Course numbering reflects level and area
- 100 and 200 level courses are appropriate for all students, including freshmen.
- 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.
100-Level Introduction to History Courses
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 historical context.
110: United States
HIST 110: The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
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 event.
HIST 110: Stories in Blue and Gray: Lives of Civil War Soldiers.
.5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
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. .1 course credit
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. 1 course credit
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.
HIST110: Women’s Liberation: Wanting It All in the 1960’s
and 1970’s. .5 course credit
HIST110: Uppity Women: Seneca Falls 1848. .5 course credit
HIST 120: Literature is Fire: Radical Thought in Latin America. 1 course credit
This course will focus on Latin America’s dissenting voices in literature, history, politics, philosophy and the arts during the 20th century.
HIST 120: The Long Today, 1900-1950. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
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 130: Mad Emperors and Bad Ones. .5 course credit
A study of Roman rulers from Caesar to Vespasian based on original sources.
HIST130: Cranks, Reformers & Radicals in Victorian England .5 course credit
HIST140. Railroads Encircle the Globe. .5 course credit
190: Public History
HIST 190: Introduction to Archives. .5 course credit
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 credit.
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.
These courses are based on secondary sources, emphasizing the skill of close reading and introspection.
HIST 200: American Historiography. .5 course credit
A study of the ways that historians have interpreted the past; conducted as a seminar based on student reports.
HIST 200: European Historiography. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
A survey of the life and times of George Washington based on videos and secondary-source readings.
HIST 210: Gods and Generals: Religion and the Civil War. .5 course credit
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 national crisis.
HIST 210: From Prairie to Rust Belt: Illinois and the Midwest. 1 course credit
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: Revenge Served Cold: WWII in the Pacific. 1 course credit
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 220: Breaking the Chains, Forging the Nation: Pan-Africanism,
Culture and Politics. 1 course credit
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. 1 course credit
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 within them.
HIST 230: 20th Century European History 1 course credit
HIST 230: Cops and Robin Hood .5-1 course credit
A study of medieval history, mostly in England, organized around four Robin Hood movies.
HIST 230: History thru Movies: Political Thrillers. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
A history of France from Louis XIV to de Gaulle through movies and readings.
HIST 240: Pirates of the Barbary and the Caribbean. .5 course credit
How historians and others have defined and interpreted acts of piracy in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas, looking at novels, monographs, articles, and films.
HIST270: Archeology of World Mythology. .5 course credit
HIST270: Archeology of the Clash of Civilizations. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
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. .5 course credit
Introduction to the techniques of collecting genealogical information and organizing it into a narrative; videos will be used to illustrate daily life in the 20th century.
HIST 320 (BAR): Black Atlantic Rebels
.5-1 course credit
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 20th centuries.
HIST 390: Internship Practicum/Archival Management .5 course credit
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.