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Department of History
Sensenbrenner Hall, 202A
1103 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Choose from the tables below for descriptions of the courses, the professors teaching the courses, and the days of the week the courses are offered.
HIST 3118—American Military History
Dr. David McDaniel
History 3118 will undertake an analysis of the military history of the United States from the colonial period to the present. This course considers the role of the U.S. armed forces in relation to the social, cultural, political, economic, and technological development of the United States. It will not only address such themes as wartime strategy, operational tactics, and combat technology, but also the impact of warfare on society and the reflections of ordinary men and women in uniform.
HIST 4113/5113—American Foreign Relations I
Dr. Michael Donoghue
This course will examine the rise of the United States from colony to empire from the years 1776 through 1913. We will analyze the imperial context of British colonists prior to the Revolution, the diplomacy of the War for Independence, U.S. attempts at maintaining neutrality during the 1790s, the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, conflicts with Amerindian nations, the Mexican War, westward expansion and Manifest Destiny, the diplomacy of the Civil War, the imperialist surge of the 1890s-1910s, the Open Door controversy in China, and the building of a U.S. empire in the Caribbean Basin. This course will especially explore the intimate connections between foreign and domestic policy, the role of slavery in U.S. international relations, and the influence of racial and gendered ideologies in the formation of American empire. The course will be reading intensive with a midterm, a final exam, short in-class writing exercises, and 3 short papers.
HIST 4145/5145—The History of Women in America
Dr. Kristen Foster
In this course, we explore the history of women and the variety of women’s experiences in America from the seventeenth-century to the present. Women have experienced the world around them both as individuals and as members of a variety of communities. During the semester, we explore how indigenous women endured conquest and colonialism. We will study the experiences of African women who arrived in America as the claimed chattel of European settlers, and we explore the ways that these women slowly became African Americans. Together we introduce ourselves to exciting new work being done on Latinas and Asian American women. And, finally, we work to understand the varied experiences of Euro-American women from first contact to the present. This dynamic lecture and discussion course requires writing alongside intensive reading and discussion.As we study this complex material, we will join together to develop an understanding of how being a woman in America cannot be defined by a singular racial, class, ethnic, or sexual experience. As with America itself, the history of women in the United States may be told in many ways.
HIST 4155/5155—History of Native America
Dr. Bryan Rindfleisch
In this course, we will explore the Indigenous cultures of North America from the pre-Columbian era to the present day. In particular, we will consider the collective experience of Native Peoples – “Indians” – while also appreciating the complexities that made, and continue to make, each indigenous people and culture distinct from one another. This class will also focus on the themes of colonization and decolonization, settler colonialism, cultural inclusivity, violence and intimacy, removal and “survivance,” assimilation and allotment, along with sovereignty and self-determination. Altogether these themes provide the core narrative for a history of indigenous America. In addition, this class will grapple with contemporary issues related to Native mascots, treaties, casinos, cultural representation, and more.
HIST 4955-101 Undergraduate Seminar in History: Crises in U.S. - Latin American Relations
Dr. Michael Donoghue
This course will explore the numerous conflicts between the United States and Latin America in the last two centuries beginning with the U.S.-Mexican War and continuing through the Filibuster Era of private U.S. adventurers who sought to conquer Latin American lands, the 1898 Spanish-American War, and the occupations of numerous Central American and Caribbean nations that followed - along with the enormous influence of the Cold War on U.S.-Latin America relationships after 1945. We will analyze the diverse experiences of those nations and peoples impacted by the conflicts and interactions of states south of the Rio Grande with U.S. power in this tumultuous period. From its first formation after independence and even before, the United States and the earlier British North American colonies warred, traded, and negotiated with Spanish America. These relationships and conflicts deepened in the 19th and 20th centuries continuing to this day with strong U.S. hostility against the socialist nations of Cuba and Venezuela and heated differences over immigration to the United States from Latin America. The many issues that complicated America’s relationships with its neighbors to the South will be addressed and students will be given a broad range of topics they can choose for their final paper projects. The general focus of each student’s research on their final papers can be the strategic, economic, and political motivations that impacted crises in U.S.-Latin American relations? And/or on the racial, gendered, and cultural factors that drove these sharp divisions between other nations and the U.S. view of a properly ordered hemisphere? This course is a research seminar that will include readings of primary and secondary sources, active participation in weekly discussions, and a final research paper of 16-20 pages with oral presentations of these papers to follow in our final weeks of study.
