Spring 2023 Courses

Welcome to the 2022-2023 academic year! This is a great moment to plan and declare your History major, minor, or cluster. The BA in history is a flexible major that consists of 10 courses, although many students exceed that number. The history minor requires 6 courses. The department also offers over sixteen options for the 3-course clusters in History. For more info on declaring, please visit the following page: Declaring a major or minor

History students also have considerable research opportunities through the HOUR Program, the Seward Family Project Digital Archive, the Honors Program, and other initiatives.

First- and Second-Year Students

Students in the Class of 2026 and 2025 should enroll in HIST 200 – Gateway to History. This course is required for the History major and serves as an introduction to historical practice. Gateway courses explore what professional historians actually do and how they do it.

In Spring 2023, the department will offer two Gateway courses: Gateway: Mexico Through Time (Prof. Sierra) This course explores the techniques, methods, and sources that historians of Mexico use to understand the prehispanic and colonial past. Our focus on migration, freedom, and enslavement will enable us to study a wide range of historical memories, beginning with pictographic codices that recount the migration story of the Mexica settlers of Tenochtitlán  (modern-day Mexico City). We will then delve into the documents produced by (and about) Indigenous noblewomen, Iberian conquistadors, African maroons, and mestizo merchants in colonial Mexico. Gateway: Japanese Empire and its Afterlife (Prof. Hayata) The Japanese empire mediated large parts of East Asia and the global capitalist economy during the first half of the twentieth century. This course examines major themes that are relevant to the study of Japanese imperialism in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, including industrialization, agrarian colonization, popular culture, resistance, and wartime mobilization. It will prepare students to conduct original historical research by training them to develop their own historical questions, gather and analyze evidence, create original conclusions, and contribute to ongoing discussions. 

Third- and Fourth-Year Students

Students in the Class of 2024 and 2023 should pursue writing-intensive “W” courses and work of completing their focus area. All majors are required to take two “W” courses, one of which must be at the 300-level. Third-year students interested in the Honors Program should register for HIST 299H – UR Research and pursue a “W” course if they have not done so already.

Transfer students interested in the major or minor should schedule a meeting to talk with Prof. Thomas Fleischman, director of undergraduate studies, by emailing thomas.fleischman@rochester.edu.

Suggested Spring 2023 courses

HIST 178 – Histories of Indigenous Women, Justin Grossman, This course explores Native American histories of women, gender, and sexuality from the foundation of these societies to the present day. This includes how various Native American cultures dealt with and adapted their views of these concepts in response to colonization. The main goal of the course is to understand how different Native communities created their own understandings of gender and sexuality and how Native women defined their role in an ever-changing world. To do this, we will examine histories produced from a Native perspective ranging from oral histories to modern documentaries. 

Sacagawea - Wikipedia 

HIST 221-1 – Medieval Crusades: Conflict Across Cultures, John Burden

The edges of medieval Europe were a melting pot of peoples, cultures, and religions. Using Christian, Muslim, and Jewish sources, this course will examine how complex forces enabled co-existence and cooperation but also conflict.  We will focus especially on the military expeditions known as the Crusades which occurred between about 1100 and 1300. Were the Crusades holy wars motivated by religion? Proto-colonial enterprises? Or personal pursuits of martial and dynastic glory? Alongside these questions, we will investigate how the memory of the Crusades survives in modern culture and politics.

Crusades - Wikipedia

HIST 268/W – Popular Music and the 20th Century US, Nicholas Bloom

This course will use popular music as a lens through which to explore some of the major issues and events of twentieth-century US history. We will study some of the key themes and ruptures in US social, economic, and political life in the twentieth century via close examinations of a limited number of specific musical styles, events, and prominent figures from this time period. Particular musical movements and styles that may receive particularly close attention include blues, vaudeville, jazz, “folk” music, rock and roll, country music, soul, disco, reggae, and hip-hop. 

Elements of Jazz - Lesson Plan - KET Education

HIST 370W – Histories of Race and Revolt in US Literature and Film, Nicholas Bloom

In this course, we will consider how histories of race, racial conflict, and revolt in the United States have been told and re-shaped by literature and film. The course will pay particular attention to the interaction between race and revolt in the narratives we study—how race shapes narratives of political and social revolt, and how these narratives of revolt in turn shape ideas about race. Histories of Black revolt,  indigenous wars and rebellions, immigrant rebellions in the  US, and wars of US imperial aggression overseas will all receive attention. 

Take a film adventure - College of Arts and Sciences