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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

HIST Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • HIST 101 World History to 1500 (3)

    Explores the emergence of the modem world, from prehistoric times to early modem times, through an examination of selected themes across the world's cultures. Themes may include the arts, society and religion, global interaction of cultures or competing ideas of human dignity and self-determination. Special emphasis is given to the role of deep cultural roots over the long term of historical development and the long-term effect of traditional values and cultural practices. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 102 World History Since 1500 (3)

    Explores the emergence of the modem world, from the end of the 15th century to contemporary times, through an examination of selected themes across the world's cultures. Such themes may include the arts, society and religion, global competition and human rights, technological change, nationalist movements and self-determination. Special emphasis is given to the interaction and interdependence of the world's population as a whole. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 111 Early America (3)

    This course focuses on the history of the United States to 1860 with emphasis on large-scale social and cultural phenomena such as the origin and impact of colonial migration, the forming of regional identities, the role of political ideologies and the influence of social movements. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 112 Modern America (3)

    Focuses on the history of the United States from the 1860s to the present with emphasis on major social and cultural trends and movements. Topics include impact of race and ethnicity, rise of the New South, role of political ideologies, reform and labor movements, and migration and immigration. The history of ordinary people is stressed. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 121 World History of Art to 1500 (3)

    Surveys human aesthetics up to the Renaissance, introducing students to the iconography and the artistic connections between global cultures, including those of Africa, Asia and Europe. While developing critical-thinking and communication skills, students explore human creations inspired by religion, the natural world and love. Incorporating the printed works of critics and historians, museum pieces, archeological evidence and electronic media, this course teaches students how to interpret an image as a primary source document. Emphasizes the political, religious and urban contexts of artistic creation. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 122 World History of Art From 1500 (3)

    Surveys human aesthetics beginning with the Renaissance, introducing students to the iconography and the artistic connections between global cultures, including those of Africa, Asia and Europe. While developing critical-thinking and communication skills, students explore human creations inspired by religion, the natural world and love. Incorporating the printed works of critics and historians, museum pieces, archeological evidence and electronic media, this course teaches students how to interpret an image as a primary source document. Emphasizes the political, religious and urban contexts of artistic creation. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 197 Conflicts in History (3)

    History is an ongoing inquiry and debate, rarely—if ever—set in stone. Introduces students to the major themes of history and the ingredients of the discipline. Presents a selection of major human conflicts of the past 3,000 years and the historical debates they have inspired. Students discover the roots and consequences of American, European or world conflicts in history, using primary sources to hear the actors in their own words. Leads to discovery that many of the problems of the past still have effects in the present. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 240 Everyday Lives (3)

    Social history illuminates the lives of ordinary people. This skills course introduces the methods of the social historian to the beginning student. Students read examples of masterful social histories and engage in original research to produce their own depictions of everyday life in a particular period of the past. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 290 Great Issues in History (3)

    Focusing on a single topic or theme of historical and contemporary interest, this course emphasizes the roots of great issues in history. The course focuses on understanding and applying historical methods, analyzing issues in their broader historical context and analyzing a variety of historical sources. The topic for a given semester appears in the schedule of classes. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 295 The Historian's Toolkit (3)

    An examination of the methods of historical research and presentation. Among the methods considered are the gathering of evidence, procedures for criticism and interpretation of primary sources, and special techniques such as collecting and using oral testimony. Deals with the application of historical methods in a number of vocational settings from museum and archival work to planning and policy studies. Required of all history majors.

  • HIST 310 Ancient Civilizations (3)

    The origins of European civilizations are traced to the societies of the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome. Special emphasis on the development of complex societies and on such themes as the individual and society; freedom and slavery; and magic, religion and rationalism.

  • HIST 311 Emergence of Europe (3)

    A study of topics in the development of European culture from the decline of Rome through the Renaissance (ca. 400-1500). Special emphasis on classical, Christian and Arab influences.

  • HIST 312 Age of Revolutions (3)

    A study of European culture and thought from the Renaissance to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Special emphasis on the origins and impact of the scientific, industrial and political revolutions.

  • HIST 313 Europe 1815-1914 (3)

    Surveys European history in the 19th century, a time of enormous cultural, social, economic and political change. Focuses on the dominant powers of Europe—England, France, Germany and Russia—and examines the impact of new ideologies such as nationalism, liberalism, socialism and right-wing radicalism.

  • HIST 314 Europe 1914-45 (3)

    World War I destroyed the institutions and values of traditional European society and ushered in a new era of European history. This course covers the causes, experience and impacts of World War I and World War II; the rise of extremist ideologies in the interwar era; and the development of modernism in European society in the years up to 1945. prerequisite: 3 credits of history (any level), at UB or at another institution, with a grade of C- or better

  • HIST 315 Europe Since 1945 (3)

    This course examines all aspects of European history since 1945, focusing on trends and issues in both western and eastern Europe. [HIPL / HAT]

  • HIST 331 English Law to 1689 (3)

    The study of English law as it functioned in constitutional, political and social life from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Glorious Revolution of 1689. The precedents for American law are discussed.

