Course numbering reflects level and
- 100 and 200 level courses are
appropriate for all students of all majors,
freshmen and sophomores.
- 300 level courses are research
oriented. Junior level is advised.
- 400 level courses are sophisticated
surveys, intended to allow seniors to pull
their college experience together.
The courses in the new History
curriculum are designed to build upon the
skills learned at each level. For that
reason, successful completion of one
credit at the 100 level by majors is
required to take a 200-level course, and
successful completion of one credit at the
200 level is required for majors to take a
300-level course. The specific courses
below are examples---we regularly respond
to student interest with new courses.
100-Level Primary Source Based History
These courses introduce the interpretation
of primary sources as the basis for
constructing history. Each class is
centered on a fascinating historical
period, set of events, or group of
people. You will learn how to ask
questions of the documents, to seek
corroboration of facts and their
interpretations, and to understand the
strengths and weaknesses of different
document types. The specific skills
taught include how to cite, how to quote
from, and how to interpret documents. You
will learn and practice the basic skills
of historical interpretation:
primary-source analysis, understanding
cause and effect, exploring change over
time, and comprehending the importance of
110: United States
HIST 110: The Great Chicago Fire of
1871. In one memorable night and day, over
three square miles of Chicago burned to the ground,
consumed by a fire that mysteriously began in a
backyard barn. Using pictures, maps, newspaper
accounts, and written personal memories, students will
study the social, political, and religious importance
of this transformative Chicago disaster.
HIST 110: The President is Dead: The
Assassination of Lincoln. Likely no other event of the 19th
century so shocked and fascinated the public as the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln. From the eyewitness
accounts of the shooting at Ford?s Theater to
sensational newspaper accounts of the trial of the
conspirators who aided John Wilkes Booth, students
will study the public response to his traumatic murder
and how it affected Lincoln?s legacy.
HIST 110: Gods and Generals: Religion
and the Civil War. The Civil War was not a war over
religion, but it was fought by soldiers and civilians
on both sides who imagined their cause as God?s cause.
Using letters and diaries, as well as published
accounts casting the war as a moral and spiritual
event, students will consider this war as a religious
HIST 110: Stories in Blue and Gray:
Lives of Civil War Soldiers. The lives of Civil War soldiers are
richly illustrated through vivid letters, graphic
photographs, and dramatic battlefield accounts.
Students will analyze such sources to learn about the
complex reasons for enlistment, how they adapted to
life in their respective armies, and what it was like
to be exposed to the drama and horror of battle.
HIST 110: Jonestown: Suicide or Murder? In 1978 over 900 Americans died deep in
the jungles of Guyana in South America. Were they
stereotypical fanatics who followed their crazed pied
piper to the point of death, or were they innocent
common people victimized in their quest for a better
life? Students will seek answers to this question by
reading diaries and newspaper accounts and listening
to audio recordings of the People?s Temple movement.
HIST 110: Massacre at Waco. Questions of religious liberty and the
place of new religious movements in a pluralist
American society erupted in the summer of 1993 when
federal agents attempting to end a six-week siege used
chemicals to force Branch Davidians to leave their
homes in Waco, Texas, setting off a deadly inferno.
Students will seek to understand the Branch Davidians
and the often complicated relationship between church
and state by reading diaries and watching video
accounts of the Branch Davidians and the raid.
HIST 110 Slaves, Saints, and Smallpox.
Enter the fantastic yet tragic world of
the 18thcentury-South, a world of slavery
and slave rebellions, religious revivals and
enlightenment discovery, muggy swamps and horrid
disease, exquisite mansions and meager slave quarters.
Students will enter this world through colonial
newspapers, diaries, travel accounts, and personal
letters and diaries.
HIST 110: Wild West. A study of the trans-Mississippi West
from 1800 to 1890, using original narratives,
government documents, and videos about the artists who
recorded the era.
