HIST 11: World History since 1500
Dr. Roy Robson
What do you know about big, world-changing issues such as colonization, the Industrial Revolution, Nationalism, or World War II? You can study these topics and much more in this fast-paced, asynchronous Canvas-based course.
HIST 20 Sections 002 and 721: American Civilization to 1877
Dr. Stephen Nepa
This course traces the historical roots of the United States of America. Our narrative begins in the pre-Columbian era, charts the development of colonial agriculture and urban life, the competition of various empires over land and peoples, the origins of the transatlantic slave trade, Civil War and Reconstruction, and the expansion of imperial ambition. By 1776, the United States formed under promises of liberty, equality, property rights, and tolerance. But who would benefit? Who should rule? Industrialization, the consolidation of slavery, agricultural specialization, and expansion to the west, along with demands for reform and democracy, made these questions ever more vexed and led to a Civil War and a flawed attempt to reconstitute the Union by the turn of the twentieth century. Through use of art, music, literature, film, and other media, students will gain an understanding of the complexities of the American past.
HIST 21-001: American Civilization since 1877
Dr. David Ruth
In this class we explore major developments in American history since the late 1800s: industrialization and labor strife; the rise of the U.S. as a world power; mass immigration and efforts to restrict it; struggles over rights for racial minorities, women, and many others; multiple wars; the creation of a stronger, more active federal government and conservative efforts to limit it; astonishing changes in values, families, and daily life; and much more. To understand this infinitely complicated story, we repeatedly come back to a single key question: How have Americans understood, experienced, and struggled over the meanings of freedom?
HIST 109: Introduction to U.S. Environmental History
Dr. Stephen Nepa
This course introduces environmental history not only as a field of study but also a multifaceted approach to understanding the American past. Beginning in the colonial period and extending through the post-WWII decades, we will examine topics such as cartography, wilderness preservation, industrialization and urbanization, armed conflicts, pollution, and the rise of the modern environmental movement. Through use of art, music, literature, film, and other media, students will gain an understanding of how the human and nonhuman worlds have shaped one another over nearly four centuries of American history.
HIST 124: History of Western Medicine
Dr. Juliet Larkin-Gilmore
Are you “sick” if your doctor gives you a diagnosis but you feel fine? Are you “healthy” if you feel sick but your doctor says your lab results are normal? Who decides when we are “healthy” and when we are “sick”—and how has that changed over time?
In HIST124, we will answer these and other questions about the history of medical practice in Europe and the United States. We will trace how one way of seeing the body (through a microscope) came to dominate over others and focus on the themes of diagnosis (when is someone “sick” and why?), treatment (how do we know they are "cured"?), and justice (how race & ethnicity, language, gender, sexuality, class, and disability affect access to healthcare). We will also explore who has benefitted and who has suffered under Western medical practices and why it matters that we understand the past. Topics will include Ancient Greek medicine, bloodletting, epidemics, antibiotics and vaccination, medical experimentation, and health activism.
HIST 178: Latin American History to 1820
Dr. Manuel Morales Fontanilla
In this course, we will introduce ourselves to the social, cultural, economic, and political history of Colonial Latin America from pre-contact to about 1826 when independence from Spain consolidated. The course is a survey of three centuries, so we will focus on the contributions that major cultural groups (Indigenous Americans, Africans, and Europeans) had in the formation of the colonial society, studying significant historical processes from a local and trans-imperial perspective. We will also think about the intersection between history, power, and memory and how that affects the way in which we understand “historical truth” today. In Latin American History to 1820, we will expose ourselves to colonial-era documents produced by or about the people who lived in the region, including Spaniards and Portuguese; African slaves and free blacks; Mayas, Nahuas/Aztecs, and Incas; mixed race peoples called castas; wealthy and poor; and women, men, and children. We will also use contemporary historical, sociological, and anthropological literature focused on the topics pertinent to the class.
