The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall
 

Undergraduate

Course Designators

Below are descriptions of courses with the following ‘designators’ (the 3 letter code in front of the course number):

Course Prefix Department
HIS Department of History
JHP Joint History and Political Science
(administered by the Political Science Department, Room 3018, Sidney Smith Hall)
NMC Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
(administered by the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue)
SII/XBC Society and Its Institutions: Cross-Breadth Category, First Year Seminars (First-Year Seminars [courses with '199' in their codes] are open only to newly-admitted Faculty of Arts and Science students.)

NOTE: All courses shown on this page are accepted towards a History program (except SII & XBC199Y1 courses). However, as shown above, they are not all administered by the Department of History.

Course Nomenclature

  • Y1-Y is a full course, both terms
  • Y1-F is a full course, first term (fall session)
  • Y1-S is a full course, second term (winter session)
  • H1-F is a half course, first term (fall session)
  • H1-S is a half course, second term (winter session)

100 Level Courses (2016-2017)

100-level HIS courses are designed for students entering university. They take a broad sweep of material, and introduce students to the methods and techniques of university study. Each week, students will attend two lectures given by the course professor, and participate in one tutorial led by a teaching assistant. First year courses are not considered to be in an ‘area’ for program requirements.

No student may take more than one 100-level HIS course, but ALL students enrolled in a History Specialist, Joint Specialist, Major, or Minor program must take ONE 100-level HIS course.

The Department also offers at least two XBC199Y seminar courses each year (see course descriptions below). These are limited to 20 students each. Some previous courses offered by the History Department include "Film on History – History on Film", "Comparative First-Wave Feminism", "African Roots: The African Slave Trade in the Diaspora". You will work more closely with the professor and other students, and gain a more intense training in historical methods. Normally, the XBC199Y courses cannot be used to fulfil program requirements, but they can be used as breadth requirements. For more information, consult the First Year Seminar Booklet, which will be available during registration.

Ranging widely chronologically and geographically, this course explores the phenomenon of violence in history.  It examines the role and meanings of violence in particular societies (such as ancient Greece and samurai Japan), the ideological foundations and use of violence in the clash of cultures (as in slavery, holy wars, colonization, and genocide), and the effects and memorialization of violence.

Exclusion: any 100-level HIS course

Instructor: M. Meyerson/M. Newton Lecture: MW 11-12 Tutorials: TBA Pre-Modern: ½ credit

This course seeks to promote an understanding of the historical development of organized international relations during the period, 1648 to 1945. It will highlight, in particular, the varying roles of war in the international system: as an instrument of national policy (to protect or pursue national interests); as an agent of change within the system (to accommodate shifts in the Balance of Power); and as a threat to the survival of international society (from aggression or Armageddon). Appropriate attention will be paid to the contributions made by individuals, ideas and institutions to the evolution of international order, through such ordeals by fire as the Wars of Louis XIV, the Napoleonic Wars, the Wars of National Unification of the Nineteenth Century and the First and Second World Wars of the Twentieth Century.

Textbook(s): Students may consult the following books for an overall impression of the course’s content and character: Derek McKay and H.M. Scott, The Rise of the Great Powers, 1648-1815, and A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848-1918. Additional titles will be recommended for purchase and a course bibliography will be distributed to students from which they may choose the reading most relevant to their particular term-essay topics.

Tentative Course Requirements: An essay each term, a final examination and tutorial participation.

Exclusion: any 100-level HIS course. HIS103Y1 does not count as a distribution requirement course in any category.

Instructor: T. Sayle Lecture: MW 2 Tutorials: TBA Pre-Modern: ½ credit

This course seeks to promote an understanding of the historical development of organized international relations during the period, 1648 to 1945. It will highlight, in particular, the varying roles of war in the international system: as an instrument of national policy (to protect or pursue national interests); as an agent of change within the system (to accommodate shifts in the Balance of Power); and as a threat to the survival of international society (from aggression or Armageddon). Appropriate attention will be paid to the contributions made by individuals, ideas and institutions to the evolution of international order, through such ordeals by fire as the Wars of Louis XIV, the Napoleonic Wars, the Wars of National Unification of the Nineteenth Century and the First and Second World Wars of the Twentieth Century.

