Department of History
Professor Thomas Prasch, PhD, Chair
Professor and Dean of University Libraries Alan Bearman, PhD
Professor Rachel Goossen, PhD
Professor Kim Morse, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Dean College of Arts and Sciences Kelly Erby, PhD
Professor and Director of University Honors Kerry Wynn, PhD
Assistant Professor Bruce Mactavish, PhD
Lecturer Anthony Silvestri, PhD
Consistent with the mission of the University and the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History exists to develop the learning skills of enrolled students and impart to them an informed awareness of the past, to encourage the professional development of its faculty, and to contribute the professional expertise of its faculty in service to the academy and its constituency.
Description of the Discipline
Each scheduled history course has a common objective, namely that students enrolled are engaged in “doing history.” Each course challenges students to imagine what happened in the past by examining records of human activity and interpreting them to produce a coherent explanation of times and peoples different from our own. Students in Washburn history courses are not passive recipients of information about the past, but active reconstructors of the past. They sharpen their skills in reading the record, critically thinking about what they find, and drawing conclusions.
Student Learning Outcomes
History majors at Washburn University, upon graduation, are expected to be able to:
- Recognize the broadest patterns of United States and World History.
- Demonstrate ability to master critical skills of the historical discipline.
- Apply the understanding of the broad patterns of history to an in-depth examination of significant historical issues for three cultural areas identified by the department (United States, Europe, Non-Western).
- Demonstrate mastery of the discipline’s scholarship by: putting specific research focus in the context of larger historical patterns; identifying an appropriate research project, and with it both the primary and secondary sources needed to carry it through; reading and assessing both of these kinds of sources in terms of the focused research project; and, conceptualizing, organizing, and writing a scholarly paper presenting the result of this scholarship.
HI 100 Survey of Early World History (3)
Stone-age origins to c. 1200 CE. Basic introductory survey of earliest eras of world cultures and history. Covers late pre-history; first and classical age civilizations of Mediterranean, Asia, and Americas; and emerging peripheral cultures and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Europe and Americas.
HI 101 Changing World History: Traditions and Transitions (3)
Basic introductory survey of world developments, c. 1200-1750 CE. Begins with Mongol conquests. Continues with resurgence and change in established civilizations of Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas. Traces emergence and impact of modernizing West, early era of world explorations and empire building, and development of global trading networks.
HI 102 Modern World History (3)
Basic introductory survey of world developments, c. 1750 to present. Begins with industrialization and political change in the West, producing technologically-advanced Western economic, social and political world dominance. Traces power, processes of decolonization, emerging late 20th-century world economies, states and societies.
HI 105 Introduction to World Music and its History (3)
This course explores the history of world cultures by focusing specifically on the development of musical traditions from around the world. Students explore the history and cultural development of selected world cultures, and listen to and analyze the musical traditions from those cultures to understand how a culture's music reflects both its traditions and its interaction with other cultures. Prerequisites: None.
HI 111 History of the United States through the Civil War (3)
Survey of American history from the first encounters between American Indians, Europeans, and Africans through the period immediately following the Civil War, which introduces students to the study of the past and familiarizes them with records of American experiences. It exposes students to political, economic, social and intellectual forces shaping the American heritage and contributing to the nation's development. No prerequisites.
HI 112 History of the United States since the Civil War (3)
Survey of American history from the emergence of an urban and industrial society after the Civil War to the present, which introduces students to the study of the past and familiarizes them with records of American experiences. Exposes students to political, economic, social and intellectual factors shaping the American heritage and contributing to the nation's development. No prerequisites.
HI 300 Topics in History (1-3)
Topics will vary from semester to semester and will be announced in advance. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 303 Colonial America to 1763 (3)
Study of the age of exploration and the establishment of the original colonies. Emphasis will be given to the British colonies of the western hemisphere, but the course will also include those colonies of other nations as they affect American growth and development. It will include a broad treatment of social, political, economic and intellectual forces to 1763. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 304 American Revolutionary Period, 1763-1789 (3)
An examination of the problems of Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War. The causes of the American Revolution as well as the events resulting from it will be studied in detail. The critical period, the writing of the Constitution and the laying of the foundations of our government by the Federalists will be analyzed. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 305 Early National United States (3)
This class examines topics and themes in American society, politics, economics, and culture between roughly 1787 and 1850. In this period, deep changes unfolded throughout the young nation. As we will see, America in these years was marked both by more inclusive democracy and greater hierarchy; it became simultaneously more confident and defined as an independent nation, but also more fragmented according to the regional, economic, gender, racial, and ethnic distinctions among its peoples. In our assessment of early national U.S. history, we will pay special attention to the profound economic and cultural upheavals historians refer to as the market revolution as a way to view the period as a whole and to understand the transformations in human experience and national identity that took place during it. Prerequisites: 3 hours of History or permission of instructor.
