Academic Catalog

History (HIS)

HIS 1357  The Game of Life: World War II  (5 Credits)  
In this class, students design a game board of “Life” that covers World War II. Along with writing the history of World War II into the game board and drafting a pool of “Chance” cards that reflect everyday life, students create a person to live through the events and traverse the game board. Students compose a diary or autobiography of their person using primary and secondary sources to flesh out their story. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 1490  Life and Death in World Cities  (5 Credits)  
Why do more people across the globe live in cities than not? What made this change possible? What makes the city so attractive to people around the world? Is the city a human “good”? To answer these questions, we explore the rise of the modern city from its inception with the Industrial Revolution through the current day. We consider how the city has offered opportunities: for those seeking a “better” life, for political figures using urban space to enhance their power, and for urban planners hoping to create a healthy environment for all residents. The latter part of our class is devoted to life and labor in megacities and slums and the dignity of the underclasses. Typically offered: Autumn.
HIS 1734  War on Terror: History of Our Lives  (5 Credits)  
The US War on Terror began in 2001 and continues without a definitive ending in sight, meaning that students have lived most of their lives in a world shaped by the aftermath of 9/11. This class will cover the history and ethical implications of topics like the attacks of September 11th, the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism, and drones. Students will also consider the continuing impact of the War on Terror on everyday life in the US and globally. Students will learn the basic tools and methodologies of historical inquiry by studying the events of their own lifetimes, better understanding both themselves and the world they live in. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 2417  Religious Traditions of Asia  (5 Credits)  
This course will investigate major religious traditions of Asia including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Shintoism from an historical and doctrinal standpoint. Students will be introduced to the major thinkers and philosophical/theological developments of each tradition. Primary texts will be used to introduce students to how the tradition defines and understands itself. Through specific course requirements including site visitations, students will gain exposure to the practices and doctrines of each faith studied while considering the cultural context and current trends of the tradition. Students will be asked to apply the practical knowledge gained during the course toward informed dialogue and sensitive but critical engagement with the non-Christian traditions studied.
HIS 2418  Modern Expressions of Asian Religions  (5 Credits)  
“Modern Expressions of Asian Religions" will investigate the modern development of religious expression regionally through India, China, Korea and Japan. The course will thematically investigate questions stemming from classic areas of religious concern in Asia including: the female and the divine (goddess traditions in India and female shamanism in Korea), mind-body unity (Tendai Buddhist “marathon monks” of Mt. Hiei and the Shugendo tradition in Japan), messianic movements and healing (Chinese Falun Gong), peace and prosperity (Soka Gakkai Buddhism) and apocalyptic “new new” religions (Aum Shinrikyo/Aleph).” Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 2502  The United States to 1876  (5 Credits)  
Surveys the development of the American nation from the earliest colonial settlements through the Reconstruction period. Emphasizes institutions, issues, ideas, and individuals. Focuses on basic trends such as industrialization, patterns of thought and values, political development, social change, and sectional conflict. Readings also explore everyday social experience of minority and mainstream groups.
HIS 2503  The United States Since 1876  (5 Credits)  
Continues the emphasis of HIS 2502: Surveys the emergence of contemporary American life and culture from the 1870s to the present; focuses on American power at home and abroad, the rise of today's mass consumer society, and the emergence of new values. Readings also explore aspects of modern popular culture.
HIS 2857  Historiography: World Historians  (3 Credits)  
This course explores the discipline of history as it developed through time and across cultures. Students will gain 1) an understanding of where and how the practice of history developed over time 2) a familiarity with differing approaches to the study of the past and the techniques and tools that accompany them 3) an ability to articulate important debates within the discipline, and 4) a grasp of the ways in which Christian faith and values inform the study of the past.
