History department undergraduate course descriptions

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Spring 2017
The following course descriptions are presented as a guide for students and academic advisors. Although major alterations are unlikely, instructors reserve the right to make changes in content and requirements.
Foundation Courses

HIS 100 (8224) (3crs) American Political and Social History I

Wittern-Keller (lwittern@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 11:30am-12:25pm

LC 019
This introductory course covers the area now known as the United States progressing chronologically from colonial rule under the Dutch and the English empires, to the colonies’ break with England, establishment of the republic, sectional strife within the federal republic, and the Civil War. We will address the political, economic, and social developments of the new nation, paying particular attention to religion, racism, technology, and constitutional issues. We will also consider the tools of the historians’ trade and how the nation constructs its historical past.
*Note: Students registering for this course must FIRST register for one of the discussion sections below.
Discussion Sections for HIS 100 (8224)

Call # Day/Time Room Instructor

8223 Wed 12:35pm-1:30pm SS 117 L. Wittern-Keller

8225 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 368 L. Wittern-Keller

8226 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 356 L. Wittern-Keller

8227 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BBB 368 L. Wittern-Keller

8228 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BBB 356 L. Wittern-Keller

8229 Fri 12:35pm-1:30pm BBB 356 L. Wittern-Keller

8230 Fri 12:35pm-1:30pm BI 152 L. Wittern-Keller

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 100 (9992) (3crs) American Political and Social History I

Hamm, Richard (rhamm@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 10:25am-11:20am

LC 25
The modest goal of this course is to impart to you the basics of American political and social history from early European contact through the Civil War. At the same time it will also serve as an introduction to the discipline of history. When you finish the course you should have a rough understanding of the essentials of American history to 1865 and how historians use sources to construct histories of the past from primary sources.
*Note: Students registering for this course must FIRST register for one of the discussion sections below.
Discussion Sections for HIS 100 (9992)

Call # Day/Time Room Instructor

9994 Fri 9:20am-10:15am BI 152 Hamm, R.

9995 Fri 9:20am-10:15am ED 22 Hamm, R.

9996 Fri 9:20am-10:15am PH 116 Hamm, R.

9993 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB003 Hamm, R.

9997 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 005 Hamm, R.

9999 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 014 Hamm, R.

10000 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 002 Hamm, R.

10001 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 007 Hamm, R.

10002 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BBB 004 Hamm, R.

10003 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BBB 002 Hamm, R.

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HIS 101 (10242) (3crs) American Political and Social History II

Wittern-Keller, Laura (lwittern@albany.edu)


This fully-online introductory course covers the transformation of the United States from a decentralized agrarian nation to an industrial giant and world power. Using a traditional text as our framework, we will delve deeper into the political, social, cultural, and diplomatic evolution of American history through primary document interpretation and documentary film viewing. The course will organize around six main eras: (1) Reconstruction, (2) the Progressives, (3) the New Deal and World War II (when America changed), (4) the Cold War, (5) the Great Society and its aftermath, and (6) recent history. As in a regular course, students will read a standard college textbook and will view important documentaries, but as an online course, students will not attend lecture or discussion section classes. Those components will be covered through online Powerpoint presentations and discussion boards. Weekly quizzes, three exams, and a short paper will round out the course's requirements.

HIS 101 (8988) (3crs) American Political and Social History II

Zahavi, Gerald (gzahavi@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 12:35pm-1:30pm

LC 21

Surveying the last 150 years of this nation’s history, this course will highlight some of the more important social, economic, cultural, and political transformations that have given rise to contemporary America. We will look at industrialization, immigration, racial and ethnic conflicts, imperialism, consumerism, bureaucracy, social movements, economic crises, and much more – exploring both key events and personalities. We’ll also examine history as a process of discovery, in which interpretations are generated and contested; how do you determine the “best” and most compelling one? How do historians reconstruct the past and why do they often disagree? We will use a variety of sources to probe America’s history, from rare archival recordings and films (collected by the instructor at the National Archives and other archival repositories), to novels, photographs, documentaries, and primary source documents of all kinds. Because passive listening (lectures) is not always the most effective means of achieving certain learning goals, particularly honing critical skills, I will be incorporating many opportunities for more active involvement by students. Every week we will pause to discuss some of the topics introduced in the readings and lectures. Grades will be based on occasional quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam.

