Department of History & Politics
Through the global study of past and present civilizations, the study of history and politics presents students with the collective memory and knowledge of the world. By offering context and perspective, these disciplines teach an appreciation of the past, an understanding of the present, a respect for other cultures and the ability to shape the future. Students will learn to read critically, think logically, write effectively, and conduct research.
As integral parts of a liberal arts education, history and politics provide students with the intellectual background and skills that prepare them for teacher certification; graduate study; law school; and careers in education, business, government, and nonprofit organizations.
Departmental Honors: History
Qualified students may apply for departmental honors in their junior year to the department chair. Criteria include intellectual curiosity, academic ability, and commitment. Honors students, if successful, will present their research in a public forum. Qualified students may apply for departmental honors in their junior year to the Department Chair. Criteria include intellectual curiosity, academic ability, and commitment. Honors students, if successful, will present their research in a public forum.
Politics, Law, and History Minor
See description and requirements in the Interdisciplinary Minors section of the catalog.
New Jersey Teaching Credentials
The New Jersey certifications below are available for students earning the B.A. in History:
- Early Childhood Education (P–3) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
- Elementary Education (K–6) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
- Teacher of Social Studies (K–12) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
- Teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) with Teacher of Students with Disabilities Endorsement
For Teacher of Social Studies (K-12) certification, students may be required to complete additional courses in political science, sociology, geography, economics, and anthropology.
For required professional courses in education, please refer to the School of Education section of the catalog.
A survey of political, social, economic, cultural, and diplomatic developments that have shaped the United States from earliest times through Reconstruction. Offered each fall.
A survey of political, social, economic, cultural, and diplomatic developments that have shaped the United States from Reconstruction to the present. Offered each spring.
This course will examine world history from prehistory to 1500. It will survey the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious developments of major civilizations and explore the links between and among these civilizations. Offered each fall.
This course will examine world history from 1500 to the present. It will survey the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious developments of major civilizations and explore the links between and among these civilizations. Offered each spring.
A study of women in American society from colonial times to the present, with emphasis on movements and individuals who furthered women’s political, economic, social and intellectual emancipation. Applicable to Women’s Studies minor.
A survey of Asian countries with emphasis on imperialism, de-colonization and emergent nations. Applicable to the International Area Studies minor.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300, or permission of the instructor.
This course covers African history from the beginnings of modern humans to the late-20th century. Major themes will include religion, trade, colonialism, resistance, and independence.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300, or permission of the instructor
Designed for history majors and minors, this course introduces majors and minors to the historians’ methods and skills, to historiography, and to key issues in the history profession. Intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing. To pass this course and meet the requirement for enrollment in history electives and HST475, students must earn a C- or better in HST300 and on the research paper in HST300. Offered each semester.
This course explores the causes, course, consequences, and aftermath of the American Revolution, including the U.S. Constitution and early Republic. Social, political, ideological, economic, military, and constitutional themes will be explored.
This course explores the causes, course, and consequences of the American Civil War & Reconstruction Era, from 1820 to 1877. Social, political, cultural, economic, and military themes will be explored.
This course examines political, social, cultural, and economic developments in U.S. history from the 1890s to 1945—from Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin Roosevelt. Topics include the 1890s, Progressive Era, 1920s Jazz Age, Great Depression, New Deal, reform movements, and home fronts during both world wars.
This course will examine social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and foreign policy themes in America since 1945. Topics include the postwar liberal consensus and the rise of the new right, McCarthyism, the Beat Generation, the Sixties, the New Left, the counterculture, presidential administrations, Watergate, the Cold War, Vietnam, and social movements—including the civil rights, antiwar, student, and women’s movements.
This course will use biography to explore the theme of social justice, social reform, and social activism in U.S. history. We will read and discuss biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories. We will learn about rebels, reformers, and radicals; their ideas, strategies, and activism; and their efforts to establish peace, freedom, justice, and equality in America. And we will place these biographies within the broad social, political and economic justice movements in which they participated.
This course offers a comparative examination of the ideas, methods, and activism of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin L. King Jr., along with their contributions to global nonviolent social movements. It focuses on the liberation movements associated with Gandhi and King and their leadership roles in the Indian civil rights movement in South Africa, the Indian independence movement, and the African American civil rights movement, as well as other nonviolent peace, justice, and resistance movements around the world. Readings include memoirs, biographies, documents, songs, photos, and films.
Examine U.S. foreign relations from the Spanish-American War to the 9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Topics include American empire and global power, diplomacy and peace, intervention and regime change, the Cold War, the CIA and covert action, and interpretations of U.S. foreign policy. Applicable to American Studies minor.
This course examines American involvement in Vietnam and the history of modern Vietnam. Key themes include Vietnamese history, culture, and nationalism; the causes and consequences of the Vietnamese War(s); the anti-war movement; Vietnam Veterans; Vietnam War literature, film, music, and art.
