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International Studies / Courses

International Studies is an interdisciplinary major at Meredith, blending courses in history and political science, which results in students' ability demonstrate an understanding of global interactions between contemporary nations and cultures. It is highly recommended that International Studies majors achieve fluency in at least one foreign language and study abroad.

HIS-101 Emergence of Western Civilization (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
The evolution of Western civilization from the ancient Greek, Roman, Judaeo-Christian, and Germanic traditions, the medieval synthesis of these traditions, and the rebirth of classicism during the Renaissance. The final evolution of these traditions through the commercial, religious, political, and scientific revolutions to 1750.

HIS-102 Modern Western Civilization (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring; Summer | Course Offered Every Year
The rise of industrialism, nationalism, socialism, and science. The role of imperialism, Fascism, and Communism as challenges to traditional Western culture. The study of contemporary Western culture and its role in the modern world.

HIS-103 The World in the 20th Century (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course will examine key events, issues and developments in the 20th century world predominantly from the perspective of non-Western cultures. It will pay particular attention to the issues of European imperialism and de-colonization; the application of Western ideologies of liberalism, communism, and nationalism in non-Western settings; and economic and cultural globalization. Case studies will demonstrate differing responses to the challenges of modernization in the 20th century.

HIS-200 Introduction to Latin American History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course will begin with a study of colonial independence, ending with the study of contemporary characteristics of modern Latin American states.

HIS-214 American History to 1876 (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Summer | Course Offered Every Year
The emergence of the federal system, democracy, states' rights, nationalism, territorial expansion, slavery and Civil War, Reconstruction.

HIS-215 American History Since 1876 (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
The development of modern America. Emphasis on expansion, industrialism, urbanization, race relations, and the growth of federal power.

HIS-224 Introduction to Asian History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
This course examines the intellectual, cultural, and political foundations of traditional Asian societies, following their transformation from ancient times to twenty-first century modernity.

HIS-250 Introduction to Archaeology (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course provides students with a basic introduction to the scope and concerns of archaeology, a deeper understanding of the human past, and a greater sensitivity to issues surrounding the reconstruction and representation of that past. We will survey some famous archaeological discoveries. Over the semester we will also conduct several activities dealing with the hands-on analysis of material culture, and will visit and critically analyze local archaeological sites and reconstructions.

HIS-270 Introduction to Native American History and Cultures (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
An overview of the history of Native Americans in North America. Students will be introduced to such topics as original migrations into North America, impact of European contact, demographics, evolution of stereotypes, historical events, important leaders, religions, societal structures, indigenous arts, traditional lifeways, and current political and social issues.

HIS-281 Introduction to African History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course will introduce students to the history of the African continent. It will survey the variety of environmental conditions and the ecological impact on the growth of African civilization and culture. It will examine the emergence of states and kingdoms such as the trader empires of West Africa and Great Zimbabwe in the south. It will also examine traditional African myths and epics. Other topics include the impact of Islam, European contact and the slave trade, the struggle against colonialism and apartheid, the rise of nationalism, and the problems of Africa's newly independent states including the chaos of the Congo and Rwanda, and the legacy of Mandela's South Africa. And the course will show the amazing resilience of the Africans and their uncanny talent to survive and even prosper despite the best efforts of authority and environment.

HIS-282 The Modern Middle East (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Every Year
This course will address cultural, social and political issues in the Middle East since the late 19th and into the 21st century. Topics covered will include imperialism, nationalism, the creation of modern states, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Iranian Revolution, the politics of oil, U.S. - Middle East relations, and the emergence of activist Islamic groups. Also offered as POL-282.

HIS-285 Women in Global Perspective (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
Economic systems have a formative impact on women's lives and the nature of their role in society. Women's experiences and the expression of these experiences in artifacts, historical documents, and literature will be studied to shed light on this relationship.

HIS-300 Introduction to Public History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
An introduction to the theoretical background of public history and its disciplines; historic preservation, museum studies, archives and records administration and documentary editing. Students read literature in these disciplines and solve practical problems in public history.

