History and the Marquette Core Curriculum

History and the Foundation-level Engaging Social Systems and Values Course

(For first and second year students)

History is one of several departments offering Foundation-level ESSV courses (Engaging Social Systems and Values). We created courses especially for this requirement: 1601: Difference and Democracy and 1701: Engaging the World. Numerous sections—each taught by a different instructor with a different point of view and expertise in different times and places—are offered each semester.  HIST 1601 and HIST 1701 can count as one of the four surveys required of history majors and minors.

History ESSV courses being offered in Spring 2019

HIST 1601-101: Difference and Democracy: The Ancient Athenian Experiment

MW 2:00-3:15
Dr. Jennifer Finn

This course will focus on the rise and development of the ancient Athenian democratic system. We will study the structures of the Athenian democracy in the context of warfare, charismatic individuals, and social institutions. We will also investigate the weaknesses of the system, and who was disenfranchised within the context of the democracy. The course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion, with three weeks dedicated to a role-playing game to introduce students first-hand to the experience of Athenian democracy.

 HIST 1701-101: Engaging the World: The Modern World through East Asia

MWF 10:00-10:50
Dr. Michael Wert

This course uses East Asian history, with a focus on Japan, to investigate three themes: The uses of premodern history in the modern world, the rise of global fascism in the 21st century, and artistic responses to environmental disasters. Each theme connects history to issues in the world today.

HIST 1701-102: Engaging the World: Citizenship and Belonging in America

MWF 11:00-11:50
Dr. Sergio Gonzalez

What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? How does one ‘belong’ in a nation? Who is an American? Through an examination of social, political, and economic developments of the United States throughout the twentieth century, this course explores the shifting ideas of belonging and citizenship in America. We’ll analyze how belonging in America has been articulated through legislation, the workplace, popular culture, and social movements, as well as interrogate the rights and privileges that are associated with being a citizen in this country. 


HIST 1701-103: Engaging the World: Understanding China in the 21st Century

MWF 12:00-12:50
Dr. Daniel Meissner

In many ways, China today is a mirror image of the United States.  Both nations have hyper-advanced societies, globally-dominant economics, powerful militaries, and international prominence.  In other critical respects, however, the two nations are reverse images of each other.  Differences of opinion on such fundamental issues as ideology, religion, freedom, justice, and human rights has bred misunderstanding and mistrust between contemporary Americans and Chinese. This course will examine historical and current issues that have shaped these opposing worldviews in order to discover a deeper understanding of their relevance and legitimacy for both nations.

 HIST 1701-104: Engaging the World: Africa and the West

TTh 2:00-3:15
Dr. Chima Korieh

 This course offers students a global perspective on the diversity of human history: the many ways that different peoples, societies, and cultures encountered one another in the making of the modern world. We explore the evolution of African societies from the 15th century to the contemporary era focusing on Africa’s encounters with the western world. It examines selected topics with emphasis on the ways African peoples and select societies have encountered Western societies, and how these encounters created and integrated diverse kinds of knowledge about the “other”. By examining these interactions and encounters between distinctive communities in specific times and places, we will become familiar with parts of the past that are seemingly foreign and remote and explore how they have shaped our knowledge and world today. Overall, the course will push students to think about their place in the larger world in which they live and helps them to develop skills—in critical thinking and effective problem-solving—for engaging the world beyond their own immediate environment. 


History and the Discovery Tier

(For sophomores, juniors, and seniors)

Each student take at least four courses in one Discovery Level theme; at least one of those courses must be a Humanities course, although students can choose to take two Humanities courses if they so choose. Students can apply up to two Discovery Tier courses to their majors and minors!


Most of these courses are offered every three or four semesters. This list is updated every semester, so check back before registering:

  • Basic Needs and Justice:

HIST 4150: Childhood in America

Dr. James Marten

The history of children and childhood in the United States from colonial times to the present, with an emphasis on child rearing, race, gender, class, and popular culture.

HIST 4155: A History of Native America

Dr. Bryan Rindfleisch

A survey of Native American history from 1491 (before Columbus’s “Discovery”) to the present.Explores the diverse cultures and histories of indigenous peoples in the present-day United States and focuses on particular themes such as colonization and decolonization, settler colonialism,intimacy and violence, removal and “survivance,” assimilation and allotment, along withsovereignty and self-determination. Grapples with contemporary issues related to Native mascots, treaties, casinos, cultural representation and more.

HIST 4271: Russian Revolution and the Soviet Union

Dr. Alan Ball

Pre-revolutionary Russia from 1861, the Revolution of 1917, Soviet economic growth and totalitarianism, and the emergence of the USSR as a world power and its subsequent collapse.

HIST 4298: The Cold War

Dr. Alan Ball

The origins, nature and consequences of the Cold War, with emphasis on the 1945-1970 period. Topics will include the continuing effects of the Cold War, prospects for new international rivalries, and the domestic consequences of the Cold War.

