HISTORICAL PRACTICE AT DARTMOUTH
SEMINARS & COLLOQUIA (Hist 96s)
Each year, the Dartmouth History Department offers a range of seminars and colloquia 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. Work done in the 96s are typically those pieces of undergraduate writing we deem "prize-worthy" at our years-end awards' ceremony.
We encourage newly declaring majors and minors to consider with some care which HIST 96s they will use to complete their degrees. Here are several reasons why 96 enrollments should be planned well in advance and discussed with an advisor.
1. The success of these classes depend on a strict enrollment limit of twelve students per class. Since many seminars fill quickly, this guide (which will be routinely updated on our website) provides a handy way to see which offerings have reached capacity. Students will be informed when they are added to a list as a "guarantee" of enrollment; they can be placed on a waiting list for those at capacity, but no more than 12 students can enroll in a single HIST 96.
2. We have found that students have the best academic experience when they select their 96s related to 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 Directed Study (Hist 97) programs. Several of the seminars listed below indicate what will be the optimal courses to take as preparation for this serious research exercise. None of these represent strict pre-requisites.
3. Undergraduate work in history (like that in the liberal arts) combines both breadth and depth. We achieve the first objective through a set of distributional requirements that require students to survey the histories of a range of places and times. HIST 96's can be used to meet these requirements. 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 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 2022. You should discuss these options when you are completing your major worksheet with a faculty advisor. We will notify you whether you are admitted to your selections. If you change your plans about 96s, please contact the office to take your name off these lists.