All Courses

In general, I teach courses that fall into three categories: 1) history of technology, 2) history of business & industry, and 3) the "how to do history" courses (296, 301, senior seminar, some special topics courses).

These are the courses I teach frequently. Descriptions follow.
Hist 285 Technology in Historical Perspective
Hist 220 History of American Business (regular and on-line)
Hist 296 Research Methods in History

This will be a course I teach frequently but haven't yet.
Hist 235 The Great War, 1914-1918

These are the courses I teach infrequently but haven't completely retired:
Hist 201, Hist 202, Hist 203 U.S. history survey
Hist 301 Study of History
Hist 490-91 Senior Seminar

Hist 298 (soon to be Hist 280) is the special topics course number in history
Hist 298 Transnational U.S. history (taught recently)
Hist 298 History of Capitalism (taught recently)



Course Descriptions:
These descriptions reflect the way I teach these courses; others on the faculty will teach them in different ways.

Hist 285 Technology in Historical Perspective
This course is required for engineering majors, typically in their pre-junior year (no freshmen), but other students are certainly welcome. It covers roughly 1800 to the present; themes include comparative developments in the United States and Europe (including Russia), government and technology, and culture and technology. The course has lectures, discussions, movies, and a few other bits and pieces. And, yes, you have to write a paper (5-6 pages).

Hist 220 History of American Business
This is a lecture course that covers developments in the history of American business since 1800. Themes include small and big businesses, government and business, culture and business, transportation and communication, and others. I sometimes teach this course on-line. (When most history courses become 4-credit courses in fall 2016, this course will be re-numbered to Hist 316.)

Hist 315 History of Capitalism
First taught as a special topics course in spring 2015, this course will become a regular catalog course in fall 2016. Beginning around 1500, the course centers on the developments from joint-stock companies of the expansive European countries and the global impact of the industrial revolution to the globalization of the "long" 19th century (that is, until 1914) and the late 20th-century "rise of the rest."


In the history curriculum, five courses form the main sequence of required "how to" courses for history majors; the courses give students the practical and intellectual tools to carry out original research projects in the discipline. We have prerequisites in place to take the courses in order (Hist 101-02, Hist 296, Hist 301, Hist 396, Hist 490-91). These courses would be the worst ones to sleep through; you are not so much learning history as learning how to be historians. (I've taught Hist 296 frequently; Hist 301 and Hist 490-91 much less so. Hist 101-02 (freshmen) and Hist 396 (juniors) are new as of fall 2015.)

Hist 296 Research Methods in History
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of historical research. Try very hard to take this course in your sophomore year; it sets you up for various research opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. You will learn more about the tools on the Dragon's Guide to Historical Research in Philadelphia, among other things (well, if I teach it). The course includes things like research in archives, mastering electronic tools, citation format, and writing strategies. In the term you take this course, make sure you have time M-F, 9-5, outside of class time to make return visits to archives.

Hist 301 Study of History (prerequisite: Hist 296)
After you take Hist 296, then you take Hist 301, the second course in the 3-course required sequence. This is a required course for History & Politics majors that introduces students to the practice of history. This is not so much about particular topics in history as about the way professional historians construct their narratives of the past. Students will learn different approaches historians have used and how interpretations of history have changed over time. This may also be your best opportunity at this university to learn about Snorri Sturluson.

Hist 490 and 491 Senior Seminar I and II (prerequisites: Hist 296, Hist 301)
This is another required course for history majors; it is the capstone course in which students produce an original work of history. Professors choose the topic of the seminar, but the faculty increasingly allow students to choose almost any topic they wish. This is the course in which you put together the research skills from Hist 296 with the interpretative skills from Hist 301, creating a brilliant work of history of your own.


2014 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching
the university-wide senior faculty teaching award

2006 Allen Rothwarf Award for Teaching Excellence
the university-wide junior faculty teaching award

  • Drexel University College of Arts & Sciences History & Politics My H&P Page

  • Department of History & Politics, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2875 steen@drexel.edu