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Students may complete a major or minor in history.


Ignacio Gallup-Diaz, Associate Professor (on leave 2005-06)
Holly Grieco, Lecturer
Madhavi Kale, Associate Professor
Mara Lazda, Lecturer
Kalala Ngalamulume, Associate Professor (on leave 2005-06)
Elliott Shore, Professor
Sharon R. Ullman, Associate Professor and Chair

A primary aim of the Department of History is to deepen students’ sense of time as a factor in cultural diversity and change. Our program of study offers students the opportunity to experience the past through attention to long-range questions and comparative history.

History 101, (taken preferably before the junior year) aims to address specific disciplinary concerns and objectives as well as general College-wide curricular needs by introducing students to the study of history as a field. Within this framework, each instructor highlights specific themes, periods, traditions, texts and contexts to introduce students to the discipline of history.

In the 200-level courses, the department offers students the opportunity to pursue interests in specific cultures, regions, policies or societies, and enable them to experience a broad array of approaches to history.

The department’s 300-level focused topical courses build on students’ knowledge gained in 200-level classes and gives them the chance to work in a small seminar setting.

The capstone sequence of History 395 and 398 is a year long thesis project. In the fall, senior majors work together to hone their research skills as they prepare to write their own thesis — a process they complete in the spring.

Major Requirements

Eleven courses are required for the history major, three of which must be taken at Bryn Mawr. These are The Historical Imagination (History 101), which majors are encouraged to take before their junior year; and the capstone sequence — Exploring History (History 395) and the Senior Thesis (History 398), which are taken in the senior year.

The remaining eight history courses may range across fields or concentrate within them, depending on how a major’s interests develop. Of these, at least two must be seminars at the 300 level offered by the Departments of History at Bryn Mawr, Haverford or Swarthmore Colleges or the University of Pennsylvania. (It is strongly recommended that at least one of these advanced courses be taken with Bryn Mawr history faculty, as it is with one of them that majors will be working on their senior thesis.)

Only two 100-level courses may be counted toward the major. Credit toward the major is not given for either the Advanced Placement examination or the International Baccalaureate.


Majors with cumulative GPAs of at least 2.7 (general) and 3.5 (history) at the end of their senior year, and who achieve a grade of at least 3.7 on their senior thesis, qualify for departmental honors.

Minor Requirements

The requirement for the minor is six courses, at least four of which must be taken in the Bryn Mawr Department of History, and include the following — History 101, at least one 300-level course within the department, and two additional history courses within the department.

HIST B101 The Historical Imagination

Explores some of the ways people have thought about, represented and used the past across time and space. Introduces students to modern historical practices and debates through examination and discussion of texts and archives that range from scholarly monographs and documents to monuments, oral traditions and other media. Majors are required to take this course, preferably before the junior year. (Kale, Division I or III)

HIST B131 Chinese Civilization

(Kim, Division I or III; cross-listed as EAST B131)

HIST B200 European Expansion and Competition: History of Three Worlds

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods and ideas from Africa, Europe and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean or Latin American history. (Gallup-Diaz, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B202 American History, 1850 to the Present

Covering U.S. history from Civil War to the present, this course is designed to provide an overview of the central political and social changes that have produced the modern American nation. (Ullman, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B203 High Middle Ages

An introduction to the major cultural changes in the societies of Europe and the Mediterranean basin from ca. 1000 C.E. to 1348. (Grieco, Division I or III)

HIST B205 Greek History

(Edmonds, Division I or III; cross-listed as CSTS B205)

HIST B206 Society, Medicine and Law in Ancient Greece

(Chiekova, Division III; cross listed as CSTS B206) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B207 Early Rome and the Roman Republic

(Scott, Division III; cross-listed as CSTS B207) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B208 The Roman Empire

(Scott, Division I or III; cross-listed as CSTS B208) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B226 Europe in the 20th Century: From Catastrophe to Coexistence

This course will explore the history of Europe in this century from a number of vantage points and through themes that will involve going backwards and forwards in time. This will allow us to revisit issues or periods from different perspectives, and to study the history of issues that may currently be in the news. Topics covered will include Europe's 20th-century wars; revolution in Soviet Russia and counter-revolution in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany; Europe's "others," including Jews, colonial peoples and post-imperial diasporas; welfare states; the 1960s; and post-Cold War Europe. (staff, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B235 Africa to 1800

