Intro to Western History: Faith & History: Religion in America

Instructor: Rachel Schwaller

Day & Time:
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Category Fulfillment: I

Painting of an African American priest in a red robe delivering a sermon to a congregation.

Introduction to Western History: Faith & History: Religion in America 

This course introduces students to the broad field of “Western History” through the lens of religion in the United States. Students will cover the wide swath of Western History by focusing on the role of religious interpretation within Indigenous nations, colonialism and conversion tactics, slavery, resistance, women’s rights, immigration economics, civil rights, and globalism. While we will focus on the United States, students will also consider Central and South American and Caribbean religious influences. Through this class, students will discover that “Western History” has been indelibly linked and created through its interactions with a much larger Global world, especially Africa.

HIST 101 will operate as a lecture and discussion course. Mondays will consist of interactive lectures. Wednesdays will delve deeper into a single case study that exemplifies our main theme for the week. Students will discuss in groups with interactive assignments and with the professor on Wednesday. Fridays are full discussion days. Discussions will center on course readings. Course readings are all provided on Blackboard. They will consist of primary sources, written by people at the time period we are studying. These readings will be exciting and dynamic and together will grapple with and uncover hidden histories. We will focus on primary sources written by non-white authors, again demonstrating that Western History is a history that primarily includes the contributions and histories of people of color. Pages will not exceed 10 pages per week.

Students will demonstrate mastery of the material through different types of assignments including in-class discussion, journal entries, a reflection paper, and a final paper that asks students to construct an original historical argument using our primary sources.

HIST 101 satisfies Core Goal 1.1.

No textbook will be required for this class.