Department Chair

  • James C. Harrison
    Professor of History
    Kiernan Hall 228
    (518)783-2353
    harrison@siena.edu

Course Descriptions

 

HIST—101, The Shaping of the Contemporary World, 3 credits

The Shaping of the Contempraroy World fulfills the College core requirement of three hours in History, and is the prerequisite for all other courses in the department. Selected students may satisfy the core requirement with Level One History Honors. Transfer credits in History may be counted toward the core requirement. See the History Honors Program section for additional listings.

HIST—101. The Shaping of the Contemporary World 3 credits

This course aims to provide students with an introduction to the discipline and methodologies of history through the study of the relationship of the West to non-Western societies in the contemporary world. Attention is focused on understanding the unique events and trends of the 20th century and their political, social, economic, literary and artistic antecedents in the previous century. (ATTR: ARTS, CDH)

HIST—110. History Outside the Classroom 0 credits

This course is designed to give History majors an opportunity to experience history-related activities beyond the normal classroom. To complete the requirement, students must consult their advisor about an experience and complete the departmental forms. Qualifying to complete the requirement are history-related internships, study abroad, travel courses, social studies student teaching, presentation of a paper to a conference or symposium such as sponsored by the Omicron Xi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, participation in the History Department’s Oral History Project, Model UN, Gettysburg Semester, pursuit of the Certificate in Revolutionary Era Studies, or 15 hours of a history activity at a historical society or institution approved by the department. The course is P/F. See advisor for more information. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. (ATTR: ARTS)

HIST—201. The West and the World I 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to analyze the Western Tradition as it evolved from the Greeks to the Italian Renaissance; to understand and appreciate non-Western civilizations and their encounters with the West; to examine the human condition over time, both the role of the powerful and the powerless. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, CFD, HEUR, HMEU, PNH)

HIST—202. The West and the World II 3 credits

The purpose of the course is to analyze the Western Tradition as it evolved from 1500 to 1900; to understand and appreciate non-Western civilizations and their encounters with the West; and to examine the human condition over time, both the role of the powerful and the powerless. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, CAH, CFD, GLST, HMEU)

HIST—203. American History I 3 credits

A survey of the political, geographic, social, economic, and intellectual factors that have contributed to the growth of the United States as a great power; from settlement through the Civil War era. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, CAH, CFD, HAM)

HIST—204. American History II 3 credits

A survey of the political, geographic, social, economic, and intellectual factors that have contributed to the growth of the United States as a great power; from the Civil War era to the present. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, CAH, CFH, HAM, HMAM)

HIST—303. America and the World I: U.S. Foreign Relations 1776-1920 3 credits

This survey examines the people, ideas, and institutions that have shaped U.S. foreign relations from the American Revolution to the end of World War I. The course takes a broad view of foreign relations to include interstate diplomacy and economic, social, and cultural interactions among individuals, institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Prerequisites: HIST—101. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM, GLST)

HIST—305. America and the World II: U.S. Foreign Relations in the 20th Century 3 credits

This survey examines the people, ideas, and institutions that have shaped U.S. foreign relations from World War I to the present. The course takes a broad view of foreign relations to include interstate diplomacy and also economic, social, and cultural interactions among individuals, institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Prerequisites: HIST—101. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—311. North American Colonies and the Atlantic World, 1492-1763 3 credits

A survey of the origins and development of the North American colonies from initial European discovery through the end of the French and Indian War. Particular emphasis will be on the 13 British colonies that would become the United States. Topics will include European and Native American background to settlement, cultural interaction between European colonists and Native Americans, the origins and development of African-American slavery, cultural and religious developments, the European wars for control of North America, and the economic and political maturation of the colonies. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM, REA)

HIST—312. The American Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1763-1815 3 credits