HIST 302W / ASIA 405Y / BMH 490 / RLST 497: Asian Studies Research Seminar: Chinese Medicine and Healing Traditions
Dr. Pierce Salguero
The Asian Studies research seminar takes place every semester, providing students in Asian Studies, History, Health Humanities, and Religious Studies with the one of the most comprehensive trainings in research and writing available at Abington College. Students in this class learn critical humanities skills while developing a research project from an initial topic to a formal scholarly paper. This course provides an excellent opportunity to produce a writing sample for graduate school or employment applications, while being mentored every step of the way. For the Spring 2024 semester, our topic will be "Chinese Medicine and Healing Traditions.” Students will be able to focus their research their preferred facet of this topic, ranging from acupuncture, herbal medicine, and pandemics to martial arts, religious healing rituals, and more.
HIST 404: Advanced Public History
Dr. Nicholas Bonneau
Looking for real-life experience in some of today’s most high-demand fields? Preparing for a career in programming, medicine, business, law, or education? If “yes,” was your answer to either of these questions, then “Advanced Public History” (HIST 404) is a perfect fit for you. Join us as we learn about some of the diverse ways in which non-profit organizations interact with the public and then pick your own path of specialized study. Are you majoring in computer science or information technology? You could work with programming staff on an interactive website. Do you see a field in medicine? You might work with medical historians tracking past epidemics. Interested in the entertainment industry? Perhaps working on a podcast or documentary project is more your speed. Or maybe you see a career ahead in marketing, business management, or education? We have opportunities in social media administration, small business/non-profit management, and curriculum development. These opportunities and more are available at museums and other institutions in Montgomery County, in nearby Philadelphia, or even online.
HIST 424: Comparative History of Sports and Politics
Dr. Manuel Morales Fontanilla
Sports are a tool that can help us answer important questions about the past and the present. They have been pivotal in shaping and undermining social structures, political mobilizations, collective identities, patterns of domination, and processes of resistance. Analyzing the political and historical importance of sport from a global and comparative perspective can provide us with a more comprehensive understanding of the human experience. In HIST 424, we will focus on the connections between sport and capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, colonialism, and imperialism from the 19th century until the present. We will also explore the relationship between sport, race, class, gender, and power using concrete examples from around the world. This approach aims to show sport’s centrality in contemporary popular culture and its importance for globalization processes. We will use primary sources (texts, images, songs, material culture) and interdisciplinary academic scholarship on the topics pertinent to the class.
HIST 434: History of the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia
Dr. Roy Robson
The history of the USSR is dramatic and unpredictable. We will study the political, economic, cultural, and social history of the Soviet Union from 1917 until 1991. Then we will take a deep dive to understand the calamitous invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
HIST 445: The Emergence of Modern America
Dr. David Ruth
We explore the transformative period in American life from the end of Reconstruction to the immediate aftermath of World War I. People from every background confronted a host of challenges and opportunities arising from the development of a modern industrial society. We focus on how Americans responded to those challenges and opportunities: coming together in large cities; fighting to expand or restrict the rights of women, immigrants, racial minorities, industrial workers, and many others; building a dynamic new mass culture; arguing about the proper roles of government; and debating America’s role in the world. Throughout the course, we ask how Americans’ ideas and actions in those years continue to shape our lives today.
HIST497: Special Topics: History of Death and Dying
Dr. Juliet Larkin-Gilmore
What is a “good” death? How should we remember the dead? What can dying teach us about living? The answers to these morbid questions can tell us a lot about a society and its culture. In this course, we will examine dying, death practices, and uses of dead bodies around the world and throughout time. Our goal is to provide a framework for how humans have understood death across time and space, and especially to help us make sense of our lives in the age of COVID. Using ghost stories, photography, artifacts, film, poetry, science fiction, children’s books, and academic texts we will explore topics including funerals and the funeral business, grief, organ donation, human remains in museums, capital punishment, management of widescale death, euthanasia, the value of human versus animal/plant life, and memorialization of the dead.
These are just some of the History courses being offered.