History

Department/Program: History

Majors, Minors & Degrees:

Given the strong humanities emphasis within Nebraska Wesleyan’s history program, typically a degree in history is taken as a Bachelor of Arts. Students who combine history with a degree in the Social or Natural Sciences, however, usually take their degree as a Bachelor of Science.

Modern foreign language study is expected of all history majors. Transfer students must earn in residence a minimum of 12 hours in history, 6 hours of which must be at the upper level (200-299).

Courses

A survey of United States history beginning with precontact cultures, examining the varied colonial and native cultures, and tracing the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the United States, and concluding with Reconstruction.

(Normally offered each fall semester.)

A survey of United States history beginning with post-Civil War Reconstruction period, tracing economic, social, and cultural development to the present, emphasizing the emergence of a dominantly urban-industrial society, multiple civil rights movements, the expanded role of government in the lives of individuals, and the increasing involvement of the United States in the world.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

This is a world-history survey designed to introduce students to the sweep of social, political, economic, and cultural changes that took place around the world over the course of the twentieth century. Using primary sources, the course allows students to investigate in-depth themes such as European colonialism, the First and Second World Wars, fascism and its consequences, the transformation of East Asia, the Cold War and its consequences, and new challenges to global stability in the modern era.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

Colonial powers invaded previously occupied America as early as the fifteenth century. The colonial powers dictated the colonists' encounters with indigenous peoples, just as indigenous cultural traditions dictated responses to the colonial regimes. The course will necessarily investigate and compare the colonial experiences of Spain, France, Holland, Russia, and Great Britain in the Americas, as well as indigenous traditions and responses to the colonial invaders.

An examination of the Latin American experience with different topics at each offering. Such topics will include: contact period, transnationalism, indigenismo, the colonial era, agrarian movements, social revolutions, neocolonialism, interamerican relations, narcoterrorism and trafficking, for example. This course will be offered on a regular basis, with the intention that students would retake the course as the topics shift (as indicated by section number).

This course is a biographical history of the Presidency that explores a number of individuals who have held the office and expanded the power of the executive branch of the United States’ government. Presidents under discussion may include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The course focuses on how historical context shaped each leader and his times, and vice versa. Students will also investigate the role of First Lady and some of the women who held that title.

A study of the growth of the United States from 1877 to 1932, emphasizing the emergence of industrialism and big business and their impact on social, political, and intelectual life. The course will also emphasize the transformation of the united States from a rural to an unbanized society and examine social reform, immigration patterns, changing gender roles, developments in education and the economy. THe course culminates with an analysis of the Great Depression.

A study of society, culture and politics from 1932 to the present beginning with the New Deal and how it transformed the American state. The course then covers World War II, the atomic age and the Cold War, domestic issues in the fifties and sixties such as the Civil Rights Movement, the United States' involvement in Vietnam, changing gender roles and contemporary issues.

An examination of a historical topic through the study of biography, emphasizing historical background, comparison and contrast of leading figures, and an analysis of motivations and character.

A study of Western Civilization from the Ancient World through the era of the Reformation focusing on the history of Western religious beliefs. Through the reading of religious texts, students investigate the varying conceptions of God or the gods as well as the relationship of the divine to the physical universe and humanity. In the process, students will learn basic features of Western religion and how the circumstances of human existence and broader cultural forces have shaped religious belief in the West.

(Normally offered each fall semester.)

A chronological survey of Western Civilization from 1500 to the present, focusing on the literary record which exemplifies changing societies; artistic and literary styles; and philosophical, religious, and political patterns. The course will include a reexamination of Biblical texts in the Reformation, the revival and imitation of classical texts in the Renaissance, absolutism and its critics, the revolutionary and Romantic movements, ethnic minorities, colonialism, the crisis of Western thought in the twentieth century, and the impact of totalitarianism.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

A two hour, 8 week course treating selected topics in Indian history. This will include a broad comparative treatment of Indians of the Americas (North, Central, and South), or more focused treatment of the Inca, Maya, Aztecs, or studying the current state of Indian land and water rights claims, Indian education, life on the reservation, or indigenous sacred rights.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 001 Topics in US History to 1877 or HIST 156 American Indian History, or the permission of the instructor.