*Note: Students registering for this course must FIRST register for one of the discussion sections below.
Discussion Sections for HIS 101 (8988)

Call # Day/Time Room Instructor

8990 Wed 1:40pm-2:35pm SLG 24 Zahavi, G.

8993 Fri 10:25am-11:20am SLG 24 Zahavi, G.

8994 Fri 10:25am-11:20am ED 22 Zahavi, G.

8995 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm SLG 24 Zahavi, G.

8996 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm ED 22 Zahavi, G.

8991 Fri 12:35pm-1:30pm ED 22 Zahavi, G.

8992 Fri 12:35pm-1:30pm SLG 24 Zahavi, G.

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HIS 101 (10006) (3crs) American Political and Social History II

Kozakiewicz, Laurie (lkozakiewicz@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, Fri 11:30am-12:25pm

FA 126
This course introduces students to the political, economic, social, and cultural changes that have revolutionized American life from the end of the Civil War to the present.  Themes covered include the growing influence of the federal government at home and abroad, the impact of immigration and industrialization on American society, and the emergence of a mass consumption society.  We also consider how differences of gender, race, and ethnicity affect people’s ability to be equal partners in America’s growth.  ​ Course requirements include short papers analyzing primary documents, a mid-term and a final exam.

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HIS 131 (9109) (3crs) History of European Civilization II

Morgenson, Eric

Mon, Wed, Fri 1:40pm-2:35pm

HU 124
Survey 0f the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the West from its origins to the 18th century.

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HIS 131 (10009) (3crs) History of European Civilization II

Zwick, Tamara (tzwick@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 9:20am-10:15am

LC 19
This course examines the major political, cultural, intellectual, social and economic forces that shaped European history from the eighteenth century to the present. More specifically, we will look at the processes that connected a range of regions and cultures, including the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial Revolutions, the “New Imperialism,” nationalism, WWI and WWII, the destruction of European Jewry, the Cold War, decolonization, and globalization. No prerequisite courses are required for this class. The lectures are generally chronological, and will tend to be thematic rather than purely factual.
Discussion Sections for HIS 101 (10009)

Call # Day/Time Room Instructor

10010 Wed 10:25am-11:20am BBB 368 Zwick, Tamara

10011 Fri 9:20am-10:15am BA 210 Zwick, Tamara

10012 Fri 9:20am-10:15am BA 209 Zwick, Tamara

10014 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 141 Zwick, Tamara

10015 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BBB 213 Zwick, Tamara

10016 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BA 209 Zwick, Tamara

10017 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BA 216 Zwick, Tamara

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


HIS 158 (7751) (3crs) The World in the Twentieth Century

Lohse, K. Russell (klohse@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 11:30am-12:25pm

LC 020
The course explores the tremendous social, political, cultural and economic changes that shaped the world in the 20th century. Course content will emphasize the increasing interdependence between societies and regions and the forces which shaped the lives of people around the globe. The course also examines how the challenges of the 21st century are products of the 20th.
*Note: Students registering for this course must FIRST register for one of the discussion sections below.
Discussion Sections for HIS 158 (7751)

Call # Day/Time Room Instructor

8231 Wed 12:35pm-1:30pm BBB 362 Lohse, K. Russell

8232 Fri 9:20am-10:15am BBB 014 Lohse, K. Russell

8233 Fri 9:20am-10:15am BBB 133 Lohse, K. Russell

8234 Fri 10:25am-11:20am BA 209 Lohse, K. Russell

8235 Fri 10:25am-11:20am ED 21 Lohse, K. Russell

8236 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BBB 125 Lohse, K. Russell

9007 Fri 11:30am-12:25pm BA 210 Lohse, K. Russell

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 177 (9172) (3crs) East Asia: Its Culture and History

Hartman, Charles


*Cross-Listed with EAS 177

An introduction to the history and cultures of East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), their major institutions and religious and philosophical traditions from ancient times to the present.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 177 (10019) (3crs) East Asia: Its Culture and History

Hartman, Charles


*Cross-Listed with EAS 177
An introduction to the history and cultures of East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), their major institutions and religious and philosophical traditions from ancient times to the present.

Courses in U.S. History

HIS 220 (9010) (3crs) Public Policy in Modern America

Kuno, P.J. (pkuno@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, Fri 9:20am-10:15am

FA 126
This course focuses on the history of four major domestic policies: welfare, civil rights, economic policy, and health policy. Students assess the relevance of history to current political debates and analysis of public policy. Group workshops and debates will enable students to engage in active learning while grappling these larger questions.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 290 (9280) (3crs) History of Marriage and Family in the U.S.