HIS-302 Modern British History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
This course will examine the significant political, social, economic, and cultural transformations that have shaped British history in the modern era. It will explore key events and themes that influenced British development, including: the nature of "Britain" as a multinational, multi-ethnic polity; the impact and influence of Britain as a commercial, and later military, global empire; the role of Britain as a "model" of evolutionary historical development; the British experience of the two world wars; the creation of a socialist welfare state in the intellectual homeland of economic and political liberalism; and recent efforts to question and reform the post-war social and political consensus.

HIS-304 Greek and Roman History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
A study of the cultural and historical characteristics of the ancient Greeks and Romans with special emphasis on their contributions to subsequent civilizations.

HIS-305 Holocaust Experiences (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
The twentieth century has witnessed the mass destruction of peoples on a scale unprecedented on the planet. Using the Holocaust in Germany as a focus and point of departure, this class will examine the Holocaust experience, as it was understood by the participants-the persecuted and the persecutors, and by those who passively acquiesced and by those who resisted.

HIS-306 Russia in the 20th Century (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course will examine the significant events, themes, and personalities that have shaped the turbulent history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. Key periods and topics will include: the failed "constitutional experiment" of late Imperial Russia; the dynamics of the Russian Revolution and Civil War; the impact of Josef Stalin's "revolution from above" and its program of collectivization, industrialization, and mass terror; the traumatic Soviet experience of World War II; the role of the Soviet Union in the Cold War; the rise of Gorbachev and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union.

HIS-308 20th Century Europe (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will examine the significant events, ideas, and social transformations that shaped Europe in its most tumultuous and destructive century ever, a century marked by wars, revolutions, genocides, and the threat of nuclear annihilation. Topics will include: the nature and impact of mass industrialized warfare in the Great War; the legacies of post-war disillusionment, depression, and appeasement; the murderous conflict of the ideologies of liberalism, communism, and fascism; the European experience of Cold War and decolonization; the role of gender in modern consumer society; the evolution of European integration; and the place of Europe in the global community.

HIS-310 Modern China (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
China from the 19th century to the present, with emphasis on traditional values in transition, the overthrow of the Manchus, the Republic, the rise of communism, and recent economic liberalization. Focus on social, political, and intellectual change.

HIS-312 India Past and Present (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
After an overview of the contemporary scene in India, this course will explore traditional Indian history and culture, including the ancient Indus Valley civilization, Aryan civilization, the Indo-Aryan synthesis, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam in India, Mughal imperial unification, the arrival of the British in India, the rise of Indian nationalism with Gandhi and Nehru, Indian independence, modern India and the role of India in the world today. Carefully selected films will complement the readings and lectures, and students will be made aware of resources concerning India in the academic community in Raleigh and in the Research Triangle.

HIS-314 Colonial American History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
The colonial origins of American society and ethnic diversity to the emergence of the American nation in the Revolutionary period.

HIS-315 Civil War and Reconstruction (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
A study of the years 1861-1876 with attention to causes and effects, social and political impacts, and lasting legacies of what was arguably the most important decade and a half in U.S. history.

HIS-319 Contemporary American History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
An in-depth study of the United States since 1945. Major emphasis on domestic politics, foreign relations, economic policy, urban crisis, civil rights, youth movement, and women's rights.

HIS-330 Modern US Foreign Policy (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
A study of global issues involving the United States vis-a-vis Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia. May be taken for credit in political science or history. Also offered as POL-330.

HIS-333 History of the South (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Varies, Contact Department Head | Course Offered Varies, Contact Department Head
A study of those aspects of Southern experience which have made the South a unique region from its early settlement to the present; includes social, political, cultural, and economic developments.

HIS-334 Methods of Historical Research (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
An introductory course in historical research and writing that is required of all majors and is usually taken during the junior year. It focuses on finding, evaluating, and using historical sources; on organizing and presenting historical research; and on analyzing historical literature. Each student should plan to take this course the semester before she undertakes HIS-499, Senior Research or HIS-498, Senior Thesis.

HIS-343 History of North Carolina (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
A study of North Carolina from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis on the social, economic, and political forces which shaped the state and her contributions in the national history.

