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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 102: America since 1865

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

M/W 10:35-11:30Gonda

This semester offers a broad look at the history of the United States in the 150 years from the end of the Civil War through the first decade of the 21st Century. Throughout the course, we will engage with the social, political, and cultural changes, ideas, and events that have profoundly shaped modern American society.

Key questions include: How have we defined being American? How has the nation’s relationship with the world changed?  How have the rights of citizens evolved over time? How have various groups in American society articulated their claims to citizenship and national belonging? What factors have affected the development of American political leadership?

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 112: Napoleon to Present

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

M/W 10:35-11:30Allport 

This course examines the major developments in European history since the late 18th century, including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era, the Industrial Revolution, imperialism, the First World War, the Bolshevik Revolution, the Fascist and Nazi seizures of power, the Second World War, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and European Unification. The thematic focus of this course is the relationship between the individual and the state. How does this relationship change over time – what makes it “modern”? To address this question, we will examine ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, socialism, nationalism, fascism), the birth of mass society, poverty, violence, women’s rights, and racism. There are two lectures and one discussion section per week. Discussions emphasize primary sources and historical debates. Grades are based on in-class exams, papers, and discussion.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 122: Global History: 1750-Present

M/W 11:40-12:35Kumar

This course introduces students to global history beginning in 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 Mughal Empire in India, the Ottomans, and the empires of the New World, it will trace the growing interaction of these areas with Europe through colonialism and trade. From the age of revolutions to the age of empires and the age of nation-states, this course studies the relevance of the early modern world for understanding today’s global patterns and economic interdependency. We will explore twentieth-century developments including the spread of Marxism, secular nationalism, and decolonization. The course ends by looking at current issues in world history, including the environment, global capitalism, and religious revivalism. 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 section a week. Students need not have taken HST 121 Global History to enroll.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST/ANT 145: Archaeology of and in the Modern WorldM/W 12:45-1:40 Law 

Role of history and archaeology in our understanding of 17th- to 19th-century Europe, Africa, and America. Historical archaeology as a mechanism to critique perceptions of the past. Firsthand record of ethnic groups and cultural settings not recorded in writing.

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

HST 214: Modern Africa: 1800-PresentT/TH 11:00-12:20Shanguhyia 

Are you curious about African History? Do you want to understand the causes and consequences of colonialism? Do you wonder about the role of African states in the Cold War? Do you want to go beyond stereotyped images of Africans presented in movies and TV shows? This course will answer those questions and more through surveying the history and transformations of the African continent over the last two hundred years. Some of the themes and topics this course will examine include: the role of slaver in the nineteenth century Africa, precolonial social, economic, and demographic transformations, the effects of colonization on African societies, African anti-imperialism and nationalism, decolonization, Africa and the Cold War, postcolonial successes and challenges, the state of Africa in the twenty-first century and digital age. 

A survey of modern African history since 1800. Themes include nineteenth-century western images of Africa, pre-colonial changes, Western Imperialism, African anti-imperialism, colonial economic and social transformation, nationalism, cold war, decolonization, post colonial developments and changes.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern 

HST 300: Queen Elizabeth IT/TH 11:00-12:20Kyle 

Elizabeth I: Cultural icon? Virgin queen? ‘Father/Mother’ of the nation? This course will examine the images, personality, words and actions of one of the most important monarchs in English history. How did Elizabeth manage to negotiate her rule of a patriarchal society as a ‘weak-willed woman’? Did she exploit her considerable political skills to benefit the country or simply to maintain her position on the throne? And what of those who sort to assassinate or replace her? How did she react to threats of foreign invasion, domestic rebellion and a barely concerned hostility among many in the governing classes? Using both early modern and modern iconography, we will explore the images and representations of Elizabeth to unravel her life and examine how she sought to portray herself and how others have seen her through the years.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-Modern

HST 300/HNR 360: White Nationalism/Right Populism in Modern AmericaT/TH 11:00-12:20Thompson

This course will examine why White Nationalism and Right-wing Populism have become so prominent on the early 21st-century American political landscape. Although such tendencies have long been evident (consider the Second KKK in the 1920s and the Dixiecrats of the 1940s and '50s as two examples), we will explore why they have achieved such significance in recent years. Among the questions we will consider are these:

•To what extent is there continuity between earlier forms of right-wing radicalism and those we see today?
•Was the emergence and ongoing influence of Donald Trump (and pro-Trump groups like QAnon, Proud Boys, Militias, and America First) a cause or consequence of the surge in such beliefs?
•In what ways are US developments distinctive, and how are they part of a global authoritarianist wave?
•How has social media enabled the development of movements like these?

