04/20/14 6:59 AM






 
Academic Programs

History

History Department Overview

Dalila De Sousa Sheppard
Chair and Associate Professor

William Jelani Cobb
Associate Professor

Margery A. Ganz
Professor

JAMES GILLAM
Associate Professor

AZARIA CHARLES MBUGHUNI
Assistant Professor

KATHLEEN PHILLIPS LEWIS
Associate Professor

Department Location
Camille O. Hanks Cosby Academic Center - Fourth Floor

Special Requirements
None

Placement Examinations
None

Goals
The study of history is an important component of a meaningful and comprehensive liberal arts education. As such our major provides a unique opportunity for students to understand how the past informs our understanding of the present. The History major encompasses a series of courses that examine human dynamics, over time, from a disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective. In addition to focusing on content, the history major develops and enhances discipline specific skills that will serve in any future endeavors.

Objectives

As a result of majoring in History, the student will be able to

1. Define, explore, and explain major historical problems
2. Develop research skills required to investigate those problems fully
3. Employ critical methods to analyze those problems
4. Prepare formal papers and presentations that reflect research, critical analysis, and layered literacies that follow disciplinary conventions
5. Engage in collaborative scholarship
6. Develop and defend independent theses

With these skills in hand, the student will be in a position to compete for admission into a variety of fields, including graduate study and law school. The history major will also be prepared for careers in the public and private sectors of the work place. These include education, the museum profession, library science and community or foreign service.

General Core Requirements
Non-majors may use 200-level courses to satisfy the Social Science requirement.

International/Women's Studies Requirement
Courses that satisfy the International/Women's Studies requirement are listed in the Course Sequence Booklet or on the Spelman web page.

Major

Pre Requisite
To be formally admitted to the history major is a writing intensive endeavor, and therefore, we require that all history majors successfully complete English 103, English Composition, before they become a history major. Also, like the English department, the History department considers a minimum grade of C for both semesters of this course to be successful completion.

To receive the B.A. in history, the student is required to successfully complete a minimum of eleven courses in history, or forty-four credit hours with a grade of C or better. The course distribution is as follows:

3 Area of Concentration

1 Historical Methods (SHIS 203)

1 Making of the Modern World (SHIS 303)

1 Senior Seminar

5 Major Electives (one from each area other than concentration)

11 Total

Departmental Honors
Students interested in a more rigorous curriculum should consider applying for departmental honors. It is highly recommended that those planning to pursue graduate studies in History seriously consider this option. To qualify for departmental honors, students must meet the following criteria:

1. maintain a minimum GPA of 3.2 in History

2. maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0

To receive the B.A. in History with departmental honors, the student is required to successfully complete a minimum of 13 courses, or 52 credit hours (11 in history, plus thesis).

The course distribution is as follows:

3 Area of Concentration

1 Historical Methods (SHIS 203)

1 Making of the Modern World (SHIS 303)

1 Senior Seminar

5 Major Electives (one from each area other than concentration)

2 Senior Thesis (SHIS 491, 492)

13 Total

Students interested in graduating with departmental honors must submit an application to the department by April 20th of the junior year.

Phi Alpha Theta
Students meeting the following requirements may apply for induction into the Alpha Epsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society:

1. Minimum cumulative GPA: 3.0.

2. Minimum History GPA: 3.1.

3. Have completed 4 courses in History.

4. Be in the top 35% of their class.

Membership is not limited to History majors. Inductions are held in the spring semester.

Area of Concentration
Beginning with the fall semester of the sophomore year, the student must select at least one area of concentration and work closely with the faculty expert in the area. As a result of working within a concentration, the student will also be introduced to the major schools of thought related to the area, the most recent research in the area, and the most influential scholarship on the area subject.

