100 Level Course Descriptions


100 Level Courses (2020-2021)

Course Nomenclature

  • H1-F = "First Term"; the first term of the Fall/Winter Session (September - December)
  • H1-S = "Second Term"; the second term of the Fall/Winter Session (January - April)
  • Y1-Y = full session (September - April)
  • Students should note that courses designated as "...Y1F" or "...Y1S" in the Timetable are particulary demanding.

100-level HIS courses are designed for students entering university. They take a broad sweep of material, and introduce students to the methods and techniques of university study. Each week, students will attend two lectures given by the course professor, and participate in one tutorial led by a teaching assistant. First year courses are not considered to be in an ‘area’ for program requirements.

No student may take more than one 100-level HIS course, but ALL students enrolled in a History Specialist, Joint Specialist, Major, or Minor program must take ONE 100-level HIS course.

The department also offers First-Year Foundation Seminar courses each year (see listings below - HIS195H1-HIS199H1). These are limited to thirty students each. Some previous courses offered by the Department of History include Film on History – History on Film, Comparative First-Wave Feminism, African Roots: The African Slave Trade in the Diaspora. You will work more closely with the professor and other students, and gain a more intense training in historical methods. Normally, the 195H1-199H1 courses cannot be used to fulfill program requirements, but they can be used as breadth requirements. For more information, consult the First-Year Opportunities website, which will be available during registration.

Ranging widely chronologically and geographically, this course explores the phenomenon of violence in history. It examines the role and meanings of violence in particular societies (such as ancient Greece and samurai Japan), the ideological foundations and use of violence in the clash of cultures (as in slavery, holy wars, colonization, and genocide), and the effects and memorialization of violence.

Exclusion: Any 100-level HIS course, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits. HISA04H3/HISA05H3

Instructor: M. Meyerson/TBA
Lecture: Monday & Wednesday 11-12
Tutorials: TBA
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

An analysis of the development of the international system from the 1750s to the present day. The course will highlight, in particular, the varying roles of war, diplomacy, and trade in changing, maintaining, and expanding the international system. It will consider wars in Europe, North America, Asia and South Asia, Africa, and several conflicts that were global in scope. Conflict will be considered from several perspectives: as the source and guardian of international order; as an agent of change within the system; as a tool of expansion; and as a threat to the survival of system and its human inhabitants. Appropriate attention will be paid to the contributions made by individuals, ideas, technology, and institutions to the evolution of international order.

Exclusion: Any 100-level HIS course, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits.

Instructor: T. Sayle/V. Dimitriadis
Lecture: Monday & Wednesday 2-3
Tutorials: TBA
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

This course is an introduction to history, the study of of the past.  We will explore three different ways of thinking about history.  First, we will examine history as a mode of enquiry – we will explore the questions, categories, and methodologies that constitute it, and retrace how they have evolved in varied times and places.  Second, we will consider history as a discipline – we will explore the history of history as a formal area of study and as a profession.  Third, we will consider history as a practice – we will explore the methodologies, techniques, and strategies students need to acquire to engage in historical enquriy and writing.  The course will be part methodological workshop, part epistemological reflection – at once a “how-to” guide to studying history and an investigation into philosophies of history.

Exclusion: Any 100-level HIS course, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits.

Instructor: P. Cohen
Lecture: Wednesday 9-11
Tutorials: TBA

In 1325, the twenty-year old Morrocan, Ibn Battuta, began an unprecedented series of journeys by land and sea that stretched between the contemporary capitals of Senegal and Indonesia. His routes wove together large parts of Africa, Eurasia, Central, South, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. For more than a millennium before Battuta began his journey, other travelers had transported ideas, products, and scripts across each of these routes, connecting the histories of the peoples from this vast landmass. Human migration, economic trade, and religious conversion linked the lands and the seas, had made it possible for Ibn Battuta to traverse these territories, and visit the religious homelands of Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and their expanse across the Africa and Asia. Nearly a thousand years after Ibn Battuta’s travels, human migration, economic trade, and religious conversion continue to connect these lands. This course investigates how the creation, disruption, and maintenance of the economic, ecological, linguistic, and religious relationships in the millennium before and after Ibn Battuta’s travels affected the lives and livelihoods of peoples of Africa and Asia, where most of the world’s population resided, then and today.

Exclusion: Any 100-level HIS course, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits.

Instructors: N. Tran/S. Hawkins
Lecture: Tuesday 12-2
Tutorials: TBA
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

A first-year seminar on the history of queerness, in all its complexity and diversity, in the no less complex and diverse settings of East, South, and Southeast Asia. Our journey will encompass empires and Indigenous peoples, rulers and rebels, and range from early recorded history down to the twentieth century. Focus will be placed on primary sources and introducing students to the evolving definitions of "queerness" itself. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Instructor: Y. Wang
Lecture: Tuesday 5-7
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

This course will look broadly at the question of power and resistance in the Americas (Canada, the United States, and Latin America) through the prism of graphic novels. Each week we will read a graphic novel related to important historical moments or events, drawing on scholarly articles to help us contextualize the novel. We will discuss the medium of graphic novels, their history and place in the broader culture, as well as how they might help or hinder our ability to study and disseminate information about the past. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Instructor: M. Mishler
Lecture: Wednesday 1-3
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Histories of wine or beer or vodka often focus either on the production of these alcoholic beverages and their role in national economies, or the ways that drinking is part of celebrations. But drunkenness enters the historical record in other ways, too--not just as a social lubricant but as a social ill, one associated with intimate violence or violence to the self and with mass protest. From worries about the Gin Craze to the rise of temperance movements and eventually the passing of Prohibition, from tax policies to policing, this class will consider the many ways that drunkenness has been accepted, denounced, and legislated about in societies around the world. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Instructor: A. Smith
Lecture: Monday 10-12
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

In this seminar we will explore the complex roles of religion in cases of extreme violence. Working chronologically backward from the 1990s (Rwanda, former Yugoslavia), we will consider cases from a number of locations and decades in the 20th Century (Cambodia in the 1970s, the Holocaust in the 1940s, Armenians in the 1910s, Southwest Africa in the 1900s). Rather than limiting ourselves to the recent past, we will also explore cases from the 19th century (imperialism) and earlier as well as ongoing situations that connect past and present (aboriginal people in the Americas). Students will be expected to do the assigned reading (from personal accounts, primary sources, and scholarly articles), participate actively in discussions, prepare a series of short responses, make and oral presentation individually or with a group, and produce a final paper based on original research. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Instructor: D. Bergen
Lecture: Wednesday 10-12
Breadth category: Society and its Institutions (3)