Textbook(s): Students may consult the following books for an overall impression of the course’s content and character: Derek McKay and H.M. Scott, The Rise of the Great Powers, 1648-1815, and A.J.P. Taylor, The Struggle for Mastery in Europe, 1848-1918. Additional titles will be recommended for purchase and a course bibliography will be distributed to students from which they may choose the reading most relevant to their particular term-essay topics.

Tentative Course Requirements: An essay each term, a final examination and tutorial participation.

Exclusion: any 100-level HIS course

HIS103Y1 does not count as a distribution requirement course in any category.

Instructor: V. Dimitriadis Lecture: M 6-8 Tutorials: TBA Pre-Modern: ½ credit

North and South America and the Caribbean from Columbus to the American Revolution: aboriginal cultures, European exploration, conquest and settlement, the enslavement of Africans, the ecological impact of colonization.

Exclusion: any 100-level HIS course

Instructor: J. Dyck Lecture: MW 4 Tutorials: TBA Pre-Modern: ½ credit

HIS 109Y is designed to introduce first year students to the study of European history. It requires little or no historical background at the secondary level since the major currents of European history will be discussed and analyzed on an introductory level.

Because the purpose of the course is to provide a broad background to modern European history, it will begin with an introduction to the shape of traditional society and investigate the forces at work on the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual structures of Western Europe from the High Middle Ages until the Second World War. The approach will be that of a wide survey but centred on five units: the structure of Traditional Society; the First Period of Challenges 1350-1650; the Second Period of Challenges 1650-1815; Confidence, Stability, and Progress 1815-1914; the Collapse of the Old Order and the Condition of Modern Europe 1914-1945.

In addition to the historical content of the lectures and readings, the basic techniques needed for the study of history -and other humanities subjects – will be discussed in the context of the material for the course. Skills such as note taking, forms of historical reporting and researching, essay and examination writing techniques, critical reading, and study methods will be reviewed.

The assigned tutorial readings will be drawn from primary sources, and the basic text will be Perspectives from the Past. A general historical text (see below) will also be required, although most of the factual material will come from the lectures.

Textbook(s):  J. Brophy et al., Perspectives from the Past, 2 vols., Norton; J. Coffin et al., Western Civilizations, Norton.

Tentative Course Requirements:  a book review and document study (30%), a research paper (25%), an exam (35%) and tutorial participation (10%).

Exclusion:  any 100-level HIS course

Instructors: K. Bartlett Lecture: MW 3 Tutorials: TBA Pre-Modern: ½ credit

In this seminar we will explore the complex roles of religion in cases of extreme violence. Working chronologically backward from the 1990s (Rwanda, former Yugoslavia), we will consider cases from a number of locations and decades in the 20th century (Cambodia in the 1970s, the Holocaust in the 1940s, Armenians in the 1910s, Southwest Africa in the 1900s). Rather than limiting ourselves to the recent past, we will also explore cases from the 19th century (imperialism) and earlier as well as ongoing situations that connect past and present (aboriginal people in the Americas). Students will be expected to do the assigned readings (from personal accounts, primary sources, and scholarly articles), participate actively in discussions, prepare a series of short responses, make an oral presentation individually or with a group, and produce a final paper based on original research.

Instructor: D. Bergen Lecture: W 10-12 Breadth category: 3 Society and Its Institutions

While Barack Obama’s 2008 election was in some ways a dramatic turning point, the course of his presidency has also revealed how powerful the past can be in shaping the present. Looking at Obama’s White House years through the eyes of a historian, we can see how deeply-rooted U.S. experiences with war, economic crises, and race relations (for instance) continue to influence attitudes, decisions, and results – even for leaders who see themselves crusading for “change.” This course will study Obama’s leadership against the backdrop of the broad sweep of American history, considering similarities and differences with earlier presidents (e.g., Lincoln and the Civil War, Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, Lyndon Johnson and Vietnam). In the process, we will highlight how historians and historical research can enrich understanding of the present day in ways that quick-flashing tweets and photo ops cannot match.

Instructor: R. Pruessen Lecture: R 10-12 Breadth category: 3 Society and Its Institutions

Celebrated and decried, held up by some as the natural state of affairs, critiqued by others as an unjust construct, capitalism is an inescapable part of globalized life. Capitalism also has a long and contested history, which students in this course will explore through critical reading and seminar discussion.

Instructor: P. Cohen Lecture: T 2-4 Breadth category: 3 Society and Its Institutions