History Courses

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HIST - History Courses

HIST-102: Alien Encounters in History (Credits: 4)

People often make the judgment that since the past has influenced our own world, the people of the past must somehow be "like us" in fundamental ways. This course will seek to undermine that judgment by arguing that we are fundamentally different from people in the past and that in understanding these differences, we can more freely choose our futures. Our field of inquiry will be European History in the centuries that include the Ancient World through the Renaissance. In particular, we will examine the ways in which Europeans (a definition that evolves over time) define themselves through encountering and interacting with "alien" cultures. Examples: What's the difference between civilized people and barbarians? How do the people on both sides of the Crusades misunderstand each other? How do the Khan and the Pope try to negotiate their communication? These are a few of the "alien" encounters that we may study. (WCore: WCFAH and WE)

HIST-111: Patterns of Global Immigration (Credits: 4)

This course looks at the recent history of global immigration patterns in the context of modern world history, paying particular attention to the last century, or so, of migration. The course focuses on immigrant experiences in the US and Europe but it also closely examines global circumstances that affect who becomes an immigrant and why. Students will explore immigration through a variety of writing assignments that focus on the historical and contemporary influences shaping the immigration experience in many parts of the world. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)

HIST-120: The Story of America (Credits: 4)

This class will serve as an introduction to American history from the colonial period to the present day. We will seek to answer some fundamental questions: How did we get here? How did we go from a handful of small, not very important British colonies to the richest and most powerful nation on earth? How free have Americans been, who has wielded power, and how has that changed over time? How do historians construct their versions of the past? (WCore: WCFAH, DE)

HIST-123: Citizenship and Voting in Europe (Credits: 4)

This course examines the struggle for citizenship and its attendant benefits in European History. The course will follow this focus by selectively looking at European history from the Renaissance through WWII. Approximately two weeks of the course will be developed to a service learning project related to individuals seeking citizenship and/or voter registration here in Salt Lake City. We will look at how the current local issues relating to obtaining citizen rights affect our understanding of the issues that have aided and impeded citizenship in history. (WCore: WCFAH, WE)

HIST-124: Film and Memory (Credits: 4)

This course analyzes the intersection between film culture and the past by placing memory at the center of analysis. In other words, it explores how different genres of film, from war dramas to science fiction, shape the way communities remember the past and imagine the future. We will explore the representation of diverse societies and peoples in a variety of films. This course will consider how visions of the future reflect historical realities (new ideas about science, nuclear war, space exploration). We will examine how different actors-production companies, directors, studios, and the state-attempt to craft national narratives and contribute to community identity through different genres. (WCore, WCSBS, RE)

HIST-200: Special Topics in History (Credits: 1 to 4)

Special topics focusing on shifting regional and thematic studies. Courses classified under the HIST 200 designation are taught on a rotating basis.

HIST-202: Experiencing Public Lands (Credits: 4)

In 1872 the U.S. Congress declared the Yellowstone region the world's first "national park." In 1916 Congress created the National Park Service, "which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Today the Park Service manages over "units" with nearly 30 different designations - including national parks, monuments, historical parks, military parks, preserves, recreation areas, seashores, parkways, lakeshores, and reserves - and nations around the world have created their own versions of "national parks." This course will investigate the "national park" idea and its implications for natural and human history. Why has this been called "America's best idea?" What have been the implications of national park designation for Native Americans? For wildlife? For American history and culture? How do historians answer such questions? (WCore: WCFAH, WE)

HIST-204: Truth and Reconciliation (Credits: 4)

This course explores past and present attempts to achieve "Truth and Reconciliation" in the wake of violent and traumatic historical events. We will examine comparative examples of Truth and Reconciliation processes in places like South Africa, Canada, Chile, and Greensboro, South Carolina. We will also compare these processes with artistic and grassroots ways to come to terms with the past as well as international war tribunals. By closely analyzing the way individuals and governments create public memory about shared experiences and historical events, we will raise questions about the complex nature of seeking truth and studying history, and the tension between the pursuit of reconciliation and the desire for justice. This course has an oral history component. (WCore: WCSBS, WE)

