History

Undergraduate History Courses

WIU's Department of History offers a wide range of undergraduate courses.  Additional information about History's undergraduate courses can be found in the WIU Catalog .

  • Check out our current and upcoming undergraduate History course offerings on STARS.
  • For further information on the Department's plans to offer any of these courses, see below or check with the Department Chair, Dr. Jennifer McNabb

General Education courses:

  • Humanities - Meets General Education Humanities requirement
  • Multicultural - Meets General Education Multicultural Studies requirement
  • Humanities/Multicultural - May be counted toward either the General Education Humanities or Multicultural Studies requirements, but not both

Global Issues courses (fulfill WIU's Global Issues graduation requirement):

  • General Education History courses: Hist 115, 116, 211, 244, 245, 311, 318, 337, 341, 344
  • Upper-division History courses: Hist 304, 307, 311, 312, 318, 337, 341, 344, 346, 347, 380

The Undergraduate History Program includes upper-division courses in U.S. History, European History, and Non-Western History, as well as the introductory survey courses, a course on historical methods (Hist 201), and a senior capstone research seminar (Hist 420 or 491).

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Debate and discussion are integral to our teaching

Study-Abroad Programs

  • short-term travel-study courses led by WIU History faculty members during the Summer or over Spring Break
  • semester-long enrollment in universities outside the U.S.

Through study-abroad experiences, students:

  • learn to navigate cultural differences,
  • understand how people with different cultural backgrounds may have different sets of assumptions,
  • practice using their problem-solving skills in unfamiliar environments, and
  • succeed in unfamiliar situations with others from different backgrounds -- all useful skills in any future career.

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Village Witchcraft Trial in History 333

[ ] Square brackets represent the General Education requirements each course can fulfill.

Survey

HIST 105 United States to 1877 (3) [Humanities] A survey of American history from European backgrounds to the close of Reconstruction.

HIST 106 American History since 1877 (3) [Humanities] A survey of American history from the end of Reconstruction to the present.

HIST 115 World History to 1500 (3) [Humanities/Multicultural; Global Issues] An introduction to the history of world societies from human origins to 1500 emphasizing social and political institutions, economics, thought, and culture as well as cross-cultural contacts.

HIST 116 World History since 1500 (3) [Humanities/Multicultural; Global Issues] An introduction to the history of world societies from 1500 to the present emphasizing social and political institutions, economics, thought, and culture as well as cross-cultural contacts.

HIST 210 (Formerly HIST 310) Crime, Policing, and Punishment (3) An exploration of criminal justice in territories now composing the United Kingdom, the United States, and the nations of continental Europe with emphasis on the integration of nation-state criminal codes and courts, professional police forces, and standardized state punishments. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or 106 or 115 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I or II

HIST 211 Technology and Science in World History (3) [Humanities; Global Issues] An introduction to the history of global technology and science from ancient times to the present.

HIST 217 The History of Sports in the United States (3) The history of American sports from their origins to the present, focusing on college and professional sports as reflecting changes in American culture.

HIST 244 (Formerly HIST 144) History of the Middle East (3) [Humanities/Multicultural; Global Issues] A survey of the history of Middle Eastern social and political institutions, thought, and cultures, from ancient times to the present. Directed elective area III

HIST 245 (Formerly HIST 145) History of Asia (3) [Humanities/Multicultural; Global Issues] A survey of Asian history from ancient times to the present. Directed elective area III

U.S. History (Directed Elective Area I)

HIST 300 Urban America (3) A survey of the growth and development of American urban society. The course is designed to show how technological, social, and political forces have shaped our cities and how cities have affected American life. No prerequisite. Directed elective area I

HIST 302 American Indian History, Pre-Contact to the Present (3) [Multicultural] This course surveys the history of American Indians from pre-contact to recent times within the current area of the U.S. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or 106, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 303 American Legal History (3) A study of American law, emphasizing the origins and development of fields of law and legal institutions, and the relationship between the law and American society and politics. Prerequisite: 3 semester hours of U.S. history, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 304 United States Military History (3) [Global Issues] A survey of the military policies and engagements which had significance in America's independence, expansion, and present world position. Prerequisites: HIST 105 and 106, or enrollment in or completion of MS 311, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 306 Vietnam War (3) A survey of the origins of the Vietnam War and of its social, diplomatic, and political impact in the U.S. Directed elective area I or III

