Welcome to the History Department

Read what recent alums have to say about majoring in History!!

History encompasses the whole of human experience, helping us understand ourselves in the context of our times and traditions through the study of times and traditions other than our own. History means not only the record of the past but also the discipline of investigating and interpreting the past. The study of history develops habits of critical thinking and effective writing, as well as it cultivates the careful analysis of various types of quantitative and qualitative evidence. It should be of value not only to undergraduates who intend to pursue advanced degrees in the field, but also to students interested in exploring the diversity and complexity of the human past, even as they hone their analytical and expository skills.



Bertha Vapnek Research Fellowship for Junior History Majors

This fellowship is intended for students currently in their junior year for thesis research conducted in the summer before their senior year. The student is required to work with a faculty member in the History department to develop a project that may be relevant to the student's intended senior thesis topic for the following year. Please note that the fellowship may meet part but not all of an awardee's request for funds, and funds may be distributed between two or more individuals.

Applications should include the following: 1. A brief description (two pages, maximum) of the proposed research project, which should describe both the significance of the project and the applicant's concrete plans for carrying it out; 2. A brief budget of projected expenses; 3. The name of a faculty member who has been consulted about the proposed project.  Deadline for applications is March 27, 2018.  Applications should be emailed to dko@barnard.edu



Are you a junior history major thinking about writing a thesis?

The Columbia history department (with support from the Barnard Provost’s office) offers $4,500 for four to six weeks of research in European archives for juniors at CC, GS, and Barnard.

We will run research workshops in spring 2018 and a thesis workshop in Paris in summer 2018 with Columbia Professors Susan Pedersen and Charly Coleman.

An information session on the Senior Thesis Program will take place on Wednesday, February 7 at 5:30PM in Fayerweather 411. 

An information session on how to get started on a research project will take place on Friday, February 23 (time TBA) with Columbia librarians John Tofanelli and Meredith Levin

A workshop on prospectus writing with Roslyn Dubler will take place on February 26 at 5:30PM in Fayerweather 411

For more information, please consult the bottom of the research funding page or email Roslyn Dubler at red2147@columbia.edu

Applications will be due on Friday, March 23, 2018


The History Seminar Application Process has begun for Fall 2018

Please take note that the CU seminars may require a departmental application. Applications are due by April 5th at 11AM for priority admission.

All BC seminars require instructor's permission (but not an application). Students MUST email the professor prior to the start of classes, then enroll themselves during their registration period. (Note that if you do not obtain permission, you run the risk of removal from the course.
Many of these courses are blocked for registration; in these cases, students are required to join the waitlist in SSOL or myBarnard after getting permission. The instructor will then approve you in the course. (If you do not obtain permission for the seminars which require it, you may be removed from the waitlist or roster.)

Please be mindful that all Barnard College History Majors must take the HIST BC3391-92, Senior Research Seminar in History. This seminar is not limited enrollment and is not on the seminar list. You will only need to register for this class and you do not need instructor permission for this class if you are a rising senior.

Please follow the instructions on the link below carefully.


CARL WENNERLIND, Associate Professor of History, announces the creation of a new journal, launching Winter 2019

Email journals@pobox.upenn.edu for subscription information and for submission instructions.

SAC Essay Competition, Spring 2018

A new initiative through the Barnard history department has been established this past semester, called the SAC. The SAC is a student-run activities council sponsored by the history department with the goal of making the department a tighter-knit community. 

As part of this initiative, we are starting a SAC Essay Competition. This semester, Barnard students will have the ability to submit a paper they have worked on for consideration to this competition. There are prizes for the top two essays, as decided by the SAC, each being an award of $50!

1) This paper must have been for a history class at Barnard/Columbia, written in the past two years.
2) Must be a 10-20 page paper, Chicago citations
3) Must be submitted by noon on April 15th to be considered! Notifications will come out in early May.
4) People of any class year may submit, but any thesis work is not eligible.
5) You may only submit one paper per cycle (and you may not resubmit the same paper in a different cycle). 
6) Please make sure to send a clean version of the paper (no names, classes, etc.)
7) Please send your submission to Professor Ko at dko@barnard.edu, with the subject line "SAC Essay Competition Spring 2018". In the body of the email, please include: Name, year, major, class it was written for, and professor.