Undergraduate History Courses

Spring 2020

HISTORY 101 U.S. History to 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about the early formation of the colonies, the American Revolution, the National Period, slavery, territorial expansion, and the beginnings of industrialization. The clash of cultures that produced the United States and subsequently affected its development will be emphasized. The course will close by examining the Civil War that nearly destroyed the republic and the attempts to mend the nation’s wounds afterwards. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by Mr. Matthew Larson.

HISTORY 102 U.S. History Since 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about industrialization, western migration, imperialism, progressivism, world wars, depression, the cold war, and the emergence of the equal rights movements. The course will close with an examination of the United States on the world stage and the emerging war on terror in the wake of September 11th. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by Ms. Kristina Ellis.

HISTORY 201 European History to 1600

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of Europe from ancient times to 1600. Beginning with a brief description of the riverine civilizations of the ancient Near East, the course then examines the political and cultural evolution of classical Greco-Roman civilization, the medieval world, the rise of the national state, and the essential characteristics of the eras of the Renaissance and Reformation.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello. 

HISTORY 206 World History to 1450

This course surveys the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the world to 1450. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 208 World History since 1450

This introductory course in modern world history focuses on the period from 1450 to the present. It explores themes of global interactions and exchange in terms of economic, social, political, and cultural history. Students will learn about the global past through both secondary and primary sources, and they will learn how to write informed, historical interpretations about that past as a foundation for more advanced work in history and related disciplines.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore. 

HISTORY 300HW Special Topics in World History

Topic: The British Empire Strikes Back
This course examines the British Empire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It focuses especially on the development of British political and economic interests in Asia and Africa, and the subsequent process of rebellion and decolonization as native populations fought for national self-rule.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: Baseball in US History

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Laura Westhoff (Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis) and Dr. Raymond Doswell (Curator/Education Director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum).

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: U.S. Foreign Relations and Military History
This course surveys the development of American land, sea, air, space, and cyber power from the start of the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on the interrelationship between U.S. foreign and military policies and between diplomacy and force.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Kevin Fernlund (Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis).

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300US through Pathway, but will be taught by Dr. Kevin Fernlund via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: Military History

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Mr. Christopher Johnson.

HISTORY 301WI Historiography and Method

All history majors must take this course, ideally at the beginning of their junior year. Its content includes: 1) what history is; 2) its value and usefulness; 3) the diversity of historical fields, approaches, and methods; and 4) the techniques of preparing and writing history papers.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 307A History of Christianity from the Middles Ages to Present

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the development of foundational Christian theological thought and practice into what are now mainstream Western Christian theologies, the institutional histories of Western Christianity, and the cultures of Western civilization.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 334 History of Technology

This course examines technology as it shapes and is shaped by human society. Students will consider technology as a product of historically-specific and sometimes overlapping contexts shaped by culture, economics, natural environments, and social processes.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 343 Oral History

This course focuses on the methods, theories, ethics, practices, and applications of tools in documenting and recovering the experiences of people hidden from the “traditional records.” Through lectures, readings, discussions, and fieldwork, students will learn the various steps in developing a robust oral history project. Students will go out into the community to capture the histories of communities in Kansas City.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

HISTORY 356R Kansas City: History of a Regional Metropolis

This course uses Kansas City as an urban laboratory to help students better understand the dynamics of the urbanization process in America. It features lectures and discussions on such subjects as early settlement patterns, the battle for the first bridge over the Missouri River, the development of an economy based on agricultural pursuits, the City Beautiful Movement, the social fabric, the Pendergast Machine, and the impact of World War II and after. The course fits Kansas City into the larger framework of the American urban mosaic.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Mr. Kory Gallagher.

HISTORY 357 The American West

This course deals with the relationship of the American West to the social and economic development of the United States. Major emphasis is placed on the role of the trans-Mississippi West in the economic growth of the national economy. Related cultural and political events are evaluated in the terms of the many Western frontiers. Emphasis will be placed on the Turner thesis, the Indian heritage, frontier violence, and the cow town experience.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 375 Successes and Failures in 19th Century America

This course traces the social history and cultural significance of success, failure, and poverty in nineteenth-century America. The class will investigate how diverse Americans made sense of the rapidly growing disparities of wealth that accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Matthew Osborn.

HISTORY 391 Archival Methods

This combined discussion and research course will examine the research potential of primary-source materials in the custody of archival depositories and the methodology employed to utilize effectively these resources. An analysis of archival method, specifically in the areas of arrangement, description and preservation, will be emphasized during the discussion portion of the course.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Ms. Lucinda Adams (Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center) and Ms. Whitney Heinzmann (Archivist at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center).

HISTORY 404 Women and Gender in Latin America

This course studies gender in Latin America from the eve of conquest by the Portuguese and Spanish in the fifteenth century to the present. It examines how ideas about gender affected the lives of Latin American men and women. This course additionally analyzes how gender and race contributed to the creation of a hierarchical social order. Finally, it discusses the exercise of authority within and outside households and its impact on private and public spaces.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Viviana Grieco.