The course explores the development of African societies to 1800. Themes will be drawn from across the continent. We will discuss issues related to the creation, maintenance or destruction of a social order (small-scale societies and states), production, social reproduction, explanations, identities, conflicts, external contacts and social change, and examine selective narratives, documents, debates and films. (staff, Division I or III)

HIST B237 Urbanization in Africa

The course examines the cultural, environmental, economic, political and social factors that contributed to the expansion and transformation of preindustrial cities, colonial cities and cities today. We will examine various themes, such as the relationship between cities and societies, migration and social change, urban space, health problems, city life and women. (Ngalamulume, Division III; cross-listed as CITY B237)

HIST B241 Twentieth Century American Society Between the Wars

(Ullman, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B242 American Politics and Society: 1945 to the Present

This is a lecture course focusing on America after WWII that explores the political, social and cultural factors creating recent American history. Special attention will be paid to social movements and foreign policy. (Ullman, Division I or III)

HIST B243 Atlantic Cultures: Free African Communities in the New World

An exploration of the process of self-emancipation by slaves, and an investigation of the establishment of autonomous African communities throughout the Americas. Taking a comparative framework, the course examines developments in North America, South America, the Caribbean and Brazil. (Gallup-Diaz, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B244 Great Empires of the Ancient Near East

(Ataç, Division I or III; cross-listed as ARCH B244 and CITY B244)

HIST B245 Recent U.S. History: Disease and Modern Life

(Ullman, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B247 Topics in German Cultural Studies

(Kenosian, Pavsek, Division I or III; cross-listed as GERM B223)

HIST B248 German Histories

Introduction to the history of modern Germany with emphasis on social and political themes, including nationalism, liberalism, industrialization, women and feminism, labor movements, National Socialism, partition and postwar Germany, East and West. (staff, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B252 Introduction to Korean Culture

(Kim, Division III; cross-listed as EAST B234) Offered at Swarthmore, not Bryn Mawr, in 2005-06.

HIST B253 Survey of Western Architecture

(Cast, Hein, Division III; cross-listed as ANTH B254, CITY B253 and HART B253) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B258 British Empire: Imagining Indias

This course considers ideas about and experiences of "modern" India, i.e., India during the colonial and post-Independence periods (roughly 1757-present). While "India" and "Indian history" along with "British empire" and "British history" will be the ostensible objects of our consideration and discussions, the course proposes that their imagination and meanings are continually mediated by a wide variety of institutions, agents and analytical categories (nation, religion, class, race, gender, to name a few examples). The course uses primary sources, scholarly analyses and cultural productions to explore the political economies of knowledge, representation and power in the production of modernity. (Kale, Division III)

HIST B263 Impact of Empire: Britain 1858-1960

(Kale, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B264 Passages from India: 1800-Present

An exploration of the contested terrains of identity, authenticity and cultural hybridity, focusing on migration from India to various parts of the world during the 19th and 20th centuries. The significance of migration overseas for anti-colonial struggles in India and elsewhere in the British Empire, and for contested, often conflicting, notions of India and nationhood during and after colonial rule is also considered. (Kale, Division I or III)

HIST B265 Colonial Encounters in the Americas, 1492-1800

The course explores the confrontations, conquests and accommodations that formed the "ground-level" experience of day-to-day colonialism throughout the Americas. The course is comparative in scope, examining events and structures in North, South and Central America, with particular attention paid to indigenous peoples and the nature of indigenous leadership in the colonial world of the 18th century. (Gallup-Diaz, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B267 Philadelphia, 1682 to Present

This course will focus on the intersection of the sense of Philadelphia as it is popularly understood and the Philadelphia that we can reconstruct individually and together using scholarly books and articles, documentary and popular films and novels, visual evidence, and visits to the chief repositories of the city's history. We will analyze the relationship between the official representations of Philadelphia and their sources and we will create our own history of the city. Preference given to junior and senior growth and structure of cities and history majors and those students who were previously lotteried out of the course. (Shore, Division I or III; cross-listed as CITY B267)

