Honors projects provide an opportunity for students to integrate their education and focus it via a significant research and writing project, including a challenging oral defense. Students wishing to pursue an honors project in history must meet the following requirements:
- Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average no lower than 3.5 in History courses and 3.30 overall.
- Students must make written application to the department chairperson, explaining the topic and nature of their project, the primary sources they intend to examine, and a bibliography of key secondary sources they intend to consult. This application should be accompanied by a letter of support from the member of the department who is willing to direct the project, and a copy of their unofficial transcript. These materials are due on April 15 of the student’s junior year. Students will be notified by the end of the semester whether they are provisionally approved to continue. On the first day of Fall semester, students will be asked to turn in a progress report, after which the department will determine whether to approve the continuation of the project.
- Students must register for HIST 490, the senior seminar, taught each fall in the department. In the spring, honors students may enroll in an honors independent study course (HIST 641, 642, 643, or 644,) but they should be aware that only one independent study course may count among the ten courses that constitute a major.
- At the end of fall term, project advisors will submit written progress reports to the chairperson of the history department. At its December meeting, the department will discuss the progress being made by all students undertaking honors projects in History and will make a collective decision about which students will be allowed to continue their projects.
- The department expects that the final product will be a substantial written thesis which demonstrates independent critical thought and original research. It differs from a senior seminar paper (the normal capstone) in its breadth, depth, and scope. We realize that the occasional project might best be completed with an alternative product—such as a script, an historical novel, a computer model, a physical exhibit, or an audio or visual documentary.
- The final draft will be due one week before the oral defense, which is in mid-April. Students will be allowed some time to make minor revisions and to produce a clean, final product. The final version of the thesis, appropriate for binding and placement in the library, is due in late April.
- Each honors student will be evaluated by a committee of at least three faculty members, two of whom must come from the history department. This committee will read the honors thesis (or evaluate the alternative final product) and will engage the student in an oral discussion of her or his project. The committee will decide whether to recognize the student’s work with honors. The individual project advisor will be responsible for assigning the student a final letter grade for his/her independent study course.
Samples of Approved Honors Proposals
History Honors Projects
Elizabeth Allen ’13, ‘The ‘Sister Kingdom’ on Display: Ireland in the Space of the British Exhibition, 1851-1911”
Katherine Steir ’12, “Organizing the World: Power Dynamics and “Civilization” in the British Museum”
Louise Dickson ’11, “Revolution Betrayed? The Deradicalization of the Russian and South African Revolutions in the Context of Marxist Revisionism”
Maren Hagman ’11, “A Historiography of Chastity in the Marriage of Edith of Wessex and Edward the Confessor”
Bassam Khawaja ’11, “War and Memory: The Role of Palestinians in Lebanon”