HIS 2870  Introduction to Museum Studies and Public History  (5 Credits)  
This course explores the many ways historians research, preserve and present historical topics to public audiences in historical sites, archives, and especially museums. It explores both the theories and practice of providing history for public audiences. It introduces the history of museums and debates on the philosophical nature of museums. It covers the types and definitions of museums, traces the history of museums, discusses contemporary practice in museums, and examines current issues in the profession. The course explores museums’ missions and their roles in society through case studies and through visits to local museums.
HIS 2881  Careers in History: What to Tell My Parents  (1 Credit)  
Many history majors want to turn their love of history into a career. Now they can! This course introduces at least ten history careers, through readings, guest speakers, field trips, and hands-on projects. Practical topics about each career are covered, such as the type of education needed, places where one might work, and how to secure a history job. Careers such as the following are included: museum curator, archivist, historic preservationist, living history interpreter, historical author/editor, archaeologist, state/federal historian, exhibit designer, high school teacher, and college professor. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 2950  Special Topics in Historical Study  (1-5 Credit)  
Explores selected topics in History.
HIS 3100  Ancient Civilization  (5 Credits)  
Surveys Mediterranean history from early Egypt and Mesopotamia to the rise of the Roman Empire with emphasis on the Bronze Age. Enables the student to understand the world of the Old Testament.
HIS 3170  Classical Civilization  (5 Credits)  
Explores history, literature, and society of classical Greece and Rome, stressing contributions to modern Western civilization.
HIS 3200  Ancient and Medieval Worlds  (5 Credits)  
Surveys the period from the rise of Greece and Rome, with some reference to pre-classical cultures, to about 1500. Emphasizes the role of Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultures in the shaping of institutional, artistic, and cultural values that distinguish our Western culture from others, as well as the unique features of classical-medieval culture and their relevance today.
HIS 3356  The Holocaust  (5 Credits)  
This course examines the Holocaust in historical context. Why did it happen? Who was responsible? How did victims respond? How has the Holocaust been remembered and misremembered? Students will have the opportunity to explore such topics and reflect on what it means to be human in light of the Holocaust.
HIS 3358  Race, Sexuality, and Religion in Postwar Europe  (5 Credits)  
What does it mean to be European, and who can be a European? Such questions of citizenship and belonging are ones that have been especially fraught for racial, sexual, and religious minorities. This class explores these questions in a postwar Europe that has been haunted by the legacies of World War II and colonial empires. Typically offered: Alternate Years.
HIS 3366  The Holocaust in Prague: Jewish Experiences  (5 Credits)  
The Holocaust, the murder of six million Jews by Germans and their collaborators in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, is one of the most central events in modern history. Studying the Holocaust in Prague offers students keen visuals and experiences to understand the magnitude and specificity of this genocide. This course focuses primarily on Jewish culture and life before, during and after WWII. We will examine anti-Semitism in Nazi ideology, life under Nazi rule, and the machinery of the modern state in implementing the murder of Jews. The main thrust of our study will consider Jewish experiences and forms of resistance inside and outside the concentration camps, and the ways the victims worked to maintain their humanity. The final week of the class highlights the struggles Jewish survivors faced as anti-Semitism remained entrenched into the early years of the Cold War, particularly in the Soviet-dominated East. Note: This study abroad course is not equivalent to HIS 3356 “The Holocaust.” Typically offered: Alternate Years.
HIS 3387  Christianity in Asia  (3 Credits)  
This course explores the rise of Christianity in Asia as it grew exponentially with the advent of European Christian missions in the fifteenth century. This course examines the ways that Asians have seen Christianity as a foreign religion affiliated with imperial powers and conversely as a universal religion that has been associated with modernity and transformative social institutions. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 3406  Christianity in America  (5 Credits)  
A survey of the development of American Christianity from the 17th century to the present. Explores the many expressions of Christianity that have taken root in American soil, with an emphasis on the interplay between Christianity and American culture. Particular attention will be given to the contemporary religious landscape, that is, to the varieties of American church life today.
