HISTORICAL PRACTICE AT DARTMOUTH
SEMINARS (HIST 96s)
Each year, the Dartmouth History Department offers a range of seminars (HIST 96s) that allow our students to execute a substantial work of historical practice. Essays written in these settings represent the "capstone" experience for majors and minors described on our website and in the ORC. It is typically these pieces of undergraduate writing we deem "prize-worthy" at our year-end awards ceremony.
We encourage newly declaring majors and minors to consider with some care which HIST 96s they will take to complete their degrees. Several reasons why HIST 96 enrollments should be planned well in advance and discussed with a history faculty advisor are:
1. The success of these classes depends on a strict enrollment limit of twelve students per class.
2. We have found that students have the best academic experience when they select their 96s related to a topic they have encountered previously. This prior exposure can be in the context of course work (either at the introductory or upper-level) or through work in the Presidential Scholars, London Foreign Study, Dartmouth Vietnam Project, or Independent Study (Hist 97) programs.
3. Undergraduate work in history (like that in the liberal arts) combines both breadth and depth. We achieve breadth through a set of distributive requirements that require students to survey the histories of a range of places and times. HIST 96s can be used to meet these distributives. The second objective of depth can be achieved in many ways, though it is often best done by reaching the 96 via a cluster of related coursework. Considering History 96 as a "destination" can provide some structure in considering the overall major or minor plan.
4. While we allow students to enroll in two 96s in the same term, we ask them to do so only after considering the rigors of these classes (and, by extension, of the work of historical practice). Early planning (and, ideally, the completion of at least one 96 by majors in their junior year) helps to avoid the need for two in a single term.
This brief guide provides information for the versions of History 96 that will be offered through the spring of 2024. You should discuss these options with your faculty advisor when you are completing your major worksheet.
Please note: Enrollment in seminars is by instructor permission only. This permission is issued by the professor teaching the course. When completing the major or minor worksheet, students should contact the professors teaching the seminars they wish to take in order to inquire about the enrollment process and to be placed on the enrollment list.