The undergraduate history program at St. Mary's University is committed to developing historically literate students who identify with a present profoundly linked to the past, from which they can better shape an ethically responsible community.
The Department of History strives to increase students' awareness of the complexity and diversity of human societies and prepare them to encounter a world different than the one they imagined. The skills students learn, such as research, writing, critical thinking, interpretation, and oral and written presentation, prepare them for the world of work, including the private sector and government, or for advanced graduate study and law school.
Majors in History
Minor in History
HS 1301. Historical Analysis: U. S. History to 1877. 3 Semester Hours.
Emphasis on selection of evidence and management of perspective in examining colonial societies, conflicting cultures and the rise, collapse, and reconstruction of the nation. Fall.
HS 1302. Historical Analysis: U. S. History since 1877. 3 Semester Hours.
Emphasis on selection of evidence and management of perspective in examining the rise of an urban-industrial society and effects on minorities and gender, the rise of a world power and domestic and international consequences. Spring.
HS 1303. Historical Analysis: Introduction to Latin American History. 3 Semester Hours.
Emphasizing analytical approaches to the study of Latin American history, the course will explore critical political, economic, social, and cultural developments over five centuries that give the region a shared identity. Fall.
HS 1351. Historical Analysis: World History to 1500. 3 Semester Hours.
A survey of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in world history from the earliest civilizations to the age of exploration. Fall.
HS 1352. Historical Analysis: World History since 1500. 3 Semester Hours.
A survey of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in world history from the age of exploration to the present day. Spring.
HS 3302. Creation of the American Republic. 3 Semester Hours.
European exploration and British colonization, conflict with Native Americans, the origin of American politics and the building of a nation.
HS 3309. Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War. 3 Semester Hours.
Examines the life of Lincoln with the particular emphasis on his changing views of slavery before and during the Civil War, and his role as Commander-in-Chief including his relations with generals and cabinet. The broad focus of the course explores North American slavery and the travail of Civil War intersected by what has been called "The Age of Lincoln.".
HS 3310. U. S. Immigration and Ethnic History. 3 Semester Hours.
Traces the history of immigration to the United States and the formation and evolution of ethnic communities from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Examines the ways in which diverse immigrant communities interacted with the dominant society and how the dominant society in turn adapted to varying and distinct waves of immigrants. Focus is on the effect of racial-ethnic diversity in United States history and on the implications of diversity for the nation's future.
HS 3312. Twentieth Century America. 3 Semester Hours.
Emphasis on world and domestic conflict and transformation. Among the topics considered are the World Wars, the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. Other sources underline the Progressive Era, consumerism, the Great Depression, and ethnocentric gender conflict and empowerment.
HS 3324. History of Texas. 3 Semester Hours.
Survey from the end of the Hispanic period to the early 20th Century; Anglo- American colonization; the Republic, annexation and statehood; Civil War, Post-Civil War.
HS 3341. U. S. Latino History. 3 Semester Hours.
Explores issues of identity, diversity and commonality in immigration and community building processes of Latin American background people in the United States. Special emphasis on historiography that treats Latinos within a single conceptual context.
HS 3347. History of United States Foreign Policy. 3 Semester Hours.
The historical development of the U.S. foreign policy from the Revolution to the
present, with emphasis on the rise of the United States as a world power.
HS 3350. American Biography. 3 Semester Hours.
Emphasis on individuals who revolutionized the national economy, political institutions, intellectual assumptions, and technological devices.
HS 3352. U. S. Women's History. 3 Semester Hours.
Study of women and gender in the history, politics, and culture of the United States, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries.
HS 3354. America's Rise as a World Power. 3 Semester Hours.
Focuses on the transformation of a weak nation after the Revolution to an aggressive continental manifest destiny to the building of an American Empire from the 1890s to World War I.
HS 3355. U. S. Military History. 3 Semester Hours.
American military institutions, policies, experiences, and traditions in peace and war from colonial times to the present. Emphasis will be on the relationship between the military and other institutions of American society. Analysis of basic military tactics, weapons systems, and equipment is conducted. Focuses on the history of the American military from the formation of the Continental Army in 1775 to the present day. Students will study the major armed conflicts in US history, and they will also explore the ways in which the military and warfare have shaped America's history. The class will also examine the major advances in military doctrine, strategy, operational art, and tactics that have influenced the development of the United States military.
HS 3357. Great American Murder Trials. 3 Semester Hours.
