Director of undergraduate studies: Steven Pincus, 216 HGS, 432-1355, firstname.lastname@example.org
FACULTY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
Professors Jean-Christophe Agnew, Abbas Amanat, Yom Tov Assis (Visiting), Ned Blackhawk, David Blight, Daniel Botsman, Paul Bushkovitch, George Chauncey, John Demos (Emeritus), Carlos Eire, Laura Engelstein (Chair), John Mack Faragher, Antonia Finnane (Visiting), Paul Freedman, Joanne Freeman, John Gaddis, Beverly Gage, Glenda Gilmore, Bruce Gordon, Robert W. Gordon, Valerie Hansen, Robert Harms, Jonathan Holloway, Matthew Jacobson, Gilbert Joseph, Donald Kagan, Paul Kennedy, Daniel Kevles, Benedict Kiernan, Jennifer Klein, Naomi Lamoreaux, Bentley Layton, Mary Lui, Joseph Manning, Ivan Marcus, John Matthews, John Merriman, Joanne Meyerowitz, Peter Perdue, Steven Pincus, Stephen Pitti, Cynthia Russett, Lamin Sanneh, Marc Saperstein (Visiting), Tanika Sarkar (Visiting), Stuart Schwartz, Frank Snowden, Timothy Snyder, Harry Stout, William Summers, J. Adam Tooze, Francesca Trivellato, John Warner, Anders Winroth, Jay Winter, John Witt, Keith Wrightson
Associate Professors Bruno Cabanes, Patrick Cohrs, Naomi Rogers, Edward Rugemer, Marci Shore
Assistant Professors Paola Bertucci, Fabian Drixler, Alejandra Dubcovsky, Mariola Espinosa, Crystal Feimster, Daniel Magaziner, Alan Mikhail, Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, William Rankin, Paul Sabin, Eliyahu Stern, Bruno Strasser, Jenifer Van Vleck, G. Charles Walton
Senior Lecturers Annping Chin, Becky Conekin, Bettyann Kevles, Stuart Semmel, Karolyn Smardz Frost
Lecturers Adel Allouche, Jay Gitlin, Ryan Irwin, María Jordán, George Levesque, Konstantina Maragkou, William Metcalf, Jonathan Schell, Rebecca Tannenbaum
History courses that do not require permission of the instructor for enrollment are open to all students in Yale College. Such courses, however, are liable to be limited in their enrollment ("capped") at the beginning of the term, depending on the number of teaching assistants available.
History courses numbered 001 to 099 are freshman seminars, with enrollment limited to 18. Courses numbered 100 to 199 are in the history of the United States or Canada; those in the 200s, Europe and Britain; and those in the 300s, the rest of the world. Courses numbered in the 400s address global topics.
A student who declares a History major is assigned an adviser from among the departmental faculty. The adviser is available throughout the year for consultation about courses and the major. At the beginning of each term, students majoring in History must have their departmental adviser approve and sign their schedules. It is possible for students to change advisers provided they obtain the written consent of the new adviser.
The major History is the study of ways in which human activities in the past have shaped the contours of the present. Historians ask not only how the contemporary world came to be the way it is, but also why societies have changed and developed over time. Yale’s History department offers a wide range of courses that pursue these kinds of questions not only about the United States and Europe, but also about Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. History majors learn how to read a variety of texts critically and analytically and then to write about them in engaging ways. The History major is thus an excellent preparation for careers in many fields, including law, medicine, journalism, public policy, consulting, business, and the arts.
Prerequisite The prerequisite for the major is two term courses in history. Courses completed in fulfillment of the prerequisite may be applied toward the requirements of the major.
Selection of courses The Department of History strongly urges each student to devise a program of study that, while meeting individual interests and needs, also achieves a balance between diversification and specialization. Exposure to a variety of areas of history is desirable first because only wide-ranging experience can give students confidence in having discovered their own true interests and aptitudes. Equally important, studying various times and societies, including preindustrial ones, prevents provincialism and provides the comparative knowledge essential to a clearer understanding of the area chosen for specialization. Finally, the department assumes that all students understand the vital importance of studying the historical traditions from which their society has developed. One cannot expect to understand another culture without a firm historical grasp of one's own.
