Department of History
Director of Graduate StudiesJohn F. Haldon (History)
D. Graham Burnett (History of Science)
Jeremy I. Adelman
David A. Bell
D. Graham Burnett
David N. Cannadine
Martin C. Collcutt, also East Asian Studies
Linda J. Colley
Angela N. H. Creager
Benjamin A. Elman, also East Asian Studies
Sheldon M. Garon, also East Asian Studies
Michael D. Gordin
Anthony T. Grafton
Molly Greene, also Hellenic Studies
Jan T. Gross
John F. Haldon, also Hellenic Studies
Hendrik A. Hartog
Tera W. Hunter, also African American Studies
Harold James, also Woodrow Wilson School
William C. Jordan
Stephen M. Kotkin, also Woodrow Wilson School
Emmanuel H. Kreike
Michael F. Laffan
Nancy Weiss Malkiel
Susan Naquin, also East Asian Studies
Philip G. Nord
Willard J. Peterson, also East Asian Studies
Anson G. Rabinbach
Daniel T. Rodgers
Martha A. Sandweiss
Emily A. Thompson
Keith A. Wailoo, also Woodrow Wilson School
R. Sean Wilentz
Julian E. Zelizer, also Woodrow Wilson School
Assistant ProfessorAdam G. Beaver
Vera S. Candiani
Mariana P. Candido
Janet Y. Chen, also East Asian Studies
James A. Dun
Yaacob Dweck, also Judaic Studies
Joshua B. Guild, also African American Studies
Eleanor K. Hubbard
Robert A. Karl
Jonathan I. Levy
Federico Marcon, also East Asian Studies
Rebecca A. Rix
Clare Teresa M. Shawcross
Bradley R. Simpson, also Woodrow Wilson School
Jack B. Tannous
Max D. Weiss, also Near Eastern Studies
Visiting Assistant Professor
Lecturer with Rank of Professor
Barbara B. Oberg
LecturerSimon Grote, also Council of the Humanities
Caley D. Horan
Paul L. Miles
Associated FacultyWallace D. Best, Religion, African American Studies
Michael A. Cook, Near Eastern Studies
Liora R. Halperin, Near Eastern Studies
M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Near Eastern Studies
Bernard A. Haykel, Near Eastern Studies
Joy S. Kim, East Asian Studies
Heath W. Lowry, Near Eastern Studies
Eileen A. Reeves, Comparative Literature
Peter Schäfer, Religion
Maurizio Viroli, Politics
Graduate instruction in the Department of History is designed to train students both for productive scholarship and effective college or university teaching. Students take courses or seminars for two years, sit for a general examination and, upon successful completion, write a dissertation of such scope that they can anticipate its completion within three additional years of graduate study.
Each course usually meets once a week for three hours. A course may be either the seminar type, centering on individual students preparing research papers, or the more general, reading type, aimed at having students gain a broad acquaintance with a subject, or a mixture of both.
The minimum requirement of the department is a reading knowledge of either French or German (or Spanish in the case of American history). Within each field, the faculty decides what additional languages are required and the degree of proficiency that is required. In rare cases when the student, the student's adviser, and the director of graduate studies all agree that the substitution of another language is reasonable, appropriate, and academically sound, some other language may be used in place of French or German. The following field requirements apply:
American history—proficiency in either Spanish, French, or German; a high level of proficiency is required.
British history—proficiency in either French or German; a high level of proficiency is required.
East Asian history—proficiency in one East Asian language and one European language.
European history—proficiency in two languages other than English, one of which is either French or
German. Students in medieval history are normally expected to be proficient in Latin, French, and German.
Latin American history—proficiency in two of the following: Spanish, Portuguese, French, or an indigenous language subject to faculty approval.
Middle East history—proficiency in one Middle East language and one European language.
Russian history—proficiency in Russian and either French or German.
South Asian history—proficiency in one South Asian language and one European language.
