Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

These courses are open for enrollment to all students at Queen's University. We welcome both History students and students from across the disciplines to take these courses as electives and as degree requirements! 

(Please note, F and W in the course code is used to indicate whether the course is offered in the Fall or Winter term. F courses start in September. W courses start in January. FW courses are full year courses from September to April. Pay careful attention to these when planning for course enrollment!)

200 Level - Fall Courses (F)

HIST 210 F:  The History of Sexuality in Canada
Instructor: Steven Maynard

Tinder and Grindr. #MeToo and #TimesUp. Bill C-16 and C-66. Sex Ed. It’s a cliché but nonetheless true: we live in a society saturated by sex. This course aims to deploy the power of the past to help us make sense of our often confusing and conflicted sexual present. From Indigenous traditions of two-spirit people to the struggle over washrooms, pronouns, and transgender rights, the course offers an introduction to the diverse histories of sexualities in this place we now call Canada.

We begin with several classes on how to think about sexuality as historical – as the basis for identities and communities, as a form of regulation, and as a hotly contested terrain of politics. Subsequent lectures approach sexuality as a prism through which to view the operations of power in the past, both in its pleasurable and dangerous manifestations. Drawing on Foucauldian, feminist, post-colonial, and queer theory, we will investigate sexuality’s historical intersections with gender, race, age, class, colonialism and nation in Canadian history.

In terms of format, this is a lecture course. Lectures will provide broad overviews and interpretations of Canada’s sexual past. Lectures will be supplemented by readings and film and video. Written work will focus on critiquing both recent academic scholarship on and popular/public presentations of the sexual past in Canada

3.0 units

HIST 221 F : Jewish and World Civilization (until 1492)
Instructor:  Dr. Vassili Schedrin

A thematic-chronological history of the Jews from ancient times to the beginning of the modern era. Topics to be explored include: emergence of Biblical Judaism; political, social, religious and cultural interactions of the Jews and other ancient and medieval civilizations and religions, such as Babylon, Greece, Rome, Christianity and Islam; the rise of rabbinic Judaism and Jewish communities in Diaspora. The course traces continuity and change of Judaism and Jewish civilization thorough examination of a variety of source material: primary historical texts, historiography, and works of art, including literature and film.

3.0 units

HIST 225 F : The Early Middle Ages
Instructor:  Abigail Agresta ​

This course is an introduction to European culture and society from the end of Roman empire to the turn of the first millennium. It will examine the impact of a new religion, Christianity, and the development of the church through the centuries. It will also look at how and why the Roman empire collapsed, and what sort of world took its place. Comparisons will also be made with the other two heirs of Rome: the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Caliphate.

3.0 units

HIST 241 - 001 F: Fighting Germs Global History of Pandemics 
Instructor: Aditi Sen

Germs have spread globally due to human contact and still continue to play a critical role in shaping global politics. In fact, the most common vectors of epidemic diseases are humans.  This course will help us understand how studying the history of major epidemics is crucial in understanding the present day structuring of health care policies and public health programs.

The different diseases covered are the bubonic plague, smallpox, influenza, cholera, tuberculosis, and AIDS. Following the trail of these germs, we will not only study economic, religious, and socio-political changes, but also study how they actively contributed to globalization.

3.0 units

HIST 246 F : The Soviet Experience
Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Manley

An introduction to the history of the Soviet Union from its origins in the Revolution of 1917 to its collapse in 1991. This course examines the Bolshevik attempt to found a new social, economic and political order and to create a new man and woman in the process. Particular attention will be devoted to the policies and practices of the state as well as to the experiences of individual Soviet citizens.

3.0 units

HIST 263 F : War in the Twentieth Century: Myths and Reality (online)
Instructor:  TBD

This course is an introduction to the key issues of international violence and armed force in the twentieth century, and will allow students to connect military history to the experience of the modern world. History 263 will explore both the myths and realities of what military force is, how it is organized, how it is used, how war has shaped modern society, and how societies shape warfare. Examples and case studies will be drawn from throughout the twentieth century and around the globe, all based around the theme that how we imagine war (heroic, masculine, physical) often bears no resemblance to how modern war is conducted (mechanical, bureaucratic, industrialized, and highly influenced by culture).

