Courses

Recommended for First-Year Students

There are many excellent ways to begin your study of history. In selecting courses, you may wish to take a 100-level course that surveys the history of a region or a people. Or you may prefer to begin with a 200-level course that introduces the study of history through a somewhat more focused, topical lens. 

Note that these "levels" are not sequential. For 100- and 200-level history courses, they designate levels of specificity or focus rather than levels of required knowledge. (This is not the case for 300-level history courses, which are all more advanced.)

Explore a selection of our courses...

Following are a range of current and past courses offered by the History Department to give a sense of what the experience of taking the course is like in the History Department.

Historians can be found in many guises, including in other departments at MHC: Geoffrey S. Sumi, Professor of Classics, Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies, Stan P. Rachootin, Professor of Biological Sciences, Erica Moretti, Lecturer in Classics and Italian are all faculty affiliated with the history department.

Taking history courses offered through the five college campuses and the Hampshire Colleges History Department, Amherst College Department of History, Smith College Department of History  and the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of History also offer many additional opportunities.

North Carolina Algonquin, 1585, Watercolor, British Museum, London
(FYSEM-101) Explore how the flow of (mis)information shaped exploration, conquest, war, and revolution
Understand the “long civil rights movement” or, the “long Reconstruction,” and how we remain caught up in Reconstruction’s historical arc.
Education and Capacity Course
We explore the deliberate use of education to hold people in servitude as well as the power of education to facilitate liberation...
Abraham Galloway
Explore the relationship between enslavement, the profits from nineteenth-century cotton production, and the rise of a capitalist economy
Civil Rights Activist Ella Baker
The fight for civil rights has a rich heritage that stretches back to the emancipation era if not before and is not limited by time or place.
Somali Tutoring
Why is peace often so fragile? What keeps wars going when people long for them to be over? Are some strategies of war-ending more effective than others?
Elvis Presley, full-length portrait, performing onstage, 1956.
Gain a more confident understanding of how America’s current political, cultural, and social landscapes have been shaped and reshaped since WWII
Students examine an 18th century account book from Belchertown
Money talks, or so the saying goes, but what does it say? The power and ambiguities of money have preoccupied societies for centuries.
Nairobi
Development Dreams and Nightmares: African cities over millennia, and the 60+ year history of economic, social, and political progress known as development
Black Family, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862
An Investigation of the pursuit of freedom, democracy and equality by generations of African Americans with an emphasis on labor, resistance and resilience
Image courtesy of Discos Fuentes
Explore the paradoxes of race and African descent via cultural expressions, from music, film, religion, literature, to social movements.
Picket Girls on Duty, Tailor Strike, New York City, 1910
The city's evolution from a remote outpost of the Dutch empire into the world capital of media, finance, immigration, and popular culture
historical timepieces
Revisiting Early American and Indigenous Histories through Material Culture: All around us, tangible objects convey deeply layered stories