Academic Catalog 2022–2023

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History Courses

HST101 20th Century History of Lebanon and the Region

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course examines the situation of Lebanon during and in the aftermath of World War I, the proclamation of Greater Lebanon after the war, and the French mandate until the independence of the Arab country in 1943. The course also encompasses the modern history of Lebanon in relation with the history of its neighboring Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

HST205 Historical Tools

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces the discipline of history and provides students with the necessary historical and academic skills through acquainting them with differ­ent ways of reading, writing, and interpreting historical texts and documents. The core of this course is to enable students to conduct their own historical research. A broad overview of historical methodologies and historiography (‘the history of history’) also shows history’s unique place among the Humanities as well as the Social Sciences.

HST220 The Ancient World, Pre-History to Pericles

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course traces history from the first known civilizations, focusing in particular on settlements arising around the major river systems such as the Nile, Tigris, Euphrates and the Indus river valley, to the archaic and classical Greek city states such as Athens and Sparta. The course may focus on Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Phoenician, Semitic and Greek culture, as well as other cultures of the Near and Middle East. Possible topics may include the introduc­tion of Hammurabi’s law-code, Egyptian-Phoenician trade relations, the devel­opment of writing, the Trojan War, the Spartan and Athenian constitutions and the Persian Wars.

HST221 The Ancient World, Greece and Rome

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces the history of ancient Greece and Rome. Starting with the development of poleis in Greece and Rome from the 8th century BCE onwards, and ending with the reign of the emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, the course covers landmark events such as the Persian Wars (490-449 BCE), the Peloponnesian wars (431-404), the conquests of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the imperial expansion of Rome from the Punic Wars onwards, the rise of Christianity and the Edict of Milan (312 AD), the rise of Constantinople as imperial capital, and finally the various attacks on Rome by Huns, Goths and Germans in the 5th and 6th centuries. Students will engage with a variety of primary and secondary sources. Famous ancient authors such as Plato, Herodotus and Cicero may be discussed, but we will also look at archaeological remains, classical art and epigraphy. The course may focus on themes such as the birth of democracy, imperialism, causes for decline and progress and the ancient economy.

Prerequisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

HST221H The Ancient World, Greece and Rome

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course introduces the history of ancient Greece and Rome. Starting with the development of poleis in Greece and Rome from the 8th century BCE onwards, and ending with the reign of the emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, the course covers landmark events such as the Persian Wars (490-449 BCE), the Peloponnesian wars (431-404), the conquests of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC), the imperial expansion of Rome from the Punic Wars onwards, the rise of Christianity and the Edict of Milan (312 AD), the rise of Constantinople as imperial capital, and finally the various attacks on Rome by Huns, Goths and Germans in the 5th and 6th centuries. Students will engage with a variety of primary and secondary sources. Famous ancient authors such as Plato, Herodotus and Cicero may be discussed, but we will also look at archaeological remains, classical art and epigraphy. The course may focus on themes such as the birth of democracy, imperialism, causes for decline and progress and the ancient economy.

Prerequisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English

HST230 History of Lebanon—from Antelias Man to the Ottoman Conquest (1516)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course surveys the history of Lebanon from prehistoric times through the Phoenician and Roman periods and on to the Middle Ages and the Crusades, ending with the Ottoman conquest at Marj Dabiq in 1516. The emphasis is on those features that define the peoples of Mount Lebanon and the Mediterrane­an coastal settlements throughout this span of time, and how the foundations for the later emergence of a distinct Lebanese polity and culture were laid. Among the themes explored by the course are the pre-Christian era, the coming of Christianity, the immigration into the Lebanese mountains of a variety of peoples including the early Maronites, the coming of Islam, the arrival of the Druze, rivalries and precarious balances, external factors and the economic viability or lack thereof of the mountain.

HST231 History of Lebanon—from the Imarah to the 1975-1990 War

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Tracing the history of Lebanon from the rise of the Imarah to the 1989 Ta’if agreement, this course focuses on the formation of the Lebanese polity and identity and its place in the wider Arab world. It may deal with pivotal figures such as Fakhr Ed-Deen and Emir Bachir, the role of the Maronites and their relations with France and the Vatican, the Ottoman period, the impact of the Tanzimat and the rise of the Mutasarrifiya. Key events and developments in the 20th century include the First World War, the French Mandate, Lebanese independence in 1943, the National Pact, the 1958 events, and the 1975-1990 War. How could the initial years of prosperity lead to the outbreak of war in 1975? The interaction between internal factions and communities and outside powers will be emphasized.