To accomplish this goal, the student has to take three courses in the area of concentration with the distribution as follows:

* Two (2) Survey Courses
(a 200-level, two-semester sequence)
* One (1) Upper-level Course
(300/400 level)

The possible areas of concentration are as follows:

* Africa
* African American and U.S.
* Asia
* Caribbean
* Europe
* Latin America

Within these areas of concentration, the following themes are explored: social relations, cultural development, women and gender, colonialism, imperialism, urbanization, philosophy and thought, and religion. The student must select both the area of concentration and specific courses after a consultative conference with the area expert, who may suggest additional cognate or complementary courses in other disciplines which would enhance the student's preparation.

A student may choose to take more than three courses in the area of concentration. However, these courses must be taken in addition to the 11 courses which comprise the major.

In very rare instances, a student may elect to pursue an independent concentration. The following steps must be taken in order to pursue an independent concentration:

1. The student must submit a petition to the Department of History, defining the independent area of concentration. The petition must also explain why she seeks the independent concentration and why her objectives cannot be achieved via existing concentration areas.

2. Utilizing existing courses, the student must submit a proposed program of study.

3. Both the petition and the proposed program of study must be accompanied by the signatures of two full-time History faculty. Their signatures will signify their acceptance of the petition and proposal and their agreement to supervise the individual's work.

4. All materials listed in items 1-3 must be submitted to the Department of History for approval by April of the sophomore year.

Historical Methods
The student is expected to take SHIS 203, Historical Methods, in the fall of the sophomore year. This course provides an introduction to the historical discipline by focusing upon those skills needed to successfully complete the major.

The course's emphases include the following:

1. Using references (e.g., journals, indices, bibliographies, microfilm and microfiche, guides, catalogs, reviews)

2. Learning to construct a written historical argument (content and style)

3. Learning to write a book review

4. Reading primary and secondary texts critically

5. Following and articulating a scholarly argument

6. Examining an historical problem via differing schools of interpretation.

7. Providing future teachers with historical skills to use in teaching history.

Making of the Modern World
This course examines the interconnectedness of the world beginning in 1400. Beginning with the commercial revolution and the voyages of discovery, the course moves on to examine the scientific revolution, imperialism, the World Wars and post-colonialism. Taught every spring. Required of all majors and minors and of international studies majors and minors as well.

Senior Seminar
The senior seminar is the culminating experience for the History major. To implement the senior seminar requirement, a series of 400-level courses specifically designated as seminars are offered in both the fall and the spring semesters. The seminar is designed to allow students to maximize their participation in, and contribution to, discussions about both reading and research assignments. The students will be expected to integrate primary sources and scholarly journals into their research for this course.

Thesis students enrolled in the senior seminar will be required to complete a shorter (15-page) research paper. Non-thesis students will be required to complete a 20-page research paper as a part of the seminar. A passing grade on the seminar paper is B.

The major senior seminar research paper serves as the department exit examination. Only History majors and minors will be allowed to register for the senior seminar. Pre requisite: SHIS 203 and SHIS 303. Please note that not all 400 level courses are designated as senior seminars

Senior Thesis
The senior thesis (SHIS 491, 492) is a two-semester sequence designed for those seeking to graduate with departmental honors. It is to be carried out within the area of concentration. More specific guidelines are provided in a syllabus at the beginning of the sequence. A passing grade on the thesis is B.

A student who does not receive a B on the first semester of senior thesis, SHIS 491, will be advised to withdraw from the second semester of senior thesis, SHIS 492. Perquisite: SHIS 203, SHIS 303, and departmental permission.

Major Electives
The five electives for the major are to be taken from the five areas outside the concentration. No more than 3 of these 5 electives can be at the survey (200) level.

Study Abroad and Domestic Exchange
A significant percentage of history majors participate in either study abroad or domestic exchange programs. Those who plan to do so should observe the following:

1. For all courses taken outside of Spelman, prior departmental approval is required for more than one course to count toward fulfilling the area of concentration requirement.

2. Required Courses: Historical Methods, Making of the Modern World, and the Senior Seminar must be completed at Spelman.

