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


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)

NOTE: All courses shown on this page are accepted towards a History program. 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)

200 Level Courses (2017-2018)

200-level HIS courses are surveys that introduce in broad outlines the history of a particular country, region, continent, or theme. Most are essential background for further upper-level study in the area. Students will generally attend two lectures and participate in one tutorial each week. The 200-level courses are open to first year students as well as those in higher years.

The Department regularly offers a number of HIS299Y1 Research Opportunity Programs, which are open only to students in their second year. In this course, you work as a Research Assistant to a professor on a particular subject. In past years, students in HIS299Y1 courses have done oral history interviews, sought out manuscripts in provincial archives, and gathered primary source documents in the university libraries. Students in their first year should check with the Faculty Registrar in February for the list of ROPs that will be offered in the following academic year.

HIS 202H1-F Gender, Race and Science

This course examines scientific ideas about human difference from the 18th-century to the present. It explores how scientists and their critics portrayed the nature of race, sex difference, and masculinity/femininity in light of debates over nation, citizenship, colonialism, emancipation, knowledge and capitalism. The course will also introduce students to the uses of gender and race as analytic categories within the practice of history. While the course draws much of its subject matter from the history of the United States, it also explores selective issues in European and colonial contexts.

Instructor:  J. Douglas
Lecture:  T 3-5
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  II/III

HIS 205H1-S Topics in Women's History: European Women in the Globalizing World, 1500-1900

HIS 205 will consider the nature of the early modern Atlantic/colonial world, the established gendered roles and expectations within that world and the impetus and impact of the beginnings of exploration, expansion and colonial expropriation of the early modern period on the women who journeyed to and lived in that world.   To this end lectures and tutorials in HIS 205 will consider, among other themes:

  • how the social and cultural ideology of the early modern period shaped the lives of women, both on the continent and in colonial settings;
  • how the roles and expectations of and for women in European societies (both continental and colonial) may have changed or adapted to developments in the period in question;
  • the social and cultural constructions (such as “family,” “wife,” “mother,” “femininity,” etc.) that may have shaped or  impacted the situations of women in European global outposts;
  • the contribution made by women to the political and economic aspects of globailization in this period, including diplomatic and military aspects;
  • whether historians can speak of a “colonial model” of gender or if gender expectations and ideas were modified or adapted for the colonial world or for a globalized setting;
  • the impact ideas of race and colonial “superiority” may have had on women’s roles, expectations and activities in an increasingly globalized world;
  • the struggles of marginalized women in this context; and
  • the legacy of the process of early modern globalization for the history of modern women.

Exclusion: HIS245Y1

Instructor: C. Dale
Lecture: R 5-7
Tutorials: TBA
Division: Varies

HIS 208Y1-Y History of the Jewish People

This course will survey the history of the Jews throughout the world from ancient times to the present. The first term will be devoted to the premodern period, paying special attention to migration, acculturation, relations with non-Jews, and change and continuity within Jewish communities throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. The second half of the course will cover the modern period, exploring the encounter between Jews and modernity, the emergence of new political movements and intellectual and cultural trends, and the impact upon the Jews of the upheavals of the 20th century. Students will have opportunity to engage with a variety of primary and secondary sources; written assignments will allow students to analyze primary sources directly.

Recommended Preparation: HIS102Y1/HIS103Y1/HIS109Y1

Instructor: O. Yehudai
Lecture: MW 11
Tutorials: TBA
Division: I/III
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 220Y1-Y The Shape of Medieval Society

The European middle ages spanned the centuries between the fall of the Roman Empire--one of the greatest, largest, and wealthiest empires in history--and the beginnings of modernity. We will study the main events and personalities of the period, but the focus will be on making real the experience of being a medieval person: a peasant, maid, merchant, or knight; a viking warrior, a queen, a nun, a monk or the emperor. You will gain some insight into  what separates our experience of life from those of people in this era, but equally how much you share with our ancestors of a millennium ago.

Instructor: K. Lindeman
Lecture:  TR 10
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  III
Pre-Modern:  1 credit

HIS 221H1-F African American History to 1865

An introduction to the history of Africans and people of African descent in the Americas generally, and the United States in particular. Major themes include modernity and the transatlantic slave trade; capitalism and reparations; Atlantic crossings; African women, gender, and racial formations; representation, resistance, and rebellion; nation-building; abolitionism and civil war; historical method and the political uses of the past.