HIS 3440  War, Peace World Order  (5 Credits)  
A study of conflict and conflict resolution in the international system, drawing upon resources from negotiation theory, peace studies, biblical models, international law, and international organization, with analysis of varying world-order models.
HIS 3444  Humanitarianism: Promises and Problems  (5 Credits)  
While Jesus taught his followers the importance of compassion in his parable on the Good Samaritan, it was not until the “modern” era that public concern for others outside one’s local area emerged. This class explores modern humanitarianism from its inception with the British antislavery movement to the rise of the technocratic expert and the globalization of development. The course examines the roles of paternalism, politics, and power in past humanitarian schemes and responses to them, and the enduring value of Christian faith in extending aid. Typically offered: Alternate Years.
HIS 3445  Genocide: A Comparative Study  (5 Credits)  
Mass violence has occurred on an unprecedented scale over the past two centuries. This course examines one of the most horrifying forms that this violence has taken: genocide, the attempt to eradicate an entire group of people. We comparatively study the causes and outcomes of particular episodes of genocide, including the Herero, Armenian, Cambodian, Rwandan and the Holocaust, and weigh reconciliation efforts and preventative measures that we have taken to eliminate this iniquity.
HIS 3448  Refugees and Human Trafficking: History of Forced Migration and the Law  (5 Credits)  
Human trafficking and asylum-seeking are both forms of forced migration that have posed moral, legal, and logistical challenges in modern world history. This course will explore the historic factors that contributed to the rise of these forms of forced migration. We will also study how national and international laws were created in response to refugees and trafficking, with the goal of helping students better understand and engage with current-day events on these topics. (This class was formerly called Human Trafficking, Slavery, and Refugees: History of Forced Migration.)
HIS 3572  The Civil Rights Movement  (5 Credits)  
An examination on the evolution of the civil rights movement in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. Focused attention will be given to grassroots mobilization, competing philosophies and strategies, roles of leadership, and the movement’s enduring legacies today.
HIS 3594  African American History  (5 Credits)  
A broad historical survey of the major events and developments in African American history from pre-colonial Africa to the present. Consideration will be given to the 19th & 20th century African American experience. Topics include the development of slavery, abolitionism, Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow era, Great Migration, WWI, Great Depression, WWII, Civil Rights and Black Power, and contemporary issues post-1970. Typically offered: Spring.
HIS 3600  History of the Pacific Northwest  (5 Credits)  
This course offers a freewheeling time of exploration and discovery-in quest of the historic personality of a region. In many ways the course is the student's to create as he or she devises appreciative and creative ways to engage the region's heritage. Above all, this course demands encounters with diverse experiences and resources as a springboard for continuous learning. Student explorations follow three concurrent tracks: classroom presentations, study of a textbook, and independent field experiences.
HIS 3670  History of United States Foreign Relations  (5 Credits)  
Studies the United States as a participant in the international system, from colonial dependency to superpower. Proposes a theoretical model for interpreting American foreign policy and applies this framework to historical events considered chronologically. Considers questions of morality in relation to foreign policy.
HIS 3720  Rise of Islamic Civilization  (5 Credits)  
This course traces the rise and development of Islamic civilization from its seventh-century origins to the 18th century, exploring topics such as food history, trade, empire-building, women and society, Islamic law, literature, and science in the Muslim world. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 3725  Women and Gender in the Middle East  (3 Credits)  
This class explores the history of women and gender in the Middle East from the beginnings of Islam to the present day. Using historical sources, students will conduct research on topics including: veiling, marriage, divorce, Islamic Law, colonialism, and women’s movements. This course satisfies a research seminar requirement for history majors, but is open to students from all majors. Students must have prior knowledge about Islamic or Middle Eastern history in order to take this course. This requirement can be satisfied through taking certain pre-requisite courses, through prior study abroad, or through a student's religious background. Students are encouraged to contact the professor to receive permission to register in the course if they have prior knowledge about Islamic or Middle Eastern history, even if they haven't taken any of the pre-requisite courses below. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 3730  History of the Modern Middle East  (5 Credits)  
This course traces significant changes in the politics, economics, and societies of the Middle East from the 19th - 21st centuries. Students will explore topics such as colonialism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, social movements in the Middle East, the geopolitics of oil, and terrorism in shaping the modern history of this world region. Typically offered: Spring.
