Department Website:


  • Professor Alison Fletcher (chair and Long Professor) - ext. 3547
  • Professor David Hsiung (Knox Professor) - ext. 3534
  • Associate Professor Douglas Stiffler - ext. 3538
  • Professor Belle Tuten (Charles A. Dana Professor) - ext. 3536
  • Professor James Tuten - ext. 3548

Background Information:

The department offers a core of survey courses and builds this base with other courses emphasizing the social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of the past.  Our strengths are in European, British Empire, Asian and U.S. studies. The department provides sound preparation for a wide variety of vocational interests, including those of historian, teacher, and lawyer, as well as those in business and government. We have a strong History and Museum Studies program.  In addition to traditional survey courses, the department offers selected in-depth studies (e.g., seminars on Environmental History, the Pacific War, Medieval Medicine, and The Great War).

Special programs:

  • History Seminar:  Every semester a member of the Department offers an informal discussion of their research to students.  Donuts are always provided!
  • Phi Alpha Theta: The Department is a member of this national history honorary society and regularly sends students to regional conferences.

Programs of Emphasis:

  • History
  • History and Museum Studies
  • Social Studies Secondary Education Certification
  • Anthropology - Secondary Emphasis
  • History - Secondary Emphasis

Individualized Programs of Emphasis:

  • Elementary Education/History
  • History and English
  • History and Geology
  • History and Politics
  • History and Biology

Internship/Research Experiences:

  • Local Attorneys
  • National Park Service
  • B&O Railroad Museum
  • National Gallery
  • Rockefeller Archive Center
  • Huntingdon County Historical Society
  • Pennsylvania State Archives
  • Smithsonian Institution

Specific department policy:

Awarding credit for AP Exam scores: A student with an AP score of 4 will receive 3 General Elective Non-Department credits, as it will not equate to history elective.

A student with an AP score of 5 will see the Department Chair for review to determine what credit will be awarded. The student may receive general history credit or a direct equate to a Juniata History Course. 

HS-104   Medieval Europe (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I,WK-HT) This course will examine the history of Western Europe from the Roman Empire to approximately 1450. This 1000-year period was the setting for both large and small changes in the way people in Europe thought about themselves, governed each other, and lived everyday lives. During the course, we will follow a chronological timeline, but we will frequently stop, look, and enjoy the scenery. Pre- or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109. (Formerly titled: European History to 1550)

HS-109   China, Japan, and Korea to 1800 (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I) Introduces students to the major themes in the histories of China, Japan, and Korea from antiquity to about 1800. Special emphasis will be paid to the religious and philosophical foundations of Confucian civilization.

HS-115   United States to 1877 (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H) Concentrates on the broad sweep of U.S. history from colonial beginnings through Reconstruction using a variety of perspectives and sources. The ideas and realities of freedom shape nearly every part of our lives. How did this develop in the United States from its earliest European settlements to the aftermath of the Civil War? HS-115 focuses on this central theme of freedom - how people have defined and pursued it, as well as expanded and restricted it, in different places. You will also learn how to analyze primary sources (those created during the time period under study)and apply a historical perspective to issues that shape your life today.

HS-116   The U.S. Since 1877 (Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H) This course uses original documents, novels, and other sources to explore the interrelationships between domestic and foreign affairs and to examine the consequences of actions taken at the national and local level.

HS-152   World Civilizations From 1500 (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I) This course will trace the developmentof world civilizations from the 16th century to the present.

HS-199   Special Topics (Fall; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows the department to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.

HS-200   The Great War (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; I,H,CW,WK-HT) This class is a social, cultural, and political history of a global conflict that reshaped the twentieth century. Throughout the semester we will seek to understand what it was like for soldiers and civilians from many parts of the world to live thought this war. Pre- or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

HS-201   Samurai Legends & Lives (Either Semester; Variable; 4.00 Credits; CA,H,I) In this course, students analyze the ways in which the mythic images of the samurai warriors of Japan have been constructed in both Japan and the West. Students will read medieval Japanese war tales, administrative and legal documents, memoirs and reminiscences, puppet plays, and view films to understand how these ideas and images were created, and changed, through time. Prerequisites: EN110 or EN109.

