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  • Jaytoya Simms
  • Department Assistant for History, Culture & Society
  • Office: Parmenter Hall 21A
  • jsimms@bakerU.edu
  • 785.594.7867

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History Courses

HI 127 - History of the United States to 1877 3 hrs.

This course surveys the history of colonial America and the United States to the end of the Grant administration, paying particular attention to the socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, political, and ideological diversity of the American people.

HI 128 - History of the United States since 1877 3 hrs.

This course surveys the history of the United States from the Hayes administration to the present, paying particular attention to the socioeconomic, ethnic, cultural, political, and ideological diversity of the American people.

HI 140 - World Civilizations I: From Hearth to Empire, Prehistory to 300 BCE 3 hrs.

A comparative study of world history from the migratory communities of the Neolithic to the development of regional empires, this course will emphasize significant technological developments and their impact on ancient civilizations. What civilization means and what role technology played in the creation of the world’s first major regional and cultural zones are the major themes of the course. Note: HI 140, World Civilizations I is not a prerequisite for HI 141, 142, or 143. These four introductory courses are equivalent in level and satisfy the same general education and major requirements.

HI 141 - World Civilizations II: The Development of Transcontinental Exchange, 300 BCE-1500 CE 3 hrs.

Continuing with the role of technology in human history, this course focuses on the development of systems of contact and exchange between the world’s major regional civilizations. Of primary importance are the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean Trade Network, both of which contributed significantly to the spread and exchange of goods, technologies, and cultural concepts. This course will close with the reconnection of Europe to this system. (See note after HI 140.)

HI 142 - World Civilizations III: Western Imperialism and Reaction, 1500-1870 3 hrs.

This course addresses the violent and meaningful expansion of Europeans throughout the globe and the responses of non-Europeans to that expansion. From Columbus to British imperial supremacy and the era of New Imperialism, the impact of European expansion will be assessed from a global perspective. (See note after HI 140.)

HI 143 - World Civilizations IV: The Rise of Globalism, 1870 to the Present 3 hrs.

From great strides in medical science to the Nazi Reich’s industry of death to the World Wide Web, this course examines the steady application of technology to the essential spheres of human existence. Of particular interest is the relationship between technology and human culture. Relying on comparative methods of study, students will examine the significant achievements of the world’s most recent history to discover how societies have responded and developed as a result of an ever-expanding world system. (See note after HI 140.)

HI 225 - Hitler and Nazi Germany: A Case Study in Totalitarianism 3 hrs.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the Nazi period and its major figures and political structures for the years 1933-1945. Through the medium of film, literature and political history, the course will be roughly divided into two parts: for the first several weeks, we will trace the rise of Russian Communism, Italian Fascism and the National Socialists in Germany from the period 1900 to the time of Hitler’s ascension to the Chancellorship in 1933. The second (and much lengthier) part of the course focuses on the 1930s-1945, and is specifically concerned with the National Socialists and Adolph Hitler; their social programs, expansionist ambitions, the national pogrom against Jews (and homosexuals, gypsies and other “enemies” internal and external), and the war itself. (Cross-listed as PS 225.)

HI 226 - Laboratory Course in Historical Method 3 hrs.

This course provides practical experience in using the techniques of historical research and writing a research paper based upon primary sources. Prerequisite: 3 credit hours of history.

HI 232 - History of Mexico 3 hrs.

This course surveys the history of Mexico from its first peoples through the twentieth century. The course will offer various interpretations of the major themes and developments in Mexican history. A primary goal of the course is to examine Mexico from the perspective of the Mexican people, paying particular attention to their contributions, both past and present, toward shaping Mexico throughout its history.

HI 261 - History of the American West: A Legacy of Conquest and Resistance 3 hrs.

This course will examine the history of the Trans-Mississippi West, focusing on the process of conquest, settlement, and resistance which defined this region. Students will examine the human-dominate ecosystems of the many Native American civilizations present in the region before the coming of Euro-Americans, the vanquishing of those groups by the Euro-American aggressors, the acts of resistance to this aggression during this period, and the impact of this conquest on natural resources within this region. Prerequisite: HI 127 or HI 128.

HI 311 - The Politics of the Executive Branch 3 hrs.

This course will focus on the politics of the executive, both in the US setting and in other venues. The course will include sections on the legal, institutional, and historical constraints of the administrative executive and the offices associated with it (the American Presidency, select Prime Ministries and other institutional executive arrangements). We will explore both the formal and implied powers of these offices and arrangements in both a unitary and comparative perspective. Consult with instructor: may be taught with either an American perspective or a comparative/international perspective. (Cross-listed as PS 311.)

HI 323 - Government and Politics of Western Europe 3 hrs.

This course is designed to introduce students to analytical concepts and theories with which to examine the politics of Western Europe. Students also investigate the structures and processes of several West European governments and discuss current challenges facing the states of Western Europe. Special attention is given to the attempt by the European Union to unite Europe economically and politically. Prerequisite: SS 111 or permission of the instructor. (Cross-listed as PS 323.)

HI 326 - Eastern European/Soviet History and Politics 3 hrs.

Economic, political, and social change in the USSR and its successor states are studied in this course. Other countries in Eastern Europe are examined in comparison. (Cross-listed as PS 326.)

HI 328 - Christian History 3 hrs.

This course focuses on the story of Christianity over its 2000-year history, with special attention to Christianity in Asia, African, and Latin America. (Cross-listed as RE 328.)

HI 333 - American Social and Intellectual History 3 hrs.

