You are here

History

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F2i, F3

This writing intensive course provides an introduction to themes and topics from a variety of historical perspectives. Possible topics
include: “Disease and Epidemics,” “British Empire through Film,” “The Algerian Revolution,” and “The Supreme Court in U.S.
History.”

Credits:
4

Introduction to selected periods in history taken during a Maymester or other summer study, either at Rhodes, the Summer Study in London program, or another course outside the traditional academic calendar taught by a Rhodes faculty member.  Topics vary with instructor.  May be repeated for credit when topics vary.  Foundation credits vary according to topic.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Introduction to selected periods in history. Varies with instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F11, Global/Comparative History

This course is an introduction to the field of environmental history. What can our environment tell us about our past? How have natural
resources shaped patterns of human life in different regions of the world? What meanings have people attached to nature and how have
those attitudes shaped their cultural and political lives? We will analyze the ecological context of human existence, with the
understanding that the environment is an agent and a presence in human history. Because environmental change often transcends national
boundaries, this course places important subjects like disease, agriculture, forests, water, industrialization, and conservationism into a
global context. This course includes a lab for field excursions.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8, Global/Comparative History, Environmental Studies Elective, Urban Studies Elective

This course explores the histories of several “natural disasters” to discover how humans have understood and responded to environmental events beyond their control. The course begins with a conceptual conversation about the relationship between
environment and society within the context of disaster, and then proceeds to explore the stories of several events -- such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and fires. We will also consider how disasters are woven into the historical memories of various societies and used as reference points to understand both the past and the future. Each student will conduct research and make a significant oral presentation as part of the course.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500

This course is an introductory survey of the history of the ancient Mediterranean from ca. 3000 B.C. to ca. A.D. 500 that focuses on the
great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Near East (e.g., Assyria and Persia.) Each civilization had its distinctive character, and yet vigorous cultural exchanges within the area, and beyond, led to the assimilation, adaptation, and sometimes even rejection by one culture of the ideas and practices of another. Thus, the course will track these interactions and examine their consequences for the historical development of Mediterranean civilizations. Also considered will be a rich variety of evidence that includes literary texts, inscribed documents, artifacts, coins, art, and architecture. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500

Before the Middle Ages, there was no Europe. This course covers the thousand-year period from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance,
roughly 400 to 1400 C.E., during which Europe emerged as a region with distinctive political, religious, and cultural traits. In order to
understand this transformation, we will examine such topics as the spread of Christianity; the reconfiguration of the Roman empire into a
new set of kingdoms; the growth of new religious, social, and political institutions; the evolution of conflicts between church and state,
Islam and Christianity, city and countryside; the cycle of economic revival and collapse; the effects of the Black Death and other
catastrophes; and the experiences of ordinary people in their daily lives.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500

This course begins by examining the changes, as well as the medieval carry-overs, that brought about the period known as the
Renaissance. The effects of impersonal forces such as climate change and epidemics, the impact of the discovery of the Americas, and a
new understanding of human capabilities will be considered. The course then turns to a survey of the intellectual movements and of the
religious, social, and political characteristics of European history from 1500 (the coming of the Reformation) to 1714 (the height of
French power under Louis XIV.) The emphasis will fall upon those changes that prepared society for the transition to what is now
considered the “modern” world. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe

This course acquaints students with the major political, social, economic, and cultural forces that have shaped the European continent as
we know it today. While following a chronological perspective and highlighting a familiar set of events--such as the French and
Industrial Revolutions, imperialism, communism and fascism, the two world wars, the Cold War, and the development of the European
Union--we will focus on a series of themes. We concentrate on the making of the Nation, Class, Gender and Race in the long 19th
century, and the often tragic fate of these modern inventions in the 20th century. We trace the sometimes violent, complex, and
interesting circumstances of the peoples who constructed these modern Western notions. The successful completion of this course will
substantially enrich not only your understanding of Europe in the world today, but some of the central categories and values that
underpin how we have come to structure our society and define ourselves.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe

The eighteenth century was an age of intellectual and political revolutions that destroyed what historians describe as the Old Regime.
This course critically assesses the rhetoric, goals and legacy of the century’s key philosophic movement, the Enlightenment. It surveys
the development of the Old Regime in the eighteenth century and seeks to interpret the social, economic and intellectual forces that
tended to undermine it. Particular emphasis will be placed on the French Revolution, the overthrow of the Old Regime, the Reign of
Terror and the rise and fall of the Napoleonic system in Europe.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8

Major Requirement: History of Europe

This course examines the impact of industrialization on the social, political, and intellectual life of Europe. The combination of
nationalist idealism and the realism of state power that produced the unifications of Italy and Germany will be critically examined. The
course will also examine the nationalist and imperialist rivalries that drove the European states to the brink of war after the turn of the
century. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8