We will begin by reading Richard Hofstadter's "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" and Ruth Ben-Ghiat's Strongmen to provide historical and global context. The remainder of the term will focus on reading broadly in the emerging literature and journalistic explorations on this subject, and in extensive (and often student-led) class discussion.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern 

HST 301: Practicum in the Study of HistoryT/TH 2:00-3:20Terrell

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 History

M/W 9:30-10:50HagenlohWhat 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 303: Age of the American RevolutionM/W 2:15-3:35Murphy 

The anti-colonial movement that birthed the United States of America is often referred to as ‘the’ American Revolution. Yet in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, republican, anti-colonial, and anti-slavery movements animated and divided colonial subjects in British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies throughout the Americas. What are some of the factors that gave rise to these movements, and what were their consequences? Through a combination of primary and secondary sources, this class examines multiple American Revolutions in comparative perspective. We begin by exploring American society on the eve of independence; surveying the factors that gave rise to anti-British sentiment in the Thirteen Colonies; and examining contests over political, economic, and social participation in the new republic. In the second half of the class, we will trace the circulation of revolutionary ideologies in the broader Americas in order to highlights connections that transcended the borders of empire during what historians often refer to as ‘the age of revolutions.’

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern 

HST 304: The Age of Jefferson and JacksonM/W 12:45-2:05Schmeller 

This course examines the period between 1787 and 1848 as a distinctive era in United States history.  From the adoption of the Federal constitution to the Mexican war and the Gold Rush, the early American republic offers a vivid case study in historical irony: how a revolutionary republic inched towards nationalism and imperialism; how declared principles of liberty and equality could coexist with (and occasionally create new modes of) racial, gendered, and economic oppression and inequality; how a people who praised the virtues of rural life became progressively urban and industrial.  Readings and lectures will juxtapose the traditional scholarly focus on statecraft, presidential politics, and diplomacy with more recent research in social, cultural, and economic history.

Concentration: US / Period: Modern

HST 309: Africa and Global AffairsT/TH 2:00-3:20Shanguhyia 

The course explores and analyzes the place of Africa and Africans as victims and players in historical events of global implications from the late nineteenth century (circa 1870) to the present. By utilizing interpretations from history of international relations, the course puts Africa and Africans at the center and periphery of these global currents as important role players and victims. Examples of  global events/processes examined include, but are not limited to: integration of Africa into global economies; nineteenth century European imperialism; Colonial Economies; Global conflicts; health and disease; environmental issues; the Cold War; decolonization; Neocolonialism; International institutions and Africa; the Development Question; global war on terror; to mention but a few. Readings combine primary documents with secondary sources.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern 

HST 321: Modern ChinaT/TH 11:00-12:20Kutcher

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 339: Science and SocietyM/W 12:45-2:05Branson

This course surveys the history of science and technology from the ancient world to the present.

It focuses on how scientific investigation and technologies are shaped by society, as well as how discoveries and innovations reciprocally shape societies.  In studying major scientific developments and technological achievements in civilizations past and present, from the Antikythera device to the Enigma machine, the computer, and the cell phone, we will investigate how the history of science and technology has been written into economic, political, and social narratives.  We will use evidence from archaeology, historical narratives, journalism, and science fiction to explore how science and technology, then and now, are not isolated from society; non-specialists have a stake in which scientific projects are promoted (and funded) and which technologies receive the lion’s share of consumer purchases.  An historical perspective on science and technology informs our understanding of the modern embrace of innovation and the ways that the products of such innovations infuse our cultural practices and daily life. 

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

HST/WGS 349: Women in American History since the Civil WarT/TH 12:30-1:50Thompson

Focusing on the past 150 years, this course is intended to provide an overview of women’s experiences in America from the Civil War to the present. While it is not a course on the history of feminism, it will be taught from a feminist perspective.  What does that mean?  Stated simply, in this class, women will be considered as subjects—as actors who themselves “make history”, and not simply as passive objects of the actions of others. Moreover, it assumes the full personhood of women, the reality of discrimination against women, and the intrinsic significance of women’s experience. Beyond that, it is not expected that students in the course will share the professor’s point of view on all matters (indeed, with any luck, the class will contain a healthy diversity of backgrounds and perspectives).

It should be understood from the outset that “American women’s history” is not monolithic. Therefore, we will pay considerable attention to the diversity among women and their experiences over time.  This diversity adds to the complexity of what we will be studying—but it also will add to the richness of understanding that I hope you will take away from this class. Student participation is not only welcome, but essential!

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 353: History of Ancient RomeT/TH 9:30-10:50Champion 

A comprehensive survey of ancient Roman political, economic, social and cultural history based on the interpretation of primary sources, both literary and archaeological, from the foundation of the city through the dissolution of the Empire in the west. Special focus is given to important topics and themes in Roman history, including Roman foundation legends, the interrelationship of Roman statecraft and Roman religion, Roman aristocratic ethical values and imperialism, the Roman reaction to Greek culture and literature, the imperial cult of the Roman emperor, the position of women in Roman society, the Roman institution of slavery, the origins and early growth of Christianity, the third century CE military and economic crises, and modern ideas on Rome's transformation into medieval Europe. Short paper, mid-term and final examinations.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-modern

