Course Offerings

Fall 2023

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

European History, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Vise, Melissa E.

An introductory survey, featuring lectures and discussions of European culture, politics, religion and social life, and of Europe's relations with neighboring societies, from the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance, to the beginnings of the 16th-century Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

China: Origins to 20th-Century Reforms

HIST 103 - Bello, David A.

China's history embodies the full range of experience -as domain of imperial dynasties, target of imperial aggression, dissident member of the cold war Communist bloc, and current regional superpower in East Asia. This course tracks these transitions in political and social organization that, among other things, terminated history's longest lasting monarchical system, ignited two of its largest revolutions, began World War II and produced the most populous nation on earth. A wide range of cultural, political and intellectual stereotypes of China are challenged in the process of exploring its particular historical experience.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Sammons, Franklin

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

History of the United States to 1876

HIST 107 - Myers, Barton A.

A survey of United States history from the colonial period through Reconstruction with emphasis on the American Revolution, the formation of the Constitution, the rise of parties, western expansion, the slavery controversy, sectionalism, secession, Civil War and Reconstruction.

Latin America: Mayas to Independence

HIST 130 - Green, Romina A.

An introduction to the Indian and Iberian people active from Florida to California through Central and South America between 1450 and 1750.

History of Africa to 1800

HIST 175 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

Examination of the history and historiography of Africa from the origins of humankind to the abolition of the trans- Atlantic slave trade. Topics include human evolution in Africa, development of agriculture and pastoralism, ancient civilizations of the Nile, African participation in the spread of Christianity and Islam, empires of West Africa, Swahili city-states, and African participation in the economic and biological exchanges that transformed the Atlantic world.

First-Year Seminar: Salem Witch Trials

HIST 180C - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

First-year seminar. This class introduces students to one of the most fascinating, disturbing, and complex episodes in American History: the Salem Witch Trials. Between early 1692 and mid-1693, colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest witch panic on North American shores. Over the course of a year, more than 150 individuals from 2 dozen towns, most of them women, were formally tried for the crime of witchcraft. In the end, 19 people were hanged, several more died in prison awaiting trial, and one man was famously crushed under the weight of dozens of heavy stones. This class asks how this tragedy happened, why it matters, and what it tells us about Atlantic and American history. Together we explore the issues of religion, gender, race, social status, politics, and power that shaped the events in Salem. We end the course by considering the long afterlife of the witch trials in the popular imagination, from literature like The Crucible to movies such as Hocus Pocus to the rise of tourism in modern Salem.

First-Year Seminar: Youth and Social Movements in Africa

HIST 180D - Ballah, Henryatta L.

First-Year seminar. While Africa is always represented as a place of “backwardness” and “barbarity,” rarely do media reports focus on the life and lived experiences of African youth.  When the youth are discussed, they are often presented from the dominant trope of victimhood, thus neglecting the complexities and diversity of their lived experience, as well as their contribution to democratization efforts on the continent.  Thus, the aim of this course is to provide a critical analysis and discussion of Sub-Saharan African youth activism and social movements in the context of globalization and the crisis of “post” colonial authoritarianism, from the 1960s into the twenty-first century.

Gender & Sexuality in Modern Europe

HIST 206 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.

France: Old Regime and Revolution

HIST 208 - Horowitz, Sarah

Historical study of France from the reign of Louis XIV to the Revolution, tracing the changes to French society, culture and politics in the 17th and 18th centuries. Topics include absolutism under Louis XIV, the Enlightenment, socioeconomic changes during the 18th century, and the Revolution.

The Making of Modern Scotland: Braveheart to Brexit

HIST 216 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

A surveys of the history of the Scottish people from the medieval period up to the current debates surrounding the possibility of Scottish Independence and the future of Great Britain. Along the way, we examine the Wars of Independence, the Renaissance and Reformation, the Scottish Enlightenment, the Highland clearances, emigration to North America, involvement in the British Empire, and the development of Scottish nationalism. Students confront two interrelated questions: How has the history of Scotland been made, manipulated, and romanticized over the last seven centuries, and why do we remain fascinated by this small country across the Atlantic? This class, then, is both an introduction to Scottish history, and an exploration of the thin lines between history, myth, and reality.