Major Requirement: History of Europe

By focusing on the experiences of ordinary people and significant shifts in their values, we will study how Europe evolved through what
one historian has called an “age of extremes” in the twentieth century. Central issues will include the experience and legacies of “total
war,” daily life under Nazi rule and in the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, the psychological impact of the Great Depression,
and the various ways in which people struggled to redefine themselves as Europe faded from a position of world dominance.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500

Athens was one of the most successful and exceptional states in antiquity because it developed and sustained a liberal democracy at a
time when monarchies and oligarchies dominated much of the world. As fascinating as it is to trace the developments that contributed to
the adoption of democracy at Athens in 511 BCE, an even more fruitful enterprise, especially at a time when our own democracy is
becoming increasingly more precarious and fractured, is to study the manifold changes in political, economic, and cultural life during the
last third of the 5th century that led the Athenians to take their democracy for granted and adopt undemocratic changes in their
constitution. This course will thus concentrate on the tumultuous period from 431 to 399, beginning with the greatest "upheaval" of the
age, the Peloponnesian War, which witnessed civil war and political revolution, and ending with the trial and execution of one its greatest
citizens, Socrates. This period is particularly rich in primary sources, including Thucydides' magisterial history, law-court speeches,
comedies, tragedies, and inscriptions. While this course assumes no prior experience with Greek history, mastering these sources is
crucial for success in the course, especially during the running of the "Reacting to the Past" game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens
403 B.C.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirements: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500

Rome's transition from Republic to Empire, when power shifted from the Senate and People to asingle emperor, is one of the most well-known periods of Roman history, involving a number offamous characters: Julius Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, Antony, and Augustus. In this course, we willinvestigate the nature and causes of the fall of the Roman Republic. What was the Republic, andwhy did it end? How did Rome come to be ruled by emperors? Focusing especially on the lastcentury BC, we will examine Roman politics and society to find answers to a question that hasperplexed some of the greatest thinkers of the last two millennia: How does a proud andpowerful republic slip into one-man rule?In the process, we will problematize the study of the "fall", considering questions such as thefollowing: Was the Roman Republic really so different from the Empire? What are thecontinuities between these two eras, and where does the break really occur? In our study of theRepublic, how does our knowledge of what happens next - the Empire - enhance and distort ourunderstanding of late republican events?

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: Global/Comparative History

This course addresses some of the major developments of the British Empire from the early 1600s to the 1980s. Emphasis is on the
changing nature of the empire, its role in Britain’s rise and fall as a world power, the influence of empire on Britain’s political, economic,
and cultural development, and the imperial impact on Britain’s colonies and possessions. Attention is also directed at the many enemies
that the empire created, both in Britain and in the colonies. The course concludes by examining aspects of post-colonialism in Britain
and its former possessions. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe

This course will introduce students to some of the major historical developments in Britain since 1688. The focus will be on political
events, but some attention will also be paid to social, economic, religious, and intellectual developments. Topics to be discussed include:
Glorious Revolution of 1688-89; corruption and reform in eighteenth-century politics; origins, nature, and impact of industrialism;
evolution of parliament and emergence of the office of prime minister; impact of the French Revolution; reform and radical movements
of the nineteenth century; imperialism; the British experience in World Wars One and Two; origins and nature of the welfare state;
British society and politics since 1945; and the Americanization of Britain. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F5

Major Requirements: History of Europe

This course will examine of the relationship between French music and its political, social,and cultural context by focusing on Paris as the center of new artistic developments in thelate nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The course will provide an introduction toFrench cultural history, including artistic movements during this period, introducingstudents to musical composers such as Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and Stravinsky andhow they were situated within the events of their day.  Students will develop a vocabularyto describe and discuss musical works in general and of this period specifically.  Studentswill analyze musical works within the context of Parisian life from 1870-1940.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Europe
How and why did Russia become the center of the world’s largest land empire only to collapse so suddenly in 1917? Beginning with the
emergence of Rus and the development of the early Muscovite state, this course delves into the Russian Imperial period, examining the
growth of the Russian Empire and highlighting certain topics, including the quest for modernization; the relationship between Russia and
the rest of the world (both East and West); the beliefs, traditions, religion, and way of life of the Russian people; the rise of radical
movements; and the revolution that brought down the Romanov dynasty. We will focus especially on aspects of Russian culture:
literature, painting, and music. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course investigates British, French, Spanish, African, and Native American encounters in North America from the Age of
Exploration through the early political development of the United States. Major themes include the tensions between individual and
community interests, the origins and development of slavery, the emergence of capitalism, religious diversity, and the American
Revolution.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course examines major social, political, economic, and cultural changes in the nineteenth century, including U.S. relations with
Native North Americans, antebellum reform, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and industrialization. Major themes may include the rise and
decline of sectionalism and transformations in gender and race relations, as well as questions of individualism and community, liberty
and order.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course investigates major social, political, cultural, and economic changes in the twentieth century, from Progressivism through the
end of the Cold War. Major themes may include the effects of world war and economic depression on society, the United States’
changing role in the global community, the rise and fall of American liberalism, the Vietnam War as watershed, and the emergence of
cultural pluralism.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9, Africana Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of United States


