History

253.535.7132 www.plu.edu/history/ hist@plu.edu
Gina Hames, Ph.D., Chair

History students at Pacific Lutheran University develop the skills needed to ask important questions, collect and evaluate evidence, work collaboratively with others, and offer clear and evidence-based explanations of past events and phenomena.

Through research and writing projects, internships, lively discussions, class presentations and other opportunities, students build their confidence as poised critical thinkers and effective communicators. History students can study off campus for a month or a semester in many parts of the world, earning credit that counts toward a History major or minor.

Make choices about your future while studying the past.  History faculty provide individual advising that supports students as they develop their vocational interests, career paths, and graduate study plans.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Major in History

Minimum of 36 semester hours; including 4 semester hours of historical methods and research (HIST 301) and 4 semester hours of seminar credits (HIST 499). Completion of the seminar course satisfies the core requirement for a senior seminar/project.

Students are expected to work closely with the department’s faculty advisors to ensure the most personalized programs and instruction possible. Writing is emphasized across the curriculum.

All History majors must complete Option I, II or III of the College of Arts and Sciences Requirement.

All History majors must take 20 semester hours of upper-division work in History for the major.

All courses in History taken at PLU by a History major must be completed with grades of C- or better. Students will not be allowed to enroll in HIST 301 or HIST 499 until they have earned a grade of C- or better in every history class they have taken at PLU. Students will not be allowed to enroll in HIST 301 until they have formally declared their History major.

For the major at least 20 semester hours must be completed at PLU, including HIST 301 before taking HIST 499.

Those majors who are preparing for public school teaching can meet the state history requirement by enrolling in HIST 351.

Minor

Minimum of 20 semester hours; including 8 semester hours from courses numbered above 300.

For the minor at least 12 semester hours must be completed at PLU, including 8 of upper-division courses.

Maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA in courses to be counted towards the minor.

Continuation Policy

To remain in the major, junior and senior-level students must:

  • maintain a minimum 2.50 overall GPA, and
  • maintain a minimum 2.50 GPA in history courses.

History (HIST) - Undergraduate Courses

HIST 102 : The Pre-Modern World: Explorations & Encounters - C, SO

An introductory survey of world civilizations from the pre-modern era (c. 3,000 BCE to c. 1500 CE), paying close attention to themes of cross-cultural encounter, the rise and fall of empires, and explorations over land and sea. We will explore global patterns of trade, technology, and expansion; the spread of ideas, religious traditions, and philosophies; the relationship between warfare, colonization, and the rise of the nation state; and how different cultural, social, and religious encounters have shaped the emergence of the modern world. (4)

HIST 103 : Conflicts and Convergences in the Modern World - C, SO

A survey of the major historical trends that have led to conflict and convergence in the modern world, with particular attention to the effects of these historical trends on the present day. The course focuses on the folowing historical developments: the spread of religion, especially Islam into Africa and Christianity into Latin America and Africa; colonialism and decolonization in Latin America, India, and Africa; imperialism, especially European, Mughal, Ottoman, and Russian; the development of the world economic system, especially comparing the West with China and Japan; and cultural globalization in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. (4)

HIST 107 : Ancient Near East - SO

Surveys the history of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean regions, including ancient Sumer, Egypt, Israel, Persia, Greece, and Rome. Major themes include empire building, religion, law, art, and literature. Students learn to investigate historical problems, use sources, and write historical essays. (4)

HIST 109 : East Asian Societies - C, SO

The broad sweep of East Asian history is examined with foci on the founding Chinese dynasty, unification wars in Korea, and the rape of Nanking in 1937. Throughout, students will confront scholarly fertile and politically tendentious topics which are analyzed via short essays, examinations, maps quizzes, original research, and role-playing exercises. (4)

HIST 121 : History in Video Games - AR

Surveys the social and cultural impact of video games in American history, including how historical figures and events have been represented in popular games during the past 40 years. Combines the study of visual media theories and the creative process with social and political issues in games, including ethical action, violence, gender, ethnicity, religion, and environmental concerns. (4)

HIST 190 : FYEP190: Inquiry Seminar - SO

A four-credit seminar to introduce students to the methods and topics of study within a particular academic discipline or field. Students practice the academic skills that are at the center of the General Education Program. (4)

HIST 210 : Contemporary Global Issues: Migration, Poverty, and Conflict - C, SO

This course introduces students to central concepts in global studies and the perspectives of different peoples, states, and organizations as they relate to world events. Through specific units on global movements and reactions, global poverty and inequality, and global conflict and cooperation, students will gain global literacy and knowledge of contemporary issues. May be cross-listed with ANTH 210 or GLST 210. (4)

HIST 220 : Modern Latin American History - C, SO

Introduction to modern Latin American history, from 1810 to the present. (4)