3. No more than two history courses taken on one semester study abroad and three for one year can be counted toward requirements for the major. In any domestic exchange event, no more than three history courses taken outside of Spelman College can be counted for major credit.

Minor
A minor consists of six courses, or twenty-four credit hours. The following courses are required:

* SHIS 203 Historical Methods
* SHIS 303 Making of the Modern World
* SHIS 491,492 Senior Seminar

At least two of the three remaining courses must be taken in two different areas of concentration. At least one of the three should be at the 300 or 400 level.

Teacher Certification
Students interested in teaching history and social studies at the elementary or secondary level should consult with the department of education in the first semester of their sophomore year.

Double Majors with Women's Studies
Only three (3) courses taken for the History major may count towards the Comparative Women's Studies major. Those courses can be taken from among the following: SHIS 358A, 371, 452, 462, 464, 471.

Course Descriptions:

Required Courses

SHIS 203 - HISTORICAL METHODS (4)
This course provides a survey and analysis of key developments in the history of the Modern World. The syllabus is a composite departmental collaboration from all areas of concentration offered in the program, and with reference to those not offered, e.g., the Far and Middle East. SHIS 303 is taken in the spring of the sophomore year after the student has had the benefit of Historical Methods.

SHIS 303 - MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD (4)
This course examines the interconnectedness of the world beginning in 1400. Beginning with the commercial revolution and the voyages of discovery, the course moves on to examine the scientific revolution, imperialism, the World Wars and post-colonialism. Taught every spring. Required of all majors and minors and of international studies majors and minors as well.

Honors

SHIS 491, 492 - SENIOR THESIS SEQUENCE (4,4)
A two-semester, intense investigation of a specific topic within the area of concentration.

Africa

SHIS 231 - SURVEY OF AFRICAN CIVILIZATION I (4)
An introduction to African history and culture from antiquity to ca. 1500. Thematic interests include statecraft, social formation, intellectual achievement, religion and philosophy, commerce and production. Alternate years.

SHIS 232 - SURVEY OF AFRICAN CIVILIZATION II (4)
Beginning with the consequences of the slave trade, the course follows Africa's economic and political relations with the world from the period of "legitimate" trade through colonialism to the era of independence and contemporary challenges. Alternate years.

SHIS 435 - SEMINAR: AFRICAN NATIONALIST THOUGHT
A meditative course on the substance of major works concerning nationalism from Blyden through Garvey and DuBois to Nkrumah. Alternate years.

SHIS 437 – SEMINAR: SOUTHERN AFRICA AND THE STRUGGLE FOR LIBERATION
This course is designed to familiarize students with events and issues relating to colonialism and the struggle for freedom and independence in southern Africa. The focus of the class will be to explore ways in which Tanzania aided the liberation movements, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. We will examine movements from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the OAU, and finally, Pan Africanism.

African American/United States

SHIS 211 - SURVEY OF AMERICAN HISTORY I (4)
A survey of American history from the precolonial background to end of Reconstruction with emphasis on social and cultural trends such as race, ethnicity, and modernization.

SHIS 212 - SURVEY OF AMERICAN HISTORY II (4)
A survey of American history from 1877 to the present with emphasis on social and cultural trends such as race, ethnicity, and modernization.

SHIS 221 - SURVEY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY I (4)
An examination of the broad contours of African American history. Discussion includes the development of preceding African states and societies, the origins of slavery, the slave trade, the Black family, the Black church, Black abolitionists, and the antebellum free Black community to 1865.

SHIS 222 - SURVEY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY II (4)
The sequel to History 221, this course emphasizes the transition from slavery to "freedom." Topics include institutional and organizational growth and development, migration, urbanization, nationalism, radicalism, segregation, gender, leadership, the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, and an examination of contemporary society.

SHIS 312 - THE UNITED STATES IN THE 19TH CENTURY (4)
An examination of major themes during this period, including industrialization, urbanization, democratization, regionalism, the position of women, social movements, and race relations. Alternate years.

