Topics Courses

Course Descriptions

 Summer 2014 Topics Courses


HIST 2304 Section 1: Drugs and Intoxicants

CRN: 40912


Instructor: James Bradford

Summer Session One

Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM


This course will examine the role of drugs and intoxicants in World History; their use as spiritual and medicinal tools, as key devices in economic capitalist expansion, and eventually their role as a divisive political and economic issue in contemporary politics. Beginning with the earliest civilizations use of stimulants and psychotropic drugs, it examines the role of stimulants such as tea, sugar, coffee and opium in the nineteenth century and looks at twentieth and twenty-first century prohibition, particularly the US-led “War on Drugs” and its relationship with the expansion of the global drug trade. We will explore a variety of books, articles, documents, and films to understand this rich, complex, and often misunderstood history.


Fall 2014 Topics Courses

HIST 2304: Rise and Fall of Liberal Reform – Politics and Society, 1900 – 1980

CRN: 16969


Instructor: Richard Freeland

Time: Wednesdays 6:00 – 9:00 PM

This course will explore the efforts of political leaders during the twentieth century to shape public policies responsive to the conditions of a modern industrial society.   The focus will be on three cycles of liberal reform and conservative reaction:  first, the Progressive era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson between 1900 and 1917 and the conservative reaction to Progressivism during the presidencies of Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover in the 1920s; second, the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt during the 1930s and the Fair Deal of Harry Truman after World War II followed by the years of Eisenhower Republicanism in the 1950s; and finally the period of liberal activism during the 1960s, including the New Frontier of John Kennedy and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson, followed by the conservative backlash represented by the election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and culminating in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.  The course will emphasize discussion of assigned readings rather than lecture.  There will e opportunities for students to participate in debates on key questions of historical interpretation and to lead at least one class discussion.  There will be one major paper.