Department of History & Geography

Dr. James M. Okapal, Chairperson       
jokapal@missouriwestern.edu
(816) 271-4155
www.missouriwestern.edu/HG

The history faculty is committed to developing a historical consciousness in our students. The study of history helps students understand the origins, course, and consequences of the major political, economic, social, and cultural changes in history and relate these changes to the continuing course of history today. Expanding the realm of students' experience beyond the limits imposed by their own life span and mobility is vital. The study of history allows students to perceive a greater range of alternatives and possibilities in life's decisions made by people in different times and places. Students who major in History usually prepare for careers in teaching, government, law, or business.

Geography is the study of how humans spatially interact with the physical environment. Geographers seek to describe, relate, and explain the natural and cultural phenomena that distinguish places around the  world. Studying geography increases students' ability to analyze complex situations, events, trends, and draw logical inferences from them. Geography often functions as a bridge between the natural sciences and the social science. Its perspective on the location of phenomena makes it unique among the academic disciplines. Geographers integrate information from other disciplines with their own research to provide a spatial understanding of the world. Geographers work in business, environmental research, climatology, meteorology, cartography, GIS/GPS, and elementary, secondary, and higher education.

History Admission Requirements

Students desiring this major should declare their interest to the chairperson of the Department of History and Geography so that they can be assigned History faculty advisors. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to declare this major.

Geography (GEO)

GEO 100  World Geography     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: A systematic and regional analysis of the world's diverse cultural realms emphasizing the five themes of geography (location, place, interaction of people and the physical environment, movement, and region).

GEO 160  Physical Geography     Credits: 4

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Analysis of Earth's physical systems, Earth-Sun relationships, weather and climate, soils and landforms, fluvial processes, global vegetation, exercises involving data collection, aerial photography and map interpretation, and data analysis. Three hours lecture and two hours lab.

GEO 210  Geography of the United States and Canada     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: A systematic and regional analysis of the contemporary physical, cultural, and economic geography of the United States and Canada. Examination of environmental influences on people and the ways people change the environment as evidenced in agriculture, religion, industry, and urban areas. LAS Computer Literacy.

GEO 250  Introduction to GIS     Credits: 4

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Basic concepts of Geographic Information Systems and applications; raster and vector data models; exercises involving data collection, GPS usage, database management, editing databases and shapefiles, querying and analyzing data, and cartographic design using ArcGIS@ and Google@ software. Three hours lecture and two hours lab.

GEO 320  Geography of Europe     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: A systematic and regional analysis of the contemporary physical, cultural, and economic geography of the nations and regions west of Russia; trends of development as affected by changing political structures and the European Union. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): A course in geography or European history.

GEO 330  Globalization, Labor, and Resources     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Patterns of distribution, production, and consumption of the world's resources; theories of geographic location related to agricultural, industrial, and service activities; globalization and internationalization; population and migration impacts on the economy; the role of the state in the economy; theories of development and underdevelopment. Prerequisite(s): ECO 260 or GEO 100.

GEO 340  Sustainable Energy     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Basic concepts of development and sustainability as they relate to energy usage. Implications on human population, weather and climate, global climate change, and agriculture will be discussed. Course will focus on energy conservation, fossil fuel energies, and alternative energy strategies, including, but not limited to, solar, wind, water, nuclear, geothermal, and biofuels. Class is in both lecture and seminar format. Prerequisite(s): A course in geography or BIO 305, or departmental approval.

GEO 450  Independent Research/Project     Credits: 1-4

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Investigation of a research problem, project, or topic on an individual conference basis. May be repeated with departmental approval for a maximum of 6 credits. Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval.

History (HIS)

HIS 120  Modern World History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: A survey of the political, social, and economic history of the world (Europe, Africa, Middle East, India, Far East, and Latin America) from 1815 to the present.

HIS 140  American History to 1865     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: The discovery of America to the end of the Civil War; colonial America, the Revolution, national development, sectionalism, and the Civil War.

HIS 150  American History since 1865     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Continuation of HIS 140. Reconstruction, industrialization, urbanization, emergence as a world power, progressivism, World War I, the New Deal, World War II, and postwar America.

