UA Department of History
Spring 2021 Course Descriptions
Note: There are no prerequisites for any courses in History. 300-level courses cap at 40 students and are lecture based. 400-level courses cap at 30 students, are discussion based, and usually have the “W” designation (double check below). 300 and 400-level courses have roughly the same workload.
HY 101 Western Civilization to 1648. A history of Western civilization from its origins in Greece and Rome through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the age of discovery and expansion during the emergence of modern Europe.
HY 102 Western Civilization Since 1648. Covers the development if the Western world from the Thirty Years’ War to the post-World War II era; the age of absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization and the wars of the 20th century.
HY 103 American Civilization to 1865. A survey of American history from its beginning to the end of the Civil War, giving special emphasis to the events, people, and ideas that have made America a distinctive civilization.
HY 104 American Civilization Since 1865. A survey of American history from the Civil War to the present, giving special emphasis to the events, people, and ideas that have made America a distinctive civilization.
HY 105 Honors Western Civilization to 1648. A history of Western civilization from its origins in Greece and Rome through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the age of discovery and expansion during the emergence of modern Europe.
HY 106 Honors Western Civilization Since 1648. Covers the development of the Western world from the Thirty Years’ War to the post–World War II era: the age of absolutism, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, industrialization, and the wars of the 20th century.
HY 107 Honors American Civilization to 1865. An honors-level approach to the American experience. Prerequisite(s): Invitation of the department or membership in the University Honors Program.
HY 108 Honors American Civilization since 1865. An honors-level approach to the American experience. Prerequisite(s): Invitation of the department or membership in the University Honors Program.
HY 112-001 Modern Latin America since 1808. Professor Teresa Cribelli. TR 9:30-10:45. Survey of political, economic, and social life in the 19th and 20th centuries with emphasis on the larger countries (Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina).
HY 114-001 Modern Asia since 1400. Professor Di Luo. TR 11:00-12:15. An introductory and comparative survey of modern Asian history that focuses on China, Korea, and Japan. We will examine major political, social, economic, and military issues that have shaped Asia from 1400 to the present. One goal of this course is to understand the evolution of sociopolitical structure in each country; a second goal is the study of the long-lasting interactions among these countries as well as their contact with the West.
HY 116-001 Science/Medicine since 1800. Professor Erik Peterson. Lecture MW 10:00-10:50. Also requires a recitation: R 9:00, R 10:00, F 10:00, F 11:00. Science and technology are ever-present in today’s world, defining not only how we live our daily lives but also shaping our conceptions and evaluations of modernity, civilization, and progress. How did science and technology become so important and pervasive to the modem world? This course is intended as an introduction to the history of modem science and technology from the enlightenment to the present. Our focus will be on the development of science and technology in the Western World (Europe and North America). However, we will also make comparisons across cultures to explore how science and technology shaped notions of what counts as “Western” and “modem.” In addition to learning about key developments in the history of science and technology, from Ford’s Model-T to Einstein’s theory of relativity, we will address larger themes, including the relationship between science and religion and the role of technology in war and empire.
HY 118-001 World History since 1500. Professor Patrick Hurley. MWF 12:00-12:50. This course provides a historical survey of the major areas of the world from 1500 down to modern times. Areas of the world under study will include those of Europe, Asia, Africa, as well as the Americas. Political, economic, social, and religious historical developments will be examined, with special attention being given to cross cultural interactions and how they helped shape the modern world.
HY 226-001 History of Alabama from 1865. Professor David Durham. TR 2:00-3:15. This course offers a survey of Alabama history from the end of the Civil War to the early 21st century. The emphasis of the lectures and readings will be on major themes and trends throughout the period such as Alabama’s place within the South, Reconstruction, racial violence, redefinition of agricultural systems, development of industry, economic challenges, religion, political parties, the civil rights struggle, and current issues that are consistent with historical trends.
HY 305-001 History of Christianity. Professor James Mixson. MWF 11:00-12:15.
