History First Year | College of Arts

History First Year

Welcome to History's first year! 

We offer a wide array of classes for our majors and minors and for anyone else with an interest in history. Students in our History program become informed and engaged global citizens through courses exploring every region of the world. We also offer thematic courses on the global history of sports, religions, and science and technology, to name a few. Our faculty have particular strengths in the histories of Canada, Scotland, Britain and Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. 

The Department of History is teaching its courses using a variety of formats this year, including virtual, traditional in-person, and even hybrid formats where you can chose your own format during course selection. Please check our course outline webpage to learn more about the content and format of each HIST course.  We look forward to seeing you on our beautiful campus. That access will be determined by Provincial Government guidelines through the local Public Health Department and by protocols developed within this university, all of which prioritize safety.


Our first-year survey courses are:

HIST*1010 The Early Modern World 
This course deals with the evolution and expansion of European society during the pre-industrial era. Commencing with the Renaissance and Reformation it surveys such themes as the voyages of exploration, the impact of western culture on indigenous societies, the development of commercial capitalism, the transformation of science and technology, and the conflict between imperial powers in Europe and overseas.

HIST*1150 The Modern World
The last century was like no other century, a period that radically transformed every part of the world. This course examines the 20th century with special emphasis on Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

HIST*1250 Science & Technology in Global Context
This course is an introduction to the culturally specific ways in which science and technology have developed historically from the ancient period through the twenty-first century. Emphasis is placed on the patterns in which scientific knowledge and practices have traveled and been constructed across cultures and the interconnected but distinct histories of science and technology.

The Department of History also offers small-class opportunities starting in the first year:

HIST*1050 Invitation to History
Invitation to History is a required course for all first year History majors, minors, and area of concentration. It introduces students to the basics of the historian’s craft including interpreting primary sources, locating and critically analyzing secondary sources and writing for History. In small classes of fourty students or less, it will provide you with the tools you need for success in our Program. Topics change with each offering of the course, but all teach the same skills to prepare you for your other history courses.

Fall 2023 Topics

HIST*1050*01 Invitation to History: Student Life - University of Guelph
Instructor: Dr. Catherine Carstairs

HIST*1050*02 Invitation to History: Canadian Football and the History of Sports
Instructor: Dr. James Fraser

HIST*1050*03 Invitation to History: Death and Dying in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Instructor: Dr. Cathryn Spence

Winter 2023 Topics

HIST*1050*01 Invitation to History: The Pandemic Century
Instructor: Dr. Catherine Carstairs

HIST*1050*02 Invitation to History: Death and Dying in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Instructor: Dr. Cathryn Spence