A survey of the origins and development of the American Revolution and the United States from the British imperial crisis of the 1760s through the conclusion of the War of 1812. Topics will include the political, social, and economic causes of the American Revolution, the military course of the Revolutionary War, the importance of the Atlantic World in the Revolutionary Era, the effect of the Revolution on slavery, gender, Native Americans, religious freedom, and representative government, and the early diplomatic relations between the United States and the Atlantic World. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—313. Antebellum America, 1815-1854 3 credits

This course explores the political, social, cultural, geographical, and economic expansion of the United States from the end of the War of 1812 to the sectional crisis over the Kansas territory in 1854. Students will analyze major themes including race, class, gender, immigration, social reform, nationalism, and sectionalism. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM, REA)

HIST—315. The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877 3 credits

Description and analysis of the causes for the disruption of the Union, the conduct of the war, and the policies and politics of the Reconstruction era. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—320. Emergence of Modern America, 1869-1920 3 credits

A study of the emergence of the United States as an industrial, urban nation and as a world power. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—323. Contemporary America, since 1920 3 credits

A study of the political, social, economic, and intellectual currents of modern America and its developing role in world affairs. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—325. United States Women’s History 3 credits

This course will introduce students to the history of women in the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the present. Students will focus on issues of gender difference in the history of American business, labor, politics, culture, and social life, as well as considering differences between women with regard to race, ethnicity, class, and age. (same as WSTU—305) (ATTR: ARTS, HMAM, HAM, WSTU, AMSA)

HIST—327. New York State History 3 credits

The political, social, economic, and cultural history of the state of New York from the pre-Columbian era to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, AMSA, HAM, HMAM)

HIST—328. Dutch Roots of New York 3 credits

An academically oriented study of New York State's Dutch Background, this specially designed course offers three semester hours credit for an intense study program in the Netherlands, preceded by orientation lectures, and followed by supervised research into various aspects of the field tour. Travel costs paid by student. Cost varies each semester. Prerequisites: HIST – 101 or 190. (ATTR: ARTS, AMSA. HAM, HEUR, HIST 110)

HIST—330. The Middle East: Foundations of the Modern Experience 3 credits

A study of the region from the rise of Islam to the beginnings of modernization, with emphasis on the interplay of politics, religion, economy, and culture between 600 and 1800. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP)

HIST—333. The Middle East in Modern Times 3 credits

A study of the emergence of the regional state system, deep economic transformation, and wrenching social and cultural changes since 1800. Particular attention is given to the reasons for conflict and war. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—335. Greek Civilization 3 credits

A survey of the social, cultural, and political development of the Ancient Greeks, beginning with the Ancient Near East and continuing through the Homeric to the Hellenistic Age. This course may not be used to fulfill the requirement of six hours of foreign language study. (Same as CLSS—305) (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HEUR, PNH)

HIST—336. Roman Civilization 3 credits

A survey of the social, cultural, and political development of Rome from its foundation to the fall of the Empire. (Same as CLSS—306) (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HEUR, PNH)

HIST—337. Late Antiquity 3 credits

The study of Late Antiquity will investigate the fundamental period of transition from the classical to medieval world as it was experienced across the Mediterranean. Spanning the crises of the Late Roman Empire to its disintegration, it will encompass diverse areas of inquiry: the establishment of Christianity within the Roman empire; the barbarian migrations and the ensuing destabilization of the Roman Empire in the west; the emergence of the papacy and the rise of the Frankish king, Charlemagne as a new emperor; the continuity of the Roman Empire in the east through the successors of Augustus who ruled the “Byzantine” Empire from Constantinople; the emergence of the Islamic caliphate and the founding of Bagdad. Same as CLSS—340 (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, MRST, PNH)

HIST—338. The Spartans 3 credits

Students will study the history and culture of Sparta from its beginnings ca. 1,000 BCE to its eventual collapse in the 4th Century BCE. The name Sparta has survived in the cultural memory of the west for more than 2,000 years in no small part due to its reputation for heroism and military might. We will examine the character of Spartan society and its emphasis on the heroic ideal. Students will learn how this ideal evolved, and how it enabled Sparta to become the most powerful state in ancient Greece. We will learn that Sparta’s truly unique military, social and political systems came at a heavy price; this aspect of Spartan culture will constitute another major focus of the course. Our examination of Sparta and its history will be based on evidence derived from primary sources, archaeology, art and secondary sources. Same as CLSS—360 (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, PNH)