HIST 224 : Modern European History - SO

In this course students will be asked to explore the interaction of Europeans with each other and with the larger world. We will study the rise and fall of European nation-states, the wars which dominated the 20th Century, modern genocides, the rise of modern ideologies, and cultural and social structural shifts over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. Throughout the course students will continually be asked to consider what makes Europe “modern.” (4)

HIST 237 : History at the Movies - C, SO

Many people watch movies for entertainment, yet, at the same time, they are actually learning about the past. But what are they really learning through movies? This class will use international comparisons to explore how history has been depicted and consumed. We will consider thematic approaches (e.g. movies for children, movies depicting slavery) and genres (e.g. Westerns, Samurai movies) to consider what the movie-viewing public is learning about the past and why that matters. Film screenings, as well as contextual and analytic readings, will enable us to explore history at the movies. (4)

HIST 247 : U.S. Capitalism: From Railroads to Netflix - SO

Surveys the history of American business and the economy from the rise of big business and labor unions after the American Civil War through the era of globalization. Topics include technological change, government regulation, business organization, economic thought, business ethics, the role of the entrepreneur, and the place of women and minorities in American business society. (4)

HIST 248 : Innovation, Ethics, Society SO

A history of innovation, problem solving, and creativity in the global economy, emphasizing the ethical considerations that arise as a result of new products and initiatives, disruptive technologies, globalization, and cultural change. Draws attention to stages in the innovation process and the importance of teamwork, effective communication, and design. (4)

HIST 251 : Colonial American History - SO

The history of what became the United States, from the settlement of America to the election of Thomas Jefferson as the third President of the United States in 1800. It will pay particular attention to three periods - the years of settlement, the era of adjustment to an imperial system around the turn of the 18th century, and the revolt against that system in the second half of the 18th century, which culminated in the creation of the American union. Emphasizes certain themes: the origins of racism and slavery, the course of the religious impulse in an increasingly secularized society, and finally, the ideological and constitutional transition from royal government and the rights of Englishmen to republicanism, and popular sovereignty. (4)

HIST 252 : 19th-Century U.S. History - SO

Political, economic, and social transformations in the U.S. during the nineteenth century. Two main themes: struggles over expansion of the American nation-state and over expansion and contraction of the national community. The Civil War is explored as pivotal, but the limitations of its effect are also examined. (4)

HIST 254 : Hanford and the Atomic Age - SO

This course will examine the issues of sustainable energy and nuclear weapons proliferation through the history of the Hanford, Washington nuclear site. We will read and analyze comparative sources from the U.S., Japan, and Russia to examine cross-cultural perspectives on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. We will also read sources from alternative perspectives on multiple forms of sustainable energy within the U.S. Students will gain an understanding of the viewpoints of those who have been directly involved in the industry as well as those who have been affected by the industry through lectures by experts. (4)

HIST 260 : Early Modern European History, 1400 to 1700 - SO

The foundations of early modern Europe, an era associated with Renaissance and Reformation movements, technological innovation, economic expansion, the revival of learning and visual culture, and the exploration of new geographic worlds. Particular attention to artistic innovation, Protestant and Catholic renewal movements, and the exploration and colonization of the New World. (4)

HIST 287 : Special Topics in U.S. History - SO

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

HIST 288 : Special Topics in European History - SO

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

HIST 289 : Special Topics in Non-Western History - C, SO

This course offers students the opportunity to enhance cultural understanding through the examination of non-Western cultures. (1 to 4)

HIST 291 : Directed Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with introductory study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as DS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

HIST 301 : Introduction to Historical Methods and Research

Focus on historical methodology, research techniques, and the writing of history from a wide range of historical primary sources. Required for all history majors before taking the senior seminar. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor, and declaration of History major. (4)

HIST 305 : Slavery in the Americas - A, SO

The comparative history of how slavery (and freedom) were constituted over time and in different parts of the Americas. Topics covered include: Atlantic slave trade, Native slavery, development of slavery and racism, rise of antislavery thought, plantation society, slave resistance and revolts, and the reconstruction of society after emancipation. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 321 : Greek Civilization

The political, social, and cultural history of Ancient Greece from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. Special attention to the literature, art, and intellectual history of the Greeks. Cross-listed with CLAS 321. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 322 : Roman Civilization

The history of Rome from the foundation of the city to CE 337, the death of Constantine. Emphasis on Rome's expansion over the Mediterranean and on its constitutional history. Attention to the rise of Christianity within a Greco-Roman context. Cross-listed with CLAS 322. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 323 : The Middle Ages - SO