Darwin and His Critics: The Theory of Evolution from 1755 Till Today

HIST 231 - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

One of the most influential scientific theories is the theory of organic evolution. Its history has largely been written by Darwin and his followers. In this course, we look at the "Darwin industry" but then additionally explore a revisionist history that incorporates the non-Darwinian approach to the origin of life and species. Giving close attention to the scientific facts and the different theories, we also raise the questions "Where were these theories situated?" "What socio-political purposes did they serve?" and "Which religious connotations did they have?" We will end by bringing the historical perspective to bear on today's ongoing controversies about evolution theory.

The American Civil War

HIST 245 - Myers, Barton A.

The sectional crisis. The election of 1860 and the secession of the southern states. Military strategy and tactics. Weapons, battles, leaders. Life of the common soldier. The politics of war. The economics of growth and destruction. Emancipation. Life behind the lines. Victory and defeat.

Introduction to African American History from 1877

HIST 260 - Dennie, Nneka D.

An intensive study of the African-American experience from 1877 to the present. Special emphasis is given to the development of black intellectual and cultural traditions, development of urban communities, emergence of the black middle class, black nationalism, the civil rights era, and the persistence of racism in American society.

African Women in Comparative Perspective

HIST 275 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

In this course, we will widen our appreciation of African Women's experiences, including history, legal and socio-economic status, religious and political roles, productive and reproductive roles, and the impact of colonialism and post-independence development and representation issues. The course will move across time and space to examine the aforementioned in pre-colonial, colonial and 'post'-colonial Africa. We will begin with the question: What common beliefs/images about African women did/do Euro-Americans share?

Seminar: The Yin and Yang of Gender in Late Imperial China (10th-19th centuries)

HIST 285 - Bello, David A.

Relations between men and women are the basis of any human society, but the exact nature and interpretation of these relations differ from time to time and from place to place. The concepts of Yin (female) and Yang (male) were integral to the theory and practice of Chinese gender relations during the late imperial period, influencing marriage, medicine and law. This course examines the historical significance of late-imperial gender relations across these, and other, categories from both traditional and modern perspectives.

Seminar: Topics in History: Doomsday Science Then and Now

HIST 295I - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

In recent years, scientific doomsday literature has surged, along with popular publications on the topic. The threat of major impacts by comets or asteroids, and indications of climate change, global warming and sea level rise have deepened anxiety about a possible end to civilization-as-we-know-it. This increase in doomsday concern, in part founded on new scientific observations and insights, also receives input from politics and religion as well as from its historical place in the discourse of human destiny. A preoccupation with global catastrophes, past and future, and related to the study of contemporary local and regional floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the like, has a long history in Western culture. Bringing that history to bear on current concerns may deepen our understanding of the forces that drive the doomsday discussions in today’s society.

African American Intellectual History

HIST 359 - Dennie, Nneka D.

Since their earliest arrivals in the New World, African Americans crafted liberatory ideas as they articulated a desire for equality, justice, and self-determination. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, black intellectual thought took shape against the backdrop of processes of enslavement, emancipation, racial violence, and state-sanctioned oppression. Indeed, the discursive spaces that black political thinkers created became major sites of knowledge production and provided momentum for black mobilization. Beginning with David Walker's Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1829), this course will probe landmark texts by and about African American thinkers including Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Malcolm X., and Angela Davis. Students will evaluate historical perspectives on topics including racial uplift, feminism, black nationalism, and Pan-Africanism. They will also identify major debates that shaped the development of African American intellectual history.

Advanced Seminar: Educating Otherness

HIST 395E - Green, Romina A.

This seminar will examine how the modern school constructed Indianness or indigeneity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The course takes a comparative approach to identify education policy patterns and shared perspectives across nations, placing nation-state territorial consolidation influenced by the globalization of colonial ideology. The first part of the course offers background on native mission schools in the Spanish and British colonial empires and the pedagogical questions that formed the modern school. The second part scrutinizes case studies of state and religious mission/residential schools in North America, Latin America, Australia, Sweden, and Japan. The last part of the course examines recent reconciliation moves by state and church institutions in response to Indigenous activism demanding apologies and reparations in addition to civil and land rights as material compensation.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Myers, Barton A.

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Horowitz, Sarah

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .

Spring 2023

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Scenes from Chinese History

HIST 105 - Bello, David A.