HIST-206: Homelands and Contested Spaces (Credits: 4)

Focusing on the methods, processes and outcomes of empire in what are usually referred to as "settler states," this course explores the United States, Australia, and South Africa (among others) from circa 1600 to the present. It compels students to grapple with the complex origins, realities and legacies of what we commonly know today as reservations and homelands. Questions of primary concern in this course are: How and why did these spaces come to be? How and why were they maintained (or not maintained)? Why did certain populations accept or reject the creations of these spaces (and why do these responses change over time)? How do the ancestors of settlers and indigenous populations see and experience these spaces today? The course places a heavy emphasis on critical reading, film interpretation, and research. (WCore: WCFAH, DE)

HIST-214: Vietnam and America (Credits: 4)

This course explores the tangled history of America's involvement in Vietnam, the war's impacts on the people of both nations, and the war's global legacy. We will emphasize the reasons, meanings, and outcomes of the war for a range of participants: Vietnamese soldiers and civilians, northern and southern; U.S. civilians, policy makers, and soldiers, pro- and anti- war; and participants, observers, and protesters around the world. This course fulfills the WCore Research Emphasis. You will learn and practice history-specific research, discussion, and writing skills in a variety of assignments, including weekly reflective journals and crafting short "vignettes" and a longer research paper based on primary and secondary sources that you find, evaluate, analyze, and communicate to your classmates.? (WCore: WCSBS, RE)

HIST-230: Global Coffee Cultures (Credits: 4)

This course educates students on the international histories of and ethical considerations attached to labor, political economics, environment, and gender related to global coffee cultures, both the consumption and production sides. Students will critically engage with these historical and contemporary issues pervasive in global coffee communities through primary and secondary texts, film, and an occasional field trip to local roasters and/or cafes. Coffee will be served during each class period. (WCore: EWRLD)

HIST-241: The Craft of History (Credits: 4)

This course introduces students to the study and practice of history. Students will learn how to frame historical research questions, find primary sources, interpret historical works, and effectively communicate their own research. Students also gain real-world field experience in historical research. The course includes occasional, brief field trips (during regular class hours) to historical research libraries, museums, and archives (for example, the Utah Historical Society, Marriott Library Special Collections, and LDS Family Research Library), and historic sites (such as downtown Salt Lake City, Fort Douglas, and local cemeteries). The skills learned in this course will be fundamental to the research and writing expected in upper-division history classes, especially the two-semester thesis sequence (390/490).

HIST-300: Special Topics in History (Credits: 1 to 4)

Special topics focusing on shifting regional and thematic studies. Courses classified under the HIST 300 designation are taught on a rotating basis.

HIST-302: Experiencing Public Lands (Credits: 4)

The United States has a system of public lands unlike any other nation. About 25% of the country's territory is managed by federal agencies, including the USDA Forest Service; Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service (all in the Interior Department); and the Department of Defense. These lands have been designated for a bewildering variety of uses and purposes, and they are managed by very different agencies that face very different challenges, from restoring endangered species to testing weapons to mitigating toxic waste. The Westminster Expedition, a semester-long academic road trip, brings students to dozens of public lands units, where students learn firsthand about those uses, purposes, challenges, and management priorities, often from officials within those agencies and people who live and work on or near those lands and who deal with the policies and challenges of these complex places.

HIST-307: Comparative Revolutions (Credits: 4)

From the Atlantic Revolutions of the late eighteenth century to the Marxist revolutions that swept the globe in the twentieth century, this seminar is a critical examination of conflicts of liberation, decolonization, and radical imagination. We will explore how people reacted to political, economic, religious, and social injustices often violently in search of better futures. We will also examine the contradictions and tensions of many revolutionary movements and the legacy of revolution in political and artistic life in places like France, Russia, Vietnam, China, and Cuba. (World History category)

HIST-308: Supernatural Europe (Credits: 4)

Belief in magic in medieval and early modern Europe was nearly universal. From priests to scholars to millers to merchants, the supernatural was central to understanding the world. This course will use the framework of the supernatural-belief in mythical beings, in spiritual or occult forces, in magic-to investigate European society and culture. We will study how views of the supernatural changed as a result of societal transformations and upheavals, including the Black Death, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, industrialization, and the wars of the twentieth century. (World History category)

