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Honors Research in History

The honors research program invites outstanding undergraduate history majors to pursue intensive, year-long research on a topic of their own choosing under the supervision of a faculty mentor.  The program allows admitted students to produce a senior thesis reflective of the highest standards of the scholarly discipline as part of a community of history honors students.  Projects should be based on extensive primary source research, advance an original thesis, and demonstrate a clear grasp of existing scholarship on the selected topic.

History majors may apply to the program if they meet the following eligibility criteria.

  • Senior standing
  • A 3.3 GPA in both the history major and overall
  • A clear articulation of a proposed research topic

NOTE: Under current history major requirements, the second semester of honors research is pursued in addition to the 36-credit major. It does not require that you have finished all requirements for the major prior to applying, but HIST 5711 does not count as an upper-division elective.

Program Structure

Students will be admitted to the honors program in the spring semester of their junior year and undertake two semesters of honors course work (for a total of 6 credits) during their senior year. 

During the fall semester of their senior year, admitted students will participate in a designated honors section of HIST 5199: Senior Seminar.  This section of HIST 5199 will be organized around broad historiographical and theoretical issues rather than focused on a particular chronological period, geographical area, or theme.  Throughout the fall semester, each student will continue to consult with his or her individual thesis advisor.

For more information, please contact the Honors Research coordinator, Prof. Sara Fieldston. Students who are interested in pursuing Honors Research in AY 2019-2020, are encouraged to view the application »

Current Honors Research Projects

  1. Joshua Burlacu, "Reagan and Crack: A Recipe for Mass Incarceration." Advisor: Dr. Maxim Matusevich
  2. Nkili Cooper, "In the Shadow of Brown: The Social Meaning of Racial Violence against African-American Boys, 1955-1958." Advisor: Dr. Vanessa May
  3. Morwenna Cory, "Miraculous Economics or Miraculously Sensible Business Decisions: the Influence of World War II on the Japanese Economic Miracle." Advisor: Dr. Anne Giblin Gedacht
  4. Matthew Cunha, "When Traditional Becomes Modern: Japan’s Alternative Modernity." Advisor: Dr. Anne Giblin Gedacht
  5. Robert Koch, "‘You call this History?’ Action movies of the 1970s and 1980s and the Transformation of American Culture." Advisor: Dr. Sara Fieldston
  6. Zoe Krey, "America Intervenes: Isolationism and the Occupation of Japan." Advisors: Dr. Anne Giblin Gedacht and Dr. Sara Fieldston
  7. Marya Mahmood, "Oppression and Terror: The Gendered Representation of Muslims, 1980-2019." Advisor: Dr. Golbarg Rekabtalaei
  8. Emma Murphy, "Saints Alive: The Canonization of Hildegard of Bingen." Advisor: Dr. William Connell
  9. Thomas Schwartz, "Shrinking Space: LGBTQ Catholics after Stonewall." Advisor: Dr. Thomas Rzeznik
  10. Alexandra Wells, "At the Hem of Government: First Ladies in the Politics of the Early Republic." Advisor: Dr. Sean Harvey