Reed College Catalog

This program is for the student who wishes to combine history and literature in a manner that might not be feasible under the requirements of the Division of History and Social Sciences or the Division of Literature and Languages. Admission to the major is by application to the History–Literature Committee.

Requirements for the Major

  1. Humanities 220, or two units from Humanities 211, 212, 231, and 232.
  2. Four units in history.
  3. Four units in literature.
  4. A third year (i.e., two semester-long 300-level courses or above) of foreign language literature or composition.
  5. A junior seminar (such as English 301/302 or History 411/412) in history, English, or a foreign language. This does not count toward the required four classes in history and literature.
  6. A junior qualifying examination.
  7. A thesis (History–Literature 470) that offers a meaningful tie between the two disciplines. The student should work with a faculty member in each discipline as the thesis adviser and first reader, or coadvisers.

Recommended but not required:

  1. Two units in the Division of History and Social Sciences, in addition to the history courses.
  2. Two units in a literature other than the area of concentration.

All history-literature students must pass a junior qualifying exam, and their thesis will be evaluated along with others by the adviser and an orals board consisting of faculty from the history or literature departments. The thesis must bridge the disciplines of history and literature.

Early consultation with a member of the committee is important for students considering this major in order to determine whether the student qualifies for the major and to plan a program.