Department of History

Washburn Hall, 80 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

– 401.874.2528 (p); 401.874.2595 (f)

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Advanced History Courses and Seminars: A Guide

Advanced Topics Classes (HIS 401, 441 and 481)
Students consider how historians evaluate primary and secondary sources, compare the views of different historians on particular topics, and practice various modes of historical writing (summaries, textual analyses, critiques, book and journal reviews, and footnotes). They also will prepare a proposal and bibliography for a seminar paper. Open to junior and senior History majors and graduate students. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to take HIS 495 with the same instructor in the following semester to complete the major research paper required of students pursuing the non-thesis option.

Seminars (HIS 495)
Students prepare two drafts of a research paper based onprimary and secondary sources, share phases of their thinking and writing with other students, and discuss a common body of interpretive reading assignments such as scholarly journal articles, essays and book chapters. The prerequisite for HIS 495 is an advanced topics class taught by the same instructor. Open to junior and senior History majors and graduate students.

Graduate Seminars (HIS 506, 507, 508 and 544)
These classes explore topics in U.S., European or non-western history, many with an interdisciplinary emphasis. Classes are seminars with extensive discussion and an intense reading load. Weekly assignments include evaluative essays and/or oral presentations. While the final paper of 10-15 pages generally will be focused on a historiographical theme, other kinds of assignments suitable to English, Education, Marine Affairs or Political Science majors also may be appropriate. Open to graduate students.

Special Readings (HIS 502, 536 and 588)
Students attend 300-level classes and perform additional work appropriate for graduate students. Students register for HIS 502 (Special Readings in European History), HIS 536 (Special Readings in American History), or HIS 588 (Special Readings in Asian or Latin American History), after first seeking permission from the professor teaching the course and then securing a permission number from the graduate director. Special Readings can be taken only with members of the graduate faculty, which for the most part means full-time, tenured or tenure-track professors. (Please remember that most CCE instructors are part-time faculty or lecturers.) Open to graduate students during the regular academic year only; can be taken in the summer only under special circumstances.

Directed Studies (HIS 591)
Students who choose to complete their major paper without taking HIS 495 may write that paper as a Directed Study. To register for HIS 591, first consult with the professor you wish to work with and then contact the graduate director for a permission number.

Thesis Research (HIS 599)
Students completing thesis research take 6-9 credits of HIS 599 with the professor directing their thesis. To register for HIS 599, please contact the graduate director for a permission number.

Contact Information

For general inquiries, contact Director of Graduate Studies
Evelyn Sterne:
p: 401.874.4074
f: 401.874.2595

For inquiries about the archaeology and anthropology option, contact Professor Roderick Mather:
p: 401.874.4093

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