This course will explore the United States and the 9/11 wars era and experience it through primary documents, secondary sources, and film. It will survey the political, social, and cultural history of the Middle East from Muhammad to the present and the U.S role in the region’s modern history. It will examine the 9/11 attack and America’s 9/11 wars in Afghanistan, in Iraq, on the War on Terror. It will consider military, political, constitutional, social, and ethical issues, including surveillance, torture, Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo, drone warfare, and the impact on American Muslims.
This course will examine the Mediterranean basin as an arena of intercultural exchange among the Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim worlds, as well as the economic, religious, and political boundaries that defined the Mediterranean and focus on those who were able to transgress these boundaries to conduct interaction with those of different faiths and cultures. Topics will include the Crusades, the culture of Islamic Spain, the Holy Land as shared and contested space, Jews in the Mediterranean, and Ottoman expansion in the Mediterranean.
This course follows the rise of the Atlantic world from 1400-1850. Central themes include culture, labor and production, trade and exchange, and empire.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300 or permisson of the instructor.
This course, with reference to a series of historical case studies, examines the imperial experiences in world history. The approach taken is a comparative one, highlighting similarities and contrasts between various historical empires. Among the case studies the course will examine are the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Mongol Empire, the British Empire, Ming China, and the Soviet Empire. The final week of the course will raise the question whether the current American hegemony constitutes an empire, and what historical lessons might be applied to these present-day realities.
This course surveys the histories of Latin American peoples from early Iberian colonialism to roughly 1830. Central themes include labor and production, gender, trade and exchange, religion, and politics.
The course surveys the histories of people of Latin America from the Independence Wars to the present. Central themes include labor, law, gender, race, nationalism, and political change.
Pre/corequisite(s): HST300 or permissionof instructor.
This course surveys the histories of people of Mexico from the pre-Columbian period to the present. Central themes include labor, law, gender, race, nationalism, religion, and art.
A study of the political and cultural developments and changes that emerged in Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries, concentrating on some of the major personalities that initiated the changes.
This course examines major themes and transformations in European politics, society, and culture from the French Revolution to World War I. Topics include the French Revolution, Napoleonic Europe, industrialization, nationalism, romanticism, democratization, secularization, imperialism, social thought, and modernism.
This course examines political, social, cultural, and economic developments in European history since 1914. Topics include the First World War, political ideologies, the Russian Revolution and Soviet Russia, fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the Second World War and holocaust, Cold War divisions and dissidents, politics and society, the Sixties, and the 1989 revolutions and collapse of communism.
An advanced course designed to examine a particular period or topic through selected readings, discussion, and lecture.
Coursework earned in conjunction with international travel, normally as part of a GCU-sponsored international study trip. Students will complete substantial academic assignments as determined by the instructor. Course fees do not include trip costs. Offered on application and with approval of department.
Offered to history majors who wish to enhance their academic training in private or public institutions. A substantial project is required. Offered on application.
Prerequisite(s): Junior or senior status and approval of the department.
The course offerings in the Geography program are designed to provide an overview of the discipline by identifying specific natural and human phenomena distributed on the Earth’s surface. This goal is accomplished by recognizing that the map is the essential tool for understanding the spatial relationships of those phenomena. This geographic foundation should enable one to analyze this information within a local, national and global context.
Investigates the variables in basic resources in different parts of the world. A study of the cultural relationships to international economic and population patterns. Applicable to International Studies and Latin American Studies minors
The course is designed to investigate specific ways that humans, as agents of change, have deliberately and accidentally modified the earth’s surface. A key component will be to recognize the theoretical aspects of the discipline and apply them in contemporary local, regional, and global settings.
Political Science (PO)
Political Science courses provide students with the tools needed for a life of social activism and the pursuit of social justice and social welfare, within the framework of a comprehensive education in politics. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue an internship or similar practical political activity.
Course materials present politics as a value allocation process constrained by the institutions and processes of American government. Major topics include the institutions of the federal government, civil liberties and civil rights, and elections. Particular focus is directed toward specific issues and problems at the discretion of the instructor and as the electoral and political cycles warrant. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
This course examines politics at the state and local level, with a focus on New Jersey. The course covers general problems of federalism and specific issues drawn from a variety of topics including, but not limited to, law enforcement, taxation, local development/land use and local election campaigns. Course credit may be applied to the American Studies minor.
An advanced course designed to examine a particular topic through selected readings, lectures, class activities and student research.
Scott H. Bennett, Professor of History; Chair, Department of History and Politics
Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
M.A., College of New Jersey
M.A., Florida State University
B.A., University of Central Florida
Jessica Keene, Assistant Professor of History
M.A., Johns Hopkins University
M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County
B.A., Christopher Newport University