Graves, Kori (kgraves@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, Fri 9:20am-10:15am

SS 256

The family is a dynamic social unit that is constantly evolving to satisfy individual and community needs. The family is also a unit of political significance and throughout United States history, local, state, and national governments have affected Americans’ home lives. Consequently the structure and function of families in the U.S. have changed in response to both national and international events. In this course we will consider how, when, and why so-called private family affairs became relevant in public and political contexts. We will also interrogate contemporary explanations for changes in U.S. families by comparing popular ideas with the historical trends that shaped marriage and family life. Through an evaluation of topics including birth control, adoption, interracial marriage, and divorce, this course explores the ways that family matters have influenced and informed changes in peoples’ understandings of gender, ethnicity, nationality, race, and status in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 290 (10241) (3crs) Making of Modern New York

Kozakiewicz, Laura (lkozakiewicz@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, Fri 12:35pm-1:30pm

ES 242
For roughly 100 years, from the late 19th through much of the 20th century, New York State loomed large in America’s history. The Empire State set trends in politics, culture, and business with New York City leading the way much of the time. But by the late 20th century the state began to represent other, less positive developments, such as the rise of a “rust belt” and loss of population to other regions. This course will look at all of these topics and changes through lectures, readings and primary sources. Course requirements include several small papers plus a mid-term and final exam.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 306 (10025) (3crs) The Era of the American Revolution 1763-1815

Pastore, Christopher (CPastore@albany.edu)

Tues, Thurs 11:45am-1:05pm


In this detailed survey of the American Revolution, we will examines the historic experiment in federal-republicanism as an international transformation that reconfigured the British Empire, much of Western Europe, West Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Specifically, we will examine the Revolution’s economic and ideological origins. We will examine European involvement in the Revolutionary War as well as the Revolution’s impact on African American slavery and the slave trade. Finally, we will discuss the creation of the U.S. Constitution, America’s struggle for political sovereignty and economic independence, and the Revolution’s impact on Native Americans, women and families, and conceptions of American identity during the Early National period.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 315 (9020) (3crs) From Roosevelt to Reagan: U.S. Political History, 1932-1980

Bon Tempo, Carl (cbontempo@albany.edu)

Tue, Thu 2 :45pm-4 :05pm

AS 14

This course examines United States political history from the 1930s through the 1980s. Topics include the New Deal and American liberalism, World War II and the Cold War at home, the civil rights movement, the role of the Courts in shaping American life, the counterculture and the 1960s, Watergate and the imperial presidency, and the resurgence of conservatism. Readings (about 125 pages/week) will include primary sources, several monographs, and a number of scholarly articles. The course’s graded assignments will include (at minimum) a midterm exam, a 7-page paper, and a final exam.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 320 (10026) (3 crs) United States in Vietnam

Aso, Michitake (maso@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed 4 :15pm-5:35pm


This course examines the history of the Vietnam War.  “Vietnam” refers to more than just a war and this course introduces students to the key events, people, places, and themes in Vietnam’s past.  It begins with the states and societies of the Red River Delta, moves to Nguyen dynasty rule and French colonization of Indochina, and finally examines American involvement in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam during the Cold War.  This introduction to the broad sweep of Vietnamese history is meant to help students appreciate the profound changes and lasting continuities in Vietnamese culture and society during the 19th and 20th centuries.  This course also interrogates the legacies of the Vietnam War.  From lawsuits filed by Agent Orange victims to lessons for U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vietnam's past continues to play an important role in how Americans comprehend the exercise of U.S. military, economic, and political power abroad.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 327 (9026) (3crs) The Roles of Law in American History
Hamm, Richard (rhamm@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, Fri 12 :35pm-1 :30pm

BA 233

This course is divided into four units that will give you an appreciation of the use of law by Americans at various points in their history. Each of the units examines the role of law in society related to a specific context, for example, child custody in the 19th century or the criminal law of slavery. You will read almost exclusively primary sources in each unit. You will also read some secondary sources to better understand how historians have recovered these uses of law. All meetings are exclusively discussions of the day’s readings. You will write three essay exams, one at the end of the first two units, and a final exam which covers the last two units.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 335 (6866) (3crs) History and Theory of the Documentary Film

