The History Department recently introduced senior seminars and colloquia. These courses are open only to seniors who have already taken HS 300: The Study and Writing of History. Over the next few years we plan to expand the number of these offerings until, for the class of 2014, it becomes a requirement for all history majors to take one of these courses unless they are writing an honors thesis.
The new seminars and colloquia are demanding. HS 691, the Senior Colloquium, is a comparative or thematic course dealing with major historical problems and debates. Students will read a book (or three to four articles) every week and write a historiographical or thematic paper, not based on primary-source research. HS 692, the Senior Seminar, is a research course along the lines of HS 300. Students will read extensively in secondary literature on the seminar’s topic, but their main focus will be the production of a major paper based mainly on primary sources.
Reflecting their demanding nature, each of these courses, like senior honors theses, will carry three credits. The department’s long-term plan is that HS 300 will introduce students to the major, and HS 691 or HS 692 will serve as a culminating experience in the major for all students who are not doing senior honors theses.