History 263 has been designed to deliver in an online format. There are no scheduled exams for this course. History 263 will serve as an introduction to modern military history, and no existing knowledge in the subject is required.

For more details see Continuing and Distance Studies

3.0 units

HIST 270 F : Contemporary China (online)
Instructor: Dr. Emily Hill

"Contemporary China” aims to place the dynamics of recent social and economic change in historical perspective. Proceeding both thematically and chronologically, it familiarizes students with the deep continuities associated with phenomena such as urbanization, environmental challenges, cultural expectations and gender norms. China’s political system will also be examined analytically to provide students with a good grasp of its evolution and distinctive features.

3.0 units

HIST 286 F : Latin America from 1850 to Today: The Modern Era
Instructor: Dr. David Parker

This course surveys the history of Central and South America, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean from the mid nineteenth century to recent years.  Major political events and social trends will be explained in their broader economic, cultural, and intellectual context, with significant attention to issues of development, political conflict, and movements for social change.  History 286 is a lecture course.

3.0 units

HIST 295 F : The Holocaust
Instructor:  Dr. Gordon Dueck​

The background to and processes of the destruction of the Jews of Europe between 1933 and 1945. Themes to be covered include: modern anti-semitism, Jewish communities in the inter-war era, Nazi racial policies, the Judenrat, the organization of the death camps, the attitudes of the Christian churches, the role of collaborators, the ideology of mass murder, and the questions of ‘compliance’, ‘resistance’, and ‘silence’.

3.0 units

HIST 296 F : The Making of the Muslim Middle East (550-1350 C.E.)
Instructor: Dr. Adnan Husain 

This course surveys the process by which the Middle East became predominantly Muslim while maintaining a cosmopolitan and plural social order—what I call “Islamicate” societies.  The story begins with the Late Antique world and the advent of Islam and continues until the aftermath of the devastating Mongol invasions, before the emergence of the Ottoman empire in the fifteenth century.  The course will examine the myriad political, social, religious, cultural and intellectual transformations of the region through the Arab conquests, the establishment of a new Muslim empire on the foundations of ancient Near Eastern polities, and the process of forging a Muslim society and culture from its classical efflorescence through its medieval elaboration and extension from al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) to Central Asia.  It will introduce students to Islamic civilization through a broad, interdisciplinary range of topics:  political formations including empires, "slave" states, and Turkic tribal confederacies; the historical development of Islamic religious institutions, practices, doctrines, and literatures, their relationships to political authority and its legitimation, and the manifold sectarian and mystical movements of the region, including the challenge of Shi'ism to Sunni Islam and the spiritual aspirations of Sufism; social structures and their evolution; the historical content and context of intellectual and cultural productions including philosophy, theology, mysticism, literature, art and architecture; and the problem of medieval encounters with Christendom in the Levant and the Maghrib (the Muslim West in North Africa).  

3.0 units

HIST 212 F:  Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Instructor: Undergraduate Chair – hist.undergrad@queensu.ca

Experiential Learning in Historical Practice Offers credit for non - academic work in historical practice. Examples include but are not limited to work in or at: museums, archives, historic sites, NGOs, or government agencies. Students must submit to the chair of Undergraduate Studies a one - page proposal before the work experience and a ten page report after the work has been completed.

For more information please History Undergraduate website

http://www.queensu.ca/history/undergraduate/internships-2017-18

3.0 units

 

200 Level Winter Courses (W)

HIST 207 W: Global Indigenous History (online) 
Instructor: TBD 

A survey of various historical case studies that will explore the causes, conflicts, and consequences that have occurred wherever indigenous peoples have encountered colonizing invaders. Significant questions will include who is indigenous?, who is not?, and can one speak of a global indigenous history?

3.0 units

HIST 200 W : India and the World (online)
Instructor:  Dr. Aditi Sen

India today is one of the world’s largest consumer markets and a major player in global politics. Yet it is a land of contradictions. On one hand, it is the hub of technology, one the other, there is rapid growth of religious conservatism, caste and gender based violence. The course aims to look at India from a global perspective in order to cognize the coexistence of these contradictions. It also aims to look at India’s role in the international system.