HS-204   Australia/New Zealand (Either Semester; Variable; 4.00 Credits; I,H) This course is a comparative introduction to the history of New Zealand and Australia. We will begin the course by studying the indigenous people of the region: Australian Aborigines in Australia and Maoris in New Zealand, before moving to think about the arrival of white settlers. During the semester, we will pay particular attention to the process of colonization and dispossession, race and gender relations, the search for national identity, popular culture, and politics in the two countries.

HS-213   History of Ireland (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,WK-HT) This course is an introduction to the history of Ireland, beginning with an overview of the early history. We will explore the Tudor revolutions, English colonialism, the question of identity in the island, Irish Republicanism. home rule movements, the partition of Ireland, and the " troubles " in the North of the island of Ireland. Pre-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109

HS-215   Rome: Republic to Empire (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,WK-HT) People through history have imagined Rome in different ways, and it conjures up lots of different images for us: civilization; barbarism; conquest; freedom; slavery; technology; virtue and vice. In this course, we will explore the period between the founding of Roman civilization and the year 325 A.D., examining what the Romans thought and said about themselves and what they mean to us today.

HS-217   The Lowcountry and the Gullah Culture (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; H,CA,SW-US) The course examines the origins and development of the Gullah Geechee cultures of the Lowcountry. How did these members of the African diaspora develop a creole culture within the profound and brutal limitations of slavery, and how did they sustain it and change under Jim Crow and into the climate and development challenges of the present?

HS-222   Archives: Theory, Practice, and Use (2.00 Credits) This team-taught course provides an introduction to archives by covering their different types and purposes, archival practices, and the use of archives by researchers. The course will involve readings, discussion, hands-on experiences, and a field trip. This course also serves a crucial role in the orientation to, and skill development for, the larger Secondary Emphasis and certificate in Rural Poverty Studies.

HS-262   North American Environmental History (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; H) Our troubling relationship with the natural world might well be the most important issue human societies will face in your lifetime. HS-262 examines one root of this relationship: how and why we have shaped, and been shaped by, different North American environments over time. Through discussion, lectures, readings, and films, we will examine the social, cultural, economic, and political spheres of these human activities since the fifteenth century.

HS-266   History of South Africa (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; I,H) This course covers the history of South Africa from the 17th century to the present. We will focus our attention on specific themes, including imperialism, race and ethnicity, crime and punishment, resistance to apartheid, and the limits of forgiveness. The class will be taught inside SCI Smithfield. This Inside-Out Course is an opportunity for a group of students from Juniata College and an equal number of students from SCI Smithfield to learn together and to exchange ideas and perceptions about the history of South Africa. Bringing incarcerated and non-incarcerated students together for engaged and informed dialogue allows for transformative learning experiences that facilitates an exchange of ideas in a dialogic format. Instructor permission required for all students.

HS-268   Sword & Scimitar: Islam & West 500-1300 (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; SW-GE) When discussing culture in a historical context, we must be careful to avoid the stereotypes that may leap to mind. In the twenty-first-century United States, the mention of Islam or the Near East provokes stereotypes that are inaccurate and misleading. In this course, we will learn about the early history of Islam and its intersection with western Christianity and the society of the European Middle Ages. In doing so we will discover the similarities and differences between the cultures and learn (modern prejudices notwithstanding) how they depended on one another both culturally and economically.

HS-272   Natives & Colonists in Early N. America (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW,SW-US) Love, hate, fear, confusion, respect, admiration, wonder: these are just some of the powerful feelings that infused the relationships between Native Americans and European colonists, and that shaped the history of North America from about 1500 to the eve of the American Revolution. Through extensive discussion, reading, writing, and a role-playing game, HS-272 will help you understand relationships that still affect American society today.

HS-277   History of Food (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H) This course will take a transnational view of the history of food from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. We will examine food as a part of human experience including its roles as sustenance, commodity, cultural artifact, signifier of identity, and art. While the early emphasis of the course will be on the Atlantic World and the global exchange of foods and cooking techniques, particular attention will be on the United States' regional cuisines and food movements. The course will use scholarly texts, films, field-trips and will require some cooking and tasting of food on some evenings. Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing. Note: There is a fee assessed on this course.