The faculty of the history department set most of the language examinations. Examinations in some languages, however, may be administered by appropriate language departments at Princeton. Normally the examination consists of two passages to be translated, one with and one without a dictionary. Language examinations will be announced at the beginning of each semester. Other examinations should be scheduled in consultation with the director of graduate studies and (if appropriate) the department involved.
Entering students should arrange one language examination early in their first term. The department expects students to pass at least one language examination before enrolling for the second year. No student may complete the general examination or enroll for a fifth term without passing all language requirements. In fields that demand more than two languages, all but one of them must be passed prior to enrolling for a third term. Second-year students who fail the language exam at the regularly scheduled time may petition the director of graduate studies and receive a second chance to take the exam in the same term, in order to fulfill the language obligation at a time that interferes less with generals preparation.
First and Second Years
The director of graduate studies serves as the department's general adviser on academic questions. He or she maintains the liaison between students and faculty as well as between the students and the Graduate School office in Nassau Hall. The director of graduate studies is responsible for giving approval to programs of study and choices of fields and for interpreting departmental and University regulations. The director has the authority to make exceptions to the various procedures described here, and is, therefore, the first person whom a graduate student should contact to explore any special arrangements.
The professor in charge of financial aid and placement handles questions pertaining to travel and summer grants, and assists students in finding suitable positions upon their completion of graduate study.
By the fall term of the second year, each student selects a prospective area for a dissertation and requests an appropriate faculty member as his or her probable thesis supervisor. The student thereafter consults with this faculty member about choice of courses, seminars, and fields of study and, above all, about preparations for defining a dissertation topic. If this faculty member is absent or on leave, the student may need to ask another member of the faculty to oversee his or her work temporarily.
First-year students are expected to enroll in three courses each semester (including 500 in the fall). Second-year students ordinarily enroll in two courses the first semester and one course the second semester. Courses include: graduate seminars offered by the history department; graduate seminars in other departments; undergraduate courses; supervised research papers; and supervised general reading as described below. Although much of each student's program will be aimed at preparing for the general examination, students are strongly advised to take some courses in the first two years that do not fall within their general examination fields. For most students, the first two years of graduate school will provide the last opportunity to receive systematic instruction in subjects outside their specialized interests.
Since training in research is one of the most significant elements of graduate education, the department expects each student to write at least two research papers during the two years he or she is involved in coursework. Students ought to keep in mind the possibility of using their research papers to investigate areas for dissertation topics. It is highly desirable to do some early research in the language(s) of the prospective dissertation. Each of the two papers must be certified as an acceptable research paper by the respective instructor (certificate forms are available from the graduate secretary).
One of the two research papers must be written in the course of the first year. Students may write the paper in the context of a research seminar or in consultation with faculty independent of a formal course, and they may do so in either semester. The research paper ideally should be completed within the semester in which it is initiated. In all cases an acceptable paper must be submitted to the instructor by June 15 of the first year, at the latest, or the student will not be readmitted for the second year. The second research paper must be submitted to the instructor by April 1 of the second year, and certified as acceptable before the general examination.
Students who hold an M.A. degree at the time of their enrollment upon entering the program may request that the M.A. thesis or a research paper completed in pursuance of the M.A. be accepted as one of the two required research papers. To qualify, such a paper must be accepted by an appropriate faculty member in the department, subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies. The faculty member may require that the paper be rewritten to meet his or her standards.
The general examination tests the candidate’s knowledge of three distinct fields of historical study, one to be offered as the major field, and two as minors. To be eligible to complete the general examination, a student must have fulfilled the appropriate language requirements and completed all of the work in the courses in which he or she has enrolled. No student with an Incomplete will be permitted to complete the general examination until the outstanding course work has been finished.
The general examination consists of three written papers, one in each field, and an oral examination of not more than two hours. All three fields must be completed by May of the second year of study.
Examination fields are individually defined, in consultation with the director of graduate studies. Each field must be defined closely enough to permit the candidate to show evidence of intensive study, and broadly enough to have major historical significance. Common examples of examination fields include: Europe since 1870; the Ancien Régime and the Revolution in France; Tudor-Stuart England; Colonial and Revolutionary America; the United States, 1815–1920; Modern Japan; Modern Latin America; and the Atlantic world. Students are encouraged, if they wish, to choose a minor field in a subject from a discipline other than history. In all cases, candidates submit the titles of their fields to the director of graduate studies in the spring of their second year of study.
