College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of History and Anthropology

History Course Descriptions

Butler University Course Search

History Courses

Below are current and future course offerings and schedules. Only classes in the Butler system are shown.

HST 101. First Year Seminar: This course will introduce students to basic theories and methods in the disciplines of anthropology and history through the exploration of past and present cultural encounters and exchanges and the diverse responses they engendered. Topics will range across time and space and focus on exploration, trade, colonialism, imperialism, and current cross-cultural interactions. (U)(3)

HST 111. Introductory Seminar: Exploration of selected topics in history. (U)(3)

HST 211. Major Themes in European History: This course will survey formative periods in European societies from the late Middle Ages to the present. Emphasis throughout will be on the development of capitalist/industrialist economies, state-building and nationalism, and major transformations in European thought. (U)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 212. American Visions: America's past from the perspective of important, representative individuals and groups, showing changing perceptions of the American experience. Developments in thought from Puritan times to the present. (U)(3) Sample Syllabus   Sample Flyer

HST 214. Major Themes in Asian History: A survey of major themes in South, Southeast and East Asian history from ancient times to the present, with a focus on the modern period. It examines such processes as the formation of classical civilizations, rise and fall of empires, cultural encounters, transformations of societies, and such themes as imperialism, nationalism and Communism. (U)(3)

HST 205. Questions in History: Course examines questions in History with a focus on issues of social, political, scientific, and/ or economic concern. Topics vary by instructor. May be repeated once for credit towards the major. (U)(3)

HST 311. Europe in the Middle Ages: A study of western European history from the decline of the Roman empire until the beginning of the modern period. (U/G)(3)

HST 315. Europe in the Renaissance, 1300-1600: A study of politics, society and culture in Renaissance Europe. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 312. Medieval England: History of Great Britain from Alfred of Wessex to the accession of the Tudors in 1485. Social, political, and constitutional development of England, and comparable developments in Scotland and Ireland. (U/G)(3)

HST 317. Early Modern Europe: A general history of the major changes in Europe from 1500 to1715. (U/G)(3)

HST 321. Nineteenth Century Europe: A study of European history from 1815 to 1914. (U/G)(3)

HST 319. The French Revolution and Napoleon: An intensive study of the political, social and cultural currents in France during the revolutionary era. (U/G)(3)

HST 324. Modern Germany: A survey of German culture, society and the state from the Napoleonic Era to the founding of the post-war Germanies. (U/G)(3)

HST 325. Contemporary Germany: Division and Reunification - Examines German politics, culture and society from the end of World War II to the present. Topics include denazification, the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, socialism and capitalism in the two Germanies, protest movements and reunification. (U/G)(3)

HST 381. History of Africa: A survey, from prehistoric times to the present, with emphasis on development since the 15th century, the slave trade, modern colonization and the new states of the 20th century. (U/G)(3)

HST 382. Modern Africa: Contemporary sub-Saharan Africa.  Emphasis on nationalism and independence movements and the problems of developing nations in Africa. (U/G)(3)

HST 366. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Latin America: This course covers the history of gender and sexuality in Latin America from the start of colonialism until the recent times.  Through the analysis of changing ideas of both femininity and masculinity, students will learn about the politics of gender in Latin America and how gender influences historical production. (U/G)(3)

HST 318. Individual and Society in Europe, 1600-1850: Society and culture in modern Europe, focusing on the experience of common people in an era of rapid economic and political change. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 310. Sex, Gender, Love and Friendship in the Classical World: Examines classical Mediterranean culture from the inside out. Course focuses upon dimensions of private life and interplay between private and public worlds. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 314. Sex, Gender, Love and Friendship in the Medieval World: A continuation of HS 326. Focuses upon dimensions of private life and interplay between private and public worlds in European society during the middle ages. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 322. Twentieth Century Europe: An examination of European politics and society from 1900 to the present. Topics include the outbreak of the Great War, the Russian Revolution, Nazism and Fascism, World War II, the Holocaust, the reconstruction of Europe, the Cold War, European integration and Europe today. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 338. The Era of Jim and Jane Crow: Students conduct off-campus research into the history and legacy of Jim and Jane Crow.  Past student projects include an investigation of the Klu Klux Klan in Lake County, research into the Sundown Towns of their childhood. (many Butler students hail from Sundown towns in IL., IN., KY., and Ohio see Loewen, Sundown towns), among other topics on the survival mechanisms if African American, Latinos, and Asian American men and women in this period.