HIST 307 (Formerly HIST 401) U.S. Foreign Relations since 1898 (3) [Global Issues] A history of American foreign relations with emphasis on the period from the war with Spain to the present, stressing the behavior of the United States as a world power. Prerequisite: HIST 106, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 308 The American West (3) The settlement and development of the West from the Appalachian Range to the Pacific Ocean. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or 106, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 309 American South (3) A survey of the American South from the colonization period to the present. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or 106, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 311 History of Flight Culture (3) [Multicultural; Global Issues] A cross-cultural survey of the origins, development, and representation of human flight from the ancient world to the present. Prerequisite: HIST 106 or 116 , or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I or II

HIST 312 Technology, Culture, and Society (3) [Global Issues] A history of key technological developments from the Industrial Revolution to the present, with an emphasis on how these innovations have transformed human culture and society. Directed elective area I or II

HIST 313 (Cross-listed with AAS 313) African-American History, 1400-1877 (3) [Multicultural] A survey of African-American experiences in North America from 1400 to 1877. Not open to students with credit for AAS 313. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or AAS 100, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 314 (Cross-listed with AAS 314) African-American History, 1877-Present (3) [Multicultural] A survey of African-American experiences in the United States since 1877. Not open to students with credit for AAS 314. Prerequisite: HIST 106 or AAS 100, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 316 (Formerly HIST 422) American Environmental History (3) A history of Americans' interaction with their natural environment from pre-contact to the present with special emphasis on the last two hundred years. BGS online writing course. Prerequisites: HIST 105 and 106 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 317 (Cross-listed with WS 317) Women in American History (3) [Multicultural] A multicultural and historical survey of women in the United States from 1500 to the present. Not open to students with credit for WS 317. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or HIST 106, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 350 (Formerly HIST 412) American Colonial History (3) A history of the discovery, settlement, and development of the American colonies to 1763. Prerequisites: HIST 105 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 351 (Formerly HIST 413) American Revolution and the New Nation (3) An intermediate survey of the social, economic, and political causes of the American Revolution, the War of Independence, the development of a new system of government, and the early years of the new nation to 1824. Prerequisites: HIST 105 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 352 (Formerly HIST 415) Civil War and Reconstruction (3) An intermediate survey of the political, social, economic, military, and diplomatic history of the period 1848 to 1877, with focus on the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War. Prerequisites: HIST 105 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 353 (Formerly HIST 416) America in Transition, 1877-1914 (3) An examination of the forces transforming America from Reconstruction to the Wilson administration. Prerequisites: HIST 106 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 354 (Formerly HIST 418) Emergence of Modern America, 1914-1945 (3) A study of American history from World War I to the end of World War II. Prerequisites: HIST 106 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 355 (Formerly HIST 419) Recent America, 1945-present (3) An examination of American history from the end of World War II to the present. Prerequisites: HIST 106 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 380 The Great War, 1914-1918 (3) (Global Issues) A history of World War I emphasizing military, cultural, political, and technological developments and the conflict's global impact in shaping the twentieth century.Prerequisites: HIST 106 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective areas I or II

HIST 381 World War II (3) A history of the Second World War emphasizing the military conflict's impact in transforming politics, cultures, and societies around the globe and its foundational role in sparking the "Cold War" that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. Prerequisite: HIST 106 or 116 or consent of instructor.

