1997-98 University Bulletin Entry for:

The Program in Historical Studies

S = Objectives

The Program in Historical Studies seeks to introduce students to fundamental problems in Western civilization from early modern times to the present and make them sensitive to the modalities, potentials, and limits of historical knowledge. Its primary goal is not simply to transmit a set of factual data but also to cultivate a critical historical awareness. Courses in the program contribute to students' intellectual development:

1. By enabling them to integrate and relate the other components of their learning and providing a framework for the concepts and information regularly encountered in courses throughout the University; and

2. By giving a new perspective on modernity, suggesting how transient accepted truths can be, and how contemporary problems can be fruitfully reassessed in the light of historical perspective.

Some courses in the program are oriented more toward a comprehensive survey. Others place greater emphasis upon particular themes, approaches, or problems. The comprehensive courses offer a broad perspective, address a wide range of central issues, and provide a solid framework of historical knowledge. While these courses also offer a particular thematic perspective, their primary goal is to provide an inclusive historical overview that will help to integrate the various components of an undergraduate education. The more specialized courses aim to emphasize a particular problem or theme, but within the broader context of the development of Western civilization.

Both the comprehensive and more specialized courses address the following topics: Renaissance and reformation; scientific revolution; state formation and absolutism in early modern Europe; Enlightenment; the English, French, and Russian revolutions; industrialization; urbanization; liberalism, nationalism, and socialism; democratization (processes and problems); imperialism; fascism; and 20th-century warfare.

S = Courses of Instruction


AAAS 18b

Africa and the West

L =


HIST 20b

Images of the Cosmos

HIST 23a

The Social Formation of Modern Europe

HIST 24a

An Intellectual History of Modern Europe and America

HIST 25a

Faith and Reason in European Culture

HIST 55b

The History of the Family

L =


POL 184a

Utopia and Power in Modern Political Thought