HS-280   Victorian Science, Sexuality & Medicine (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; WK-HT,H) This class investigates the changing meanings and entanglements of Victorian science and medical practice through the lens of class, gender, and race. We will examine ideas about the body and disease, the changing role of medicine and the social construction of scientific knowledge. Pre- or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

HS-293   Sophomore Colloquium (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,CW) This colloquium exposes students to employment opportunities available to them through the study of history. It focuses upon the development of the skills necessary for success in the history classroom. The Sophomore Colloquium is designed for students with strong interest in history, including education students and students with secondary emphases in history. Pre-requisites: sophomore standing and two courses in History or permission of the instructor.

HS-299   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Offers supplements to the regular departmental program, exploring topics and areas not regularly scheduled. Note: Students may take each ST: course for credit.

HS-305   The American Revolution (Spring; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW,WK-HT) The American Revolution reshaped the world by spreading the idea of independence, and it continues to influence our lives in every way, from debating the rights of citizenship to including Hamilton on your playlist. HS-305 examines the origins and consequences of the American Revolution. The central questions include: What caused the American Revolution? How did the United States win the War of Independence? What resulted from the American Revolution? Class activities include extensive discussion, reading, and a role-playing game.

HS-306   People's Republic of China (Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; I,H,CW) This course is an upper-level seminar on the history of the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Republic of China. This is a College Writing course (CW), so a principle aim of the course is to instruct students in the techniques of writing papers in history. Work in the course will culminate in a term paper on a topic in 20th-century Chinese History. To that end, considerable effort will be spent in introducing students to tools and strategies for understanding the English-language historiography of Modern China. Some prior knowledge of Chinese history and civilization is recommended.

HS-309   Civil War and Reconstruction (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW,CTDH) Examines the political, social, military, economic and ideological origins and consequences of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The course looks deeply into several important questions. What caused the Civil War? Why was the Union victorious? Why did the war proceed as it did? What was the nature and legacy of reconstruction? What does this period in our history mean to us now? Prerequisites: HS115 or HS116 and SO, JR, or SR standing.

HS-312   The New South: 1877-1990 (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H) This seminar will cover the years 1877-1900 and explore the themes on the cultural, political, economic and social history of the U.S. South. Among the important questions covered in the class are: What is the South? How did the South change through significant events such as the Populist movement, the rise of Jim Crow, the Great Depression, the second World War, economic development, and the Civil Rights movement. We will ask how the South's arts, especially music, reflect its history and culture. Prerequisites: HS116 or permission of the instructor.

HS-313   Disease, Medicine, and Empire (Either Semester; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; CA,I,H,SW-GE,CTGES) Despite our popular understanding of the European middle ages as a dirty, disease-ridden, hopelessly backward period, the sources show us quite a different picture. A lack of understanding of the means of genetic change and the cause of viral and bacterial disease caused medieval people to understand the human body very differently than we do, but their medical systems were not without logic and efficacy. Pre- or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

HS-314   Medieval Medicine (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,CW,SW-GE,CTGES) Despite our popular understanding of the European middle ages as a dirty, disease-ridden, hopelessly backward period, the sources show us quite a different picture. Although a lack of understanding of the means of genetic change and the cause of viral and bacterial disease caused medieval people to understand the human body very differently than we do, that system was not without its logic and efficacy. This course will explore the human body and its diseases in the middle ages through a series of connected readings that introduce the body as a conceptual system and medieval science's attempts to understand it. We will then look at the growing field of genomic research as a way of understanding and comparing our modern systems of understanding the body.

