Keith H. Kendall, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Northern Michigan University

 

Vita (academic resumé)

Pope Innocent III

 

 

Courses:

 
History 101:  Western Civilization I (Pre-history to ca. 1600)
This course introduces you to broad themes and major events in Western (European-based) Civilization from ancient times up to European expansion into the rest of the world (about 1650 c.e.).  This course also studies specific people to see how they were shaped by their unique cultures.  It encourages you to think critically about how people of different times and places dealt with common human needs and concerns.  That is, this course pushes you to ask questions, evaluate evidence, and do your own thinking, rather than simply accepting and regurgitating the narrative that you are reading and hearing.

 

History 102:  Western Civilization II (1600-Present)
This course introduces you to broad themes and major events in Western (European-based) Civilization from European expansion into the rest of the world (about 1600 c.e.) to the present.   This course also studies specific people to see how they were shaped by their unique cultures.  Finally, it encourages you to think critically about how people of different times and places dealt with common human needs and concerns.  That is, it pushes you to ask questions, evaluate evidence, and do your own thinking, rather than simply accepting and spitting back what you are reading and hearing as you read works by people of the past and as you participate in class.

 

History 200:  Historical Thinking and Writing
Required for History majors, this course serves as an introduction to History as it is practiced as an academic discipline.  It introduces you to the study of the past as a way of thinking and writing about evidence, interpretation, and explanation.  Not only does it explore difficulties inherent in examining the human past and ask basic questions about historical study as both a social science and an art, this course also is also concerned with methodology, historiography, historical research, critical analysis of sources, and effective presentation of historical research.  That is, it seeks to balance theory and practice as it introduces you to "doing History."

 

History 252:  Arab-Islamic History

This course is a survey of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of Arabic-speaking peoples from the sixth through twentieth centuries c.e..  An integral part of the course is the history of the religion of Islam, including how both Arabic- and non-Arabic-speaking peoples adopted and adapted Islam into their own cultures, maintaining distinctive expressions of their cultures but also being unified by “patterns of thought and action” found in Islam.

 

History 295:  History of Christianity
This course surveys the history of Christianity in its expressions through individuals as well as through its movements and institutions.  Taking a non-theological, non-sectarian approach as much as possible, the course assumes that Christianity was shaped by the societies in which it grew and that it helped shape those societies in return.  Topics include the Early Church and its spread through the Roman Empire; Augustine of Hippo; the slow conversion of Europe to Roman Christianity; medieval tensions among kings, emperors, bishops, and popes; monastic and mendicant orders; Protestant and Roman Catholic Reformations; missionary efforts outside of Europe and the Middle East; challenges of secular, rationalist movements and responses within Christian communities; ecumenical movements; and contemporary trends.

 

History 302:  Ancient Rome
This course focuses on Roman dominance of the Mediterranean World, as well as of significant areas in Africa, Europe, and West Asia.  We begin with the rise of the Roman Republic and end with the disintegration of Roman imperial authority in Europe; that is, from about 500 B.c.e. to about 500 c.e.  You will survey the time period, read books and articles by historians and critique their work, and develop and write up your own research based on primary and secondary sources.

 

History 304:  Medieval Europe
This course focuses on the time during which Roman Christianity was the unifying element in Europe, about 400-1500 c.e.  Topics include the transformation of the late Roman Empire by Christianity and by Germanic migrations, Charlemagne, lords and ladies, popes and kings, and the development of sovereign political "state."  You will survey the time period, read books and articles by historians and critique their work, and develop and write up your own research based on primary and secondary sources.

 

History 490:  Junior/Senior Seminar
This seminar deals with important historical problems.  Each student negotiates with the professor about which important historical problem she/he researches.  The emphasis in this seminar consists of researching and writing an article-length, student-critiqued historical essay on the student's chosen historical problem.

 

Philosophy 270:  World Religions
The aim of this course is to learn something about the major religions of the world.  We place those religions in the context of "religion" in general, look at their beliefs and practices, and trace their historical development.  We also try to understand how religious doctrines and experiences may be a foundation for how people make sense and meaning of human existence.