HIST 110: The Atomic Bomb "I am become
death." The atomic bomb was a
highly controversial weapon. Its creation, use, and
continuance were contested-and remain so. This class
uses the words and arguments of those involved with
the A-bomb to learn why and how it was employed in
1945 and to analyze its ramifications in the following
Boom! A Sixties Snapshot. Through
primary documents this class will explore several
interconnected rebellions of the tumultuous 1960's
era, examining topics such as (but not limited to)
African-American civil rights, women's liberation, the
Vietnam conflict, gay rights, Chicano rights,
environmentalism, the American Indian movement, and
the conservative backlash. Student interest will
influence the topics chosen for the term.
HIST110: Women?s Liberation: Wanting It
All in the 1960?s and 1970?s.
HIST110: Uppity Women: Seneca Falls
HIST 120: Literature is Fire: Radical
Thought in Latin America. This course will focus on Latin
America?s dissenting voices in literature, history,
politics, philosophy and the arts during the 20th
HIST 120: The Long Today, 1900-1950. A study of the contemporary world using
documents up to the immediate aftermath of World War
II focused on the ways in which people collectively
and as individuals understood and dealt with the
changing world around them.
HIST 120: The Long Today, 1950-2000. A study of the contemporary world using
documents from the Cold War to the present focused on
how the threat of nuclear annihilation, the
construction of a bipolar world, and the collapse of
communism influenced people?s perception of their
lives and cultures.
HIST 120:The Ancient World.
Egypt, Mesopotamia and Jerusalem contributed much
to the development of western civilization. This
course will look at original documents from the three
civilizations to determine what their laws and
religion beliefs were, and from that to see how these
have come to influence even our own times.
HIST 130: Mad Emperors and Bad Ones. A study of Roman rulers from Caesar to
Vespasian based on original sources.
HIST130: Cranks, Reformers & Radicals in
HIST 130: World War I.
Students in this course will learn about all aspects
of World War I, both on the front lines and on the
home front. Primary sources used will include
artifacts, artwork, contemporary novels, diaries, film
footage, letters, newspapers, poems, propaganda
posters, speeches, telegrams, treaties, and the
HIST 130: London
Blitz. In this course students
will learn what life was like for people living in
London during Germany's blitzkrieg attacks that
started in September 1940. Readings will include
diaries, letters, and other recollections from
Londoners, and we will listen to speeches and songs,
and examine cartoons and illustrations from the era
showing people's responses to the air strikes.
Photographs and film footage of the effects of the
bombing will also be considered as historical evidence
to complete students' understanding of the impact of
Arch of Sex, Love & Gender. This course
offers an introduction to love, sex and gender, as
expressed in the art, archaeology and texts of
civilizations from across the globe. Open to all
students. This course begins with discussions on how
to define love, sex and gender. We will then discuss
examples of individual and collective expressions of
these universal aspects of life. Under the rubric of
the former would be the statuette of Pan coupling with
a goat found in a garden in the ancient Roman city of
Pompeii. Under the latter would be the relief
sculptures of loving couples illustrating the kama
sutra on the walls of Lakshmana temple at Khajuraho,
India. Topics covered may include the hypersexual vs.
the non-sexual, aberrations, deviations, marriage, the
"normal," eternal love, and expressions/constructions
of gender, all as expressed in material culture.
Possible areas of focus will be Central Asia,
Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the
Archaeology of Urbanism.
This course is an introductory survey of the
urban centers of the ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian
and Mediterranean worlds. We will begin with the
earliest known settlements, ca. 7000 BC, and trace
urbanization as far as, perhaps, the modern era.
Possible topics include planned vs. organic urban
sites, the role of topography, and cities as centers
of power, religious ritual, mass residence and elite
patronage. Cities examined will be drawn from Central
Asia, Southeast Asia, Central, South and North
America, and the Mediterranean. Emphasis will be
placed on comparing the characteristics of urbanism
and the archaeological evidence for urbanization in
different cultures from around the world.
190: Public History
HIST 190: Introduction to
Archives. An introduction to handling cataloging,
and locating materials in the Monmouth College
Archives for scholars and classes. Prerequisite:
Permission of the instructor. May be repeated for
200-Level Secondary Source Courses
The skills practiced in the 100-Level
Introduction to History courses will be
deepened in courses designed to teach you
how to read secondary sources critically.