HI 307 American Civil War: 1848-1877 (3)
A survey of the sectional crisis beginning with the conclusion of the Mexican War in 1848 to resolution of the crisis by 1877. Themes include: the nature of Northern and Southern societies; the political crisis of the 1850s; the relative military strengths of each side; the major battles and campaigns; the Northern and Southern home fronts, the role African-Americans played in their own liberation; the process by which reconstruction first emerged and then collapsed. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 308 Making of Modern America, 1880-1920 (3)
The history of the United States from the end of Reconstruction to World War I. Examines social, political and economical changes. Topics covered include industrialization and its effects, popular culture, reform movements, and immigration. Prerequisite: 3 hrs History or consent.
HI 309 America in the 1920s & 30s (3)
History of the United States from the "Roaring Twenties" through the New Deal. Focuses on the dramatic shifts in American life in the interwar period. Topics of special interest include entertainment and leisure, youth culture, the Great Depression, and the expansion of the American state through New Deal programs. Prerequisite: 3 hrs History or consent.
HI 311 Cold-War America, 1945-1990 (3)
Examines the development of the US as it responds to the pressures of the Cold War, repercussions of the corporate economy, dynamics of changing race relations and the emergence of a New World Order in the 1980s. Prerequisites: 3 hrs. HI or consent.
HI 312 War's Impact on America (3)
A twentieth-century U.S. History course emphasizing social, economic, and cultural implications of American involvement in wars from the First World War through the Gulf War of 1991. The course addresses, from comparative perspective, mobilization and conscription issues, societal implications on the American home front, and civil liberties issues in wartime from the 1910s to the 1990s. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 315 Women in US History (3)
American women’s history from the nineteenth century to the present with an emphasis on their role in society, and how women’s experiences have been affected by social, economic, and political changes. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 316 History of American Childhood (3)
This course surveys the wide range of historical literature on children and youth in American culture, and considers evolving notions of childhood from America’s colonial period to the present. This is a seminar-style, discussion-oriented course, complemented with lectures, films and students’ research presentations. Readings will include historical monographs, autobiographies, and primary sources. Grading criteria will be based on students’ research and essay-writing, class participation, and a final exam. This course can be utilized toward fulfillment of an upper-division requirement for American history. Prerequisite: 3 hours of History or permission of instructor.
HI 317 Topeka & Urban American History (3)
Explores the development of Topeka within the context of urban growth in America. The first half focuses on individuals, groups, institutions, and ideas that define the nation’s urban experience, while the second half weaves Topeka into the pattern. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 319 American Indian History (3)
Examines the history of American Indian societies, concentrating mainly on the period from the 17th century to the present. Emphasizes topics related to sovereignty, intercultural relations, political and economic trends, and the diversity of American Indian cultures. Prerequisite: 3 hrs History or consent.
HI 320 American West (3)
Focuses on the development of the west as a region. It addresses innovative institutions and practices, the changing environment, and the diversity and interaction of cultures. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 322 Kansas History (3)
Social, economic and political history from Spanish explorations to the present, including the role of the native-American, non-English ethnic groups, and women, and the part played by Kansas and Kansans on the national scene. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 325 American Religious History (3)
This course serves as an introduction to religion in American history by focusing upon the impact of religion on American culture and of American culture on religion. It examines the major figures, themes, and theological positions in American religious history from approximately 1600 to the modern era. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 326 Anabaptism: The Radical Reformation and Beyond (3)
This course focuses on the major events, persons, literature, and practices of Anabaptist-related groups from the 16th-century Reformation to the present. History department faculty and guest speakers will trace the evolution of this religious movement from its multi-faceted European origins to diverse contemporary practices of Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, and other Anabaptists on five continents. Course components include research projects o religious identity formation, storytelling about Anabaptists' lives and essays on novels and other literature drawn from Anabaptist experience. Students taking the course HI-526 for graduate credit will choose an appropriate topic for a research paper utilizing primary and secondary sources, in consultation with the professor. Prerequisites: 3 hours of History or permission of instructor.