HIST 6500—Studies in United States History: Atlantic Slaveries
Dr. Kristen Foster
In this readings course, we will focus on the history and development of slavery in the Atlantic World with a particular emphasis on slavery in the New World. Through shared weekly readings and intense discussion, we will look at part of the history of slavery in a global context. We will explore the work that has been done on the Atlantic slave trade and its impact on Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Finally, we will look at American slavery in detail. We will use the development of this institution to study the economics, politics, and cultures of slavery and race. We will explore regional developments. And we will use slavery to better understand the interconnectedness of gender, sexuality, and power. This course requires weekly reading and energetic discussion. Students will be required to write weekly précis on each reading and three historiographical papers.
HIST 4210/5210—The Black Death
Dr. Lezlie Knox
The pandemic now commonly called the Black Death killed roughly one-third of Eurasia’s population between 1346-1353. Not surprisingly, this extraordinary event left an impact on medieval culture and society like few others. Emerging research has extended the plague’s chronological parameters as well as its global impact, including new studies on central Asia, China, Russia, and sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, this an incredibly dynamic field of study. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examine the later medieval plague pandemic, including comparisons to other historical pandemics and contemporary concerns raised by the ongoing impact of Covid-19. It examines not only sources traditional to the Humanities such as chronicles, literature, and art, but also draws from bioarcheology, paleogenomics, climate science, and environmental studies.
This course contributes to the Expanding Our Horizon’s Discovery Tier theme, and also counts as a Writing Intensive class. Student will do a group project on the Black Death, as well as an independent research project that can involve any topic related to disease and history (chronology and geography are open but require approval). Both projects will combine digital and written presentations.
HIST 4264/5264—Historical Justice in Modern Germany
Dr. Peter Staudenmaier
Germany stands at the center of some of the most infamous events of the last century, including two world wars, the Holocaust, the Berlin Wall, and the division of Europe between East and West in the Cold War. This course traces the tumultuous history from the creation of Germany as a unified country to its present status as one of the leading nations in the contemporary world. Examining the enormous social and cultural changes in German life over the past century and a half, we will focus on the search for justice in the midst of terrible injustice as a defining feature of Germany’s global role from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first. Our task will be to understand both the astonishing creativity and the unparalleled destructiveness of modern German history.
HIST 3297—World War II
Dr. Steven Avella
World War II was a global war that raged over three continents and inflicted horrendous destruction on both military and civilians. The sheer level of violence is reflected in images from Nanking, China, the genocidal project of Nazi Germany, destructive air raids, and, to date, the only use atomic weapons. The war dealt a serious blow to colonialism and opened the way for a period of international rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union. The historical memory of the war and its "lessons" are still invoked by people today.
This course will explore the origins of the war, its main trajectories on the European and Asian-Pacific fronts, and, if possible, its aftermath. We will focus on the role of the US in the war, but we will also situate this great conflict in its international setting. We will study the origins of the war in Asia and Europe, the persons, policies, significant battles, and diplomacy of this great cataclysm. We will not concentrate on the minute strategic and tactical aspects of most battles. Military technology will only be discussed in most generic terms.
This course requires unit and book exams, classroom discussion and questions, and other forms of active class participation. Class attendance is mandatory and absences are recorded and noted.
HIST 4105/5105—History and Memory
Dr. Timothy G. McMahon
This course has been newly created specifically for the university core discovery tier, under the theme "Cognition, Memory, Intelligence." Keeping with the exploratory nature of the discovery tier, the content of this course will differ each semester depending on the interests of the particular instructor. For the fall semester of 2022, this course will include content, methodology, and assignments that reach beyond the traditional confines of the history discipline, and include approaches from film studies, literature, and even creative writing. Students will explore the relationship between history and memory broadly defined. Topics might include, but are not limited to, popular culture and memory, trauma and memory, politics and commemoration, and public history and memory.
HIST 4298/5298- The Cold War
Dr. Alan Ball
Study of the Cold War offers an opportunity to witness diverse nations caught up in a conflict more wide-ranging and—in a nuclear age—more dangerous than anything the world had witnessed previously. This course will survey the origins and nature of the Cold War, with a focus on the first twenty years or so after World War II. Along the way, topics will include not only international tensions but also the domestic fallout of the Cold War in countries on several continents. For students seeking a global experience touching the United States, the Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, this is it. Together with films from the period and segments from CNN’s Cold War documentary, the course features frequent small-group discussions of primary documents, literature, and recent works by US and Russian historians.