An examination of the political, social, and intellectual worlds of ancient Greece and Rome. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the seminal contributions of antiquity to the Western tradition. The course will concentrate on the setting and content of Greek culture from the age of Homer to the rise of the Macedonian Empire, and the development of Rome from city republic to empire.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

A survey of European culture and society from the fall of the Roman Empire to the advent of the Renaissance. The course will focus on the creative religious, political, and social movements of this period, and their influence on the development of the West. Among the subjects covered: the Germanic tribes, the Carolingian Empire, the Church in the High Middle Ages, the culture of the High Middle Ages, the growth of centralized monarchy, the Crusades, and the evolution of the social order in the Middle Ages.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

This course will look at how the growth of institutional religion in the Middle Ages led to growth of heresy and religious authoritarianism. Against that backdrop we will look at the religious revolts of the Sixteenth Century, and the way the breaking of religious uniformity resulted in social and political conflict and violence.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

An examination of Germany in the twentieth century focusing on the rise of Adolph Hitler, the weakness of the Weimar government, the institutions of the Nazi regime, and the events of World War II and the Holocaust.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 010 World Civilizations: A Survey of the Global Twentieth Century or HIST 116 Western Civilization through Literature or permission of the instructor.

Introduction to the experiences of women in the United States from colonization to the present, with an examination of cultural meanings attached to gender; various social inequalities in access to institutions, activities, and resources; and women's status, well being, and power in American society. The course investigates the lives of women from various social, ethnic, and racial groups, analyzing the ways that they affected one another. The course emphasizes sexuality, reproduction, and maternity, and also covers politics, law, work, education, and other issues in women's lives.

The course will focus on Native Americans from the days when pre-contact Native American societies flourished, to subsequent European and Russian domination, and finally their loss of sovereignty under the U.S. government. The course will also emphasize the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the West represented different visions: to the Chinese, it was the "Golden Mountain;" to Spaniards and Mexicans, it was "El Norte;" to the newly-emancipated Africans, the West represented freedom; to many other newly arrived immigrants, it was a land of opportunity; to the Native Americans, it was their sacred home. Special emphasis will be placed on the above issues where clashes have erupted.

A broad survey of the major themes and issues in African American history from the early slave trade through emancipation to the present. Major topics include the creation of a diverse African American culture, resistance to the dehumanization of slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the movement from Civil Rights to Black Power and contemporary issues such as reparations for slavery.

(Normally offered each fall semester)

This course highlights women's experiences in the American West from precontact to present, and explores topics of myth and stereotypes; women's roles in the home, family and community; and racial, class and ethnic differences in women's experiences.

This course will serve as an overview of American Indian history from precontact to the present. It will explore numerous themes including cultural diversity, initial contact with Europeans, the different styles of interactions (Spanish/English/French), accommodation and dispossession, the American treaty process, concentration, wardship, education, land allotment, termination and relocation, and modern American Indian issues. Utilizing assigned readings, discussion, and some short films, this class will eradicate misconceptions about American Indians and therefore eliminate the roots of discrimination and prejudice against the original Americans.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

A study of environmental history focusing primarily on the United States and including Canada and Mexico as they involve border environmental conflicts. Emphasis will be placed on environmental philosophy, ethnic minorities, power and politics, regionalism, industrialism, gender, and literature. Course format will be lecture, class discussions based on assigned readings from assigned texts, as well as supplemental sources, reports, videos, and field trips.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 001 Topics in US History to 1877 or HIST 002 United States Society and Culture since 1877, or permission of the instructor.

This course will investigate the influence of disease on historical development, and look at the issues involved in the historical study of disease in the past. Themes will include the following:  early human settlement and disease, disease as an agent of change, the emergence of new diseases and patterns of pandemics, and changes in diseases over time. We will also consider how the historical record might inform our understanding of the threat of emergent diseases today.

This course explores the history of Nebraska topically, covering such issues as American Indians, overland trails, expansionism, town founding, railroads, political development, and the dust bowl era; as well as the environment, gender history, and other topics of interest to students who enroll. This course will have field experiences.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

This class is an intermediate-level course on world history centering on the global impact of Marxism in the twentieth century. Students examine the key ideas associated with Marx as well as revolutionary movements those ideas sponsored in places like Russia, China, and Cuba. Significant time is spent on the Cold War, as well as the influence of Marxism on artists, historians, and philosophers in countries like Japan and France. Sources include primary documents by Marx, Lenin, and Mao Zedong, as well as secondary scholarship by historians of Marxism and Marxist historians.

