Last updated: July 14, 2008 @ 09:11AM


Master of Arts in History

Rosemary Drage Hale
Faculty of Humanities

Associate Dean
Jane Koustas
Faculty of Humanities

Graduate Faculty

Robert Dimand (Economics), Rosemary Hale (History), Jack N. Lightstone (History), 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 Suescun Pozas (History), Elizabeth Vlossak (History), Ning Wang (History)

Graduate Program Director
David Schimmelpenninck

Administrative Assistant
Dinah Martin
(905) 688-5550, ext. 4321

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 or a closely-related discipline will be considered, although such students may be required to take additional undergraduate courses.

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 normally be completed in twelve months (three terms). The thesis stream is designed to normally 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.

2008-2009: Empires and Nations in Colonial Canada
Historiography of national-ethnic identities of French, British, and First Nations societies in the borderlands regions of Acadia, Canada, and New England. Emphasis on relations between local, regional, and imperial people and practices.

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

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

2008-09: Varieties of Enlightenment in England
The practice of Enlightenment in eighteenth-century England including the sexual libertinism of John Wilkes, the earnest rational dissent of Richard Price, and the compulsive philanthropy of the prison reformer John Howard. An exploration of the distinctions and connections between these various strands, and the manner in which they collectively challenged the politics and culture of the confessional state.

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

2008-09: Social Change in Latin America
Examines violent and non-violent revolutions and other forms of revolutionary change including republican, reformist and democratic movements in Latin America from c1600. Emphasis on alterations of predominant patterns of social interaction; the evolving norms, values, cultural products and symbols that give expression to change; the bearing gender and ethnicity have on social change; and the social working of armed confrontation.

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

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

2008-09: Comparative Slavery
The development of slave societies from Roman times to the present day. Special emphasis will be placed on the development of slave cultures and forms of slave resistance.

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.