeda

In this 401 seminar, students will learn about the many ways in which globalization affected the transmission of disease and circulation of epidemics from the fifteenth century to the present. In the first seven weeks, we will discuss and read about several historic cases, including plague, smallpox, cholera, syphilis, and flu. We will pay close attention to the dynamics of stigmatization, racialization, social inequities, and imperialism across Europe, the Americas, the Atlantic World, the Mediterranean, Pacific and Indian Ocean worlds. We will learn about the ways in which communication networks and circulation of misinformation and disinformation affected how various societies responded to various epidemics. Around mid-semester, students will begin meeting independently with the professor to plan their 25pp senior research paper.

Concentration: Global, Europe, U.S. / Period: Modern, Pre-Modern

HST 495/496:  Distinction in History 

Instructor Consent Required

Students doing the thesis will take 3 credits of HST 495 the first semester and 3 credits of HST 496 the second semester (2 semesters for a total of 6 credits), which may begin in their junior or senior year.  Students should register for HST 495 and 496 upon approval from the faculty advisor and Undergraduate Director. 


For any questions regarding the History Program please contact: 
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Mark Schmeller at mschmell@syr.edu or
Office/Undergraduate Coordinator: Christina Cleason at cmcleaso@syr.edu or 315-443-2210

All undergraduate forms should be submitted electronically to Christina Cleason via email for processing. 



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