You will be encouraged to understand how
and why historians have a particular way
of writing and thinking, to see how some
strive for the elusive goal of objectivity
while others follow specific ideological,
theoretical, or political agendas in their
work, and why some even refuse to admit
the possibility of properly understanding
the past. The analysis of secondary
sources trains you to see how historians
use primary sources to reconstruct and
interpret the past, thus serving as a
bridge connecting the 100-Level courses
with these 200-Level offerings.
200: Historiography. These courses are based on secondary
sources, emphasizing the skill of close reading and
HIST 200: American Historiography. A study of the ways that historians have
interpreted the past; conducted as a seminar based on
HIST 200: European Historiography. A seminar examining selected aspects of
the changing interpretations and uses of source
material by historians and other scholars recreating
the European past.
210: United States
HIST 210: George Washington. A survey of the life and times of George
Washington based on videos and secondary-source
HIST 210: Gods and Generals: Religion
and the Civil War. The Civil War was not a war over
religion, but it was fought by soldiers and civilians
on both sides who imagined their cause as God?s cause.
Students will read important secondary sources to get
a sense of the uses and abuses of religion during this
HIST 210: From Prairie to Rust Belt:
Illinois and the Midwest. A survey of the history of the Midwest
considering , among other topics, the great
Mississippian Indian culture whose heartland was
centered in western Illinois, the old ?West? that was
frontier Illinois, the Midwest during the great
sectional conflict that culminated in the Civil War,
and the Midwest as both the promise of an American
industrial future and the blight of the ?Rustbelt.?
Students will enjoy a wide variety of secondary
sources, including film, creative non-fiction,
historic sites, and scholarly works.
HIST 210: Antebellum America.
From the Trail of Tears to the thrill of the steamboat
and locomotive, antebellum America burst with tragedy
and excitement. Democracy expanded, public schools
were built, society reformed, and missionaries
commissioned. Abolitionists fought pro-slavery forces
in print, in Congress, and in the streets, while
slaves worked, built communities, rebelled, and
escaped. Armies messed with Texas and pioneers began
moving into the newly added Southwest. President
Jackson presided over this era that came to bear his
name. Students will read works by historians trying to
make sense of this expansive American nation from 1820
HIST 210: American Revolution.
In 1760 British colonists in North America paraded
through their towns celebrating the coronation of
their King George III. In 1783 they managed to close
out their war for independence from this same King.
What happened to bring about this American Revolution,
and what were its political and cultural consequences?
Students will survey what historians have said about
this foundational period in American history, from the
lead-up to war through the writing of the
HIST 210: Revenge Served Cold:
WWII in the Pacific.
HIST 210: The War of 1812. The year 2012 marks the two-hundredth
anniversary of the long-forgotten War of 1812. Recent
books on the war will remind students of this second
war with Great Britain, a rather unremarkable military
event that nonetheless changed the continent for
Anglo-Americans, British, and Native Americans, gave
the nation its national anthem, and made a folk
hero?and a president?of Andrew Jackson.
HIST 210: The Grand Experiment: Early
American Republic. Independence
achieved, former British colonists in the original 13
states faced the daunting challenge of making their
new nation work in an Atlantic environment still
dominated by powerful European empires and Native
American alliances. Difficult questions still dogged
American society and politics: would this nation be
slave or free, urban or rural, commercial or agrarian,
federal or national? Perhaps most important, who would
get to answer these questions? Students will read some
of the best secondary sources covering the period 1790
HIST 210: The 51% Minority: Women's
History. This course will explore an
ever-changing series of fascinating subjects in U.S.
women's history through the writings of historians and
other secondary sources. Topics might range from
witches to abolitionists, from social reformers to
entrepreneurs, from artists to athletes.
HIST 220: Sports History in a
HIST 220: Breaking the Chains, Forging
the Nation: Pan-Africanism, Culture and Politics. The African diaspora was formed through
the violence of slavery and the slave trade and
through the racial oppression and political
colonization that followed abolition. African peoples
from different parts of the world have at many times
tried to come together to pursue common political
goals and forge a common identity. This class looks at
key incidents of this struggle and the cultural and
political challenges it has faced.
