Fall 2014 History Courses
This course aims to provide students with an introduction to the discipline and methodologies of history through the study of the relationship of the West to non-Western societies in the contemporary world. Attention is focused on understanding the unique events and trends of the 20th century and their political, social, economic, literary and artistic antecedents in the previous century. (ATTR: ARTS, CDH)
This course is designed to give History majors an opportunity to experience history-related activities beyond the normal classroom. To complete the requirement, students must consult their advisor about an experience and complete the departmental forms. Qualifying to complete the requirement are history-related internships, study abroad, travel courses, social studies student teaching, presentation of a paper to a conference or symposium such as sponsored by the Omicron Xi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, participation in the History Department’s Oral History Project, Model UN, Gettysburg Semester, pursuit of the Certificate in Revolutionary Era Studies, or 15 hours of a history activity at a historical society or institution approved by the department. The course is P/F. See advisor for more information. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (ATTR: ARTS. NOEX)
Selected topics in twentieth century world history. This seminar fulfills the core requirements of three credits in history for those students who qualify. (ATTR: ARTS, CDH, HNRS, HYHR, NOEX)
Service learning component required. Transportation provided for 3 class visits off-site.
The purpose of this course is to analyze the Western Tradition as it evolved from the Greeks to the Italian Renaissance; to understand and appreciate non-Western civilizations and their encounters with the West; to examine the human condition over time, both the role of the powerful and the powerless.(ATTR: ARTS, CAH, CFD, HEUR, HMEU, PNH)
The purpose of the course is to analyze the Western Tradition as it evolved from 1500 to 1900; to understand and appreciate non-Western civilizations and their encounters with the West; and to examine the human condition over time, both the role of the powerful and the powerless.
(ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, CAH, CFD, GLST, HMEU)
This is the second of two courses dealing with world history offered at Siena College (I do not include here HIST101, The Shaping of the Contemporary World). It covers the period between the emergence of the modern world, starting in 1500 C.E. and the advent of the twentieth century. This is a broad survey that emphasizes certain themes: the increasing contacts among civilizations, “technology and the environment,” and “diversity and dominance.”
(1) to introduce the student to the broad patterns in the emergence of human societies and of an increasingly integrated world;
(2) to allow students to appreciate the importance of technology and the environment in human history;
(3) to appreciate the diversity of human societies and the tragic effects of their efforts to dominate one another
(4) to engage in the skills of analysis, synthesis, and comparison in historical studies
A survey of the political, geographic, social, economic, and intellectual factors that have contributed to the growth of the United States as a great power; from settlement through the Civil War era.
(ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, CAH, CFD, HAM, HMAM)
This course explores American history from early European settlement through the end of the Civil War in 1865. Some of the key topics for this course include: the reasons for and the nature of settlement in the various colonies; the collision of English and Native American cultures; the origins and development of African slavery in North America; the development of distinctly American political, social, and economic institutions; the ideology of American Independence; the creation of a new political order; economic and geographic expansion; growing sectional division; and the causes of the Civil War. These topics will be explored from political, economic, and social perspectives.
A survey of the political, geographic, social, economic, and intellectual factors that have contributed to the growth of the United States as a great power; from the Civil War era to the present.
(ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, CAH, HAM, HMAM, NOEX, CFH)
A survey of the political, economic, cultural, and social history of the United States from 1865 to the present. In particular, this class will look at the concept of “freedom” as it has changed from Reconstruction in the late 19th century to the “War on Terror” in the early 21st century. All Americans claim to value “freedom” or “liberty,” but what do we mean by these words? We will consider not just the meaning of freedom at home, but how the United States has both promoted and undermined these ideals abroad. Required reading: Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty!: An American History, Volume II, Brief 3rd Edition, a monograph (to be selected), and primary source documents posted on Blackboard. Assignments include daily writing exercises, three essay exams, a primary source essay, and an academic book review.
The political, social, economic, and cultural history of the state of New York from the pre-Columbian era to the present.