Exclusion: HIS298Y1 (2016-17)

Recommended Preparation: Any 100-level course in Arts or Humanities

Instructor: C. Johnson
Lecture: T 4-6
Tutorials: TBA
Division: II

HIS 222H1-S African American History from 1865 to the Present

This course examines the history of black people in the United States after the abolition of slavery. Major themes include the promise and tragedy of Reconstruction; gender and Jim Crow; race and respectability; migration, transnationalism, and 20th century black diasporas; black radical traditions and freedom movements; intersectionality and black feminisms; the drug war and mass incarceration; sexuality and the boundaries of blackness.

Exclusion: HIS 298Y1 (2016-17)

Recommended Preparation: Any 100 level course in Arts or Humanities

Instructor: C. Johnson
Lecture: T 4-6
Tutorials: TBA
Division: II

HIS 230H1-F Indigenous and Early Colonial Caribbean History

This course introduces students to the study of Caribbean history from first human settlement to the late 18th century. Subject matter covered includes indigenous social structures, cosmology and politics; the process of European conquest; the economics, society and political order of colonial society; the Middle Passage; the everyday lives and struggles of enslaved peoples.

Exclusion:  HIS294Y1

Instructor:  M. Newton
Lecture:  T 10-12
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  II
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 231H1-S Revolution and Emancipation in the Colonial Caribbean

This course explores the history of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century Caribbean, from the Haitian Revolution to the U.S. occupation of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Students learn about the first struggles for political independence; the struggle to abolish the slave trade; slave emancipation; indentureship and struggles to define freedom after emancipation.

Exclusion:  HIS294Y1

Instructor:  B. Fisk
Lecture:  T 10-12
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  II

HIS 241H1-F Europe in the 19th Century, 1815-1914

This course gives an introduction to major themes in European history over the ‘long’ nineteenth century. The geographical focus will be on the countries of Western Continental Europe, especially France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, though at times developments in Great Britain and Russia will be discussed; the themes covered will be quite wide ranging. Political developments to be covered include the establishment of Restoration Europe, the revolutions of 1848, the unifications of Italy and Germany, imperialism and the coming of the First World War. We will also discuss industrialization and its manifold effects, a variety of intellectual and social movements, and changes in cultural life over the course of the century. The course explores the history of everyday life as well as the history of high politics and culture, and emphasizes the importance of multiple approaches to historical problems. Attendance at lectures, tutorial participation, reading, research, and writing are all essential components of this course. In the tutorials, students will discuss a variety of primary sources, including novels, essays, and public speeches. Students will also work closely with tutors on the preparation of essays.

Exclusion: EUR200Y1

Recommended Preparation:  HIS103Y1/HIS109Y1

Instructor:  V. Dimitriadis
Lecture:  TR 1
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  III

HIS 242H1-S Europe in the 20th Century

This course surveys the history of European politics, culture and society from 1914 to the present day. Lectures will cover an array of events and themes, from the two world wars, to the Russian Revolution, the rise of fascism, the Holocaust, the onset of decolonization, and the creation of the European Union. Special attention will be paid throughout to a number of themes relating to war, violence, nationalism, culture and gender in twentieth-century Europe.

Exclusion: EUR200Y1

Instructor: P. Wróbel
Lecture: R 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Division: III

HIS 243H1-F Early Modern Europe, 1450- 1648

Modern European society developed as a consequence of the dramatic changes which occurred in the period between the Renaissance and the end of the Thirty Years' War. The revival of classical ideas and principles revolutionized art and architecture, and provided new models for education, politics, law, science, and social organization. The division of Christendom into mutually exclusive, often warring Protestant and Catholic nations stimulated ideas of self-identification that developed into concepts of national self-awareness. The changes in the economic prospects of Europe and the Ottoman threat in the Mediterranean resulted in the voyages of discovery that drove Europe to expand beyond the confines of the continent. This course will follow these changes, with special attention given to the intellectual and cultural forces that motivated Europeans to undertake a fundamental re-evaluation of their ambitions and identities.

