The History Major and Minor at Davidson

The History Department exposes you to the richness, diversity, and complexities of human history during various periods and in different geographic regions, with attention to critical issues such as ethnicity, class, and gender.

Students must complete courses in western, non-western and pre-modern history.

Courses & Requirements

Courses You Might Take

HIS 169

The Making of Modern Africa


Survey of African history from the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present, emphasizing major trends in economic, political, and social life in colonial and post-colonial Africa. Introduces students to critical  historical debates and a range of historical artifacts including oral histories, African literature, and popular culture. 

Fulfills a requirement in the Africana Studies major (Geographic Region: Africa).
Satisfies the Historical Thought requirement. 
Satisfies a requirement in the International Studies interdisciplinary minor.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement. 


HIS 336

Sexual Revolutions in Europe


We examine the history of debates about the nature and place of women in the history of modern Europe, and how gender difference has been employed in the construction and negotiation of political and social relations. We investigate the birth of feminism, as well as other cultural discourses and political movements that engaged shifting notions of gender and sexuality: homosexuality and the "invention" of heterosexuality, labor activism, reproductive science, race and empire, prostitution, revolution, and fascism. This course also explores the experience of sexuality in the modern era-how women and men viewed and managed their bodies and sexual lives, including tension-ridden norms of masculinity.

Satisfies Historical Thought requirement. 
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.


HIS 433

The Holocaust & Representation

Spring 2019: This course is one of five interlinked Memory Studies Courses*


History and historiography of the origins and execution of the Nazi genocide during World War II, with a focus on representations of the Holocaust and cultural memory practices in popular and public history, in the visual and performing arts and in literature, and especially in memorial structures and spaces.

*Interlinked Memory Studies Courses
Five different courses that engage with phenomena of memory will link up once a week for common readings and discussions. Students will meet one day a week with their course instructor to engage in the discipline-specific study of memory. On the other day each week, students and faculty members in all five courses will meet together to compare and share different disciplinary and personal ideas about the study of memory; the creation and effects of memory; the representation of memory; and the social, cultural, and personal creative processes that make memory.  Participating courses are:

AFR 320 / EDU 320 / SOC 320 (Kelly) Growing Up Jim Crow
CIS 292 / PSY 292 (Multhaup) Collective Memory
ENG 204 (Parker) Introduction to Writing Fiction
GER 433 / HIS 433 (Denham) The Holocaust and Representation
​HIS 287 (Mortensen) Memory and Identity in the People's Republic of China

Permission of instructor required.