HST 350. History of Children and Youth: This course examines the experience of children in history. Topics include changing conceptions of childhood, social/historical settings, parenting practices, gender roles, schooling, and the emergence of youth culture. Readings feature the history of children in America. Writing includes student autobiography and projects on contemporary children/youth. (U/G)(3)

HST 332. The American Revolution: An intensive study of the revolt from Great Britain, 1754-1789. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 345. Indiana and the Midwest: Development of the Northwest Territory from colonial origins to the present, with emphasis on its regional culture. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 331. Colonial America: The first British empire in comparative global perspective. (U/G)(3) 
Sample Syllabus

HST 333. The Early American Republic: The United States between 1789 and 1850. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 335. The Civil War: A study of the causes, conduct and consequences of the American Civil War. (U/G)(3) Sample Syllabus

HST 337. Emergence of Modern U.S.: The United States from the end of the Civil War to the start of the Great Depression. Examines the new urban industrial culture; shifting patterns of race, class, and gender relations; the relationship between science, technology, and government; and emerging tensions between religion and U.S. culture. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 339. Recent U.S. History: The U.S. from the Great Depression to the present, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural, social and political issues. (U/G)(3)

HST 353. U.S. Diplomacy in the 20th Century: Examines the formation of fundamental principles and issues of U.S. diplomacy in the 20th Century, beginning with the Spanish-American War of 1898, and the evolution and consequences of those principles and issues to the present day. (U/G)(3)

HST 351 American Constitutional History: A study of the origins and development of Constitutional concepts which have served as the basis for the growth of the federal government. Recent trends are emphasized. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 343. Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.: Examines the histories of race and ethnicity in the U.S. and the ways in which racial and ethnic identities have been deployed as tools of marginalization, assimilation, and group identity. Class explores race and ethnicity as legal, medical, historical, and gendered concepts and lived experiences. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus  Sample Flyer

HST 346. Americans, Native Americans, and the United States: Examines the social, political, and cultural relations between European Americans and Native Americans in the United States and the consequences of those relationships for the evolution of U.S. society. (U/G)(3)

HS 354. African American History: Course explores the history and experience of Africans and African Americans in the U.S. with an emphasis on slavery, the Era of Jim and Jane Crow, and contemporary black culture and politics. The class focuses on the crosscurrents of African American experience gender politics, religion, intellectual and political community as well as the experience of ordinary African Americans. (U/G)(3)

HST 349. U.S. History though Film: Course examines filmic representations of U.S. History. The class focuses on the ideological content of films over their technique. Students are expected to have a familiarity with U.S. history. Topics to vary by instructor and may be repeated once for credit towards the major and/ or minor. Lecture/ discussion/ viewing format. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus  Sample Flyer

HST 301. Historical Method and Historiography: A study of the methodology of some of the more important historical writers. Required of all majors and of candidates for graduate degrees in history. Should be taken in the junior or senior year. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 323. Modern France: Examines themes in the political, social and cultural history of France from the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 to the presidency of Francois Mitterand. (U/G)(3)

HST 320. Enlightenment and Romanticism: Explores the history of two seminal social/intellectual movements of the modern era. Major figures include Voltaire, Rousseau, Mozart, Byron, Goethe, Beethoven, and J.S. Mill. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 326. Modern and Post-Modern: Explores major developments in modern thought and culture from the mid-19th century to the present. Topics include the social and intellectual history of Liberalism, Marxism, Darwinism, Modernism in art and music, Existentialism, Post-Modernism and more. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HS 363. Early American Thought and Culture, 1700-1865: Explores major developments in American thought and culture through the Civil War. Features works of literature, philosophy, painting, photography, music, and popular entertainment. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)

HS 364. Modern American Thought and Culture, 1865-Present: Explores major developments in American thought and culture in the modern period. Features works of literature, philosophy, painting, photography, music and popular entertainment. Discussion/seminar format. (U/G)(3)

HS 365. Topics in the History of Science: This class will explore the many connections between periods of geographical expansion and the expansion of scientific knowledge. While beginning with earlier examples of empire, the readings will mainly focus on the Age of Exploration and the Scientific Revolution, and 19th century imperialism and a second "revolution" in science. Topics will include the use of technology in empire building, the impact of cross-cultural contact on the expansion of knowledge and the connections between applications of science and imperial politics. (U/G)(3)

HST 371. Modern China: Political and social history of China since the Opium War (1839) with emphasis on the revolutionary upheavals of the 20th century. (U/G)(3)  

HST 376. Asian Villages in Transition: This course coffers an interdisciplinary survey of Asian rural societies, based on the analysis of case studies. The central theme is the transformation of rural Asian societies in the modern era. It explores relevant social scientific theories and such topics as revolution and modernization, agents for social change, rural-urban relations, and environmental problems. (U/G)(3)

HS 368. East Asian Civilization: A survey of the history of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia up to the beginning of Significant Western influence, about 1800. Emphasis on ideas, institutions, and patterns of development of East Asian countries in the traditional period. Prerequisite: junior standing. (U/G)(3)

