University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

First-Year Experience

History


HST 095 A - Unnatural Border

Instructor: Mary Mendoza

In this lecture and discussion course in which we will study the development of the built environment along the U.S.-Mexico border. Over the course of the twentieth century, the U.S.-Mexico border transformed from a “line in the sand” to a place of increasing physical presence. The twentieth century brought customs stations and fences to channel migration through a federally regulated space. Over time, fences and check points transformed into walls, buildings, and a network of roads built to control the movement of dynamic nature: people, animals, and pathogens. Using both primary and secondary texts, documentaries, and news articles, we will learn why federal agencies created an unnatural border and how it has affected immigration and the environment in the borderlands. While this course will cover some immigration history, it is not a comprehensive history of immigration to the United States, but rather a history of how the borderline transformed from an open range to an increasingly sealed off series of walls and fences.

Requirements Satisfied: Humanities and Writing and Information Literacy


HST 095 B - Revolutionary Ideologies in the 20th Century

Instructor: Francis Nicosia

This is an intellectual history course designed to help students understand some of the significant revolutionary ideas and movements that shaped the history of the 20th century. The course will examine four of the totalitarian revolutionary ideologies and movements in the 20th century: Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union, Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, and Maoism in China. These modern ideologies, and the movements they spawned, are just four of the many variations, negative and positive, that grew out of the 18th century intellectual revolution known as the Enlightenment. Its promise of liberation of the people and establishment of utopian societies, first attempted during the French and American revolutions in the eighteenth century, remained a key driving force in the history of the 20th century, and continue in the 21st century. The first two weeks cover the Enlightenment and French Revolution, with students reading primary source documents of Enlightenment philosophers and leaders of the French Revolution. This is followed by three weeks each for Marxism-Leninism in the Soviet Union, Fascism in Italy, National Socialism in Germany, and Maoism in China. Students will consider their similarities and differences. In each of these four sections of the course, they will read some of the writings of Karl Marx and of Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin in Russia, of Benito Mussolini in Italy, of Adolf Hitler and other Nazis in Germany, and of Mao Zedong in China. Students will also examine how these four ideologies grew out of the same Enlightenment ideas and ideals that also gave us constitutional government, political democracy, and democratic socialism.

Requirements Satisfied: Humanities and Writing and Information Literacy


HST 095 C - Due North: An Introduction to Canada

Instructor: David Massell

Canada is cold, and Canadians play hockey. Beyond this, most Americans know precious little about our northern neighbor which is located just 40 minutes north of Burlington by car. In fact, Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner and a close political ally, which also holds a richly interesting landscape and national experience. This writing-intensive seminar will introduce a select group of UVM students to Canada. We'll study Canada's unique geography, history, and political system. Then we'll make a three-day field trip to Ottawa, the nation's capital, to explore Canada firsthand. Upon our return, we will share our observations and artifacts with one another, continuing to explore Canadian culture, media and current events. Students will emerge from the course with a nuanced understanding of our neighbor to the north, as well as bearing sharpened reading, research, writing, and communication skills. Passports are required.

Requirements Satisfied: Humanities and Writing and Information Literacy


HST 095 D - Women's History

Instructor: Melanie Gustafson

This first-year seminar provides an introduction to American women’s political and social activism from the nineteenth century to today. It begins with an examination of the anti-slavery and women’s rights movements before the Civil War, continues with a focus on the struggle for the right to vote and the subsequent battles for political inclusion, and culminates with a discussion of the rise of global feminism. The course is designed to introduce students to important leaders and their ideas, the evolution of movements for equal rights and social justice, and key political moments in American women’s history. We will use historical methodologies, which means exploring how and why changes occurred and the impact of change on the lives of ordinary people and the nation. Students will work individually and in groups on research assignments.

Requirements Satisfied: Humanities and Writing and Information Literacy