Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

General Education History Requirements

The General Education history requirement is designed to help provide the foundation of a liberal arts education.

History General Education

All HIST 102 and HIST 103 courses satisfy the history general education requirement for non-majors.

HIST 102 and HIST 103  Exploring the Past
An introduction to the discipline of history for non-majors that equips students for life-long learning by helping them to understand why Christians value study of the past and by giving them the tools to investigate it. Through in-depth exploration of a critical period, concept, source, or event in the past—analyzed within an explicitly comparative or cross-cultural framework—the course demonstrates history’s ability to explain human interaction in an increasingly complex world and to promote thoughtful study of cultural and geographical difference. Students will learn to appreciate historical knowledge, engage in historical reasoning, develop historical consciousness and practice historical reflection.

Topics vary. Recent offerings are:

HIST 102  Exploring the Korean War
Often called “the unending war,” the Korean War profoundly shaped and continues to shape the politics, culture, and society of both North and South Koreas as well as post-1945 East Asian politics.
This course examines the many aspects of this war and through this exploration, students gain an understanding of Korea’s modern history and contemporary politics. The various topics explored include the causes of the war, domestic and international politics surrounding the war, how the war was and continues to be experienced, shifting memories of the war, post-war developments, and the war’s impact on current security and political issues in the Korean peninsula. This course incorporates literary texts and films in order to obtain a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the Korean War. It also helps foster historical thinking skills. To that end, we discuss what kinds of questions we can pose, how to contextualize events, and how to approach texts and evidence in order to produce a historical understanding of this war.

HIST 102  Memoir & History in the Middle East
Few historical topics are as widely discussed, and as consistently misunderstood, as politics and religion in the Middle East. This course offers diverse historical perspectives on events that dominate the international news by exposing you to both personal memoirs and professional histories written by Muslims, Christians, and Jews from Turkey, Syria, Israel, Palestine, and Egypt. This pairing of professional histories with memoirs will empower you to explore the relationship between history and human memory. We will also ask questions about continuity and change by exploring links between joyful democratic revolutions in 1908 (that gradually devolved into renewed authoritarianism, genocide, and chaotic warfare) and similar developments that have followed the inspirational revolutions of the Arab Spring in 2011.

HIST 102 Medieval Mediterranean
In an age of faith, how did Christians, Jews and Muslims co-exist? What developments led to conflicts between these communities? This seminar will examine these questions as it studies the history of the medieval world where Christians, Jews, and Muslims interacted in complex and vibrant ways. Topics include: the development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the medieval world, the rise and fall of Christian and Muslim kingdoms, charity and persecution, the Crusades, and gender relations.

HIST 102  The Holocaust
For centuries, central and eastern Europe was home to a flourishing Jewish civilization. During World War II, Nazi Germany brutally and systematically destroyed this civilization, murdering millions of European Jews. As a result of Hitler’s genocidal war, Europe lost much of its traditional ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity. How and why did this disaster happen? How have individuals and nations remembered this immense tragedy? How can historians do justice to the stories of the millions of men, women, and children who were murdered during the Holocaust? In seeking to answer these questions, we will reflect not only on how historians recover the past, but also on the past’s moral and theological implications for our lives today.

HIST 102  World History
This course presents an introductory survey of world history in Christian perspective from c. 1300 to the present. It invites the use of historical analysis – investigating the global past to understand its relevance to the global present – to develop students’ understanding of who they are, of their own and others’ cultural heritages, of the complex developments of world history, and of our place of privilege and responsibility in this world that God has made. In this way – by providing chronological, geographical, and cultural breadth – the course offers a contextualizing foundation for a liberal arts education and for an understanding of our world.

HIST 103  Race & Ethnicity in U.S. History
This course focuses on the place of race and ethnicity in the American past, roughly from the beginning of the seventeenth century through the end of the twentieth. We wrestle with several fundamental questions along the way: What constitutes “race”? What constitutes “ethnicity”? How have understandings of these concepts changed over time and shaped people’s experience of America? Most fundamentally, how does accounting for race and ethnicity change “the” story of U. S. history?