Students enrolled in the following special programs of study should consult the requirements particular to them: African studies, African American studies, East Asian studies, Hellenic studies, history of science, Latin American studies, and Near Eastern studies.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy, but also may be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program. Students who have satisfactorily passed all required coursework (with all incompletes resolved), fulfilled the language requirements in their field of study, and completed the two required research papers may be awarded an M.A. degree.
A student who completes all departmental requirements (coursework, language examinations, and research papers, with no incompletes from the first year and first semester of the second year), but fails the general examination may take it a second time. If the student fails the general examination the second time, then Ph.D. candidacy is automatically terminated. The student must then resolve any incompletes from the final semester’s course work, before the M.A. may be awarded.
Dissertation and Final Public Oral Examination
After passing the general examination, the qualifying candidate prepares a written dissertation. During the summer months between the second and third years, students are expected to attend a special dissertation writer’s seminar. Here students begin intensive work on and prepare a preliminary prospectus. On or before December 1 of the same year the student has taken his or her generals in May (or within six months of generals if taken at another time), the candidate must submit a finished version of the prospectus for the approval of the faculty adviser. Students are expected to complete the research and writing of the dissertation by the end of their fifth year of graduate study; earlier completion is certainly feasible in many cases. The scope and length of the dissertation should be defined so that the dissertation can be completed in no more than three years of research and writing. The scope of the dissertation and its length varies from student to student; the decision, reached in consultation between the student and the supervisor, is based on the nature of the problem and the documentation. The completed dissertation may be as short as 75 pages or as long as 300. Only in exceptional circumstances should it exceed 300 pages. Whatever the scope or length, the dissertation must be capable of being developed for publication as a book or a series of articles in scholarly journals. When the dissertation is completed, it is read by three readers in addition to the adviser; one of these three readers is normally not a faculty member of the Princeton history department. After the dissertation has been accepted, the candidate must pass a final public oral examination, which normally is conducted by a board consisting of the student’s adviser and the three readers.
The Department of History tries to provide part-time teaching experience for most of the advanced graduate students who desire it. Teaching assistantships generally involve two to four classroom hours a week and should not interfere with progress toward completing the dissertation. Appointments are made by the department chair, according to the needs of the undergraduate teaching schedule, to third-, fourth-, and fifth-year graduate students.
HIS 500 Introduction to the Professional Study of History
Philip G. Nord, D. G. Burnett
A colloquium to introduce the beginning graduate student to the great traditions in historical writing, a variety of techniques and analytical tools recently developed by historians, and the nature of history as a profession.
HIS 501 Global History (1850s - Present)
A history of global interactions roughly since the 1850s, combining an analytical framework with an overarching narrative. Geopolitics, political economy, empire, networks and exchange, warfare and welfare, and oil receive special emphasis. Key themes include the Anglo-German antagonism, the US-Japan clash, the rise and fall of global communism, the German story and the European Union, the fall and rise of China, and America’s global predominance and partnerships.
HIS 502 Writing History
Martha A. Sandweiss
The craft of historical writing. As older notions of objectivity come under attack, what narrative options exist for historians? Course focuses on recent work by historians experimenting with new forms of writing and considers the boundaries between fact and fiction, the use of first-person narratives, and the limits of historical speculation. Course also examines how journalists, novelists, and film-makers narrate the past to ask what literary lessons they might offer academic historians. In a series of structured assignments, students experiment with different ways of writing about the past.
HIS 503/HOS 503 Research Ethics and the Dissertation Prospectus
Angela N. Creager, John F. Haldon, Kevin M. Kruse
The course includes an intensive two-day, 12-hour training program in eight sessions designed to introduce post-generals students in History and History of Science to key issues of responsibility in research, including: problems in sources, data collection and processing; responsible authorship and peer review; human subjects, oral history, and intellectual property; collaborative research; research misconduct; and history in society. Each session is introduced by one or more faculty members. Students are assigned readings as well as on line resources. The dissertation prospectus part of the course includes eight additional 3-hour sessions.
