Chatham University

History Curriculum

The history program offers courses in American, European, and non-Western history. These courses provide students with a grounding in the many ways historians have made sense of the world. Understanding how diverse societies, economies, states, and cultures have changed and developed over time is crucial to evaluating and adapting to today’s ever-changing world. Throughout their course work, students learn to acquire, organize, analyze, and clearly communicate information in other words, to think critically and write well.

The teacher certification program offers certification in secondary social studies teaching. Students interested in this program should see the Certification Coordinator in the Education program for specific requirements.

Program Requirements

+Major Requirements

12 courses, including:
HIS100 Introduction to World History

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.

3
HIS102 Introduction to American History

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.

3
POL311W Selected Topics in Social Science Research

The course introduces methods and approaches used to describe, explain, and evaluate social science research. Students will get an introduction to an instructor chosen research topic. Students will learn to formulate questions, create a literature review, gather and evaluate evidence and provide feedback on outside research concerning the selected course topic. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of the instructor.

3
1 approved 3 - credit internship (INTHIS 303)
HIS490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone , undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional.  The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience.  Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theatre production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.  

3
One of the following:
HIS200W Introduction to Latin American History

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS200W Revolutions in Latin America

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS201 Introduction to the Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS201 Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS202W Introduction to Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS202W Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS204W Introduction to East Asian Studies

An exploration of East Asian geography, history, language, and culture frim Zhou Dynasty (ca. 1,000 BCE) to present times. Focus on China, Korea, Japan with reference to neighboring regions and discussion of Taiwan. Emphasis on arts, ideologies, and EAst Asian cultural sites in Pittsburgh area.

3
HIS204W East Asian Studies

An exploration of East Asian geography, history, language, and culture frim Zhou Dynasty (ca. 1,000 BCE) to present times. Focus on China, Korea, Japan with reference to neighboring regions and discussion of Taiwan. Emphasis on arts, ideologies, and East Asian cultural sites in Pittsburgh area.

3
HIS205W Africa, Past and Present

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.

3
Electives
3 courses 200-level courses (from list below):
HIS213 Special Topics

3
HIS215 Ind & the Working Class in Europe & America

This course seeks to understand who built America, under what conditions they labored, and to understand their hopes, dreams, and stuggles to create a better future for themselves and their families. The couse 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 orgaizations and their impact on American history.

3
HIS216 Rise of the Third World

The emergence of Third-Worldism after 1945 is the central historical development of the twentieth century. The Afro-Asian movement namely aimed at recasting the historical initiative away from implacable colonialist powers. This course focuses on the analysis of doctrines and models that have collectively marked the rise of the Third World.

3
HIS234 Asian Foodways

A strategic survey of Japanese, Chinese/Taiwanese, Korean, and South Asian food ways in their originating contexts and the U.S. Emphasis on anthropological understanding of food ways, cultural studies critique of class, gender, and family dynamics articulated via food, and historical transformations of food culture in response to migration and globalization.

3
HIS241 History of Islam

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.

3
HIS247 American Environmental History

Environmental history examines human interaction with their environment over time, a relationship shaped by cultures and political economies. In US history, there have been competing ideologies of capitalist exploitation, conservationism, preservationism, and sustainability. The course will also introduce students to different facets and methods of environmental history.

3
HIS250 History of Christianity

This course provides students with a broad historical overview of Christianity, its origins, nature, and development. Students analyze primary sacred and historical texts in addition to historical scholarship on the religion.

3
HIS257 The Sixties, Vietnam & America

This course examines the 1960s in America and Vietnam. The course focuses on the war in Vietnam from multiple perspectives including those of Vietnamese and American leaders and ordinary people, examining the roots of the conflict and how it shaped lives and the path of history.

3
HIS263 The Family in American History

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.

3
HIS263 Gender and the Family in America

In every era of US history, family and gender have been subject to and shaped by other forced in society, such as religion, politics, and the economy. This course traces the history of social construction of family and gender from the antebellum period to the twentieth century. Attention will be paid to changing concepts of family roles, gender roles, and sexuality over time.