HIS-375 Warfare, Culture, and Social Change in European History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course examines the powerful and enduring influence of warfare in European history within a global perspective. Students will explore the nature of war in the broadest sense, addressing its military, political, economic, social, and cultural aspects. Particular attention will be paid to the role of warfare in the social transformation, political development, and cultural evolution of Europe, as well as in Europeans' encounters with non-Western civilizations and cultures of war. Students will examine such specific issues as the nature of modern combat, the destructive role of technology, the influence of popular nationalism and militarism, values and attitudes regarding violence, conceptions of gender, the experience of the home front, and the practice of ethnic discrimination and genocide. A combination of lecture, discussion, and media will be used.

HIS-385 Europe in the Middle Ages (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
This course will survey major developments in Western Europe from roughly 400 CE to 1300 CE. It will use primary and secondary sources to explore the growth of a distinctly European civilization upon its Judeo-Christian, classical and Germanic roots, and will trace the expression of this civilization through its political, religious and educational institutions; its formal religious thought and vernacular literature; its art, architecture and music; and its interactions with different cultures both within and beyond its borders. Specific topics covered will include the Germanic invasions, monasticism, the conversion of Europe, the growth of the manorial and feudal systems, scholastic thought in the universities, heresy and the crusades, the growth of representative government and others. Also offered as RES-385.

HIS-387 Age of Renaissance/Reformation (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course will work primarily through class discussion of primary sources to understand the changes in outlook expressed in the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. In particular, it will focus upon the transition from medieval toward modern attitudes in areas such as historical and scientific thought, political and educational theory, philosophy, art, music and religious thought and practice. It will also address the economic, social and political variables that underlay these changes in intellectual life, as well as the impact that these ideas had upon European society. Students will be encouraged to explore individual interests from their own major fields and personal backgrounds. Also offered as RES-387.

HIS-401 Global Questions: Technology and Social Change (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Odd-Numbered Years Only
Though technology in various forms pervades and sometimes greatly enhances our lives, individuals in modern societies often have little say in choosing the technologies they will adopt. Using a case study approach, this course examines the social impact of technological innovation from antiquity to the present, and in diverse world cultures of our time. Readings and discussions lead toward team projects where students identify a problem or opportunity using technology and social change, research the issue, prepare a proposal for a foundation grant, and present the proposal to the class. Students are particularly encouraged to make personal contact with human resources. Students are also invited to publish proposals and presentations at the undergraduate research conference.

HIS-409 Global Slavery in Historical Context (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Spring | Course Offered Even-Numbered Years Only
This course is designed to explore the global history of slavery and understand the growing role that slavery and "unfree labor" still plays in individual countries and the world economy. Because of its extensive history with this institution, the United States' experience with slavery will serve as a reference point for comparing historic and contemporary forms of slavery and "unfree labor".

HIS-498 Honors Thesis in History (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course that brings together work done across the major, builds upon HIS-334 and includes a senior research project of exceptional quality. Students will improve oral and written communication skills through class discussion and formal presentations. They will also make and implement plans for postgraduate education and careers. Each student will also formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper and an oral presentation. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course, as must the appropriate director(s) of Honors and/or Teaching Fellows. The project must meet Honors and teaching fellows requirements as well as those of the History department. The course substitutes for the HIS-499 requirement. Prerequisites: HIS-334 or permission of instructor. A student who completes the HIS-498 Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective HIS-498 or HIS-499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

HIS-499 Senior Research (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall; Spring | Course Offered Every Year
A research and seminar course required of all majors that brings together work done across the major, builds upon HIS-334 and includes a senior research project. Students will improve oral and written communication skills through class discussion and formal presentations. They will also make and implement plans for post-graduate education and careers. Each student will also formulate and execute an original research project that will culminate in a paper and an oral presentation. The director of the research project must approve a preliminary research proposal during the semester before the student takes this course. A student who completes the HIS-499 Seminar as a prerequisite may undertake a second elective HIS-499 research project on her own with an individual faculty director without attending the seminar a second time.

HIS-764 The Teaching of Social Studies (3.00 cr.)
Session(s): Fall | Course Offered Every Year
A study of the methods required for teaching grades 6-9, and grades 9-12, social studies. May not count toward a major.

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Contact Information

Dan Fountain, Department Head
226 Joyner Hall
(919) 760-8507
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