History Undergraduate Courses

Click on any course title below to read its description. Courses offered in the upcoming semester include a schedule, and are indicated by a label to the right of the title.

MET HI 101 The History of Western Civilization I
Fall ‘15

Surveys the development of Western society and culture from a.d. 1000 to the French Revolution of 1789. Topics include the development of medieval European society and culture, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the scientific revolution, absolutism, enlightened despotism, and eighteenth-century rationalism.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
A1 IND Backman CAS 229 M 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MET HI 102 The History of Western Civilization II

A survey of Western society from the French Revolution through World War II, including the Industrial Revolution, nineteenth-century nationalism and imperialism, the rise of working-class movements, international rivalries, and ideological conflict in the twentieth century.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 151 American History, 1607-1865
Fall ‘15

Growth of the United States from the colonial wars to the end of the Civil War. Explores British colonial policy, the Revolution, and the Constitution. Analyzes Federalism, Jeffersonian revolution, and westward expansion. Examines sectionalism, slavery, and war.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
N1 IND Waya ARR
MET HI 152 American History, 1865- Present
Fall ‘15

Continues MET HI 151. Analyzes the Reconstruction; economic expansion; problems of transportation, business, agriculture, labor, and finance; the populist movement; the place of the United States among nations; reform legislation; the United States in World War I; the New Deal; and World War II and after.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Deese CGS 515 R 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MET HI 230 Classics of Maritime Literature in Historical Context

This intensive course will broadly survey maritime history?human sea-borne enterprise and the development of sea power since the Age of European Expansion?through the lens of classic works of maritime fiction. Classes will alternate between historic lectures (meant to set the course readings into context) and discussion of the literary motifs and characters found in a selection of timeless tales of the sea.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 300 The American Immigrant Experience
Fall ‘15

Immigration has made and is remaking America. All Americans, or their ancestors, were at one time immigrants. This course provides a historical survey of this immigration. The first half of the course explores eighteenth- and nineteenth-century immigration movements; the second half focuses on the twentieth century.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
D1 IND Alpert CAS 214 R 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MET HI 305 Pivotal Trials in Massachusetts History

This course examines the historical and social context of landmark judicial trials in Massachusetts from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The background, issues, and outcome of each trial is observed within itself and in relation to the larger context in which it occurred. Certain legal strategies will be discussed, as well as the fairness or unfairness of the outcome of each trial and its effect on the society as a whole.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 317 The End of Empires: Europe since 1870

Analysis of the crucial role played by the nations of Europe in the great international developments of the past century and a half. Special attention to the role and challenges of the diplomacy of war and peace.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 330 History of the Middle East I
Fall ‘15

Middle East history, culture and civilizations. From the Seventh to the beginning of Twentieth Century; Ancient civilizations, advent of Abrahamic faith systems, surge and expansion of Arab-Muslim Societies, Crusaders, Persian and Turkic people, Colonialism and National states. What we learn from yesterday to understand today.   [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Onart CAS B06A W 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MET HI 331 History of Europe, 1815-1914

International relations. Political, social, and ideological developments in the principal countries of Europe from the Congress of Vienna to the outbreak of World War I.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 332 Recent and Contemporary History of Europe

Using historical studies, fiction, and film, this course explores the major twentieth-century European political struggles from the perspective of ordinary citizens. Topics include the cultural impact of mass warfare, the invasion of ideology in private life, sexual politics, and the drive for independence of the colonized peoples. The course stresses the building of writing and discussion skills with the chance to rewrite and to debate interpretations of events and trends with classmates.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 333 History of the Middle East II

Middle East history and society from World War I to the present. Emphasis on the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, colonial rule in the Arab world, formation of the nation states, rise of nationalism, struggle for independence, discovery of oil, modernization, the Arab and Israeli conflict, revolution, reemergence of Islam as a political ideology, the Gulf War and United States involvement, Arab spring and concept of democracy.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 342 History of America at War

This course surveys the history of America at war from pre-conquest Native American warfare to modern times. It covers colonial-era traditions, the Revolutionary War, 19th century wars with Britain, Mexico, and Spain, the Civil War, the two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and modern wars in the Greater Middle East. Attention is paid to varying military traditions, military culture and capabilities, from backwoods skirmishing to set-piece battles, to total war on a global scale, to today?s fighting against irregular enemies employing evolving combat doctrines and assets. Documentary and other films will enhance class discussion of the evolution of American warfare and of Americans at war.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 355 Modern China