Social revolutions constitute exceptional and dramatic events in human history. They bring about radical and sweeping transformations of the existing political, social, economic, and cultural orders. The three most conspicuous Latin American revolutions of the 20th century (Mexico 1910, Cuba 1959, and Nicaragua 1979) have had a tremendous impact not just within those countries and the Latin American region, but on hemispheric relations and world politics as well, thought the course will explore other revolutions. Using a comparative perspective, this course will discuss the causes, course, and outcome of Latin American revolutions, seeking to highlight their peculiarities, and paying close attention to the political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of revolutionary transformation. In addition, we will also study unsuccessful revolutionary movements as well, in order to understand the reasons why they ultimately failed to accomplish their goals.

This course introduces students to major topics in the history of East Asia. Rather than a century-by-century narrative covering prehistory to the present, the course emphasizes the theme of inter-regional relations. Students learn about traditions such as Confucianism and Buddhism that provided a foundation for the development of centralized, Sinicized states in East Asia, as well as the cultural, economic, and political aspects of the tribute system that structured inter-regional relations throughout the pre-modern period. The second half of the semester picks up the theme of inter-regional relations in the modern period by examining the contunuing impact of twentieth-century warfare on the Chinese, the Koreans, and the Japanese. Our sources include a combination of secondary scholarship by leading experts on East Asian history as well as primary historical and literary sources. (Normally offered every year)

An overview of key themes in early modern and modern Japanese history with an emphasis on the period between the seventeenth and twenty-first centuries. The course concentrates on themes of change and continuity in Japan's political systems, social and economic institutions, and cultural forms. Specific themes include changing notions of samurai identity, the rise to modern nation-state, imperialism and inter-regional relations, postwar prosperity and Japan's "Lost Decade." Our sources include a combination of scondary scholarship by leading experts on Japanese history as well as primary historical and literary sources.

In this course we survey the historical factors that have shaped China's emergence as one of the dominant players on the global stage in the twenty-first century. We will begin by exploring the history of the last imperial dynasty. Emphasis is placed on the historical diversity of Chinese society. After learning about the combination of domestic and external challenges that undermined the last dynasty and led to the overthrow of the imperial system, we look at the impact of the world wars, the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists, and the establishment of the People's Republic. The course will conclude with a section on the transition to "market socialism" and the legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations. Our sources include a combination of secondary scholarship by leading experts on Chinese history as well as primary historical and literary sources.

This seminar is intended as an introduction to the breadth and depth of the changes that took place in the three countries of East Asia--China, Korea, and Japan--during the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on linkages across national borders. We read a wide variety of scholarly studies and primary sources in translation as we examine topics including: the legacy of early modern political and cultural forms; encounters with Western imperial powers; the rise of nationalism; rebellions; and the emergence and regional consequences of Japanese imperialism.

In this seminar we will read widely in the political, social, and cultural history of the Meiji period (1868-1912) to develop an understanding of the period's powerful shaping influence on the course Japan took in the twentieth century. In addition to secondary scholarship by leading authorities on the Meiji period, we will read works of literature that illuminate the complexities and tensions within Meiji society.

n this course, we will explore the multiple meanings attached to the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) in Japanese history by reading and discussing works written by Tokugawa-era Japanese, as well as accounts by non-Japanese observers and modern scholars of Japanese history and culture. We learn about the political and social arrangements that differentiated early modern Japan from Western countries (then and now), as well as elements of Tokugawa society and culture that make it seem familiar. Examining the vibrant, diverse culture of early modern Japan will allow us to reflect on our own assumptions about the rules that govern human relations, the principles that form the foundation of a just government, the meaning of honor and loyalty, and the relationship between the past and the present.

This class is an upper-level seminar on the cultural history of modern Japan focusing on the popular culture of Tokyo. Students will be introduced to literature, art, and theater, as well as popular practices ranging from early-modern pilgrimage to "costume play" (kosupure) among devotees of anime in contemporary Japan. The course aims to situate cultural forms from the late-seventeenth to the twenty-first century in the context of the key social, political, and economic changes that took place in Japan during the same time.