HI 328 African-American History (3)
The black experience in America from African origins to the present. Themes to be emphasized include: the process of enslavement, the emergence of African-American culture, the nature of slavery, the struggle for freedom, the migration to the North, the Civil Rights movement, and contemporary issues. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 329 Civil Rights Movement (3)
Examines the way black and white Americans have redefined race relations between the mid-1950’s and mid-1980’s. Class discussion comprises a significant portion of the course. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 330 Ancient/Medieval Europe to 1400 (3)
The development of Greek civilization through the Hellenistic period, the phases of Roman civilization, and the forms of civilization in Europe in the wake of the Roman collapse (including feudal and manorial structures, the spread of Christianity, and the first stages of the emergence of nation states). Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 331 Early Modern Europe, 1300-1750 (3)
Covering the Italian Renaissance and its diffusion to the north, the Reformation as social and political as well as a religious movement, the conditions that fueled the European Age of Exploration, the consolidation of nationstates, and the formation of a trans-Atlantic trade network grounded on slavery. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 332 Modern Europe, 1750-Present (3)
Begins with Industrialization and its effects and continues to the French Revolution and its broader impact, the development of democratic institutions in the context of industrial consolidation in the 19th century through the total wars of the 20th century, the Soviet Revolution, trends toward broader democratization and welfare statism, the collapse of communism in the East, and current movements toward European union. Prerequisite: 3 hrs. HI or consent.
HI 334 Civilization of Ancient Rome (3)
This survey course covers the history of ancient Roman civilization from its origins to Late Antiquity. The course is divided into three major sections. The first section, FOUNDATIONS, covers the early development of Italy, the establishment and development of the Roman Republic, and key Roman cultural institutions, especially the Roman state religion. The second section, TRANSFORMATION examines the slow disintegration of the institutions of the Republic, and its eventual collapse under the weight of the political ambition of senators such as Marius, Sulla, Pompey and Julius and Augustus Caesar. The third section, IMPERIUM, covers the history of the empire from Augustus to its collapse in the West in 476 and beyond, with special attention to the development of new religions to challenge the older order, namely Christianity and the other Mystery Cults. Throughout the semester we will be exploring sub-themes, such as the legitimacy and usefulness of drawing parallels between the histories of Rome and the United States, and the ever-changing perception of Rome in the modern popular imagination as evidenced in film. Also part of the course will be an extended simulation of the Roman Senate in the aftermath of the assassination of Julius Caesar, with students representing senators faced with the conflict between the achievement of personal ambition and the good of the state in troubled times. Prerequisite: 3 hours of History or permission of the instructor.
