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Fall 2017 Online Course Guide

This fall, the UMass History Department is offering four of our most popular online courses: world history, women's history, the history of baseball and women's history. Our courses are taught by PhD holding faculty, and each class fulfills one or more UMass general education requirements, including Historical Studies (HS), United States Diversity (U), and Global Diversity (G). All classes are open to UMass students and the general public. Please join us!

For questions about course content, contact the faculty member teaching the course. For general questions about the UMass History Department's online classes, contact For all other questions, including registration and records, contact Continuing and Professional Education. To register, see SPIRE

HIST 111: World History since 1500 with Professor Andrew Dausch

4 Credits • Gen Ed Designation: HSG • Professor Andrew Dausch

111 In History 111, we will explore world history by critically examining the role of European imperialism in forging connections between Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The course is broken into five units, each of which represents a distinct aspect of global development. The first unit focuses on how the discovery of the Americas resulted from shifting patterns of world trade and led to new patterns of exchange. In the second unit, we look at the impact of the British Empire in the Americas, Asia, and especially India as well as the role of gender in world history. Using the example of the Belgian Congo, the third unit explores the European colonization of Africa at the end of the 19th century and relates this experience to contemporary issues of underdevelopment, racism and genocide. The course concludes by looking at major developments of the 20th century—World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and decolonization—in global perspective. For more information, or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Dausch: (4 credits, HSG)

History 154: Social Change in the 1960s with Professor Julia Sandy

This course focuses on the “Long Sixties,” a period stretching from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. We will look in new ways at topics you are probably already familiar with: the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, counterculture, sexual experimentation, and never trusting anyone over 30. We will also explore aspects of the Sixties you may not know about or associate with a different era, such as the Great Society, a thriving conservative movement, environmentalism, and gay rights. Students will view online lectures, participate in online discussions, and complete assignments which include reviewing music, movies, and books from the sixties. For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Sandy: (4 credits, HSU)

History 280: History of Baseball with Professor Joel Wolfe

This class examines the history of baseball from its earliest days as a game for young men in New York City in the mid-19th century to the present and its professional leagues in the United States and elsewhere in the world. The class studies the rise of sport as a leisure activity and then industry, the creation of the major leagues, the racial integration of baseball, the rise of free agency, the steroid era and beyond. Students are expected to complete the assigned reading for discussions.  Evaluation in the class will be based on two quizzes (7.5% each), an analytical book essay (30%), a final exam (35%), and class participation (20%). For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Wolfe: (4 credits, HS)

History 389: Women’s History since 1890 with Professor Karen Manners Smith

This course focuses on the study of American women between about 1870 and the present, and includes the political aspects of women’s lives as well as their social history. We will work steadily through our textbook, Through Women’s Eyes Vol. II, focusing our online discussions on issues raised in each chapter and on additional assigned short articles or films. From “Votes for Women” we will move on to study periods of the 20th century that brought significant developments for American women, with special attention to women’s roles in the Depression and WWII and the Women’s Equality and Liberation Movements of the 1960s and ‘70s. In our own lifetimes, the first decades of the 21st century, we will see women experiencing both great progress and a powerful anti-feminist backlash. You will note from the textbook contents that race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality are central concerns in the story. In addition to the textbook, we will read the memoir of a southern black woman in the 1950s and two novels, one about a women’s utopia, the other about a future dystopia for women. These two works of fiction form a short introduction to the way some women writers envisioned different worlds for women, one before the women’s rights movement, and one after. The work for this course includes reading and film watching, participation in weekly discussions, and three short papers based on the novels and the memoir. The historical lessons in our textbook are excellent, so take notes on them as you would a lecture. A prior course in American history is useful, but not required for enrollment in this class. For more information, or to request a reading list, contact Professor Smith: (4 credits, HSU)