HIST-313: Our Troubled Time US History Since 1945 (Credits: 4)

This course focuses on the history of the United States as the preeminent global power, the onsequences and challenges of that status, and the social and cultural issues that have captivated and challenged Americans since 1945. (Americas History category)

HIST-316: Slavery, Civil War, Legacy (Credits: 4)

Examines U.S. history in its most violent and divisive period. Emphases include the experience of enslaved African Americans; the growth of the anti-slavery movement; the division of the nation; the military course of the Civil War; the results of the war; the failed experiment of Reconstruction; and economics, politics and society in the Gilded Age. (Americas History category)

HIST-317: Empire & Power: Us History, 1890-1945 (Credits: 4)

Explores the metamorphosis of the United States from a provincial, continental power to an industrialized and urbanized world power. Emphases include the Industrial Revolution and its impact on foreign policy; the Spanish-American War and the acquisition of empire; the growing power of the executive branch; the Progressive Era; the 1920s; the Depression; and U.S. participation in two world wars. (Americas History category)

HIST-319: American Women's History (Credits: 4)

An overview of the economic, social, and political roles women have played in American history, from the colonial period to today. Investigates women's work in the household and market economies, women and the family, and women's legal and civil rights and liabilities across time. (Americas History category)

HIST-320: Environmental History of the United,States (Credits: 4)

An exploration of how men and women have thought about and acted upon the land in what is now the United States from before the European exploration to the present day, including how the land and its resources shaped how people live, how the ways that people view the land changed over time, and how people have changed the earth and some of the consequences of those changes. (Americas History category)

HIST-324: Global Cold War (Credits: 4)

The Cold War, a global political, and frequently, militaristic struggle from around 1947 to 1991, is often centered on contests between the Soviet Union and the United States. This course will complicate the view that the world was divided between two powers and ideologies by considering the legacy the Cold War had on societies in places such as eastern and central Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa. We will closely examine how culture was often weaponized during the Cold War - how music, art, popular literature, and sports could be used as a source of ideological inspiration, as a form of resistance and protest, and as propaganda. This course will also investigate how cultural developments were shaped by Cold War politics and the threat of nuclear war. Through case studies and oral history interviews, students will explore to what extent cultural forms (whether jazz music or Olympics sports) have the capacity to express communist or democratic capitalist ideologies. (World History category)

HIST-325: The Indigenous West (Credits: 4)

This course will function as one of the Westminster Expedition courses (and must be taken with ENVI 331, ENVI 332, and HIST 302). Indigenous peoples inhabited all of the American West; today's Indigenous nations exercise sovereignty over fragments of their former territory. This course investigates the "Indigenous history" of some of the West, based upon the Expedition's itinerary. For example, Blackfeet were displaced from Glacier and Sheepeaters from Yellowstone, now iconic parts of the National Park system. Students will also visit contemporary Indigenous nations and investigate their roles in land-use issues. Students will meet with Indigenous peoples, public lands managers, scholars, and activists along our route. (WCore: EWRLD) (Americas History category)

HIST-327: History of the Holocaust (Credits: 4)

The horrors of the events that became known as the Holocaust, or Shoah-the murder of more than six million Jews and five million or more non-Jewish people: Roma, homosexuals, disabled people, political prisoners, Jehovah's Witnesses-continues to haunt human memory. The legacy of the Holocaust continually appears in media and film, in novels, and in political and historical debates. In this course, we will confront some of the most challenging questions and topics that come out of this history: why were most people bystanders? What was the role of Christian anti-Semitism in the destruction of Jews? What motivated ordinary people to murder their neighbors? We will also place the Shoah in a global context by exploring its connections to colonialism, racism, ableism, and other genocides. We will listen to oral histories and testimonies to better understand the lived experiences of those who survived. This course will culminate in a final project that contributes to contemporary understandings of the Holocaust's significance. (World history emphasis and WCore: EWRLD)

HIST-328: Death on Display (Credits: 4)