HIST 220: Freedom and Power: African
Nationalism and the Independence Struggle. This class looks at the struggles of
African people for freedom and self-determination from
colonialism and white-minority rule. Through a series
of case studies we will consider both the political
and armed struggles and at questions of gender,
generation, popular culture, ethnicity and religion
HIST 230: 20th
Century European History
The Salem Witch Trials pale in
comparison to those in early modern Scotland. In this
course students will learn about the reasons for the
witch hunts and the methods used in examining,
prosecuting, and punishing both men and women accused
of witchcraft. The short and long-term implications of
this frenzy will also be considered in their Scottish,
British, European, and world contexts.
HIST 230: Stalin.
Stalin made his way from revolutionary to bureaucrat
to despot by a combination of clever and brutal means.
Under his leadership the Soviet Union industrialized
quickly, then built a military machine that despite
his poor leadership managed to defeat the Nazis. His
plans to dominate Europe led to the Cold War, but the
concept of a society in which equality and justice
were guaranteed by a powerful state run by trained
party officials was widely admired until stories of
the reality of life in the Soviet Union seeped past
the censorship and propaganda.
HIST 230: History & Culture of
Ireland. A survey of Irish history and
culture appropriate for students interested in
visiting the Emerald Isle. Students are not required
to join the May trip, but will be prepared to more
fully appreciate travel there on their own.
HIST 230: Cops and Robin Hood.
A study of medieval history, mostly in
England, organized around four Robin Hood movies.
HIST 230: War and Peace. War
is a human activity of great complexity, and whenever
anyone says "wars don't solve anything," they are
suggesting that it didn't matter that Hitler and
Japanese militarists lost the wars they started. This
class will cover the philosophy of conflict, how wars
start and are fought, and how they are ended.
HIST 230: Henry VIII. In this
course students will learn about the life of one of
England's most notorious kings, Henry VIII. Along with
studying his 6 wives, particular focus will be placed
on England's relations with other European nations and
on the formation of the Anglican Church. Henry's image
in art and film will also be a key component of the
HIST 230: History thru Movies: Political
Thrillers. A study of how movies have reflected and
influenced American political attitudes from the eve
of World War Two to the end of the Cold War.
HIST 230: History thru Movies: France,
Romance and Drama. A history of France from Louis XIV to de
Gaulle through movies and readings.
HIST 240: Pirates of the
Caribbean & Barbary Coast. In this course
students will examine how historians and others have
defined and interpreted acts of piracy in the
Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas, looking at
articles, documentaries, monographs, novels, and also
HIST 240: History Thru Movies: Brazilian
Cinema and the Creation of a National Identity.
HIST 240: The Crusades. The
crusades began as European expeditions to recover the
holy places in Jerusalem, but soon there were calls to
defend Christendom (or expand it) in Spain and Africa,
in the Baltics, and in the Balkans.
HIST 240: Everyday Life in Ancient
HIST 240: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome.
Focuses on various aspects of daily life in
the ancient Rome and a comparative examination of
human activities in the ancient and modern worlds. The
course surveys topics like urban vs. rural life,
travel, economy and trade, writing, education,
slavery, etc. Many types of evidence will be
discussed, including readings in translation from
several ancient Greek and Latin texts, painting,
sculpture, and archaeological remains.
HIST 240: The Black Atlantic.
This course will analyze the concept of the Black
Atlantic from 1500-2000. We will highlight the
importance of and key roles played by Africans in the
making of the modern Atlantic world. Themes we will
explore include resistance and struggles, the African
diaspora, the transatlantic slave trade and racism.
HIST 240: The Mexican Revolution.
HIST270: Archeology of World
HIST270: Archeology of the Clash
290: Public History
HIST 290: Practicum in Archival Work. Study in the theory and practice of
archival work. Involves supervision of students in
HIST 190. Prerequisites: HIST 190 and permission of
the instructor. May be repeated for credit.
300-Level Research Courses
These courses will put into practice the
skills of problem solving, fact-finding,
and historical interpretation introduced
and honed in the 100- and 200-level
courses you have taken. You will research
a narrowly defined topic within a specific
theme, using the skills and deploying the
knowledge you have previously learned.