HIS 504 Colonial Latin America to 1810
Vera S. Candiani
An examination of selected subjects in early Latin American history from the apogees of the great Amerindian civilizations, through the years of Spanish and Portuguese imperial control to the rebellions preceding independence. The course emphasizes social and cultural change, explores developments in historiography, and treats a variety of major problems in the field.
HIS 505 The Atlantic System, 1750-1850
No Description Available
HIS 509 Introduction to the Historical Study of Underdevelopment, the Atlantic System since 1500
Jeremy I. Adelman, Robert L. Tignor
An exploration of the way selected areas bordering the Atlantic basin-Western Europe, Africa, and Latin America-have created asymmetrical or polarized relations of hegemony and dependency, growth and development, and relative immobility amid a mix of precapitalist and capitalist formations. An analysis attempts to review a wide spectrum of economic, political, social, and cultural factors. Competence in French or Spanish is desirable.
HIS 513 The World and the West, 1300-2000
Jeremy I. Adelman
This seminar attempts to understand the historical processes that have divided the modern world into the West and the non-West. While it emphasizes the study of non-Western regions, its aim is to highlight global transformations that have connected their histories with the formation and dominance of the West.
HIS 516 Slavery in History
Robert C. Darnton
The course introduces students to the broad range of historiography on slavery. While it particularly emphasizes slavery in the United States, it does so in a comparative framework.
HIS 519/WOM 519/HOS 519 Topics in the History of Sex and Gender
A study of the historical connections linking sex and gender to major social, political, and economic transformations. Comparative approaches are taken either in time or by region, or both. Topics may include family, gender, and the economy; gender, religion, and political movements; gender and the state; and gender and cultural representation.
HIS 520 Colloquium in Community College Teaching
An introduction to the nature of community college teaching. There are weekly colloquia with community college administrators and faculty members who explain the history, structure, and purposes of their institutions. In alternate weeks the focus is on the interests of experienced community college teachers in the Mid-career Fellowship Program. Prerequisite for students wishing to teach as interns in the colleges. Spring-term enrollment is limited to mid-career and faculty fellows.
HIS 523 Topics in Modern South Asia: Subaltern Studies
Seminar introduces Subaltern Studies scholarship with a view to understanding its historical emergence, its key concepts, its contribution to postcolonial studies, and the debates it has generated.
HIS 526/EAS 521 Readings in Early Modern Japanese History
David L. Howell
Selected topics in the institutional and intellectual history of Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. Students attend the meetings of 321 and take part in a special graduate discussion group.
HIS 527/EAS 522 20th-Century Japanese History
Sheldon M. Garon
Selected topics in Japanese social and economic history since 1900.
HIS 529 Modern China
Selected problems and topics on 19th- and 20th- century China, that will also address historiographical issues in the West, the People's Republic, and Taiwan.
HIS 541 The Greek World after 1453
An examination of selected topics in Greek history and civilization, broadly defined, between 1453 and the early twentieth century.
HIS 542/HLS 542 Problems in Byzantine History
John F. Haldon
Reading and research on selected problems in Byzantine social and cultural history are the focus of the course. Specific topics are announced in the term preceding the seminar.
HIS 543/HLS 543 The Origins of the Middle Ages
Peter R. Brown
Reading and research on the transition of ancient into medieval society, religion, and culture are the focus of the course.
HIS 544 Seminar in Medieval History
Katherine L. Jansen
Selected problems in the social, administrative, and legal history of Western Europe in the Middle Ages, primarily during the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries.
HIS 545 Readings in Renaissance and Reformation History
Liam M. Brockey
A comprehensive study of major problems in the period, with particular attention to disputed questions of historical analysis and interpretation.
