Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

200 Level Lectures 

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) 3.0 units

HIST 200   India and the World (online)   
Instructor: 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. 

3.0 units

HIST 216    U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction 
Instructor: Rosanne Currarino 

The Civil War has been the defining moment in American history.  This lecture course examines the political, cultural and social origins of the conflict, looks that experiences of the war itself for both soldiers and civilians, studies the unfinished revolution of Reconstruction, and considers the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction in the contemporary United States.

3.0 units 

HIST 218   Byzantium 
Instructor: Richard Greenfield 

The world of Byzantium – that of the ‘other’ Middle Ages of the Eastern Mediterranean – is a fabled and exotic one. If you’ve ever heard of Constantine or Justinian & Theodora, of Constantinople or Antioch, of Hagia Sophia or the Hippodrome, of the battle of Manzikert or the Fourth Crusade, of iconoclasts, monophysites or the schism of the churches, of eunuch courtiers or pillar saints, and if you’ve ever wondered who or what they really were, this is the course for you! This lecture will survey some of the most interesting and key aspects of Byzantine history, society and culture from the fourth to the fifteenth century. One aim of the course will be to familiarize students with the general shape of the political history of the Byzantine state during the nine hundred years from its foundation in Late Antiquity as the successor of Rome down to its final crippling and ultimately fatal encounters with the crusading powers of Western Medieval Europe and the emerging Ottoman Turks. The lectures also aim, through a series of snapshots of vital topics, to provide a broad understanding of some of the most important features of Byzantine society, culture, and belief as well as its complex identity. It will also attempt to give some sense of Byzantium’s place in the world – its relations with and attitudes towards the numerous and diverse peoples, powers, and religions of the regions that surrounded it. In doing so it will encourage broad interest in Medieval, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean studies while being of particular interest to students of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans, as well as the history of Christianity and Islam.

3.0 units 

HIST 219   "Canada": The History of an Idea    
Instructor: Caroline-Isabelle Caron 

Queen’s University is situated in “Canada”, but to quote a famous film character: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” This second-year lecture course explores the many meanings that the words "Canada", "Canadian" and "Canadien" have held from the 1500s to today. Asking "What is Canada?", this course is a historical overview of events, conjectures and changes that occurred on the territory now known as Canada. We will give particular attention to the political, demographic, ethnological and colonial changes that altered the definitions of these names over time and what/who the names refer to. Students will learn that indeed, the word “Canada” doesn’t always mean what they think it means!

3.0 units 

HIST 221   Jewish and World Civilization (until 1492)
Instructor:  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 242   Topics in Canadian History (TBA) 
Instructor:  TBA 

3.0 units

HIST 244   Antisemitism in Historical Context 
Instructor:  Howard Adelman 

The use of the term “antisemitism,” first coined in the nineteenth century, encompasses a wide range of earlier and contemporary phenomena, blurring different causes, effects, historical developments, and political motivations. After examining analytical paradigms, this course will examine the religious, economic, social, political, and racial aspects of Jewish relations with other peoples often subsumed under this rubric, spanning from the biblical period to the present, including under Hellenism, the Romans, Medieval Christianity, early Islam, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Enlightenment, nineteenth century nationalism, twentieth century extermination, the modern Middle East, North America, and contemporary issues such as the controversies over Israel, Holocaust denial, and the radical right. 

3.0 units

HIST 245   Imperial Russia 
Instructor: Ana Siljak 

This course is an overview of the history of Imperial Russia from the reign of Peter the Great up to the Russian Revolution.  Particular attention will be paid to the intellectual and cultural developments of the age. Readings include memoirs, documentary sources, and works by Dostoyevsky and Turgenev.

3.0 units

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

An online course that will introduce students to armed forces in modern history, and how they relate to the societies they function within and against.This course will thematically draw together some of the key issues of international violence and armed force from the twentieth century, and will allow students to connect them to the experience of the modern world. It will explore the fundamental questions of what military force is, how it is organized, how it is used, and what some of the ramifications of that use are both to the military and to civilian populations. Thematic examples will be drawn from throughout the twentieth century, with the overarching theme that how we imagine war (heroic, masculine, physical) often bears no resemblance at all to how modern war is conducted (mechanical, bureaucratic, and industrialized). Other themes will include how war has shaped modern society, how these societies shape warfare both in history and today, and how war is portrayed and consumed in contemporary Canadian culture.

3.0 units

HIST 267   Modern Middle East
Instructor: 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 275   The African American Experience 
Instructor: Laila Haidarali 

This course explores the post-emancipation history of African Americans. Beginning in 1865, ‘The African American Experience’ studies how deep divisions in U.S. society and culture foreshadowed a renewed order of white supremacy in the U.S. South. By the 1890s, ‘Jim Crow’ appeared as this region’s dominant legal and cultural practice thereby denying the very notion of ‘freedom’ to these Americans. This course explores African American history on the long road from ‘Freedom’ to ‘Freedom Now’. It moves chronologically to study the modern civil rights movement and finds its long roots in the continual and ongoing resistance of African Americans to racial subjugation. Positioning the African American perspective at centre, this course highlights the diverse range of experiences that help constitute this view; at all times, the heterogeneity of African Americans frames this historical investigation.

