May 25, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Professors: Aldridge, Berkey, Dietz, Guasco (Chair), Krentz, Mangan, Tilburg, Wertheimer 
Associate Professor: Stremlau
Assistant Professors: Kabala, Mortensen, Wiemers
Visiting Assistant Professor: Luis

Advanced Placement Credit

Students normally receive credit for HIS 122 and/or 141 or 142 when they have earned a score of 5 on the College Board’s Advanced Placement Examination in European and/or American History.  Students normally receive credit for a 100-level course, as appropriate, when they have earned a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level Examination in History of the International Baccalaureate Program. No more than one course may count toward the major.

Major Requirements (A.B. Degree)

A History major consists of ten courses.  At least one, and not more than three of those courses must be at the 100-level.  At least one, and not more than two, must be at the 200-level.  At least one must be a 400-level topical seminar. In their senior years, majors must complete a capstone course, either HIS 480 or HIS 488-9. 

The ten courses must include at least one from each of the following categories:

(1) Western history (Europe, the US): 111, 112, 119, 120, 121, 122, 125, 141, 142, 211, 225, 228, 244, 245, 252, 253, 255, 262, 302, 303, 307, 315, 322, 324, 325, 328, 331, 332, 336, 337, 340, 341, 343, 344, 346, 351, 354, 355, 357, 358, 359, 365, 390, 420, 422, 424, 426, 427, 433, 439, 440, 441, 444, 446, 449, 455, 459

(2) Non-western history (Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia): 162, 163, 168, 169, 171, 175, 176, 183, 184, 218, 230, 263, 264, 267, 275, 363, 364, 366, 369, 372, 375, 378, 379, 380, 386, 387, 464, 465, 466, 467 469 

(3) Pre-modern history: 111, 112, 119, 162, 168, 175, 183, 211, 218, 315, 317, 322, 372, 385, 422, CLA 332, CLA 435, 436

200-level courses should be taken before the end of the junior year.  100-level and 200-level courses are not open to seniors, except by permission of the instructor.

Except in extraordinary circumstances, to be determined by the chair, at least seven of the ten courses must be taken at Davidson or on Davidson-run study abroad programs.  Students may count no more than one AP or IB course, for which the College has awarded credit, toward the major.  Completion of the Humanities sequence (103 and 104) counts as one 100-level credit.

Minor Requirements

A History minor consists of six courses, including:

  1. One course at the 100 level. This course should be taken before the senior year.
  2. One course at the 200 level. This course should be taken before the senior year.
  3. Three courses at the 300-level.
  4. Either HIS 480 or a 400-level seminar.

No more than one transfer course (e.g., from study abroad) may count toward the minor.

AP and IB courses do not count toward the minor.

Honors Requirements

Candidates for admission to the honors program in history must have an overall grade point average of 3.2 after the fall semester of the junior year. Honors candidates must write an honors thesis and defend it orally in HIS 488/489 (the Kelley Seminar) during the senior year. To qualify for honors at graduation, candidates must have earned an average of 3.5 or above in the major, an “A” or “A-” or “B+” on the thesis (HIS 489), and an overall average of 3.2 or above.

The Kendrick K. Kelley Program in Historical Studies represents a living memorial to Ken Kelley, Class of ‘63, an honors history graduate who was killed in 1968 while serving in Vietnam. The Kelley Program seeks to enrich the academic experience of students majoring in history and to encourage them to emulate Ken Kelley’s virtues and achievements.

The program has three components. First, junior history majors who have grade point averages of at least 3.2 are invited to apply to the Kelley Program. Those admitted enroll in a year-long Kelley Seminar (HIS 488/489) for seniors, which culminates in the writing of a thesis and an oral defense of the same. Travel funds enable Kelley Scholars to pursue research in distant libraries and archives.  Second, the Kelley Lecture Series brings distinguished historians to the Davidson campus. Finally, the Kelley Award annually recognizes the senior history major who best exemplifies Ken Kelley’s personal qualities: superior academic performance, self-effacing leadership, and personal integrity.

In the case of an exceptional academic record, together with a thesis of the highest quality, the department may confer high honors.

Cultural Diversity Requirement

HIS 162, 163, 168, 169, 171, 175, 176, 183, 184, 218, 264, 267, 273, 283, 302, 303, 357, 359, 363, 364, 365, 366, 369, 375, 380, 382, 383, 386, 388, 464, 465, 466, and 469 are options for fulfilling the cultural diversity requirement.

History Courses

100-level courses cover a broad sweep of history and cover a particular region, such as Modern Europe, American History to 1877, and Latin America to 1825. Most are open to all students except seniors; a few may admit seniors.

200-level courses teach skills in historical research and writing. They are limited to twenty students, and each one covers a fairly specific topic, such as Piracy in the Americas.  200-level courses are open to first-, second-, and third-year students. One is required of all history majors before the senior year.

300-level courses focus on particular topics, include more reading and writing than survey courses, and often require research papers. Typical courses are US Foreign Policy Since 1939 and Slavery and Africa.

400-level courses are seminars that are limited to twelve students. They are discussion-based courses that require a major research paper. Examples include The French Revolution and African American Cultural History.  They are open to juniors and seniors.

480 and the Kelley program, 488/489 are only open to senior History majors.

No history course has a prerequisite.

The department expects that all history courses below the 400 level will normally satisfy the Historical Thought distribution requirement. 

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