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Winter 2021/2022 Online Courses

Course Guide

This winter, the UMass History Department is offering five online classes, each class fulfilling 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!

The winter session runs from December 17, 2021 - January 24, 2022. 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 University Without Walls. To register, see SPIRE

History 110: World History to 1500 

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 Anna Taylor: (4 credits, HS DG GenEd)

History 115: China, 1600-Present

The history and culture behind China's emergence as a modern power. Topics include: heritage of the Ming and Qing dynasties; Western maritime trade and naval power; Christian missionaries and Western educators; peasant rebellion and overthrow of imperial rule; Chinese nationalism, the Marxist-Maoist order; China as contender for superpower status. For more information, contact Bing Xia: (4 credits, HS DG GenEd)

History 154: Social Change in the 1960s

This course focuses on the "Long Sixties,"  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 Julia Sandy: (4 credits, HS DU GenEd)

History 280: History of Baseball in America

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. For more information or to request a syllabus, contact Professor Joel Wolfe: (4 credits, HS GenEd)

History 385: Modern Boston

This course examines the history of Boston from the nineteenth century to the present. Cities, and especially Boston, have long offered some of the best laboratories for the study of American history, social structure, economic development and cultural change. In this course we will use Boston as a lens to analyze and understand how the United States in general and American cities in particular have changed over the past two hundred years. Topics include: industrialization and labor strife; abolitionism and Boston’s role in the Civil War; immigration and nativism; class conflict; machine politics and political reform; urban renewal; school desegregation and more. Students will read and interpret primary sources, view lectures, and participate in discussion forums. Through the work we do in this class students will gain an understanding of Boston’s rich history and how cities can offer insight into larger historical developments. For more information, contact Andrew Grim:  (4 credits, HS DU GenEd)