Courses | History | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

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Summer 2019 Courses

  • History 201 - Arts and Ideas (Dr. Hurlburt, online, May 13-June 21)
    This course connects the dots between historical events (The Peloponnesian War of Ancient Greece, the Birth of Christianity, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Migration, World War I) and the works of culture (literature, art, music) inspired by and commenting on these events. While tracing some of the significant developments in European/American history of the last 2000 years, we will also trace the development of the humanities as cultural commentary and criticism.

  • History 330 - British History (Dr. Sramek, online, June 10-August 2)
    A survey of British history from the Roman conquest in 43 CE through to the modern day, focusing on political, economic, social, and cultural developments.

  • History 393 - Military History (Dr. Bean, online, June 10-August 2)
    Distinguished military historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote, "Military history can do a great service for history at large, for its currency is honesty, a truthfulness engendered by the ultimate sacrifice of human life that transcends all pretension and rhetoric." This course tackles some of the toughest dilemmas faced by Americans, past and present: how and when to kill, and to defend and protect, while maintaining our humanity as soldiers and citizens."

  • History 452 - Civil War and Reconstruction (Dr. Smoot, May 13-June 8)
    The study of the background to the Civil War, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Gilded Age.

Fall 2019 Courses

  • History 300 - Origins of America: 1492 to 1877 (Dr. Player, T/R 11-1215)
    This course surveys the cultural, social, political, and economic developments of the US from the eve of European colonization through the end of Reconstruction. It will use the organizing theme of “freedom” to analyze the experiences of the diverse peoples who inhabited the land we know today as the United States. Contested ideas about freedom shaped the initial encounters among Native peoples, European setters, and enslaved Africans; formed the ideological underpinning of the American Revolution; ushered in the growth of capitalism and democracy in the early republic; fueled the expansion of slavery, racism, and reform movements in antebellum America; and ultimately formed the core issue around which the country fought a Civil War. Students will analyze why “freedom” has been both an enduring idea and a highly contested practice in the United States.

  • History 301 - Modern America: 1877 to the Present (Dr. Whaley, M/W 2-315)

  • History 351 - African American Spirituality (Dr. Brown, MWF 12-1250)
    Voodoo! Are you interested in Voodoo, Hoodoo, Conjure, Root, Santeria, Palo or any of the many African-inspired religions in the Americas? This course explores the key ideas and practices of these spiritual cultures and provides insight into their formation and development over the past few centuries.
  • History 356 - History of Women in the US (Dr. Player, T/R 2-315)
    This course surveys the cultural, social, political, and economic developments of women in the land that we know today as the United States from the eve of European colonization through the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements of the 21st century. Students will study the heterogeneity of women’s experiences and examine the ways in which competing ideas about women’s gendered identities have profoundly shaped major events in U.S. history. Through a variety of assignments and course readings, students will also analyze the extent to which issues of race, ethnicity, class, region, religion, citizenship status, sexuality, and generation, among others, have made recognizing and sustaining gender solidarity a complicated endeavor.

  • History 364 - The Great Depression in the United States (Dr. Bean, T/R 335-5)
    During the Great Recession of 2008-09, some commentators drew parallels with the GREAT Depression of the 1930s. There were anti Wall Street and "Tea Party" protests in the 1930s. Despite its poverty, the decade involved much more: the Golden Age of Hollywood, mobsters, the advent of air conditioning, change in youth culture, Jim Crow racism, "hot" jazz and much more. It was a decade of fads and fascism, consumerism and communism. This course explores it all.

  • History 367 - History of Illinois (Dr. Smoot, M/W/F 1-150)

  • History 387B - Modern Africa (Dr. Benti, T/R 1235-150)
    This course explores modern African history from 1800 to the present. It examines the internal and external factors that shaped political, economic and social changes throughout the continent during the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. It analyzes the European scramble for Africa and the African responses to colonial rule. Economic and social conditions during the colonial period, developments in the inter-war period, and the nationalist movements during the post World War II era will be discussed. The course concludes with a discussion on independence and highlights the challenges of post-independence era.

  • History 401 - Atlantic History (Dr. Brown, M/W/F 9-950)
    This course examines the origins and development of the Atlantic basin as an intercommunication zone for African, European and American societies from the mid-15th century through the early-19th century. Themes include transformation of environments, forced and voluntary migrations, emergence of distinct Atlantic culture communities, development of Atlantic economics and formulation and implementation of Atlantic revolutionary ideologies.

  • History 410 - 19th Century Europe (Dr. Sramek, T/R 5-615)

  • History 457 - Environmental History (Dr. Whaley, W 5-730)
    (Same as GEOG 457) An exploration of the attitudes toward and the interaction with the natural resource environment of North America by human settlers. Coverage from the Neolithic Revolution to the present.

  • History 493 - Wicked: The Business of Vice (Dr. Bean, W 5-720)
    This course will examine vices under American Capitalism. Rather than research efforts at reform, this seminar focuses on the promotion, acceptance, and commercialization of various vices. Proponents of vice included a diverse group of interests: business (beer brewers, cigarette companies, mass media, advertisers, entertainers, prostitutes, drug dealers); civil libertarians; sexual "swingers" as well as those living "countercultural" lifestyles.

  • History 493-3 - Black Lives Matter (Dr. Smoot, MWF 11-1150)
    With the understanding that “all lives matter,” this course examines the origins and development of the Black Lives Matter Movement as a social movement and from a historical perspective. It focuses on 21st century leadership; political activism; social justice; the criminal justice system; protest tactics including the role of social media; criticisms of the movement; the black church and BLM; the First Amendment; and the spread of the Black Lives Matter Movement across the globe. It also explores its connection to the Civil Rights Movement. A dialogue about possible solutions to end systemic violence against people of color is part of this course.

Take these classes for History Credit in Fall '19!

See Dr. Sramek ( for more information.

  • CLAS 271 — Roman Civilizations (MWF 10-1050)
    Why did Rome rise and fall, and why does it matter? What made the Roman Republic tick, and how did emperors manage a vast empire? What was life like for Roman women and men, rich, poor, free, slave? And what can we learn about all of this from epic poetry, scandalous prose, and the writings of early Christians?

  • CLAS 230 — Classical Mythology (MW 12-1250 + discussion section)
    This course is devoted to the consciousness-searing stories that ancient Greeks and Romans told about their gods and heroes, in all their guises. Our driving concern will be to approach these tales as a means of gaining insight into the Greeks’ and Romans' own view of the world: their political and communal identities, their gender roles and social values, their conceptions of the gods, their views of life, and their attitudes towards death.

Major Requirements

A major in history consists of thirty-six semester hours of history courses. Normally course selection should represent three areas of history (United States history, European history, and either Asian, African or Latin American history) and be distributed chronologically as well as geographically. A minor in history is eighteen hours.

Students must also complete a minimum of four courses at the 400 level and they must write a research paper in history. The paper is completed in History 392. A grade of "C" or better is required in History 392. HIST 392 papers meet the College of Liberal Arts Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) requirement.