  • HIST 332 English Law Since 1689 (3)

    The study of English law as it functioned in constitutional, political and social life from 1689 to the modern period. The precedents for American law are discussed.

  • HIST 340 American Legal History (3)

    A general survey of the development of American law from colonial times to the present. Emphasizes the importance of social change and political conflict in legal development. Topics include the reception of English law in the colonies, the establishment of the federal court system and the struggle to modernize American law in the 19th and 20th centuries. Coursework involves the analysis of original legal documents and materials.

  • HIST 344 World War II (3)

    A comprehensive study of the origins, events and effects of the 20th century's second experience in total war.

  • HIST 350 History of U.S. Foreign Relations (3)

    Examines major international events of the past 120 years and the ways in which the United States has led and/or responded to them. Also examines different approaches to the study of U.S. foreign relations to discover and understand the complexity of major problems in the field. Helps expand students' understanding of U.S. and world history, the globalization of the world in which they now live, the relevance of U.S. foreign relations to their lives and their own potential as agents of change.
  • HIST 370 Old South and Slavery (3)

    A social, economic and political study of the development of American slavery and the culture of the Old South. Special emphasis on the plantation system and the emergence of sectionalism.

  • HIST 375 Civil War and Reconstruction (3)

    A social and political study of the era of disunion and reunion, 1848-77, with special emphasis on the causes of the conflict and its impact on race relations, national institutions and the Southern states.

  • HIST 377 New South and Civil Rights (3)

    A study of the American South from Reconstruction to the present, with special emphasis on the economic and political impact of the Civil War and industrialization, the rebirth of Southern culture and literature, and race relations.

  • HIST 380 The Chesapeake World (3)

    Focusing on the period from 1600 to 1830, this course explores central themes in the social, economic and intellectual history of the Chesapeake Bay region. The region, including Virginia, Maryland and the Eastern Shore, is examined as a case study of Anglo-European colonization and settlements in the New World. Topics include the pattern of migration to the region, conflict between colonists and Native American peoples, emergence of the plantation system and the origins of slavery. Recommended for students who wish to take HIST 382.

  • HIST 381 American Cities (3)

    Urbanization as a major theme in American history, beginning with the establishment of American cities and ending with contemporary urban life. Topics include city and the frontier; the premodern city; the emergence of industrial cities; urban transportation networks; immigrants, bosses and reformers; the emergence of urban institutions; the growth of suburbia; and the urban crises of the 1960s.

  • HIST 382 History of Baltimore (3)

    Social and economic changes that took place in American cities. Emphasis is placed on a detailed study of Baltimore as it exemplified changes taking place during the period. Major themes are industrialization and racial and ethnic diversity.

  • HIST 383 Community History (3)

    Using case studies, this course considers the history of various efforts at community-making in the United States. The role ethnicity, class, race, gender, occupation, religion, age and affinity have played in different places at different times are explored as are nostalgia's importance to the idea of "community" as a lost quality.

  • HIST 390 Film and History (3)

    A close study of historic events, people and issues as interpreted and presented in visual media, primarily feature films, documentaries or television series. Historical subject and type of media program varies from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • HIST 395 Introduction to Historiography (3)

    Introduces students to historical writing in the European context, from its roots with Thucydides and Josephus in the ancient world to the French Annales of modern European world, and in the United States from the 19th-century Patristic school to the New History movement of the late 20th century. Covers major historiographical debates, which acquaints students with issues relating to style of writing, literary criticism and deconstructionism, as well as the various organizational paradigms of historical writing, such as chronological, thematic, quantification and other approaches. prerequisite: HIST 295

  • HIST 420 America Since 1940 (3)

    Covering in depth and in detail the period from 1940 to about 1970, this course offers an exploration of major issues in recent American history. Topics include the impact of World War II on American society, origins of the Cold War, emergence of McCarthyism, history of the civil rights and women's movements, polarization of American society in the 1960s, American involvement in Southeast Asia and major trends in the social and intellectual climate of the era.

  • HIST 434 American Constitutional History (3)

    A historical study of the background and establishment of the American Constitution and its political and social effects on American life from 1789 to the 20th century.

  • HIST 438 Great Trials in History (3)

    A study of the interplay between society and the conduct and outcome of some controversial criminal trials. With each offering of the course, some of the following trials are studied: Guiteau, Dreyfus, Casement, Sacco-Vanzetti, Scopes, Scottsboro, Hiss and Rosenberg.

  • HIST 440 History of Common Law (3)

    A study of the common law of Great Britain and the United States through its development in medieval Europe and into the modern period. Both procedure and substance are emphasized. Parallels the School of Law course but is conducted at an undergraduate level. Credit earned in this course cannot be transferred to the School of Law.

