Timothy Brown, PhD
Professor and Chair

Timothy Brown, PhD
Professor, Chair, and Graduate Program Director, PhD and MA (World History concentration)

Martin Blatt, PhD
Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director, MA (Public History concentration)

249 Meserve Hall
617.373.3661 (fax)

Graduate Programs Contact
Bonne Knipfer, Graduate Program Administrator, b.knipfer@northeastern.edu

CSSH Graduate Programs General Regulations

Graduate work in history focuses on global and world history, which study the interactions among geographical regions and historical processes around the globe. Students at both the master’s and doctoral levels concentrate their work on the history of regions or peoples in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, or the United States, with attention to the intersections and connections between national, regional, and global developments. The Department of History also offers a master’s degree with a concentration in public history that emphasizes the study of topics such as material culture, historical exhibits and museums, historical agencies, and archival administration. Recent doctoral students have been the recipients of major fellowships for conducting dissertation research abroad, including Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, Social Science Research Council, and Chateaubriand fellowships.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Master of Arts (MA)

Graduate Certificate

History Courses

HIST 5101. Theory and Methodology 1. 4 Hours.

Examines the following questions in the context of major issues in current historical research and debate. Where do historical questions come from, and how do we answer them? How do we produce knowledge about historical events and processes? What theoretical models guide historians work? Emphasizes interdisciplinary approaches as well as concrete techniques in historical research. Required of all first-year graduate students.

HIST 5102. Theory and Methodology 2. 4 Hours.

Continues HIST 5101. Offers an advanced exploration of the theories and methods used by historians to develop students’ ability to understand and critique the work of other historians. Emphasis is on theories and methods in world history, such as comparative models, systemic approaches, and focus on interconnections. Explores what it means to have a local, national, or global perspective, and how world history fits in with other fields of historical scholarship. Required of all PhD students.

HIST 5237. Issues and Methods in Public History. 4 Hours.

Examines and analyzes major issues and methods in public history in the United States and the world. Topics include the nature and meaning of national memory and myth, the theory and practice of historic preservation, rural and land preservation and the organizational structures and activities associated with those efforts, the interrelationship of historical museums and popular culture, the history and organization of historic house museums, historical documentary filmmaking, historical archaeology in world perspective, interpreting “ordinary” landscapes, and the impact of politics on public history.

HIST 5238. Managing Nonprofit Organizations. 4 Hours.

Examines the management of nonprofit organizations, which include historical agencies, museums, archives, historic houses, and various special historical collections. The literature on historical administration is lacking in sufficient conceptual rigor to generalize about the inner and outer workings of a complex management organization. Since historical agencies and museums are complex organizations with missions and goals, and with policies and procedures for involving various “publics” in their activities, explores them as part of the changing and evolving organizational structure of a modern society. Covers public management with all of its institutional components and human complexities. Studies planning in the public sector, budgeting, fundraising, conflict resolution, and the human relations literature as it relates to becoming a functional and successful manager.

HIST 5241. Exhibits and Museums. 4 Hours.

Considers the history of museums and exhibitions from a transnational perspective in order to examine the various roles museums have played in historical and contemporary global culture. Explores museums as cultural institutions and institutional cultures through historical and theoretical readings, museum visits, and the development of students’ own exhibitions. Currently among the world’s most popular sites of education and leisure, museums have held a wide range of social, political, and cultural roles over the past 500 years. Offers students an opportunity to develop more acute insight into the ways museums and their exhibitions have made and reflected ideas about history, science, art, identity, and culture.

HIST 6962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 6964. Co-op Work Experience. 0 Hours.

Provides eligible students with an opportunity for work experience. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 7219. Topics in Cultural History. 4 Hours.

Offers special topics in cultural history. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 7221. Topics in World History. 4 Hours.

Offers readings on selected themes and issues in world history. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 7228. Atlantic Connections. 4 Hours.

Explores the interactions of Europe, the Americas, and Africa from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. With background on societies in each region, the course proceeds through study of the developing concepts and practices of power, race, and gender as these emerged out of the initial encounters and early colonization, and as they led to reshaping of life in each region.

HIST 7238. Colonialism in Contemporary Africa. 4 Hours.

Introduces the various sources, methodologies, and theories employed by Africanist scholars. Traces the development of African studies and of key frameworks within the discipline. Focuses on what kinds of sources Africanists mobilize and how this source base has changed over time; the change in issues that Africanists focus on; how Africanist scholarship fits within history overall; recommendations Africanist scholars make about “doing” history; how Africanist scholarship engages with theory and other “areas” or disciplines; and what sorts of problems theory helps Africanists address.

HIST 7250. Topics in Public History. 4 Hours.

