Aurora University

History (HIS)

HIS-1200  American History I (to 1877)  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the evolution of the U.S. from its colonial origins to the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It looks at the Columbian Exchange and the exploration of North America, the concept of empire as practiced by Spain, France, and England in the Americas, and the founding of the British American colonies and their differences. The course compares the colonial American experience in the 17th and 18th centuries. It analyzes the causes and nature of the American Revolution and the problems associated with the founding of the nation. Students will examine the development of the American party system and economy, along with the clashing voices of growing nationalism and sectionalism. The course will analyze the causes and nature of the Civil War and the problems associated with reuniting the country.

HIS-1210  American History II (since 1877)  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in the U.S. since 1877. It considers such political developments as imperialism, the growth in the power of the federal government (especially the presidency), the development of the Cold War, and the emergence of the U.S. as a superpower, and such economic developments as the maturation of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression. The course examines the causes and consequences of six wars (including the two world wars) along with the major social reform and liberation movements since 1877 and the conservative reactions produced by them.

HIS-1300  World History I (to 1500)  (4 semester hours)  

This course surveys the history of the world from the evolution of Homo sapiens in Africa and migration across the continents; through the development of agriculture, civilizations, and world religions; to the collision of "Old" and "New" worlds in the fifteenth century.

HIS-1400  World History II (since 1500)  (4 semester hours)  

This course surveys the history of the "modern" world, focusing on its accelerating integration over the past five centuries, from the Columbian Exchange and rise of overseas empires in the "early modern" era; through the "dual revolution" of industrialization and democratization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; through the world wars of the twentieth; to the age of the Anthropocene in the twenty-first.

HIS-1810-9  Selected Topics in History  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in History not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

HIS-2200  Introduction to Historical Methods  (4 semester hours)  

This course introduces students to the tools and methods used by historians. Students will explore archives, both physical and virtual, to learn how to work with primary sources. Additionally, they will acquire the knowledge necessary to be able to analyze secondary sources.

HIS-2250/PHL-2250  Origins of Greek Philosophy  (4 semester hours)  

How did philosophy come to be? Why did it emerge where it did and when it did? This course explores these questions by investigating the roots of western philosophy in the myths and cultural circumstances of the archaic Greeks and their neighbors. Special foci will be on the passage from mythical thinking to that of philosophy and what would come to be known as science; the cosmological speculations of pre-Socratic thinkers; and the change in focus represented by the figure of Socrates. Other topics include the role of political life in shaping thinking; the significance of mathematics and geometry; and the influence of historical events on the course of thought. Texts will be chosen from a selection of early thinkers and poets, as well as from scholarship on the topic.

HIS-2350  Africa in World History  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines human life in Africa from its origins over 200,000 years ago. It emphasizes the impact of geography and climate on the continent, as well as Africa's long-established trade links with Eurasia. Students will consider the importance of traditional African religions and the impact of various forms of Islam and Christianity as they have engaged with local religions and spiritualties. Particular attention will be paid to the colonial and post-colonial periods of Africa's history.

HIS-2360  Black Chicago  (4 semester hours)  

This course will be an introduction to the historical experience of African Americans in the city of Chicago. Attention will be paid to early Black settlers in Chicago, the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction, the rise of Black businesses, endemic racism and Jim Crow, the Great Migration, artistic and intellectual life, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Arts movement, de-industrialization, the mayorship of Harold Washington, and contemporary Black Chicago life.

HIS-2400  Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome  (4 semester hours)  

This course surveys the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, and Rome from the emergence of Egyptian civilization to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Students will examine a variety of primary and secondary sources to understand the connections between the three civilizations as well as their impact upon other cultures and societies.

HIS-2620  Russian History to 1917  (4 semester hours)  

Russia is the world's largest country, a place of breathtaking dimensions, dizzying diversity, and sharp contrasts. This course will explore the history of Russian politics, culture, and society from the origins of the earliest Russian polity in the medieval period through the collapse of the Russian Empire in the fires of war and revolution. Students will be exposed to a wide variety of materials, from literary classics to contemporary films, and will have abundant opportunity to sharpen their reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills in the process.

HIS-2630  Russian and Soviet History Since 1917  (4 semester hours)  

This course will examine the history of late Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation. The turbulence that this part of the world has seen during the past century is staggering: the implosion of the world's largest state in the revolutions of 1917; the creation of the world's first communist state, which sought to spread its revolution across the world; the wrenching years of civil war, Stalinism, and WWII; the paranoia of the Cold War; the collapse of Communist regimes across Eurasia; and the formation of new states and societies in their wake. In exploring these pivotal topics, students will be exposed to a wide variety of materials, from literary classics to contemporary films, and will have abundant opportunity to sharpen their reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills in the process.

