Courses

A study of the European derived societies and cultures in those parts of North America that later became the United States from the beginnings of European expansion until 1763. Topics may include European backgrounds, relations with native peoples, cultural mixing, labor systems, gender relations, and political, social, and economic characteristics and changes.

A study of the political, economic, and social institutions and conditions during the long period that included the War of American Independence, the contest between federalism and anti-federalism in the newly-independent United States before 1789, and the emergence of a paradoxical American nation notable for a devotion to chattel slavery and to liberty as well as for technological achievements represented by the Erie Canal.

A study of 19th century American society and politics before the Civil War. Topics may include the market revolution, the commercialization of agriculture, territorial expansion and its implications for chattel slavery and Indian policies, the religious movements, reform movements, the emergence of the women's rights movement, and the lure of the West.

A study of the causes and consequences of the Civil War, the struggles of the Reconstruction era, and the transformation of American soceity and politics in the period between 1850 and the end of Reconstruction.

A study of the major intellectual, cultural, religious, and social developments in the late 19th and early 20th century United States. Explores how what materialized in this era -- particularly the consumer revolution, professionalization, and secularization -- created a modern American culture and a particular set of problems we still deal with today. This is a reading-intensive course that requires students to have a basic working knowledge of the period.

A study of the causes and consequences of the Great Depression, U.S. involvement in World War II, and the advent of the Cold War. Explores the extent to which the challenges of the first half of the 20th century reshaped the United States socially, politically, economically, and culturally, particularly in regard to education, race, ethnicity, gender, and international political participation.

A study of political, social, economic, diplomatic, and cultural change at home and in international affairs as the United States took on a greater role as a global superpower after 1960. Topics may include the Vietnam War, civil rights, student protest, environmental issues, international regional military interventions, feminism, the end of the Cold War, the new conservatism of the 1980s, and the concerns of terrorism.

Use of and interactions with natural resources have transformed the American West over time, and greatly affected the western environment as we know it today. This seminar takes a historical look at the settlement, development, and management of the western landscape, both in terms of natural resources (timber, water, grazing, parks etc.) and in terms of cultural settlement and use - and considers landscape as a tool for understanding the cultural/social/political history of a place. Students can expect to do some serious reading, writing, and thinking about how and why the West has become such a distinctive natural and cultural landscape. (Course originates in GEP.) Cross-listed as GEP 337.

A study of African culture, social philosophy and political influences in the United States from the pre-Colonial period through the present day. Major emphasis will be placed on black political philosophies and strategies during the periods of Reconstruction, WWI and WWII, the civil revolts of the 1960s, and the contemporary period of political activism.

An overview of religious beliefs, institutions, and practices from 1630 to the present. Covers major trends in American religion as well as fringe movements, examining the central questions of church and state, religious freedom, and the impact of democracy, science, consumer culture, and professionalization on religious life in America.

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