Bernard, Sheila (sbernard@albany.edu)

Tue, Thur 2:45pm-4:05pm

BBB 12

*Cross-listed with DOC 335 (8309)

This course explores the history, theory, aesthetics, and modes of the documentary film genre. Through viewing, reading about, and writing about works by documentary filmmakers past and present, students will explore the elements that contribute to the creation of informative and powerful films, with special emphasis on historically-focused films. We’ll look at the techniques documentary filmmakers utilize to communicate historical ideas in cinematic form, whether for theatrical, broadcast, or non-broadcasts venues. We’ll also explore issues surrounding the preservation of and access to historical audio-visual materials, such as intellectual property rights, the privatization of archives, and fair use exceptions to copyright. Students who have taken HIS 405 in past semesters may not enroll.

Prerequisite(s): Junior or senior standing and completion of at least one UAlbany course in U.S. history.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 356 (1954) (3crs) The World at War, 1939-1945

Krosby, H.P. (hkrosby@albany.edu)

Tues, Thurs 10:15am-11:35am

BA 231
A comprehensive history of the Second World War. Topics covered include the rise of fascism and the origins of the war; the campaigns on land, at sea, and in the air in the European, North African, Pacific, and Southeast Asian theaters of war, the pervasiveness of racism; the Holocaust and other atrocities; and the costs and legacies of the war. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

HIS 390 (10522) (3crs) People, Places & Things

Campbell, Robin (rcampbell@albany.edu)

Tues, Thurs 11:45am-1:05pm

BA 233

Using a selection of primary and secondary works, websites, and other media this course explores American social history from European settlement to the Civil War. Classes are a combination of lecture and discussion. There are two major projects that require historical research and creative thinking. By the end of the semester students will have a basic understanding of what life was like for different groups of people living in America.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 394 (6476) (3crs) Workshop in Oral History

McCormick, Susan (smccormick@albany.edu)

Mon, Wed, 2:45pm-4:05pm

SLG 024

*Cross listed with ADOC 394 (7587), Meets with AWSS 399.

This course offers a broad introduction to the history, theory, and practice of oral history – the collection of oral histories; the uses of oral history in historical research, documentary production, and public history; and the interviewing and recording skills needed to conduct successful interviews. Students will explore approaches to interviewing, recording, and editing oral histories, while considering the issues and problems that are part of collecting and using oral histories to construct historical narratives. The class will examine and analyze historical texts and documentary works heavily based on oral history interviews. Students will learn the basics of audio recording and editing will complete several recorded interviews and will complete an extended oral history interview and contextual essay as part of their final project.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 406 (6021) (4crs) Practicum in Historical Documentary Filmmaking

Becker, David (dbecker@albany.edu)

Tue 2:45pm-5:35pm

SLG 24

*Cross listed with DOC 406 (6376)

This is a hands-on production course. Student working in teams will make original 10-15 minute historical documentary films during the semester. Along the way they will learn each step of the production process: Research, pitching, writing treatments, pre-production, shooting, script writing, editing and post-production. The class will emphasize developing strong storytelling skills: Digging through the past to find good stories, then figuring out how to tell them both dramatically and accurately. Labs will introduce students to the camera, lighting & sound technical skills necessary to shoot professionally as well as basic editing skills. Giving and receiving criticism is an essential part of the creative process, so substantial class time will be devoted to critiquing each other’s work throughout the semester.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

HIS 456 (10029) (3crs) The Diplomacy of the Nuclear Age

Krosby, H.P. (hkrosby@albany.edu)

Tues, Thurs 1:15pm-2:35pm


*Meets with HIS 556 (10030)
History of International Relations since World War II, with emphases on the Cold War and its global impact; the collapse of the Soviet Union and manifestations of American unilateralism; nuclear proliferation and arms control; the end of colonialism and its consequences; European economic integration and its problems; the resurgence of Russia; and the rise of China as a global superpower. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing.

Courses in European History

HIS 250 (7586) (3crs) The Holocaust in History

Brenner, Arthur (abrenner@albany.edu)

Tue, Thur 8:45am-10:05am

LC 03A

*Cross-listed with AJST (7546)

The Holocaust is a singular and central event in twentieth century world history. The assault on European Jewry and others by Nazi Germany and its allies during World War II irrevocably changed the course of Jewish and world history. This course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of the specific social and political context in which the Holocaust occurred, how it was carried out, and some of its effects.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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