History–Literature

Application to the Major, Qual and Thesis

As noted in the Requirements, 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 allow time to plan a program.

To be admitted to the history–literature program, a student will need to petition. The petition process should normally be initiated in the first semester of the junior year, and must be submitted no later than September 15th of the junior year, for Fall/Spring graduates, and February 15 for Spring/Fall graduates. The petition should include a formal written statement that:

  • describes a proposed thesis project and articulates why the project is suited to the interdisciplinary major rather than to one department.;
  • a statement of the student’s educational objectives; and
  • a list of prospective courses planned for the junior and senior years.

The History-Literature Committee will devise a specific junior qualifying examination for each accepted student that serves to certify the readiness of the student for the project that has been proposed. Typically, the qual (and the thesis), while drawing on the tools and methods of both history and literature, leans more to one than the other, in line with the proposal, but in all cases will evaluate the students readiness to do research that ties together history and literature.

For the senior thesis, the student will have a primary adviser in the field to which the project leans more, and a secondary adviser in the other field.