Basic Structure of the Department
- The History department offers a major, a minor, and a modified major.
- Most courses fall into one of four geographical areas: 1) US and Canada, 2) Europe, 3) AALAC (Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean) or 4) interregional.
- The numbering system for history courses does not represent sequencing, but rather designates sub-fields (e.g., all 40s and 50s-level courses cover European history, all 60s and 70s-level courses cover Latin American, African, and Asian history). Introductory-level courses that presume no prior work in the field are numbered 1-5 and 8. HIST 6 is the department’s number for experimental courses, and is not necessarily introductory.
- A student is advised to begin studying in history with a course he or she finds interesting. The introductory surveys (HIST 1-5 and 8, as above) are encouraged as good entry points. Higher numbered topics courses may demand greater amounts of reading and research, as well as more advanced writing proficiency and intellectual sophistication.
- The History department sponsors a Foreign Study Program to London in the fall. The center of the FSP is an independent research project on a topic of British, European, American or world history that makes use of London’s unparalleled research opportunities. Students submit a proposal for such a project as part of their applications for admission. Prerequisites for the FSP include completion of two European history courses. Participants are usually juniors.
Courses for the Student with Little or No Background Who Wants to Explore HistoryHist 1: The United States, 1763-1877
- HIST 2: History of the United States since 1877
- HIST 3: Europe in Medieval and Early Modern Times
- HIST 5.1: Pre-Colonial African History
- HIST 5.2: Introduction to the Modern Middle East
- HIST 5.5: The Emergence of Modern Japan
- HIST 5.9: Colonialism, Nationalism and Revolution in Southeast Asia
- HIST 8: Body Parts, Body Wholes: An Introduction to the Comparative History of Medicine
- HIST 14: American Indian History: Pre-Contact to 1830
- HIST 16: Black America to the Civil War
- HIST 25: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1900
- HIST 36: Health Care in American Society: History and Current Issues
- HIST 49: Early Modern England, 1485-1780
- HIST 51: Modern European Intellectual History
- HIST 53: World War II: Ideology, Experience, Legacy
- HIST 57: Scientific Revolutions and Modern Society
- HIST 61: Britain and the Atlantic World, 1480-1780
- HIST 83: Twentieth Century Latin America
Information for the First-Year Student Who Plans to Pursue Studies in History
- A History Major or Minor requires a student to form a thematic or geographic concentration. Students take the initiative to craft their own centers of concentration in consultation with their respective faculty advisors within the department. A concentration may be thematic (“imperialism and de-colonization”), geographical (“African history”), or chronological (“medieval and renaissance history”). Participants in the department’s honors program then crown their field of concentration with a thesis written in the senior year.
- Because planning is essential, it is critical that a student establish a relationship with a faculty member who can act as an advisor. Any member of the department can serve as a major advisor, and it is best to pursue this relationship as early as possible. Students who are uncertain about whom to approach for advice should contact the department chair (Walter Simons), or vice chair (Leslie Butler [Annelise Orleck in 11F]).
Other Information about Courses and Considerations
- In-coming first-year students will not receive AP or IB credit towards the History Major or Minor (i.e., high achievement on those exams does not reduce the number of courses needed to fulfill a History Major or Minor). However, exceptional performance on an AP or IB exam may suggest that a student could forego the corresponding introductory survey (HIST 1-5 and 8) and begin with a higher-level topics course.
- Address questions to the chair (Walter Simons), or vice chair (Leslie Butler [Annelise Orleck in 11F]).
Current Enrollments, Class Size, and Distributives
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