HY 306-001 Sexual Revolutions in America. Professor Lisa Lindquist-Dorr. MWF 2:00-2:50. The term “sexual revolution” may bring to mind particular images of the 1960s and 1970s, but this class asks whether there were other moments during the history of the United States when ideas and practices surrounding sexuality changed in profound, even revolutionary ways. Beginning with the period of settlement and continuing to the present, this class examines significant changes in understandings of human sexuality, what brought about those changes, how they reflected and challenged larger culture, as well as the ways in which ideas of race and gender shaped the sexual possibilities for different groups of Americans. In the process, the class will consider whether this is a story of progress toward greater sexual liberation and happiness or something else entirely.
HY 307-001 History of Mexico since 1810. Professor Steven Bunker. TR 9:30-10:45. An understanding of our southern neighbor’s history since its war of independence against Spain began in 1810 until the present-day “war on drugs.” From the tumultuous first decades defining Mexico’s borders, form of government, and identity against foreign invasion, students will learn how the Republic survived the nineteenth century and experienced rapid modernization under Porfirio Diaz. The subsequent Revolution of 1910 and radical Constitution of 1917 resulted in the shaping of present-day Mexico’s structures of government, society, economy, and national identity. Contemporary Mexico and its present-day challenges and promise wrap up the course.
HY 307-002 The Age of the Samurai. Professor Patrick Hurley. MWF 9:00-9:50. This course covers the history of Japan from earliest times, through to the medieval and Early Modern period down to the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1868. Students will examine how the Japanese, who shared a sense of national unity in their regard for the person of the emperor of Japan, were in practice divided largely by Japan’s feudal system which was dominated by the daimyo and their armed retainers, the samurai. As well as the political and military history of Japan receiving coverage during this period, students will also look at the social, religious, and economic environment in which the samurai lived, and how their code of bushido held them to higher standards than everyone else.
HY 309 The Great Cases in US Legal History. Professor Lawrence Cappello. TR 12:30-1:45. An exploration of the most impactful cases of American legal history from the colonial period to the internet age. Major themes include free speech cases, law in the workplace, slavery, Indian removal, federalism, the right to privacy, sexual discrimination law, civil rights law, crime prevention, gun control, the rights of the accused, and the relationship between church and state.
HY 313 American South since 1865. Professor Kari Frederickson. MWF 1:00-1:50. This course will survey significant developments in the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the American South since the end of the Civil War. Topics to be explored include Reconstruction, the creation of the “New South,” the representation of the South in popular culture, the impact of the Great Depression and New Deal, the wartime South, and the Civil Rights Movement. We will pay special attention to how historical developments impacted the average southerner, as well as how the image of “the South” has been used in literature, advertising, music, and film.
HY 315-001 The Civil War. Professor Harold Selesky. TR 12:30-1:45. This course examines how Americans used armed force to settle political differences during ‘America’s Thirty Years’ War’ (1845-1876). It focuses on why Americans resorted to war to settle sectional conflict in April 1861, how they created and manipulated vast armies and navies to defeat their opponents, and how the conflict evolved by April 1865 into something neither side had anticipated four years earlier. The Mexican-American War had reintroduced the problem of slavery expansion into American politics in 1845, and because Americans could not find a way to solve the issue politically in the next fifteen years, they decided to fight about it in a conflict that lasted for four blood-soaked years. Was Confederate failure (and Union success) inevitable? Why and how did the war end? How did the victors reconstruct the Union by 1876? How did the vanquished continue to resist? Did the Confederacy lose the war but the South win the peace? We will pay careful attention to how historians explain the ways Americans made war in this period, and how they explain success and failure. The goal is to hone your ability to analyze why a particular interpretation is or is not compelling. I will use lectures and images to ensure that everyone understands the information needed to make sense of the arguments, but the heart of the course is an attempt to help you answer the historians’ questions: “why” and “so what.”
HY 322 US/Age of Franklin Roosevelt. Professor Chuck Clark. MWF 11:00-11:50. The Great Depression and the Second World War were crucial in shaping the American political, social, economic and cultural landscape for decades, and continue to impact our lives today. Much of the era coincided with the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, who was elected to an unprecedented four terms as president, and actually served in that office for thirteen years. The Age of Roosevelt class will explore the problems that faced the United States in the thirties and forties, the solutions that generation tried in order to solve their problems, and the impact of policy on the inhabitants of the United States. The class will aid you in building critical thinking skills, give you a basic introduction to a set of historical literature, and expose you to primary sources from the Depression and the Second World War.
