2016–17 Catalog courses

The courses listed here are those published in Calvin College’s current academic catalog. Not all courses are offered in the current year.

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History of the West & World I

This course examines the history of early human societies. The course begins with Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures and their transformation into ancient urban civilizations. It continues with the development of the classical civilizations and the major world religions, and the interaction of impulses from these, down to the European transoceanic voyages around the year 1500 A.D. Secondary themes include evolution of societies around the world, the contrast of urban and sedentary and nomadic strategies for societies, and the development of technology.

  • Course code: HIST-151
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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History of the West & World II

The history of modern human societies since c. 1500 including coverage of the scientific revolution and the European Enlightenment tradition; key political, economic, social, and religious developments in the West, including the non-Western world?s contribution and reaction to them; and events of global significance through the latter half of the twentieth century, such as the industrial revolution, the world wars, and decolonization.

  • Course code: HIST-152
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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England

A survey of English history including the Anglo-Saxon background; the medieval intellectual, religious, and constitutional developments; the Tudor and Stuart religious and political revolutions; the emergence of Great Britain as a world power; and the growth of social, economic, and political institutions in the modern period.

  • Course code: HIST-225
  • Semester: fall
  • Department: History
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U.S.A.

This survey looks at American history according to several interlocking themes: colonial roots and cultural and political divergence; the costs and benefits of expansion; industrialization and immigration; American leadership in the twentieth century; and challenges in the current century. This course is not intended for those who plan to take period courses in American history.

  • Course code: HIST-229
  • Semester: Fall
  • Department: History
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Modern Middle East

The subject matter of this course is the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the Arab countries including Egypt, as well as Turkey, Iran, and Israel in the 20th century. Themes include colonialism and nationalism, secularism and religion, and literature and pop culture. Through this survey of Middle Eastern history the course aims to open up the American mental and emotional atlas and uncover the many meanings of the course title.

  • Course code: HIST-233
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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History of India & Its World

A cultural history of South Asia from the earliest times to the twentieth century. Primary emphasis will be placed on the civilization of Hindustan and the interplay of Hindu and Islamic religious and cultural forces there. Themes include the rise of the major Indian religions, the cultural synthesis of the Mughal Empire, the impact of British rule, and the rise of the modern nations of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Economic, social, political, religious, and intellectual themes receive consideration.

  • Course code: HIST-235
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Latin American History

A study of continuity and change in Latin America from pre-Columbian times to the present. Topics covered include the blending of peoples and cultures in the conquest era, the long-term influence of colonial institutions, the paradox of economic development and continued poverty, the Cold War struggle between Left and Right, and the growth of Protestantism in a traditional Catholic society.

  • Course code: HIST-238
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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Africa and the World

This course covers specific themes in African history from ancient civilization to the contemporary period. Special attention will be given to Africa?s relation to the Mediterranean world, Africa?s contribution to the development of the Christian church, Islam in Africa, slavery and slave trades, the African diaspora, imperialism, colonialism, and the age of independence. This course seeks to place African within a number of global contexts asserting that far from being the ?Dark Continent,? Africa was a major crossroads of civilizations throughout history.

  • Course code: HIST-242
  • Semester: fall
  • Department: History
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East Asia to 1800

The history of East Asian civilizations from early times until the early modern period. Emphasis is on China and Japan, but Korea is also included. Primary objectives are for students to grasp the essential patterns of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean social structures, political systems, cultural values, and religious and ethical norms as they developed from the late traditional period through to 1800, and also to appreciate the similarities and differences among these civilizations.

  • Course code: HIST-245
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Early America

Study the region that became the United States, from the first European settlements through the Napoleonic wars. We will treat colonial America as a cluster of distinct socio-cultural regions: plantation Virginia, Caribbean Carolina, Puritan New England, commercial mid-Atlantic, and the Scots-Irish backcountry. These regions converged to sustain a successful war against the British, but almost fell apart again during the first decades of independence. We will pay special attention to the unexpected dynamics of the Revolutionary War and to the Constitution as establishing an arena of combat rather than a set of settled answers.

  • Course code: HIST-251
  • Semester: Fall
  • Department: History
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America From Republic to Empire

An examination of United States history after independence as the nation expanded, industrialized, and came to dominate the Western hemisphere. Special attention is given to the nation?s foundations, western expansion, and slavery; the Civil War and Reconstruction; the Progressive response to industrialization; and the United States? overseas expansion and participation in World War I.

  • Course code: HIST-252
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Recent America

An examination of United States history from the 1920s to the present, focusing on the ways in which recent history shapes contemporary American culture, politics, economics, and religion. Topics include the ?Roaring Twenties? and the Great Depression, WWII, Cold War America and Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement and the Rights Revolution, conservative politics and religion, a post-industrial economy, and the role of the state at home and abroad. Special attention is given to changing configurations of race, religion, ethnicity, and gender in American social relations, and to the intersections of cultural history with political and economic history.