Offers readings, class work, and projects on selected themes and issues in public history.

HIST 7251. Topics in American History. 4 Hours.

Focuses on one or more topics in the history of the United States. May be repeated up to two times.

HIST 7253. Topics in Digital History. 4 Hours.

Offers readings, class work, and projects on selected themes and issues in digital history. May be repeated once for a total of 6 credits.

HIST 7304. Research Seminar in Gender and Society in the Modern World. 4 Hours.

Studies feminists’ claims-making; the meanings of masculinity at work and in arguments for citizenship; sexuality and rights; masculinity and femininity; and examines how gender, as a system of cultural practices and power relations, intersected with class and race to influence the meanings of citizenship, work, state policy, and sexuality. Discusses the social practices and political consequences of those meanings. Considers topics such as gender and the “democratic” European revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the ways in which gender shaped the meanings of work, skill, and the body; the importance of race in European war; and the emergence of modern welfare states. Although this course takes Europe as its point of departure, it also explores how Europeans operated as part of a transnational, if not global, economic and political system from the late eighteenth century to the 1950s.

HIST 7312. Research Seminar in American History. 4 Hours.

Offers research and writing on selected aspects of American history.

HIST 7314. Research Seminar in World History. 4 Hours.

Gives students the opportunity to do research and write a paper that addresses historical issues and processes significant at a global scale. Discussions focus on what it means to be significant on a global scale, how to find and utilize relevant source material, and on previous scholarship relevant in helping shape questions and issues in our own work. Students also read and critique one another’s work. May be repeated up to four times.

HIST 7320. Research Seminar in Cultural History of the United States. 4 Hours.

Requires students to conduct research and write an original paper that addresses historical issues in the cultural history—in particular the material culture—of North America.

HIST 7322. Seminar: 1968 in Global Perspective. 4 Hours.

Examines the significance of 1968, when a worldwide wave of largely student-driven unrest signaled that “something happened” during that year. From London to Tokyo, from Chicago to Prague, from Mexico City to Paris, the young generation of the late sixties challenged the old order. But why? Engages students with the growing interdisciplinary theoretical literature on international protest movements, before going on to examine a number of national “1968s.” Uses primary and secondary sources to seek to understand what these events meant locally, how they were connected globally, and to what extent they can fit into a larger pattern of a world event known as “1968.” Requires a significant research paper dealing with one of these or another question determined in consultation with the instructor.

HIST 7370. Texts, Maps, and Networks: Readings and Methods for Digital History. 4 Hours.

Introduces the methods and practice of history in a digital age. Offers students an opportunity to see the wide variety of work being done computationally by historians and other humanists today and to obtain the background to be creative producers of new work and critical consumers of existing projects. The rise of computing technology and the Internet has the potential to reshape all parts of historical practice, from curation to research to dissemination. Examines the historian’s craft in three primary domains: the creation of digital sources, the algorithmic transformations that computers can enact on cultural materials like texts, and the new ecologies of publishing and scholarly communication made possible by new media.

HIST 7701. Advanced Research Seminar in World History. 4 Hours.

Entails research and preparation of a world history paper intended to be part of a larger dissertation. Includes intensive historiographical reading related to the research topic.

HIST 7962. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 7976. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on chosen topics. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 8409. Practicum in Teaching. 1 Hour.

Offers students the opportunity to teach individual college-level courses within the Department of History under the general supervision of a senior faculty member. Open to doctoral students.

HIST 8410. Fieldwork in History 1. 2 Hours.

Offers students the opportunity to get practical experience in historical agencies including historical societies, archives, museums, exhibits, restorations, preservation projects, and the like. Requires students to work in the agency ten hours a week for one semester under the direction of an agency supervisor and departmental adviser.

HIST 8411. Fieldwork in History 2. 4 Hours.

Gives students a second opportunity to acquire practical experience in an historical agency. Requires ten hours a week for one semester under the direction of an agency supervisor and a departmental adviser.

HIST 8960. Exam Preparation—Doctoral. 0 Hours.

Intended to show full-time status during the semester of the PhD qualifying exam. Students are expected to carry a full load of research and/or teaching responsibilities in addition to this course.

HIST 8982. Readings. 1-4 Hours.

Offers selected readings under the supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 8984. Research. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 8986. Research. 0 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct full-time research under faculty supervision. May be repeated without limit.

HIST 9000. PhD Candidacy Achieved. 0 Hours.

Indicates successful completion of the doctoral comprehensive exam.

HIST 9990. Dissertation. 0 Hours.

Offers dissertation supervision by members of the department. May be repeated once.

HIST 9996. Dissertation Continuation. 0 Hours.

Offers dissertation supervision by members of the department. May be repeated without limit.