  •  Crossing Boundaries: The Movement of People, Goods, and Ideas:

HIST 3101: Early American History

Dr. Bryan Rindfleisch

The origins, structures and major themes in Early America. Focuses on the intersections of European, African and Native American worlds. Themes include colonization and decolonization, empire and revolution, slavery and resistance, religion and witchcraft, cross- cultural negotiation and conflict.

HIST 3205: Byzantine Empire

Dr. Philip Naylor

History of Byzantine Empire bridging from late antiquity to early modernity and stretching over three continents. Surveys imperial political, economic, social and cultural policies and developments and especially the empire's encounters and interactions with Slavs, Western Europeans, Persians, Berbers, Arabs, and Turks.

HIST 3455: Modern Middle East from 1500

Dr. Philip Naylor

A survey of the Arab, Turkish and Iranian peoples since 1500 emphasizing the Islamic backgrounds and the Middle East in world affairs, especially during the 20th century.

HIST 4120: American Immigration

Dr. Alison Clark Efford

A survey of migration to the United States (and Britain's North American colonies) that explores how immigrants have built communities, sought economic security and experienced cultural change. Addresses anti-immigrant sentiment, race construction and notions of cultural pluralism. Contextualizes immigration--an issue central to American identity--within a transnational framework of global labor markets, American incursions overseas and the worldwide movement of peoples.

HIST 4255: History of the British Empire

Dr. Timothy McMahon

Survey of the creation, expansion and dismantling of the world's largest empire from the 16th century to the present. Exploration of political, social, economic and cultural factors. Emphasis on contrasting the views and experiences of Britons and of natives of various colonized areas.

HIST 4450: North Africa

Dr. Philip Naylor

North Africa from the 7th century to the present, emphasizing Islamic and European influences.

  • Individuals and Communities:

HIST 4145: History of Women in America

Dr. Kristen Foster

Survey of the history of women and the variety of women's experiences in America from pre- European contact to the present. The historical construction of gender and the ways that diverse women have shaped and contested their various experiences as mothers, daughters, wives, and partners; as farmers and workers; as slaves and conquered peoples; as reformers and political activists; and as immigrants and citizens are analyzed.

HIST 4245: Women in Western Civilization

Dr. Carla Hay

Survey of women's experiences in western civilization from prehistory to the present. Focusing primarily on Europe, the course analyzes the changing roles and responsibilities of women in the family, in the work force, and in the community, and highlights the impact of phenomena such as religion, science, technology, and democracy on the shifting perceptions and definitions of gender in western civilization.

HIST 4500: Modern Japan

Dr. Michael Wert

Major events, people and debates in Japanese history from 1800 to the present. Includes examinations of the "margins" of Japanese history: the countryside, the common people, ethnic minorities, marginal identities, etc., in order to understand how individuals dealt with changes in Japan from its early modernity to the present day.

History and the Writing Intensive Requirement

(For sophomores, juniors, and seniors)

Although most History classes include quite a bit of writing, a select few have been named “writing intensive,” meaning they feature writing instruction and give students a chance to revise and improve their writing.

History and the Writing Intensive Requirement courses

This list is updated every semester, so check back before registering. If so designated, writing intensive courses can count toward your major, toward Disco Tier requirements, and toward ESSV requirements.

HIST 4210: Black Death

Dr. Lezlie Knox

Examines the 14th century global pandemic as a case study for examining its social, political and cultural impact on medieval societies. Investigates the relationship between the spread of plague and the physical environment, as well as assesses how modern scientific knowledge impacts our understanding of the event.

HIST 4955: Undergraduate Seminar in History

The department offers several seminar sections each year; all are approved as writing intensive courses.

History and the Second Level Engaging Social Systems and Values Requirement

(For sophomores, juniors, and seniors)

Students can fulfill the second ESSV requirement in a number of ways, including courses taken in their majors.

History and the Second Level Engaging Social Systems and Values Requirement courses

HIST 4120. American Immigration. 3 cr. hrs.

A survey of migration to the United States (and Britain's North American colonies) that explores how immigrants have built communities, sought economic security and experienced cultural change. Addresses anti-immigration sentiment, race construction and notion of cultural pluralism. Contextualizes immigration–an issue central to American identity–within a transnational framework of global markets, American incursions overseas and the worldwide movement of peoples.

HIST 4135. African-American History. 3 cr. hrs.

The role and response of African-Americans in American society. Emphasis on the problems of slavery, exclusion, accommodation, migration, urbanization, and currents of protest.

HIST 4155. A History of Native America. 3 cr. hrs.

A survey of Native American history from 1491 (before Columbus's "Discovery") to the present. Explores the diverse cultures and histories of indigenous people in the present-day United States and focuses on particular themes such as colonization and decolonization, settler colonialism, intimacy and violence, removal and "survivance," assimilation and allotment, along with sovereignty and self-determination. Grapples with contemporary issues related to Native mascots, treaties, ccasinos, cultural representation and more.