(ATTR: ARTS, AMSA, HAM, HMAM)
This course will examine the development and importance of New York State. Students will investigate the geological and geographical settings; the history, cultures, and significance of the native Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples; The Dutch and English periods of the colonial era; the role of immigrants, economics, religion and reform movements; and the place of New York in the arts, literature and science. Attention will naturally be paid to the place of New York in the Federal Union and its contributions to such events as The Civil War, national politics, and social change. Students will become familiar with an array of important New Yorkers, ranging from Susan B. Anthony to John Peter Zenger. We will contemplate the amazing ethnic diversity found in New York from earliest times, and the vastly different urban, rural and suburban settings in which New Yorkers have lived and worked.
A study of the region from the rise of Islam to the beginnings of modernization, with emphasis on the interplay of politics, religion, economy, and culture between 600 and 1800.
(ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP, MULT, MRST)
This is the first of two courses dealing with the history of the Middle East offered here at Siena College. It covers the period between about 600 and 1800, provides the student with the historical knowledge to appreciate the foundations of the modern experience of Middle Eastern peoples, and seeks to offer broad generalizations rather than a highly specialized and narrowly-focused approach. No specialized preparation or prerequisite is needed. Curiosity and a willingness to work with unfamiliar and new materials are essential. Course objectives:
(1) to introduce the student to a major world region with a long history and tradition;
(2) to illumine present conditions at least in part by acquiring knowledge and understanding of the past;
(3) to study the region from the rise of Islam to the beginnings of modernization, with emphasis on the interplay of politics, religion, economy, and culture between 600 and 1800.
A survey of western European history between roughly 450 and 1350, tracing political, social, and cultural trends. This course will focus on the formation of an entity called “Europe,” distinct from its neighbors in the Byzantine and Arabic worlds, yet including non-Christians as an integral part of European history.
(ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, ISP, NOEX, PNH, WSTU, MRST)
A survey of European History from the breakup of the Roman Empire to the beginnings of the Renaissance, roughly 450-1400. This course will trace the political, cultural, and social trends that define this era. It will focus on the formation of Europe and how it is distinct from its neighbors in the Byzantine and Arabic World. It includes study of non-Christians as an integral part of European history. Topics covered will include the rise of Christianity, the Crusades, the Holy Roman Empire, the Black Death, the Kingdoms of Europe, and social classes in the Middle Ages. Readings will include primary and secondary sources. Course requirements include active participation in class discussions, essays, and exams.
Is there a capitalist “way of thinking”? What American culture, laws, and institutions were really about controlling risk? How have capitalist fantasies and realities fueled American culture and politics? In one of the newest “schools” of American history, scholars are untangling the threads of capitalism in American culture, politics, and society from our past as colonial outpost to the triumph of Wall Street in the 20th century. Recently noted by the New York Times (“In History Departments, it’s Up with Capitalism”), this school is inspiring academic centers, conferences, and book series. Students in this honors class will sample some of this new scholarship as we consider questions central to understanding American history: Readings will include: Levy, Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America; Laird, Pull: Networking and Success since Benjamin Franklin; Kwolek-Folland, Engendering Business: Men and Women in the Corporate Office, 1870-1930, and Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: Businessman's Crusade Against the New Deal. This will be a seminar-style class with no exams but significant reading load; 50% of the final grade will be based on weekly reading responses, and 50% on in-class discussion.
(ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, HAM, HMAM, HNRS, NOEX)
A historical treatment from the European perspective of the principal developments and crises from the end of World War II to the present.
(ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, ISP, NOEX, WSTU)
This course examines the history of Europe since the devastating aftermath of World War II to recent struggles to merge the "old" and "new" Europes. Students will receive an overview of the main political, economic, social, cultural and intellectual developments and attempt to grapple with the major crises and triumphs of the continent's recent past. Topics to be covered include: postwar recovery, the Cold War, de-colonization, the economic boom, social movements, revolutions in Eastern Europe, the European Union, immigration, and nationalism. Requirements include active class participation, two take home exams, and a semester long research project.
This course will introduce students to the history of Japan from earliest times to 1600, including the Classical, Medieval, and Warring States eras. Traditional Japan lays the foundation needed for a richer understanding and appreciation of Modern Japan, offered the following semester. Students are encouraged (though not required) to enroll in courses sequentially. Readings and discussions will focus on politics, culture, religion, and social life in premodern Japan. All readings in English. No prior knowledge of Japan necessary. Course requirements include class participation, midterm and final exams, and two brief papers.
(ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP)
A survey of South Africa history from pre-colonial times through the arrival of white settlers and the ensuing race conflict which has raged through the centuries, with emphasis on the social, political and economic dimensions, up to the present.
(ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP, MULT, GLST)
This course will focus on South Africa from pre-colonial times to the arrival of Europeans in 1652 and the evolution of white supremacist policies, which culminated in the emergence of "apartheid" in 1948 and its demise in 1994. We will also examine the post-apartheid era from 1994 to the present, highlighting the changes and continuities which characterize the multi-racial democracy in contemporary South Africa. Among other themes, we will focus on the historical evolution of the racial groups in South Africa and their interactions with each other over the past three and a half centuries. Our discussions will highlight the multi-faceted dimensions of the South African conflict--i.e. ideological, political, economic, social, religious, cultural, and other points of friction and tension.
The course pre-supposes no background in African studies, but requires a commitment on the part of the student to undertake a serious and open-minded study of a substantial body of material, much of which will be radically foreign to his or her educational experience. Among the multiple questions to be explored are the following: How did "apartheid" come about? Why did it last till the 1990s? How similar or different are race relations in South Africa and the United States of America? To what extent has South Africa changed since the demise of "apartheid"? How does South Africa illustrate broader themes in world history?
The course will be organized in a series of general topics arranged in roughly chronological order. Readings will be a textbook by Leonard Thompson, A HISTORY OF SOUTH AFRICA, a biography, and two novels. We will have lectures and discussions on these readings. Also several films will be shown in class for discussions. The course grade will be based on class attendance and participation, mid-term and final examinations, oral presentations on assigned topics, and a ten-page research paper.
Students are encouraged to widen their academic horizon by taking this course. Study abroad in South Africa by Siena students in the past has been intellectually stimulating and full of life enrichment experiences. Prior familiarity with South African history will be excellent preparation for a study abroad in South Africa.
Work in local historical societies, museums, archival and resource centers, etc. Open to second semester Juniors and Seniors who have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in history, including U.S. history, and who present a GPA of 3.0 or higher in history and 2.9 or higher overall. Permission of the Director of American Studies and the Head of the History Department is required. Evaluation of such credit is made by the staff of the participating institution, and the Director of American Studies or a member of the History Department chosen by the Department in consultation with the Director of American Studies.
(ATTR: ARTS, INT, NOEX)
Please see the History & American Studies Internships page for the more than two dozen Capital District historic sites, museums, and organizations where internships are possible.
This seminar aims to introduce history students to both the methods and philosophical problems of history. The seminar will first consider a historical issue or a school of historical writing or the works of an eminent historian. It will then consider the philosophy of history and the questions historians have asked about their discipline. Assumes Junior standing with 75 hours, and 18 hours of History including either HIST—201 and HIST – 202 or HIST – 203 and HIST – 204. The course must be taken preceding enrollment in HIST—499. It cannot be taken concurrently with HIST—499. Permission of instructor required.
This seminar aims to introduce history students to both the methods and philosophical problems of history. That is why it is called a proseminar, because it is rooted in problems of a particular academic discipline. The seminar will first consider the way history is done (or history as a way of thinking), then turn to the philosophy of history and the questions historians have asked about their discipline. Students will complete readings in the theory and practice of history and assignments will include a primary source analysis, an annotated bibliography, and a research prospectus in preparation for the capstone.
A student research oriented course requiring a substantial paper based on direct investigation of primary sources. Papers will be critiqued by members of the class. Additional, shorter writing assignments may also be required. Topic will vary with instructor. Open only to History and History Education majors. Prerequisites: Senior standing (90 hours), HIST–101, HIST–497, 21 hours of History (including HIST–101 and HIST–497).The capstone course is focused on the production of a thesis paper of approximately 30 pages that will be based on primary and secondary sources. Students will be writing and researching their own papers as well as acting as peer reviewers.
(ATTR: ARTS, NOEX)