HIS 3750  Latin America  (5 Credits)  
Traces the history of Latin America, with particular attention to the development of political, economic, social, religious, and aesthetic values. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 3765  Family, State and Patriarchy in East Asia  (5 Credits)  
This course explores the making of East Asian family, state and patriarchal traditions from the historical perspective. We will introduce the key belief systems, institutions, and historical developments from classical times to 1800 and how they have shaped the fundamental features of East Asia. The course also examines the ways in which the interactions of family and state were expressed similarly and differently in East Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea.
HIS 3767  Religion, Revolution and Social Changes in China  (3 Credits)  
This course discusses the relation of religion and society in the late imperial China through the examination of historical materials on the subject. It aims to help students understand the role of religion in the discourse of China’s social and cultural transformation on the eve of modernization, responses to the spread of Christianity and Western imperialism, and consequential changes of personal and national identities. As a research seminar, the course stresses analysis of primary sources and advanced, integrative historical understanding. Students will read core texts, analyze primary sources, write reading reflections, and then complete a research proposal. No previous knowledge of this subject is assumed. Typically offered: Spring.
HIS 3785  Trade, War, and The Making of East Asian Modernities  (5 Credits)  
What roles did Trade and War play in the rise of East Asian powers? To what extent did they shape their identities and political ambitions? The course traces the history from the Opium Wars to the rise of Asian economic powers within the capitalist world-system. The course helps students to understand East Asia's struggles with the Western imported meta-narratives of progress, revolution, socialism, race, equality and Christianity and search for their modern identities in the past 150 years.
HIS 3786  Nation, City and Identity in China: From Opium Wars to Megacities  (5 Credits)  
In the past three decades rapid economic development and modernization programs have significantly altered the traditional urban system in China. The country now has the largest number of megacities but the vast “floating population” of migrants continue to struggle with their lack of residency rights in the cities. This course traces China’s urban development since the late 19th century at the backdrop of China’s re-staging itself as a modern power in a global world. It explores how Chinese cities and its urban system have shaped in ideology and practice, and changes to social life and cultural identity in the modern history.
HIS 3788  Pandemics, Empire and Survival of Asia and the World  (5 Credits)  
In this course professor and students will explore how epidemics have played a critical role in shaping the history of empire/state-building in Asia and its global impacts. From the ancient Silk Road to the Covid-19 pandemics, the course tracks the links between history, geopolitics, and the spread of diseases. It highlights the interdependencies of pandemics with urbanization, revolution, nationalism, migration, trade and ultimately the rise and fall of empires in Asia and the world. Typically offered: Spring.
HIS 3790  History of Africa  (5 Credits)  
This course studies the history of Africa from the colonial era to the present. It examines cultural, political, and economic changes both within Africa and between Africa and world regions. Typically offered: Alternate Years.
HIS 3813  History Online  (3 Credits)  
This is a research and writing seminar updated for the digital age. All students of history must learn how to study texts and artifacts from the past. But what about using YouTube videos as a historical source? How will historians of the future study our text messages and decipher our emojis? How can students assess which online content is reliable? This class will help students master the essentials of historical research with a particular emphasis on using online historical sources. Students will then write up and present their research in a variety of online formats: wiki articles, podcasts, blog posts, and more, helping students hone the kinds of practical writing skills that will help them in any future career. Typically offered: Spring.
HIS 3861  Presenting History  (2 Credits)  
Public speaking is an essential professional skill, especially for students of history. This class will help students take their knowledge of the past and learn how they can create lesson plans for the classroom, give entertaining presentations as interpreters at historical sites or museums, or simply build their confidence and hone their skills in addressing groups of people in any setting. This class is designed for students who are curious about using their history studies to pursue a career in education or in public history, but it is also beneficial for any students looking to improve their public speaking skills. Typically offered: Alternate Years.
