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Master of Arts in History

Course Descriptions

HIST 500 Core Seminar in History / 3 units

Required for all M.A. candidates in history.
An examination of prominent historical methodologies and research methods. Readings, papers and intensive discussion.

HIST 501 Teaching Seminar / 3 units

Discussion of teaching methods, evaluation of course content, preparation of audio-visual materials, and oral presentations simulating actual classroom lectures. Essential for those preparing to become teachers or continuing the pursuit of graduate degrees in history.

HIST 502 Public History Seminar / 3 units

Examines aspects of public history that include a variety of spheres such as the application and definition of public history; theory and management of historical collections; registration and cataloguing of historical collections; philosophy and techniques of exhibiting historical artifacts; historical editing — books and scholarly journals; media or documentary productions; writing corporate histories; historical research in general and maintaining a Web site. Field trips to various local museums are included.

HIST 510 Topics in Ancient History / 3 units

This seminar focuses on ancient Greek or Roman history, with an emphasis on power and politics, gender, art and architecture, and/or economic and social change. Special topics may offer the chance to study the Trojan War, ancient Athens, Greek religion and culture, ancient Rome and the Mediterranean, the army, barbarians, Julius Caesar, Romanization, and/or the rise of Christianity. Extensive use will be made of contemporary sources to obtain first-hand insights into the values and concerns of ancient men and women. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 520 Topics in Medieval European History / 3 units

This seminar focuses on Medieval European history, with an emphasis on power and politics, gender, art and architecture, and/or economic and social change. Special topics may offer the chance to study knights and peasants; the Crusades, heresy, plague, Marco Polo’s travels to China and/or the rise of European empires. Extensive use will be made of contemporary sources to obtain first-hand insights into the values and concerns of medieval men and women. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 530 Topics in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe / 3 units

This seminar focuses on Europe, 1450-1700, with an emphasis on power and politics, gender, art and architecture, and/or economic and social change. Special topics may offer the chance to study the politics of the Italian city states; the writings of leading humanists, poets, philosophers, and political theorists; Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture; and/or political events such as the English civil war. The class also may focus on groundbreaking research in the histories of women, sexuality, popular culture, peasant life and magic. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 548 Vietnam War / 3 units

This seminar will examine the wars fought in and around Vietnam since the 1940s, with particular attention focused on the period of direct American involvement. These events will be considered in relation to Vietnam’s history, American politics and society, and to the nature of war itself. Finally, we will consider the legacy of the war and its meaning in American and Vietnamese memory today.

HIST 559 Topics in Modern Middle East / 3 units

This seminar focuses on various topics in the history of the Modern Middle East. Topics may include the growth and decline of the Ottoman Empire; Arab and Jewish nationalisms; the paths to independence; or the Iranian revolution. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 560 Topics in Latin American History / 3 unit

This seminar focuses on various topics in the history of Latin America, such as the role of religion and the Catholic Church; 20th-century revolutions and social upheaval; and the history of particular groups, including Amerindians, women, and rural and urban workers. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 564 Topics in Asian History / 3 units

An in-depth look at special themes and issues in the history of Asia, including such topics as Women in East Asia, Imperialism in Asia, and Asia’s relations with the United States. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 568 Issues in Modern Africa / 3 units

A critical study of issues confronting Africans in the 20th century. Alternating courses may include Problems in Africa since Independence and the South African Dilemma. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 570 American Environmental History / 3 units

This class will introduce students to the field of U.S. environmental history. On the one hand, we will examine how nature (soil, natural disasters, disease, water, climate, etc.) influenced the course of American history. On the other, we will address the ways Americans have used technology to transform the non-human world, the implications these transformations have had on power relations within American societies, and the cultural meanings that Americans have given to nature.

HIST 575 Topics in Modern American History / 3 units

Topics may include the Progressive Era, World War I, Great Depression, New Deal, World War II, United States-Latin American Relations, or other topics in the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the United States from 1865 to the present. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 576 Politics and Memory in U. S. History / 3 units

In this seminar we will explore the politics of American public commemoration. We will look at how dominant institutions (the National Park Service, history museums, and tourist venues) have remembered (and forgotten) the American past. We will also explore vernacular historical expressions and the ways in which minority groups have fought to shape American public memory. The class will use San Diego as a laboratory.