SHIS 313 - THE UNITED STATES IN THE 20TH CENTURY (4)
An examination of themes in this century include gender and family relations, economic expansion, the emergence of the U.S. as a world power, the growth of mass culture, and race and ethnicity. Alternate years.

SHIS 314 - WOMEN IN THE U.S. (4)
A survey of the historical position of women in America from the colonial era to the present. While contributions of outstanding women are noted, there is a major emphasis on the social and cultural roles of ordinary women, including African American and other women of color. Alternate years.

SHIS 316 - THE CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES (4)
An investigation into the development of the American Constitution from colonial to modern times. Alternate years.

SHIS 318 – U.S. HISTORY AND THE COLD WAR
This course is an examination of the most significant geopolitical phenomenon of the 20th century and the role of the United States within it. The ideological, military and economic conflict between the nations of the East and West impacted every arena of human endeavor between the close of World War II and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.




SHIS 319 – THE UNITED STATES AND THE MIDDLE EAST
This course is designed to teach students about the Middle East and U.S. influence in the region. The course will begin with an examination of early American interest and will conclude by examining the Gulf Wars. Students will explore the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the European scramble for influence, self-determination for Arab nations, the Arab-Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Pan-Arabism, the politics of oil, the rise of fundamentalism, and the war in Afghanistan.

SHIS 322 - AFRICAN AMERICAN THOUGHT SINCE THE CIVIL WAR (4)
This course examines Black intellectual life. Figures include Douglass, Delany, Crummell, Washington, DuBois, Cooper, Wells, Frazier, King, Malcolm X, and others. Alternate years.

SHIS 323 - AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE 20TH CENTURY (4)
An in-depth look into major topics of inquiry, including rural and urban life, Black institutions, movements of protest and accommodation, and the relationship between these movements and international developments. Alternate years.

SHIS 420 – THE BLUEPRINT: TOPICS IN HIP HOP CULTURE
This course is designed to familiarize students with the political, social, cultural, aesthetic, and economic concerns surrounding hip hop. Of particular interest are the ways in which hip hop reflects ongoing historical questions about gender, race, class, violence, capitalism, sexuality and racism within black communities.

SHIS 422 – W.E.B. Du Bois and Liberation Thought
This course examines themes, conflicts, ideas and achievements of the central theorist of Black liberation in the United States. The course examines the subject matter in both chronological and thematic sequence -- in short, it explores Du Bois's biographical and intellectual evolution in the context of the broader trends of Black life from Reconstruction through the Cold War.

Asia

SHIS 241 – SURVEY OF TRADITIONAL CHINA AND JAPAN (4)
A study of classical and traditional Chinese history and the traditional period of Japanese history. A focus on cultural, intellectual, social, and economic developments and a comparison of elements that make these nations unique in the pre-modern world. Alternate years.

SHIS 242 – SURVEY OF MODERN CHINA AND JAPAN (4)
A study of the transformation of China or Japan in the quest for modernization while confronting Westernization and colonialism. Special emphasis on the solutions that were unique to China or Japan. Alternate years.

SHIS 343 - MODERN CHINESE HISTORY (4)
This an upper division survey course on the history of modern China. It begins in the year 1900 and ends with the Tian An Men Incident of 1989. During these 89 years, the Chinese people dispensed with a form of government that had been used for three thousand years, attempted to establish a modern republican government, participated in two world wars, two civil wars, and finally established their version of a socialist state. In the broadest of contexts, the overall goal of this course is to provide a Sino-centric view of the importance of these events.

SHIS 343-A – MODERN JAPANESE HISTORY
This course is a survey of the history of modern Japan. The substantive portion of the course begins in 1854 with the Perry Mission to Japan and ends in 1990. However, there will be a short introductory section, which will inform the student about some of the basics of Japan's geography, ethnic homogeneity, and traditional culture.

SHIS 344 – WOMEN IN MODERN CHINA (4)
A course for upper-class women who are interested in modern China and the issues that affect women in China.