HIST 4350/5350- The Caribbean: Crossing Borders and Diasporic World-Making
Dr. Michael Donogjue
This course examines the history of the Caribbean from pre-colonial times to the 21st century. As such, we will explore major topics such as colonialism, slavery, race, gender, and state formation. But our main emphasis will be on the notion of “crossing borders” and diasporic world-making, how people on the move from South America to the Caribbean, from Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Caribbean, and of course, from the Caribbean to Central America and the United States, played a central role in constructing new social, cultural, and political environments, largely in conflict with preexisting ones. Students will examine this process from a multitude of perspectives: that of pre-Colombian indigenous hunter-gatherers, Africans kidnapped and enslaved, migrant workers journeying from Caribbean islands to work on railroad and canal projects, and immigrants from the islands seeking economic and political opportunities in Latin America, Europe and the United States. The neglected story of Asian immigrants who replaced slaves as a labor force from the mid-19th century onwards will also be addressed. The efforts of these “border crossers” besides creating continuing waves of in- and-out migration, reshaped established notions of race, class, and gender on the islands and forged unique diasporic world-making to survive against great odds in an increasingly globalized environment. These topics and processes will be analyzed in a multi-disciplinary fashion though the approaches of anthropology, race studies, political science, history, and cultural studies. Students will be introduced to a broad range of methodologies and theories to better understand how reconstructions of race, identity, and culture broke down the borders of colonialism and racial exploitation to forge increased opportunities and renewed communities in a wide range of geographical spaces. Students will write two short papers on these themes and have a midterm and final exam as well.
HIST 4355/5355—History of Mexico
Dr. Laura Matthew
This survey focuses on the many, varied regions of Mexico, with reference to its neighbors north and south, from Teotihuacan to NAFTA. We will ask: How is Mesoamerica different from Mexico, and does Indigenous history matter to the modern Mexican state? What difference did the arrival of Africans and Europeans make to Mesoamerican and Mexican history? What are the legacies of the U.S. imperialistic invasion of Mexico in 1848, from then to now? Was the Mexican Revolution really revolutionary? By the end of the semester, you should walk away confident that you can intelligently discuss these issues with a solid base of knowledge. The course combines standard assessment with an informal performance, at midterm, of a Nahuatl-language rendition of the Virgen de Guadalupe story written in the early eighteenth century.
HIST 4460/5460—Race and History of South Africa
Dr. Chima Korieh
This course is an economic, social, political and cultural survey of the history of modern South Africa from the Dutch settlement to the present. The goal is to understand the major historical forces that progressively shaped what became a turbulent socio-cultural, economic, political, and racial frontier. We will examine major themes including, European settlement and colonization, mineral discoveries and their impact, industrialization and social change, the establishment of the apartheid system, African resistance and post-apartheid South African society. Particular attention is given to how the state-dictated system of racial segregation and discrimination affected the lived experience of South Africa’s diverse population.
HIST 4931/5931—Topics in History: History of Maritime Southeast Asia 2: From 1900 to Post Cold-War Period
Fr. Baskara Wardaya, S.J.
This course is a fourteen-week, on Maritime (Island) Southeast Asian history from 1900 to the 1990s with focus on Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It will discuss how each of the nations deal with the last leg of the colonial period, struggling to gain independence, and lived as independent nations in the post-colonial atmosphere, with or without the domination of dictatorial governments. Along with these main topics this course will help the student to explore issues related to today’s problems in the three nations such as dictatorship, leftist movements, human rights, transitional justice, post-colonialism and the struggle for democracy.
HIST 4953/5953—Readings in History: China in Revolution: History through Literature
Dr. Daniel Meissner
History provides the cultural and historical context necessary to fully engage and analyze literature, while literature humanizes the narrative of historical events through fictionalized accounts or personal recollections and reflections. This course examines Modern Chinese history through its compelling revolutionary literature (in translation) from the tempestuous prose of the early Republic to the “Scar” literature of the Cultural Revolution to works on social adaptation in contemporary China. During this revolutionary period, Chinese literature not only inspired nationalist movements and patriotic causes, but also recorded the anguish and despair Chinese endured at the hands of aggressive foreigners, misguided leaders, and their fellow citizens. For students with no or limited knowledge of Asian culture and modern Chinese history, literary analysis of these works could be exceedingly difficult. Consequently, the course will include lectures and films on the history of this revolutionary period to facilitate comprehension and discussion of the literature.
