The History major prepares students for a variety of careers and professions. Because it develops highly competent writers and communicators, history majors frequently find employment in the fields of communication and public relations, as well as marketing and advertising. It also serves as an excellent preparation for students who are interested in politics and public policy. Many students use the history major as a springboard into the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), often as a preparation for a career in secondary education. Finally, the history major is ideally suited for students who are planning to go on to graduate school, especially if the desired career is in the social sciences or law. Admission to the History major requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50, demonstration of competency in English composition, and the successful completion of 45 college level credits.

Dwaine D. Brandt, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Joel T. Davis, Ph.D., Professor, joedavis@cu-portland.edu

Gerd J. Horten, Ph.D., Professor, ghorten@cu-portland.edu

John F. Scheck, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus


Introduction to the nature and functions of government in the United States. An analysis of structures parallels a discussion of contemporary issues.

HST 202      EUROPE IN TRANSITION 1300-1789      Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to the major political, economic, religious and cultural events, and issues from the late Middle Ages to the French Revolution. Concentrated attention is given to the waning of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Reformation, the Thirty Years War, Scientific Revolution, Louis XIV, and the Enlightenment.

HST 203      EUROPE SINCE 1789      Credits: 3

This course surveys the history of Europe from the French Revolution to the present. The main emphasis will be on comprehending the causes of long-term historical change, identifying continuities and discontinuities in the historical process, understanding the experience of ordinary people in past times, and perceiving how past events have helped shape the world in which we live today.Though we will take a roughly chronological approach, many subjects will overlap along the historical timeline. In addition to being a primer on the contours of European history during this period, this course is intended to introduce students to the work of all scholars in the human sciences, i.e., reading and analyzing documents from the culture under study. For the historian, this is his/her most important task, since history is less a mass of facts than it is historians' collective interpretation of surviving documents and artifacts. This course is also designed to improve your ability to write about and discuss the facts and documents to which you have been introduced.

HST 215      AMERICAN CIVILIZATION I      Credits: 3

This course provides a survey of American civilization from pre-Columbus era through the Civil War. The class focuses on the forces which shaped the political, economic, social and cultural history of the American colonies and the United States during these centuries. There will be a particular emphasis on the New World as a meeting place of different cultures, race, religions and ethnic backgrounds. How all of these multitudes of people have contributed to the creation of a uniquely American nation and society is one of the key issues and questions which will drive this course.

HST 216      AMERICAN CIVILIZATION II      Credits: 3

This course provides a survey of American civilization from the Reconstruction period to the present. The goal and focus of the class is to trace the key developments in American history over the last 150 years in order to gain a deeper understanding of the present-day United States. For the same reason, the class will be purposefully interdisciplinary and will combine an historical approach with the study of literature as well as films.

HST 288      DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR      Credit: 1

Seminars in subjects relating to the field of literary study.


Experimental course option varies by term. Please see academic department for course description.

HST 311      ART HISTORY I      Credits: 2

Art History I studies the history and culture of world civilizations from Pre-History to the Late Medieval era in Italy. Through readings, discussions, lectures, and video, students will explore the development of western artistic traditions through an analysis of style and cultural contexts.

HST 313      ART HISTORY II      Credits: 2

Art History II studies the history and culture of world civilizations from the Late Medieval era in Italy to Contemporary art movements today. Through readings, discussions, lectures, and video, students will explore the development of western artistic traditions through an analysis of style and cultural contexts.

HST 331      MEDIA AND CULTURE IN AMERICA      Credits: 3

This course will provide students with an overview of the development of our media society and discuss some of the effects media had and has on our lives. It will cover the origins of the respective media (advertising, film, television, etc.) and analyze their interaction with the political, social, and economic changes of 20th century America. In the latter part of the course, the focus will shift on the most important current media debates and controversies in connection with journalism and media concentration, news as infotainment, sex and violence in the media, the ongoing gender and racial stereotypes perpetuated by the media, advertising, as well as the rise and impact of the new media.


This course combines a thematic and chronological approach in surveying the race relations in the United States from the post-Civil War period to the present day. While far from comprehensive, it highlights some of the pivotal events and developments over the past 150 years. It is meant as an introductory course to some of the central and recurring themes and issues in terms of racial relations. Its focus is on three minorities in particular: African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/Latina Americans.

HST 335      HISTORY AND CULTURE OF INDIA      Credits: 3

The course will present the long history and varied culture of the land of India. The lasting influences of the great empires that covered the land and the major religions that continue to live in the land will be discussed, with special reference to the pervasive influence of the ancient Hindu traditions. Speakers, excursions, and videos will be featured in the course.

HST 336      UNITED STATES SINCE 1945      Credits: 3

An exploration of the major political economic and cultural transformations of the United States in the second half of the 20th century. Among others, this course will examine the impact of the Cold War and the new role of the United States in the world, the political realignments of the postwar era and the social and political upheavals of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Finally, this course will explore the reasons for the increased political polarization and the changed role of the United States in world affairs over the past 30 years.

HST 337      THE SIXTIES IN ITS OWN WRITE      Credits: 3

An exploration of literature and history of the Sixties in America, particularly as they relate to the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, the Counter-culture, and the Women's movement.
Prerequisites: WR 121 with a D or higher.