As it moves forward to study the twentieth century, this course highlights the post-World War One rise of the ‘New Negro’ as in an important turning point. It explores the multiple forms of activism that arose during a period of increased militancy among urban African Americans as they responded to continued violence, exclusion, and racial subordination in modern America. In the ongoing battle to be recognized as citizens –fully or at all – African Americans continued to build their own schools and churches; social and economic institutions; voluntary associations; political fora and organizations; print media and literature, art and cultural expressions – these elements aimed to sustain ‘race pride’ in a nation that consistently devalued black people in the United States. This course calls attention to the long fight against racial discrimination, disenfranchisement, violence and segregation as it studies resistance to these oppressions.

Specific topics to be covered include: Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow; the Great Migration; the Harlem Renaissance; the Civil Rights Movement; Black Power and Black Feminism.

3.0 units

HIST 285   Latin America to 1850: The Colonial Experience 
Instructor: Nancy van Deusen

This lecture course (there will be no separate tutorials) examines the significance of pre-contact Mexica (Aztec) and Inca civilizations, Africa and Iberia in the late medieval period, the European invasion, colonialism as a historical “problem”, the Independence movements in the early nineteenth century, and the struggle of the new nations to build viable economic, political, and social institutions within the shadow of what some historians call the “colonial legacy”. We will focus primarily upon the Spanish Viceroyalties of Mexico and Peru, as well as the Portuguese colony of Brazil. Readings include biographical accounts that tease out the nuances and complexities of social relations and what it meant to be a colonial vassal. This course is meant to increase your knowledge of Latin American history, enhance your analytical and independent thinking skills, and help you gain a clearer sense of how to write a historical essay.  There will be a mid-term, a 6-page essay and a final exam.

3.0 units

HIST 295  The Holocaust
Instructor:  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 212  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

https://www.queensu.ca/history/undergraduate/internships-2018-2019

3.0 units

 

200 Level Winter Courses (W) 3.0 units

HIST 211    The Cold War (online)
Instructor: 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. 

3.0 units

HIST 220   Jews on Film
Instructor:  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 222   Jewish and World Civilization (since 1492)
Instructor: 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 224  Religion in Canadian Francophone Communities (online)
Instructor: Caroline-Isabelle Caron 

Culture and Religion in Canadian Francophone Communities: This course aims to introduce students to the socio-cultural and religious realities of French-language communities in Canada, from the 19th century to today. This online and distance course aims to introduce students to the socio-cultural and religious realities of French-language communities in Canada, from the 19th century to today, with particular attention to Québec, French Canadians outside Québec, Acadians and French-speaking First Nations in Canada. The main objective is to offer an overview of these communities and the challenges they face, including questions of assimilation, education, linguistic rights and the roles played by Churches and religion among them.

3.0 units

HIST 226   The Later Middle Ages
Instructor: 

An introduction to the main themes of the history of the Latin West between the 11th and 15th centuries including changes in the economy, society, religion, culture, and politics.

3.0 units

HIST 241-001   The Rise of Consumer Society 
Instructor: Ariel Salzmann

In her hymn to late twentieth-century consumerism, Madonna celebrated "living in a material world" in a chart-topping single entitled "Material Girl"  (1984). Manufactured things – from cars, home appliances, televisions and cell phones to outings in shopping malls and vacations in make-believe kingdoms like Disneyland-- have come to define middle class lives. Although for many individuals under 30, it is difficult to imagine a world before the production and consumption of mass marketed commodities, for most of human history the immediate, natural world determined choices of food, settlement patterns and possibilities for exchange. Beginning with an investigation of the ancient trade in luxuries and the first global markets created by  sugar, tobacco and coffee, this course retraces the rise of consumer societies.  We ask how early consumerism reshaped geography, culture and interpersonal relations. Along route, we consider the political systems that have made mass production possible, the toll that industrialization has taken on ecosystems, and the costs born by millions, from the silver miners of sixteenth-century Bolivia to the garment workers in today's Bangladesh, whose unpaid or underpaid labour satisfies our demand for things.

3.0 units

HIST 241-001   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 254   Women and Gender in 20th Century Canada 
Instructor: Lisa Pasolli 

This course explores the diverse experiences of women in Canada, as well as how the social construction of gender shaped Canadian history. It will challenge the idea of a homogeneous “women’s history,” and examine how women’s experiences varied by class, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and other kinds of difference. Course content will advance roughly chronologically, exploring major themes in 20th-century women’s and gender history through three interrelated units: (1) Gender, Race, and Nation-Building; (2) Gender Trouble: Institutions through the Middle of the 20th Century; (3) The Personal and the Political: Feminism and Change in the Post-WWII World.

3.0 units

HIST 258   Slavery in North America from the Colonial Era to 1865
Instructor: Barrington Walker

Examines the history of slavery in the United States and Canada from the colonial era to the mid nineteenth-century. Various approaches will be emphasized.

3.0 units

HIST 286   Latin America from 1850 to Today: The Modern Era
Instructor: 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.

3.0 units

HIST 299   China Since 1800
Instructor: Emily Hill 

An introduction to China’s recent history, offering interpretive frameworks for issues such as the competence of the Qing government, population growth, revolutionary movements, Mao Zedong’s leadership, and economic expansion.

3.0 units

HIST 212   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.

For more information please History Undergraduate website : https://www.queensu.ca/history/undergraduate/internships-2018-2019

3.0 units

200 Level Fall-Winter Courses (FW) 6.0 units
HIST 280   Gender in North American History (online) 
Instructor: Sarah Dougherty 
A survey of the history of gender in North America. Examines topics such as patriarchy and the unequal status of women, masculinity, racial and ethnic relations, and sexuality. Also considers the impact of gender on historical events and phenomena such as industrialization, class conflict, World War II and the Cold War. 
6.0 units