HY 355-001 German History since 1740. Professor Janek Wasserman. TR 2:00-3:15. In the nineteenth century, the writers Goethe and Schiller penned an epigram about their homeland: “Germany? But where is it? I don’t know how to find such a country.” They posed a version of what would become known as the “German question”: Where should the boundaries of a German nation-state be drawn? What form of government would be best suited to a German nation-state? Who could be considered to be members of a German nation? People struggled to address these questions across two empires, more than a dozen different governments, two world wars, the Holocaust, and the division and reunification of the German state.
We will explore this “German question” as we look at the causes and impact of political, social, cultural and economic upheavals in German history, from the seventeenth century to the present. We will examine how and why authoritarianism, democracy, fascism, and communism came to power, as well as how and why Imperial Germany (and Austria), the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich and East Germany collapsed. Alongside these political ruptures, we will investigate the causes, consequences and remembrance of extreme violence in modern Germany. Furthermore, we will pay particular attention to how and why ideas about gender, race, ethnicity, nationality and modernity changed during this period. In investigating these topics, we will identify continuities and ruptures in modern German history.
HY 358-001 World War II. Professor Chuck Clark. MW 12:00-12:50. Also requires a recitation: R 8:00, R 10:00, F 11:00, F 12:00. The global conflict, or series of conflicts, from Manchukuo in 1931 to Tokyo Bay in 1945, with emphasis on battles on land and sea and in the air, life on the home fronts and in enemy-occupied areas, and the legacy of the war to future generations. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 362-001 Russia-Soviet Union since 1894. Professor Margaret Peacock. TR 11:00-12:15. Crisis in Russian society and the coming of the Revolution; the emergence of Stalinism; and political developments since World War II, including the disintegration of the Soviet system.
HY 365-001 European Consumer Society. Professor Holly Grout. TR 11:00-12:15. This course explores the evolution of modem Europe’s consumer society from the 18th century to the present to understand how changing patterns of consumption fostered new relationships between individuals and the material world.
HY 373-001 Environmental History of Americas. Professor Teresa Cribelli. TR 12:30-1:45. The Americas are home to some of the most recognizable geographies in the world: the gleaming Amazon rainforest, the blue glaciers of Patagonia, and the arid Rocky Mountains of North America. This course examines the environmental history of the Americas from pre-contact to the modern day, with the aim of understanding the ways in which humans have adapted to and transformed American landscapes, ecologies, and eco-systems. From the last ice age to Columbian Exchange, to the modern-day Anthropocene, human societies have profoundly shaped and been shaped by the American environment.
HY 385-001 History of Greece. Professor Patrick Hurley. MWF 2:00-2:50. This course examines the History of Greece from its Minoan and Mycenaean origins in the 3rd millennium BC through to the end of the Classical Age which ended with the death of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). By examining literary and archaeological source materials, students will especially focus on the periods of the Archaic and Classical Ages. In doing so, they will get a better understanding of Ancient Greece’s political, religious, economic, social, and philosophical history. While special attention will be given to Athens, the birthplace of democracy, as well as the militaristic society of Sparta, attention will be given as well to those areas of the Mediterranean colonized by the Greeks such as the Ionian Coast as well as Sicily.
HY 388 The Crusades. Professor James Mixson. MW 2:00-3:15. This course explores, from multiple perspectives, the troubled medieval marriage of religion and violence known as “Crusade.” It offers not only an overview of the traditional, largely military narrative of “numbered” crusades. It also explores the broader view – the general context of “holy war” down to c. 1100; tensions between the ideal and reality of crusading; the social and cultural impact of the Crusades, for good and ill; the Muslim perception of the “Franj” as both invaders and neighbors, and the long afterlife of the crusades down through the early modern period. “The ultimate aim of this course is to complete an original, primary-source based research project. Students will work in close consultation with both the instructor and with peers to explore and engage a topic in Crusade studies, to develop an extensive bibliography, to research and write a formal written research paper of 15-20 pages. There are no prerequisites for the course, although prior enrollment in HY 388 and/or HY 442/443 will be beneficial.”