HIST—340. Latin America: The Colonial Period 3 credits

A survey of the history of Latin America from 1492 to independence in the 1820s. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, CFD, HNW, ISP, MULT, REA)

HIST—343. Latin America: The National Period 3 credits

A survey of the history of Latin America from the 1820s to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP)

HIST—345. History of Mexico 3 credits

The political, social, and economic development of Mexico from colonial times to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP)

HIST—350. History of East Asia I 3 credits

A survey of East Asian history with emphasis on the political, economic, social, and cultural development of China, Japan, and Korea: from earliest times to 1600. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HNW, ISP)

HIST—353. History of East Asia II 3 credits

A survey of East Asian history with emphasis on the political, economic, social, and cultural development of China, Japan, and Korea: since 1600. (ATTR: ARTS, GLST, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—360. History of Modern China 3 credits

History of modern China since 1840, with particular attention given to China’s response to the West, the disintegration of Imperial China, the development of nationalism, and the rise of Chinese communism. (ATTR: ARTS, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—363. History of Modern Japan 3 credits

History of modern Japan, with principal emphasis on political, economic, intellectual, and social developments since 1853. (ATTR: ARTS, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—370. Africa I: Genesis of Modern Africa 3 credits

A general examination of the social, political, economic and environmental developments of the indigenous African states including their response to Eastern and Western contacts from pre-history to 1875. (ATTR: ARTS, HNW, ISP, MULT, REA)

HIST—373. Africa II: The Modern Transition 3 credits

A general examination of the development of Africa from 1875 with emphasis not only on the economy, society, and politics but also the impact of colonization upon the course of modernization. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, GLST, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—375. Women in European History 3 credits

This course surveys the history of European women from ancient times to the present, with particular attention to how the study of women and gender has changed the way historians analyze the past. The construction of the concepts of masculinity and femininity will be explored through careful examination of primary and secondary materials. The latest historiographical approaches to the study of women and gender will be considered as will new resources for research. (ATTR: ARTS, ISP, WSTU, HMEU, HEUR)

HIST—376. Franciscan History 3 credits

This course will familiarize the student with the persons, events and ideas that have inspired the Franciscan Movement. The student will come to understand the background of Franciscanism in the context of the High Middle Ages, and in contrast to earlier forms of religious life within the Christian tradition. The student will learn about the role of Franciscans in the development of western art; in higher education; in politics; in the age of exploration; and in the development of Christian Spirituality over the past 800 years. Appropriate attention will be paid to the internal struggles of Franciscans; to the role of women in the Franciscan family; and to the place of Franciscans in the Anglican Communion. The course will culminate in a look at the founding of Siena College as a Franciscan contribution to higher education. Prerequisites: HIST—201. (ATTR: ARTS, CFH, HEUR, HNW)

HIST—378. Medieval Europe 3 credits

A survey of western European history between roughly 450 and 1350, tracing political, social, and cultural trends. This course will focus on the formation of an entity called “Europe,” distinct from its neighbors in the Byzantine and Arabic worlds, yet including non-Christians as an integral part of European history. (ATTR: ARTS, CFH, HEUR, HMEU, MRST, PNH)

HIST—381. Renaissance Europe 3 credits

A survey of European history between roughly 1350 and 1500, with special emphasis on cultural change and on Italy. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, PNH)

HIST—384. The Reformation of Christendom 3 credits

The reform of western Christianity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as Europe moved from the medieval to the modern world. Special attention will be paid to significant figures such as Luther, Calvin, and Ignatius Loyola. Prerequisites: (HIST—101 or 190) and (RELG—101 or 121 or 141 or 181). (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, CFH, PHN) (Same as RELG—301)

