200 Level Course Descriptions

Undergraduate

200 Level Courses (2021-2022)

Course Designators 

Below are descriptions of courses with the following ‘designators’ (the 3 letter code in front of the course number):

Course Prefix Department
HIS Department of History
JHP Joint History and Political Science
(administered by the Political Science Department, Room 3018, Sidney Smith Hall)
NMC Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
(administered by the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Avenue)

NOTE: All courses shown on this page are accepted towards a History program. However, as shown above, they are not all administered by the Department of History.

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.

200-level HIS courses are surveys that introduce in broad outlines the history of a particular country, region, continent, or theme. Most are essential background for further upper-level study in the area. Students will generally attend two lectures and participate in one tutorial each week. The 200-level courses are open to first year students as well as those in higher years.

The Department regularly offers a number of HIS299Y1 Research Opportunity Programs, which are open only to students in their second year. In this course, you work as a Research Assistant to a professor on a particular subject. In past years, students in HIS299Y1 courses have done oral history interviews, sought out manuscripts in provincial archives, and gathered primary source documents in the university libraries. Students in their first year should check with the Faculty Registrar in February for the list of ROPs that will be offered in the following academic year.


HIS 205H1-F, L0101 From Women's History to Gender History

This course critically examines gender in the context of politics, society, culture, and economics across a range of comparative times and spaces depending on instructor expertise. In what ways have gendered norms and transgressions been part of human societies and lived experiences? How have those norms shifted across historical and geographical contexts? How has the historical past impacted gender as it is lived and made political today? Throughout the course, we will be querying the theoretical assumptions framing the historical texts we are studying, as well as assessing the different kinds of primary sources used to recover women’s and gender history.

Exclusion: HIS245Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instruction: F. Aladejebi
Lecture: Thursday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 221H1-F, L0101 African American History to 1865

An introduction to the history of Africans and people of African descent in the Americas generally, and the United States in particular. Major themes include modernity and the transatlantic slave trade; capitalism and reparations; Atlantic crossings; African women, gender, and racial formations; representation, resistance, and rebellion; nation-building; abolitionism and civil war; historical method and the political uses of the past.

Exclusion: HIS298Y1 (2016-17)
Recommended Preparation: Any 100-level course in Arts or Humanities
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: C. Johnson
Lecture: Tuesday 4-6
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 222H1-S, L0101 African American History from 1865 to the Present

This course examines the history of black people in the United States after the abolition of slavery. Major themes include the promise and tragedy of Reconstruction; gender and Jim Crow; race and respectability; migration, transnationalism, and 20th century black diasporas; black radical traditions and freedom movements; intersectionality and black feminisms; the drug war and mass incarceration; sexuality and the boundaries of blackness.

Exclusion: HIS 298Y1 (2016-17)
Recommended Preparation: Any 100-level course in Arts or Humanities
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: C. Johnson
Lecture: Tuesday 4-6
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 230H1-F, L0101 Indigenous and Early Colonial Caribbean History

This course introduces students to the study of Caribbean history from first human settlement to the late 18th century. Subject matter covered includes indigenous social structures, cosmology, and politics; the process of European conquest; the economics, society, and political order of colonial society; the Middle Passage; the everyday lives and struggles of enslaved peoples.

Exclusion: HIS294Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: S. Charles
Lecture: Wednesday 12-2
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 231H1-S, L0101 Revolution and Emancipation in the Colonial Caribbean

This course explores the history of the late eighteenth and nineteenth century Caribbean, from the Haitian Revolution to the U.S. occupation of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Students learn about the first struggles for political independence; the struggle to abolish the slave trade; slave emancipation; indentureship and struggles to define freedom after emancipation.