3
2 courses 300-level courses (from list below):
HIS307 Oral History, Neighborhoods, and Race

Through this course, students will learn about oral history and the racial dynamics of American cities, especially Pittsburgh, since World War II. Students will learn about the history of racial inequality in cities and the efforts of people to both combat and maintain that inequality. They will then conduct oral history interviews to further explore the role the lives of people in two neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

3
HIS309 Digital Local History

This course examines current methods and technologies used in the production of digital history, with a particular focus on incorporating local history resources into on-line historical media.

3
HIS328 Recent African History and NGO Networks

Western media typically paints a catastrophic view of Africa with stories of conflicts, environmental degradation, horrendous sanitary conditions, and their corollaries. Are the positive trends regarding economic growth, democratization, and endogenous creativity bring overlooked? The course tackles this question while offering opportunities to gain substantial, practical knowledge about contemporary Africa.

3
HIS342 Post/Modern China: Digital Storytelling

An examination of Chinese cultural history from early 1900s to early 2000s, via literature and film, with training in digital storytelling techniques. Discussion of this dramatic national narrative framed by political and aesthetic considerations. Our interpretation and transmission of these narratives framed also by ethics and efficacy.

3
HIS351 Asian Migrations: Local and Global Narratives

Study of diasporic waves arising in Vietnam, Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, etc., and flowing to the US (especially Western Pennsylvania) and elsewhere. Graphic novels, lyric tales, gender and class, emigrant-immigrant and rural-urban transitions, viewed from Cultural Studies and historial perspectives. Assignments include analyses, an interview, and a communication project.

3
HIS 372 Curating African Art and Artifacts

+Interdisciplinary Major Requirements

8 courses, including:
HIS100 Introduction to World History

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.

3
HIS102 Introduction to American History

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.

3
1 of the following:
HIS200W Introduction to Latin American History

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS200W Revolutions in Latin America

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS201 Introduction to the Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS201 Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS202W Introduction to Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS202W Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS205W Africa, Past and Present

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.

3
1 approved 3-credit internship (INTHIS 303)
2 courses concentrating in American, European or non-Western history
1 300-400 level seminar
1 program elective

+Minor Requirements

6 courses, including:

2 courses from the following:
HIS100 Introduction to World History

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.

3
HIS102 Introduction to American History

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.

3
HIS200W Introduction to Latin American History

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS200W Revolutions in Latin America

This course surveys Latin American history from colonization through the present with an emphasis on world hisotry themes. While the legacies of the colonial period will be briefly examined, the course will focus primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Global themes will include the spread of European religions among indigenous populations;reverberation of liberal revolutionary ideas in the western hemisphere; the incorporation of Latin American and its populations into the world economy; the influence of race on society; and the spread of Marxism and resulting revolutions.

3
HIS201 Introduction to the Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS201 Modern Middle East

This course introduces students to the cultural, religious, social, economic and political landscape of the Middle East. It provides an in-depth look at 'traditional' society, state and culture and then highlights change and resistance to change in the period since the First World War, when European imperialism redrew the political map and westernization threatened to redraw social, cultural and religious maps.

3
HIS202W Introduction to Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS202W Modern Europe

The impact of World War I on Europe, the crisis of democracy and 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."

3
HIS204W Introduction to East Asian Studies

An exploration of East Asian geography, history, language, and culture frim Zhou Dynasty (ca. 1,000 BCE) to present times. Focus on China, Korea, Japan with reference to neighboring regions and discussion of Taiwan. Emphasis on arts, ideologies, and EAst Asian cultural sites in Pittsburgh area.

3
HIS204W East Asian Studies

An exploration of East Asian geography, history, language, and culture frim Zhou Dynasty (ca. 1,000 BCE) to present times. Focus on China, Korea, Japan with reference to neighboring regions and discussion of Taiwan. Emphasis on arts, ideologies, and East Asian cultural sites in Pittsburgh area.

3
HIS205W Africa, Past and Present

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.

3
1 200- or 300-level course each in American, European and non-Western history
1 300-400 level seminar