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Academic Year



School of Humanities and Social Science School Web site

School Dean

Janet Dizinno, Ph.D. hssdean@stmarytx.edu



Department Chair

Gerald Poyo, Ph.D. gpoyo@stmarytx.edu

Description of Program/Major

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.

Degree Requirements

Core Curriculum (SMC)
St. Mary's University Core (30 Hours)
All St. Mary's Core SMC13## "Reflection" courses must be completed before registering for SMC23## "Practice" courses. "Reflection" courses can be taken in any order followed by "Practice" courses in any order.
SMC 1301Foundations of Civilization3
SMC 1311Foundations of Reflection: Self3
SMC 1312Foundations of Reflection: Nature3
SMC 1313Foundations of Reflection: Others3
SMC 1314Foundations of Reflection: God3
SMC 2301Foundations of Practice: Ethics3
SMC 2302Foundations of Practice: Civic Engagement and Social Action3
SMC 2303Foundations of Practice: Fine Arts and Creative Process3
SMC 2304Foundations of Practice: Literature3
SMC 4301Capstone Seminar: Prospects for Community and Civilization3

School Specific Core (SSC)
School of Humanities and Social Sciences School Specific Core (30 Hours)

SpeechSE 1321 (for international students), SE 1341, SE 2333, SE 33913
Composition and Rhetoric (grade of "C" or better)EN 1311, EN 1313 (for international students)3
Mathematics MT 1301, MT 1302, MT 1303, MT 1305, MT 1306, MT 1411, MT 24123
Foreign LanguagesSix hours at the sophomore level (2311, 2312) in a Foreign Language previously studied for a minimum of one year;
Or, 6 hours of introductory level (1311, 1312) in a Foreign Language not previously studied;
Or, 12 hours of CLEP credit for a language previously studied.
HistoryBA 1310, BA 3325, CJ 2300, CJ 3300, EC 2301, EC 2303, PO 1311, PO 1312, PO 1314, PS 1301, PS 3386, SC/CR 1311, SC 3321, HU 3300, HU 33033
ScienceBL 1301, BL 1302, BL 3311, BL 3312, CH 1303, CH 1304, CH 1401, CH 1402, EG 2300, ES 1300, ES 1303, ES 1304, ES 1373, PY 1300, PY 1310, PY 1401, PY 14023
TheologyAdvanced Theology 33XX, HU 33033
Fine ArtsAR, DM, MU3
LiteratureEN 23XX3

Degree Plan

Department Courses and Descriptions

Department Courses and Descriptions
HS 1301
Historical Analysis: U.S. History to 1877 (3)
Emphasis on selection of evidence and management of perspective in examining colonial societies, conflicting cultures and the rise, collapse, and reconstruction of the nation.

HS 1302
Historical Analysis: U.S. History since 1877 (3)
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.

HS 1303
Historical Analysis: Introduction to Latin American History (3)
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.

HS 1351
Historical Analysis: World History to 1500 (3)
A survey of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in world history from the earliest civilizations to the age of exploration.

HS 1352
Historical Analysis: World History since 1500 (3)
A survey of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in world history from the age of exploration to the present day.

HS 3302
Creation of the American Republic (3)
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)
Examines the life of Lincoln with particular emphasis on his changing views of slavery before and during the Civil War, and his role as Commander-in-Chief including his relationships 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)
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)
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)
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)
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 3348
History of World War II (3)
Rise of the dictators and appeasement in Europe. Lapses in U.S. neutrality; Pearl Harbor and war on two fronts; build up to D-Day; Naval war in the Pacific; atomic conclusion with Japan.

HS 3350
American Biography (3)
Emphasis on individuals who revolutionized the national economy, political institutions, intellectual assumptions, and technological devices.

HS 3352
U.S. Women's History (3)
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 3355
U.S. Military History (3)
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.

HS 3357
Great American Murder Trial (3)
Focuses on trials that encapsulated United States national social, ethnic, and racial conflict from the 17th to the 21st century.

HS 3357
Great American Murder Trials (3)
Focuses on trials that encapsulated United States national social, ethnic, and racial conflict from the 17th to the 21st century.

HS 3375
Topics in United States History (3)
A study of a specific topic in United States History. May be repeated when the topic changes.

HS 4306
Modern Latin America (3)
Latin America during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, from the emergence of undefined political entities in the 1820s to the consolidation of national identities after the 1930s. Identify identity and examine central political, economic, social, and cultural themes that provide an understanding of the region as a whole.

HS 4310
History of Latin American-United States Relations (3)
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 4312
Revolution and Change in Latin American History (3)
Students will explore the idea of revolution and its impact on political, economic, and social change in Latin American history from the eighteenth century to the present. In the process students will learn the basic chronology and fundamental narratives and themes critical to understanding the Latin American historical experience.

HS 4322
The Spanish/Mexican/U.S. Borderlands in North America (3)
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)
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)
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)
A survey of Near Eastern history from early Sumerian civilization (4th millennium BCE) to the establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate (750 CE). Students will study the rise and fall of civilizations in Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula.

HS 5303
Ancient Rome (3)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 (HS)
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 5361
History of Art: Ancient through Medieval (3)
Principal periods in the history of western art from the paleolithic period to the Gothic.

HS 5375
Topics in European History (3)
A study of a specified topic in European history. May be repeated when the topic changes.

HS 5376
History of Christianity (3)
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)
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)
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)
A study of a specified topic in World history. May be repeated when the topic changes.

HS 5390
Historiography, Method, and Research (3)
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.

HS 5391
History Thesis I: Historical Writing (3)
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.

HS 5392
History Thesis II: Manuscript Preparation (3)
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.

HS 5393
The Power of the Past: Introduction to Public History (3)
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)
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)
Experience-based learning in an applied setting using historical skills, such as historical archives. Not recommended for students in Education. Meets the capstone requirement for majors in History.

Department Faculty

History Faculty Website

Department Website

History Website