Film is one of the 20th century's most influential forms of mass communication and, consequently, has been one medium for the creation and maintenance of nation-states. In this sense, no film can be considered as mere entertainment entirely divorced from the social, political, economic and, ultimately, historical context in which it was produced. This is particularly true of modern nation-states invented during the 20th century like the People's Republic of China (PRC). This course is intended to explore how contemporary PRC cinema has interpreted Chinese history, as represented by some of that history's pre-PRC milestones of conflict in the Qin and Qing dynasties as well as the Republican period. Students evaluate the films critically as historical products of their own times as well as current historical narratives of the past by examining each event through a pair of films produced at different times in PRC history. Students also examine post-1949 changes in China and its interpretation of its pre-1949 history, and so, by seeing how a country interprets its history at a given time.

Muslims in the Movies

HIST 172 - Atanasova, Kameliya N.

Same as REL 172. An examination of the history of visual representation of Islam and Muslims in classical and modern cinema. We approach movies produced by both Muslims and non-Muslims over the last century as historical sources: visual monuments that have captured the specific cultural and political context in which they were produced. We examine a selection of these movies through the lens of critical theory and the study of religion in order to pay attention to how questions surrounding identity and representation, race and gender, Orientalism and perceptions of difference have historically influenced and continue to influence cinematic images of Islam.

Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union and the Resurgence of Russia

HIST 222 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

This course analyzes the reasons for the decline of the Soviet Union commencing in the latter part of the Brezhnev era and its collapse under the weight of the failed reforms of Gorbachev. It further traces the fragmentation of the USSR into 15 republics and the simultaneous devolution of authority within the Russian Republic under Yeltsin. The course concludes with the remarkable reassertion of state power under Putin up to the present. Substantial attention will be devoted to Russia’s war against Ukraine over the past year.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: Queer History and Media

HIST 269H - / Horowitz, Sarah

This class examines the history of the LGBTQ+ community in the United States as well as representations in various forms of media, including film, television, books, and videogames, from the late 19th century to the present. Topics include the origins of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, shifting cultural representations of LGBTQ+ people, queer fan culture, and debates over representation.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: Reacting to the Past: Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in NYC, 1775-1776

HIST 269I - Sammons, Franklin

In this class you will explore a moment in the history of the American Revolution – as well as some of the broader political, ideological, social, and economic dimensions of the conflict – in an unusual way: by participating in role-playing simulations through which you will reenact the debates and conflicts that engaged the participants in these historical events. This was a moment when the political and social conflicts provoked by Britain’s imperial crisis assumed a ferocious intensity. It was also a moment of deep historical contingency, when the fate of colonial resistance and rebellion remained undetermined. By reading a range of primary source documents and assuming the roles of historical characters, students will develop their historical thinking, primary source analysis, and argumentation, both in written and spoken form. The course also aims to cultivate a sense of historical empathy by trying to understand the foreignness of the past on its own terms.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: True Crime Narrative in US History

HIST 269J - Brett, Mia

This class will examine the American public's sensationalized true crime fascination from the 19th century until present day. The class will explore both the media coverage of a case as well as the historical record of famous cases. We will read murder pamphlets, newspaper articles, watch true crime documentaries, and read primary sources. The majority of the cases this class will focus on will deal with narratives of murdered women so conversations about race and gender and crime victims will also be part of this class. For a final project students will choose a case not thoroughly covered in the class and analyze the media coverage and public perception alongside the legal and factual record of a case.

Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History: History of West African Food

HIST 289D - Ballah, Henryatta L.

Across the continent of Africa, food serves a greater purpose than simply providing nutritional needs.  This course explores the socio-economic, religious and political significance of various West African dishes in their specific locales.  Some of the countries under study include, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast.  Employing an interdisciplinary approach including culinary arts, students will learn first hand how to cook dishes for naming ceremonies, community festivals, birthdays, weddings and much more.

Topics in History: History of Ghosts

HIST 295F - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

This course explores the history of ghosts within their wider historical, social, and cultural contexts and asks why the belief in ghosts continues to be vibrant, socially relevant, and historically illuminating. Through our readings, discussions, and collaborative projects, we consider how ghost beliefs and ensuing legends serve as vehicles for exploring and expressing historical memory, and the ways in which our continued fascination with ghosts shapes history in the public imagination. We begin with a survey of the history of ghosts from medieval Europe to modern America, and the course culminates with student-led oral history projects about the ghost legends and lore right here in Rockbridge County

Topics in History: The Dark Ages and Other Myths

HIST 295G - Chalmers, Matthew J.

