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(518) 580 - 5258

Skidmore College
Office Location: Tisch Learning Center, Room # 316
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Tillman Nechtman, Associate Professor of History
(518) 580 - 5268

Susan Matrazzo
(518) 580 - 5261


Spring 2011Courses

100 Level Courses

HI 104C 001    Early Modern Europe    Erica Bastress-Dukehart    (4 credits)
The evolution of modern European politics, society, and thought: from the Renaissance and Reformation to the French Revolution. (Fulfills social sciences requirement.) 

HI 106 001    20th Century Europe:  Age of Conflict    Matthew Hockenos    (3 credits)
An intensive examination of the political, economic, social, and cultural history of Europe from World War I. Emphasis on world wars, fascism, Nazism, communism, the Holocaust, new nations and nationalism, the Cold War, and the collapse of Soviet communism. (Fulfills social sciences requirement.) 

HI 111C 001    Introduction to Latin American History    Jordana Dym    (4 credits)
An introduction to the economic, political, social, and intellectual history of Latin America. Organized thematically and chronologically, topics emphasize understanding the emergence of the colonies of Spain, Portugal, France, and England into a group of distinct nation-states. Students will explore Latin American society from initial encounters among Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans. We then study independence: political, economic, and social challenges of early nation-state formation in a multi-cultural context. We conclude with the twentieth century, addressing topics such as industrialization, revolution, U.S.-Latin American relations, and selected intellectual trends. Not open to students who have successfully completed HI-109. (Fulfills
cultural diversity requirement and social sciencerequirement)

200 Level Courses
  HI 205 001    Rise of Rome    Michael Arnush    (3 credits)

A study of Rome from its foundation by Romulus to the end of the Republic and onset of the Roman empire. Students examine the Etruscan world, the rise of Rome in Italy, the impact of Hellenism, social and political institutions in the Republic, the evolution of Roman culture and the end of the Senatorial aristocracy. Special emphasis is given to the study of the ancient sources: literary, historiographic, archaeological, and numismatic. (Fulfills social sciences requirement.)

HI 211 001    Deconstructing Britain    Tillman Nechtman    (3 credits)
Explores the history of Britain from the 16th century to the present, exploring new ways of approaching the historical narrative of the British nation. Beginning with early English engagements with the wider world and tracing the rise of Britain as one of the world’s foremost imperial powers in the 18th and 19th century, students will examine Britain’s self-assured sense of global power through many different sets of eyes, thus investigating how Britain looked to those who lived under its shadow—including Indian travelers, African sailors, and Native American traders. Readings will explore the ways in which the British nation, and indeed British history, have been driven by British imperialism around the globe. Ends by asking questions about the post-imperial history for citizens of a nation that was once predicated on its imperial identity. (Fulfills Cultural Diversity requirement; fulfills social sciences requirement.)

HI 217 001    East Asian Diplomacy    Kate Baldanza    (3 credits)
The course will survey four centuries of East Asian diplomacy, defining the region broadly as Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, inner Asia, and including relations with the West.  We will explore competing models for managing foreign relations as well as the politics behind the continually shifting borders of the East Asian region.  Ultimately, students will be able to place current diplomatic and border disputes in their historical context. (Fulfills non-western requirement, fulfills social science requirement)

HI 217 002    American Environmental    Eric Morser    (3 credits)
This course explores American environmental history from pre-colonial times through the modern era.  We will investigate a number of themes, including how the different landscapes and ecologies of North America shaped the continent’s history, the links between industrialization and the environment, economic and political struggles for control of natural resources, and changing American perceptions of nature.  Ultimately, by examining these themes we can understand how the nation’s rich environmental history has crafted the world that we inhabit today. (Fulfills social science requirement)

HI 217R 001    Corporate America    Jennifer Delton    (4 credits)
This course examines the internal development of big business in America, as well as its changing relationship to the state and society from the Civil War to the present.  Topics include magnates and entrepreneurs, the rise and fall of different industries (railroads, meat-packing, automobiles, computers, Walmart), the history of management and labor, corporate responsibility, and globalization.   It is a research-oriented course. (Fulfills social science requirement.)

HI 235 00     Perceptions of Medieval, Early Modern Women    Erica Bastress-Dukehart    (3 credits)
A study of the perceptions of women in medieval and early modern Europe. How do we interpret the variety of ways in which philosophers, social theorists, historians, artists, and scientists have discussed and portrayed women? More importantly, how do we determine the real from the imaginary woman in history? Students will study the perceptions of Medieval and early modern European women that we find in historical documents, philosophy, science, literature, and art, in order to determine how the images of and discourse about women reflected (or contrasted) their reality.

HI 241 001    Intro to Imperial China   Margaret Pearson    (3 credits)
An introductory survey of the major cultural, political, and ideological developments in China from earliest times to the fall of the last Chinese dynasty, with focus on several important eras and their contributions to Asian civilizations. (Designated a non-Western culture course; fulfills social sciences requirement.) 

