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Spring 2020 Online Classes

Course Guide

This spring, the UMass History Department is offering three online classes. 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 (DU), and Global Diversity (DG). 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

History 110: World History to 1500 with Professor Matthew Barlow

This course is an exploration of some of the most ancient cultures of the world, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Meso-America, through ancient primary sources and artifacts. For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Matthew Barlow: (4 credits, DG HS GenEd)

History 121: Modern Latin America with Professor Joel Wolfe

Discussions of Latin America usually fall back upon facile generalizations that emphasize recent changes to explain "current events." This course will examine in detail the creation of modern Latin America. We will concentrate on the struggles over land and labor, the creation of nation-states, and the conflicts within those states over issues of citizenship and social justice. The course will also address the contentious role the United States has played in the region. For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Wolfe: (4 credits, DG HS GenEd)

History 264: History of Health Care and Medicine in the U.S. with Professor Emily Hamilton

This course explores the history and social meaning of medicine, health care, and disease in the United States from 1600 to the present. Using films, podcasts, historical documents, and academic readings, students will investigate topics such as: the evolution of beliefs about the body; medical and social responses to infectious and chronic disease; the rise of medical science and medical organizations; the development of medical technologies; mental health diagnosis and treatment; the training and image of medical practitioners; and the role of public and government institutions in promoting health practices and disease treatments. Through multiple perspectives, including those of marginalized groups, we will focus on the relationship of political, social, and economic power to health. Additional readings will illuminate the human experience of medicine, including the experience of being ill, the delivery of compassionate care, and the relationship between practitioners and patients. Course themes include race, gender, cultural diversity, women and gender, social movements, science, technology, politics, industry, and ethics. For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Emily Hamilton: (4 credits, DU HS GenEd)