A broadly interdisciplinary course (drawing from literature, psychology, sociology, and history) that will investigate how women's roles in society have emerged. In addition to the study of classic literary texts, students will investigate historical movements for women's rights and depictions of women in contemporary media culture.
Prerequisites: WR 121 with a D or higher.

HST 347      MODERN GERMANY      Credits: 3

An overview of Germany in the 20th Century. It examines the First World War, the Weimar Republic, the Nazi Era, East and West Germany, and finally, reunification.

HST 348      MODERN RUSSIA      Credits: 3

This course focuses on the development of Russian politics, society, economics, and international relations between 1905 and the present. Emphases include the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the Terror Famine and the Great Terror, the Second World War, the Cold War, the final collapse of the Soviet Union, and contemporary issues in Russian society.


An introduction to the major themes and issues of the Renaissance and Reformation, approximately 1350-1550. The first half of the course explores the Italian origins of the Renaissance, humanism and the politics, literature and fine arts of the period. The second half focuses on Reformation Europe, the Protestant reform movements in Germany, Switzerland and England as well as the response by the Roman Catholic Church.
Pre-requisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

HST 351      RELIGION IN AMERICAN LIFE      Credits: 3

A study of the history and character of the principal religious traditions of the United States, with special emphasis upon contemporary issues involving religion and society.


This course provides the student with a basic understanding of the history of the Christian Church in its early formative years until the Reformation period. The course covers the intellectual, artistic, liturgical, organizations, devotional and mission activities of the church, utilizing primary source materials. Emphasis is given to inspiring figures of the era and the challenge they bring also to our contemporary church work.


This course explores the history of the Christian Church from era of the Reformation through the present, with special attention paid to broad movements which continue to impact the religious scene in much of the world, but especially in North America. Extensive readings in original documents will facilitate an ability to grasp the thought and importance of various figures as well as build critical thinking skills associated with the study of History.

HST 355      HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST      Credits: 3

The Middle East ranks as one of the most troubled regions of the globe politically, economically and culturally. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the resurgence of a militant Islam and the other ongoing conflicts throughout the region have given the Middle East a reputation as a powder keg. This course will attempt to account for the instability of the region, which already began in the early 20th century. It will examine the vacuum left by the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the attempt of Western powers to fill this vacuum, the emergence of quasi-secular nationalism and, finally, the explosive growth of militant Islam.

HST 360      THE HOLOCAUST      Credits: 3

This class examines the Nazi German program of mass killings that has come to be known as the Holocaust. It explores the ideas, decisions, and actions that culminated in the murder of an estimated hundred thousand people deemed disabled, perhaps half a million Roma (Gypsies), and six million European Jews. The role of historical prejudices, the impact of National Socialist ideology and leadership, and the crucial factor the war itself will all be considered. It will address the experiences of those targeted for annihilation as well as the actions of perpetrators and the role of others: bystanders, witnesses, and rescuers.

HST 361      20TH CENTURY DICTATORSHIPS      Credits: 3

An examination of Maoist China, Nazi Germany, and Stalinist Russia. Themes will include economics, propaganda, terror, genocide, the role of women, religion, art, music, and cinema.

HST 364      MODERN ASIA      Credits: 3

This course explores the political, social, economic and military development of modern Asia from the early nineteenth century to the present. An emphasis on relations between Asian nations themselves and with the outside world will be paramount, with particular focus placed on the emergence of China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.


This course combines several overall goals. The primary one is to help students understand the world we live in by highlighting the most important global issues we face today. In order to do so, another important objective is to analyze the patterns and overall structure of international relations as well as the main theories which explain and actors which influence world politics. Part of this learning process entails distancing ourselves from the familiar matrix of understanding the world and viewing international relations and world politics from the perspective of different countries and regions.


Visit ancient Greek, Roman, and early Christian locales in Greece, Turkey and/or Italy. Details vary by year. Tour is offered every other year. Enrollment in REL 389 or HST 389 is optional.

HST 389      CLASSICAL GREECE AND ROME      Credits: 3

This course offers an examination of the two cultures which laid the foundation for Western Civilization and Europe. The course will investigate the peoples of these cultures (from emperors to slaves), the diverse governments and social structures of Greek city-states (e.g. Athens and Sparta), hoplite and naval warfare, arts, literature, and philosophy, the Hellenistic expansion of Greek culture under Alexander the Great, the rise of the Roman Republic, the growth of Imperial Power under the Caesars, and the transformative impact of Christianity on the Greco-Roman culture.


Experimental course option varies by term. Please see academic department for course description.

HST 488      DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR      Credit: 1

Seminars in subjects relating to the field of literary study.


This course is required for students planning to complete a senior thesis. The outcome of this course should be a thesis proposal.


The first of two courses required to complete the thesis option of the Senior Project for graduation from any major in the College of Arts & Sciences. Thesis students are guided through the initial components of the thesis, including literature review and experimental or project design, obtain approval from Concordia's Institutional Review Board (IRB) to proceed with the proposed research or project, and begin to implement the research or project.
Prerequisites: HST 492 with a B or higher, upper division standing, and agreement of a faculty member to serve as Faculty Supervisor for thesis project.


The second of two courses required to complete the thesis option of the Senior Project for graduation from any major in the College of Arts & Sciences. Thesis students are guided through the final components of the thesis, including the research or project itself, data gathering and analysis, and writing and defense of the thesis. The defense of the thesis will be a public event open to faculty, staff, students, and community members.
Prerequisites: HST 493 with a C or higher.