HIST—387. Nineteenth Century Europe, 1815-1915 3 credits

This course treats industrialization and social change, the emergence of socialism and workers’ movements, political and economic liberalism, German and Italian unification, Social Darwinism, and European imperialism. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, ISP)

HIST—392. Europe, 1914-1945 3 credits

A study of the period as affected by the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the rise of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, the Great Depression, the problems of the democratic states, the breakdown of international cooperation, and World War II. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, HMEU)

HIST—394. Contemporary Europe since 1945 3 credits

A historical treatment from the European perspective of the principal developments and crises from the end of World War II to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, HMEU)

HIST—396. England from 1485-1815 3 credits

The emergence of modern England during the reigns of the Tudors, Stuarts and first four Hanoverians, with emphasis on political, social and economic changes. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, PNH, HMEU, REA)

HIST—398. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Britain 3 credits

The history of Great Britain and the empire from 1815 to the present, with emphasis on political, social, and economic changes. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, ISP)

HIST—401 (402, 403). Colloquium in History 3 credits

This course is designed to explore areas and topics not treated in the traditional history course offerings. The area or theme will be studied in depth and emphasis will be on discussion. The subject will be announced before the semester in which the colloquium is to be given. An additional fee may be required, depending on the topic offered. May be taken more than once with different topics. (ATTR: ARTS, REA)

HIST—411. Slavery in Historical Perspective 3 credits

An historical examination across the major world civilizations from the ancient period to the present of the development of slavery. Focus will be upon the causes and sources of slavery, its impact and consequences upon society, attitudes toward slavery, the life of the slave, and abolition. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, CFJ, HAM, HEUR, HNW MULT, PNH, AMSA, REA)

HIST—413. History of Modern Germany 3 credits

Political, social, and economic evolution of the German nation from the Vienna settlement to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, HMEU)

HIST—415. The French Revolution and Napoleon 3 credits

A study of the revolution and its Napoleonic aftermath in its French and international aspects. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HEUR, HMEU, ISP, PNH, REA)

HIST—418. History of Modern France 3 credits

Political and cultural development of modern France from the French Revolution to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, HMEU)

HIST—421. Russian Foreign Policy: The Soviet Period 3 credits

An analysis of Soviet foreign relations: goals, strategy, and tactics, including the Cold War and post-Soviet foreign policy. (ATTR: ARTS, HMEU, HEUR, ISP)

HIST—425. Russian Intellectual and Social History 3 credits

The evolution and development of Russian society and currents of thought from Kievan Rus to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HEUR, HMEU, ISP)

HIST—428. History of Modern Russia 3 credits

A survey of Russian history from the reign of Ivan III (1462-1505) to the 20th century. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, HMEU, ISP)

HIST—430.Russia Since 1900 3 credits

The study of the reign of Nicholas II (1894-1917), the Soviet period, and post-Soviet Russia. (ATTR: ARTS, HEUR, ISP, HMEU)

HIST—451. U.S. Social and Cultural History to 1877 3 credits

The development of social institutions and currents of thought from the 16th century to mid-19th century. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—453. U.S. Social and Cultural History after 1877 3 credits

The development of social institutions and currents of thought from the mid-19th century to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM)

HIST—455. The Westward Movement, 1750-1890 3 credits

The development of the American West from its role in the Anglo-French conflict for empire to the official closing of the frontier by the census of 1890. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, HAM, HMAM, REA)

HIST—457. American Immigration in Historical Perspective 3 credits

A study of the historical movement of peoples from around the world to the United States within the context of global political and economic changes that emphasizes transnational connections and the complex history of race, citizenship, and intercultural relations. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, GLST, HAM, HMAM, MULT)

HIST—461. African-American History 3 credits

A study of the course of black history in the United States, including migration to English America, slavery, emancipation, segregation, rise of organized protest movements, and the civil rights revolution, as well as a consideration of the influence of blacks upon various phases of American political, social, economic, and intellectual development. (ATTR: ARTS, CAH, HAM, ISP, AMSA, HMAM, MULT)