HISTORY 411A Medieval Civilization

This course covers the period between the decline of the Roman Empire in the West and the Investiture Controversy. Topics include the rise of Christianity and early church-state relationships; the barbarian invasions and the various Germanic kingdoms; the age of Charlemagne; monasticism and feudalism. There will also be special sessions on the civilizations of Islam and Byzantium.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello. 

HISTORY 432R Tudor England, 1485-1603

This course covers England from the accession of Henry VII, the first Tudor, to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Topics to be covered are: transformation of England into a modern state, the Reformation, the role of Parliament, conflicts with European powers, especially Spain, etc.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 436R Modern German History

This course traces the history of Central Europe from the fall of Bismarck to the reunification of Germany one century later. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society, elites and ‘ordinary’ Germans, in the various German-speaking regimes that existed over the course of this era: two empires, two interwar republics, two fascist dictatorships, and three post-fascist republics. All assigned readings will be in English; a background knowledge of European history is recommended.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 498WI Senior Capstone

This is the capstone course in the department and is required for majors. It consists of tutorial sessions with a regular faculty member and independent research leading to a major paper using original source materials.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Diane Mutti Burke.

Suggested Anchor Courses

ANCHOR 214 European Cultures, Histories & Ideas

Topic: Nazi-Occupied Europe
The Second World War was not just an attempt by the Axis nations to create new military empires in Europe and the world. With the collaboration of many other nations, the Nazis attempted a genocidal war to systematically colonize, relocate, and annihilate entire social groups. In this interdisciplinary course, we will study how attitudes about culture and diversity informed this genocidal war. We will take an intentionally cosmopolitan look at these tragic events, though at the center of them stands Poland, Germany, France, and the annihilation of the Jews.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson and Dr. Gayle Levy.

ANCHOR 220: We Shall (All) Overcome

This course examines the fight for civil rights in America in the 20th and 21st centuries in order to emphasize the importance of culture and diversity in American society. Using interdisciplinary methods, the course addresses various local and national movements among the African American, Latino/a, LGBT, and Native American communities, as well as the women’s rights movement.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

Fall 2019

HISTORY 101 U.S. History to 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about the early formation of the colonies, the American Revolution, the National Period, slavery, territorial expansion, and the beginnings of industrialization. The clash of cultures that produced the United States and subsequently affected its development will be emphasized. The course will close by examining the Civil War that nearly destroyed the republic and the attempts to mend the nation’s wounds afterwards. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by staff.

HISTORY 102 U.S. History Since 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about industrialization, western migration, imperialism, progressivism, world wars, depression, the cold war, and the emergence of the equal rights movements. The course will close with an examination of the United States on the world stage and the emerging war on terror in the wake of September 11th. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by staff.

HISTORY 206 World History To 1450

This course surveys the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the world to 1450. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by staff.

HISTORY 208 World History since 1450

This introductory course in modern world history focuses on the period from 1450 to the present. It explores themes of global interactions and exchange in terms of economic, social, political, and cultural history. Students will learn about the global past through both secondary and primary sources, and they will learn how to write informed, historical interpretations about that past as a foundation for more advanced work in history and related disciplines.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by staff.

HISTORY 215 Getting High: Alcohol & Drugs in American History

This class will investigate historical transformations in how American society has defined and responded to problematic drinking and drug use. The class will analyze what controversies surrounding various forms of intoxication indicate about the nature of American society and culture.

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Osborn

HISTORY 300C Special Studies

Topic: Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present
This course serves as an introduction to the humanities, social science, and science disciplines through a sweeping overview of natural and human history from the Big Bang to the present.

Instructor: Dr. Kevin Fernlund, Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300C through Pathway, but will be taught by Dr. Kevin Fernlund via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300SS Special Studies

Topic: War and Violence in Modern Times
This eight-week course examines the connections between warfare and resistance, gangs and poverty, and state and non-state officials as enactors of violence. It explores the effects of war and violence on the poor in Brazil and the United States, prisoners of war in Asia, and resistance fighters in Latin America.

Instructor: Dr. Deborah Cohen, Associate Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300SS through Pathway, but will be taught in the first eight-week session by Dr. Deborah Cohen via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300WY Decade of Dissent: The 1960s

The social movements and conflicts that developed during the 1960s continue to define American culture. Questions of racial and gender equity, a greater willingness to challenge authority, concerns about the environment, and a new openness about issues of sexuality all developed during the sixties and remain as arenas of debate today. This course will examine the origins, contexts, and major themes of the these social and cultural movements.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 301WI Historiography and Method

All history majors must take this course, ideally at the beginning of their junior year. Its content includes: 1) what history is; 2) its value and usefulness; 3) the diversity of historical fields, approaches, and methods; and 4) the techniques of preparing and writing history papers.