HST240 History of the Arab Peoples

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The focus of this course is on the Arabs as a people and their achievements throughout history. From their Semitic origins in Arabia to their many succes­sive sub-variations throughout the Middle East the course traces the develop­ment of the Arabs and their civilization into modern times. The rise of Islam and the revelation of the Koran in the Arabic language to an Arab Prophet made the Arabs special in their own eyes and in those of all Muslims. Whether it is the life of the courts and cities under the Umayyads, the Abbasids, and in Arab Spain, or the everyday existence of common people in the countryside, the course provides students with a rich portrait of Arab culture and history. Critiques such as those of Ibn Khaldun and some of the later writers of the Nahda period starting in the second half of the 19th century could be germane to the presentation. How the Arabs interacted with Turks, Persians and Euro­peans and how these outsiders perceived the Arabs could also be central to the course’s thematic approach.

Prerequisite: COM203 Art of Public Communication

HST240H History of the Arab Peoples

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The focus of this course is on the Arabs as a people and their achievements throughout history. From their Semitic origins in Arabia to their many succes­sive sub-variations throughout the Middle East the course traces the develop­ment of the Arabs and their civilization into modern times. The rise of Islam and the revelation of the Koran in the Arabic language to an Arab Prophet made the Arabs special in their own eyes and in those of all Muslims. Whether it is the life of the courts and cities under the Umayyads, the Abbasids, and in Arab Spain, or the everyday existence of common people in the countryside, the course provides students with a rich portrait of Arab culture and history. Critiques such as those of Ibn Khaldun and some of the later writers of the Nahda period starting in the second half of the 19th century could be germane to the presentation. How the Arabs interacted with Turks, Persians and Euro­peans and how these outsiders perceived the Arabs could also be central to the course’s thematic approach.

Prerequisite: COM203 Art of Public Communication

HST241 History of Islam in the Middle East

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course may either provide an overview of the history of the Islam from its conception in the 7th century to the present-day or focus on particular themes in the history of Islam. As well as introducing students to the history of one of the world’s major religious faiths, the course examines Islam’s development as a creed and a complete way of life. A particular focus will be the challenges arising from Islam’s relations with the non-Muslim world. The historical survey may include such pivotal events and developments as the life and message of the Prophet Mohammed, the first four wise Caliphs, the Sunni-Shiite split, the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, the shari’a and the five pillars. The Umayyad and Abbasid Empires and the expansion of Islam will be discussed. Important topics in the medieval history of Islam are the flowering of Islamic culture, the role of the Ayyubids, Fatimids and Seljuks, the Crusades, the Mongol invasion, the conversion of Iran to Shiism and the emergence of the Ottomans. In modern history we might focus on Whahabism, Abdu and Afghani, Qutub and Banna, and Khomeini and Bin Laden.

HST242 Europe and the Middle East (1798-1956)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students with an overview of European-Middle Eastern relations during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Introducing students to the stormy and complex interactions between European powers and the peoples and states of the Middle East, the course will not just deal with the political, military and diplomatic events but also with their social, economic and cultural impact on both Europe and the Middle East. The period reveals both Europe and the Middle East evolving rapidly, but not always in tandem.Examples might include the history of Egypt from Napoleon’s invasion in 1798 to the 1952 officer’s revolution led by Nasser; the history of the Ottoman Empire from the Tanzimat to its decline; British, French, German and Russian interests in the Middle East; the impact of the two World Wars, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the creation of modern Turkey and the rise of the Arab state system.

HST242H Europe & the Middle East (1798-1956)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides students with an overview of European-Middle Eastern relations during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Introducing students to the stormy and complex interactions between European powers and the peoples and states of the Middle East, the course will not just deal with the political, military and diplomatic events but also with their social, economic and cultural impact on both Europe and the Middle East. The period reveals both Europe and the Middle East evolving rapidly, but not always in tandem.Examples might include the history of Egypt from Napoleon’s invasion in 1798 to the 1952 officer’s revolution led by Nasser; the history of the Ottoman Empire from the Tanzimat to its decline; British, French, German and Russian interests in the Middle East; the impact of the two World Wars, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the creation of modern Turkey and the rise of the Arab state system.

HST243 Economic History of the Middle East

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course provides a country by country account of economic development in the Middle East and North Africa from early modern to modern times. Emphasis may be put on the shift from early cottage industries to the rudimentary irri­gation schemes and cotton cultivation in Mohammad Ali’s Egypt. The collapse of Ottoman finances and the growing dependence on international financers may be another topic as well as the increased international competition in the textile and cotton industry. The importance of the region for the major trade routes between Europe and Asia will be emphasized throughout. Key events are the opening of Suez Canal in 1869, the High Dam project and the discovery of oil in Arabia. Charles Issawi’s classic work on the economic history of the region is used as a guide for basic readings along with other more recent authoritative treatments of specific economic issues.