To help students organize their course selection, the History department has developed suggested programs of study based on specific themes. Information about these thematic pathways is available on the departmental Web site. The combination of the History major's distributional requirements and thematic pathways familiarizes students with a variety of regions and epochs while also allowing them to pursue individual areas of interest.
Requirements of the major Twelve terms of history are required, which may include the two terms taken as prerequisites. Included in these twelve terms must be: (a) two terms of United States or Canadian history (courses in the colonial period may fulfill this requirement); (b) two terms of European or British history (courses in Greek and Roman, Byzantine, and Russian history may fulfill this requirement); (c) three terms of African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history. Students who wish to count a course on a global topic (400-level) toward one of these geographical distribution categories must apply to the director of undergraduate studies.
Two of these seven terms must be courses in preindustrial history, and they must be chosen from two of the geographical categories listed above. Preindustrial history courses are so marked in the course listings. Students may use the same courses to count toward both geographical and preindustrial requirements. Only in rare cases will the director of undergraduate studies consider petitions from History majors seeking geographical or chronological credit outside of a History course's primary designation.
Two departmental seminars are required and are normally taken during the sophomore or junior year, although students are encouraged to take more than two seminars. (See the course descriptions of the departmental seminars for information about pre-enrollment.) Students must choose departmental seminars from two different geographical distribution categories. Sophomores contemplating a junior term abroad are urged to consider taking at least one seminar in the sophomore year. Residential college seminars that count toward the History major do not fulfill the departmental seminar requirement. During senior year, each student must complete a senior departmental essay written under the guidance of a member of the faculty. Juniors may choose their senior essay advisers on line beginning in March.
Credit toward the major is given only for courses included in the History course listings. All courses in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health count automatically toward the History major.
Library orientation The History department requires all majors to complete a ninety-minute introductory research session selected from the workshops for historians offered by the Yale University Library. Several library workshops are offered at the beginning of each term. Students should register on the Yale Library Web site. For questions students should contact the director of undergraduate studies.
Placement in advanced courses With a few exceptions, chiefly departmental seminars, history courses are automatically open to freshmen. Courses for the major must be taken at Yale, except with prior permission of the director of undergraduate studies.
Senior departmental essay History is more than past events; it is also the discipline of historical inquiry. As a discipline, it uses many techniques, but its basic method is the collection and careful evaluation of evidence and the written presentation of reasonable conclusions derived from that evidence. To experience history as a discipline, a student must grapple at first hand with the problems and rigors involved in this kind of systematic investigation and exposition. The Department of History therefore requires each student majoring in History to present a historical essay on a subject of the student's choice to the department in the senior year. The range of acceptable topics is wide, but most essays fall into two categories. The first involves the study of a limited problem through research in accessible source materials. The second is a critical assessment of a significant historical controversy or historiographical issue. Whatever topic the student elects, the essay must be interpretive and analytical, not only narrative and descriptive.
In choosing the subject of the senior essay, students should be aware that lack of foreign language expertise is not necessarily a bar to researching a topic in the history of a non-English-speaking area. Many translated materials exist, and for some areas of the world (chiefly Africa, Asia, and Latin America) diaries, letters, and newspapers composed by missionaries, businessmen, and diplomats writing in English are available. Many of these sources are held in Yale's extensive archival collections; others are available on microfilm.
Seniors receive course credit for satisfactory completion of their departmental essays by enrolling in HIST 495 and 496. They must also complete a library research workshop for the senior essay. Students should register for the workshop on the Yale Library Web site.
REQUIREMENTS OF THE MAJOR
Prerequisites 2 term courses in hist
Number of courses 12 term courses (incl prereqs and senior essay)
Distribution of courses 2 courses in hist of U.S. or Canada, 2 in hist of Europe or Britain, 3 in hist of Africa, Asia, Latin America, or Middle East; 2 of preceding must be preindustrial in different geographical areas; at least 2 departmental sems in 2 different geographical distribution categories, as specified
Substitution permitted Relevant course approved by DUS
Other Library research workshop
Senior requirement Senior essay (HIST 495 and 496)