HIST 402 (Cross-listed with AAS 402) The Civil Rights Movement (3) An intensive study of the history of the African-American civil rights movement, concentrating on the period from World War II through the U.S. Supreme Court's 1978 Bakke decision. Not open to students with credit for AAS 402. Prerequisites: HIST 106 or AAS 100, at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 414 Early American Republic, 1800-1848 (3) An intensive study of the development of the United States from 1800 to 1848, emphasizing the development of political culture within the expanding nation, among post-Revolutionary Americans. Prerequisites: HIST 105 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I

HIST 420 Capstone Seminar: Illinois History (3) A study of periods and themes in the history of Illinois including social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental change. Prerequisites: HIST 105, 106, and 201, English 280, and at least junior standing, or permission of instructor. Directed elective area I. Required for History-Teacher Certification majors Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course

HIST 421 Seminar in Global Environmental History (3)  This thematic seminar is an in-depth comparative, historical study of interactions between humans and the natural environment from 1500 to the present. Prerequisites: At least junior standing and HIST 116 or HIST 316, or consent of the instructor.

HIST 423 The Vietnam War and Its Times (3) A seminar on the Vietnam War, with particular emphasis on domestic social and political aspects during the 1960s. Research in primary sources will be required. Prerequisites: HIST 106 and at least junior standing, or permission of instructor. Directed elective area I or III

HIST 483 Topics in the History of Science and Technology (3) In-depth study of a subject or theme in the History of Science and Technology. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: HIST 105, 2016, 115 or 116, and at least junior standing or consent of the instructor. Directed elective area I or II.

HIST 488 Topics in U. S. History (3, repeatable to 6 with permission) In-depth study of a theme or chronological period in U.S. History from the colonial period to the present. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: HIST 105 or 106, as appropriate, and at least junior standing, or permission of instructor. Directed elective area I

European History (Directed Elective Area II)

HIST 311 History of Flight Culture (3) [Multicultural; Global Issues] A cross-cultural survey of the origins, development, and representation of human flight from the ancient world to the present. Prerequisite: HIST 106 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area I or II

HIST 312 Technology and Society (3) [Global Issues] A history of key technological developments from the Industrial Revolution to the present, with an emphasis on how these innovations have transformed human culture and society. Directed elective area I or II

HIST 318 (Cross-listed with WS 318) Women and Gender in European History (3) [Multicultural; Global Issues] A study of women and gender in Europe from antiquity to the present, focusing on changes in culture, society, the economy, and politics. Not open to students with credit for WS 318. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 320 Ancient Greece (3) A study of Hellenic civilization and the institutional and cultural life of the Greeks. Prerequisite: HIST 115, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 321 Ancient Rome (3) A study of Roman civilization from the Republic through the Empire. Prerequisite: HIST 115, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 322 Pre-modern Military History (3) Intermediate survey of military history from the ancient world through the Renaissance. Prerequisite: HIST 115, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 323 The Crusades (3) A history of the Christian Crusades (1095-1291), emphasizing the historical contexts, causes, and impacts of the conflicts that started in the Eastern Mediterranean and spread to France, Spain, and the Baltic. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or permission of instructor. Directed elective area II or III.

HIST 324 Middle Ages (3) A study of the political, economic, social, and cultural institutions of Europe from the Germanic invasions and the fall of Rome to 1300. Prerequisite: HIST 115, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 325 Early Modern Europe, 1350-1648 (3) Study of political, economic, social, and cultural developments of early modern Europe from the mid-fourteenth to mid-seventeenth centuries, including the Renaissance, the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the age of religious wars, state-building, witchcraft persecution, and the Age of Discovery. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 326 Old-Regime Europe, 1648-1815 (3) An intermediate survey of European politics, society, economics, and culture; with emphasis on how Old-Regime beliefs, practices, and institutions either culminated or broke down in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era. Prerequisite: HIST 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 327 (Formerly HIST 428) Nineteenth-Century Europe (3) A study of Europe from 1815 to 1914. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 328 (Formerly HIST 429) Europe 1914-1968 (3) A study of Europe from 1914-1968. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 329 Great-Power Diplomacy (3) A history of relations between the great powers from the 1890s to the present. In addition to the major European powers, the course includes the U.S., China, and Japan. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II or III

HIST 333 Britain to 1688 (3) A survey of British social and political history with emphasis on constitutional development. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 334 Britain since 1688 (3) A survey of the political, social, and economic factors behind the rise and decline of Britain as a world power. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor Directed elective area II