HIS 200  Ancient and Medieval Civilization     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: The western world from antiquity to the fifteenth century; the emergence of civilization in the Nile and Tigris-Euphrates valleys; the political, social, economic, and intellectual contributions of Greece, Rome, and medieval Europe.

HIS 210  Early Modern Civilization     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: The western world from 1500 to 1815; national states, the geographical revolution, the founding of European overseas empires, the Reformation, the emergence of constitutional governments, the Scientific Revolution, and the American and French Revolutions.

HIS 220  History of Missouri     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Missouri under French and Spanish rule; the American acquisition; the role of the state in the slavery crisis and in the settlement of the West; the state's contributions to politics, art, literature, education, industry, and transportation.

HIS 230  Modern Europe: 1789 to the Present     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: The French Revolution and Napoleonic periods; reaction, nationalism, and revolution; rise of socialism; imperialism; World War I; the Russian Revolutions and Soviet communism; the rise of fascism; Hitler, Stalin, and World War II; the Holocaust; the postwar bi-polar world order; the bloc system.

HIS 235  Historic Preservation Field School     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Intensive field experience in documenting and preserving an existing built environment as well as the historic landscape. Students actively participate in a survey of an urban neighborhood. Class sessions consist of lecture, discussion, field work, and lab. Lecture and discussion cover a wide array of issues in historic preservation. Field work includes tours, inspection, photography, and documentation of historic buildings. This course may be taken more than once for credit as an elective, but only once to fulfill a requirement for the major in either the B.A. or B.S. program in History.

HIS 245  History of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: An examination of the historical developments in the Middle East since 1900, with special attention to the origins of current political, social, and economic issues in a region plagued by instability.

HIS 290  The Historian's Craft     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This course introduces students to the methods used by historians to analyze, interpret, and write about the past. Students will learn basic skills which may include, but are not limited to: locating and assessing source material; analyzing primary and secondary sources; writing analytical, comparative, historiographical, and review essays; conducting oral interviews; conducting oral presentations; reviewing movies. Various thematic approaches will be offered. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 or HIS 150, and HIS 200 or HIS 210 or HIS 230 and ENG 104 and must be a declared major or minor in history.

HIS 300  American Colonial History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (even-numbered years).

Course Description: The founding of the British North American colonies; origins of American cultural, religious, and racial diversity; British colonial administration to the Revolution. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and a grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 301  Early National Period 1783-1824     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Transition from Articles of Confederation to Constitution; Federalist decade; Jeffersonian democracy; War of 1812; Era of Good Feelings. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 302  The Jacksonian Era 1824-1848     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Postwar expansion; rise of American nationalism and the growth of the West; revival of the two-party system; Jacksonian democracy; humanitarian crusades; the Mexican War. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 305  The American Frontier     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Westward expansion of the United States over three centuries; colonial frontier, trans-Appalachian frontier, trans-Mississippi frontier; significance of the frontier in American history. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 310  English History to 1688     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (even-numbered years).

Course Description: An examination of major facts and interpretations of the history of England from the Roman era through the Glorious Revolution; emphasis on political events, social institutions, and cultural developments that shaped the ancient, medieval, and early modern English past. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): HIS 200 and HIS 210, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 320  English History since 1688     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: An examination of major facts and interpretations of the history of England from the Glorious Revolution to the present; emphasis on evolution of parliamentary government and the rise and decline of the British Empire. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): HIS 210 and HIS 230, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 325  American Economic History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: English mercantilism, laissez-faire and its effect on American economic development, the emergence of the corporation and the trust, the issue of government regulation, and the role of the government in the economy of today. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 330  Recent United States History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: The United States since World War I, with emphasis on current problems. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 335  Medieval Europe     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: An examination of Medieval European history focusing on the medieval origins of modern European institutions. Students will read several historical monographs in order to understand the narrative of medieval history and to gain a greater knowledge about how modern historians write about the medieval past. Prerequisite(s): HIS 200 and HIS 210, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 336  The Crusades     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

Course Description: An examination of the origin and history of the wars fought between Christendom and Islam in the Middle Ages. Emphasizes the history of these wars from the perspective of all the cultures involved as well as the influence of the idea of the crusades and crusading on medieval and modern thought. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): HIS 200 and HIS 210, and a grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 339  Europe 1815-1914     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (even-numbered years).