  • HIST 445 Topics in the History of Religion (3)

    Intensive study of particular topics in the history of religion, ranging from Christianity and Judaism to Eastern religions or American religious history. Topic varies depending on the interests of the faculty and students. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • HIST 460 The Cold War, 1945-90 (3)

    For almost half a century following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged each other and their respective allies in an epoch-making global confrontation known as the Cold War. This course explores the origins, evolution and effects of that conflict and its role in shaping modern history. Topics include the nuclear arms race, the series of crises involving Berlin, the U-2 affair, the Cuban missile crisis, related conflicts in Southeast Asia, detente, impact on American culture and more.

  • HIST 463 History of Germany (3)

    A study of Germany from unification to the present, with an emphasis on German politics, society and economics before 1933, the rise and fall of National Socialism, the division of Germany after World War II and the unification of Germany in 1990.

  • HIST 465 Topics in Eastern European History (3)

    Intensive exploration of a geographic area or historical theme within Eastern Europe. The course may focus on such topics as southeastern Europe, the Baltic region and east central Europe. The topic to be studied appears in the class schedule. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.

  • HIST 466 History of Africa (3)

    Studies in African history from early cultures to the late 19th century.

  • HIST 468 American Political History (3)

    Intensive study of dominant political issues in American society from the founding of the colonies to the recent past.

  • HIST 470 Modern China (3)

    Introduces the changes and continuities of modern China since 1860. Students learn to apply their knowledge of Chinese history and historical methodology to analyze current affairs. Students read and analyze primary and secondary sources of modern China and engage in original research to construct their own analysis of one aspect of modern Chinese history. [HIPL]

  • HIST 472 Modern Japan (3)

    Explores the historical transformation that has led to the development of modern Japan, from the slow decline of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 19th century to the present. Covers such topics as the fall of the Tokugawa order; Meiji Restoration and Japan's rapid modernization; the rise of Japanese imperialism and its demise through the Pacific War; and Japan's post-war development in political, economic, social and cultural realms. While developing critical-thinking and communication skills, students also learn to apply their knowledge of Japanese history to analyzing aspects of modern Japanese life.
  • HIST 473 U.S. Women's History (3)

    Using case studies, this course examines the changing roles of women in American society. Topics such as family, work, education, sexuality and women's rights are explored. Emphasis is placed on both the variety of women's experiences and the evolving concerns and position of American women as a group.

  • HIST 474 Women and Family in European History (3)

    The history of European women from the old regime of the 17th and 18th centuries to the present. Topics include the private and public lives of women; changes in family structure, courtship and fertility; education, work and professional opportunities; and the social and political emancipation of European women.

  • HIST 477 Technology and History (3)

    Selected topics in the cause-and-effect relationship of technological developments on societies in various historical periods.

  • HIST 478 History of American Business (3)

    A historical survey of American business and labor from Colonial America to the recent past.

  • HIST 480 Introduction to Public History (3)

    A survey of the professional applications of historical analysis in settings outside academe focusing on the practice of history in museums, archives, historical societies and preservation. Guest speakers and site visits are featured.

  • HIST 482 Introduction to Historical Preservation (3)

    An introduction to historic preservation issues, including law, economics, nonprofit and not-for-profit
    organizations, site interpretation, architectural history, industrial archeology, relevant federal and state programs, community revitalization and landmark commissions. prerequisite: HIST 295
  • HIST 490 Internship (3)

    Provides an opportunity to gain experience in the practical application of historical analysis through work assignments with the appropriate historical and related cultural agencies. The course instructor and staff at each agency supervise the student's participation. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: approval of the instructor

  • HIST 492 Independent Study (1-3)

    Provides for individual work in research. prerequisite: presentation of a research proposal to the program director and permission of the program director

  • HIST 493 Honors Seminar (3)

    An advanced interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on important books and issues and encourages independent thinking, clear presentation and an understanding of the concerns and methods of various disciplines. The course may be team taught; topic and instructor(s) may change from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of the Denit Honors Program director

  • HIST 494 Honors Project (3-6)

    Directed individual instruction in an advanced project of the student's choice; the project must be academically related to this discipline. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The project must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the faculty director and a second faculty member. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of both the Denit Honors Program director and the faculty director

  • HIST 495 Senior Seminar in History (3)

    Students read about and conduct research on a selected topic in history. Emphasis is on the preparation of a major paper based on primary sources. Topic changes from semester to semester.  prerequisite: HIST 295 and HIST 395

  • HIST 496 Seminar in Public History (3)

    Students research and present a major project on a selected topic in public history. Projects are based on collaboration with external organizations or groups.

  • HIST 497 Special Topics in History (3)

    Intensive exploration of topics in history of mutual interest to faculty and students. Content varies according to the interests of the faculty and students. The topic studied appears under that name in the class schedule.