HIS-2700  20th Century European History  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the history of Central, Western, and Eastern Europe from the late 19th century to the present. The course will cover such topics as the First and Second World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the rise of dictatorships during the interwar period, the Holocaust, imperialism and decolonization, post-war culture and the rise of civic activism, the creation of the European Union, the fall of communism, and the end of the Cold War.

HIS-2750/REL-2750  Topics in Religious History  (4 semester hours)  

These are regular courses reflecting faculty interests. Courses are designed to provide students with an introduction to significant religious figures, events and movements, and the history of religion in specific regions or eras. Students will gain skills in analyzing both historical and scholarly sources and learn the foundational principles needed for taking more advanced courses found at the 3000-level. This course designation is repeatable for credit.

HIS-2760/REL-2760  Religion in America  (4 semester hours)  

How has religion shaped the history of the United States and been reshaped by the course of that history? This course focuses on key moments in the history of American religions in order to understand the social and political dynamics that created the religiously diverse public sphere we live in today. Topics may include the internal diversity of American Christian churches; the impact of religious ideas on movements for social and economic reform, especially the abolition of slavery; the evolution of ideas and practices of religious liberty, including the role of the Supreme Court; political engagement of religious communities on both the Left and the Right; moments of conflict between religion and science; and encounters between Christians and non-Christians in North American history.

HIS-2810-9  Selected Topics in History  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in History not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

HIS-3050  American Urban History  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines American city-building and the diverse populations that inhabited American cities. It compares the preindustrial city of the colonial period and early 19th century with the modern, industrial city in the 19th and 20th centuries. It considers such contributing factors to urbanization as industrialization, the transportation revolution, population growth/immigration, and new types of architecture/city planning. The course investigates such 20th-century developments as the emergence of the metropolis, the modern suburb, urban sprawl, and the modern urban planning movement.

HIS-3100  The African-American Experience  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the history of the Black experience in the U.S., tracing the history of African Americans from their African origins through their struggle against slavery and segregation to the drive for civil rights and full legal and social equality.

HIS-3120  History of African-American Masculinity  (4 semester hours)  

This course is a reading seminar on the contemporary history of African-American men. Intensive reading, thought about this reading, and discussion will play an integral role in this class. The use of audiovisuals to illustrate certain points and to provoke discussion will be important.

HIS-3150  Women in American History  (4 semester hours)  

This course emphasizes the average woman from the colonial period to the present -- her life's opportunities, values, and culture-and the changing idea of womanhood and the family as reflections of changing socioeconomic conditions in the U.S. The course examines the origins, development, and major ideas of the 19th- and 20th-century women's movements. It reviews the status of modern women in the workplace and family as well as major current women's issues.

HIS-3200  United States History Since the 1960s  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the major social, cultural, political, and economic developments in the U.S. since the 1960s. It emphasizes the social/cultural revolution that swept the U.S. in the 1960s and its consequences (including a resurgence of conservatism) and the political developments of this era, such as the changing relationship between the President and Congress and the United States' changing role as a superpower, both during and after the Cold War.

HIS-3360/ART-3360  Renaissance and Revival  (4 semester hours)  

History is punctuated by periods of rebirth and renewal. The energy characterized by such periods is illustrated in material culture and, in particular, in the visual arts. This course explores the idea of renaissance in art and history and its visual manifestations. Topics covered include the Carolingian Renovation, the Italian Renaissance, Neoclassicism and the revivals of the 19th century, and the Harlem Renaissance of the 20th century.

Prerequisite(s): One prior college-level course in history or one of the following courses in Art History: ART-1000, ART-1020, ART-2300, ART-2500, ART-2530, ART-2540, ART-2600, ART-2620, ART-3450, or REL-3450.
HIS-3400  Problems in History  (4 semester hours)  

This is a reading seminar that focuses on a major era, issue, or event in history. This course is based on such readings as historical monographs, journal articles, and primary sources. Such issues as interpretation, bias, sources, and documentation will be discussed. There will be extensive reading on the selected topic (which will change each time the course is offered).

Prerequisite(s): HIS-2200.
HIS-3410/BIO-3410  Global Environmental History  (4 semester hours)  

This course offers an introduction to global environmental history, focusing on the past two centuries since the Industrial Revolution -- when population growth and technological change have accelerated dramatically, transforming humans' place within and ideas about the natural world. Students will encounter range of debates, readings, films, and other sources that offer vital perspectives on the planet's most pivotal contemporary challenges while also sharpening their reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills in the process.