Why do people think such weird things about history? What makes myths, errors, or conspiracies so durable? From the outliers – aliens building the pyramids or the lost city of Atlantis – to the mundane – the continued belief in a “Dark Ages” that never happened – both scholars and the broader public are fascinated by the past. But we don’t always ask how we get to reliable knowledge about it. How do “myths” about history emerge? Who makes what counts as “correct” historical knowledge? Our courses rethinks myth, legend, empire, and politics, considering postcolonial thought and ideas about the premodern past in particular.

Topics in History: Animal Behavior & Human Morality in Historical Perspective

HIST 295H - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

We trace the history of the study of animal behavior in its bearing on human morality, from the beginning of the professionalization of the subject around 1800 till the present day. Often, tentative connections have been and are being made between the ways animals behave and how humans conduct themselves, thus conferring legitimacy on shared traits. The line of argument in making these linkages is simple and straightforward: if animals behave in certain ways, these ways are natural and therefore beyond reproach; if humans share these traits, they, too, must be considered free of blame. Issues of gender and sexuality traditionally have been at the forefront of these considerations, but also the institutions of marriage, family, slavery, systems of government – monarchy, republic, etc. – as well as war, aggression, altruism and more have been argued for or against on the basis of animal examples.

Winter 2023

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

European History, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

An individual who died in 1500 would have been surprised, if not bewildered, by many aspects of European life and thought in 1800. What changed over these three centuries? What stayed the same? Why should we in the 21st century, care? This course examines the history of Europe from the Renaissance through the beginning of the French Revolution. It explores the interplay of religion, politics, society, culture, and economy at a time when Europe underwent great turmoil and change: the Reformation, the consolidation of state power, the rise of constitutionalism, global expansion and encounters with others," perpetual warfare, the rise of the market economy, the spread of the slave trade, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. This course discusses how these processes transformed Europe into the Western world of today, while also challenging ideas about what "Western," "European," and "Civilization" actually mean.

European History, 1789 to the Present

HIST 102 - Horowitz, Sarah

The French Revolution and Napoleon, the era of nationalism, the rise of socialism, imperialism, World Wars I and II, the Cold War, and European Union.

Japan: Origins to Atomic Aftermath

HIST 104 - Bello, David A.

This course traces the span of Japan's historical development from its origins through the Cold War, with a special, but not exclusive, emphasis on an environmental perspective. The first half of the course covers the emergence of indigenous Japanese society and its adaptation to cultural and political influences from mainland East Asia, including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Chinese concepts of empire. The second half covers Japan's successful transition from a declining Tokugawa Shogunate to a modern imperial nation to a reluctant U.S. Cold War ally from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.

History of the United States Since 1876

HIST 108 - Sammons, Franklin

A survey of United States History from Reconstruction to the present with emphasis on industrialization, urbanization, domestic and international developments, wars, and social and cultural movements.

History of the United States Since 1876

HIST 108 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

A survey of United States History from Reconstruction to the present with emphasis on industrialization, urbanization, domestic and international developments, wars, and social and cultural movements.

Modern Latin America: Túpak Katari to Tupac Shakur

HIST 131 - Green, Romina A.

A survey of Latin America from the 1781 anticolonial rebellion led by indigenous insurgent Túpak Katari to a globalized present in which Latin American youth listen to Tupac Shakur yet know little of his namesake. Lectures are organized thematically (culture, society, economics, and politics) and chronologically, surveying the historical formation of people and nations in Latin America. Individual countries (especially Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru) provide examples of how local and transnational forces have shaped the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of North and South America and the Caribbean, and the cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity that characterize a region too often misperceived as homogeneous.

The World of Islam: 1500 to the Present

HIST 171 - Atanasova, Kameliya N.

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 16th to 21st centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse experiences of the various regions that make up the Islamic world. Topics include the emergence of the early modern centralizing states in Iran, Turkey, India, and elsewhere; the spread of Islamic religious and political practices in Africa and Asia; the colonial and post-colonial confrontation between the Islamic World and Europe; and the evolution of new political, cultural, and intellectual movements as Muslim nations in the context of globalization.