Exclusion: HIS294Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: M. Newton
Lecture: Wednesday 12-2
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 240H1-F, L0101 World War I in Europe

Many scholars believe that the initial 1900s had only been an extension of the 19th century and that the First World War opened the next age. Many feel that it changed Europe and the entire world and started a long period of military conflicts, genocides, nationalism, and high-speed modernization. This course will offer the most important facts related to the Great War and discuss their consequences. The course will demonstrate that it is difficult to understand our contemporary world without basic knowledge of World War I, that we are all grandchildren of that war.

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

Instructor: P. Wróbel
Lecture: Thursday 9-11
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c

HIS 242H1-S, L0101 Europe in the 20th Century

This course focuses on the political transformation of Europe from 1914 to the present day, and also surveys cultural, social, and economic developments. Lectures will cover an array of events and themes, from the two world wars, to the Russian Revolution, the rise and fall of fascism and the Third Reich, the Cold War, the collapse of communism, the building of new states, and the evolution of the European Union. Special attention will be paid throughout to themes relating to war, nationalism, and statecraft, and to key European leaders, including Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Franco, De Gaulle, Thatcher, Gorbachev, and Merkel.

Exclusion: EUR200Y1/EUR200Y5/FGI200Y5/HIS242H5/HISB94H3
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: A. Kasekamp
Lecture: Wednesday 1-3
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c

HIS 243H1-F, L0101 Early Modern Europe, 1450- 1648

Modern European society developed as a consequence of the dramatic changes which occurred in the period between the Renaissance and the end of the Thirty Years' War. The revival of classical ideas and principles revolutionized art and architecture, and provided new models for education, politics, law, science, and social organization. The religious movements within Christendom that divided Protestants and Catholics and set both against Jews and Muslims sent waves of refugees across Europe and globe and generated new ideas about how religion and politics combined. The Economic changes in Europe and Ottoman expansion in the Mediterranean sent European merchants, soldiers, and missionaries beyond the confines of the continent. As capitalism and colonialism combined, enslavement became a wider practice, generating more exclusionary ideas of race.  This course will follow these changes, with special attention given to the intellectual and cultural forces that motivated Europeans to undertake a fundamental re-evaluation of their ambitions and identities.

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

Instructor: N. Terpstra
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 10-11
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 244H1-S, L5101 Early Modern Europe, 1648-1815

This course will survey the history of Europe from the Thirty Year’s War to the Napoleonic Empire. We will explore the principal themes which transformed Europe during this period: the birth of the modern nation-state; the increasing scale of warfare; the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment; the emergence of capitalist economies; the consolidation of transatlantic colonial empires; and the French Revolution. Students will read a range of primary and secondary source materials; attendance at lectures, participation in tutorials, course reading, and writing are all required components for this course.

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

Instructor: J. Mori
Lecture: Thursday 5-7
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 245H1-F, L0101 European Colonialism, 1700-1965

This class will introduce students to the history of European colonialism.  It will analyze the nature of colonial rule, the impact of empire on both colonies and metropoles, and delve into questions of power, gender, and culture. It considers slavery and abolition, imperial networks, colonial capital, colonial competition, colonial cultures, the twilight of colonial rule, and a variety of settings.

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

Instructor: E. Jennings
Lecture: Wednesday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c

HIS 250Y1-Y, L0101 History of Russia

This course surveys the broad span of Russian history, from the formation of the first “Russian” state to the resurrection of Russia as the Soviet Union fell apart. The first term moves from the earliest Kievan state, through the rise of Moscow first locally, then on the world stage, and culminates with the Russian victory over Napoleon. The second term traces the difficulties facing autocratic Imperial Russia in the changing world of the nineteenth century, moves on to the Revolution that brought that state to an end, and finally focuses on the history of the Soviet Union and its aftermath.

Exclusion: HIS250H1/HIS250H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: A. Gornostaev
Lecture: Monday & Wednesday 10-11
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 251Y1-Y, L0101 History of East Central Europe

The course aims at surveying major historical developments in the area between the German-speaking lands and the former Soviet Union, beginning with the late Middle Ages. Most attention will be paid to the Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, Hungarians, and the Balkan peoples. Though the history of East Central Europe is often omitted from university curricula, the peoples of this area, situated in the heart of Europe, deserve serious study. As the course attempts to show, they have made throughout the centuries an important contribution to world history. The tutorials discuss a number of themes related to though not identical with the subjects of the lectures -- on the basis of assigned readings for each week.