Death, considered by some cultures as taboo, has a long history of exhibition, from saints' relics to museum artifacts. This course investigates the way different types of institutions-churches, art museums, science and natural history museums, and ethnographic museums-have exhibited death to the public. We will approach the issue of displaying death through international case studies and visit local museums and public history sites to observe first-hand how human remains, funerary objects, and photography exhibit and narrate death. This course also examines debates surrounding the repatriation and reburial of human remains, changing attitudes toward death and dying, and the social meaning of funerary ritual. (World History category)

HIST-329: Culture & Society in East Asia (Credits: 4)

The twenty-first century has often been referred to as the "Pacific Century." East Asia has become a focal point of economics, technology, politics, and popular culture. How did East Asian societies go from devastation, occupation, revolution, and dictatorship to global prominence? The course takes this question as a starting point and investigates the distinctive historical transformations of postwar Japan, China, and South Korea using the lens of popular culture, including film, literature, manga, anime, sports, social media, gaming, music, and new technologies. We will explore how popular cultural phenomena, whether Cold War Olympic sports or K-pop stans, intertwined with politics, economics, religion, and historical memory. This interdisciplinary approach to East Asian history and society will provide a richer understanding of the complex and dynamic cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. Our examination will take us beyond generalizations and stereotypes to think in critical and informed ways about East Asia and its place in the world. (World History category) (WCore: EWRLD)

HIST-330: Middle Eastern History (Credits: 4)

An inquiry into Middle Eastern history from the early civilizations to our own day. The course deals with conflicts as well as quests that have created peace; developments in the three monotheistic religions and their cultures (with an emphasis on Islam); late 20th-Century issues. (World History category)

HIST-340: Conquest & Discovery Colonial Latin Am (Credits: 4)

Surveys the Latin American experience from pre-Columbian society through independence, and emphasizes the recurring themes of authoritarianism and exploitation. (Americas History category)

HIST-341: Democracy, Revolution, Repression (Credits: 4)

Explores Latin American history from Independence (1810) to the contemporary period, focusing on democracy, revolution, and authoritarianism as proposed solutions to the inequality, poverty, and exploitation that sometimes plague Latin American nations. (Americas History category)

HIST-352: Water in the West (Credits: 4)

An old aphorism notes that to get rich in the West, one should become a water lawyer. Another states that "Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting." Forest historian Char Millar writes that "Great hopes, deep doubts, even despair, have been integral to the history of western water policy." The American West has long been defined in large part by its lack of water. The region's aridity lies at the heart of endless ecological, social, political, and legal debates that have at times sparked violence. This course will explore the social world of water in the region, and the challenges presented by its relative scarcity.

HIST-365: Utah and the West (Credits: 4)

This course examines the history of Utah and its place in the region, including its Indigenous inhabitants, early explorers, the arrival of Mormons and non-Mormons, Utah's clashes with the federal government, and the "Americanization" of Utah since 1896. (Americas History category)

HIST-390: Research Seminar in History (Credits: 3)

A required seminar for senior history majors, which combines historiography and research, resulting in the production of a senior thesis based on original research. Prerequisite: History major or minor or consent of instructor.

HIST-401: Directed Studies (Credits: 1 to 4)

A tutorial-based course used only for student- initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the History Program. Requires consent of instructor and school dean. This course is repeatable for credit.

HIST-440: Internship (Credits: 1 to 8)

Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Students will be graded on assigned coursework and evaluation by their site supervisor. Prerequisites: 60 college credits completed (for transfer students at least 15 hours competed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of faculty advisor and Career Center internship coordinator. Interns will work for 42 hours per each registered credit. This course is repeatable for credit. Some majors limit how many internship credits may count towards the major, consult your faculty advisor. REGISTRATION NOTE: Registration for internships is initiated through the Career Center website and is finalized upon completion of required paperwork and approvals. More info: 801-832-2590 https://westminstercollege.edu/student-life/career -center/internships.html

HIST-440S: Internship (Credits: 1 to 8)

HIST-490: Research Seminar in History (Credits: 3)

A required seminar for history majors, continuing the work begun in HIST 390. (WCore: SC)