HIS 3871  Archives: History, Theory and Practice  (3 Credits)  
This course introduces students to the archival history, theory and practice. Students who successfully complete this course will: 1) be familiar with standard archival theories and practice; 2) be able to identify basic historical developments of the profession; 3) understand archival terminology; 4) understand each of the 11 elements of the archival cycle; 5) read, comprehend, analyze, and discuss assigned readings on a weekly basis; 6) process a collection in the SPU Archives; 7) create an archival portfolio containing examples of your archival work that can be shown to potential employers; 8) visit a local off-campus archives (e.g., City of Seattle) 9) learn about the archival profession generally and its various employment opportunities.
HIS 3872  Museum Education  (3 Credits)  
The goal of this class is to prepare students to plan, implement, and evaluate public programs in a museum, park, battlefield or historic site. Students will gain theoretical knowledge about the field of interpretation and education and gain historical perspective about trends in the field. Each student will produce a portfolio to demonstrate class learning and to assist in future job searches.
HIS 3950  Special Topics in Historical Study  (1-5 Credit)  
Explores selected topics in History. Typically offered: Occasionally.
HIS 4495  History of Science Seminar  (3 Credits)  
Capstone research seminar, stressing analysis of primary sources and advanced integrative historical understanding. Focus may vary from year to year. Sample topics: Galileo and the church; the world of Isaac Newton; Darwin evolution and society; technology and modernity; the Scopes Trial; or women and science.
HIS 4600  Pacific Northwest Senior Tutorial  (5 Credits)  
An alternative version of HIS 3600. Through guided independent study, the student surveys development of the region encompassing Washington, Oregon, and Idaho from the discovery period to the present. Students engage in readings and field visits, and submit a journal both as a measure of learning progress and as a permanent resource packet. (Post-baccalaureate students should enroll in HIS 5600, a version of the course offered year round.) Typically offered: Summer Quarter.
HIS 4899  History Capstone  (3 Credits)  
This course provides a summative experience for our History students. In this course, students will write and reflect on the discipline of History, and they will develop a prior research project into a full-length research paper. Typically offered: Winter.
HIS 4900  Independent Study  (1-5 Credit)  
Student works independently with a faculty member on a mutually agreed upon topic.
HIS 4905  Museum Appreciation and Critical Encounter  (1-5 Credit)  
This independent study / guided study course will permit an instructor and student to craft a syllabus and course of study for a student's planned "critical encounter" with a museum or museums, especially (but not exclusively) during a study-abroad or study-away opportunity. Typically offered: Occasionally.
HIS 4920  Readings in History (General)  (1-5 Credit)  
Prerequisites: 15 credits of B work in history. Requires reading and reporting in a designated area of history as arranged between the student and instructor. The student should present a proposal before registering.
HIS 4930  Mentoring Practicum  (1-5 Credit)  
Designed to provide an opportunity for academically skilled juniors and seniors to work under faculty supervision providing peer academic mentoring to freshmen and sophomores taking lower-division history and university core courses (e.g., UCOR 2000 The Emergence of the Modern Global System).
HIS 4940  History Internship  (1-15 Credit)  
Prerequisites: 15 credits of B work in history. Provides opportunities as available for practical application of history skills. See internship coordinator and history chairperson.
HIS 4949  Applied History Internship  (1-15 Credit)  
Prerequisites: 15 credits of B work in history. Provides opportunities as available for practical application of history skills, including museum training. See internship coordinator and history chairperson.
HIS 4950  Special Topics  (1-5 Credit)  
Explores selected topics in History.
HIS 4970  Independent Research  (1-5 Credit)  
Student research and writing on a significant historical topic as arranged with a faculty member. May require a project proposal before registering. Typically offered: Occasionally.