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

Instructor: P. Wróbel
Lecture: Tuesday 9-11
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: c
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 262H1-F, L5101 Canada: A Short History of Here

Designed for non-history students, this introductory survey fulfills the Society and Its Institutions breadth requirement. It is open to all who want to know more about Canada. Make sense of politics today and develop a deeper understanding of Canadian society and its institutions through study of the major events and demographic trends that have shaped the development of this country. Topics will include First Nations/newcomer relations (including treaties and the Truth & Reconciliation report), French/English relations (including Quebec separatism), regionalism, the North, economic history, constitutional developments, and the development of Canadian identity, including common symbols associated with Canada. Students will develop historical research, critical reading, English writing and other academic skills while researching a Canadian history topic of personal interest for the capstone project. Weekly mandatory discussion of readings on a diverse range of topics. No essay or final exam.
*This course will not count towards History program requirements or as a pre-requisite for upper level courses. *

Exclusion: HIS263Y1, HIS264H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: H. Bohaker
Lecture: Tuesday 5-7
Tutorials: TBA

HIS 264H1-F, L0101 Critical Issues in Canadian History

This course introduces the history of Canada through an exploration of key themes and methods. It will cover several time periods, but it is not a standard survey class. Rather, we will focus on some the key forces that shaped Canada over time, and we will look at competing interpretations of Canadian history. We will also study some of the important skills of historical research and writing. Possible topics include First Nations, immigration, language, empire, nationalism, and culture. All students are welcome, but a key aim of the course is to help prepare students for upper year Canadian History courses.

Exclusion: HIS262H1, HIS263Y1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: S. Mills
Lecture: Tuesday 2-4
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 265Y1-Y, L0101 Black Canadian History

This course explores the historical experiences of persons of African descent in Canada. We begin by examining the presence of free and enslaved Africans in New France and British North America, moving into twentieth century themes exploring Black liberation, immigration, and resistance in Canada. The course brings into sharp focus the historical production of racial categories and racist thought and practice in Canada and examines the experiences of Black Canadians within the context of ‘multiculturalism.’

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

Instructor: F. Aladejebi
Lecture: Monday 1-3
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS266H1-S, L0101 Asian Canadian History

Introduces the history of Asian Canadians through focus on their lives, voices, and choices. Students will analyse Asian Canadian contributions to Canada’s socio-cultural, economic, and political development. Students also will investigate how Asian Canadian history reconfigures prevailing understanding of race, migration, multiculturalism, and national identity through intersectional, comparative, and transnational frameworks.

Exclusion: CDN230H1, UNI230H1
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: L. Mar
Lecture: Monday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 267H1-S, L0101 Business History

Business, and its history and evolution, is a fundamental aspect of society.  Technology, consumerism, commodities, capitalism, and globalization are all central to how we understand how business and its history shapes our world.  Using local, national, and global examples within a transnational context, this course will examine marketing, trade, firms, entrepreneurs, and a range of other topics that look at business’ beginnings to its latest developments—from the creation of modern markets to Elon Musk.

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

Instructor: D. Anastakis
Lecture: Tuesday 11-1
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 268H1-S, L0101 Law and History

The Federal Interpretation Act of Canada states that the ‘law is always speaking’. If the law is always speaking, then it must be speaking in present tense. But if it only speaks in present tense, does it have a past? How might we consider the field of law from different historical angles? This course will introduce students to different historical approaches to and uses of law. Using examples from a wide array of legal traditions (e.g. Common Law, Civil Law, Indigenous Law, Islamic Law), the course will help students gain a greater appreciation for the function, study, and development of law across different times and places.