HIST 580 Topics in the History of the American West / 3 units

This class surveys the history of the American West. Topics include: pre-Columbian Indians, the competition between European empires over the American West; American expansion and conquest; the fur, mining, ranching, and farming “frontiers”; the railroad and populism; WWII and the growth of the urban west; the historical experience of workers, women, and Mexican-, Asian-, Native-, and African Americans; environmental issues such as conservation, preservation, the dust bowl, and water politics; and representations of the West in popular culture. Students may repeat the seminar for credit when the topic changes.

HIST 583 Chicano/a History / 3 units

This class explores the history of the Mexican and Mexican origin people in the United States. The class begins with the European settlement of the Americas and ends with the immigration of Mexicans to the United States in the 20th and 21st century.

HIST 589 History of California / 3 units

Covers California’s past from its earliest settlements to modern times. The course begins with California’s geographical setting, aboriginal culture, and contact with the European world. A survey of Spanish backgrounds includes missions and missionaries, ranchos, pueblos, and foreign visitors. Changes under the government of Mexico led to California’s conquest by the United States. During the second half, lectures cover generally the effects of the Gold Rush; problems of statehood; constitutional developments; land, labor, and Indian policies; transportation and immigration; agriculture and industry; California during wartime; water projects; political issues; cultural accomplishments; racial diversity; and recent trends. Meets the requirements of California history standards for various teaching credentials.

HIST 595 Thesis / 0.5-3 units

May be repeated. Thesis must be complete and submitted before credit is given.

HIST 59 Internship / 3 units

See Department Advisers responsible for assignments of internships.

HIST 599 Independent Study / 1-3 units

Consult program director for guidelines.

Undergraduate Courses

Under certain circumstances and with special graduate level adjustments, maximum of 6 elective units may be taken at the undergraduate, upper-division level. See the current Undergraduate Bulletin for course descriptions. Each class is worth three units.
HIST 310 Ancient Near East
HIST 311 Greek Civilization
HIST 312 Roman Civilization
HIST 321 The Fall of the Roman Empire, 250-1050
HIST 322 Castles and Crusades: Medieval Europe, 1050-1450
HIST 323 Medieval Women
HIST 331 Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 333 Europe 1600-1800
HIST 334 European Art and Architecture in Context
HIST 340 World War I
HIST 341 World War II
HIST 345 Topics in Military History
HIST 346 Topics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
HIST 347 Topics in Modern Europe
HIST 348 Modern France
HIST 350 History of the British Isles
HIST 351 Modern Britain
HIST 352 The British Empire
HIST 353 Spain to 1820
HIST 354 Modern Spain
HIST 355 Imperial Russia
HIST 356 Russia since 1917
HIST 357 Topics in Russian and East European History
HIST 358 Topics in Modern World History
HIST 359 Modern Middle East
HIST 360 Colonial Latin America
HIST 361 Modern Latin America
HIST 362 Topics in Latin American History
HIST 363 History of Brazil
HIST 364 Topics in Asian History
HIST 365 History of China
HIST 366 History of Japan
HIST 367 Women in East Asia
HIST 368 History of Africa
HIST 369 Issues in Modern Africa
HIST 370 American Environmental History
HIST 371 Topics in Early American History
HIST 373 U.S.-East Asia Relations
HIST 373 Armed Conflict in American Society
HIST 374 Civil War and Reconstruction
HIST 375 Topics in Modern American History
HIST 376 United States Foreign Relations to 1914
HIST 377 United States Foreign Relations since 1914
HIST 378 Topics in United States Intellectual and Social History
HIST 379 Topics in United States Mass Media History
HIST 380 History of the American West
HIST 381 American Indian History
HIST 382 The Spanish Borderlands
HIST 383 Chicano History
HIST 384 History of Mexico
HIST 386 The Pacific Ocean in History
HIST 387 History of Baja California
HIST 389 History of California
HIST 390 Art and Architecture in California