HIS 549 Readings in the Old Regime and the Revolution in France
David A. Bell
A survey of the main themes (social, political, and intellectual) in the development of France since the last years of Louis XIV, followed by intensive study of the Revolution. A reading knowledge of French is required.
HIS 550 The Social History of Ideas in 18th-Century Europe
Robert C. Darnton
Research and reading on selected topics such as the role of intellectuals in society, the nature of radical ideology, the character of cultural institutions, journalism, the book trade, and popular culture are the focus of this course. There is provision for "high" as well as "low" intellectual history, but the seminar concentrates on the diffusion and circulation of ideas rather than on their philosophical elaboration.
HIS 551 Problems in 19th-Century French History
Philip G. Nord
Readings and research in the social and political history of 19th-century France are the focus of this course. Topics include industrialization and agricultural development; the old and the new right; the revolutions of 1830, 1848, and 1871; the origins of the labor movement and the socialist revival of the 1880s; and the evolution of elites, Bonapartism, and the foundation of the Third Republic.
HIS 552 Seminar in 16th Century France
Natalie Z. Davis
Reading and research in selected topics in the social and cultural history of France, both urban and rural, in the 16th century are the focus of this course. Though the focus of the seminar is France, some comparative material is drawn from other cultures. Specific topics are announced in the term preceding the seminar.
HIS 553 Seminar in European Intellectual History
Michael D. Gordin
Readings and research in cultural institutions and expressions in Europe since 1750 constitute the focus of this course.
HIS 554 Germany in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Discussion of the major controversies in the interpretation of modern German history. Was there a Jacobin movement in Germany? Did Germany follow a "peculiar path to modernity"? Other topics include 1848 as a social movement, the bases of German nationalism, Wilhelmine rule and the outbreak of war in 1914, the depression and the collapse of the Weimar Republic, the nature of the Nazi electorate and of the Nazi state, the Cold War and the division of Germany, and Germany as "two states and one nation" in the 1960s and the 1970s.
HIS 557 Modern and Contemporary Russian History
Reading and research in the political, social, and economic institutions of Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries are the focus of this course. Depending on their previous preparation, students devote themselves primarily to either general reading (and reporting on it to the class) or to a research topic worked out in consultation with the instructors.
HIS 559 The Soviet Empire and Successor States
Readings and research in the culture, society, economy, and politics of the Soviet empire and successor states are the focus of this course. This course explores the possible approaches and strategies as well as the availability and the use of sources, with an eye to the formulation or further refining of a topic and preparation for fieldwork.
HIS 562 Seminar in 19th Century European History
An introduction to major areas of scholarly debate in the history of 19th-century Europe. The intention is to give students exposure to a full range of national cultures and historical approaches. Two unifying themes are pursued: the remaking of elite policy and popular movements in response to industrial development and democratization; and the fashioning of the modern administrative state and the concomitant emergence of strategies of resistance to bureaucratic control.
HIS 563 20th Century European History
Anson G. Rabinbach
A survey of the principal problems and controversies in the history of 20th-century Europe. A broad spectrum of national cultures and historical approaches are covered. Unifying themes include varied challenges to the 19th-century liberal legacy, the pan-European welfare state solution, the imposition of first German and then Russian hegemony, and the passing of European supremacy in the world.
HIS 566 Seminar on Europe since 1871
Arno J. Mayer
Research on selected problems in European history in the 20th century is the focus of this course. Topics are announced in the term preceding the seminar. Recent topics have included studies in the domestic causes of war, case studies in white terror, and a conceptual and empirical examination of the petite bourgeoisie.
HIS 567 Topics in Modern English History
Peter G. Lake
A survey of the main problems and literature in the field is the focus of this course. Topics studied will vary from year to year according to the interests of the students involved.
HIS 568 The Coming of the English Revolution, 1529-1641
Peter G. Lake
Reading and research on the first major revolution in modern European history, emphasizing its varied and long-term causes are the focus of this course. The course consists of reports on and discussion of readings on selected problems, followed by a research paper on a narrow topic chosen by each student. For a specially arranged reading course in the history of Restoration and Hanoverian England, interested students should consult with the instructor.