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Osborn

HISTORY 306 America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction

A survey of the political, social, and economic factors leading to the dissolution of the federal union is followed by a consideration of the major features and developments of the war period. This, in turn, leads to an analysis of the major factors and relationships involved in the “reconstruction” of the federal union. The course covers the years 1850 to 1877.

Instructor: Dr. Diane Mutti Burke

HISTORY 306A History of Christianity to the Middle Ages

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

Instructor: Dr. David Freeman

HISTORY 356 Rise of the City in the U.S.

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. It includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 365A American Environmental History

This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis – as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself – and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology and the modern environmental crusade.

Instructor: Dr. Brian Frehner

HISTORY 379 Museums, Monuments, and American Life: An Introduction to Public History

This course will investigate the ways America commemorates, invokes, and misremembers its history—what scholars call public history. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences, and will grapple with the political and ethical issues that arise when we expand the discipline’s stakeholders.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 400C Special Studies

Topic: German Film
This course introduces students to the important contributions of German films to the development of movies as a unique literary art form. The class will cover important terms and concepts in film theory, the specifically German context of film, and important themes and periods in German film history. Taught in English with subtitled films.

Instructor: Dr. Larson Powell

HISTORY 400D Special Studies

Topic: Digital Humanities
This course will focus on the following skills in the digital humanities related to the electronic publication and computational analysis of texts: XML markup of both texts and meta data according to the standards of the text encoding initiative, transformation of these texts for presentation in electronic environments, annotation of data such as named entities and geographic locations to help visualize texts and textual collections, and quantitative analysis of literary and linguistic features in texts. In the class, students will work with many different texts, but will repeatedly return to Herodotus’ History and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan. Although most of the work in this class will be computational, it does not require prior experience with coding or markup.

Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox

HISTORY 406 Modern Latin America

This course studies social, political, economic and cultural trends in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discussion topics include nation building after independence with an emphasis on gender and race in the creation of national identities and new forms of social stratification; integration of national economies into the world economic system; the expansion of political participation and citizenship; immigration (national and transnational) and the tensions caused by the forces of modernization and tradition. Although the purpose of the course is to provide a general background for a large and diverse region (more than 20 countries), case studies from Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil will illustrate the above-mentioned themes and will provide the basis for a comparative regional perspective.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Viviana Grieco online.

HISTORY 430RA ‘We Are The Dead’: The Great War Experience Through its Artifacts

World War One was the “war to end all wars”; all previous wars were indeed eclipsed by its scale of destruction. And yet, it was a war that initiated a century of continual bloodshed and crimes against humanity. This course will explore the causes, nature, and consequences of the Great War of 1914-18. It will be taught at the National World War One Memorial Museum at Liberty Memorial.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 471 Ancient Greece 

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social, and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander’s conquests and significance.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello

HISTORY 498WI Senior Capstone

This is the capstone course in the department and is required for majors. It consists of tutorial sessions with a regular faculty member and independent research leading to a major paper using original source materials.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. David Freeman.

Suggested Anchor Courses

ANCHOR 204 Women in the Ancient World

This course focuses on women in the ancient Mediterranean world, particularly ancient Greece and Rome from about 2500 BCE to the end of the Roman Empire in the West. Through lectures and reading assignments, students will learn about a wide variety of aspects of women’s lives, status, and representation in the ancient world. Using primary and secondary sources, students will assess issues such as women’s social, legal, and economic status; their depiction in male-authored works of literature, history, philosophy, science, and art and how those depictions differ from those of female-authored works and the archaeological evidence; and the roles of women in the family, the household, and the public milieus. Given the broad range of topics and the long timeline, these issues will be analyzed in a comparative context.

Instructors: Dr. Linda Mitchell and Dr. Cynthia Jones

ANCHOR 209: World Cultures, Histories, and Ideas

Topic: Myths of the Spanish Conquest
This course studies the societies of central Mexico, the Andes, and the Iberian Peninsula on the eve of their encounter, the ways in which each of these distinct societies impacted one another, and the hybrid societies that emerged. Students will study historical and literary works, images and films that have reimagined the Spanish conquest and addressed its complexities, myths and enduring legacies. An examination of the historical and literary production from the 1970s will serve as a basis for discussing past to contemporary ways of thinking as well as marginal to dominant realities.

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Viviana Grieco and Ms. Kelley Melvin.

ANCHOR 318 From Oil Gushers to Fracking: A History of American Petroleum

This course asks students to consider civic engagement by studying how the history of oil production and consumption has influenced people’s relationships to their communities and environments at the local, regional, and global scale. Bringing together the fields of geology and history, this interdisciplinary course explores how carbon fuels shape life on the planet.  A fundamental component of the way humans have engaged with each other and the natural world has been to seek and burn fossil fuels, but this has created unintended consequences (both good and bad) throughout time and across the planet.  Students will use civic engagement as a lens to examine how the use of fossil fuels has impacted societies and to learn how their actions as individuals and community members presently leave carbon footprints.

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner and Dr. Tina Niemi.