HIST 337 (Cross-listed with GER 337) The Holocaust (3) (Multicultural; Global Issues) Examines the pre-history, history, and post-history of the Holocaust and its representations from a German Studies perspective and within the broader context of European culture. Not open to students with credit for GER 337. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or GER 224, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 338 Germany (3) A survey of German history from beginnings to the present time. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 380 The Great War, 1914-1918 (3) (Global Issues) A history of World War I emphasizing military, cultural, political, and technological developments and the conflict's global impact in shaping the twentieth century.  Prerequisites: HIST 106 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective areas I or II

HIST 381 World War II (3) A history of the Second World War emphasizing the military conflict's impact in transforming politics, cultures, and societies around the globe and its foundational role in sparking the "Cold War" that dominated the last half of the twentieth century. Prerequisite: Hist 106 or 116 or consent of instructor.

HIST 399 Imperial Russia 1689-1917 (3) A survey of the major cultural, intellectual, and political developments within the Russian Empire from the reign of Peter the Great to the fall of the Romanov dynasty. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 400 Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (3) An intensive study of political, diplomatic, economic, social, and cultural developments in the Soviet Union from the Bolshevik revolution to the USSR's collapse. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or 399 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 426 The Enlightenment, 1721-1784 (3) Advanced study of a cultural revolution in the Atlantic world; a “republic” of philosophers, ideas, and debates; social institutions promoting reform; emergence of new media, mass literacy, public opinion, and private sentiment; and the broader context in which these flourished. Prerequisites: HIST 116 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 427 French Revolution and Napoleon (3) A detailed examination of the period 1789-1815 in Europe. Prerequisites: HIST 116 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II.

HIST 430 Topics in Ancient History (3; repeatable to 6 with permission of department chairperson) Study of a theme or chronological period in Greek or Roman history. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: HIST 115 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 431 Alexander the Great (3) Advanced study of the life, achievements, and historical context of Alexander III of Macedon, with particular focus on his impact outside Europe. Prerequisites: HIST 319 or 320, and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II or III

HIST 433 Tudor/Stuart England: 1485-1714 (3) Political, economic, cultural, and social history of early modern England during the reigns of the Tudor and Stuart monarchs, emphasizing social structures, cultural movements, religious continuity and change, and constitutional developments. Prerequisites: HIST 115 or 325 or 333, and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 434 Topics in British History (3, repeatable to 6 with permission of department chair) Selected topics dealing with the political, social, and economic development of Britain. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: at least junior standing and HIST 115 or 116 or 333 or 334 (as appropriate), or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 438 Hitler's Germany, 1919 to 1949 (3) A study of Germany from the end of World War I to its division following World War II, focusing on the Weimar Republic, the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, the Holocaust, and Germany's postwar breakup. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or 338, and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

HIST 482 Topics in European History (3, repeatable to 6 with permission) In-depth study of a theme or chronological period in European History. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: HIST 115 or 116 (as appropriate), and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II

Non-Western History (Directed Elective Area III)

HIST 244 History of the Middle East (3) [Humanities/Multicultural, Global Issues] A survey of the history of Middle Eastern social and political institutions, thought, and cultures, from ancient times to the present. Directed elective area III

HIST 245 History of Asia (3) [Humanities/Multicultural, Global Issues] A survey of Asian history from ancient times to the present. Directed elective area III

HIST 319 Ancient Near East & Egypt (3) Intermediate survey covering several ancient civilizations in an area that includes the modern Middle East, Egypt, Persia, and Turkey, beginning with the emergence of civilization in Mesopotamia and continuing to the conquest of Alexander the Great. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or permission of the instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 323 The Crusades (3) A history of the Christian Crusades (1095-1291), emphasizing the historical contexts, causes, and impacts of the conflicts that started in the Eastern Mediterranean and spread to France, Spain, and the Baltic. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or permission of instructor. Directed elective area II or III.