The outcome of the research courses will
be a paper of substance based on your
interpretation and narrativization of
primary and secondary sources.
310: United States
HIST 310: Research in Monmouth College
History. An introduction to the process of
research and writing focused on the history and
personalities of this College, culminating in a paper
of permanent value at the end.
HIST 310: Family History.
Research seminar on student's own family histories.
Students learn how to find, then use, information
about their ancestry to construct a family history
that is more than names and dates. Sources include the
internet, the genealogical collect at the Warren
County Library, family albums and Bibles, and
interviews. Social history of the 20th century will be
studied as background to the research.
HIST 310: Fragments of U.S. Past.
Distinguished historian Lewis L. Gould has donated an
extraordinary collection of primary documents to
Monmouth College drawn from his years as a writer and
professor. These documents cover roughly a century
from 1880 to 1980 and offer glimpses of the rich
political and social life of the country. Students
will utilize the Gould Papers to identify a topic of
interest to them and produce an original research
paper. Students must have taken at least one 100-level
and one 200-level History course at Monmouth College
before enrolling in this HIST 310.
HIST 310: In God We Trust: Religion in
America. Religion in America has always been
dynamic and diverse, and there are many ways to tell
its tale. In class readings, lecture, and discussion
we will tell the stories of Puritanism, the First and
Second Great Awakenings, the First Amendment, the rise
of Mormonism, immigration, the encounter with
Darwinism and war, and the place of religion in
modern, urban America. Much of the class will focus on
how we as historians go about investigating and
writing about religion in America, and the semester
will culminate in a major research paper.
HIST 320: Black Atlantic Rebels. This course will focus on the
intellectual history of the African diaspora in the
Americas and their participation in the revolutionary
movements in Europe and the Americas during the 19thand
Islands & Nations British and Irish
History. Broad secondary source readings will
introduce students to the interactions between nations
in the British Isles. Students will then select a
research topic of interest from any time period in
English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh history (or a
comparative topic) that they will research during the
HIST 390: Internship
400-Level Survey Courses
To reinforce your understanding of the past
these broad-ranging surveys will offer wide
perspectives on the history of a general
geographical region or period in time. The
400-level survey courses will continue the
process of preparing you for your life-long
engagement with our deeply globalized, highly
networked society. By concentrating on the
global interrelatedness of one geographical
area or time period the surveys will provide a
useful link to Citizenship courses. We will
encourage you to make connections with
previous coursework and to understand specific
information in broad contexts.
410: United States
HIST 410: The American Century.
This senior level survey will connect the Monmouth
College student's various courses to the larger
tapestry of recent U.S. history. Using books,
articles, and primary sources, this survey course will
cover political, social, economic, military, and
cultural history in an effort to discover and then
analyze major turning points of the twentieth century.
There are no prerequisites for this class but we
recommend it only for seniors and advanced juniors.
HIST 420: World Histories, 1400-Present.
How does history look different when viewed not from a
national or regional perspective, but from a global or
transnational one? In this course we will look at the
history of the world from 1400-1750. We will learn
about the major developments of this period (the
interior development of the Ming Dynasty; the
expansion of Ottoman and European trading and
political empires; conquest and colonization of the
Americas; the Atlantic slave trade and the creation of
the African diaspora; the rise of new political powers
in Africa) and about how historians have tried to
understand these developments in the context of a
shared world and interconnected history. We will also
look at attempts to understand world history through
the simultaneous events of a single year, through the
experience of a people linked by shared history and
the idea of race, and through the operations of a
single commodity (tea).
HIST 330: Western Civ 1450-1848.
This course will examine the history of what is known
as Western civilization from the years 1450 to 1850.
Instead of concentrating on names and dates, we will
organize the class around important historical themes,
revolutions, political ideologies, religious
upheavals, and philosophical movements. The major
events we will analyze include: the Renaissance, the
Reformation, the English Civil War, the Enlightenment,
the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and
the age of ideologies. There are no prerequisites for
this class but we recommend it only for seniors and