The experiences of African-American people in the United States can be described as a continuous quest for empowerment; this quest
has been affected by myriad factors (e.g., gender roles, class divisions, secular and non-secular ideologies, regionalism) in addition to
racism. This course, through the use of secondary and primary material, historical documentaries, and critical analyses, will chart the
historically complex journeys of African Americans, from the impact of the African diaspora on colonial America to the Black student
sit-ins and the formation of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1960, and beyond.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Africana Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course examines the social, political, and economic climate of the 1940s through the 1960s, and considers how both Blacks and
Whites were affected. Specifically, the course will focus on various organizations and the strategies they implemented which resulted in
events such as the Brown v. Board of Education case and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Additionally, the course will analyze the subtle
and not-so-subtle reactions to initiatives that allowed African Americans to attain many of the rights and privileges that have become
commonplace in today’s society. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course examines the social, political, and cultural history of the South as a distinct region of the United States. The course will
include discussion of the origins of a slave society, the culture of slavery and the Old South, the Civil War and Reconstruction, political
and cultural change in the New South, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of the United States
The city of Memphis has significantly shaped the broader experiences of people in the United States. This course provides an
introduction to the major issues and themes that have formed the history of the city and its people. Using a variety of sources, the course
explores the significant political, social, economic, and cultural changes that have taken place in the region from the 18th century to the
present day.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8

Major Requirement: History of United States
As the United States began its rise to the status of superpower in the 20th century, Americans also began to fashion new political
ideologies and policies to contend with changes in the expanding nation. Students in this course will examine the origins of modern
liberalism in the Progressive Era, its rise and expansion during the New Deal, the challenges of 20th century conservatism, and political
debates during World War II and the Cold War. In addition, the course will focus on changing campaign techniques, the importance of
voting rights, and increased importance of international relations in American politics.(Course offered in alternate years, scheduled for
2013-2014.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F8

Major Requirement: History of United States
What was the lasting legacy of “The Sixties”? What was the “Reagan Revolution”? How did liberalism, one of the dominant ideologies
of the 20th century America, get transformed into the “L” word in current political debates? This course will attempt to answer these and
other questions surrounding modern American political history. Along with the emergence of the New Left and the New Right, students
will examine the influence of race in political debates, the arguments over the size and scope of American government, and the direction
of American politics in the 21st century. (Course offered in alternate years, scheduled for 2013-2014.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9

Major Requirement: History of Latin America
This course surveys the history of Latin America in the period before the Revolutions of Independence (before 1810). After studying the
Native American (principally Aztec, Inca, Chibcha and Maya) and European (Spanish and Portuguese) civilizations that shaped the
formation of colonial Latin American history, the conquest, the institutions and the social history/movements during this historical period
will be addressed in a thematic fashion.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9

Major Requirement: History of Latin America
This course surveys the history of Modern Latin America from the period of Independence (1810-1824) to the present, addressing the
economic and social development of the Latin American region. Certain themes, such as religion, poverty, violence and foreign
intervention will be covered in depth. Feature films, recent literature and oral history testimony will serve as “tools” for understanding
contemporary Latin America.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3

Major Requirement: History of Latin America

This course is an introduction to the history of Mexico and we will study that nation’s history from independence (the early 19th century)
to the present. The course will move more or less in a chronological fashion with further focus on themes of importance (immigration,
for example). (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Africana Studies Elective

Major requirement: History of Africa/Middle East
This course will examine Africa from its early history to the end of eighteenth century, studying such topics as the rise and fall of
Africa's ancient kingdoms, African peoples and their links with the outside world, the introduction of Christianity and Islam, and Africa
in the era of slave trade. We will consider major political, economic, and social changes that took place in Africa during this period and
examine the experiences of Africans. In particular, we will examine a wide range of social and cultural as well as technological and
economic changes in Africa before the impact of outside contacts and influences. We will also explore the relationships between
Africans and people living in other regions of the world, such as Europe and the Middle East. Our core themes in this course involve
power, trade, and the production of social and cultural orders locally as well as the broader development of global systems around the
African continent. We will deal primarily but not exclusively with regions now south of the formidable Sahara Desert, and the influence
that Africa had on the edges of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans arenas. Students completing this course will develop a broad
understanding of how various African societies evolved before 1800; discover the important position of precolonial Africa within local
and global historical processes; interpret primary sources from major themes and episodes in African history within their own particular
social, cultural, political, and economic contexts; and demonstrate the ability to analyze and discuss material dealing with Africa’s past in
writing.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Africana Studies Elective