Instructor: K. Bartlett
Lecture: M 5-7
Tutorials: TBA
Division: III
Pre-Modern: ½ credit

HIS 244H1-S Early Modern Europe, 1648-1815

This course will survey the history of Europe from the Thirty Year’s War to the Napoleonic Empire. We will explore the principal themes which transformed Europe during this period: the birth of the modern nation-state; the increasing scale of warfare; the ebb of Christian influence; the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment; the emergence of capitalist economies; the consolidation of transatlantic colonial empires; and the French Revolution and the invention of popular democracy. Students will read a range of primary and secondary source materials; attendance at lectures, participation in tutorials, course reading, and writing are all required components for this course.

Instructor:  K. Macfarlane
Lecture:  M 5-7
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  III
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 245H1-S European Colonialism, 1700-1965

This class will introduce students to the history of European colonialism.  It will analyze the nature of colonial rule, the impact of empire on both colonies and metropoles, and delve into questions of power, gender and culture.   It considers slavery and abolition, imperial networks, colonial capital, colonial competition, colonial cultures, the twilight of colonial rule, and a variety of settings.

Exclusion: HIS398Y0 (Oxford class, 2014)

Instructor:  E. Jennings
Lecture:  W 10-12
Tutorials:  TBA
Division: III

HIS 250Y1-Y History of Russia, 860-1991

This course surveys the broad span of Russian history, from the formation of the first “Russian” state to the resurrection of Russia as the Soviet Union fell apart. The first term moves from the earliest Kievan state, through the rise of Moscow first locally, then on the world stage, and culminates with the Russian victory over Napoleon. The second term traces the difficulties facing autocratic Imperial Russia in the changing world of the nineteenth century, moves on to the Revolution that brought that state to an end, and finally focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and its aftermath.

Exclusion: HIS250H1

Instructor: A. Smith
Lecture: MW 11
Tutorials: TBA
Division: III
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 262H1-S Canada: A Short History of Here

Designed for non-history students, this introductory survey fulfils the Society and Its Institutions breadth requirement. It is open to all who want to know more about Canada. Make sense of politics today and develop a deeper understanding of  Canadian society and its institutions through study of the major events and  demographic trends that have shaped the development of this country. Topics will include First Nations/newcomer relations (including treaties and the Truth & Reconciliation report), French/English relations (including Quebec separatism), regionalism, the North, economic history, constitutional developments, and the development of Canadian identity, including common symbols associated with Canada.  No essay requirement. Instead, enhance your critical reading and thinking skills through short writing assignments and weekly discussions of tutorial readings.

*This course will not count towards History program requirements or as a prerequisite for upper level courses.*

Exclusion: HIS263Y1

Instructor:  H. Bohaker
Lecture:  MW 11
Tutorials:  TBA

HIS 264H1-F Critical Issues in Canadian History

This course introduces the history of Canada through an exploration of key themes and methods. It will cover several time periods, but it is not a standard survey that begins with New France and proceeds forward to next week. Rather, we will focus on some the key forces that shaped Canada over time. We will also study some of the important skills of historical research and writing. Possible topics include treaties with First Nations, immigration, empire and nationalism, welfare, and environment. All students are welcome, but a key aim of the course is to help prepare students for upper year Canadian History courses.

Exclusion: HIS263Y1

Instructor:  S. Penfold
Lecture:  W 1-3
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  II

HIS 271Y1-Y American History Since 1607

Designed to introduce students to a broad range of American history, this course surveys the political and economic, as well as the social and cultural history of the United States from first contact between Europeans and Native peoples through the turn of the 21st century.  Topics covered include: the development of colonial America, the emergence and growth of the American nation; slavery, sectional conflict and the Civil War; the development of modern America; the rise of the liberal state and the conservative counter-offensive; efforts by minority groups at overcoming their second-class status; and, America’s rise to international predominance.  Overarching themes include the evolution of race and gender identities, as well as the ongoing struggle within the United States to live up to its founding principles of equality and inalienable rights.

Instructor:  D. Cucuz
Lecture:  W 6-8
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  II

HIS 280Y1-Y History of China

Does China have “five thousand years of continuous history”?  We will explore this deceptively simple question in this introduction to the history of what is now China from before the development of writing to the present. No previous knowledge is required.