  • Course code: HIST-253
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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African American History

A survey of African-American history from West African societies to contemporary times. Highlights include the creation of a slave society in British North America, African-American intellectual traditions, the African-American church, and social and political movements for freedom.

  • Course code: HIST-255
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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US Military History

This course studies the military as an American institution from the colonial period through the ?War on Terror.? Though primary focus will be on the major wars fought by the United States, the course will also examine the various social, economic, and political factors influencing the development of the American military.

  • Course code: HIST-258
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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American Economic History

A study of American economic history from colonial times to the present, emphasizing the foundations of the American economy, the dynamics behind American economic expansion, the history of American business, the social costs and benefits of industrialization and modernization, the impact of various economic policies, and the nature of the economic changes of the 21st century.

  • Course code: HIST-259
  • Department: History
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Ancient Mediterranean

A study of the political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the ancient Mediterranean world, chronologically from the late Bronze Age to the beginning of Late Antiquity. Special attention is given to the formation of the Greek polis, radical democracy in Athens, the effects of Alexander?s conquests, the Roman Republic, the transition to the Roman empire, and the rise and spread of Christianity, in the comparative context of concurrent developments in North Africa and the Near and Middle East.

  • Course code: HIST-261
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Early Medieval Worlds, 300-1000

In the wake of the Roman Empire, three distinct political cultures emerged from the disintegration of the Roman Empire: the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic commonwealth, and Christian West-ern Europe. This course will study the emergence of these areas, their interactions, and the manner in which they incorporated their Hellenistic legacy. Special attention is given to rise of Islam, the Christianization of Western Europe, the role of monasticism in East and West, and the way that all three civilizations integrated its Roman-Hellenistic heritage into its institutions and culture. This course will receive core credit in the Global and Historical core category.

  • Course code: HIST-262
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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Medieval & Renaissance Europe

A treatment of one of the most formative periods in the development of European culture and institutions, when strong monarchies emerged out of feudalism and a new religious vitality transformed Christian spirituality. These impulses are traced through the rise of schools and universities, the Crusades, and the role of the papacy as a unifying political force in Western Christendom, concluding with the late-medieval economic and demographic crisis and the break-up of the medieval worldview in Renaissance Italy.

  • Course code: HIST-263
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Reformation & Revolution: Eur 1500-1800

A survey of early modern European political and social history with particular emphasis on the Protestant Reformation, its social and intellectual origins, and its political and social contexts and consequences, and on selected ?revolutionary? political and intellectual movements, such as the Thirty Years? War, the English Revolution, the emergence of modern science, the Enlightenment, and the French Revolution.

  • Course code: HIST-264
  • Semester: fall
  • Department: History
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Modern Europe

A survey of Europe from the Congress of Vienna (1815) to the present. Using 1945 as a pivotal year, the course examines the major social, economic, cultural, and political trends that dominated the continent and inspired the two world wars: nationalism, industrialization, militarization, secularization, protest movements, and imperialism. The balance of the course examines the changes and continuities that have characterized the post-war period: economic integration, the Cold War and its aftermath, immigration, de-colonization, the tension between European unity and national identities, as well as burden of Europe?s past.

  • Course code: HIST-267
  • Semester: Spring
  • Department: History
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War & Society

This is not a military history course. Instead, the course addresses the social and cultural contexts of warfare. Case studies are drawn from different conflicts during the 20th century in different world regions, such as Austria-Hungarian World War I, Japan after World War II, post-colonial West Africa, and the recent wars of the United States.

  • Course code: HIST-271
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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The Communist World

A survey of the history of Communism and the legacies of communist rule. The course will address Marxist thought, Leninism and Stalinism in the Soviet Union, the rise of communist movements in the developing world, Communism and the church, the failures of the regimes in Eastern Europe and Russia, and the ongoing reforms in China.

  • Course code: HIST-273
  • Semester: Fall
  • Department: History
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Environmental History

An introduction to environmental history, the course gives particular attention to the North America and in each unit makes global comparisons or examines transnational trends. Key topics include the methods of environmental history, pre-human natural history, the relationship between hunter-gathers and the environment, the development of agriculture, the impact of European colonization globally, the consequences of the industrial revolution and urbanization, the emergence of environmental movements, changing cultural patterns in conceptualizing nature and humanity?s place in it, and the relationship between religious traditions, particularly Christianity, and environmental issues.

  • Course code: HIST-274
  • Department: History
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Public History

Public history refers to historical work done outside of schools, colleges, and universities, especially work in institutions such as museums, archives, preservation offices, and cultural resource agencies. It also includes historians who do historical work in business, consulting, and the legal profession. This course surveys the major topics and helps students develop skills used in public history through readings, discussion, guest presentations, and projects. For example, students will learn about the history of public history, employment opportunities for public historians, and public historical issues, and they will reflect on their own career possibilities in this field.