An intermediate-level course designed to treat subject matter not covered in any of the established history courses. The title, content, and credit hours will be determined by current mutual interests of faculty and students.

After consultation with the department chair, a student may engage in a supervised independent study or library research. Independent study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.

Colonial powers invaded previously occupied America as early as the fifteenth century. The colonial powers dictated the colonists' encounters with indigenous peoples, just as indigenous cultural traditions dictated responses to the colonial regimes. The course will necessarily investigate and compare the colonial experiences of Spain, France, Holland, Russia, and Great Britain in the Americas, as well as indigenous traditions and responses to the colonial invaders.

A study of chattel slavery in the United States through the words and remembrances of enslaved people from 1600-1877. The course will focus on slave narratives from the Colonial and Antebellum eras. Topics include African slavery, the slave trade, slave culture, family life, motherhood, methods of resistance, religion, self-emancipation and the Reconstruction period. The course also introduces students to basic theoretical approaches to understanding the past through the historiography of slavery. Special emphasis is place don research methods, resources and the composition of a research essay. This course is designed for majors and students interested in the theories and techniques used by historians to investigate the past through the study of chattel slavery.

This course is a biographical history of the presidency that explores a number of individuals who have held the office and expanded the power of the executive branch of the United States' government. Presidents under discussion may include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. The course focuses on how historical context shaped each leader and his times, and vice versa. Students will also investigate the role of First Lady and some of the women who held that title.

A study of the growth of the United States from 1877 to 1932, emphasizing the emergence of industrialism and big business and their impact on social, political, and intelectual life. The course will also emphasize the transformation of the united States from a rural to an unbanized society and examine social reform, immigration patterns, changing gender roles, developments in education and the economy. THe course culminates with an analysis of the Great Depression.

A study of society, culture and politics from 1932 to the present beginning with the New Deal and how it transformed the American state. The course then covers World War II, the atomic age and the Cold War, domestic issues in the fifties and sixties such as the Civil Rights Movement, the United States' involvement in Vietnam, changing gender roles and contemporary issues.

An examination of a historical topic through the study of biography, emphasizing historical background, comparison and contrast of leading figures, and an analysis of motivations and character.

A two hour, 8 week course treating selected topics in Indian history. This will include a broad comparative treatment of Indians of the Americas (North, Central, and South), or more focused treatment of the Inca, Maya, Aztecs, or studying the current state of Indian land and water rights claims, Indian education, life on the reservation, or indigenous sacred rights.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 001 Topics in US History to 1877 or HIST 156 American Indian History, or the permission of the instructor.

An examination of the political, social, and intellectual worlds of ancient Greece and Rome. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the seminal contributions of antiquity to the Western tradition. The course will concentrate on the setting and content of Greek culture from the age of Homer to the rise of the Macedonian Empire, and the development of Rome from city republic to empire.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

A survey of European culture and society from the fall of the Roman Empire to the advent of the Renaissance. The course will focus on the creative religious, political, and social movements of this period, and their influence on the development of the West. Among the subjects covered: the Germanic tribes, the Carolingian Empire, the Church in the High Middle Ages, the culture of the High Middle Ages, the growth of centralized monarchy, the Crusades, and the evolution of the social order in the Middle Ages.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

This course will look at how the growth of institutional religion in the Middle Ages led to growth of heresy and religious authoritarianism. Against that backdrop we will look at the religious revolts of the Sixteenth Century, and the way the breaking of religious uniformity resulted in social and political conflict and violence.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 115 Western Civilization through Religion.

An examination of Germany in the twentieth century focusing on the rise of Adolph Hitler, the weakness of the Weimar government, the institutions of the Nazi regime, and the events of World War II and the Holocaust.

Prerequisite(s): HIST 010 World Civilizations: A Survey of the Global Twentieth Century or HIST 116 Western Civilization through Literature or permission of the instructor.

This course will focus on Native Americans from the days when pre-contact Native American societies flourished, to subsequent European and Russian domination, and finally their loss of sovereignty under the U.S. government.  The course will also emphasize the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the West represented different visions: to the Chinese, it was the "Golden Mountain;" to Spaniards and Mexicans, it was "El Norte;" to the newly emancipated Africans, the West represented freedom; to many other newly arrive immigrants, it was a land of opportunity; to the Native Americans, it was their sacred home.  Special emphasis will be placed on the above issues where clashes have erupted.

