Department of History

Department of History
Department of History

2020-21 200 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! 

Important: Please note that all Fall 2020 undergraduate courses at Queen's will be remotely delivered. Certain lecture courses also have a link that say "Online" - these are courses have been offered in partnership with Arts and Sciences Online. When searching for these courses in SOLUS, select "Undergraduate Online" in the Career field. All other courses are "Undergraduate" even though they too will be taught online. 

For more information, visit the Faculty of Arts and Science's INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS FALL 2020.


(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. This year, there is a few options in Spring term (S). 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 206    The United States in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 1868‐1920
Instructor: Rosanne Currarino 

An introduction to the history of the United States during the turbulent period from 1868 until 1920.  Topics may include industrialization, reform movements, mass consumption, corporations, imperialism, immigration, urbanization, the rise of segregation, agricultural transformation, flu pandemic, art, and literature. 

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 227   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 243   The Crusades  
Instructor: 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 judgements of this controversial but fascinating and instructive topic.

3.0 units 

HIST 244-001   Topics in History: Antisemitism in Historical Context 
Instructor:  Howard Adelman 

Plague, economic collapse, fickle authoritarian rulers, popular unrest, religious fundamentalism, and conspiracy theories are not new in the study of Jewish history. “Antisemitism,” first coined in the nineteenth century, is an amorphous term that encompasses a wide range of earlier and contemporary phenomena, blurring different causes and effects, historiographic interpretations, and political motivations. Historians working in many fields of history have developed analytical paradigms that can be applied to the study of “antisemitism,” and “antisemitism” provides a test of these models for past and current events:  the paranoid style in politics, crisis of rising expectations, messianic deprivation, culture code, and boundary formation. 

We will locate “antisemitism,” in a multi-causal model of studying historical phenomena, religious, economic, social, political, and racial, as we examine changes in the phenomenon  during  early and medieval Christiandom, early Islam, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Enlightenment, nineteenth century nationalism, the Holocaust,  the modern Middle East, Zionism, the State of Israel, and careful reading of today’s news reports. This course will not present a single explanation for “antisemitism,” raise consciousness about it, or help end it, or similar scourges, but it will provide historical models for reading history and dealing with competing explanations, which are not always satisfying.

3.0 units

HIST 244-002   Topics in History: Minorities, Migration, and Modern Central Europe, 1880s to 1960s
Instructor:  Swen Steinberg

In the late 19th and first half of the 20th centuries the map of Europe changed fundamentally. The emerging nation states in Central Europe not only shifted the political or power balance. With administrations, bureaucracy, and new border regimes this development created new national, religious, or racial minorities too––and caused migration. In addition, incidents like pogroms in Russia and the Ottoman Empire, the Balkan Wars or the two World Wars caused refugees, forced migrants, and the new phenomena of stateless persons in unpredicted numbers. And these migrants often became new minorities. The lecture course examines the history of modern Central Europe through this lens of migration and minorities. It covers major political, economic, and social developments as well as national policies connected to migrants and minority groups; the viewpoint of individuals affected by migration and minority issues, touching especially on aspects like identity, religion, gender, or class; and the handling of migration and minorities on the supranational level. Therefore, the lecture course introduces both the historiography as well as recent research on migration and minorities in modern Central Europe, including definitions and the terminology necessary to discuss the course reading.

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 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 282  Gender in North American History, 1000 to 1880 (online)
Instructor: Katelyn Arac

A survey of the history of gender in North America. Examines topics such as patriarchy and the unequal status of women, masculinity, racial, ethnic relations, and sexuality until 1880.

Although this course does not yet appear on the Canadian content list, HIST 282 does count towards your Canadian content requirement. 

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 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 296  The Making of the Muslim Middle East (550‐1350 C.E.)
Instructor:  Hanna Mackechnie

This course examines a formative period of Islamic society: the transformations of the late antique Near East to the Muslim Middle East. The course covers the period of the rise of Islam to the consequences of the Mongol conquests. It surveys the social, political, cultural and religious history of a civilization spanning Spain to Central Asia.

3.0 units

HIST 212  Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Instructor: Undergraduate Chair –

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 info, visit our Internships page

3.0 units


200 Level Winter Courses (W) 3.0 units

HIST 207    Global Indigenous Histories (online)
Instructor: Max Hamon

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 214    Food in Global History (online)
Instructor: Aditi Sen

This online course will attempt to study aspects of global history using food as a central theme. We begin from the reflection that food has successfully transcended political and cultural boundaries in the global past, and it provides a promising path for interrogating socio-economic and cultural issues in transnational contexts.

3.0 units

HIST 228   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 242-001 Topics in Canadian History: Indigenous Peoples and New France
Instructor: Scott Berthelette

This course examines the history of Indigenous peoples and French colonists in North America from the sixteenth to early nineteenth century. Through our lectures and weekly readings, we will explore themes as diverse as French-Indigenous relations, sovereignty and possession, settler colonialism, warfare and slavery, the fur trade and métissage (cultural hybridity), religion and spirituality, women and gender, and property and dispossession. This class places the French colonial experience and its legacy in context and sets a foundation for understanding the English-French divide in contemporary Canada, Québec nationalism, and the rise of the Métis in Western Canada. Through this course, students will also understand contemporary Indigenous issues, their foundations, and their social and political impacts. This course will enable students to develop the tools to examine and analyze sources related to Canada’s early history as a way to question and reinterpret our complex colonial past.

3.0 units

HIST 246   The Soviet Experiment 
Instructor: 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 and assesses 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 252   Africa in the Modern World
Instructor: Awet Weldemichael

With a youthful population of well over a billion, the future is said to be African. But how has the continent fared so far? This course is a thematic survey of African history in the modern world. It will introduce students to the general contours of the continent’s history in a global context. It will explore home-grown intellectual, technological and sociopolitical advances before contact with the West. Following contact, it will touch on the slave trade, colonial rivalry and misrule, African independence, and post-independence challenges and opportunities. 

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 267   Modern Middle East
Instructor: Michael Ferguson

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 283 Gender in North American History, 1880 to 2000 (online)
Instructor: Katelyn Arac

A survey of gender inequalities as a consequence of industrialization. Examines topics on the impact on gender of phenomena such as industrialization, class conflict, World War II, and the Cold War.

Although this course does not yet appear on the Canadian content list, HIST 283 does count towards your Canadian content requirement.

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 299   China Since 1800
Instructor: Emily Hill 

The aim of this course is to build historical knowledge as a basis for understanding the domestic and international impacts of rapid change in contemporary China. It introduces interpretive frameworks for discussion of topics including the competence of the Qing government, revolutionary movements, war against Japan, Mao Zedong’s leadership, and economic expansion.

Format: Lectures and occasional group discussions. Assignments: Short essays, quizzes, one in-class test, participation in discussions, and a final exam.

3.0 units

HIST 212   Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
Instructor: Undergraduate Chair -

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 info, visit our Internships page

3.0 units