HIST—463. U.S. Military History 3 credits

A study of the military history of the U.S. (and necessary European background) from the age of settlement through Vietnam, concentrating on the roots of the armed forces in the society and the impact of change, social, political, and technological on the role and functions of the armed forces of the U.S. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, HAM, HMAM, REA)

HIST—465. Spanish Borderlands 3 credits

An historical examination of the Spanish borderland region of the United States between 1513 and 1821 with concluding remarks regarding the period of Mexican authority over Texas and the Southwest between 1821-1848. Focus will include the exploration and occupation of the region as well as social, political, economic, and military developments. (ATTR: AMSA, ARTS, CAH, HAM, HNW, ISP, MULT, REA)

HIST—471. Conflict in South Africa 3 credits

A survey of South Africa history from pre-colonial times through the arrival of white settlers and the ensuing race conflict which has raged through the centuries, with emphasis on the social, political and economic dimensions, up to the present. (ATTR: ARTS, HNW, ISP, MULT)

HIST—475. Public History 3 credits

This course considers the practice of history outside of the formal classroom. Areas of study may include, but are not limited to, museums, libraries, archives, state and national parks, historical societies, theme parks, publishing, filmmaking, archaeology, and historic preservation. (Same as AMST–475) (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, HMAM, REC)

HIST—480. Internship in History 3 credits

Work in local historical societies, museums, archival and resource centers, etc. Open to second semester Juniors and Seniors who have completed a minimum of 12 credit hours in history, including U.S. history, and who present a GPA of 3.0 or higher in history and 2.9 or higher overall. Permission of the Director of American Studies and the Head of the History Department is required. Evaluation of such credit is made by the staff of the participating institution, and the Director of American Studies or a member of the History Department chosen by the Department in consultation with the Director of American Studies. (Cross-listed as AMST—480) (ATTR: ARTS, INT)

HIST—485 (486, 487). Topics in Revolutionary Era History 3 credits

A study of specialized topics encompassing the Revolutionary Era from 1754 to 1815 that include: Economics of the Revolution; Education in the Colonies; Blacks in the Revolution: Free and Slave; Local History-Albany, Schenectady, Troy in the Revolution; Weapons and Tactics in the World and Revolution, 1785-1815; Colonial Women; Diplomacy in the Revolutionary Era. The specific topic is announced in the schedule of course offerings. Students may repeat the course for credit provided the selected subject matter has not been taken previously for credit. Prerequisite: HIST–203. (Cross-listed as AMST–485). (ATTR: ARTS, HAM, AMSA, HMAM, REA)

HIST—495. Independent Study 1 - 3 credits

Highly advanced individual study under the direction of a member of the department of a topic chosen by the student and based upon his/her particular interest and background. It will involve private consultation with the advisor, independent research, and the writing of a research paper. A senior History major with exceptional qualifications and a record of distinctive achievement may pursue independent study with the approval of an instructor and the department. (ATTR: ARTS)

HIST—497. Proseminar for Capstone 3 credits

This seminar aims to introduce history students to both the methods and philosophical problems of history. The seminar will first consider a historical issue or a school of historical writing or the works of an eminent historian. It will then consider the philosophy of history and the questions historians have asked about their discipline. Assumes Junior standing with 75 hours, and 18 hours of History including either HIST—201 and HIST – 202 or HIST – 203 and HIST – 204. The course must be taken preceding enrollment in HIST—499. It cannot be taken concurrently with HIST—499. Permission of instructor required. (ATTR: ARTS)

HIST—499. History Capstone 3 credits

A student research oriented course requiring a substantial paper based on direct investigation of primary sources. Papers will be critiqued by members of the class. Additional, shorter writing assignments may also be required. Topic will vary with instructor. Open only to History and History Education majors. Prerequisites: Senior standing (90 hours), HIST–101, HIST–497, 21 hours of History (including HIST–101 and HIST–497). (ATTR: ARTS, REA)