SHIS 345 – ASIAN THOUGHT
An upper division course that will introduce the young Asia specialist to influential aspects, ideas and issues in Asian History.

SHIS 441 - SEMINAR: HISTORY OF VIETNAM, 1858 to 1990 (4)
The history of Vietnam from the French colonial era to the present.

SHIS 442 - SEMINAR: MAO ZEDONG THOUGHT IN AFRICA (4)
An advanced course for those who are experienced in African or Chinese history and wish to perfect the comparative mode of study. This course will focus on the revolutions in portions of what was once Portuguese Africa: Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Angola. There are a number of striking similarities in the Chinese and Portuguese African experiences with socialism, and one of the goals of this course will be to investigate those points.

Caribbean

SHIS 261 - HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN TO 1804 (4)
This course is designed as an introduction to the history and culture of the Caribbean and is the first of a two-part sequence. Beginning with a consideration of Amerindian society in the pre-contact period, the course follows developments in the Caribbean until Haitian Revolution and independence, with a particular focus on people of African descent. Alternate years.

SHIS 262 - HISTORY OF THE CARIBBEAN, SINCE 1804 (4)
The sequel to SHIS 261, the course begins with a consideration of the impact of the Haitian Revolution on the Caribbean. The course then follows developments in the West Indies into the present with a continued focus on the experiences of people of African descent. Alternate years.

SHIS 362 - CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC HISTORY (4)
This course focuses on the economic history of the region with particular reference to the period after 1750. The application of various theories and models are central to the course. Alternate years.

SHIS 363 - THE CONTEMPORARY ANGLOPHONE CARIBBEAN (4)
An interdisciplinary methodological examination of the social, political, and economic factors associated with 20th-century issues in the Anglophone Caribbean region. Emphasis placed on migration, the impact of adult suffrage, nationalism, and the distinct dimensions of Caribbean culture.

SHIS 462 - SEMINAR: WOMEN AND GENDER IN CARIBBEAN HISTORY (4)
This course is designed to explore the interconnected issues of women and gender in the history of the Caribbean. The substance of the course involves the application of theoretical perspectives to the social, economic, and political dimensions of women's lives in the Caribbean. Alternate years.

SHIS 464 (SSOC 430B) - SEMINAR: NEGOTIATING RACE, CLASS, ETHNICITY AND GENDER IN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND AFRO-CARIBBEAN COMMUNITIES
This course is designed to continue a discussion in African Diaspora and the World. ADW provided an interdisciplinary and gendered cross-cultural analysis of identity formations, resistance movements and cultural transformations within Africa and its Diaspora. This course will continue that gendered analysis focusing on African American and Afro- Caribbean communities as they are located within globally integrated political and economic systems.

Europe

SHIS 251 - SURVEY OF EUROPEAN HISTORY I (4)
This course covers the period 500 B.C. through A.D. 1500 and serves as a building block for upper-level courses in European history. It examines politics, institutions, social relations, religion, church-state relations, feudalism, and the role of women in European society.

SHIS 252 - SURVEY OF EUROPEAN HISTORY II (4)
The sequel to SHIS 251 covers the period from 1500 AD to the present and serves as a building block for upper-level courses. It examines politics, institutions, social relations, religion, church-state relations, revolutions, unification movements, World Wars, and the role of women in European society.

SHIS 351A - REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE (4)
The course will cover the period of French history encompassing the Revolution of 1789, the Napoleonic era and the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848. In keeping with the view of leading historians of this era, the period of 1789-1848 will be considered "The Age of Revolution" in France as well as elsewhere on both sides of the Atlantic, the age Palmer describes as "The Age of Democratic Revolutions." The course will be based on the view that this period was a decisive and epoch-making period not only in the history of France, but for Europe and the world at large. Alternate years.

SHIS 352 - MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN HISTORY (4)
An examination of a broad and varied terrain concerning the age of adherence to the ideal of a united Christendom, the impact of the church, church-state relations, the development of the feudal state, and the entrance into modern times.