Major requirement: History of Africa/Middle East
This course provides an introduction to the history of Africa since 1800 by examining important social, economic, political, religious,
and environmental changes from 1800 to the present. Although we consider African engagement with Europe, this is not a course on
Europeans in Africa or European colonialism; rather, we will explore the ways in which Africans have both responded to and created
change over time. We will examine such developments as: the decline of the slave trade; Islamic revival and reform; European conflict
and colonialism; urbanization and industrialization; the First and Second World War; decolonization and Pan-Africanism; nation building
and the Cold War; famine and epidemics; authoritarian and democratic governance; and international aid and globalization. The course
will also consider various themes, such as: African spiritual belief and practice; African political structures and economic systems;
African attitudes towards Europe and empire; and African identities. By examining major historical transformation and themes in
African history since 1800, students will acquire the means to understand contemporary African societies and their relationship with the
wider world.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9

Major Requirement: History of Africa/Middle East
This course is an introductory class to the history of the Middle East from Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798 until the end of World
War I. Investigating the history of this period provides the necessary backdrop for understanding the intellectual vibrancy and political
turbulence of the Arab world in present day. The main question for consideration is which forces and what sort of transformations shaped
the region over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries. By exploring critical political, social, intellectual, and economic themes
such as reforms, colonialism, Arab nationalism, and the impact of Zionism, we will identify the main internal and external forces and
processes that shaped the modern Middle East. The course also examines the way historical discourse is formed.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9

Major Requirement: History of Africa/Middle East
This course examines the history of Middle Eastern states and societies from World War I to the present, including the Arab countries as
well as Iran, Israel and Turkey. The course surveys the main political, social, economic, and intellectual currents of the 20th-century Middle East and provides a basis for understanding both the domestic and international politics of the region. Topics include imperialism, nationalism, state and class formation, religion, Orientalism, women, the politics of oil, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Iranian revolution, the Gulf War and 9/11 and its aftermath.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F1, Africa/Middle East

This course offers a broad overview of important intellectual movements and orientations in the modern and contemporary Islamic world since the 19th century. It examines the views of Muslim thinkers as they have faced numerous challenges and upheavals that emerged in the modern world. We will place these thinkers in the context of their socio-political settings and analyze their interpretations as they have struggled to preserve, adapt, or redefine Islamic ideas in the face of changed conditions. Some of the intellectual traditions we will investigate include: Islamic modernist thought, progressive Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, jihadist thought, Islamic feminism, and Islam in America. 

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of Asia
This course presents a survey of the modern experiences of five different Asian nations: China, Japan, Mongolia, Korea, and Vietnam.
The emphasis will be on the period from World War II to the present, to examine these different countries’ experiences with nationalism,
world war, civil war, revolution, and modernization along with the tenacity of tradition. The course also will examine the relationships
among these nations and their significance in the modern world.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History Asia, Period prior to 1500
Beginning with the earliest evidence of human civilization in the region, this course traces the emergence of political states within China
and their eventual unification into a single empire, an institution that persisted for millennia. Throughout this process the development of
literature, religion, philosophy, and material culture in Chinese society all played a role in shaping the character of China today.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of Asia
For millennia the Chinese viewed their emperor as the Son of Heaven and their empire as the center of the world. Following Columbus
and the Age of Exploration, however, in the sixteenth-century Europeans began arriving in China in unprecedented numbers,
precipitating a crisis in Chinese society. This course examines the dynamics of China’s relationship with the outside world and the
subsequent transition that China made from empire to nation. Modernization continued in the twentieth century and with it came social
revolution and conflict with the United States, a legacy that continues to inform our relationship with the world’s most populous nation.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, F9, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of Asia
This course is designed to provide the students with a general understanding of Japan’s history since 1800. Topics in this course include
general issues in the process of modernization such as industrialization, construction of mass culture, development of science and
technology, and modern formation of everyday life. This course also focuses on particular issues in modern Japanese history such as the
impact of the West, colonialism and imperialism, (post) war and democracy. Although this course is a general survey, it intends to
challenge the constructed images of Japanese history and culture. For this purpose, issues on trans-national and trans-cultural history will
be considered throughout the course.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of Asia, Period prior to 1500

This course explores India from the era of the Indus civilization through the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 CE. Topics
include the Harappa culture, Aryan migrations and emergence of Hinduism, Gangetic culture and rise of the Mauryan and Gupta
empires, Islamic invasions and creation of the Delhi sultanate, and the Vijayanagar Empire. The course concludes with a close
examination of the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire, one of the world’s greatest empires. Considerable attention will also be devoted to
religious, social, and cultural developments, including the evolution of Hinduism, the caste system, Islamic culture in India, religious
reform movements, and architecture. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F3, Asian Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of Asia
This course surveys the history of South Asia following the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the early eighteenth century through the
post-colonial period of the late twentieth century. Focus is on political, religious, and socio-economic developments such as the post-
Mughal political order; the origins and nature of the British Raj; nationalism and the struggle for independence; religious revival and
political identity; partition and its aftermath; and the post-colonial order in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. (Course offered in alternate
years.)

