The department believes that a sound history curriculum presents the following seven elements: (1) authentic research and writing opportunities; (2) a variety of classroom interactions; (3) a blend of studies focusing on breadth with studies focusing on depth; (4) opportunities to learn about different world cultures; (5) engagement with events that occurred well before recent times; (6) an introduction to the ways historians do their work and the theoretical considerations that undergird that work; and (7) an obligation to integrate the various discrete courses that the curriculum offers. The requirements for the major are designed to assure that all history majors experience these elements.
History majors at Kenyon must receive credit for at least 5.5 units of work in courses taught by the history department or in extra-departmental courses approved by the history department. (Students who choose not to study off campus may earn no more than 1 unit outside the department. Students who choose to study off campus may earn up to one additional unit of outside history credit. For information on non-departmental courses that count for history credit, see the department chair.) The 5.5 required units must include: 2 units of work in a field within the major; the .5-unit course on the Practice and Theory of History (HIST 387); and either the Senior Research Seminar (HIST 490) or the Senior Honors Seminar (HIST 497). (Students must take the Practice and Theory of History before taking the Senior Research Seminar or the Senior Honors Seminar; it is a prerequisite.)
While taking the courses that meet the requirements described in the preceding paragraph, history majors must make sure to meet the following three distribution requirements: at least 1 unit in Asia and/or Africa; at least 1 unit in Europe and/or the Americas; at least 1 unit in premodern courses, and at least 1 unit in modern courses. The student majoring in history must also, while pursuing the program outlined above, complete at least two advanced seminars (300-400 level course).
In addition to course requirements, majors must also meet the collegiate requirement of passing the Senior Exercise, usually conducted in the spring semester. The History Senior Exercise consists of a forty-five minute oral examination that explores a newly-prepared and significantly revised version of the research paper completed in the Senior Seminar; preceded by a brief explanation of the chief ways it differs from your senior seminar essay. For details, contact the history department in Seitz House.
The purpose of fields is to give students the opportunity to organize their history courses into a coherent thematic or geographic area of specialization within the major. When students declare a major, they will submit to the department chair and their department advisor a brief proposal that defines their anticipated field. The field proposal identifies: (1) the geographic comparative area that the student will explore; (2) the courses that the student proposes to take to complete the field; (3) the reasons for these choices; and (4) the role, if any, that off-campus study will play in the field. Students may select their field from the list below:
Regional: Americas (Latin America and U.S.), Asia, Europe, Africa and African-American
Comparative: Medieval, Women's and Gender, Colonial/Imperial
Fields should include:
· 2 units of coursework overall
· At least 1 course at the 100 level
· 1 course at the 200 level or a second course at the 100 level
· At least 2 advanced seminars (300-400 level)
· Comparative fields must include courses from more than one region.
Two courses (1 unit) toward the field may come from outside the department.