HST 356: Modern ItalyM/W 2:15-3:35Ebner

“Italy” has only existed as a unified nation for about 150 years.  This course examines the history of the modern Italian nation-state from its formation in the nineteenth century up to the present day, covering the major events in modern Italian history: the Risorgimento and Unification, the First World War, the decline of the Liberal state, the rise of Fascism, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the crisis of the Italian Republic (1990s).  As we examine these events, we will explore topics that make Italy’s history unique, such as regionalism, the Catholic Church, political parties, class conflict, poverty, social movements, immigration, terrorism, political corruption, and the Mafia. Course requirements include readings (textbook, novels, memoirs, and primary source documents), film screenings, class discussions, short- and medium-length papers, and in-class exams.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern 

HST 357: Early Modern EnglandT/TH 2:00-3:20Kyle

This course examines the political, cultural and social history of Early Modern England. Topics covered will include the power and image of the monarchy (cases studies - Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Charles I); the role of the printing press in both ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture; the impact of crime and the treatment of criminals; the importance of London as a center of commerce and culture; the myth and reality of Shakespeare and the role of the theater; witchcraft and the dominance of religion in everyday life; and the role of women in a patriarchal society. The course will emphasize reading, discussion, visual culture and the use of primary sources.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Modern

HST 358: Democracy Ancient and Modern T/TH 11:00-12:20Champion 

Among the ancient world’s most enduring legacies, democracy continues to exert a powerful influence over the modern political imagination. This course examines forms of ancient democracy and democratic participation in government to help understand and problematize today's so-called democracies. Throughout the course, we probe questions like why democracy arose, what factors limited participation, who benefited most from it, and why twenty-first century versions of it are failing.

Concentration: Europe / Period: Pre-Modern/Modern

HST 367: Plague to AidsT/TH 9:30-10:50Takeda

This class will allow students to examine the social, institutional, political, and cultural dimensions of disease, healthcare and medicine in Europe in the early modern period to the present day (roughly 1450 to the present).  Students will explore ideas and practices of science and medicine in Western Europe, beginning with an analysis of Hippocratic and Galenic medicine in both Christian and Islamic societies of the Mediterranean world.  The class will examine how the Scientific Revolution witnessed changing attitudes towards disease and medicine, and also the continuation and mutation of older, inherited Hippocratic ideas that merged with “modern” epidemiology.  Discussions of the early modern development of state-managed systems (quarantine and health bureaus) against pestilential contagion will explore the political dimensions of disease control and medicine.  We will analyze how disease and disease control fostered imagined boundaries between the “healthy” and the “sick,” the “civilized” and the “barbaric,” the “European” and the “Other.”  Topics to be covered include plague, leprosy, religion and medicine, sexuality and gender, the birth of the clinic, nursing, blindness and disability, disease and colonialism/imperialism, racial science and eugenics, Freud and psychology in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna, Nazi doctors, and current issues involving AIDS, SARS, and bird-flu.  The class will pay particular attention to the representation of disease and examine how discussions of health and medicine exist in historical, political and cultural contexts.

Concentration:  Europe / Period:  Pre-Modern, Modern

HST/SAS 372: Caste and Inequality in Modern IndiaM/W 2:15-3:35Kumar

Caste, an institution unique to South Asia, is a highly visible but not easily understood aspect of Indian society. This course examines caste in modern India, paying particular attention to society and politics in the twentieth century. Drawing upon a wide range of primary and secondary sources including autobiographies, poems, films, and historical texts, we will attempt to understand what it means to belong to the lower castes in modern Indian society or to be considered “untouchable” – in short, to study politics at the margins. Themes that will be explored include the place of caste in Indian society; constructing colonial knowledge of caste; experiencing “impure” personhood; critiques of caste hierarchies; the relationship between caste and gender; segregation of rural and urban spaces; subversion of social norms through literature and landscapes; policing and violence on the lower-caste body; affirmative action and state policy; and the role of caste in democratizing postcolonial politics.


Concentration: Global / Period: Modern

HST 383/PSC 326: Foundations of American Political ThoughtM/W 2:15-3:35Rasmussen

American political thought from the Puritans to Lincoln. American Revolution, establishment of the Constitution, and Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian systems.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: Modern

HST 386: Crime and Society in the United StatesT/TH 3:30-5:50Cohen 

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 401: Development and the Environment in AfricaW 12:45-3:15Shanguhyia

This history senior seminar focuses on the history of development in Africa as “modernization”. It uses developments relating to the natural environment broadly defined to tease out the motives by states and its allies in initiating specific forms of development, and particularly the consequences of these forms of development on local African communities, or the responses of these communities to these developments. Topics examined range from development as implied in African and colonial contexts, agriculture, forestry, wildlife preservation, health, among others. The course takes a critical view to understanding development as practiced by the modern colonial and postcolonial African states and their local and international allies, from the nineteenth century to recent decades. Assigned readings and class discussions also assume a critical approach, while an original research paper based on primary sources caps the course requirements.

Concentration: Global / Period: Modern, Pre-Modern 

HST 401: The US Civil WarT 9:30-3:15Cohen

This is a research seminar on the history of the United States Civil War.  Students will write 25-30 page papers, utilizing primary sources.  Subjects considered will include politics, military strategy and tactics, memory, slavery, reconstruction, race, and gender.

Concentration: U.S. / Period: 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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