Last updated: November 13, 2007 @ 02:23PM


Master of Arts in History

Rosemary Drage Hale
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies)
Jane Koustas

Graduate Faculty

Rosemary Hale (History), Jack N. Lightstone (President and Vice-Chancellor), John Sainsbury (History), Elizabeth Sauer (English)

Associate Professors
Michael Driedger (History and Great Books/Liberal Studies), Kevin Kee (History). R. Andrew McDonald (History), Jane McLeod (History), Carmela Patrias (History), Daniel Samson (History), David Schimmelpenninck (History), Barnett Singer (History), Mark Spencer (History), Murray Wickett (History)

Assistant Professors
John Bonnett (History), Tami Friedman (History), Renée Lafferty (History and Canadian Studies), Maureen Lux (History), Dan Malleck (Community Health Sciences), Behnaz Mirzai (History), Elizabeth Neswald (History), Olantunji Ojo (History), Maria Del Carmen Suescan Pozas (History), Elizabeth Vlossak (History), Ning Wang (History)

Graduate Program Director
Mark Spencer

Administrative Assistant
Heidi Klose
tel. #: 905-688-5550, ext. 3500
office: GL 257

Administrative Assistant, Graduate Program
Dinah Martin
tel. #905-688-5550, ext. 4321
office: GL 573 Rm 202

Program Description
The Master of Arts in History provides students with training in the various fields of history through course work and research experience. Our program has no specified fields of concentration, but offers a high-quality, general Master's degree in History consistent with the excellence and dedication of the faculty who teach it. A distinctive feature of the program is an emphasis on theme, rather than on region or timeframe. Those themes are Imperialism, Gender History, Intellectual History, Revolutions, Labour Systems, Migration/Ethnicity/Identity, History of Science and Medicine, and History and Computing. A central focus is on developing students' critical analysis of both primary and secondary sources. Another goal is to give students the opportunity to explore historiography and methodology and encourage them to engage vibrant debates in their study of history.

Admission Requirements
Successful completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in History with an overall average of not less than 75%. Students with a co-major in History and a related discipline will be considered, although such students may be required to take additional undergraduate courses. Applicants must supply a statement of purpose and interest, a representative piece of writing (such as an undergraduate essay), and arrange for three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with their work in History.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will review all applications and recommend admission for a limited number of suitable candidates.

Part-time study is available.

Degree Requirements
While the program offers both a major research paper stream and a thesis stream, most students will be encouraged to pursue the major research paper stream, as the additional coursework required by this choice provides a broader foundation for future studies. The thesis stream is by invitation only, on the recommendation of the Graduate Committee.

All students in the major research paper stream will take Historiography and Historical Method (HIST 5F01), four half-course electives (HIST 5V00-HIST 5V79), and the major research paper (HIST 5F80). Students invited to the thesis stream will take Historiography and Historical Method (HIST 5F01), two half-course electives (HIST 5V00-HIST 5V89), and the thesis (HIST 5F90). Each student enrolled in HIST 5F90 must defend his/her thesis at a public oral examination. Under exceptional circumstances, students in either the major research paper stream or the thesis stream may be permitted to substitute a directed reading course (taken as HIST 5P80), or a course offered by another graduate program, in lieu of one of their elective courses.

The major research paper stream is designed to be completed in twelve months (three terms). The thesis stream is designed to be completed in twenty months (five terms). The completion time for part-time students will vary with the candidate's circumstances.

Course Descriptions
Note: Not all courses are offered in every session. Students must consult with the Graduate Program Director regarding course offerings and course selection and must have their course selections approved by the Graduate Program Director each term. Refer to the Timetable for scheduling information:

Historiography and Historical Method
Examines debates about the nature of history and provides an overview of contemporary historiographic controversies.A wide variety of methodologies and theoretical perspectives will be explored with an eye to assessing the practical applications of each for the study of history and for the students' own research projects.

Major Research Paper
A major research project (of approximately 35 pages), the topic of which shall be chosen by the student in consultation with the Supervisory Committee. The major research paper must demonstrate the student's ability to conduct original research with primary sources and a mastery of relevant historiography.

MA Thesis
An extended research project (of approximately 80-100 pages) which meets the conditions specified in the description for HIST 5F80 but involves a higher level of research and a fuller treatment of the selected subject. The thesis will be examined by an external reader and will have a public defense.

Directed Reading in History
Directed individual or group reading in a specified area of historical study.
Restriction: permission of the Graduate Program Director.

HIST 5V00-5V09
Themes in the history of imperialism.

2007-2008: Empire
Examines empires in the modern world. Focuses on 19th and 20th centuries, with some attention to earlier empires. Considers both the overseas (Britain, France, Spain, Netherlands, etc.) and continental(China, Turkey, Russia, Austria, etc.) versions.Selected topics include nationalism, ideology, culture, economics, colonial warfare, decolonisation and the historiography.Concludes with a discussion of post-imperial multinational groups.

HIST 5V10-5V19
Themes in the history of gender.

HIST 5V20-5V29
Intellectual History
Themes in the history of ideas.

2007-08: American Enlightenment
Examines the 18th-century American Enlightenment in a transatlantic context. Topics include the life and writings of seminal thinkers such as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, but also figures not so well known who contributed to the social history of ideas. Students will evaluate conflicting historical interpretations and develop their own understanding of historical events and trends.

HIST 5V30-5V39
Themes in the history of revolutions.

2007-08:The Iranian Revolutions
Explores the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1906-1911), Islamic Revolution (1979), social and political institutions, economic developments, cultural transformation, the formulation of new constitutions, political Islam, clash of values, and military events.

HIST 5V40-5V49
Labour Systems
Themes in the history of labour.

HIST 5V50-5V59
Themes in the history of migration, ethnicity, and/or identity.

2007-08:The Writing of Canadian History
Explores the development of the historical profession and historical study (academic and popular) in Canada, through the examination of individuals and broad trends in the field. Spanning the late 19th century to the present, particular consideration will be given to the problem of identity, both of nation and historian, with ethnicity, gender and politics as core themes.

HIST 5V60-5V69
History of Science and/or Medicine
Themes in the history of science and/or medicine.

HIST 5V70-5V79
History and Computing
Themes in history and computing.