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Not sure where to start in the History Department? Try one of the following courses that are especially suitable for first year students! Please note that the schedule is subject to change.
Fall Term 2022:
HIST 1 (10) Turning Points in American History, Professor Bonner
HIST 2 (11) #EverythingHasAHistory: Understanding America Today, Professors Rabig and Barthé
HIST 4.03/MES 2.03 (10) Introduction to the Modern Middle East and North Africa, Professor Nikpour
HIST 5.04/ASCL 10.02 (10A) Introduction to Korean Culture, Professors Suh and Kim
HIST 5.05/ASCL 64.11 (2) The Emergence of Modern Japan, Professor Ericson
HIST 5.14 (12) The Americas from Invasion to Independence, Professors Mercado-Montero and Musselwhite
HIST 8.04/WGSS 26.03 (3A) History of Sexuality in America, Professor Moreton
Winter Term 2023:
HIST 3.01 (10) Europe in the Age of Wonder, Professors Gaposchkin and Simons
HIST 5.01/AAAS 14 (2) Pre-Colonial African History, Professor Campbell
HIST 5.11/ASCL 54.11 (2) Gandhi, Twentieth Century India and the World, Professor Carson
HIST 9.07 (3A) Sex and Gender in Modern Europe, Professor Greenberg
Spring Term 2023:
HIST 4.01 (2) The Crusades, Professor Meehan
HIST 4.03/MES 2.03 (TBD) Introduction to the Modern Middle East and North Africa (AALAC), Professor Simon
HIST 8.06/LACS 8.01 (TBD) History of Food, Professor Garcia
WELCOME TO THE DARTMOUTH HISTORY DEPARTMENT!
It is impossible to understand today's world without understanding the past. Historical forces have shaped every aspect of our world, from political divisions to patterns of migration, technological innovation, and climate change. History shows us that there is nothing "natural" or "inevitable" about our lives; the modern world is the product of past generations' choices, contingencies, and challenges. Since the past fundamentally shapes our present, we can use this knowledge to effect change; only by understanding the past can we create new possibilities for the future.
The study of history also develops core critical thinking skills: reading, writing, analytical thinking, argumentation, and presentation. In particular, history teaches how to carefully read and assess different sources of information. With these skills, history majors build diverse and exciting careers: our majors work in every field from law, entertainment, and finance to education and social justice.
Dartmouth history courses emphasize the study of the past as an active and ongoing process, often in a way that is very different from high school history courses. Far more than simply memorizing facts and dates, studying history is a process of puzzling out and making sense of peoples, times, events, and places different from our own. It requires creativity, determination, and ingenuity. In a history class, you will read and discuss different explanations about how and why historical events unfolded and think carefully about whether you find these explanations convincing. You will examine diverse historical materials, from speeches and government memos to novels, songs, and movies. Finally, you will develop your own historical arguments through a broad array of assignments including oral presentations, research papers, and creative digital projects such as interactive maps, illustrated timelines, and podcasts.
History classes are divided into three basic groups. HIST 1 – 9 are introductory level classes organized around a geographic area and/or a broad theme (with the exception of HIST 7, which are first year seminars). HIST 10 – 94 are upper level courses, but the number does not correlate with difficulty. To give an example, HIST 90.04 is not a harder class than HIST 11, it simply has a higher number for organizational purposes. Finally, HIST 96 are advanced seminars designed for history majors. These courses are taken only after you declare a history major or minor.
History classes do not have prerequisites. First year students may take any class that is being offered except for HIST 96, 97, and 98. However, if you know that you want to take upper-level classes in a specific geographic area or theme, we recommend that you take the introductory level class first.
No. If it is an area of history you love, you can and should take this class. The study of history at the college level is very different from high school history courses, even AP level courses. Our entry level history classes emphasize assessing and analyzing historical documents and sources, placing those sources in conversation with different historical contexts, reading and discussing arguments made by other historians, and creating your own historical arguments based on course materials. These courses provide an excellent foundation for advanced historical work.
The history major requires students to take classes in 4 of 6 different geographical regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States) and 2 different time periods (pre-modern and modern). History majors also take two advanced seminars. These are small, discussion-based courses, in which students produce original historical research. The department offers a wide array of advanced seminars so that students can choose seminars that interest them and build on their prior coursework.
No, first year seminars (HIST 7) do not count towards the major.
With the exception of HIST 7, all classes in the department fulfill at least one of the major requirements. Any class you choose will count towards the major!
Advanced history seminars (HIST 96) are reserved for students who have declared a major or minor in history. Students generally take seminars starting in the Sophomore Summer.
Yes! The History Department runs an FSP program in London during the fall term. The program is based at University College London (UCL). History FSP students take one class at UCL and a second course on the History of London with the other history Dartmouth students. They also undertake an independent research project using the many archives and libraries available in the London area that counts as the third course credit. You can see more information about the FSP here: https://history.dartmouth.edu/foreign-study/ and watch a short video about the program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVfdw5Muyas&feature=youtu.be.
Join the Dartmouth chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society. Phi Alpha Theta holds events and talks with both historians and history students. It's a great way to get more involved in the study of history at Dartmouth. Find their website here: https://sites.dartmouth.edu/pat/.
You can also begin research projects. The History Department offers a variety of opportunities for research, including the FSP program, the advanced seminars, independent studies, and the honors program in which students undertake a year-long senior thesis research project. Students can receive funding for these projects through the history department and/or the office of undergraduate research. The department runs several classes dedicated to oral history, which train students to interview relevant historical actors relevant to their research interests, and students have opportunities to assist professors with their research, funded by the Presidential Scholars Program and the Junior Research Scholars program.
Anything. Companies that employ Dartmouth graduates are generally not looking for specific area knowledge, but general skills and competencies. These include critical thinking, writing, and articulation; developing the right question; researching a question and understanding the implications of its findings; working through ambiguity; developing conclusions based on limited or incomplete evidence; and making arguments in writing or through presentations. Since these are precisely the skills that studying history develops, majoring in history gives you unparalleled critical thinking and writing skills and lays a strong foundation for a diverse array of career paths. Our graduates enter all fields including law, consulting, journalism, media, tech, healthcare, non-profit work, film and television, social justice and activism, graduate study, politics, public history and museum work, and education. For more information, the American Historical Association recently released a small booklet entitled "Careers for History Majors".
The history department is located in Carson Hall, connected to Baker Berry Library. The department administrator, Bruch Lehmann (firstname.lastname@example.org) is in Carson 311. For questions about classes and the major, you can contact the department's Vice Chair, Prof. Jennifer Miller (Jennifer.email@example.com), whose office is Carson 410.