HI 336 History of England (3)
Origins and historical development of England in its political, economic and social aspects from the earliest times to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 338 Victorian Britain, c. 1830-WWI (3)
Intensive study of British history and life during the Victorian era, 1837-1901. Emphases will include the impact of industrialization, the continued evolution of parliamentary rule, changing women’s and family roles, Victorian culture and the expansion of Empire. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 339 History of France (3)
Study of the development of French history and culture from the earliest times to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 340 French Revolution & Napoleon (3)
A study of the decade of revolution, 1789-1799, and of the Napoleonic regime. Constitutional, political, societal, economic, and cultural issues will be considered. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 342 History of Germany (3)
Study of the development of German history and culture from the earliest times to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 343 The European Reformation (3)
A survey of the history and theology of the Magisterial, Radical, and Roman Catholic Reformation movements of the early sixteenth century, with particular emphasis on the religious ideas and practices of leading reformers such as Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Ignatius Loyola. Reformation ideas will be examined within the context of the experiences of these principal figures and of the public they addressed and by whom they were interpreted. The reformation will be considered in relation to the cultural, social, economic, and political changes of the early modern period. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 344 The Holocaust: A Seminar (3)
In consultation with the instructor, students will select a topic related to the Holocaust, research it, make a class report, be critiqued by their peers and the instructor, and prepare a research paper. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 354 History of Middle East (3)
Origins, historical development and interaction of the major events, ideas, figures, and patterns shaping the history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 357 History of Traditional China (3)
Origins, historical development and interplay of major forces, events and characteristics of Chinese Civilization from pre-history to c. 1800. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 358 History of Modern China (3)
Origins, historical development and interplay of major forces, events and characteristics of Chinese Civilization from c. 1800 to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 360 History of Mexico (3)
Origins of Mexican Civilization in the blending of the Indian and Spanish races and civilizations and the historical development of that civilization to the present. The interaction of physical, economic, political and social forces in the shaping of that civilization is emphasized. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 361 Colonial Latin America (3)
The course surveys Latin American history from the pre-Columbian era to 1820. Through the exploration of the fundamental events of colonial Latin American history using primary sources, the course identifies and analyzes key political, social, economic, and religious institutions of the colonial experience in Latin America, evaluates the role of state and religion in society, examines intersections of race, class, and gender, and assesses the causes of and wars of independence. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 362 History of Latin America (3)
Latin American history from 1820 to the present. The course will focus on the interaction of social, cultural, economic, political, and international factors in the creation of the reality lived by Latin Americans from all socioeconomic backgrounds from the nineteenth century to the present. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 363 Borderlands and Beyond (3)
The course explores Latino history in the United States within the broader U.S., Latin American, and global economic perspective. Beginning during the Spanish colonial period and including the major formative events in U.S./Mexican/and Latin American history, (Mexican Independence, Texas Independence, Mexican-American War, Mexican Revolution, Spanish-American-Cuban War, etc.), the course asks students to think about the multiple meanings of borders, past and present, as well as the changing role of migration and immigration within that historical context. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 364 History/Literature of Latin America (3)
This course focuses on the relationship between history and literature in modern Latin America. Through the study of novels, poetry, film, and other genres the course examines how authors use literature to interpret the meaning of history and society as well as moments in which literature became part of the historical process. Prerequisite: HI 100, HI 101, or HI 102, or consent.
HI 370 Modern Africa, c. 1700-Present (3)
Covers the basic developments in sub-Saharan African history since 1700. Begins with the intensification of slave trading, widening trade net-works within Africa and linking Africa to the Atlantic world, and continues with the New Imperialist conquest of Africa and its consequences from the 19th century on. Closes with the rise of nationalist movements, decolonization and formation of independent states in Africa. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 380 Women in World History (3)
Surveys major figures, philosophies, patterns and events shaping women’s changing roles and status within human society, origins of civilization to current industrial society. Traditional civilizations covered include Classical Mediterranean World, Confucian Asia, and Islam; significant emphasis will also be placed on understanding the impact of industrialization and modern political revolution both within the west and in the developing world. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 381 History & Psychology of Sex & Gender (3)
Team taught by an historian and a psychologist. Surveys historic and current experience of being male and female within changing western society. Examines past roles and ideas about distinctions between sexes and surveys current psychological research in the area. See Psychology for cross-listing. Prerequisite: 3 hrs Social Science or consent.
HI 383 Film and History (3)
In this course, students will survey and evaluate films about historical subjects, seeking to understand the role film plays in shaping popular attitudes towards history and trying to assess the sort of history that film versions of the past promulgate. The main business of the class will be watching films and then discussing them, primarily through E-mail exchanges and debates, a required component of the course. In addition, students will do two book reports and a research paper. Prerequisite: 3 hrs HI or consent.
HI 395 History Forum (3)
A seminar on the nature of history and its application. Prerequisites: any three 100 level HI courses.
HI 397 Internship in Historical Agencies (3)
A program for junior/senior level undergraduates principally offered in cooperation with the Kansas State Historical Society and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site on a limited basis, in Museum Display, History Education, Archives and Manuscripts. Prerequisites: HI 111, HI 112, 6 hours upper division HI, consent.
HI 398 Directed Readings (1-6)
Directed readings in selected fields of history. Regular conferences. May be taken until six credit hours are earned. Prerequisite: Senior history major or approval of the department chair.