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F2i

This course introduces prospective history majors and minors to the experience of how historians perform their craft. Each seminar will
address research methods, historical writing, and interpretive analysis. Students will be introduced to historiography, the use of primary
sources, and ethical issues in writing history. Course work will culminate in an original research paper. An oral presentation will also be
required of all students.

Credits:
4

Advanced study of selected periods and topics in history. Varies with instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: Global/Comparative History
This course investigates how wars have shaped the natural environment and how nature has shaped war in the modern era. More than
simply a look at the ravages of war on nature, this course considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. The
various topics we will consider include chemical and biological warfare, repairing embattled landscapes, the growing military-industrial
complex, disposing of nuclear waste, and the increasing number of conflicts over natural resources. Students will learn how to critically
assess the ecological impact of war, as well as its societal and political repercussions. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500
This course offers a comprehensive survey of the history of Athens from the age of Solon and the birth of democracy in the 6th century
BCE to the tumultuous post-Peloponnesian War period (404-399), which saw the collapse of the Athenian empire, tyranny and foreign
occupation, and the execution of its greatest citizen, Socrates. Particular attention will be paid to the major political, social, and cultural
developments, as we try to understand the factors that contributed to the growth and decline of Athenian civilization. Among the many
themes and topics we will examine are: the theory and practice of Athenian democracy; political dissent; imperialism and the Athenian
empire; the rhetoric of war; work and leisure; the position of slaves, foreigners, and women in Athenian society; classical art and
architecture; and tragedy as a “civic discourse.” (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500
Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire, when power shifted from the Senate and People to a single emperor, is one of the most wellknown
periods of Roman history, involving a number of famous characters: Julius Caesar, Cicero, Pompey, and Augustus. In this course,
we will investigate the nature and causes of the fall of the Roman Republic. What was the Republic, and why did it end? How did Rome
come to be ruled by emperors? Focusing especially on the last century BC, we will examine Roman politics and society to find answers
to a question that has perplexed some of the greatest thinkers of the last two millennia: How does a proud and powerful republic fall into
one-man rule? In the process, we will problematize the study of the “fall,” considering questions such as the following: Was the Roman
Republic really so different from the Empire? What are the continuities between these two eras, and where does the break really occur?
(Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe, Period prior to 1500
This course studies the end of the Ancient World and the emergence of the Middle Ages. We start with the Roman Empire at the peak of
its power and proceed to study its dramatic crisis, transformation and eventual fall. The barbarian invasions, the diffusion of Christianity,
the establishment of a powerful Catholic church, the emergence of new artistic traditions, and the rise of Islam are some of the themes
covered in this wide-ranging survey. Students will have the opportunity to meet and understand characters such as Constantine, Attila the
Hun, Augustine of Hippo, Justinian and Muhammad. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F4, Pre-1500 Area Requirement, History of Europe

Stories of wonder and adventure in distant lands were much loved by medieval readers. For those who stayed at home, travelers’ tales shaped their understanding of the wider world and their own place within it. For those who were able to travel themselves, favorite tales shaped their own lived experiences. In this class, we examine some of the most popular medieval European travel narratives using the tools of both literary and historical analysis. We follow merchants, pilgrims, spies, and diplomats as they made their way to destinations such as Spain, Russia, China, Ethiopia, America, and the Holy Land. 

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

History of Europe
Beginning with the heretic Spinoza, we’ll examine the giants of Jewish thought—religious reformers, philosophers, writers, and
theologians wrestling with the challenges of modernity. Topics will include: the essence of Judaism; the nature of law; religion and the
state; Jewish understandings of God and of evil; the status of women and non-Jews; and the legacy of the Holocaust. We’ll discuss the
Jewish Enlightenment; Reform, Orthodox, Conservative and other Jewish denominations; Zionism and Israel; Jewish existentialism and
the meaning of life; Jewish philosophical and theological responses to the Holocaust; and Jewish feminism.

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F1, History of Europe

An examination of prominent existentialists from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Issues include the idea that human beings’ deepest desire is for meaning in their lives, and that the primary issue in human life is whether and how we own up to this. Same as PHIL 360.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

 

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe
This course explores the ways in which war has shaped modern Germany. Students examine the wars of German unification in the
nineteenth century, the two world worlds in the twentieth century, and the hostilities between East and West Germany during the Cold
War. Our concern is not with tactics, battle history, or the deeds of great generals. Rather we consider the strains that war caused in
Germany society, including the tensions between democracy and authoritarianism, the pressures of industrial might and socialist unrest,
and conflicting notions of class, race, and citizenship. Students will become acquainted with how war serves as a lever of change in the
making of a modern state. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
The purpose of this course is to attain a fundamental knowledge of one of the most complex and controversial experiences in United
States history. This course will examine various social, economic, and political factors in an attempt to explain why slavery developed as
it did. Also, because slavery remained in the United States over such a long period (approximately 240 years), we will discuss how it
changed over time. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major requirement: History of the United States
This seminar will examine the origin, growth and development of the civil rights movement in Memphis. Using, music, documentaries,
oral histories and secondary sources, students will consider the various political, social, cultural and economic dynamics that led to the
creation of a movement in the Bluff City. Additionally, the course will focus on various organizations and individuals, and will seek to
analyze the strategies they implemented in the pursuit of greater freedom. Students will also assess reactions to the movement in
Memphis, and the complex legacy citizens of the city continue to contend with.