African History Since 1800

HIST 176 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

Examination of the history and historiography of Africa from the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present. Topics include precolonial states and societies, European colonial intrusions and African responses, development of modern political and social movements, decolonization, and the history of independent African nation-states during the Cold War and into the 21st century.

Gender & Sexuality in Modern Europe

HIST 206 - Horowitz, Sarah

This course investigates the history of Europe from the late 18th century to the present day through the lens of women's lives, gender roles, and changing notions of sexuality. We examine how historical events and movements (industrialization, the world wars, etc.) had an impact on women, we look at how ideas about gender shaped historical phenomena, such as imperialism and totalitarianism. We also consider the rise of new ideas about sexuality and the challenge of feminism.

Imperial Russia, 1682 to 1917

HIST 220 - Bidlack, Richard H. (Rich)

From the rise to power of Peter the Great, Russia's first emperor, through the fall of the Romanov dynasty.

Historical Memory in Latin America

HIST 235 - Green, Romina A.

Historical memory studies emerged in the 20th century as a method to understand collective identities and experiences, and, later, as an avenue to articulate collective and historical trauma. This class will examine the complex role of historical memory in Latin America through the concepts of collective, official, counter, and living memory, as well as memory battles and historical trauma. We will examine how memory studies in Latin America emerged in conversation with post-Holocaust historical memory studies. Why? Academics found their research methods and questions useful examining the collective trauma produced by the military dictatorships of the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, historical memory has become an avenue to scrutinize the historical erasure of indigenous and African descent peoples, and the impact of state repression in democratic states. Lastly, students will learn how modern-day Latin American societies have reinterpreted and reimagined their historical memories to change present-day political structures. 

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: Reproduction & Law in U.S. History

HIST 269E - Brett, Mia

This course will examine the historical involvement of law and reproductive control in American history. While abortion was mostly ignored in historical common law until the 19th century, there were many laws concerning inheritance and reproduction the ultimately influenced the criminalization of abortion and contraception. The first race-based laws in Virginia in 1662 linked race and condition of servitude to the mother forever cementing race and women’s reproduction in the United States. Slavery and racial hierarchy were dependent on controlling the reproduction of both white and Black women. Through forced birth, forced sterilization, condemnations of interracial sex and marriage, and a racialized adoption system the United States has maintained its racial hierarchy through controlling the reproduction of Black, brown, and white women. Inheritance, marriage laws, law pertaining to IVF, and the criminalization of pregnancy all concern reproduction and law in US History. 

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: American Crime & Scandal

HIST 269F - Brett, Mia

This course will examine the racialized, politicized, and gendered construction of “criminals,” crime, and justice in US History. Policing and imprisonment became a project of the state in the nineteenth century United States. The growth of the carceral state and the rise of criminology coincided with an increase in undesirable immigration and the end of slavery. Who do we consider a criminal? How do we as a society respond to crime? How do narratives around crimes we should fear serve the larger racial projects of the United States? What actions are considered crimes versus scandals? How does the public appetite for such narratives contribute to the justice system? This course will engage with these questions through newspapers, crime stories, criminal trials, and secondary sources.

Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History: Borderlands, Empires, and Encounter in Colonial North America

HIST 269G - Sammons, Franklin

It is easy to imagine colonial North America as little more than a prelude to the creation of the United States, its trajectory foreordained by the establishment of thirteen British colonies. Though the American Revolution will remain our endpoint, this course is not about the “pre-history” of the United States. Instead, it adopts a more expansive geographic approach to compare several different regions where Indigenous people, Europeans, and Africans encountered each other and forged different types of relationships across three centuries. Together we will explore the various kinds of conflict and cooperation that occurred across the continent, and consider how things like gender, empire, environment, disease, violence, and trade affected these relations. We will also grapple with the rise of colonialism, capitalism, racial slavery, and ecological transformation, some of the most transformative developments in human history whose legacies continue to shape our world. Our weekly readings will introduce you to a variety of historical approaches and methodologies used to recover the history of colonial North America, especially the perspectives and experiences of its Indigenous inhabitants. But we will read these historical accounts alongside a wide range of primary source materials to develop your own ability to make historical arguments and to interpret the past.

Topics in Asian, African, or Islamic History: Liberia and the American South: The Making of a Black Settlers' Colony, 1816-1900

HIST 289C - Ballah, Henryatta L.