  • Course code: HIST-293
  • Department: History
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Research Methods in History

An introduction to historical sources, bibliography, and research techniques, giving particular attention to the different genres of history writing, critical historical thinking and the role of perspective and worldview, the mechanics of professional notation, critical use of print and electronic research data bases, organizing and writing research essays, and the vocation of the historian. Intended as preparation for 300-level courses.

  • Course code: HIST-294
  • Semester: fall, interim
  • Department: History
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Studies in Middle Eastern History

A study of U.S.-Middle East relations since about 1900. Under the conceptual framework of culture and imperialism, the topic is not limited to just foreign policy but the full range of economic, social, and cultural exchanges between Americans and Middle Easterners, including military alliances, commercial ties, media coverage, Christian Zionism, immigration, scholarship, and the like. This course is eligible for concurrent registration with History 394.

  • Course code: HIST-331
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Mexico and the Americas

Mexico has two roots?Hispanic-Catholic and Amerindian. It is poised modernity and tradition which continues to influence thought and behavior at all levels of society. Mexicans are torn be-tween a fierce loyalty to their country and a profound cynicism about its institutions and leaders. Finally, Mexicans simultaneously admire and resent their neighbor to the north. This course examines Mexico from its pre-Columbian and Iberian origins through its recent embrace of neoliberal economics and democratic politics. It concludes with the experience of Mexican-Americans in the U.S.

  • Course code: HIST-338
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Modern China

An in depth, comprehensive treatment of Chinese history from the Qing Dynasty, about 1650, to the present. In addition to the basics of political, social, and economic history, the course will stress intellectual and religious currents, including the role of Christianity.

  • Course code: HIST-346
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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U.S. Religious and Intellectual History

This course examines the role of ideas, beliefs, and values in U.S. history, focusing topically on dominant and dissenting systems of thought and conviction that have been particularly important in U.S. history. The course will analyze both elite and popular materials from across the full range of public expression?from state papers to protest publications, the arts, journalism, religion, literature, and the academy?to understand how these have both shaped and responded to the key historical forces of their times

  • Course code: HIST-353
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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American Social and Cultural History

A study of the development of American society from colonial times to the present organized around the themes of power, consumption, material culture, and the social construction of space. Attention will be given to the ways in which new sources, methods, and theoretical frameworks open up new topics and questions in American history, including the changing meaning of the American landscape, the development of suburbia, the rise of consumerism and the mass media, popular religion and the creation of sacred space, and the hidden ways in which power is exercised. Class, gender, and race will be categories of inquiry and analysis. This course is eligible for concurrent registration with History 394.

  • Course code: HIST-356
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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Native American History

The course is national in scope, but focuses especially on the American West, with comparisons to indigenous peoples in Mexico and Canada. Specifically, it looks at regional Native American chiefdoms and states in the centuries before European contact; the impact of horses on the Plains; trade with Europeans and Americans; Christian missions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the ?Indian Wars? in the American West, 1840s-1890s; efforts to assimilate Native Americans in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; and campaigns by Native Americans to promote their civil rights and tribal sovereignty in the twentieth century.

  • Course code: HIST-358
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Sem: Teaching Secondary Social Studies

This course is designed to assist student teachers in developing appropriate goals and effective methods of teaching history and social studies at the middle and high school level. The seminar also provides a forum for the discussion of problems that develop during student teaching. Prerequisites: IDIS 375, concurrent enrollment in Education 346, and an approved history or social studies major.

  • Course code: HIST-359
  • Semester: spring
  • Department: History
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Studies in Ancient & Medieval Europe

Offers an in-depth analysis of a particular topic or period within ancient and/or medieval Europe. Calling upon the rich variety of sources in ancient and/or medieval European culture and society, it practices historical analysis on interdisciplinary materials. Possible topics include the Greek polis, the Roman Empire of Augustus, Late Antiquity, Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages, Sex and Society in the Middle Ages, the Bible in the Middle Ages, and the Crusades.

  • Course code: HIST-362
  • Semester: fall
  • Department: History
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Studies in Early Modern & Modern Europe

This course focuses on a particular period or movement in European history within either the early modern period (c. 1500?1789) or the modern period (since 1789). The specific content will vary from year to year. Past topics have included the Italian Renaissance, international Calvinism, imperial Spain, nationalism and communism in Eastern Europe, and the history of Christianity in 20th-century Europe.

  • Course code: HIST-364
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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Modern Empires

The course examines the changing nature of empires and imperialism between the 15th and 20th centuries. It considers the influence of factors such as environment, religion, demography, race, technology, economic institutions, politics, and war on the creation of empires, the conduct of those who led them and were affected by them, and on their ultimate demise. While the particular empires examined will vary from one semester to the next, the broad underlying theme will be the evolution of empires and imperialism, from the land-based and overseas ?gun-powder? empires of the early modern era to the ?high imperialism? of the 19th century to the Cold War and globalization in the 20th century. This course is eligible for concurrent registration with History 394.