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course examines American constitutionalism from the colonial era through the Civil War. Topics include British constitutionalism,
American revolutionary ideology, the Constitutional Convention, the early nineteenth-century Supreme Court’s exercise of judicial
review, and the new republic’s attempts to deal with such issues as federalism, the separation of powers, the government’s role in an
expanding economy, and the fate of slavery in new territories. In contrast to a constitutional law course, this class is more concerned with
how American constitutionalism both shaped and responded to larger political and social developments, and less concerned with the
evolution of constitutional doctrine in and of itself. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course examines American constitutionalism from the Reconstruction period to the present. In particular, the course focuses on the
Supreme Court’s interpretation of the constitutional issues surrounding Reconstruction and civil rights, industrialization and economic
expansion, the rise of national regulatory power, and the expansion of individual rights. In contrast to a constitutional law course, this
class is more concerned with how American constitutionalism both shaped and responded to larger political and social developments,
and less concerned with the evolution of constitutional doctrine in and of itself. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F11

This course focuses on both the theory and practice of public history. The “theory” portion is covered in class sessions, while the
“practice” occurs through an internship at a local archive, museum, or preservation agency. By the end of the semester, students should
have a general understanding of how public historians practice their craft . To enroll, students must be approved in advance by the
instructor and the Office of Career Services.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Latin America
This course provides an examination of the history of United States - Latin American relations, beginning with tensions created by the
Latin American Wars for Independence (1810-1824). U.S. priorities, dating from the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, are studied in light of
specific policies and actions taken by the U.S. in the region. Specifically, the Mexican-American War, the Spanish-American War, the
Good Neighbor and The Alliance for Progress will be examined in depth.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Latin America
This course examines the history of religion and religious tradition in Latin America, beginning with an analysis of pre-Columbian
religious history and study of the imposition of Christianity with the arrival of the Spaniards and Portuguese. Syncretic identity, politics
and religion and the recent growth of evangelical Protestantism in Latin America will be some of the major themes addressed. (Course
offered every third year.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
Global/Comparative


This course is designed as an introduction to historical awareness, historical thinking, and historical methodology. Our objective is to
understand how the history of the Border (the border separating the United States and Mexico) has shaped political, economic, historic
and cultural realities, for centuries, at a place that’s neither fixed nor clear. Students will study primary documents, read essays/literary
accounts, and view films to arrive at a more complete understanding of the history, tragedy and possibility of the border.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F1

Major Requirement: History of Africa/Middle East, Period prior to 1500
This course is a thematic introduction to many of the events, figures, texts and ideas that have been central to Islamic thought and
identity over the centuries. While we will study many major historical events, particularly in the early centuries of the Islamic era, the
course is not intended as a comprehensive historical survey; instead, we will focus on some of the pivotal moments that have been most
meaningful in the eyes of later generations of Muslims. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major requirement: History of Asia, Period prior to 1500
This course examines the history of the pastoral nomadic peoples who have inhabited the Eurasian steppe region since early times, with
particular attention paid to the creation of nomadic empires and their relations with sedentary neighbors in China, Europe, and the
Middle East. The course will focus on the histories of the Scythians, Xiongnu, Huns, Turks, and Mongols.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major requirement: Global/Comparative History
The Vietnam War remains a challenging subject. The profound impact that it had on the major combatant nations (Vietnam and the
United States) continued to be felt long after the war had concluded. This course examine the Vietnam War through many lenses – social,
cultural, and political – in an effort to gain a holistic understanding of this important and defining historical experience. We will approach
the subject from multiple perspectives: not only those of the major combatants but also those of other important “players” such as the
People’s Republic of China, the Soviet Union, and the neighboring nations of Southeast Asia. In addition to a consideration of the war
itself we will examine the causes of the conflict (including a discussion of French colonization, Japanese occupation, rising nationalism
in Southeast Asia, and conflicting notions of Vietnamese nationalism), the war’s role in global politics and the Cold War, and its longterm
consequences.

