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History Courses

Fall 2020 Courses

HIST 1110 Various Instructors, Times

HIST 1120 Various Instructors, Times

HIST 1600: History of the United States to 1865
Instructor:  TBD, MWF  12:00 - 12:50 p.m.

This course explores the political, economic, social, and cultural developments in America from the colonial era to the end of the Civil War. It offers a broad overview that includes prominent figures as well as ordinary people, ethnic and cultural diversity as well as shared ideas and institutions, the country's unique characteristics as well as its global involvement. We will examine the major events and forces that have shaped its identity over time, and their changing interpretations. The goal is to for you to gain a good understanding of the significance of the past for the world we live in today, as well as to acquire skills in interpreting, discussing, tracing change and continuity, and identifying causality.

HIST 1610: History of the U.S. Since 1865
Instructor: Torrie Hester         Times: T/Th 12:45–2:00pm

This course covers the political, economic, social, and cultural development of the United States since the Civil War.  It will use a variety of resources (a textbook, articles, primary sources, novels, songs, and documentaries) to give depth to this rich history.  Students will enhance their understanding of the nation’s past, draw connections to the future, develop their critical thinking abilities, and improve their writing skills.

Brinkley, The Unfinished Nation
Egan, The Big Burn
Choice of 1 Book
Ellingwood, Hard Line


  • Midterm Exam
  • Book Review
  • Paper, 3-5 pages
  • 3 short Article Responses
  • Final Exam

HIST 1700: China and Japan to 1600
Instructor: Filippo Marsili   Times: T/Th 11:00am–12:15pm

 This course will introduce students to the histories and cultures of China and Japan from the origins to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868). Students will be guided in analyzing pieces of archaeological, historical, literary, and artistic evidence and in developing a comparative perspective with the West.  Funerary and ritual practices, gender relations, the role of foreigners and outsiders, institutionalized violence, warfare, state formation, ideology, and the influence of Confucianism, Daoism, Shintoism, and Buddhism on institutions and society will be among the main themes treated in class.


  • One group presentation
  • Map and ID quizzes
  • Midterm and Final
  • Three short writing assignments (no final paper)

Attributes;  Approved for International Studies ISTD-Asia

HIST 1930-01: History of St. Louis
Instructor: Silvana Siddali, Times: T/Th 12:45–2:00pm

The history of St. Louis is extraordinarily rich in its ethnic, cultural, social, and economic diversity. Standing at the crossroads of America, St. Louis has marked the gateway between the eastern United States and the western states and territories; southward to New Orleans, and from there, across the Atlantic. This course will concentrate on the history and development of St. Louis and the wider geographic region, including Missouri and the Kansas border. The course readings will situate the life of the city within the context of western explorations, Jesuit history, the growth and eventual demise of slavery in Missouri, and western urban development.

Course requirements include field trips to conduct a brief research project on an aspect of St. Louis history. 

HIST 1930-02: American Places: Going Somewhere
Instructor: Flannery Burke ( 

Times: M/W/F 1:10pm-2:00pm, Cross-Listed as ASTD 2600-05

This is a big country! Is it one country? A patchwork quilt of ecologies and cultures? Is it divided into a North and a South? An East and a West? City & country? How do the different regions of North America see one another? How did they develop their reputations and images? Using literature, food, and history, this class will explore how different regions of North America have represented themselves and have been represented by others. We will apply tools developed by historians, literary critics, geographers, and ethnographers to explore whether the whole of North America is greater than the sum of its parts.

ASTD 2600 is repeatable for credit under distinct topics up to 3 times (9 credits).

Attributes;  ASTD Contexts requirement and the CAS Core requirement in Diversity in the U.S.

HIST 2800: The Historian’s Craft: Interpreting Trump
Instructor: Lorri Glover, Times: M/W/F 11:00–11:50am

What is the history behind the presidency of Donald Trump? What historical skills and tools can be used to analyze the current state of American politics, society, and constitutionalism?

 In fall 2020, as Americans debate the future of their republic, students in History 2800 will take a deep dive into the nation’s past to better understand its present. History 2800 is designed for sophomore history majors and minors but accessible and welcoming to any SLU student curious about understanding and studying history. This seminar teaches the skills of the historian: asking good questions about the past, thoughtfully researching the answers, and sharing persuasive findings. Our topics will vary from week to week as we interrogate the U.S. Constitution, social and political transformations since the founding era, shifting cultural and religious values, and recent demographic and technological changes. We will also employ a wide diversity of historical approaches to analyze our present moment.