HST 372. Peoples and Cultures of China: This seminar course explores the multi-ethnic nature of the Chinese state from ancient time to the present. It covers such topics as the relations between China proper and the grassland, Sinification, conquest dynasties, state policies towards minority groups, forms of ethnic identity, and ethnic nationalism. (U/G)(3)

HST 373. China and the World: This seminar course focuses on China's changing position in the world, China's changing relations with the world, and China's changing perceptions of the world from ancient times to the present. It examines China's contact with the major regions of the world in different historical periods and the impact of such contacts on both China and the world. (U/G)(3)  

HST 378. History of Vietnam: This seminar course examines the different perspectives of Vietnamese history and the diverse cultures of Vietnam, with a focus on the modern period. It locates the Vietnam War in a broad historical and cultural context and explores such themes as Chinese and French colonialism in Vietnam, Nationalism and Communism, tradition and revolution, peasants and revolutionaries. (U/G)(3)  

HST 379. Asian Revolutions in Fiction and Film: This course will explore the literary and visual representations of the Communist and nationalist revolutions in the villages of China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, India, and/ or other Asian nations, with the purpose of examining Asian values and ideas and understanding Asian peoples, cultures, societies, and histories through literature and film. (U/G)(3)  

HST 341. US Women's History: This course examines the history of US women through an exploration of the political, social and cultural contribution of women to the nation. The course focuses on the experiences of US women from a variety of vantage points: as workers, reformers, political activists, artists and more. At the discretion of the instructor, the course either covers from the colonial period to the present or from 1848 to the present. (U/G)(3)

HST 342. Topics in Women's History: Topics in Women's History vary by semester and by instructor. Each class will take as its central focus the experience of women either in particular geographic locales, historical time periods, or thematic concentrations. Class may be repeated for credit with a different topic. (U/G)(3) 
Sample Syllabus   Sample Flyer

HST 390. American Military History: The American military from the colonial era to the present; institutional development and the role of the armed forces in shaping and implementing public policy. (U/G)(3)  Sample Syllabus

HST 392. Pacific War: This course explores the Asia-Pacific theatre of WWII. It will trace the different stages of the war, and the experiences of the various peoples involved in the war. It will also examine how the war is remembered in the various countries and why the war is still an important part of regional and international politics today. (U/G)(3)

HST 431/432. Documentary Film Production (1): This course is a hands-on introduction to making videotape documentaries with social science themes. Students learn to conceive, shoot and edit short exercises and a final project as they develop critical perspectives on the documentary process. (U/G)(3)

HST 305. Topics in History: Selected topics of significance in contemporary historical scholarship. (U/G)(3)

HST 411, 412, 413. Independent Study: Offers the qualified student of history the opportunity to pursue a topic of individual interest. Open only to juniors, seniors and graduate students by permission of the instructor. (U/G)(1, 2 or 3)

HST 422, 423. Internship: Offers the qualified student the opportunity for supervised work experience in a setting pertinent to the major area of study. Permission of the department head. (U)(3 or 6)

HS 460. Culture and History: This course explores anthropologists' use of historical methods, historians' employment of cultural analysis. Students will examine the history of the rapprochement between the disciplines, the fields' most influential interlocutors, significant debates, and some of the scholarly work emerging from this disciplinary pairing. (U/G)(3)

HST 401. Seminar in History: A particular phase or period of history will be studied each semester. (U/G)(3)
Sample Syllabus 

HS 488. Documentary Film Production (2): This course is an advanced course in making videotape documentaries with social science themes. Students learn to conceive, shoot and edit short exercises and a final project as they develop critical perspectives on the documentary process. Prerequisite: AN 388 or permission of the instructor or department head. (U/G)(3)

HST 499. Honors Thesis: (U)(3)

HST 701, 702. Research: For graduate students researching a master's thesis. By permission of instructor.

HST 711, 712. Thesis: For graduate students writing a master's thesis. By permission of instructor. (G)(3)

Geography Courses

GE 109. Cultural Geography: Regions of the World: A survey of 11 cultural regions of the world. Course includes study of the ecological base, history, economy, politics and ethnic relations. Emphasis is on conflict between Western and non-Western societies since 1500. (U)(3)  Sample Syllabus

GE 310. Historical Geography of the United States: The creation and persistence of regional variations of culture in the United States from the colonial era to the present. (U/G)(3)

GE 313. Urban Geography-The American City: A methodological introduction to American urban studies from the perspective of geography and anthropology; geographical and cultural change of the structure of the American city in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with emphasis upon Indianapolis and the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood. Fieldwork and service learning are highlighted. (U/G)(3)

GE 390. Topics in Geography: Regional and thematic study of contemporary issues in geography not treated in traditional courses. (U/G)(3)

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