Course Description: Europe from the Congress of Vienna to 1914; reaction and revolution, nationalistic movements, rise of socialism-communism, the diplomatic background of World War I. Prerequisite(s): HIS 230 and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 340  Recent European History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Europe in World War I, the rise of dictatorships, the League of Nations, new alignments, World War II, and the postwar period. Prerequisite(s): HIS 230 and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 342  The Russian Kingdom and Empire 1462-1917     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

Course Description: Restoration of the Russian kingdom by Ivan III "the Great;" establishment of royal absolutism by Ivan IV "the Terrible;" the Time of Troubles; emergence of the Russian empire; invasion by Napoleon; expansion of empire; collapse of the monarchy. Prerequisite(s): HIS 210 and HIS 230, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 345  Military History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: The historical development and application of military strategy, tactics, doctrine, and technology from ancient times to the present. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 or HIS 150 or HIS 200 or HIS 210 or HIS 230, and a grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 350  History of the Far East     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: East Asia and the Pacific from antiquity to the present; Oriental religion, politics, and the economy; impact of European and American traders and missionaries, the founding of European empires, Oriental resistance to Westernization, and the emergence of modern China, Japan, and the Pacific nations. Prerequisite(s): HIS 210 or HIS 230, and a grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 355  Study Abroad in History     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: An intensive three-week upper-level course in European history. A special fee is assessed for the course. This course is only taught in the summer. Deadline for application is March 1. This course may be taken more than once for credit as an elective, but only once to fulfill a requirement for an upper-level course for the major in either the B.A. or B.S. program in History. Prerequisite(s): HIS 200 or HIS 210 or HIS 230.

HIS 365  Methods of Teaching Social Studies     Credits: 5

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Principles and methods of teaching social studies in secondary school: objectives, problems, materials, and methods applied to the social studies curriculum. Methods include: electronic portfolio, website technology, and traditional lesson plans/unit plans for each discipline involved. Those disciplines include: economics, geography, government and political science, history, psychology, and sociology. Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval. Must be taken prior to Junior Teaching Experience.

HIS 370  History of Latin America     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

Course Description: A survey course including pre-Columbian cultures, colonial period, independence movements, national developments, relations with the United States and Europe. LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 or HIS 210, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 380  The French Revolution and Napoleon     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: The Old Regime in France, failure of the Bourbon monarchy, the Revolution, the rise of Napoleon, the Napoleonic Wars to the Congress of Vienna, 1815. Prerequisite(s): HIS 210 and HIS 230, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 400  Civil War and Reconstruction     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Sectionalism in antebellum America; developing sectional crisis and coming of the Civil War; effects of the war and reconstruction of the nation. Prerequisite(s): HIS 140 and HIS 150, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 420  History of Africa     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: North Africa in the ancient world, Africa during the age of geographical discoveries, nineteenth century European imperialism, the emergence of modern African states and their problems. Prerequisite(s): 6 credits from among HIS 200, HIS 210, or HIS 230, and grade of C or higher in HIS 290 or departmental approval.

HIS 450  Independent Research/Project     Credits: 1-5

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Investigation of a research problem, project, or topic on an individual conference basis. Prerequisite(s): Completion of major-minor declaration in history major or minor, minimum 2.5 GPA in major field, grade of C or higher in HIS 290, and departmental approval.

Dominic DeBrincat (2015) Assistant Professor, History. B.A., University of Michigan-Dearborn; J.D., M.A., Wayne State University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut.

Dawn Drake (2012) Assistant Professor, Geography. B.S., Indiana University of Pennsylvania; M.S., University of Delaware; Ph.D., University of Tennessee.

Angela Haas (2015) Assistant Professor, History. B.A., Ithaca College; M.A., Ph.D., Binghamton University.

S. Jay Lemanski (2012) Assistant Professor, History. B.A., Concordia College; M.A., University of Michigan; M.Div., Concordia Seminary; M.A, Ph.D., University of Akron.

Orion Teal (2014) Assistant Professor, History. B.A., Reed College; M.A., Ph.D., Duke University.

Daniel Trifan (1988) Professor, History. B.A., Fairleigh Dickinson University; M.A., Ph.D., Duke University.