Focuses on trials that encapsulated United States national social, ethnic, and racial conflict from the 17th to the 21st century.
HS 3372. Independent Studies. 3 Semester Hours.
Participants engage in research and study based upon an enriching experience not
available in formal classroom presentations. Advanced standing and department
HS 3375. Topics in United States History. 3 Semester Hours.
A study of a specific topic in United States History. May be repeated when the topic changes.
HS 4310. History of Latin America- United States Relations. 3 Semester Hours.
Introduces students to the historical narratives and critical themes necessary for understanding the history of Latin American-United States relations during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Latin American-United States relations is considered using broad concepts and approaches commonly used in the fields of
History and International Relations.
HS 4322. The Spanish/Mexican/U.S. Borderlands in North America. 3 Semester Hours.
A study of the peoples and cultures in the geographical region of the contemporary U.S./Mexican Borderlands from the 14th century to the present, with emphasis on the colonization and evolution of the Southeastern and Southwestern Borderland states of Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Texas.
HS 4324. Modern Mexico. 3 Semester Hours.
Development of Mexico from independence to the present, emphasizing issues of regionalism and tenuous nationality in the nineteenth century and the emergence of an integrated political, cultural, and socioeconomic system in the twentieth century.
HS 4375. Topics in Latin American History. 3 Semester Hours.
Topics will range from national histories to critical themes in Latin American history. Topics may vary, and course may be repeated.
HS 5301. The Ancient Near East. 3 Semester Hours.
A survey of Near Eastern History from early Sumerian civilization (4th millennium BCE ) to the Establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate (750 BCE). Students will study the rise and fall of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula.
HS 5302. Ancient Greece. 3 Semester Hours.
The political, social, economic, and cultural history of Ancient Greece from the Mycenaean Period (1600-1100 BCE) to the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE).
HS 5303. Ancient Rome. 3 Semester Hours.
The political, social, economic, and cultural history of Ancient Rome from its mythical foundation in the 8th century BCE to the collapse of the Western Empire in 476 CE.
HS 5304. Medieval Europe. 3 Semester Hours.
Europe from the last days of the Roman Empire to the Black Death. This course focuses on historical developments such as the emergence of barbarian kingdoms, the rise of the papacy, the phenomenon of the Crusades, and the outbreak of peasant rebellions.
HS 5306. Renaissance and Reformation. 3 Semester Hours.
Europe from just before the Black Death to the aftermath of the Wars of Religion. This course focuses on historical developments such as the "rebirth" of Roman culture, the legacy of Martin Luther, the Inquisition, and the emergence of disbelief.
HS 5314. Contemporary Europe. 3 Semester Hours.
Europe from the eve of World War I to the present. Issues addressed include the World Wars, ethnic nationalism, the Cold War, imperialism, and the European Union.
HS 5326. The History of Spain. 3 Semester Hours.
The Iberian Peninsula from the late Roman period to the modern period. Topics include the Visigoth Kingdom, the "Reconquista," the Spanish Inquisition, the Spanish Empire, the Franco dictatorship, and the contemporary period.
HS 5328. The Middle East, The Near East and The West. 3 Semester Hours.
History of the Muslim Near and Middle East, with an eye towards the region's interactions with Europe and the United States. Essential topics include the changing role and interpretations of Islam, the importance of the Crusades, the legacy of imperialism, the effects of the Cold War and executions of the War on Terror.
HS 5335. History of Ethnicity and Race. 3 Semester Hours.
History of the modern concepts of ethnic communities and race. Essential topics include medieval "barbarian" notions of community, the legacy of mass medieval Jewish conversions, the rise of nationalism, modern "race" politics, and assimilation.
HS 5340. Violence in Pre-Modern Europe. 3 Semester Hours.
History of violence and peacemaking in the Roman, medieval, and Early Modern worlds. Essential topics include blood feuds, chivalry, massacres, torture, revolts, sexual assault, and the role of law enforcement.
HS 5375. Topics in European History. 3 Semester Hours.
A study of a specified topic in European history. May be repeated when the topic changes.
HS 5376. History of Christianity. 3 Semester Hours.
History of Christianity, its branches, institutions, and influence in world history. Major themes include heresy and orthodoxy, conversion, reform movements, and the intersection of politics and religion.
HS 5385. History of the Far East. 3 Semester Hours.
A survey of East Asian (e.g.: Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc.) history from the dawn of civilization to the present day.