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Asia
This course explores the life and thought of Mohandas Gandhi. It traces his transformation from an insecure Hindu aping British culture
to a self-confident Indian leading a nationalist revolt that captivated the world. This transformation is used to examine larger currents in
Indian history, such as the nature of cultural imperialism, the emergence of Hindu nationalism, and the story of India’s independence
movement. Attention is also directed at Gandhi’s views on Hindu-Muslim relations, the emergence of Pakistan, and plight of the socalled
Untouchables. The origins, nature, and problems of his theory of non-violent resistance are also explored. The course concludes
with a brief examination of what happened to Gandhi’s ideas after Indian independence. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: Global/Comparative History
The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of scholarly interest in European imperialism as a cultural and intellectual
phenomenon. This course examines some of main currents of this trend, focusing on the modern period and the British empire, which
has drawn the lion’s share of attention. The course will begin by examining how leading intellectuals in Europe and its colonies engaged
the idea of empire; the authors we will read may include John Locke, J. G. Herder, Edmund Burke, J. S. Mill, George Orwell, and Frantz
Fanon. After this, the course will turn to critical studies of empire emanating from those engaged in literary discourse theory and
postcolonial studies. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Advanced research seminars in selected topics in history. Varies with instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F9

Major Requirements: Global/Comparative, Period prior to 1500

The history of slavery is often presented as a straight line of development from the Roman estateto the American plantation. Yet more than a thousand years passed between the end of theRoman empire and the establishment of the first New World colonies, a millennium duringwhich slavery existed and was taken for granted all over the world. Premodern forms of slaverydiffered from the nineteenth-century plantation model: they tended to be small-scale, urban,domestic, female, and grounded in religious rather than racial difference. Through our study ofthe distinctive features of premodern slavery, especially religious difference and genderedexpectations of domestic and sexual service from most slave women, we will reexaminecommon assumptions about what slavery means and how it works more generally. Our primaryfocus will be on the Mediterranean region, but we will also consider examples from northernEurope, Asia, Africa, and the Americas between 500 and 1500 C.E.

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: Global/Comparative History
This course explores the comprehensive impact of the First World War from a global perspective. We will examine how aspects of the
international system led to the outbreak of war in August 1914, the experience of war around the world, interactions between civilians
and soldiers, the tensions between minorities and authorities, atrocities and genocide, and the attempt to establish a lasting peace in 1919.
Central to the course will be the ways in which the Great War shaped the twentieth century. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe
This seminar investigates one of the most tumultuous eras in European history by exploring the political and cultural development
known as “fascism.” Radicalized by World War and Depression, adherents of this new political philosophy gained control of several
European countries and transformed them from liberal democracies to totalitarian states. Concentrating on culture and society, we will
explore why and how such groups came to power in countries including Italy and Germany, what fascists believed, the elements of their
programs, and the legacies they left behind. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Europe
This course examines various aspects of European culture, politics, and society since World War II. In particular, we investigate the
legacies of war and Holocaust; the creation and collapse of Cold War era communism; Europe’s relations with the rest of the world
through decolonization, immigration, and globalization; and multiple challenges to Western value systems. Students are expected to read
numerous works of historical scholarship, write a substantial analytical essay, participate actively in class discussion, and give oral
presentations in class. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This seminar examines the political, social, and cultural history of the United States from the adoption of the Constitution in 1789
through 1846. Particular attention is given to the constitution-making the politics, religious revivalism and social reform, the formation
of an American culture, the rise of northern capitalism, and the rise of sectionalism. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This seminar will investigate the political, social, and constitutional developments surrounding the American Civil War. Topics include
the development of antebellum society in the North and South, the rise of sectional political tensions, the social impact of the war on
black and white Americans, and post-war attempts to reconstruct the social, political, and constitutional order. (Course offered in
alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This seminar deals with the social, economic, political, and constitutional development of the United States from the Reconstruction Era
through the end of World War I. Topics include the rise of a corporate capitalist economic order, the creation of a post-Reconstruction
southern identity, tensions between black and white Americans, the United States’ involvement in Europe’s Great War, and the rise of the
national regulatory state. (Course offered every third year.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This seminar examines the evolution of American society since 1945. Special attention is given to the Cold War, political developments,
and the cultural transformation of the 1960s and 1970s, and the resurgence of conservatism. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course is a survey of African American activism in the United States from 1830 to the middle of the twentieth century. During the
semester, we will cover a range of issues and topics, many of which will challenge traditional notions of what constitutes “activism”. The course is primarily structured chronologically, which means that we will cover several dominant themes of African American history, such as resistance to slavery, life in the Jim Crow South, racial violence, black institution building, cultural responses to oppression, and the beginning years of the civil rights movement. Throughout the course, we will use primary documents, books, oral histories, music and websites to further illumine the themes, people and events that make up the content of the course. In our explorations, it is important to remember at least two points: first, that there has always been a movement for black self-determination, participation and recognition in American society, in short, a civil rights movement; and second, that the record of African American sources must be read with this in mind. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of the United States
Memphis is one of the most fascinating cities in the United States, with a rich and complex history that has not yet been fully
explored. In this class, students have an opportunity to help tell that story by conducting oral histories with community members and
using them as the foundation for an extended research paper. Additionally, students will gain a more general familiarity with the oralhistory
process. How and why do historians conduct them? What makes them good or bad? How can we effectively use oral histories in
our scholarship? By examining these questions (and others) in a Memphis-specific context, students will both enrich their understanding
of the historian’s process and significantly add to the historical record of Rhodes’ home city.