HIST B277 Religion and Dissent in the Middle Ages

Explores religious movements during the Middle Ages. Some were incorporated into the church, whereas others were condemned as heretical. Examines the origins of these groups and motivations for their religious beliefs to determine why the church embraced some and condemned others. (Grieco, Division I or III)

HIST B281 Issues in U.S. Foreign Policy

(Harrold, Division I; cross-listed as POLS B281)

HIST B283 Introduction to the Politics of the Modern Middle East and North Africa

(Harrold, Division I; cross-listed as HEBR B283 and POLS B283)

HIST B290 History, Politics and the Search for Security: Israel and the Palestinians

(Harrold, Division I; cross-listed as HEBR B233 and POLS B233) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B291 La Civilisation franšaise

(Mahuzier, Division III; cross-listed as FREN B291) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B296 Science in Western Society Since 1500

(staff, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B303 Topics in American Social History

Topics vary. Recent topics have included medicine, advertising and history of sexuality. In 2005-06, the topics will be "Civil War and Memory" (fall) and "The 1950s" (spring). (Ullman, Division I or III)

HIST B318, B319 Topics in Modern European History

Topics vary. Recent topics have included: Marxism and History; Socialist Movements and Socialist Ideas. In 2005-06, the topics will be "Life Under Communism in 20th-Century Europe" (fall) and "Population Politics in Modern Europe" (spring). (Lazda, Division I or III)

HIST B325 Topics in Social History

(Shore, Ullman, Division I or III) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B326 Topics in Chinese History and Culture: Modern Chinese Intellectual History

(staff, Division III; cross-listed as EAST B325)

HIST B327 American Colonial History: Conquest, Colonization and Conversion

This course explores the complex nature of the "religious conquest" of indigenous peoples that was an adjunct process to the physical conquest of territory in the early modern period (1500-1800). We will investigate the indigenous religious systems as they existed before contact, the modes of Christianity that the European missionaries worked to impose upon the "conquered," and the nature of the complicated forms of ritual practice and spirituality that arose in the communities of those peoples that survived the conquest. (Gallup-Diaz; cross-listed as ANTH B327) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B337 Topics in African History

Topics vary. Recent topics have included Social History of Medicine; Women and Gender; and Witchcraft Ideology, Fears, Accusations and Trials. Please see Tri-Co Course Guide for 2005-06 topics. (staff, Division I or III)

HIST B357 Topics in British Empire

This course will focus on gender in the material and discursive production, consolidation and defense (from the 17th century to the present) of both the British empire and the "imagined communities" that constitute such contemporary nations as the United Kingdom; the republics of India, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ireland; and the United States. (Kale, Division I or III)

HIST B368 Topics in Medieval History

Topics vary. The 2005-06 topics will be: "Travel and Travelers in the Middle Ages" (fall) and "Sex and Gender in Medieval Europe" (spring). (Grieco, Division I or III)

HIST B371 Topics in Atlantic History: The Early Modern Pirate in Fact and Fiction

This course will explore piracy in the Americas in the period 1550-1750. We will investigate the historical reality of pirates and what they did, and the manner in which pirates have entered the popular imagination through fiction and films. Pirates have been depicted as lovable rogues, anti-establishment rebels and enlightened multiculturalists who were skilled in dealing with the indigenous and African peoples of the Americas. The course will examine the facts and the fictions surrounding these important historical actors. (Gallup-Diaz) Not offered in 2005-06.

HIST B395 Exploring History

An intensive introduction to theory and interpretation in history through the discussion of exemplary historiographical debates and analyses selected by the instructor. The coursework also includes research for and completion of a prospectus for an original research project. These two goals prepare senior majors for their own historical production in the spring semester, when the senior thesis is completed and presented. Enrollment is limited to senior history majors. (Kale, Division III)

HIST B398 Senior Thesis

The second semester of a year-long sequence. This semester students research and write a thesis on a topic of their choice. Enrollment is limited to senior history majors. (Ullman)

HIST B403 Supervised Work

Optional independent study, which requires permission of the instructor and the major adviser.

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