This course highlights women's experiences in the American West from precontact to present, and explores topics of myth and stereotypes; women's roles in the home, family and community; and racial, class and ethnic differences in women's experiences.

This course explores the history of Nebraska topically, covering such issues as American Indians, overland trails, expansionism, town founding, railroads, political development, and the dust bowl era; as well as the environment, gender history, and other topics of interest to students who enroll. This course will have field experiences.

(Normally offered each spring semester.)

Social revolutions constitute exceptional and dramatic events in human history. They bring about radical and sweeping transformations of the existing political, social, economic, and cultural orders. The three most conspicuous Latin American revolutions of the 20th century (Mexico 1910, Cuba 1959, and Nicaragua 1979) have had a tremendous impact not just within those countries and the Latin American region, but on hemispheric relations and world politics as well, thought the course will explore other revolutions. Using a comparative perspective, this course will discuss the causes, course, and outcome of Latin American revolutions, seeking to highlight their peculiarities, and paying close attention to the political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of revolutionary transformation. In addition, we will also study unsuccessful revolutionary movements as well, in order to understand the reasons why they ultimately failed to accomplish their goals.

This seminar is intended as an introduction to the breadth and depth of the changes that took place in the three countries of East Asia--China, Korea, and Japan--during the nineteenth century, with particular emphasis on linkages across national borders. We read a wide variety of scholarly studies and primary sources in translation as we examine topics including: the legacy of early modern political and cultural forms; encounters with Western imperial powers; the rise of nationalism; rebellions; and the emergence and regional consequences of Japanese imperialism.

In this seminar we will read widely in the political, social, and cultural history of the Meiji period (1868-1912) to develop an understanding of the period's powerful shaping influence on the course Japan took in the twentieth century. In addition to secondary scholarship by leading authorities on the Meiji period, we will read works of literature that illuminate the complexities and tensions within Meiji society.

In this course, we will explore the multiple meanings attached to the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) in Japanese history by reading and discussing works written by Tokugawa-era Japanese, as well as accounts by non-Japanese observers and modern scholars of Japanese history and culture. We learn about the political and social arrangements that differentiated early modern Japan from Western countries (then and now), as well as elements of Tokugawa society and culture that make it seem familiar. Examining the vibrant, diverse culture of early modern Japan will allow us to reflect on our own assumptions about the rules that govern human relations, the principles that form the foundation of a just government, the meaning of honor and loyalty, and the relationship between the past and the present.

This class is an upper-level seminar on the cultural history of modern Japan focusing on the popular culture of Tokyo. Students will be introduced to literature, art, and theater, as well as popular practices ranging from early-modern pilgrimage to "costume play" (kosupure) among devotees of anime in contemporary Japan. The course aims to situate cultural forms from the late-seventeenth to the twenty-first century in the context of the key social, political, and economic changes that took place in Japan during the same time.

An upper-level course designed to treat subject matter not covered in any of the established history courses. The title, content, and credit hours will be determined by current mutual interest of faculty and students.

After consultation with the department chair, a student may engage in a supervised, independent reading program.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

After consultation with the department chair, a student may engage in a supervised independent study or library research. Independent study may not duplicate courses described in the catalog.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

In this course students doing an internship will meet regularly with the faculty internship coordinator.  They will keep a journal of their interning activities, write reflection papers on the learning in which they are engaged, and develop an oral presentation to be delivered at the end of the interning activities.  The course is offered on a Pass/Fail basis.

Pre-or Co-requisite:  HIST 297 History Internship

On-the-job training for advanced history majors in settings such as archives, museums, archeological sites, libraries, or historical societies. The student will arrange for the position in accordance with the guidelines established by the department.

Pass/Fail only.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

To be taken during the spring semester of the junior year or the fall semester of the senior year, this seminar is designed to aid students in the development of their senior thesis topics. Each will prepare a research proposal and a plan of study.

Pass/Fail only.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.

To be taken during the senior year, the student will utilize this semester to research the topic developed in HIST 298 Introduction to Senior Thesis and complete the senior thesis.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of the department chair.