Professors: B. Ann Tlusty, Martha H. Verbrugge

Associate Professors: David W. Del Testa (Chair), John P. Enyeart, James A. Goodale, Leslie C. Patrick, Richard D. Waller

Assistant Professors: Mehmet Dosemeci, M. Kathryn Edwards (visiting), William Michael Schmidli, Jennifer Thomson (visiting)

Courses in history are designed to encourage reflection on the nature, advantages, and struggles of human societies in different times and places, and to invite cross-cultural comparisons. Moreover, they are intended to stimulate the historical imagination and to promote critical and technical skills in the comprehension and production of historical narratives. The academic conventions of writing, speaking, researching, and learning to analyze various sources (i.e. information literacy) are integral to the discipline of history and figure strongly in all of the department's courses.

Students of history may take many different roads to historical understanding; department members have diverse interests, and they actively encourage students' independent investigations of history. Majors, in particular, are invited to collaborate closely with their department mentors in their historical inquiries, while at the same time shaping their own methodologies, foci, questions, and answers. Students majoring in history are encouraged to plan their program of study with their departmental adviser by the end of the sophomore year.

The major consists of a minimum of eight courses selected as follows:

  • Four courses from any one cluster (the primary cluster).
  • Two courses chosen from another cluster (the secondary cluster).
  • Two elective courses chosen from any cluster.

Regardless of which primary cluster they choose, students must not take more than six courses in any one geographical area (defined as Europe, America, or non-western). Clusters are, however, not necessarily geographically specific. No more than two 100-level courses may count toward the major.

The eight-course minimum must include at least one 300-level seminar taken during the senior year as a Culminating Experience (CE). Within the framework of this seminar, in addition to the normal requirements, history majors will write a supplementary reflective essay on their experiences in the history program, and discuss it with the other majors in the class in a special session supervised by the seminar instructor. This non-credit-bearing module will be evaluated on a pass-fail basis separately from the seminar itself. Students completing an Honors Thesis are exempt from the CE-related seminar but must still write the CE supplementary reflective essay and meet with their thesis adviser to discuss it.

When the subject matter and focus of topics and seminar courses varies from year to year, individual courses will be assigned to the appropriate clusters on a yearly basis (see course list). HIST 100, HIST 200 and HIST 201 normally count in any cluster.

Clusters: There are seven clusters. They group courses together by area of inquiry. Clusters 4 to 7 are not geographically specific.

1) American History (30 courses): This cluster includes all courses dealing with American history. Within it, students may follow a sequence of period courses from the colonial period to the modern era, or they may focus on particular aspects or interpretations. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 121, 122, 211, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 227, 228, 229, 262, 270, 271, 273, 279, 310, 311, 312, 313, 319, 321, 322.

2) European History (30 courses): This cluster includes all courses dealing with European history, including both broad surveys and more specialist courses on Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. Within it, students may opt for the sequence of surveys, focus on the history of one or more countries or pursue particular aspects and interpretations. Courses: HIST 131, 132, 170, 171, 190, 231, 233, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 245, 246, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 258, 262, 267, 268, 272, 273, 279, 290, 330.

3) Non-western History (20 courses): This cluster groups courses in the history of other areas of the world, specifically Africa, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan, together with courses dealing with the impact of western imperialism. Courses: HIST 185, 190, 260, 282, 283, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 294, 295, 296, 297, 299, 390, 399.

4) Intellectual History (21 courses): This cluster introduces students to the study of ideas and intellectual movements, both western and non-western. Courses: HIST 170, 214, 227, 228, 229, 237, 238, 246, 247, 260, 261, 262, 266, 267, 268, 272, 273, 310, 311, 319, 360.

5) Political, Economic, and Labor History (39 courses): This cluster covers both Europe and America and includes courses dealing with law, diplomacy and warfare, as well as more familiar topics in economic and political history. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 131, 185, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 233, 236, 239, 242, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 260, 270, 282, 283, 287, 288, 289, 290, 296, 297, 310, 311, 313, 320, 321, 322.

6) Social History (46 courses): This cluster groups courses dealing with race, class, and gender, as well as courses dealing more broadly with social history. Courses: HIST 111, 112, 113, 121, 122, 131, 171, 211, 214, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 225, 229, 231, 238, 245, 247, 248, 250, 251, 252, 258, 271, 279, 282, 283, 286, 289, 291, 292, 299, 310, 311, 312, 313, 319, 320, 321, 330, 370, 390.

7) History of Science and Medicine (8 courses): This cluster introduces students to the specific field of science and medicine within the broader range of history. It includes courses in both American and European history. Courses: HIST 170, 171, 270, 271, 272, 273, 279, 370.

Students are encouraged, with the help of their advisers, to pick courses which reflect their particular interests within and between clusters. They may, if they wish and with the support of their adviser and another member of the department, construct their own primary cluster to reflect these interests.

History majors are encouraged to become proficient in languages appropriate to their studies, and to seek out courses in other departments that complement their historical interests.

A minor in history consists of a minimum of five courses, of which not more than two may be at the 100 level. At least one must be a seminar or designated topics course.

Introductory Courses

Introductory (100-level) history courses are intended for first- and second-year students. Third- and fourth-year students will be admitted to these courses only at the discretion of the instructor.

All 100-level history courses are designed to address a set of issues fundamental to historical understanding: the examination and evaluation of sources, the construction of historical accounts, and questions of point of view. While every 100-level course introduces students to some of the basic methods and practices of history, each course has its own particular topic, time span, and thematic emphasis.



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