In 1822, the first group of emancipated slaves from the United States arrived on the Malaquette Coast, which they renamed Liberia in 1824.  Between 1822 and 1892, over sixteen thousand predominantly emancipated slaves from the U.S and some from the Caribbean settled in Liberia.  Their settlement was orchestrated by the American Colonization Society—A Christian based organization whose membership included many slave –owners, including senators, congressmen, and other prominent government officials such as Thomas Jefferson.  Confederate General and former Washington and Lee University president, Robert E. Lee also supported colonization and his wife sold paintings to raise funds for the ACS.  Although freed slaves and free blacks who settled in Liberia came from across the United States, most came from the American South.  While the course will examine ACS initiatives, it will allow for more specificity—focusing primarily on the southern states of VA, NC, and GA.  For example, over half of the emigrants who settled in Liberia came from the state of Georgia.  And settlers from various parts of Virginia, including Rockbridge County and Loudon County, also settled there.  Thus, the course begins with the following questions: Why was the ACS founded? What were the goals and objectives of the organization in removing blacks from the U.S. to Liberia?  What views did settlers and blacks in general have about emigration to Liberia?  To address these questions and others, the course will analyze primary sources, including newspapers, the annual reports of the ACS from 1817 to 1892, personal correspondence between missionaries, as well as personal correspondence between formerly enslaved persons residing in Liberia to their former owners, friends, and families in the U.S.  The Mars and Jesse Lucas Letters from Liberia, 1820-1836, which contains eight letters between formerly enslaved Mars and Jesse with the Heaton Family in Loudon County, VA and The Hugh Adams Papers 1857-1860 about the Adams estate and the forced emigration of nineteen enslaved individuals from Rockbridge County, VA to Liberia are few of the sources we will examine.

Topics in History: Science & the Supernatural

HIST 295D - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

In modern – especially late-modern – times, science has become the adjudicator of truth – truth in terms of fact and law-like rationality. The result has been a retreat of the occult, of many superstitions, and the uncovering of fallacies and frauds. Yet large sectors of modern society have remained enamored of the paranormal. Even scientific practitioners themselves, including Nobel Laureates, have kept alive a belief in telepathy, precognition and such-like phenomena. Equally persistent, especially in religious circles, has been the conviction that miracles do happen; and, again, great scientists and medical practitioners have supported these and similar notions. More recently, the study of “wonders” has emerged as a separate field of inquiry: anomalistics. This course explores the fascinating history of the uneasy relationship between science and its contested boundaries where fact and fiction overlap. The recent outbreak of conspiracy theories, facilitated by social media, adds to our topic’s current affairs significance.

Topics in History: Scientist as National Hero

HIST 295E - Rupke, Nicolaas A.

In this course we discuss the place of scientists in Western society, from the time of the Victorian professionalization of science till today, and we pay attention to the formation of a twentieth-century elite of Nobel Laureates and their role in national politics as well as, to a lesser extent, in international affairs. The course begins by discussing issues of historiography, giving special attention to scientific biography and metabiography. We thus “locate” science by looking at it as an embodied phenomenon, not just as a set of ideas and theories. The practitioners of science are dealt with, their institutions, their image in society and their role in contributing to politics and the public good. How/why have some scientists gained extraordinary leadership status in our culture; how/why have some become national heroes, a few even international ones? Can scientists provide the moral and political leadership to deal with the challenges in society that their very successes have created?

Terrorism in Contemporary Africa

HIST 377 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

Examines how this seemingly remote region became the inspiration for the first modern human rights campaign, the source of the uranium used to build the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, a hot spot in the Cold War, and the setting for a genocide that spilled over into an African World War fueled by intricate links between African resources and the global economy.

Seminar: The Struggle Over China's Environment

HIST 387 - Bello, David A.

The course covers the more recent periods of China's so-called "3,000 years of unsustainable growth" from about A.D. 618 into the present. Themes focus on China's historical experience with sedentary agriculture, fossil fuel and nuclear energy, wildlife and forest management, disease, water control, and major construction projects like the Great Wall.

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - Michelmore, Mary (Molly)

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .

Honors Thesis

HIST 493 - / McCormick, Stephen P.

Honors Thesis. Additional information is available at .