In addition to covering basic information about chronology and environment, this course will be organized around some key tensions:

• Material life and popular culture vs. ideal norms and elite culture • Changes vs. continuities: when did key watersheds occur, and what were their consequences?

• “Chinese” societies vs. their neighbours, especially the nomadic peoples of the northern steppes • People vs. nature–physical modifications to the environment over time • People vs. their bodies– gender, sexuality, and families

By the end of the course, we will have explored not just what we know, but how we know about China’s history. You will be introduced to the practice of reading primary historical documents in translation, with a view to how historians use them to produce knowledge about the past.

Instructor:  Y. Wang
Lecture:  TR 3
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  I
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 282Y1-Y History of South Asia

This year-long course addresses major themes in the history of South Asia, examining South Asian political economy, social history, colonial power relations and forms of knowledge, and the production of culture. The course emphasizes the period after 1750, particularly the study of colonialism, nationalism, and postcolonial citizenship and modernity. The analysis of the modern period is informed and preceded by an overview of ancient, medieval and early modern/Mughal history. Themes include the diversity of South Asian regional, political, religious, and cultural communities; law and sovereignty; women and gender in South Asian history; subaltern resistance and rebellion; capitalism in South Asia; and major questions in recent South Asian historiography.

Tentative Course Requirements:  two short essays, take-home test, in class test, final exam, tutorial and class participation.

Instructor:  R. Birla
Lecture:  TW 1
Tutorials:  TBA
Division: I
Pre-Modern:  ½ credit

HIS 283Y1-Y Southeast Asian Crossroads

The course surveys the historical experiences of the states that constitute present-day Southeast Asia: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Throughout the course, you will be expected to examine critically the various aspects that scholars have used to define Southeast Asia as a region, such as shared environmental and cultural patterns, gender relations, and religious traditions.

During the course, you will be asked to analyze and respond to weekly readings and lectures in sections and written assignments. The assigned readings will require careful analysis and comparison with primary source materials. These documents will be made available in English translation in the course bulk-pack. In addition to the required readings, you will be expected to consult the web pages of several archival sites to examine maps, documents and images relevant to each period in the history of Southeast Asia.

Textbook: Mary Heidhues, Southeast Asia: a Concise History. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2000. Course Reader.

Instructor: N. Tran
Lecture: T 1-3
Tutorials: TBA
Division: I

HIS 291H1-F The History of Colonial Latin America

This course provides an introduction to the broad literature on Latin America’s rich colonial history. We will begin by tracing some of the early origins of – and points of contact between - the Indian, Iberian, and African men and women who formed the basis of colonial society. As the course progresses, we will explore the variety of ways in which colonial subjects lived, worked, ate, worshipped and socialized. Lectures and reading assignments will draw upon a variety of sources, including court cases, artistic renderings, city maps and street plans, travel accounts of visits to the region, and the material, cultural, and intellectual products made possible by the wealth and dynamism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The course will conclude with an analysis of the Age of Revolutions, a period of dramatic upheaval that remains at the center of lively scholarly debates. By the end of the semester, you will be able to engage the key issues driving these debates, as well as to address one particularly enduring question: what is Latin America’s colonial legacy?

Exclusion: HIS291Y1

Instructor: T. Walker
Lecture: T 4-6
Tutorials: TBA
Division: II
Pre-Modern: ½ credit

HIS 292H1-S Latin America: The National Period

A survey of Latin American history from the wars of independence to the present day.

Tentative Course Requirements:  class participation, two essays on course readings, midterm test, final exam.

Exclusion: HIS292Y1

Instructor:  L. van Isschot
Lecture:  MW 10
Tutorials: TBA
Division:  II

HIS 295Y1-Y African History and Historical Methodology

An introduction to African history and the methodology of history more broadly, this course sets out to question how historians do history, examine differences in theories of knowledge, and explore the relationship between academic and cultural representations of the past. The course also draws on anthropology and related disciplines.

Exclusion: HIS381H1, HIS382H1

Instructor:  N. Musisi/R. Callebert
Lecture:  M 2-4
Tutorials:  TBA
Division:  I
Pre-Modern: ½ credit