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of United States
This course surveys the United States’ involvement in the Cold War and how conflict with the Soviet Union shaped postwar international
affairs, domestic politics, and American culture society. Students will learn about the rise of the Soviet-American global rivalry and how
this competition played itself out in different theatres. Readings will cover the growth of tensions over issues like the Truman Doctrine or
Communist control of Vietnam, as well as Cold War nuclear politics. Further, the course will examine Cold War culture in the United
States and discuss issues of consensus and dissent in American society. (Course offered every third year.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
2

Directed internship in law, business, government, or the non-profit sector. To enroll, students must be approved in advance by the
instructor and the Office of Career Services. (Does not fulfill the requirements of the major or minor. Taken pass-fail only.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F11, Africana Studies Elective

Major Requirement: History of United States

This course offers students an opportunity to learn the key issues and questions in public history through a hands-on experience at the National Civil Rights Museum. Collaborating with the staff of this internationally-recognized African American history museum, students will gain experience in the theory and practice of public history through a blend of classroom-based discussions and on-site projects.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Africa/Middle East
The history of modern North Africa, or the Maghrib, has been deeply marked by the experience of colonization. To understand the
contemporary Maghrib, one has to study its colonial past and its lasting impact on post-independence states and societies. We will
approach the colonial experience of the Maghrib as a colonial encounter between colonizers and colonized. We will critically examine
these clear-cut categories and we will seek to identify the processes by which these categories were mutually shaped in intimate
engagement and opposition. Through engagement with different themes relating to the colonial experience of the Maghrib and its
aftermath, the course will take us from the beginning of the 19th Century to the late 20th Century.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

Major Requirement: History of Asia

By reexamining the history and politics of the Cold War in East Asia, this course aims to broaden our understanding of post WW II and
contemporary East Asian society and culture. Instead of following the conventional interpretation of the Cold War as ideological and
political conflicts between the United States and the Soviet Union, this course focuses on how major historical changes in East Asia –
Japan’s surrender in 1945, Mao’s Communist China, two “hot wars” (the Korean War and the Vietnamese War) – shaped ideologyoriented
socio-cultural spaces and regulated everyday life in East Asia. Another task of this course is to relate the history of the Cold War
to contemporary issues in East Asia such as the rise of China, nuclear crisis in North Korea and post- Cold War East Asian regional
community.

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status

Credits:
4

The senior seminar is an examination of important themes and issues in the study and writing of history, as seen through selected
representative works drawn from diverse fields of historical investigation.
Emphasis will be on reading and discussion, with both written analyses and oral presentations required. (Open only to senior history
majors.)

Credits:
4

Under the direct supervision of a faculty member, a student may pursue a research project of his/her own design. The student must
produce a substantive research paper in which he/she engages substantially with primary sources. The paper should result in either a
conference presentation or submission for publication. This course can substitute for one of the 400-level courses required for the major,
but may not be repeated for credit. Must be arranged between a faculty member and a student.

Credits:
4

Must have departmental approval before undertaking Honors Research. (Does not fulfill the requirements of the major or minor.)

Credits:
4

Must have departmental approval before undertaking Honors Research. (Does not fulfill the requirements of the major or minor.)

Credits:
4

Major Requirements: 200-level equivalent, History of Europe

This course explores war and society from the Greek Archaic Age in the 8th century BCE to the ‘Crisis’ of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century CE. We shall be looking at changes in the groups who fight wars, and the ways these relate to larger social, economic, and political movements, as well as how war was thought about by participants and non-combatants, and shifts in these attitudes over time. Archaeology is very relevant; the most important evidence, however, is provided by reading literary texts: ranging from the very familiar, such as Homer, Thucydides and Plato, to introductions to the fascinating but lesser known, such as Aeneas Tacitus and Frontinus. Artistic evidence, both public and private, will also be central to this course. Part of the Track One: Ancient Greece and Rome: The Foundations of Western Civilization of the European Studies Program. 

Credits:
4
Degree Requirements:
F1, F3

Major Requirements: 200-level equivalent, History of Europe

This course covers the history of Europe during the Middle Ages, roughly from 500-1500 CE. It is also intended to introduce students to the rise of Christianity as a world religion within the Roman Empire, leading to its eventual domination in Western Europe, and to its interaction with medieval Judaism and emerging Islam. The course combines the study of religion with that of history, precisely because one of the features of the Middle Ages was the centrality of religion to politics, society, and culture. Common sessions will be followed by individual colloquia. Part of the Track Two: Western Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance of the European Studies Program.

Credits:
2

This tutorial will examine various aspects of life in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Each year will offer a special topic relevant to the period. This course will be taught in the format of an Oxford tutorial with smaller groups of students meeting each week to discuss assigned readings and present short papers. This course does not count towards credits for the History major. Part of the Track Two: Western Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance of the European Studies Program.