HIS 569 Expanding British History: Seas, Nations and Empires: 1680 to 1830
Linda J. Colley
Seminar examines recent secondary works concerning how Britain in the 18th and early 19th century changed from fragmented, unstable, and second-ranking polity to the dominant European commercial, industrial, financial and naval power, commanding and empire that comprised one-quarter of the world¿s population. Some of the most influential primary texts from this era will also be considered.
HIS 570 The World and Britain c. 1830-c.1960
David N. Cannadine
This seminar examines the apogee of British global dominance and the growing challenges to it after 1870. Themes include the organization and dissolution of the empire, the effects of two world wars, and the impact on post-1945 Britain of three invasions from without: immigration from onetime colonies, the establishment of American bases, and membership of the European Union. Seminar examines both recent secondary literature and some influential primary texts.
HIS 571 The English Colonies in America
Peter R. Silver
Intensive readings and research in the history of the colonies to about 1750 are the focus of this course.
HIS 572 Sem in Am Legal Constitutional History
Stanley N. Katz
No Description Available
HIS 573 Readings in American Legal History, 1607-1977
Hendrik A. Hartog
A survey of the major secondary literature concerning the history of American law since the founding of the original colonies is the focus of this course. While attention is paid to the earlier tradition of narrowly legal scholarship, emphasis is given to more recent writing. The readings are organized around the major themes of social and economic history, especially in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
HIS 574 Problems in American Social History
Nell I. Painter
Selected issues of the history of 19th-century American society. Topics such as the professions, deviance, reform, the family (including youth, women, and sex roles), migration and immigration, social mobility, social class, and work and leisure are studied.
HIS 576 Research Seminar in Gender
M. C. Stansell
The seminar trains students in theory and methods of research in the history of gender relations in the United States. Students work from perspectives of women's history, emerging scholarship in the history of masculinity, and theoretical work on sex/gender systems. Beginning with common readings and a small research problem to be assigned by the professor, the seminar moves to individual research projects.
HIS 580 Readings in U.S. Foreign Relations and International History
Bradley R. Simpson
Twentieth-century US foreign relations and international history from a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches. Course surveys recent scholarship, and one classic text, in the field informed by considerations of gender, race, ideology, culture, development, domestic politics, IR theory, political economy, and recently released material from the former Soviet Union.
HIS 581 Topics in the History of the American South
Reading and research in the history of the southern United States is the focus of this course. Topics vary from year to year, and discussions emphasize recent scholarship and the interplay of class, race, and gender in southern society. Possible topics include the evolution of southern society, frontier and black belt in the old South, migration and cultural change, religion and education in the modern South, segregation and economic change, race and gender in southern thought, and the idea of "the South."
HIS 582 Slave Systems of the Americas
Colin A. Palmer
No Description Available
HIS 583/POL 570 Readings in American Political History
Julian E. Zelizer
An introduction to the field of U.S. political history. Readings are divided into four primary areas of scholarship: institutions, public policy, social movements, and political culture. Primary goal of the course is for students to come away with a strong working knowledge of the methodological and substantive trends in the field.
HIS 584 Topics in Urban History: City, Region, Nation, and Place
Seminar explores authors’ strategies for writing compelling books around the opportunities and limitations of case studies—while engaging regional identity, and national significance.
HIS 585 Problems in American Cultural and Intellectual History
Daniel T. Rodgers
Issues and methods in the interpretation of American intellectual and cultural history, through the study of topics ranging chronologically from Puritanism to the present, are the focus of this course. Students may elect to take the course either as a reading or a research seminar.
HIS 588 Readings in American History: The Early Republic through Reconstruction, 1815-1877
Robert S. Wilentz, James P. Oakes
A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the Era of Good Feelings to the conclusion of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
HIS 589 Readings in American History: Reconstruction to World War I
Rebecca A. Rix, Jonathan I. Levy
A comprehensive introduction to the literature and problems of American history from the end of the Civil War to the United States entry into World War I.