HIS-3450/LTS-3450  Latin American History  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the establishment of European empires in the Americas, Latin American wars for independence, and the major developments of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. It explores such topics as contributions of indigenous peoples and those of African descent to Latin American history, themes of empire and imperialism, the construction of national identities, globalization, migration, the relationship between the United States and the countries of Latin America, and the experiences of migrants across the Americas.

HIS-3650  Hitler and the Nazi Revolution  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the origins and development of European fascism (including 19th-century racial thought, World War I and the Great Depression), the nature of European fascism, the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party to power, and Hitler's blueprint for the Nazi revolution (and the extent to which it was fulfilled, both domestically and internationally). The course reviews the origins of World War II, Hitler's performance as a war leader, and the nature of the German home front and the Nazi Empire during the war. It investigates the origins, implementation, and consequences of the Holocaust, as well as the question of why Hitler's revolution ultimately failed.

HIS-3700  History of the Middle East  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the political, cultural, social, and economic history of the Middle East from the rise of Islam to the present, focusing in particular on the rise of Islam; the expansion and development of Islamic empires; the region's relations with Western powers, particularly since the 19th century; nationalism; the creation of Israel; and Israeli-Arab relations; the Iranian Revolution; the politics of oil; and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism (and reactions to it).

HIS-3750  History of East Asia  (4 semester hours)  

This course examines the development of East Asian civilization up to the present, focusing in particular on cultural, social, economic, and political trends; the relations between China, Japan and Korea; the region's interaction with Western powers, particularly since the 19th century; and the development and growing influence of East Asian countries in the 20th and 21st centuries.

HIS-3800/REL-3800  Religion and Politics in World History  (4 semester hours)  

How have religions exercised political power to shape the history of human societies? This course takes a comparative approach to a major historical problem, examining case studies from the history of Christianity alongside cases from the histories of Islam, Confucianism, Hinduism, or another of the world's religions. Students will study major religious documents as well as primary sources for understanding political and legal contexts. Emphasis is placed on understanding how religious ideas shaped historical conflicts and how these conflicts reshaped the history of the religions themselves.

Prerequisite(s): One prior college-level history or religion course.
HIS-3810-9  Selected Topics in History  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in History not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

HIS-3900  Advanced Topics in U.S., European, Non-Western or Latin American History  (4 semester hours)  

These are regular courses reflecting faculty research interests. These 3000-level courses enable students to build upon the content knowledge and skill sets acquired in lower-level courses, to study an historical topic in depth, and to become more familiar with the historiography on a given subject. Courses taught will cover such things as national histories of countries around the globe; histories of imperialism and colonialism; women's and gender history; film history; environmental history; and a range of social, cultural, and political histories. This course designation is repeatable for credit.

Prerequisite(s): One prior college-level history class.
HIS-4100  Readings Seminars in U.S., European, Non-Western, Latin American Or Intellectual History  (4 semester hours)  

These are regular courses reflecting faculty research interests. These readings seminars assume proficiency in foundational and intermediate-level subject matter and provide students with the opportunity to analyze the historiography and historical sources on a particular topic in depth. This course designation is repeatable for credit. Open to history majors only or by permission of the instructor.

HIS-4810-9  Selected Topics in History  (Variable semester hours)  

This course will address a specific area of study in History not already covered by other course offerings. Prerequisites vary by topic.

HIS-4940  History Internship  (1-4 semester hours)  

The purpose of the history internship is to enable Aurora University students to acquire work experiences in the history profession. This experience is designed to expand on the learning experience and to integrate and reinforce skills and concepts learned in the classroom. The internship provides a practical experience in a structured employment environment approved by the History Department, including internships on campus in the Jenks Memorial Collection of Adventual Materials and the Doris M. Colby Memorial Archives. This course designation is repeatable for credit. Open to students with a history major or minor only; students must seek advanced approval from a history department faculty mentor prior to registering for the history internship. Permission of the instructor required.

Prerequisite(s): Instructor Permission.
HIS-4990  Senior Seminar in History  (4 semester hours)  

This is a capstone course that examines the nature and definition of history and historical truth, research methodology and tests of evidence, synthesis and skill in writing, the evolution of history as a discipline, and the tasks of the professional historian. It treats history as a liberal arts discipline and as a profession and is designed to be useful both to those going on to graduate work and to those who will undertake no further formal study of history. Open to history majors only.

Prerequisite(s): HIS-3400 with a grade of "C" or better; Senior Standing.