This course explores shifts and transformations within American society, the impact of ideas, and the religious experience. Special attention will be given to reform movements and the nature of class conflict.

HI 334 - American Economic History 3 hrs.

This course deals with the impact of transportation, agriculture, labor, industry, and technology on American history. The economic effects of war, regional integration, national policy, and international affairs are also explored.

HI 335 - American Gender and Minority Issues 3 hrs.

This course focuses on experiences of women and minority groups as they interact within their distinctive group as well as with one another, men, and various formal and informal social institutions in American history. (Cross-listed as PS 335.)

HI 336 - History of American Foreign Relations 3 hrs.

The history of America’s foreign relations is studied from the 18th century through the 1980s and focuses on the diplomacy of war, commercial expansion, public opinion, and the changing perception of America’s global responsibilities.

HI 345 - Southern Politics: The Politics of Race 3 hrs.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the culture and politics of the American South (as defined as those states that seceded from the Union via convention in 1859-60), its major figures, and its unique political culture, with an emphasis on the tension and conflict arising from a history of oppression and political disfranchisement. The course is meant to be a dual-disciplinary examination of the eleven formerly Confederate states from the 1920s through the elite/populist and modern periods to the present, with an eye to examining the foundations of the current trends in Southern politics. (Cross-listed as PS 345.)

HI 346 - History of Kansas: Its Peoples and Cultures 3 hrs.

This course is formulated as a reading and discussion seminar, focusing on the various groups who have resided in Kansas and their impact on the region and its history. Students will examine major themes, events, and trends of the Kansas past through primary and secondary sources offering a multitude of interpretations that shed light on the contributions and views of diverse Kansans over time. The class will analyze both their actions and insights afforded by numerous historians to create a meaningful reconstruction of the past. Prerequisite: HI 127 or HI 128.

HI 348 - America in the 1960s 3 hrs.

This course will examine the complex history of the United States preceding, during, and following the 1960s. Through readings, music, and film, the class will discuss the many events and movements that inflamed the passions of the sixties and seek to understand their legacy today, including a focus on the social, political, and cultural forces at work during this period. Prerequisite: HI 128.

HI 351 - African Civilizations to 1870 3 hrs.

Arranged as a series of case studies, this course will explore several of Africa’s important civilizations before 1800 C. E. Students will examine the civilizations of ancient Nubia, the empires of Sudan, ancient Axum and Ethiopia, the metropolis of Benin, and the migration of the Bantu peoples. Through careful consideration of several major aspects of each civilization (poetry, art forms, political institutions, and social organization), students will attempt to understand the common threads and enormous diversity of Africa’s civilizations.

HI 361 - The World of Late Antiquity 3 hrs.

This course covers the period from the emergence of the Roman Dominate to the devastation of the Carolingian and Byzantine Empires in the ninth and tenth centuries AD, an era traditionally titled “The Dark Ages” or “The Early Middle Ages.” Since the 1970s, however, a growing number of scholars have made the case for treating this era as a distinct and vital historical unity: The Late Antique Era. Subsequently, the major theme of this course will be understanding and evaluating the traditional and post-1970 schools of thought. Prerequisite: Six hours of history courses.

HI 405 - The Dynasties of Ancient Egypt 3 hrs.

Focused on the banks of the Nile, at what would become the crossroads between the Fertile Crescent and the African continent, the dynasties of Egypt established a civilization that remains an enduring source of fascination, wonderment, and controversy. By carefully examining primary source materials and modern scholarship, students can take a first deep plunge into a controversial and spectacular sea in history. Prerequisite: Six hours of history courses.

HI 433 - The Golden Age of Athens 3 hrs.

This course is devoted to understanding the history of the Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to 336, an era dominated by the city-state Athens, whose imperial aspirations and literary achievements continue to inspire cultural emulation and experimentation. Various factors and forces at work during this era, and exploring their relationships in the creation of a unique civilization will be examined. Prerequisite: Six hours of history courses.

HI 436 - Senior Thesis in History 3 hrs.

Each student shall select a topic that relates to his or her interest and that holds promise for original research and analysis. Ensuing research will require the examination, analysis, and appropriate synthesis of both primary and secondary resources. The study will raise questions of theory and value from which to make predictive and educated assumptions appropriate to the research topic. This research and evaluation exercise will culminate with a seminar paper, formal oral defense, and peer and instructor evaluation. Prerequisite: 21 credit hours of history, including HI 226.

HI 437 - Alexander’s Legacy 3 hrs.

The conquests of Alexander the Great in Africa and Asia allowed for the dissemination of Greek civilization, but the legacy of Alexander was more than the spread of Greek culture. Where the Greeks settled, their culture mixed with the civilizations of the subject peoples, a process termed the “Hellenistic Synthesis.” Understanding how Alexander’s conquests linked the Mediterranean to central Asia and opened the door to the first “world system” in history is the focus of this course. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of history courses.

HI 441 - Rome from Republic to Empire 3 hrs.

From the Punic Wars to the Military Anarchy, this course will examine the major political, economic, and social developments from the collapse of the Republic to the crisis of the Principate. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of Roman society and technology as factors in the dissolution of imperial authority. Prerequisite: six hours of history courses, including HI 226.

HI 295, 495 - Selected Topics in History 3 hrs.

This course offers a study in depth of a particular topic in history, selected according to faculty and student interests and needs. The course can be repeated for credit as long as the topic changes.

HI 499 - Independent Study 1-3 hrs.

Students who have demonstrated superior achievement in history may enroll for independent study under the supervision of a consenting instructor. Prerequisite: Department chair approval.