Chatham University

History Curriculum

Major Requirements 
12 courses, including:
HIS 100
Introduction to World History
3 Credits
This course is an introduction to world history from the rise of civilization to the present. It establishes and compares major themes in the leading civilizations of today’s world. It investigates the development of the modern world system and interpretations of its impact on these civilizations.
HIS 102
History of American Society
3 Credits
This course examines significant areas in the development of American society from the Colonial period to the present. It focuses particularly on the issues of gender, class, race, religion, politics, and ideology to provide students with the grounding in those areas crucial to understanding today's society.
HIS 104
History of the Atlantic World
3 Credits
This course looks at the interactions of diverse peoples and the development of modern political and economic systems from a transnational and regional perspective. It provides a broad understanding of the history of the Atlantic region including the Americas, Europe, and Africa.
POL 311
The Research Process
3 Credits
This seminar is essential for students who both use and produce scholarly research. It examines both the process and products of scholarship in the social sciences, including the following: choice of topic, development of research questions or hypotheses, retrieval of sources, preparation of a literature review, choice of appropriate methodology, and consideration of research results.

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or consent of the instructor.
HIS 498
Tutorial: History
4 Credits
No description available.
HIS 499
Tutorial: History
4 Credits
No description available.
3 courses concentrating in European , American or non-Western history from the following:
HIS 215
The American Working Class
3 Credits
This course seeks to understand who built America, under what conditions they labored, and to understand their hopes, dreams, and struggles to create a better future for themselves and their families. The course traces the historical development of the American working class from colonial times to the present. Particular attention is given to the formation of working class political and economic organizations and their impact on American history.
HIS 217
History of Pittsburgh
3 Credits
This course explores the history of Pittsburgh from its early founding as a frontier outpost through its development as a major river town, an industrial mecca of glass and iron and eventually the "Steel City." It then examines the impact of deindustrialization and the attempts to create a "Renaissance" in Pittsburgh. Using a social history perspective, it examines the experience of immigrants and migrants, workers, middle class managers, shop owners, and the economic elite as they shaped the culture, politics, economic and social fabric of the city.
HIS 221
Europe in the 19th Century
3 Credits
After a brief overview of the ancient règime, the course examines the two great revolutions that reshaped European society and politics in the 19th century: the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution. Topics range from the impact of these revolutions on the daily lives of Europeans to the gradual transformation of the parameters of European thought and culture.
HIS 222
Europe in the 20th Century
3 Credits
The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy, the rise of totalitarian ideologies in the interwar period, and the decline of European influence in the world after World War II provide the focal points of the course. It then explores the slow resurgence of Europe, prospects for European unity, and revived European influence in international relations as a "third force."
HIS 223
Special Topics in Non-Western History
3 Credits
This course is intended to augment the present offerings in non-Western history. The content and material of the course depend on the visiting professor’s area(s) of specialization.
HIS 224
The Holocaust: Nazis, Occupied Europe, The Jews
3 Credits
This course surveys the destruction of two-thirds of European Jewry during World War II. Through a close reading of primary texts and secondary sources, it explores the foundations and development of Nazi policy toward the Jews. The course documents the reactions of Jews, European peoples and governments, the U.S. people and government, and various churches and political movements.
HIS 225
Special Topics in European History
3 Credits
This course is intended to augment the present offerings in European history. The content and material of the course depend on the visiting professor’s area(s) of specialization.
HIS 226
Special Topics in American History
3 Credits
This course is intended to augment the present offerings in American history. The content and material of the course depend on the visiting professor’s area(s) of specialization.
HIS 241
History of Islam
3 Credits
This course is a historical examination of classical Islamic civilization: its origins, nature, and development. Special attention is given to the religion of Islam and the contributions of Arabs, Persians, and Turks to Islamic civilization. Cross-listed as REL 241.
HIS 242
The Modern Middle East 1500-Present
3 Credits
After examining the forces shaping the modern Middle East, the course studies the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, Western impact, and responses to it. Origins and development of nation-states, Arab search for independence and political community, the struggle for Palestine, inter-Arab rivalry. and the prospects for future stability also are examined.
HIS 244
Africa, Past and Present
3 Credits
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of the problems and promises of African development. It investigates the historical development of pre-independence society, culture, political institutions, and economic structures, and their interaction with post-independent economic problems and development strategies.
HIS 263
The Family in American History
3 Credits
In every era the family has served as a basic human institution, but it has always been subject to other forces in society, such as religion, politics, and the economy. This course traces the history of the American family from the antebellum period to the twentieth century. It examines changes in relationships within the family (parents/children, husbands/wives) and the changing role of the family in society. Particular attention will be paid to the role of the family in defining gender roles and the effects of other institutions upon the family.
HIS 268
The U.S. from 1945 to Present
3 Credits
This course explores the social, economic, and political changes in the United States since WWII. Special attention is given to the fate of labor-liberalism, the development of the new suburban middle-class, the impact of the Cold War on U.S. society, the youth and counter-culture, the appearance of "new" social movements (such as the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement), the emergence of the New Right, globalization, and recent immigration patterns.
HIS 273
History of Utopian/Dystopian Thought
3 Credits
This course tries to understand the power of ideas in shaping the past, present, and the future. It examines the "history" of places that have never existed - places that have only existed in the minds of writers, social critics, and political theorists. It examines utopian thought as it exists in literature and current popular culture and analyzes the impact of utopian thought on political and intellectual movements.
HIS 275
History and Policy Analysis
3 Credits
This course illustrates how historical perspectives and methods of investigation are effective tools for assessing contemporary policy debates. The focus of the course moves from foreign-policy issues to public-policy issues in education, criminal justice, economics, and social planning.
HIS 285
African-American History
3 Credits
This course provides students with the history of Africans in America from the beginnings of the slave trade in the 1450s through the antebellum period, emancipation, segregation and the civil rights movement. It explores the cultural interaction between Africans, Europeans and Native Americans, the establishment of a distinct African American culture, the historical construction of race, the development of emancipatory movements, and the continuing significance of African Americans to US society and politics. Particular emphasis is given to the diverse experiences of Africans in America by region, gender, condition of servitude, and social class.
HIS 350
Civil War and Reconstruction
3 Credits
This course, intended for majors or those with a particular interest in the subject, will closely examine the Civil War and its aftermath from multiple perspectives and will emphasize the historiographical debates about the war. This course will give students a good look at how history is "made" by historians as well as an in-depth look at an important event.
HIS 426
The Arab-Israeli Conflict
3 Credits
This course examines the origins and issues of conflict between the Arabs and Israelis over Palestine. Using extensive primary materials and some secondary sources, the arguments of all sides of the conflict are presented and evaluated. While the core conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is emphasized, the role of regional and world powers also is examined.

Prerequisite(s): HIS 242 or permission of the instructor.
  • 1 300-level seminar
  • 2 program electives, at least one of which has to be in an area other than the concentration