History and Non-Western Cultures

Wynn Gadkar-Wilcox, Chair
        Warner Hall 218, Midtown campus
        (203) 837-8565
        (203) 837-8905 (fax)

Jennifer Nugent Duffy, Associate Chair 
        Warner Hall 202, Midtown campus
        (203) 837- 3283

Patricia Lerner, Department Secretary
        Warner Hall 224, Midtown campus
        (203) 837-8484
        (203) 837-8905 (fax)


K. Allocco S. Davies J. Duffy
W. Gadkar-Wlicox, Chair K. Gutzman L. Lindenauer
M. May M. Nolan J. Rosenthal
A. Saad    

Faculty Emeriti

D. Detzer H. Janick J. Leopold
G. Linabury K. Young  

Adjunct Faculty

M. Abraham A. Blau J. Calise
A. Campanaro R. Carrizzo G. Coleman
C. Cote S. Doherty S. Flanagan
J. Frankle L. Friedman B. Needle
J. Palencsar M. Rossi T. Stramiello
J. Szablewicz T.Tuttle P. Vermilyea
S. Walens    


Courses in the department are designed to meet the needs of all students. In order to understand today’s issues and problems — in the West and throughout the world — it is important to have a firm grasp on the foundations of our global society, to know the history and culture of America, of Europe and of the world.


In keeping with the mission statement of Western Connecticut State University, the Department of History and Non-Western Cultures provides a comprehensive liberal arts education that prepares students for the job market and beyond. Our mission is to help students develop expertise in analyzing historical themes and to prepare them for employment in teaching or other specialized fields such as business, journalism, and law, or for graduate work in history.


Our goals are:

  • To provide an interdisciplinary forum in which students can deal with political, social, cultural, religious, economic, and geographic aspects of history.
  • To introduce students to non-Western cultures and help them understand global political and cultural relations.
  • To help students develop their abilities to think critically, discuss, and explain clearly historical issues and problems.
  • To cultivate writing, research, and analysis skills that will help students lead successful professional and personal lives.
  • To provide a history/education curriculum that imparts a broad base of knowledge about historical events, principles, and theories, so that students have the foundational knowledge they need to educate others.
  • To facilitate our students’ understanding of their national and community heritage.

Degree Programs in History

Bachelor of Arts

American Studies

Bachelor of Science

Secondary Education: History
(Social Studies Endorsement)
Elementary Education: History, American Studies

Minor Programs

American History
European History
African-American Studies
Religion Studies

Bachelor of Arts in American Studies (B.A.)


See the Department of English within the School of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts in History (B.A.)


Completion of all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below and additional free electives to total a minimum of 122 semester hours, including foreign language and exercise science.

HIS 100 Introduction to History
HIS 148 American History: To 1877
HIS 149 American History: Since 1877
HIS 186 Europe: Ancient and Medieval or HIS 187 Modern Europe
Three (3) HIS elective courses at the 200 level*
Two (2) HIS elective courses at the 300 level*
Two (2) HIS elective courses at the 400 level*
HIS 490 Senior Seminar
One (1) Non-Western Cultures course

*At least two HIS elective courses (from any level) must be in non-United States and non-European fields.

Distinction in History

To be awarded Distinction in History, a History major must complete all the major requirements, gain admission to HIS 494, Research Seminar, and complete HIS 494 with at least a grade of “B.”  Students may count HIS 494 as one of the two 400-level HIS electives required for the degree.

Course Restrictions

For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education – History (B.S.)


See the Department of Education and Educational Psychology within the School of Professional Studies.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of their degrees in History, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical and analytic skills appropriate for probing complex historical topics
  2. Successfully seek out diverse historical sources; mine them for information; and cite them in the appropriate format while completing research papers
  3. Present their verbal and written evaluations of the past in a nuanced and clear manner
  4. Collaborate effectively with others on historical analysis and in critiquing each other’s work.


Minor in History

Two courses at the 100 level
Four courses at the 200 level

Minor in American History

HIS 148, HIS 149
Four advanced courses in American history

Minor in European History

HIS 186, HIS 187
Four advanced courses in European history

Minor in African-American Studies:

AAS 100, AAS 350
In addition, 12 semester hours must be selected
from the following courses:
SOC 200, AAS/NWC 109, AAS/NWC 113, AAS/HIS 219,
AAS/GEO 251, AAS/HIS 284, AAS/HIS 285

Minor in Religion Studies

  The minor in Religion Studies provides the opportunity for students to explore the teachings of some major religions and to analyze the historical, cultural, social, literary and philosophic impact of religion on individuals and societies.
   Eighteen credits from the approved list of courses are required. To ensure the interdisciplinary nature of this minor, students must take courses in at least two different fields, i.e., they must take courses with at least two different department labels.
In the last or next to last class required to complete the minor sequence, a student wishing to receive a minor in Religion Studies will be required to submit a thoughtful, written discussion reflecting back over the course of study which: a) proposes a significant question (or questions) which has (have) taken on particular importance for the student over the course of studies in the religion studies minor; b) traces the development of the student’s interest in the line of inquiry set out by the question(s); c) provides some textually referential grounds upon which elements of the inquiry have begun to take shape for the student.
   A student who for some valid reason does not complete this project in class must contact a member of the ad hoc Committee on Religion Studies and work with this faculty member to complete this final project for the minor.
   Awarding the minor to the student is contingent upon acceptance of the student’s written and oral presentation, i.e., his or her discussion of this paper with the faculty member with whom he or she is working. The faculty member who supervises this final project will report his/her approval or disapproval to the chair of the Department of History and Non-Western Cultures and give the chair a copy of the final product.

Approved Courses for the Minor
HIS 245 Egypt of the Pharaohs
HIS 246 Judaism
HIS 270 Christianity
HIS 287 History of Chinese Religions
HIS 383 Islam
HUM 113 Comparative Religions
PHI 240 Philosophy of Religion
PHI 340  Non-Western Philosophy
SOC/ANT 232 Religion and Culture
SOC/ANT 241 Socio-Cultural Survey of Indian Religions
SOC/ANT 242 Buddhism and Culture

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