Surveys the history of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, from late antiquity (c. 200) to the High Middle Ages (c. 1300). Major themes include the late Roman Empire, early Christianity and monasticism, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon culture, Carolingian Europe, the First Crusade, trade networks and economic revival, and medieval Judaism. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 325 : European Reformations - SO

Examines Protestant and Roman Catholic reform movements in sixteenth-century Europe as part of an overall process that redefined the role of religion in society and prepared Europe in decisive ways for the modern era. Themes include late-medieval religion and church/state tensions, and the reforms of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, and Loyola. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 329 : Europe and the World Wars: 1914 to 1945 - SO

World War I; revolution and return to "normalcy"? depression and the rise of fascism; World War II. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 332 : Tudor England - SO

Political, social, and religious developments in early modern England during the Tudor monarchies (1485 to 1603). Themes include the economic and demographic changes in England, Scotland, and Wales; Henry VIII’s “Great Matter”; the Protestant Reformation and Anglicanism; Thomas More’s Utopia; wars with France and Spain; and film study. Typically offered in J-Term. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 333 : Colonization and Genocide in Native North America - A, SO

This course explores the centrality and implications of colonialism in the making of North America. We will also consider where and why the concept of genocide can help in understanding the experience of Native groups, the limits of the concept, as well as the basis for objections to applying it to the context of indigenous North America. (4)

HIST 335 : Slavery, Pirates, and Dictatorships: The History of the Caribbean - C, SO

This course surveys the major aspects of colonial and post-colonial history in the Caribbean, paying particular attention to Cuba and Haiti. It focuses on the major themes of slavery, piracy, and dictatorship to illustrate the region's history. (4)

HIST 337 : The History of Mexico - C, SO

The political, economic, social, and cultural changes that have taken place in Mexico from 1350 to the present. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 346 : History of Innovation and Technology - SO

Surveys the role of innovation and technology in Western societies from the industrial revolution to the computer age. Major themes include the development of forms of transportation, communication, industrial production, and computer technologies. Draws attention to stages in the innovation process and to developing an ethical vocabulary for business and entrepreneurial activity. (4)

HIST 348 : Lewis and Clark: History and Memory - A, SO

Examines the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806 and its broader impact, including its costs and consequences for both the expanding U.S. and the people affected by it. Course emphasizes Native American perspectives of the expedition and how it has been depicted and commemorated in U.S. popular culture. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 349 : U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction - SO

Examines the history of the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) and the subsequent period of Reconstruction. Course uses a wide range of historical sources to understand the social, political, and military histories of the war itself and the legacies of Reconstruction. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 351 : History of the Western and Pacific Northwest U.S. - A, SO

How “the West” was defined and geographically situated has changed greatly over time. Yet, “the West” - as both a place and an idea - has played a critical role in the development of the American nation. Course explores historiography and the evolving definitions and understandings of region in the United States. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 360 : The Holocaust: The Destruction of the European Jews - A, SO

Investigation of the development of modern anti-Semitism, its relationship to fascism, the rise of Hitler, the structure of the German dictatorship, the evolution of Nazi Jewish policy, the mechanics of the Final Solution, the nature of the perpetrators, the experience and response of the victims, the reaction of the outside world, and the post-war attempt to deal with an unparalleled crime through traditional judicial procedures. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 362 : Christians in Nazi Germany

This course will study the response of Christians in Germany to Hitler and the Holocaust, analyzing why some Christians opposed the regime but also why a large number found Hitler's ideology and policies attractive. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.(4)

HIST 370 : Environmental History of the United States - SO

Uses historical methods to investigate the interrelationship between people and their environment in the United States. Explores the ways in which humans have interacted with, shaped, and been shaped by their physical environments in the past. Examines the fact that nature, too, has a history, one profoundly shaped by humans. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 387 : Special Topics in U.S. History - SO

This course provides specific opportunities for students to examine chronologically, topically or geographically focused areas of study in U.S. History. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 388 : Special Topics in European History - SO

This course provides specific opportunities for students to examine chronologically, topically or geographically focused areas of study in European History. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 389 : Special Topics in Non-Western History - C, SO

This course provides specific opportunities for students to examine chronologically, topically or geographically focused areas of study in Non-Western History through the examiantion of non-Western cultures. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor. (4)

HIST 491 : Independent Study

To provide individual undergraduate students with advanced study not available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as IS: followed by the specific title designated by the student. (1 to 4)

HIST 495 : Internship

A research and writing project in connection with a student's approved off-campus work or travel activity, or a dimension of it. Prerequisite: sophomore standing plus one course in history, and consent of the department. (1 to 6)

HIST 499 : Seminar: History - SR

Students write a substantial research paper using appropriate collection and analysis of primary source materials or extensive use of secondary sources and engagement of issues in a strongly historiographical manner. Prerequisite: HIST 301. (4)