2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Nov 27, 2022  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

History Major

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study

History Overview

The History Department offers a major, a minor, and elective courses for non-majors. Curricular offerings are organized by the history of individual nations, regions, and social groups, while following the movements of people and ideas across geopolitical and metaphorical boundaries.

Courses consider a range of topics from the history of politics and diplomacy, to the history of gender, religion, culture, social movements, and everyday life. History courses, no matter the specific topic of study, educate students to read and evaluate sources, frame research questions, synthesize evidence and ideas, and write with clarity and concision. History students are well prepared for life after Clark, with recent graduates pursuing careers in museums, law, education, and even medicine.

For more information, please visit the History Department’s website.

Major Requirements

All history majors must take ten history courses and two related non-history courses distributed as follows:

  1. All students majoring in History must take History 120 - Writing History.  This course should be taken, if possible, before the junior year and before enrolling in a research seminar.
  2. Five courses inside the student’s area of specialization.  Of these five courses, at least three must be at the 200 level and at least one must be a seminar or a proseminar.  History majors may select a geographic specialization in U.S., European, or Global History; or students may instead choose, in consultation with their advisor, to define a thematic specialization that is comparative or transnational in its approach.  This is an opportunity for students to shape the History curriculum to serve their interests, to focus their studies, and to build upon the shared interests of faculty in different geographic/national fields.  Thematic specializations supported by History Department offerings include, but are not limited to: literature and history, the history of women and gender, comparative colonialism, or the history of war and violence.
  3. At least one course in each of the three geographic areas (U.S., European, or Global). Two of these courses must be at the 200 level and one may count toward the student’s area of specialization.
  4. At least one course, either inside or outside their area of specialization, devoted primarily to the period before 1800. An up-to-date list of courses that meets this requirement may be found in the History Department handbook.
  5. A capstone course, usually taken during the student’s senior year, is required for the major. The capstone is intended to serve as the culmination of an undergraduate History education and offers the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired in previous coursework, including: 1) an understanding of the nature of historical evidence; 2) research skills in the use of primary and secondary sources; 3) an understanding of historiography and how it shapes a research project.
  • Students may satisfy the History capstone requirement by completing one of the following:
  • 200-level research seminar*Honors Thesis (Hist 297)
  • Independent Research/Public History Project (Hist 299)

*Students should confer with their advisor and the course instructor to determine whether a particular seminar is appropriate for satisfying their capstone requirement in the context of their specialization.

  1. Two courses outside history in fields related to the student’s area of specialization. These courses must be approved in advance by the student’s history advisor and must be taken after the student has declared herself or himself to be a History major.

Majors select an advisor from the History faculty and they consult regularly, especially before registering each semester. The student and advisor design a coherent sequence of courses, and choose non-history courses that enhance the area of concentration. They also make decisions regarding advanced research courses and enrollment in the departmental honors program.


The Honors Program in History provides outstanding majors with an opportunity to pursue independent research on a larger scale.  Honors can be immensely rewarding and enjoyable because of the excitement of original research and the chance to work closely with a professor on an individual basis. 

The History Honors Program requires the completion of an honors thesis during the senior year.  Students interested in honors should discuss the matter with their advisor during the fall semester of their junior year, to ensure that they have the requisite courses, skills, and experience to complete the program. 

Before applying to the Honors Program, students must take one of the department’s seminars or proseminars that emphasize the development of research, analytical and writing skills. A significant portion of these courses is devoted to the writing and revising of research papers. Students should consult with their advisors or the department chair in selecting a course that satisfies the prehonors requirement. This course is normally taken during the junior year.

History Faculty

Program Faculty

Taner Akçam, Ph.D.
Debórah Dwork, Ph.D.
Janette T. Greenwood, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Imber, Ph.D.
Willem Klooster, Ph.D.
Thomas Kuehne, Ph.D.
Nina Kushner, Ph.D., Chair
Douglas Little, Ph.D.
Lex Jing Lu, Ph.D.
Drew McCoy, Ph.D.
Ousmane Power-Greene, Ph.D.
Amy Richter, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Everett Fox, Ph.D.
Mark Miller, Ph.D.
Meredith Neuman, Ph.D.
Kristina Wilson, Ph.D.

Affiliate Faculty

Robert Dykstra, Ph.D.
Alden Vaughan, Ph.D.

Emeriti Faculty

Daniel Borg, Ph.D.
Paul Lucas, Ph.D.

History Courses

Courses offered within the last 2 Academic Years

Course Offerings by Geographic Area

U.S. History

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study