The course is divided into four modules. The first module focuses on ancient empires and India’s relationship with South East Asia, Central Asia, and the Greco-Roman world. The second module looks at Islamic conquests leading to political consolidation, namely the Mughal Empire. The third module, deals with India’s colonization, freedom movement, and the partition of the country. The last module begins with the Nehruvian era, then moves to modern day pogroms and the rise of Hindu extremism. 

https://www.queensu.ca/artsci_online/courses

3.0 units

HIST 211 W : The Cold War (online)
Instructor: Dr. Leonid Trofimov

The course explores the origins and changing nature of the conflict between postwar superpowers, as well as its outcome and lasting impact on global affairs. The Cold War is viewed not only from the Western perspective, but also from the Soviet perspective and from a variety of global perspectives. The course will focus on major geopolitical, ideological, economic, military, and cultural factors that shaped the Cold War as well as on specific individuals, their mindsets, interactions, and critical choices. Students will have an opportunity to formulate and discuss major historical questions, but also experience Cold War history through a variety of primary sources and multi-media tools. 

For more details see Continuing and Distance Studies

3.0 units

HIST 222 W : Jewish and World Civilization (since 1492)
Instructor: Dr. Vassili Schedrin

A thematic-chronological history of the Jews from ancient times to the beginning of the modern era. Topics to be explored include: emergence of Biblical Judaism; political, social, religious and cultural interactions of the Jews and other ancient and medieval civilizations and religions, such as Babylon, Greece, Rome, Christianity and Islam; the rise of rabbinic Judaism and Jewish communities in Diaspora. The course traces continuity and change of Judaism and Jewish civilization thorough examination of a variety of source material: primary historical texts, historiography, and works of art, including literature and film.

3.0 units

HIST 243 W : The Crusades
Instructor: Dr. Richard Greenfield

For many today, mention of the medieval Crusades stirs ideas of barbaric violence, cruelty and religious intolerance, the negative effects and images of which still linger in the contemporary world. For others, however, Crusading may still, as it did in the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, also conjure images of romance, of chivalry and the first encounters of the West with an exotic Orient. The Crusades are a hot topic, not only in popular but also in academic debate. Their history has also, sadly, become the subject of considerable popular misinterpretation, misunderstanding and misuse.

If you take this lecture course, you will learn about the social, political and religious context in which the idea of the crusade was born and flourished in medieval Western Europe, about the extraordinary series of expeditions that left Europe for the region we now call the Middle East from 1095 to the later thirteenth century; about the impact these expeditions had on the societies and politics of the Eastern Mediterranean, Muslim and Christian; and about the reactions they provoked. You will also learn about life and attitudes in the societies the Europeans themselves established along the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean, as well as about the great variety of activities and campaigns back in Europe that also came, over time, to be understood as forming part of the broader phenomenon of ‘crusading.’ You will encounter some of the greatest characters of the medieval period: Richard the Lionheart of England, Frederick II “the Wonder of the World” of Germany, Pope Innocent III, and the great Muslim ruler Saladin, but you will also discover a lot about the ordinary people who participated in or were affected by these world changing events, events that were themselves the product of a rapidly and radically changing world. By the end of the course you will have acquired an understanding of the terms, issues and events of medieval crusading, based on historical scholarship and debate, which will allow you to come to your own informed opinions and judgment of this controversial but fascinating and instructive topic.

3.0 units

HIST 244-001 W : Jews on Film
Instructor:  Dr. Gordon Dueck

The Jewish presence in American filmmaking has long been the obsession of hate-mongers. But historians have begun to approach the matter as a legitimate subject of enquiry and have shown that it is possible to avoid the bigot-booster trap that so often plagues the study of hot-button issues such as this one. This course attempts to answer the following questions: Has Hollywood's "Jewishness" had a discernible impact on the content of cultural products? Have the changes in American society--and in the film industry--since the early 20th century had an effect on the way in which Jews and Jewish identity are represented on screen? Have Jewish images become "normalized"?