HIST 329 Great-Power Diplomacy (3) A history of relations between the great powers from the 1890s to the present. In addition to the major European powers, the course includes the U.S., China, and Japan. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area II or III

HIST 340 Latin America to 1860 (3) [Multicultural] A survey of the history and culture of Latin America from the pre-colonial era through the national revolutions to the mid-nineteenth century. Prerequisite: HIST 105 or 115, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 341 Latin America since 1860 (3) [Multicultural; Global Issues] A survey of the history and culture of Latin America from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Prerequisite: HIST 106 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 342 (Cross-listed with WS 342) Women and Gender in Asian History (3) [Multural Studies] (Global Issues) A study of women and gender in Asia from ancient times to the present, with an emphasis on social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of their lives. Not open to students with credit for WS 342. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 344 Modern Middle East (3) [Multicultural; Global Issues] An intensive study of the history of the Middle East in the modern era. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 345 China (3) A survey of Chinese history from ancient times to the present, with emphasis from the late dynastic (Ching) period through the Cultural Revolution. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 346 Japan (3) [Global Issues] A survey of Japanese history from ancient times to the present, with emphasis on the period from the late feudal (Tokugawa) era. Prerequisite: HIST 115 or 116, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III.

HIST 347 (Formerly HIST 445) Modern East Asia (3) [Global Issues] A study of China, Japan, and Korea in the 20th century. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or 245, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 349 (Cross-listed with AAS 349) Africa since 1800 (3) [Multicultural] A study of major themes from 1800 to the present from an African perspective: slave trade and its abolition, European colonialism, independence movements, and problems of independence. Not open to students with credit for AAS 349. Prerequisite: HIST 116 or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 440 Topics in Latin American History (3, repeatable to 6, for different topics, with permission of department chairperson) Selected topics in the social, political, economic, or intellectual history of Latin America. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: At least junior standing and HIST 105 or 106 or 116 or 340 or 341 (as appropriate), or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 444 Topics in Middle Eastern History (3, repeatable to 6 with permission of department chairperson) Selected topics in the political, social, economic, and intellectual history of the Middle East. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: At least junior standing and HIST 115 or 116 or 344, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 485 Topics in Asian History (3, repeatable to 6 with permission of department chairperson) In-depth study of a theme or chronological period in Asian History. Topics will vary. Prerequisites: At least junior standing and HIST 116 or 345 or 346 or 347, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

Undergraduate Seminars, Independent Study, and Internships

HIST 201 Historical Methods (3) This course introduces students to the scope and methods of history and historiography, and introduces basic research, analytical, and writing skills required of all historians. Prerequisites: History major; at least three of History 105, 106, 115, and 116; English 280; and permission of Department Advisor.

HIST 420 Capstone Seminar: Illinois History (3) A study of periods and themes in the history of Illinois including social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental change. Prerequisites: HIST 105, 106, and 201, English 280, and at least junior standing, or permission of instructor. Directed elective area I. Required for History-Teacher Certification majors. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course

HIST 421 Seminar in Global Environmental HIstory (3) An in-depth comparative historical study of the interactions between humans and the natural environment from 1500 to the present. Prerequisites: HIST 116 or 316 and at least junior standing, or consent of instructor. Directed elective area III

HIST 451 Problems in History (1-6, repeatable to 6) Research into areas not specifically covered in other courses. Course credit depends on the nature of the problem and the length of time required to complete the project. Only 3 s.h. may be applied to major or minor requirements. Prerequisites: 9 s.h. of history, 3 s.h. of which must be from WIU, junior standing, and consent of instructor.

HIST 452 Readings in History (1-3, repeatable to 3) Prerequisites: 9 s.h. in history, 3 s.h. of which must be from WIU, junior standing, and consent of instructor.

HIST 490H Honors Thesis in History (3) The preparation by an honors student of an undergraduate history thesis under the direction of one or more members of the History Department. Prerequisites: Honors major in history with junior or senior standing.

HIST 491 Capstone Seminar in History (3) This course focuses on writing and research in the discipline of history. Prerequisites: History major; History 105, 106, 201, and either 115 or 116; at least two upper-division History courses; English 280; junior or senior standing; and permission of Department Advisor. Writing Instruction in the Discipline (WID) course

HIST 494 Internship (1-12; Course repeatable up to twelve semester hours total) Supervised work experience in archives, historical institutions, or other locations requiring historical expertise. Prerequisites: permission of Department Chairperson, and junior or senior standing