HF 200    Intro to Imperial China   Margaret Pearson    (1 credit add on)

HI 247 001    The Rise of Japan    Kate Baldanza    (3 credits)
An introductory survey of Japanese history and culture from its beginnings through World War II. Focus is on ways in which Japanese women and men have transformed borrowings from other cultures to create their unique forms of government, society, and the arts. Sources include a diary, short stories, legal documents, and films. (Designated a non-Western culture course; fulfills social sciences requirement.) 

HI 249C 001    The Vietnam War    Jennifer Delton    (4 credits)
An examination of the political, military, and cultural aspects of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1975, as well as the war’s legacy and meaning since.
   The fourth credit hour will focus on films and other media portrayals of the war.  (Fulfills social sciences requirement.)

HI 275 001    Intro to the History Major    Eric Morser    (1 credit)
An introduction to the aims of the History major. A prerequisite for the Colloquium. Required of all majors and interdepartmental majors, to be taken in the sophomore or junior years. Open to non-majors with consent of instructor.

300 Level Courses

HI 317C 001    Common Law/Colonial Context    Tillman Nechtman    (4 credits)
An exploration of the history of English Common Law. Begins with a close investigation of the early history of Common Law, focusing on such issues as the origins of the jury trial, the legacy of the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, and the structures of the early English legal system, including primary source readings from trial law and important cases in British legal history. Continues with an exploration of the impact of the Common Law throughout the British Empire, which proved to be a contested space in which English legal traditions were faced with indigenous customs. Investigates the hybrid legal structures that were born of this legal cross-fertilization and the lasting legal legacies of Britain's imperial history both within colonized communities and Britain itself.

HI 335R 001    German History Since 1918    Matthew Hockenos    (4 credits)
An examination of the cultural, economic, political, and social history of Germany from 1918 to the present. Through primary and secondary sources, films, and novels, we examine Germany's brief and ill-fated attempt at democracy in the Weimar Republic, the genocidal rule of Hitler and the Nazis, the occupation and division of Germany after the Second World War, the ideological struggle between Germany's place in the Cold War and finally the (re)unification of Germany and the ghosts of the Nazi and communist past. Prerequisite: One college course in European history. 

HI 363 001    Gender and Family Life in China    Kate Baldanza    (3 credits)
In this course, we will examine private life in China, and the interaction of family and state, from 1600 to the present.  The first half of the course will explore how gender and private life were constructed through architecture, public morality campaigns, and the legal system, and how the same were contested, subverted and satirized.  In the second half of the course, we will examine how the end of the Qing dynasty, the rise of Communism and new economic opportunities restructured gender roles and family life.  Topics include falling in love, marriage practices, foot binding, homosexuality, alternative families, and the evolution of women’s work. (Fulfills non-western requirement)

HI 363 002    Jefferson and Jackson    Eric Morser    (3 credits)
This course takes us on a grand tour of the critical era between the founding of the federal union in 1789 and the Mexican-American War in 1848. We will discuss a number of topics, including the on-going struggle to build a strong nation, the profound economic transformation that remade the lives of people across the continent, the impact of western expansion on Americans and their indigenous neighbors, debates over democracy and citizenship, the spirit of reform that seized the country in the 1820s and after, and the expansion of slavery in the South.  By investigating these key topics, we will explore how the Age of Jefferson and Jackson remade the nation and continues to shape how Americans understand who they are in a modern world.

HI 363 003    Changing with the Changes    Margaret Pearson    (3 credits)
A practical seminar using the instructor’s translation of the Book of Changes as part of a thoughtful process of planning and implementing major life changes, such as transitions from college to work or from one culture to another. 

HI 363C 001    History & Cartography    Jordana Dym    (4 credits)
Historians often use maps to understand or illustrate basic topographical features or political boundaries, but have only recently adopted these graphic texts as primary sources important for their role in making history as well as depicting historical fact.  In this class, students will engage recent scholarship to understand how maps can reveal something about not only the peoples, spaces, and times they portray, but also about the societies that create and consume them.  Then, they will apply the course’s analytical approaches on maps of their choosing.  Specifically, we will draw from scholarship in history, geography and art history to consider maps’ role in how local, regional, national and international spaces came to be defined, measured, organized, occupied, settled, understood, and disputed from medieval Europe through colonial India to the contemporary Americas.  Topics covered will include map production and consumption local, national, and world mapping;  imperial mapping; maps and travel; ideas of space and place; cartographic lies; cartographic literacy; and other themes.   

HI 375 001    The Early Modern World, 1400-1800    Erica Bastress-Dukehart   (4 credits)
The Colloquium is the history major's capstone course. Students will write a research paper on a topic of their choosing, which reflects and makes use of their history coursework to date. The colloquium is restricted to Seniors. By permission of instructor only.