Courses

Our courses cover the globe and span time. From the ancient world to the present day, from pre-colonial Africa and the Greek world to modern China, recent America and World War II, our courses explore a multitude of cultures and backgrounds.

The discipline of history seeks to understand how men and women have lived in different times and places, what they have thought and experienced, and how to use their records that have come down to us.

View full course information in the catalog

Special Topics (HIST 200 & 295)
Catalog courses HIST 200 and 295 consist of multiple topics of focus that vary each semester. Current and/or forthcoming descriptions are listed below. To see course details, including dates, times and professors, please use the Registrar's course scheduler.
History 200

Historians and Plagues
The course will examine three great plagues in European history and the eyewitness sources available to study them — Thucydides for the plague in Athens in 429 BC, Procopius for Justinian's plague in 541–42 AD, and Boccaccio for the Black Death in 1348. We will consider the impact such events have on the societies in which they occur.

Florence and the Medici
The fifteenth century in Florence is the age of the Renaissance, which produced art and architecture that is still studied, admired, and imitated. During that epoch-making century the city was dominated by the Medici family, especially Cosimo, known as il Vecchio (the Old Man) and his grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent. This course will examine how their wealth and artistic tastes shaped much of the art of the time.

Missions and Missionaries
What do historians do? The objective of this course is to demystify the process of historical research and writing. We will begin the course with an overview of Christianity around the world and discussion of themes in the history of Christian missions. Then the course will be devoted to primary research and the writing of a ten-page research paper. The course will introduce students to readily available missionary archives as well as print and digital resources pertinent to the history of the Christian missionary movement. Each student will choose a topic based on a missionary or group of missionaries, a mission-related issue, a geographical location, a missionary organization, or a denomination active in mission work. We will also learn to create a community of scholars by reading and commenting on each other’s work and responding to each other’s oral presentations.

History 295

Disability and Medicine in Global History
In view of current debates about racial and gender identities, the discussion of disability is more urgent than ever. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to answer this overarching question: Why does disability matter to us? Each week, we will survey major themes in disability studies and the history of medicine that push the boundaries of disability as we know it — by drawing upon a range of historical, literary, and medical sources, as well as digital media archives. By comparing disability cultures in a broad global historical context, from the 19th century to the present, we will uncover the roots of the stereotypes and representations of disability in today’s popular media, and make sense of disability as “difference” in productive and constructive ways.

Upcoming Upper-level History Courses
If you love to plan ahead, here's a sneak peek at our upcoming upper-level History courses:*
Fall 2016

BEFORE 1500 U.S. HISTORY EUROPE AFTER 1500 NON-WESTERN GLOBAL
210: The Greek World 252: Civil War America

352: Women and Gender in U.S. History
248: Europe in the Age of Reformation 321: The Making of Modern Africa 371: Paris and Shanghai
Spring 2017

BEFORE 1500 U.S. HISTORY EUROPE AFTER 1500 NON-WESTERN GLOBAL
285: Women in Antiquity 255: World War I America

355: U.S. Foreign Policy
280: Modern Imperialism 230: Model Arab League

260: Topic TBD

270: Modern China
344: Genocide in the Modern World
*Courses are subject to change, though this is our best guess right now as to what's coming up!
Sample Course Plan (students entering before Fall 2014)
A minimum of 36 credits in history is required for a major — but feel free to take as many as you want. See the course catalog for distribution requirements.

Meeting the requirements of your history major will look different depending on when you declare your major. Here are some sample plans based on the year when you declare.
Prior to the freshman year: 

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 Pre-1500 HIST 140 & one HIST 200
Year 2 American Non-Western
Year 3 Post-1500 One elective
Year 4 Two electives Seminar
Prior to the Sophomore Year:

  FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
YEAR 2 HIST 140 & one HIST 200 American
YEAR 3 Pre-1500 & one elective Post-1500 & one elective
YEAR 4 Seminar Non-Western and one elective
Prior to the Junior YEar:

  FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
YEAR 3 HIST 140, one HIST 200 & pre-1500 Post-1500, American, non-Western
YEAR 4 Two electives Seminar & one elective
Sample Course Plan (students entering Fall 2014 or later)
A minimum of 36 credits in history is required for a major — but feel free to take as many as you want. See the course catalog for distribution requirements.

Meeting the requirements of your history major will look different depending on when you declare your major. Here are some sample plans based on the year when you declare.
Prior to the Freshman Year:

  FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
YEAR 1 Pre-1500 HIST 140 & one HIST 200
YEAR 2 American Non-Western
YEAR 3 Post-1500 Global
YEAR 4 Two electives Seminar
Prior to the Sophomore Year:

  FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
YEAR 2 HIST 140 & one HIST 200 American
YEAR 3 Pre-1500 & one elective Post-1500 & one Global
YEAR 4 Seminar Non-Western & one elective
Prior to the Junior Year:

  FALL SEMESTER SPRING SEMESTER
YEAR 3 HIST 140, one HIST 200 & pre-1500 Post-1500, American & non-Western
YEAR 4 Global & one elective Seminar & one elective

Students have considerable latitude in the order in which they take their history classes. However, keep in mind a few general principles that will help you make the most of your history education at Hope:

  • Take HIST 140 as early as possible. In this class you learn research and writing skills that will help you do well in all your history classes.
  • Take a 200-level class before you take a 300-level class, as 300-level classes require more reading and writing than 200-level classes.
  • For the purpose of challenging yourself, take full advantage of the wide variety of 200-level and 300-level classes offered after one or two survey courses at the 100 level.
  • Because of significant content overlap, do not take HIST 130 and HIST 207, or HIST 131 and HIST 208. For example, if you have taken HIST 130, you could take either HIST 131 or HIST 208. If you have taken HIST 208, you could take either HIST 130 or HIST 207.
  • A course can be counted toward no more than one distribution requirement.
  • Finally, Hope offers many foreign language classes and study abroad opportunities. Take advantage of these to prepare for graduate study in history or simply to have a richer experience as a history major.