HST244 History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course focuses on the emerging clash between the nascent Zionist project starting in the 19th century and the gradual dispossession of the Arab inhabit­ants of Palestine culminating in the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. It aims to shed light on the historical progression of the conflict and the external players impacting its development. The course also assesses the Arab responses to Israel as well as the internal evolution of the Jewish state from frontier kibbutzim to nuclear power. Among events and developments leading up to 1948 the course may zoom in on the conception of Zionism, relationships between Zionists and the British and Ottoman Empires, early migration into Palestine and the impact of the two World Wars and the Holocaust. It will also address international responses to the existence of Israel arising from Arab and Palestinian nation­alism, the Arab-Israeli wars, the emergence of the Palestinian Fedayeen and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the impact of Israel on surrounding Arab states and the Islamist factor.

HST301 Europe in Late Antiquity (410–1066)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course focuses on Europe in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Through either a historical overview or a thematic approach it will clarify how the Roman Empire gave way to a feudalistic Europe. The impact of German­ic tribes and the development Christianity will be assessed to explain the distancing between East and West Europe culminating in the 1054 schism and the investiture struggle between popes and kings over who has superior power. Other possible topics may include the development of monasticism, the rise of Clovis and Charlemagne, the writings of key authors such as St. Augustine, Boethius and the Venerable Bede, Islamic conquests in Spain and Sicily, and the later conquests of the Normans.

HST302 Medieval Europe (1066–1453)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course concentrates on European history during the high and late Middle Ages. It may either provide a historical overview from the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066 to the fall of Constantinople in 1453, or offer a more thematic approach. Possible themes may include the Crusades, the founding of Europe’s great universities, the rise of scholasticism, Gothic architecture, the medieval guilds, the Italian city-states such as Florence and Venice and the Hundred Years War. Students will have the opportunity to engage with both secondary and pri­mary sources, among which can be the works of great thinkers and writers such as Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, Boccaccio and Dante among many others, but also archaeological and material sources that reflect on everyday life in medieval Europe.

HST303 Early Modern Europe (1450–1750)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course sheds light on the history of Europe in the Early Modern period through either a historical overview from the Renaissance to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, or a more thematic approach. Possible topics include the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counterreformation, the Age of Discovery, Renaissance humanism, encounters between Christians, Muslims and Jews, Tudor and Stuart England as well as social and economic develop­ments such as the rise of mercantilism. It may also focus on the beginnings of the scientific revolution through the contributions of scientists such as Coperni­cus, Galileo and Newton.

HST303H Early Modern Europe 1450-1750

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course sheds light on the history of Europe in the Early Modern period through either a historical overview from the Renaissance to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, or a more thematic approach. Possible topics include the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counterreformation, the Age of Discovery, Renaissance humanism, encounters between Christians, Muslims and Jews, Tudor and Stuart England as well as social and economic develop­ments such as the rise of mercantilism. It may also focus on the beginnings of the scientific revolution through the contributions of scientists such as Coperni­cus, Galileo and Newton.

HST304 Modern Europe (1750–1945)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course treats the period starting with the beginnings of the Industrial Rev­olution in Britain and ending with the Second World War. It may either provide a historical overview, covering landmark events such as the French and Amer­ican Revolutions, the Napoleonic era, the 1848 revolutions, the 1854 Crimean War, the unification of Germany and Italy, the Great War and the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the Second World War. It could also approach the history of Europe from a more thematic approach focusing on themes such as the rise of nationalist and socialist ideologies, the idea of progress and evolutionism, the abolition of slavery and the end of colonialism, fin-de-siècle Vienna and Paris, developments in modern art and modern philosophy.

HST305 Contemporary Europe (1945–1989)

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the period from the end of World War II to the fall in 1989 of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe and Russia. Its main focus is on the post-war ascendancy of both the United States and the Soviet Union and the developing rivalry between them known as the Cold War. Main flashpoints of the Cold war include Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, the Middle East, and Afghanistan. In addition to the history of the Cold War, the course may also address topics such as the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, the civil rights movement, feminism, the 1968 student revolutions and the technological and information revolutions.

HST330 History of Byzantium

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course deals with the history of Byzantium from the foundation of Con­stantinople by Constantine the Great in 330 until the fall of the city in 1453. It may either offer a historical overview along dynastic lines, or a more thematic approach. Possible themes include the relations of Byzantium with emerging powers in the East and the West, the religious controversies such as Iconoclasm and the 1054 schism, emperors and empresses, Byzantine cultural and architec­tural accomplishments in Constantinople and other cities, monasticism, and the Crusades.

HST331 History of Russia

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course may either chronicle the history of Russia from the first Rus until Vladimir Putin, or focus on a particular theme. Possible topics include the conversion of Slavs to Christianity in 988 and subsequent relations between the Russians and the Orthodox Church, the establishment of Moscow and the institution of the Czar, international relations and isolation, serfdom and the emancipation of the Serfs, important Czars such as Ivan IV (the Terrible), Peter the Great, Catherine II the Great and the Romanovs, the 1917 Revolution, Lenin and Stalin, and the rise and collapse of the Soviet Union. Students will be invited to engage with the great Russian thinkers and authors such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn and others.