HS-316   WWII in Asia and Pacific (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; I,H) Students will study Japan's war in Asia & the Pacific (1937-45), China's War to Resist Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and the US in the Pacific War (1941-45), all part of the larger world-historical conflict. The war will be examined from the perspectives of the main combatants, but also from the perspective of colonial subjects, and from the points of view of elites and commoners. Much attention will be paid to roles of race and culture in (mis-)understandings of " the enemy. "

HS-320   Interpreting Terrorism (Variable; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; SW-ER) You have grown up in a world shaped by terrorism. How did this happen? What is terrorism, how has it developed, and how have people responded to it? In this course, we will analyze (interpret) terrorism from different directions: its many definitions, its general history beginning with the French Revolution, and the many ways in which people have responded to it. You will also dive into specific topics and present (interpret) your research for a non-academic audience. It is important for us historians to communicate effectively. If we can broaden and deepen the public's understanding of, and appreciation for, the past, we enrich our society. You will learn how to convey your knowledge in a way that the public will find accessible, and even enjoyable or exciting. Course requirements include a field trip.

HS-322   Women's Lives-Medieval Europe (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H,CW) What could medieval women do? What was it like to be a nun? Who were witches? There are many interesting questions to ask about women in the middle ages, their choices, and their experiences. In this course, we will address them through firsthand accounts from biographies, personal diaries, and literature.

HS-325   The U.S. Since 1945 (Either Semester; Variable; 4.00 Credits; H) Covers the social, political and economic history since the Second World War. Themes include: the Cold War, suburbanization, the rise of consumer society, and more. Prerequisite: HS116.

HS-326   Modern China (Variable; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; H,I) China over the past hundred years has played a major role in global affairs and is positioned to remain a dominant presence well into the 21st century. This course examines the rise of modern China focusing on its transition from a traditional Confucian state to a potent economic and political power.

HS-327   Modern Japan (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; H,I) This course traces the history of Japan's rise as a modern nation state beginning with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 up to the present with an emphasis on the cultural, economic and political factors which aided the rapid industrialization in the nineteenth century, Japanese imperialism in the first half of the twentieth century, and Japan's economic " miracle " in postwar Japan.

HS-367   Women in Africa (Variable; Variable; 4.00 Credits; CA,H,I,CTDH) This course will provide students with an understanding of women in sub-Saharan African cultures, their history, traditions, diversity, resilience and adaptability. To do this we will be looking at social structure, kinship networks, economic systems, gender relations, ethnicity and ethnic conflicts, traditional religion, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and other health issues.

HS-399   Special Topics (Either Semester; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Provides supplements to the regular departmental program, exploring topics and areas not regularly scheduled. Note: Students may take each ST: course for credit.

HS-400   Crimes Against Humanity (Spring; Variable; 4.00 Credits; I,H) This course explores the emergence, evolution, varieties, underlying causes, and means of confronting and coming to terms with genocide and other crimes against humanity. During the course of the semester, we will examine a range of historical contexts and we will also confront tough questions about ethics, resistance, and responsibility. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing. Sophomores require permission.

HS-490   History Internship (Variable; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; H) Prerequisite: Instructor permission and Junior or Senior standing. Co-requisite: HS-495.

HS-492   Sr History Research/Seminar I (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; H) Serves as a capstone experience that synthesizes materials from history and other disciplines into a substantial written thesis. The senior seminar can be done as an independent study or in conjunction with an internship. When completed the thesis is presented at a public oral defense. Prerequisite: Completion of all core courses and/or permission of instructor.

HS-493   The Historian's Craft (Fall; Variable; 1.00 Credit; H,CW) This course is a seminar-style introduction to historiography and a forum in which senior history students complete part or all of their senior thesis. Students taking the course are expected to work simultaneously with the course instructor, as well as a thesis advisor from within the history department. Students may select a member of the faculty outside the department as a secondary advisor if that complements their thesis topic. Students who elect to write a year-long thesis take HS496 in the Spring semester after taking HS493. Students from other departments who take the course will be expected to complete a paper of comparable length to a senior thesis under the supervision of the course instructor. Prerequisites: One 300 level history course and Senior status.

HS-495   History Internship Seminar (Variable; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; H) Requires students to reflect on the internship experience and/or pursue relevant research. Instructor permission required. Corequisite: HS-490.

HS-496   Senior History Research/Seminar II (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; H) If a student needs to work further on the senior thesis, this will allow three further hours of study. Prerequisites: HS493 and Senior standing.

HS-499   Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows departments to offer topics not normally taught. Prerequisites and corequisites vary by topic.

HS-TUT   History Teaching Assistant (Variable; Variable; 1.00-3.00 Credits)