HY 400-320 Public History Internship. Professor Julia Brock. T 5:00-6:15. This course provides a practical introduction to public history work via an internship. Public History internships provide an opportunity for students to apply knowledge gained through their academic training in history and public history to a meaningful, practical work experience under the mentorship of experienced and knowledgeable public history professionals. Sponsoring organizations may include museums, historic preservation agencies, historical societies, archives, state humanities councils, state and regional parks, the National Park Service, and other government and private agencies and community-based organizations which document, present, and interpret history to the public.
Public History internships are open to all students who have taken the HY 439: Foundations of Public History course–if students have not completed the course, they must seek approval from Dr. Julia Brock before registering. Students who are not in the public history concentration may consider these internships an opportunity to learn more about the field and to consider whether they would like to pursue this type of career opportunity. Public History internships are required for all students completing a concentration in public history.
HY 405-001 Age of Exploration & Conquest. Professor Matthew Lockwood. TR 11:00-12:15. The period from the 15th through the 18th centuries saw an unprecedented global expansion. Great empires—British, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Inca, Mughal, Ottoman, and Chinese—grew far beyond their original borders through sea voyages, land wars, and conquest. This global history course examines this Age of Exploration and Conquest, looking not only at the European settlements in the Americas, Africa, and Asia but also the changing dynamics of imperial life around the globe. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 406-001 Digital History. Professor Julia Brock. T 2:00-4:30. This course will introduce you to the theory and practice of digital history. Historians and public historians increasingly use digital methods for research, analysis, and presentation, thus the importance of a foundational class for emerging practitioners. The course will present themes in the history of computing as well as tools and methods for collecting and preserving digital records, for historical interpretation on the web, for textual and spatial analysis, and for thinking critically about issues of design, usability, and accessibility. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 409-001 American Revolution/New Nation. Professor Harold Selesky. TR 2:00-3:15. The development of revolutionary sentiment in the North American colonies, the resulting revolution, and the subsequent efforts to establish the new nation.Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 418-001. Slavery, Freedom, & Authority. Professor Margaret Abruzzo. MW 3:00-4:15. American freedom took shape amid slavery. This course explores how the concepts—and institutions—of freedom and slavery, dependence and independence, and autonomy and authority shaped American thought, values, and institutions from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. Slavery was not only a lived institution that enslaved African Americans, but it was also a metaphor that shaped how free and enslaved Americans thought about politics, rights, citizenship, economics, religion, education, alcohol and drug use, family life, and labor relations. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 430-001 Early Modern Europe. Professor Daniel Riches. W 2:00-4:30. This course is designed for advanced History majors. It will introduce students to the issues involved in the study of European history from roughly 1300-1800, or from the eve of the Renaissance through the French Revolution. Our focus will be on cultivating the skills and methods necessary to conduct independent research on Early Modern Europe. The centerpiece of the course will be a major research project in which students (in consultation with the instructor) select an appropriate research topic, work through a series of stages to develop and implement a research plan, report upon the results of their research at various points, engage in peer critique of their classmates’ work, and present the final results of their research in a paper (based on both primary and secondary sources) of at least fifteen pages and a significant oral presentation (20-30 minutes) to the class. A grade of C or higher is necessary to get credit for this course. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 430-002 Material Culture in America. Professor Heather Kopelson. W 2:00-4:30. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 430-003 US Empire in the Progressive Era. Professor Sarah Steinbock-Pratt. M 2:00-4:30. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 430-004 The Historical Roots of the 2020 Pandemic. Professor Margaret Peacock. T 2:00-4:30. Come and do what historians do! This one-time only course offers students the opportunity to do original research in primary sources in tracing the historical roots of the 2020 pandemic. In an encouraging environment that includes lots of one-on-one instruction and peer feedback, students learn how to do research, how to organize information, and how to write. The final product of this course will be a paper of approximately 15-20 pages and an accompanying oral presentation to the class. The seminar will meet weekly but several weeks will be devoted to individual meetings with Dr. Peacock. Do not be afraid of this course! At the end of it, students often say that this was their favorite. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 430-005 History of Literacy. Professor Di Luo. R 2:00-4:30. In this course, students will conduct original research in the history of literacy during the 19th and 20th century. The story and the discourse of literacy was once a simple, positive narrative. In recent years, the concept that posits literacy in a direct, linear causal relation to expected social changes has been challenged and revised. Historical research on literacy has played an unusually important role in producing new understandings of “literacy in context.” In this course, we will examine critically literacy’s contributions to the shaping of the modern world and the impacts on literacy from fundamental historical social changes. Students will learn about the practice of history, develop a research topic in literacy studies, conduct primary and secondary source research, and write a 15-20 page research essay. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 444-001 Reform & Counter-Reformation. Professor Lucy Kaufman. MWF 12:00-12:50. This course covers the divide between the Catholic and the Protestant churches in sixteenth-century Europe and the splintering of religious unity in this remarkable century of change. We will study the history of great thinkers of the day, like Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ignatius Loyola and Teresa of Ávila and political figures like Elizabeth I of England and Charles V of Spain. But we will also explore what it was like to live during a period of such wrenching change: what it meant to experience—and to participate in—the fracturing of religious, familial, gender, professional, institutional, and national identities. Though the class focuses on European history, we will also examine the impact of the Reformation on the relationship between Europe and the world, from China to New England to Mexico to India. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 446-001 Age of Reason 1715-89. Professor Matthew Lockwood. TR 9:30-10:45. The ideas of the Enlightenment sparked revolutions, shaped constitutions, and influence our world to this very day. This course will examine the historical context of Enlightenment Europe, from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries. We will study great thinkers including Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Adam Smith, and Voltaire— as well as those who tried to put their ideas into action, from Catherine the Great to Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to the French revolutionaries. Topics covered will include popular resistance and protest; the influence of science and rationality; the role of women in the Enlightenment; absolutism and liberty; and the life of the mind. In sum, this course will examine the unofficial motto of the Enlightenment: sapere aude, dare to know. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 473-001 Indians, Nuns, & Rogues. Professor Juan Ponce-Vazquez. MWF 11:00-11:50. In less 50 years after the conquest of Latin America, the Spanish built hundreds of urban centers across the region. From these cities, the Spanish extended their influence over a vast territory. In this course we will learn about Latin American colonial cities, how they were erected, and the varied cast of characters that populated their streets and neighborhoods: Indians, impoverished and wealthy Spaniards, enslaved and free Africans, people of mixed ancestry, bureaucrats, notaries, clergymen and nuns, all living in close proximity in a deeply hierarchical society. Their lives and interactions defined the character of Latin America during the colonial period and set the stage for the modern era. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 474-001 Relations with US and Latin America. Professor Steven Bunker. TR 2:00-3:15. A survey of US-Latin American relations spanning from the birth of the American Republics up to the present day. The Monroe Doctrine was the cornerstone of US policy in the region for over 150 years, and an analysis of its origin, interpretations, and evolution serves as the unifying theme for this course. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 477 Imperial Spain’s “Golden Age.” Professor Juan Ponce-Vazquez. MW 3:00-4:15 Spain in the 15th century was a society in crisis, fractured and immersed in civil war, and by the 16th century it had become a powerful empire with possessions all over Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. During the 17th century, Spain entered into a period of political crisis from which it would not completely recover. This is also a period known as “The Golden Age,” a time of high accomplishments by artists, writers, and playwrights. We will trace the history of the region from the late medieval period to understand the place of Iberian society in the western Mediterranean, the roots of the Spanish empire, its impact on Spanish society, Europe, and the Americas. We will spend a good time of the semester reading Miguel de Cervantes’ “Don Quijote,” one of the true masterpieces of world literature, a direct product of Spanish society and culture during these times, and a great reflection (and critique) of its values. Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.
HY 490-001 England under Tudors. Professor Lucy Kaufman. MW 3:00-4:15. England was transformed under the Tudors. This course will chart that transformation: the Reformation, the beginnings of the British Empire, the educational revolution, the rise of humanism, the growth of the state, the last feudal rebellions, and the explosion of urbanization. We will study some of the most compelling figures of British history: the insatiable Henry VIII and his brilliant daughter, Elizabeth I; the poets Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare; explorers Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake; thinkers such as Thomas More and Francis Bacon; statesmen like Wolsey, Cromwell, and Cecil. But we will also look at larger social and cultural forces that shaped early modern England, including the rise of literacy, a sharpening economic stratification, new understandings of magic and witchcraft, gender roles, the growth of the common law system, and the politics of migration.Writing proficiency within this discipline is required for a passing grade in this course.