HIST 4953/5953—Readings in History: Colonial Africa
Dr. Chima Korieh
History of colonial Africa focuses on the history of sub-Saharan Africa from late 19th century to the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Students who take this course will be exposed to the challenges faced by African societies as a result of European imperialism, We will approach the course through a multidisciplinary lens drawing on history, politics, cultural and literary perspectives as the relate to the making of colonial Africa. Particular attention is paid to the colonial roots of Africa’s underdevelopment. It will also focus on the greed and extractive tendencies of colonial regimes in Africa, the genocidal and mass killings of African people under various European colonial powers, human right abuses and the dehumanization of Africans and their personhood, memory, and memorialization of the African colonial past.
HIST 4955-701- Undergraduate Seminar in History: Breeding the best: Eugenics and its role in shaping attitudes, aspects, and choices within contemporary society
Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.
The explanation of events, beliefs, and social phenomena frequently falls to the historian. “What happened” frequently exists as the immediate question. “Why” something happened requires a bit more skill interpreting and sifting the facts to provide an explanation. Journalism reports but it is to the historian or those trained in historical method that society turns to in order to provide a deeper understanding of events. One event that has been ignored in our nation’s history is the choice of eugenics and the structures and choices that occurred in light of this choice. In 1869 Francis Galton proposed that… “Consequently…to obtain by careful selection a permanent breed of dogs or horses gifted with peculiar powers of running, or of doing anything else, so it would be quite practicable to produce a highly gifted race of men by judicious marriages during several consecutive generations.” He coined the phrase and subsequent movement as, “eugenics” and saw a planned and focused attempt to find and identify the best types of humanity as the surest means of promoting the human race. The idea that humanity could and should be bred like greyhounds to achieve the best type of human person strikes most thinking persons as offensive. So offensive in fact was this idea that the eugenic movement, and its subsequent disciplines such as scientific racism, has been fairly eradicated from public awareness and memory. Unfortunately, the consequences of this movement remain, and it is to the historian society frequently turns to help itself understand how certain attitudes and actions still permeate culture and society. This seminar will follow a chronology that begins with the scientific revolution and concludes with United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Students will be assigned readings on which our discussions will be based with an emphasis on original sources. In particular, and hopefully of some interest, we will examine how the Jesuits established a school system that stood in complete opposition to the “eugenic” view of humanity. We will examine Marquette’s founding and early curricula and see how courses required at Marquette in the early 1900s provided its students with intellectual ammunition against eugenics and its supporting movements such as scientific racism. Each class period will involve a brief review of the material followed by a discussion of the common reading. After this discussion, half the students in the class will provide a brief review of their individual readings and how this specific source contributes to a better understanding of the concept of eugenics and its consequences. In addition, there will be a 16–20-page research paper based on a specific topic chosen by the student.
HIST 6100-701 - The Art and Craft of History: Introduction to History and Theory
Dr. Michael Wert
This course will introduce all first-year graduate students to the methodologies, theories, and analytical reading/writing skills required of professional historians. We will cover broad historiographical issues applicable to all fields of history. Weekly active reading, engaged discussion, and professionally written papers are expected.
HIST 6954-701- Seminar in History: Exploring Propaganda
Dr. Alan Ball
Political and institutional propaganda has been with us for thousands of years. Not just the specialty of fascist or communist dictatorships, propaganda can be found among the ancient Greeks and Romans, the medieval Papacy, and modern political campaigns, to suggest just a handful of examples. We’ll begin the course by formulating a more precise understanding of the term “propaganda” than you may have at the moment, and then—with this background as your guide—you’ll be able to choose a version of propaganda that interests you and which will serve as a suitable subject for investigation. Given that HIST 6954 is a research seminar, the bulk of the semester will be devoted to the research and writing of a paper (approximately 20-25 pages) on your chosen topic, relying on primary sources as far as possible. During the last week or two of the semester, we will schedule group sessions to discuss the fruits of our labors.