  • Course code: HIST-372
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Studies in History of Women & Gender

An introduction to topics in the history of women and to the use of gender as a category of historical analysis. This course examines experiences unique to women, as well as the social history of male-female interactions (in such institutions as the family, the church, and the political sphere) and the changing perceptions of masculinity and femininity in various historical contexts. This course serves as an elective in both History and Gender Studies.

  • Course code: HIST-376
  • Department: History
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Independent Study

  • Course code: HIST-390
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Honors Tutorial in History

  • Course code: HIST-390H
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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Honors Senior Thesis

A two-semester sequence designed to lead students to the writing of a more substantial seminar paper than is possible in History 394. This 390H?391H sequence replaces the required 394?300 level concurrent course combination. Thus History majors choosing this honors option must take one more 300 level history course to fulfill the 300-level courses requirement, in addition to the required 395 Seminar. Students spend fall term in History 390H conducting a thorough investigation of the secondary literature on and around a topic that they choose in close consultation with their advisor. They proceed in spring term to write a senior thesis upon that topic. Required for students in the department?s honors track and highly recommended for those planning to pursue graduate studies in history.

  • Course code: HIST-391H
  • Semester: both
  • Department: History
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History Internship

A specialized class in which students enrich their historical education through experiential learning at a historical institution or sites in other appropriate fields of work, as approved by the His-tory Department. Beyond the work of the internship itself, the course includes reading and written work and class meetings. Prior to beginning the internship, students must secure a semester-long internship, normally through the CalvinLink website, and submit a detailed description of their planned activities and educational objectives for the internship. The internship should involve at least 10 hours of work weekly for the duration of the 14-week semester. Those doing internships in a museum or archive normally will have completed History 293, Public History. In order to pass the internship, students must fulfill their original educational objectives, receive a favorable review from their internship site supervisor, attend the internship seminar faithfully, and submit all required assignments.

  • Course code: HIST-393
  • Semester: Spring
  • Department: History
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History Research Seminar

An intensive study of a specific question or topic to the end of producing an article-length (20-30 pages) paper based on original sources and addressing a well-defined historiographical problem in the field. Not open to first- or second-year students. Must be taken with one of the 300-level concurrent courses above. See department for details.

  • Course code: HIST-394
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
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Historiographical Perspectives

The capstone in the history major, this course examines the history of historical writing and the historian?s vocation, primarily in the Western tradition. Emphasis is on reading and discussion of significant texts and issues in Western historical writing in past and present times. We will consider such questions as: What is his- tory? How should it be studied, taught, and written? What purposes does it serve? Students will evaluate a variety of Christian and non-Christian perspectives on these questions and be challenged to articulate their own answers.

  • Course code: HIST-395
  • Semester: Fall, Spring
  • Department: History
CODE NAME CREDITS
HIST-151 History of the West & World I 4
HIST-152 History of the West & World II 4
HIST-225 England 3
HIST-229 U.S.A. 4
HIST-233 Modern Middle East 3
HIST-235 History of India & Its World 3
HIST-238 Latin American History 3
HIST-242 Africa and the World 3
HIST-245 East Asia to 1800 3
HIST-251 Early America 3
HIST-252 America From Republic to Empire 3
HIST-253 Recent America 3
HIST-255 African American History 3
HIST-258 US Military History 3
HIST-259 American Economic History 3
HIST-261 Ancient Mediterranean 3
HIST-262 Early Medieval Worlds, 300-1000 3
HIST-263 Medieval & Renaissance Europe 3
HIST-264 Reformation & Revolution: Eur 1500-1800 3
HIST-267 Modern Europe 3
HIST-271 War & Society 3
HIST-273 The Communist World 3
HIST-274 Environmental History 3
HIST-293 Public History 3
HIST-294 Research Methods in History 3
HIST-331 Studies in Middle Eastern History 3
HIST-338 Mexico and the Americas 3
HIST-346 Modern China 3
HIST-353 U.S. Religious and Intellectual History 3
HIST-356 American Social and Cultural History 3
HIST-358 Native American History 3
HIST-359 Sem: Teaching Secondary Social Studies 3
HIST-362 Studies in Ancient & Medieval Europe 3
HIST-364 Studies in Early Modern & Modern Europe 3
HIST-372 Modern Empires 3
HIST-376 Studies in History of Women & Gender 3
HIST-390 Independent Study 1
HIST-390H Honors Tutorial in History 3
HIST-391H Honors Senior Thesis 3
HIST-393 History Internship 3
HIST-394 History Research Seminar 2
HIST-395 Historiographical Perspectives 3