Welcome to the History Department

Read what 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.


Attention Students: There are now sample syllabi for BC History courses for student reference during registration for the upcoming semester(s). The syllabi may not be updated, but they are provided just to give you an indication of the topics and workload.

     If you are considering writing a senior thesis, you might be interested in the Senior Thesis Fellowship for European Archives.
    Open to all history majors in CC, GS, and Barnard, the program provides fellowships of $4,500 for 4-6 weeks of research in European archives. It will culminate in a three-day workshop on thesis writing and research by Professor Charly Coleman and Professor Thomas Dodman in Reid Hall in Paris.

     Archives in Europe do not just contain material for European history! In the past, students in the program have written theses on topics in South East Asian, Caribbean, and African as well as European history.

     The program runs workshops over the spring for all students. On February 22 at 11am in Butler Library 308, subject specialists will discuss the best way to find archives and offer some tips and tactics for conducting research. On February 25 at 5pm in Fayerweather 411, graduate student Roslyn Dubler will discuss how to write a great prospectus for the application.

     If you have any questions, if you want to know how to submit an application or if you are interested in the workshops please contact Roslyn Dubler at red2147@columbia, the graduate student attached to the program. Applications will be due on March 29 and successful applicants will hear back shortly thereafter. Applications can be found here!




Are you looking for a space to write your thesis surrounded by like-minded individuals dedicated to social justice, feminism, and activism?


The BCRW invites students to come to our conference room for a relaxed & supportive thesis-writing space. The BCRW works to advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and to promote social transformation. We are committed to vibrant and engaged research, pedagogy, art, and activism, supporting the work of scholars and activists to create new knowledge and to challenge and refine how we understand the world around us. Any and all seniors who are working on theses or other projects that are looking for a place to write that shares their values are welcome to join us for an evening of focused work!


WHEN: Sunday, March 10th, 5pm-8pm

WHERE: BCRW Conference Room (614 Milstein)

Pizza will be served! (gluten free & vegan options will be provided)

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 26, 2019. Applications should be emailed to dko@barnard.edu