3.0 units

HIST 255 W : Renaissance and Reformation Europe
Instructor: Dr. Anthony D’Elia

A survey of the political, cultural, religious, intellectual, and social changes in Renaissance Europe, especially Italy, from ca. 1200-ca. 1650. Course readings focus on great works of literature, including ones by Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Cervantes, Rabelais, Erasmus, Luther, Isotta Nogarola, Teresa of Avila, and lesser known historical sources on such topics as witchcraft, prostitution, philosophy/science and the Classical tradition. Lectures place sources in their historical contexts with an emphasis on gender, religious belief and practice, politics, Antiquity, social tension (Jews, Muslims, and Indigenous peoples), and other themes. Some events covered include the Black death (1348), the Fall of Constantinople (1453), the French Invasion of Italy (1494), the Spanish Reconquista (1492), and the conquest of Tenochtitlan/Mexico (1519). 

3.0 units

HIST 257 W : Environmental History
Instructor: Dr. Emily Hill

HIST 257 is global in scope, with a focus on recent and current history. Lectures, reading and discussions examine awareness of the material foundations and costs of human life on earth, and analyze responses to various threats to our well-being and survival. The course intends to apply historical understanding to the issue of anthropogenic planetary climate change. An important premise of this effort is that knowledge and skills developed outside the fields of science and technology are clearly relevant in tackling current challenges. 

The course has no pre-requisites and is open to students from all disciplines. Seminar meetings are included, providing participants with opportunities to exchange their insights from different disciplines. Writing assignments will allow participants to build on their existing knowledge.

The key “learning outcomes” or goals set for students in HIST 257 are expanded knowledge, improved proficiency in reading, and enhanced writing skills. Success in the course will depend on careful reading, and participants will be guided in development of their expertise in writing.

3.0 units

HIST 267 W : Modern Middle East
Instructor:  Dr. Ariel Salzmann

The Middle East has experienced rapid, indeed unprecedented social and political change over the past century. Before and after World War II nationalism mobilized the peoples of Iran and Egypt against foreign exploitation and imperialism; in the 1960s the governments of Syria and Iraq invested in infrastructure, public education and rural development. In Turkey and the Palestine Liberation Organization women participated in political parties and held important positions in institutions and universities. The peoples of Afghanistan enjoyed a century of peace. What changed? This course introduces students to the domestic actors and global forces that help explain the radical changes in Middle East's modern history. The first half of the course isolates important events that shaped the region's societies and states over the twentieth century. The second half of the course examines the patterns of foreign intervention since the 1980s that have turned entire countries into living hell for their citizens and flash points for world war.

​3.0 units

HIST 269 W : Politics and the State in Canada to 1896
Instructor: Dr. Jeff McNairn

This introductory lecture course concerns the political history of northern North America, predominately in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. How was political power conceived, exercised, and contested in the Aboriginal, French and British colonial, and early-national polities of what is now Canada? What were the intellectual and institutional underpinnings of different modes of governance, including our current system of liberal democracy which owes its origins to this period? Particular attention will be paid to changing forms of popular political participation, schooling, and the criminal law as well as to more traditional topics in political history, including treaty and other relations with First Nations, patronage and elections, and Confederation. Lectures will be structured around answering a particular historical question or controversy and will incorporate a variety different types of historical evidence.

3.0 units

HIST 212 W : Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Instructor: Undergraduate Chair - hist.undergrad@queensu.ca

Experiential Learning in Historical Practice Offers credit for non - academic work in historical practice. Examples include but are not limited to work in or at: museums, archives, historic sites, NGOs, or government agencies. Students must submit to the chair of Undergraduate Studies a one - page proposal before the work experience and a ten page report after the work has been completed. 

For more information please History Undergraduate website

http://www.queensu.ca/history/undergraduate/internships-2017-18

3.0 units

200 Level - Year Long Courses (FW)

HIST 213 FW : Comparative Public Policy
Instructor:  Dr. Tim Smith

Examines the rise of the welfare state since 1945 in North America and Western Europe. Topics include broad trends like deindustrialization, globalization, the rise of inequality, and social mobility. Specific policies discussed concern health care, pensions, unemployment, families, taxation, immigration, higher education, and public housing.

6.0 units