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History Program

Director of undergraduate studies: Paul Freedman, 237 HGS, 432-1355, paul.freedman@yale.edu



Jean-Christophe Agnew, Abbas Amanat, Ivo Banac, Beatrice Bartlett, Paul Bushkovitch, Jon Butler (Chair), Nancy Cott, James Crowley, David Davis, John Demos, Carlos Eire, John Mack Faragher, Paul Freedman, John Gaddis, Glenda Gilmore, Robert Gordon, Timothy Guinnane, Valerie Hansen, Robert Harms, Frederic Holmes, Daniel Walker Howe (Visiting), Paula Hyman, Matthew Jacobson, Gilbert Joseph, Donald Kagan, Paul Kennedy, Daniel Kevles (Visiting), Benedict Kiernan, Bentley Layton, Ivan Marcus, John Matthews, John Merriman, Cynthia Russett, Lamin Sanneh, Stuart Schwartz, Frank Snowden, Jonathan Spence, Harry Stout, Michael Toch (Visiting), Frank Turner, Henry Turner, John Warner, Robin Winks, Jay Winter, Keith Wrightson


Doron Ben-Atar (Visiting), Robert Johnston


Thomas Arnold, Michael Auslin, Jennifer Baszile, Manu Bhagavan (Visiting), Lee Blackwood, Alan Dye (Visiting), Joanne Freeman, Andrew Gregory, Mary Habeck, Jonathan Holloway, Susan Lederer, Mary Lui, Michael Mahoney, Carolyn Moehling, Stephen Pitti, Kevin Repp, Ronald Rittgers, Steven Stoll, Anders Winroth, Kariann Yokota


Adel Allouche, Alessandro Brogi, Theodore Bromund, Annping Chin, Crystal Feimster, Robert Forbes, Jay Gitlin, Walter Goffart, Veronika Grimm, Maija Jansson, Bettyann Kevles, Stephen Lassonde, David Musto, Max Page, Lori Rotskoff, Jae-hoon Shim, William Summers, Gerald Thomas, Peter Thuesen, Charles Wheeler, Laurence Winnie

Unless indicated by a star, courses in History are open to all students in Yale College. Unstarred 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.

The Department of History is represented in each of the residential colleges by a departmental adviser who is available throughout the year for consultation about history courses or the History major. At the beginning of each term, students majoring in History must have college departmental advisers approve and sign their schedules. The registrar will recognize signatures of the following advisers only:

BK,R. Harms, 1314 DC, 432-0559,MC,A. Amanat, 206 HGS, 432-0568,
F. Turner, 213 HGS, 432-1367 [F]J. Holloway, 493 College, Rm. 411,
BR,V. Hansen, 320 LUCE, 432-3426,436-1047
A. Winroth, 107 WLH, 432-7662PC,I. Banac, 154-1 PC, 432-0568,
CC,J. Baszile, 493 College, Rm. 409,P. Bushkovitch, 202 HGS, 432-1351
432-7181,SY,S. Schwartz, 234 HGS, 432-1375
K. Wrightson, 300D HGS, SM,S. Stoll, 1835 SM, 432-0728
432-1394ES,N. Cott, 100 Wall, Rm. 319, 432-0266,
DC,J. Gitlin, 1316 DC, 432-0553,M. Habeck, 300G HGS, 432-1397
H. Turner, 901 SSS, 432-8178TC,J. Faragher, 1137 TC, 432-0727,
TD,J. Spence, 1557 TD, 432-0759K. Repp, 1141 TC, 432-0730
JE,T. Arnold, 106 WLH, 432-7657,
J. Warner, L226 SHM, 785-5032

The major. The prerequisite for entering the History major is two terms of history. Courses completed in fulfillment of the prerequisite may be applied to meet the requirements of the major.

Selection of courses. The Department of History strongly urges each student to devise a program of study that, while it meets 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.

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) for the Class of 2001, two terms of African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history; for the Class of 2002 and later, three terms of African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history.

Two of these six (or, for the Class of 2002 and later, 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 their data lines. Students may use the same courses to count toward both geographical and preindustrial distribution requirements. Starting in 2000-2001, 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 distributional designation.

Two terms of HIST 400-490 are required and are taken normally during the junior year, although students are encouraged to take more than two junior seminars. (See below under HIST 400-490, Seminars for Upperclassmen, for information about pre-enrollment.) Students must choose junior seminars from two different geographical categories. Sophomores contemplating a junior term abroad are urged to consider taking at least one junior seminar in the sophomore year. Residential college seminars that count toward the History major do not fulfill the junior seminar requirement. During senior year, each student must complete a senior departmental essay written under the guidance of a member of the faculty.

Credit toward the major will be given only for courses included in the History listing below and in the History course listings included in the Fall and Spring Supplements. All courses in History of Science, History of Medicine count automatically toward the History major. No substitutions from other departments are allowed.

Library orientation. The History department requires all majors to complete a ninety-minute introductory research session for historians by the end of the third week of the junior year. Students are strongly encouraged to take this class during their sophomore year; indeed, sophomores who have not taken the library orientation before the end of the first week after spring break will not permitted to preregister for the following year's junior seminars. Students may offer no substitutions for this orientation. If a student chooses the History major later than the third week of the junior year, the session must be taken no later than a month after the declaration of the major. Students should register on the Web at www.library.yale.edu/rsc/ schedule/intro.html. For questions students should contact the director of undergraduate studies.

History of Science, History of Medicine. A major in History of Science, History of Medicine is available to students through the auspices of the History department. See under History of Science, History of Medicine.

Placement in advanced courses. With a few exceptions, chiefly HIST 400-490, history courses are automatically open to all freshmen. Acceleration credit in history resulting from the requisite score on an Advanced Placement test in history will not be counted toward the History major. 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 495a or b and 496a or b.


Prerequisites: Two term courses in history

Number of courses: Twelve term courses (including prerequisites and senior essay)

Substitution permitted: None outside the History dept listing

Distribution of courses: Class of 2001 - two courses in U.S. or Canadian, two courses in European or British, two courses in African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history, of which two must be preindustrial in different geographical areas; at least two courses in HIST 400-490, normally in junior year, in two different geographical areas (as defined above); Class of 2002 and later - same except three, instead of two, courses in African, Asian, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history

Senior requirement: Senior essay (HIST 495a and 496b, or 495b and 496a)


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Yale College Programs of Study 2000-2001, www.yale.edu/ycpo/ycps/