100 Level Course Descriptions


100 Level Courses (2022-2023)

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. All 100-series HIS courses are mutually exclusive, with the exception of AP, IB, CAPE, or GCE transfer credits.  Students may enrol in only one 100-series History course.  Students enrolled in more than one of these courses (or who have completed one of these courses or a previous HIS 100-series course with a mark of 50% or greater) will be removed at any time.  First-Year students can also enrol in 200-series HIS courses. ALL students enrolled in a History Specialist, Major, or Minor program must take ONE 100-level HIS course.

First-Year Foundation Seminars

First-Year Foundation Seminars are open only to newly-admitted, Faculty of Arts & Science students (3.5 credits or less). They are 1.0 credit or 0.5 credit courses that focus on discussion of issues, questions and controversies surrounding a particular discipline (or several disciplines) in a small-group setting that encourages the development of critical thinking, writing skills, oral presentation and research methods. FYF seminars are as rigorous and demanding as any other first-year course and require in addition the acquisition of those skills expected of successful undergraduate students. With a maximum enrolment of 30 students each, they are an ideal way to have an enjoyable and challenging small-class experience in your first year. Details can be found at the First-Year Opportunities website.

First-Year Foundation Seminars:

  • Count as 1.0 or 0.5 of the 20 credits required for an Hon. B.A., Hon B.Sc. or B. Com.
  • First-Year Foundation Seminars are not required to get into any Program of Study. However, they may count towards your Program. Please check with your college registrar for further details.
  • Can be counted towards the breadth requirement.

Interactions among peoples, empires, and cultures, with particular attention to the non-European world. Can we speak of “international relations” before the modern concept of nation-states was established? What forms did globalization take in the pre-modern era? Covering a broad chronological sweep, we will look at exchanges of goods and technologies; dissemination of ideas and religions; voyages of migration and exploration; and episodes of conquest and colonization.

Exclusion: HIS100Y1, HIS101Y1, HIS103Y1, HIS106Y1, HIS107Y1, HIS108Y1, HIS109Y1, HIS110Y1, HISA04H3/HISA05H3
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

Instructor: C. Chin
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 3-4
Tutorials: TBA
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

This course seeks to promote an understanding of the historical development of organized international relations in Europe from the 16th to the 20th century. It will highlight, in particular, the varying roles of war in the international system: as the source and guardian of international order; as an agent of change within the system (to accommodate shifts in the Balance of Power); and as a threat to the survival of international society (from aggression or Armageddon). Appropriate attention will be paid to the contributions made by individuals, ideas and institutions to the evolution of international order, through such ordeals by fire as the Thirty Years Wars, the Wars of Louis XIV, the Napoleonic Wars, the Wars of National Unification of the Nineteenth Century and the First and Second World Wars of the Twentieth Century.

Exclusion: HIS100Y1, HIS101Y1, HIS102Y1, HIS106Y1, HIS107Y1, HIS108Y1, HIS109Y1, HIS110Y1
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

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

HIS109Y1 is designed to introduce first year students to the study of European history. It requires little or no historical background at the secondary level since the major currents of European history will be discussed and analyzed on an introductory level.

Because the purpose of the course is to provide a broad background to modern European history, it will begin with an introduction to the shape of traditional society and investigate the forces at work on the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual structures of Western Europe from the High Middle Ages until the Second World War. The approach will be that of a wide survey but centred on five units: the structure of Traditional Society; the First Period of Challenges 1350-1650; the Second Period of Challenges 1650-1815; Confidence, Stability, and Progress 1815-1914; the Collapse of the Old Order and the Condition of Modern Europe 1914-1945.

In addition to the historical content of the lectures and readings, the basic techniques needed for the study of history -and other humanities subjects – will be discussed in the context of the material for the course. Skills such as note taking, forms of historical reporting and researching, essay and examination writing techniques, critical reading, and study methods will be reviewed.

The assigned tutorial readings will be drawn from primary sources, and the basic text will be Perspectives from the Past. A general historical text (see below) will also be required, although most of the factual material will come from the lectures.

Exclusion: HIS100Y1, HIS101Y1, HIS102Y1, HIS103Y1, HIS106Y1, HIS107Y1, HIS108Y1, HIS110Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1), Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: K. Bartlett
Lecture: Mondays 3-5
Tutorials: TBA
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

Corruption, capitalism, colonialism, championships, war, violence, sex, alcohol, rebellion, big dreams, small houses, wealth, poverty, pollution, human rights, racism, riots, and more.  Toronto’s history has it all.    

This course will examine the history of Canada’s most loved and hated city. 

  • Lectures will focus on the key forces that made the city over time. 
  • Guest speakers will focus our attention on key moments, people, buildings, neighborhoods, and events. 
  • Films and video will add new and interesting perspectives on local history.
  • Tutorials will offer hands-on historical approaches and primary sources to help students really DO history.
  • Assignments will stress different forms of historical production - podcasts, walking tours, biographies of buildings and people, blog posts, etc.

HIS113 is for students who want to know, think they know, or want to re-know the past, present, and future of the place we all live. It is the history of the world in one place.

Exclusion: HIS100Y1, HIS101Y1, HIS102Y1, HIS106Y1, HIS107Y1, HIS108Y1, HIS109Y1, HIS110Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: S. Penfold
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 2-3
Tutorials: TBA

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.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: D. Bergen
Lecture: Wednesday 10-12

What role does social media play in the spread of historical falsehoods? Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube are relatively new, but the hidden power structures that shape their content are not. This course explores the relationship between social media platforms and history in two ways. First, class discussions, workshops, and guest lectures introduce students to overlooked histories of social media itself, including the rise of the early internet and its roots in histories of race, LGBTQ+ expression, sex work, and capitalism. Second, we explore how and why social media platforms promote the spread of historical misinformation, while censoring or burying accurate and important historical content. Our course focuses on the big histories behind algorithms while offering students hands-on experience building original, critical historical content for social media. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.

Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: L. Bertram
Lecture: Wednesday 12-2