HS 5386. A Global History of Warfare. 3 Semester Hours.
An exploration of the development of warfare from the earliest civilizations to the present day. Students will investigate significant advances in military technology, strategy, and tactics by studying many of the most important wars, battles, and military figures. The course will also examine the ways in which approaches to and ideas about warfare have evolved. In addition, students will learn how war has shaped the course of human history.
HS 5388. Topics in World History. 3 Semester Hours.
A study of a specified topic in World history. May be repeated when the topic changes.
HS 5390. Historiography, Method and Research. 3 Semester Hours.
The seminar has four objectives: (1) To acquaint students with historical method and historiography. Students will learn about the role of evidence, interpretation, and secondary literature in the field of history. (2) To identify their research topic. (3) To conceptualize research topic as a History Thesis or Public History project (i.e. exhibit, mobile mural). (4) To complete all primary and secondary research for their project. At the conclusion of the semester, students will present their preliminary research conclusions to assembled faculty and students. At that time students will submit a research project prospectus (History Thesis or Public History Project) which summarizes their arguments and outlines the current state of the field. Fall.
HS 5391. History Thesis I: Historical Writing. 3 Semester Hours.
Second of the three seminars of the senior thesis. The course is designed to guide students as they craft the first draft of the senior thesis. Students will learn how to incorporate evidence into historical arguments, to structure their arguments effectively, and to produce a clear, coherent, and original work of scholarship. During the semester, thesis students will present their research conclusions to assembled faculty and students. At the end of the term, students will submit a complete first draft of the thesis. Spring.
HS 5392. History Thesis II:Manuscript Preparation. 3 Semester Hours.
The final seminar of the senior thesis is the culmination of the students' training in historical research and writing. Students will polish their manuscripts and produce a final product. The course will emphasize editing the text for effective argumentation and interpretation, thoroughness of documentation, logical structure and organization, clarity of writing, and overall coherence and style. The goal is to create a thesis that will serve as a writing sample for graduate school and professional applications, provide a basis for presentations at research symposia and conferences, and be published in scholarly journals. Fall.
HS 5393. The Power of the Past: Introduction to Public History. 3 Semester Hours.
This seminar has two objectives: (1) Students will learn about the various public and private institutions that interpret history for the general public. They will learn about the origins of historical organizations in the United States, their rationale, and aspects of their operations. They will also consider the relationship of these institutions with private sector Heritage Tourism. Students will visit many of these institutions in the San Antonio area. (2) Students will develop their Public History Projects. An important instructional emphasis will be on the role of technological applications in the presentation of historical material to a general audience. The course will culminate in a first complete visualization, or pilot version, of their
Public History Projects.
HS 5394. Public History Practicum: Internship and Project. 3 Semester Hours.
This course is focused on completion of students’ individual public history projects, and their professionalization in the field of public history. That professionalization will focus on gaining experience at an internship, mastering new hardware and software required in the field, and prepping candidacies for jobs or grad schools. Possible tasks to be developed during the internships and supported by the course and St. Mary’s Media Resource Center include the following: editing publications and teacher resource materials, learning digital assets management systems (ex. CONTENTdm, Islandora), modeling creative exhibition layouts, researching with curators and undertaking curatorial support work (translation of audio, labels, creating derivative images with Photoshop, etc.), participating in archaeological excavations, handling fragile materials and undertaking their preservation (use of flatbed and overhead scanners), training in Qualitative Data Analysis software that facilitates global research of the “Gaia” genre, cataloging collections in parks and museums, designing interpretive programs on historical topics, designing teacher training programs that offer lesson plans based on an institution’s resources, developing community outreach (ex. traveling exhibits, blogging about sites or collections, or commemorative programming), and working with development offices to apply for grants and funding. Though not all of these skills can be honed in a single internship or course series, students should become well-acquainted with a wide range of possibilities in the field of public history and work toward developing those most relevant for their career interests.
HS 5399. History Internship. 3 Semester Hours.
Experience-based learning in an applied setting using historical skills, such as historical archives. Not recommended for students in Education. Meets the capstone requirements for majors in History.
Daniel Bjork, Ph.D.
Aaron Moreno, Ph.D.
Gerald Poyo, Ph.D.
Bradley Root, Ph.D.
Teresa Van Hoy, Ph.D.
Bradford Whitener, Ph.D.
Lindsey Wieck, Ph.D.