Department of History

History Department Faculty (Fall 2015). Not pictured: Drs. Nana Amponsah, Yixin Chen, Venkat Dhulipala, Chris Fonvielle, Eva Mehl, and Alan Watson.

Welcome History Majors!

As usual, the UNCW history department will be active place during the 2015-2016 academic year. We'll be offering many new classes, leading great public discussions, publishing new materials, and offering lots of opportunities for you to learn more about history.


Some interesting career news-the History department is the department in the College of Arts and Sciences (according to the last survey of recent graduates) with the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of our former majors in graduate programs-these include programs in Law, International Relations, and Education as well as History programs. Nearly 40% of our graduates wind up in graduate school. We will have some opportunities this year for majors to learn more about graduate school options in many areas.

Faculty and Staff Updates

Ericka Charaboga has now joined us in the front office. She'll take care of any questions you might have, so feel free stop in and say hello!

Dr. Yixen Chen will be on leave during the fall 2015 semester.

Dr. Nathan Crowe will be on leave during the Spring 2016 semester.

Class Updates for Spring 2016 semester

Remember, we offer several classes each semester that have unique topics. Check out the list below to see what Spring 2016 has in store.

  • HST 290 satisfies Information Literacy, Explorations Beyond the Classroom:

    • HST 290-001 and 002 Civil Rights and Citizenship in the U. S. (Bredbenner)
    • HST 290-003 Masculinity and Violence in History (McCarthy)
  • HST 270 satisfies Living in a Global Society

    • HST 270-001 The Second World War: A Global History (Fain, Spaulding, Chen)
    • HST 270-002 Global Irish Revolution (Townend, Masters) Course includes spring break week in Dublin. Space limited to 12 students. There is a surcharge for the trip. Ask Paul about details.
  • HST 305 The Ancient Near East (Usilton)

    • Survey of the ancient Near East from the beginnings of civilization in the river valleys of Mesopotamia and Egypt through the rise of the Persian Empire in the 6th century BCE.
  • HST 367 History of Colonial Latin America (Mehl)

    • satisfies Global Diversity cluster requirement
  • HST 377 The Vietnam War (McFarland)

    • Intensive, in-depth study of the Vietnam War covering the period from World War II to the reunification of Vietnam in 1975, though many events and topics before and after this period with be discussed to provide a proper perspective of the war and its implications. The course will focus on historical background, colonization and decolonization, ideologies, causes, strategies and tactics, battles and campaigns, technologies, politics, culture and the arts (the music, film, and literature of the war and the anti-war), international relations, diplomacy, social impact, economics, and historiography (the battle over who won or lost the war and what should have been done).
  • HST 395: Readings in History (undergraduate colloquium)

    • HST 395 Rulers and Subjects: Perspectives on the British Empire (Townend and Dhulipala)
    • HST 395 Knowing Nature: Science, Magic, and Medicine in the Premodern World, 1200-1800 (Mollenauer and Crowe)
  • HST 400s satisfy Capstone Course and Writing Intensive requirements:

    • HST 408 1066 and All That (Usilton) Study of the Norman conquest of England including the events leading up to the decisive battle of Hastings and the aftermath
    • HST 414 Power and Authority in Early Modern Europe, 1400-1800 (Mollenauer) How was power exercised, constructed, and contested during the early modern period? How was authority defined and who was deemed to rightfully possess it? To consider these questions, this class will examine three case studies from early modern Europe: Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, and absolutist France. Our readings will center upon the pivotal changes in the ways in which power was imagined and wielded during this era. Transformations to be discussed include the increasing reach of the state over its subjects, the assertion of masculinity as a prerogative of authority, the use of force to impose religious uniformity, and the amplification of Europeans' claims to superiority over all other peoples.
    • HST 450 U. S. Intellectual History: Social Justice and Liberation Struggles (Harris)
    • HST 454 Little Bighorn: Custer and the Indians (LaVere)
    • HST 495 Jewish Humor and History (Tanny) Why are the Jews so funny? What is unique about Jewish humor? Why are so many comedians, satirical novelists, and film directors Jewish? And why do Jews ask so many questions? This seminar will explore the rich universe of Jewish humor. We will trace its evolution from the Yiddish culture of the 19th-century shtetl all the way to 21st-century cinema and television, where Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks, and others have made American humor Jewish, and Jewish humor American. We will probe the significance of the schlemiel, the schlimazel, and the schnorrer, and why these cultural archetypes which emerged centuries ago in Eastern Europe still have such resonance today.