Please note: This is a class centered on historical skills and scholarly inquiry, not a site for politicking.

Students will:

  • write a series of brief papers
  • engage in reasoned and informed class debates
  • read 3-4 books, several articles, and various primary sources
  • conduct short research projects
  • analyze the unfolding presidential campaigns
  • meet with visiting scholars brought to SLU to illuminate our understanding of the November election.

 HIST 3000: The Greek Miracle: The Greeks from Mycenae to Cleopatra
Instructor: Warren Treadgold,   Times: T/Th 2:15–3:30pm

This course will cover the many achievements and struggles of the ancient Greeks, including their civilization in Mycenaean times, their colonization of the Mediterranean coast, the conflicts between their democracies and aristocracies, their invention of philosophy and the theater, their conquest of the Persian Empire under Alexander the Great, and their wars with the Romans. 

The assigned readings will be from Homer, Sappho, Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, and Plutarch, with Pomeroy’s Ancient Greece as a textbook.


  • Midterm
  • Final exam
  • A term paper of about 5000 words.

HIST 3240-01:  History of Africa Since 1884
Instructor: George Ndege,   Times: T/Th 12:45–2:00pm

This course explores the history of Africa from late nineteenth century to the present.  It is divided into three parts:

  1. Nineteenth century developments, both on the eve of and scramble for and partition of Africa. The historical specificity of various regions and societies will be analyzed by emphasizing such internal and external sources of historical change such as the end of the Atlantic slave trade, governments and religions.
  2. Dynamics of colonialism with emphasis on African proactive responses to the forces of colonial change. This section will address issues pertaining to: colonial economy, social change, Diaspora and the Pan-African congresses, as well as the resistances to colonial policies.
  3. The decolonization process and postcolonial challenges: Pan-Africanism, struggle for independence, Apartheid and race relations, and challenges of postcolonial statehood.  


  • Two tests (30 percent of the course grade)
  • Midterm (30 percent of the course grade)
  • Attendance and Participation (10 percent of the course grade)
  • Term paper (30 percent of the course grade)

History 3240 meets the CAS Core requirement in Global Citizenship, Approved for International Studies ISTD-Africa

HIST 3580: Slavery in Film and Popular Culture
Instructor: Katrina Thompson Moore,   Times: M 4:15–7:00

Attributes, History 3580 meets the CAS Core requirement in Diversity in the U.S. 

HIST 3930: History of the Language Sciences in Spain: From the Romans to the Renaissance
Instructor: Claire Gilbert (History) and Sheri Anderson-Gutiérrez (Spanish)      Times: M/W/F 11:00–11:50am       Cross-Listed as SPAN 4930

This new co-taught course offers students a unique interdisciplinary experience to explore the history of linguistics in Spain from the Roman period to the Renaissance. You will engage with primary source materials, use technology to examine linguistic patterns, and practice methodologies from diverse fields to enable you to critically analyze sources in context and by their linguistic features. While advancing your own skills in modern Spanish, you will consider the historical and linguistic roots of this romance language system to gain new perspectives on how language development can shape cultural identity and interact with political change over time. Some course materials are in Spanish.


  • primary and secondary source readings and library visits.
  • There will be a major project that students carry out either individually or in groups.
  • At least some of these materials will be in Spanish so my target audience for the history enrollment are history students with some Spanish knowledge.  

HIST 3930: Nazi Germany
Mark Ruff , T/Th 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.

This course will examine how and why the Nazis came to power. Did they come to power because of the intense polarization in German politics and society or because of their radical ideological agenda? Why did so few Germans offer resistance to the Nazi state and why did many former opponents become supporters of the regime in spite of its horrific crimes?

This course will require one research paper and one shorter paper.  Readings will include both classic and recent works on how the Nazis came to power, how they ruled and on the Holocaust. 

Approved for International Studies ISTD-Europe

HIST 4900: Mystery Cults of the Ancient World
Instructor: Douglas Boin,   Times: M/W 1:10–2:25pm