Course Summary

Course Description

The Historical Trend Analysis concentration teaches students to use evidence-based methods for understanding the course of human history, how things came to be the way they are, and how we can make informed predictions about the future. It prepares future leaders and innovators in public policy, forecasting, consulting, finance, governance, and high technology sectors.

Career Possibilities

  • Financial Markets Analyst
  • Political Scientist
  • Economist
  • Counterterrorism Analyst
  • Public Policy Expert
  • Urban Planner

Major Foundation Requirements

AH300 / Multimodal Rhetorical Argument: The Rhetoric of Uncertainty

Can one obtain absolute certainty on any given subject? Engaging in various rhetorical tasks that work both to create and to communicate knowledge, learn to speak with authority on the topic of uncertainty. By examining readings from critics such as Lyotard, Faigley and Baudrillard, as well as selections of contemporary literature, film and TV, strive to understand better what Lyotard calls the postmodern condition. Students actively engage through argument, research presentations and experience projects, using at least three different modes of communication (such as poetry, prose, oral presentation, art, dance, music, and film).

AH301 / Legal and Moral Systems of the Ancient World

Delve into the origins of legal and ethical systems: the Code of Hammurabi, the Noahide Laws, the Old Testament, the Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu, Egyptian Ma'at, and the Tang Code. Study contracts, torts, civil law, criminal law, enforcers, and penalties. Assignments also cover ethics and morality in commerce, personal life and kinship.

AH302 / Art for Political and Social Change

Explore acts of creative expression as they are used to foment unrest, question authority, re-contextualize social and political systems, and upset the status quo. Global examples are drawn primarily from poetry, painting, music, and sculpture, from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Concentration Core Requirements

AH330 / The History of Science From Darwin to the Manhattan Project

Science is the result of historical processes acted upon by social, political, economic and ideological forces. Explore those forces in the roughly 80-year period from Darwin's "Origin of the Species" to the development of the atomic bomb, a period in which more scientific discoveries were made and information generated than at any other time in history. What factors led to this explosion of innovation and can they be repeated?

AH332 / From the Dutch East India Company to Instagram: Historical Trends in Multinational Business

Until the mid-1800s, businesses were primarily small and family-run, serving only a local market. The spread of the telegraph and railroads allowed companies to serve larger markets, and eventually to become national and international concerns. Examine the trends and factors that led to increasing globalization of companies, products and business transactions, up to and including the Internet revolution. The emergence of technology start-up companies, and their influence, both positive and negative, on corporate culture, structure, innovation, and profitability.

AH530 / History of Peacetime and Diplomacy

In every generation throughout recorded history, savage wars have occurred in at least one part of the world. Whereas historians have written a great deal about war, and sociologists about human aggression, this course examines factors throughout history that led to peace. Explore the notion that peacetime and diplomacy is defined by a history of cultural influence, of gifts, the art of persuasion, and of the negotiated exchange of capital, power and kinship.

Concentration Electives

AH310 / Music, Art and the Industrial Revolution

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, both music and visual art were profoundly shaped by the industrial revolution in Europe and America. Examine the impact of scientific, technological, economic, social, and political trends on specific artistic products. Also explore the increasing divide that developed during this period between "high" art and "low" (or commercial) art.

AH331 / Popular Conceptions of Science Over Time: From Copernicus to Craig Venter

How has society adopted to a more scientific way of thinking between the discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe to the sequencing of the first human genome? What have been the political, economic, and societal implications of this shift in thinking? At the same time, how have some subpopulations embraced and others rejected science, particularly with the rise of religious fundamentalism since the 1980s?

AH333 / The History of Power and Its Relation to Geography

What role has geography and environment played in shaping the current power distribution in the world? Look into the role of weaponry, disease, agriculture, and livestock in the distribution of wealth. Study political-economic systems — from egalitarianism to kleptocracy — and the extent to which they can be attributed to geographic/environmental variation.

AH335 / Social Movements

Social movements have shaped every culture throughout history. Study major social movements beginning in the 18th century and continuing to the present time, with an emphasis on the global and transnational social movements. Activities focus on research findings and theory.

AH371 / Colonial Impact on Indigenous Literatures of Africa

How have colonialists viewed Africa, and how have Africans viewed themselves? Examine trends that show how the collective consciousness of society evolves under the impact of colonialism over time, and the lasting impact after. Study literature by, about, and for Africa and the African continent, including short stories, novels, essays, literary nonfiction, griots, and epics from pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial periods. Featured authors include Camus, Ibsen, Dinesen, Coetzee, Achebe, Beah, and Atta.

AH413 / Curating Historical Exhibits

Explore the many ways of organizing, presenting and marketing art exhibits. Historical events offer a narrative structure for an exhibit, and they rely on familiar subject matter to draw in audiences. Learn how to use history as a tool for creating effective, meaningful and appealing museum exhibits. Visual arts — including painting, sculpture, fashion, installation art, and folk art — serve as primary media.

AH431 / American Presidents and Their Legislatures

US presidents have experienced a wide range of effectiveness in implementing their agendas. Through the lens of the presidential relationship with Congress, consider the constitutional and practical issues facing elected officials, especially tensions between the executive and legislative branch in passing legislation, approving presidential appointments and declaring war.

AH432 / , Historical Trend Analysis in the World Economy

Analyze the global role of money, from G10 countries to emerging nation economies. Research historical trends in commerce, financial institutions and instruments, investment and exchange systems, bartering, taxation, debt, and the World Bank. Also discuss the role of electronic-based practices on world economies.

AH433 / Historical Trend Analysis in World Politics

How have citizens struggled against colonialism, invasion, dependency on foreign powers, dictators, and malevolent monarchs? How have societies implemented democracy (or claimed to have) throughout the world? Study historical trends in political systems, from emerging nations to fully industrialized nation-states, drawing on historians' interpretations and primary source accounts.

AH434 / Interpreting the American Constitution Through Time.

Is the constitution a living document or must it instead be treated more like a fundamentalist religious text? Forms of originalism (original intent, original meaning, semantic and framework originalism), strict constructionism, textualism, and other approaches, and the specific social, political and judicial issues that have impacted them.

AH453 / Epistemology and Evidence—From the Philosophical to the Practical

The nature and limits of knowledge, and particularly how they pertain to sources of evidence in historical trend analysis. How do people know what they know? Is science just another faith-based system, or does the scientific method have objective validity? Examine how historians acquire data and how they assess its validity and accuracy. Are there hierarchies of knowledge or is knowledge binary? Dissect the assumptions, foundations and methods of science, and study the theories of Hempel, Kuhn, Lakatos, Suppes, Dretske and Heisenberg.

AH470 / Historical Uses of Poetry for Political Change

Poetry has historically been associated with persuasion and "changing men's minds." Plato thought poems should be banned because their eloquence can make lies seem like the truth. Shelley considered poets to be "the unacknowledged legislators of the world." Focus on the power of poetry to persuade, to argue and to re-contextualize societal problems for political change.

AH531 / Ethnicity and Nationalism Throughout History

Focus on notions of national and ethnic identity and cultural values, the role of natural and human resources in creating great trade economies, political movements, and the tension between the individual and the collective in different societies throughout the world and throughout history.

Ethnicity and Nationalism Throughout History (SS573)

Request further information

  • CAPTCHA Image New Image
  • Agree to Terms & Conditions