History at Bryn MawrCommencementHistory majors are pictured at Spring 2019 graduation with Professor Madhavi Kale.
CoursesMaterial ObjectsIn Jessica Linker's HIST B270 course, "The History of the Book with Digital Methods," students sewed books and cut and used quill pens.
Practicing History, Summer 2020
The BMC History Department thanks the students of the Bi-College community for drafting and circulating the Open Letter to the BiCollege community in this historic global and local conjuncture, and for permitting us to post it here. Both testimonial and critique, their eloquent and forceful articulation of their ongoing concerns about and frustrations with the academic, administrative and social structures they encounter and navigate as Bi-Co students of color is a call for action from all of us. The Open Letter will guide our department’s curricular and events-planning for 2020-21 and beyond. We welcome feedback and suggestions from all of our students, past and present.
History at Bryn Mawr is about questioning and explaining how the past has been constructed, understood, and made into what we call "history." Our courses challenge students to actively participate in interpreting and making history, rather than merely reading and reflecting about the past.
History faculty members conduct research and teach in and across a variety of fields. Our courses stress the development and circulation of ideas, cultures, and institutions, not just the accumulation of data about particular events. Students learn how to use and evaluate primary sources. Our class discussions are engaging, and most courses emphasize critical writing rather than examinations. Starting in 2017-18, departmental events (ranging from community-wide film screenings and discussions to public lectures) will be organized around a theme. The theme selected for that inaugural year was “disruption(s)." The theme for 20-21 is TBA, pending consultation with department faculty, majors, minors, and other students
We work closely with our colleagues in Special Collections, and have access to excellent collections relating to the study of the classics in both Art and Artifacts and Rare Books and Manuscripts.
Students play a vital role in the department, serving as representatives of the major and organizing social and academic activities outside the classroom. Essay prizes, established in honor of alumnae Elizabeth Duane Gillespie '03 and Helen Taft Manning '57, are awarded annually by the department faculty in recognition of outstanding essays involving original research.
Some of our department alumnae have gone on to distinguished academic careers, including Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust '68. Many others have pursued interests and careers in a wide range of fields, including, but not limited to:
- Library science
- Government and public affairs
- Faculty and administration in higher education
- Primary and secondary education
Dear BMC '22 and '23;
As deadlines loom even as we're facing tremendous challenges in our daily lives, our academic thoughts are being channeled toward pre-registration and major/minor declaring.
It must be hard to be thinking about your Major/Minor and pre-registration in this moment of global, enforced collective isolation and uncertainty!
That said, now is a very good time to try to understand how people in other times and places navigated challenges and crises (personal and more widespread), thereby making history under conditions they may not have chosen — and to try to understand the implications of our "now" for our own collective and individual futures.
Please see the information on the Department web page, and feel free to contact Madhavi Kale (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Anita Kurimay (email@example.com) by email to set up an appointment to discuss remotely.
To facilitate the process:
- those interested in Majoring might start by registering interest on Bionic (starting a Major declaration form) and filling in as much information about courses taken as possible, so that we can review the information before meeting with you; and
- those interested in Minoring might send a list of courses taken to whomever you're contacting about this, and also fill in the Minor declaration form available on the Deans' Office website for us to review and approve and for you to then file with them electronically (for now)
In the meantime, we wish all of you and yours the very best; stay safe and be well.