SHIS 356 - ART AND SOCIETY IN RENAISSANCE ITALY (4)
A study of society, art, and politics in the area in which the modern period originated. Stress placed upon the rebirth of learning, changing intellectual emphasis, political development of the state, and the influence of all these on art.

SHIS 357 - THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION: SOCIETY
involved in the Protestant and Catholic reformations in the 16th century. An examination of the early issues, clerical abuses, the role of women, and the early stirrings of nationalism.

SHIS 358A - EUROPEAN WOMEN TOWARD EQUALITY (4)
This course is designed to reveal what European women said, did and thought from ancient times to the present as they moved from being chattel toward positions of equality with men. It examines the perceptions women had of themselves, their relations with their natal patrilineal as well as with those families into which they married, their positions within organized religion, their roles as mothers and occasionally rulers, and their lives on farms or in factories. Alternate years.

SHIS 451 - SEMINAR: STATECRAFT AND MACHIAVELLI (4)
This seminar involves a detailed reading of all the works of Niccolo Machiavelli as well as some by his contemporary, Guicciardini. Machiavelli is considered the first practitioner of realpolitik and a major political philosopher. He is best known for "The Prince" and the dictum, "The end justifies the means." This course seeks to understand exactly what he meant by that statement. Alternate years.

SHIS 452 - SEMINAR: GENDER AND FAMILY IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE (4)
This course focuses on gender and family issues in pre-modern Europe. Through secondary literature on England, Germany and Italy, students examine topics such as family planning, women's health concerns, childbearing, and marriage.

SHIS 453 - SEMINAR: VICTORIAN ENGLAND (4)
An examination of factors which contributed to the emergence of the Victorian Era and its impact on world history. Emphasis placed on industrialization, urbanization, gender relations, colonization, imperialism, and the significance of "Pax Britannica."

Latin America

SHIS 271 - SURVEY OF LATIN AMERICA I: THE COLONIAL PERIOD (4)
Survey of the major political, economic, and ideological issues which emerged as Iberian nations colonized land and populations in the Americas. From the pre-Columbian period to independence. Alternate years.

SHIS 272 - SURVEY OF LATIN AMERICA II: THE MODERN PERIOD (4)
Survey of the politics, economies, and ideological concerns of the new Latin-American nations from the post-independence period to modern times. Alternate years.

SHIS 371 - WOMEN IN LATIN-AMERICAN HISTORY (4)
A course focusing on the role of women in the formation and development of Latin America, including an analysis of women's contributions across racial and class lines. Alternate years.

SHIS 373 – AFRICANS IN LATIN AMERICA (4)
This course explores the history of the African Diaspora to Latin America from pre-Columbian times through the end of the 19th century. First, the course addresses Afro-descendants’ roles in the creation of these colonial societies not only in their capacity as its main labor force but also as the main experts in agricultural, mining and domestic science. Secondly the course will explore the coping strategies that peoples of African descent developed to face dehumanizing daily experiences. Finally, the course examines their struggle for freedom and citizenship. Alternate years.

SHIS 471 - SEMINAR: RACE, CLASS AND GENDER IN BRAZIL (4)
An exploration of the historical literature regarding race and gender difference, and how this literary legacy affected the peoples of Brazil. Alternate years.

World

SHIS 378 - HISTORY OF REVOLUTION (4)
An examination of the causes and processes of revolution in selected places throughout the world. Alternate years.

SHIS 380 - HISTORY OF SCIENCE (4)
The development of scientific inquiry from antiquity to the present with an emphasis on the interaction between science and other areas of human discourse.

Non-Specific

SHIS 400 - INDEPENDENT STUDY (4)
Supervised independent research. Prior approval of instructor required.

SHIS 401 - TOPICS IN HISTORY (4)
An in-depth examination of a given historical theme or problem. May be taken twice, provided the topics differ significantly.