Exploration of twentieth-century China. Emphasis on the conditions inside and outside China that led to the revolution and to the establishment of the present state. The Cultural Revolution and its effect on present-day China.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 363 Twentieth-Century United States, 1901-41

Impact of industrialization; progressive impulse and politics; American imperialism; World War I; reaction and social revolt; technology, prosperity, and fundamentalism; the Great Depression; Roosevelt, the New Deal, and welfare capitalism; and politics and foreign policy.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 364 Twentieth-Century United States, 1941-Present

The origins and consequences of World War II; the Truman administration and the Fair Deal; the origins of the cold war; international and domestic issues and conflicts from the 1950s to the 1980s.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 371 History of African Americans

Historical patterns of racial relations and participation of African Americans in American social, economic, political, and cultural life. Major historical events and institutions: the slave system, Civil War and Reconstruction, industrialization, urbanization, the New Deal, and the civil rights movement.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 373 History of Boston
Fall ‘15

The foundations, development, and "fate" of Boston since the colonial period. Explores the architecture, geography, social structure, and economic development of the city, as well as political changes.  [ 4 cr. ]

Section Type Instructor Location Days Times
C1 IND Hynes CAS 227 W 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MET HI 374 Women in American History

American women's history from the time of European settlement to the 1980s. Women's changing patterns of family life, paid and unpaid work, political and social involvement, and attempts to change the shape of their world. The goals of the course are to acquaint students with the significant concepts and events in women's history and, through class discussions, to engage students in ongoing debates about their meanings.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 380 Magic, Sorcery, and Witchcraft in History

Historical contexts of the magical world view; charms and spells, oracles and divination, control of spirits, metamorphosis, and alchemy in selected periods of the ancient and medieval world.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 395 Film and History

This course compares and contrasts the ways that historians work in varied media: books, essays, feature films, and documentary films. The class pursues the histories of past events and periods in American history, analyzing how writers and film-makers develop a narrative approach to events, time periods, or individuals' lives. The course also looks not only at history in film but also at the history of film and its development as an artistic and cultural expression during the twentieth century. The class considers the ways that films are themselves cultural artifacts of the time in which they were produced: what movies tell us about American values, myths, and character at a particular point in time and how the requirements of a particular film genre affect the cultural information it presents.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 415 Special Topics: History of India

This course is an introduction to the history of the world's largest democracy from antiquity to the present. The course covers early structures of Indian life, development of major religious movements, fusion of religious and cultural patterns, impact of British rule, major works of Indian literature and the emergence of a modern technical, economic and political giant. It provides an excellent foundation of those studying the general history of South Asia as well as students entering business and technical fields that center upon India.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 425 Women in European History

This course provides an introduction to the role of women in European history. Readings and discussion focus broadly on changing attitudes, expectations, and opportunities for women by exploring such topics as convent life, working conditions, charity, the witch craze, and political and religious upheaval. It also examines the challenge of writing women back into history and looks at the lives and strategies of individual women.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 440 Twentieth-Century American Social History

Significant themes in American social history in the twentieth century, including radical and protest movements, mass media, ethnic movements and conflict, urban disorders, and attitudes. Basic themes vary with the instructor and semester.   [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 450 American Popular Culture: Humor and History

The increase in scholarly and popular interest in humor during the past several decades demonstrates a heightened awareness of the significance of humor in American culture. This course analyzes the historical and sociological patterns of humor and their relation to social change and conflict in twentieth-century America. Includes readings from the social sciences and humanities and a series of films.  [ 4 cr. ]

MET HI 476 Special Topics: The American Presidency

This course will focus on the changing institution of the American Presidency from 1901 to the present. As it examines the policies and personalities of modern U.S. presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama, this course will pay special attention to the evolving concept of the "imperial presidency" over the past century. We will also consider how changes in our political culture, driven by the rapid evolution of new communication technologies, have transformed the office of the presidency.   [ 4 cr. ]