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

Instructor: A. Emon
Lecture: Wednesday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: a/b

HIS 271Y1-Y, L5101 American History Since 1607

Designed to introduce students to a broad range of American history, this course surveys the political and economic, as well as the social and cultural history of the United States from first contact between Europeans and Native peoples through the turn of the 21st century.  Topics covered include: the development of colonial America, the emergence and growth of the American nation; slavery, sectional conflict and the Civil War; the development of modern America; the rise of the liberal state and the conservative counter-offensive; efforts by minority groups at overcoming their second-class status; and, America’s rise to international predominance. Overarching themes include the evolution of race and gender identities, as well as the ongoing struggle within the United States to live up to its founding principles of equality and inalienable rights.

Exclusion: HIS271H5/HIS272H5/HISB30H3/HISB31H3
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: D. Cucuz
Lecture: Tuesday 6-8
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 280Y1-Y, L0101 History of China

Does China have “five thousand years of continuous history”? We will explore this deceptively simple question in this introduction to the history of what is now China from before the development of writing to the present. No previous knowledge is required. In addition to covering basic information about chronology and environment, this course will be organized around some key tensions:

  • Material life and popular culture vs. ideal norms and elite culture
  • Changes vs. continuities: when did key watersheds occur, and what were their consequences?
  • “Chinese” societies vs. their neighbors, especially the nomadic peoples of the northern steppes
  • People vs. nature–physical modifications to the environment over time
  • People vs. their bodies– gender, sexuality, and families

By the end of the course, we will have explored not just what we know, but how we know about China’s history. You will be introduced to the practice of reading primary historical documents in translation, with a view to how historians use them to produce knowledge about the past.

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

Instructor: J. Guo
Lecture: Monday & Wednesday 10-11
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: a
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 282Y1-Y, L0101 History of South Asia

This year-long course addresses major themes in the history of South Asia, examining South Asian political economy, social history, colonial power relations and forms of knowledge, and the production of culture. The course emphasizes the period after 1750, particularly the study of colonialism, nationalism, and key features of postcolonial modernity and globalization. The analysis of the modern period is informed and preceded by an overview of ancient, medieval, and early modern/Mughal history. Themes include the diversity of South Asian regional, political, religious, and cultural communities; law and sovereignty; women and gender in South Asian history; subaltern resistance and rebellion; capitalism in South Asia; and major questions in recent South Asian historiography with attention to genealogies of the South Asian present.

Exclusion: HIS282H5/HISB57H3
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: R. Birla
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 1-2
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: a
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit

HIS 285H1-F, L0101 History of Chinese Overseas

Explores global history of Chinese outside of China, the great migrations that shaped it, and how ethnic Chinese made their homes in nations around the world. Emphasizes Southeast Asia as well as the settler societies of North America/Australasia, although ethnic Chinese on six continents will be discussed. Topics include Chinese migrations, diasporas, ethnic identities, communities, cultures, economic roles, integration, and racialization, as well as relations with China, with host societies, and with non-Chinese.

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

Instructor: L. Mar
Lecture: Tuesday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: a

HIS 292H1-S, L0101 Latin America: The National Period

A survey of Latin American history from the wars of independence to the present day.

Exclusion: HIS292Y1/HIS290H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Society and its Institutions (3)

Instructor: L. van Isschot
Lecture: Tuesday 10-12
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: b

HIS 295Y1-Y, L0101 History of Africa

An introduction to African history and the methodology of history more broadly, this course sets out to question how historians do history, examine differences in theories of knowledge, and explore the relationship between academic and cultural representations of the past. The course also draws on anthropology and related disciplines.

Exclusion: HIS381H1/HIS382H1/HIS295H5
Distribution Requirements: Humanities
Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1), Thought, Belief and Behaviour (2)

Instructor: S. Hawkins
Lecture: Thursday 12-2
Tutorials: TBA
Geographic Area: a
Temporal Requirement: ½ credit