Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

Second Year Core Seminars are identified by course codes ranging from HIST 300 - 329.  

These course are only open to History Majors and Medials who must take one of these courses in their second year before proceeding to upper level seminars in third and fourth years. If you have any questions please contact

If you are a non-history student, please review our 200 Level Lectures

(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!)


305 FW : Muslim Societies 
Instructor: Dr. Adnan Husain 

This course uses HIST 296: the Making of the Muslim Middle East in Fall term as a broad base from which to continue in Winter term an exploration of various topics related to the historical experience of pre-modern Muslim societies and interactions with Christians and Jews in the Mediterranean World. The course aims to develop skills of critical reading of historiography, using bibliographic and reference tools for historical research, primary source interpretation and analysis, and engagement in historical argumentation in writing and oral discussion in the special context of non-western, global and interdisciplinary contexts and perspectives. To accomplish this we will examine primary sources like Islamic religious writings, chronicles, philosophical treatises, literary and artistic productions, and cultural artifacts alongside scholarly studies and debates on major historical questions in the field, like the relationship between religious and political authority, cosmopolitanism and religious pluralism, urban society and socio-economic order, and the interrelationships between philosophy, theology and mysticism.

6.0 units


306 FW Holocaust: Problems and Interpretations
Instructor: Dr. Gordon Dueck
A fall/winter course taught in conjunction with HIST-295, the first half comprises the lecture component; the second half is a seminar that explores the vast field of Holocaust literature/historiography. 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’
6.0 units
312 FW Canadian Social History

Instructor: tba


6.0 units

314 FW American Society and Culture Since 1877

Instructor:  Dr. Rosanne Currarino

This course is designed as an introduction to the political, cultural, and social history of the modern United States.  In weekly seminar discussions, we will examine subjects such as immigration, citizenship, the welfare state, the long civil rights movement, the new right, consumer society, popular culture, economic and racial inequality, and the carceral state.  This course will also familiarize you with the analytic tools and methods we use to study and explain change over time, tools and methods which are vital to critical thinking in and beyond the university. We will devote considerable time working with a wide range of primary documents, particularly in the first semester, and we will explore different methodologies historians use to analyze primary sources.  Primary source readings will include sources such as oral histories, memoirs, newspapers and journals, government documents, congressional hearings, court rulings, films, novels, photographs, advertisements, and corporate records.  In the second semester, you will write a paper based on your original research, putting in practice the analytic skills you’ve developed during the course.  Course assessment is based on frequent short written assignments, several short analytic papers, a final research paper, and weekly seminar participation.

6.0 units

315 FW Modern Latin American History: Sources and Debates

Instructor:  Dr. David Parker

HIST 315 uses examples from Mexico, Central and South America to introduce new majors to the tools they will need to think like a historian.  Because the course does not expect students to have a prior background in Latin America, in Fall Semester HIST 315 meets together with HIST 286, “Latin America 1850 to Today.”  With that foundation in hand, in Winter term the class meets as a seminar, and goes back to the original sources from which the narrative presented in Fall was constructed.   Students critically pick those sources apart, to gain a better understanding of how history is written and how historians research, analyze, and often disagree.  

The emphasis in Winter term is on the development of the practical skills you will need going forward as history majors:  making sense of period documents, critically evaluating scholarly books and articles, finding (and judging the usefulness of) sources in the library, using software to compile and organise a bibliography, taking sides in a debate, and separating fact from spin, signal from noise, in both print and online sources.  Each skill will be introduced in a relatively uncomplicated weekly assignment (the type, length, and difficulty level will vary by week), and then students will combine those skills together to write a research paper on a topic of their choosing, due in exam period.

6.0 units


323 FW Modern European Thought and Culture 
Instructor:  Dr. Ana Siljak 

An examination of selected themes in the cultural and intellectual history of Europe from 1750 to the present. 

6.0 units

324 FW Race and Immigration in North America 

Instructor:  Deirdre McCorkindale

This course explores the concept of race and immigration in North America beginning with first European contact and extending into the twentieth century.  The course will teach students about the historically changing nature of race through a variety of themes in order to understand the importance of race in shaping North American history. Subjects to be covered may include: contact narratives, colonialism, slavery, immigration, scientific racism, education, labour, and segregation. Seminars will be built around the discussion of reading materials which includes a wide variety of books, articles and primary sources.

6.0 units