HST332 History of China

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course may survey the history of China from the Han dynasty (202 BC-221 AD) to the establishment of the present-day People’s Republic of China, covering such landmark events as the Ming dynasty, the Ch’ing dynasty, the Opium Wars, the Boxer uprising, the communist revolution and the cultural revolution. It may also focus on a particular theme, such as nationalism versus communism, Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong, the recent growth of the Chinese economy and China’s relations with Tibet, Taiwan, Japan, Britain, Russia and the United States. Finally, the course may focus on a particular period such as the 19th cen­tury or the period between the two World Wars.

Note: This course has not been taught since Fall 2020 and will not be taught in the academic year 2022-2023.

HST333 History of South Asia

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course focuses on the Indian subcontinent, which includes India, Paki­stan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It focuses on the interplay of the main world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and the relations between Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese. Another main topic is the colonization and decolonization of South Asia from Vasco da Gama (1498) to the 1947 independence and partition.

Note: This course has not been taught since Fall 2020 and will not be taught in the academic year 2022-2023.

HST334 History of North America

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course may either provide a historical overview from pre-Columbian America to Obama or focus on a particular theme in American history. Possible topics may be the relations between European settlers and Native Americans, the rivalry between France, Spain and Britain over North America, the War for Independence and the formation of the US constitution, the westward expan­sion, discussion over slavery and the US Civil War. Important topics in the 20th century include the involvement in the two World Wars, the Depression, the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement. The course may choose to focus on either the US or Canada.

HST335 History of Central and South America

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course could provide a historical overview of South and Central America from the Incas, the Mayans and the Aztecs to Fidel Castro’s long reign in Cuba. It may also focus on the colonization of America and the 19th century struggles for independence, the impact of slavery on American societies, important figures such as Simon Bolivar, Cortes, Allende, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, the exploitation of the Amazon rainforest and the cultivation of drugs, among many other themes. It may either cover the whole of Central and South America or zoom in on a particular country.

HST336 History of Africa

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course can focus on any theme in African history from the earliest human settlements to the Apartheid regime in South Africa. It could either survey a particular period in history or choose a particular theme to emphasize, such as the “Scramble for Africa”, the impact of the slave trade, the role of newcomers from the Romans and the 5th century influx of Vandals to the Islamic conquests and the European colonists and African nationalism and fights for independ­ence after World War II.

HST340 Topics in the History of Ideas

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course offers students a glimpse into the exiting world of intellectual history. It can either immerse the students into the intellectual tenor of a particular period through a discussion of this age’s interplay between history, philosophy, theology, literature and the arts. Or it can survey the history of a particular set of ideas, or an ideology. Students will engage primarily with primary sources, thus providing them with a firsthand feel for the history of ideas.

Prerequisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English and COM203 Art of Public Communication

HST341 Topics in the History of Science

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course will provide insight into the history of science through a focus on the development of a particular scientific field throughout history or science in general during a particular period. A key question is how science and society have impacted (and continue to impact) on each other.

HST342 Topics in the History of Religion

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course can concentrate on a specific world religion and trace its develop­ment over time, or it can follow the comparative approach with respect to two or more religions, or, alternatively, it can choose a religious theme and follow its unfolding threads in one or more religious tradition. The major world religions usually provide the subject matter for this course: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Shinto, Taoism, Sikhism, varieties of animism. In addition, the history of atheism may also be the focus of this course.

HST343 Topics in Economic History

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course may concentrate on any theme in economic history, whether this is the development of economic theory itself, a discussion of economic decline and or progress in a particular region or period, the interplay of economy and ideology in the formation of ideologies such as socialism and capitalism, or the history of a particular economic sector (agriculture, industry, finance). The influence of an increasingly globalized world on production, labor, distribution of wealth, north-south dynamics, access to natural resources, and development is a central theme.

Prerequisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English and COM203 Art of Public Communication

HST401 Special Topics in History

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Some possible topics could include: social history, oral history, history of slavery, history of architecture, history of changing tastes, history of ideologies, history of revolutions, comparative nationalisms, comparative empire building, causes of historical decline, and much more. Specific periods to be covered can also be designated.

HST499 Senior Study

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Every student majoring in history will be required to take this course in his/her senior year. It is a 3-credit course run seminar-style and entailing the interactive sharing of independent research by students working on the topics for their senior studies that have been agreed upon individually with the professor. Students write a supervised 40-page senior study on a topic formulated in con­sultation with a member of the history faculty.

Prerequisite: ENG202 Advanced Academic English and COM203 Art of Public Communication