At Pitzer, history invites students to understand the contours of their world--its political boundaries, its economoic systems, its social structures, and its cultural practices--as historical products. It pushes them to question assumptions and to approach the present through the prism of a rich and variegated past. It uses investigation and interpretation, both to explore the unfamiliar and to reconsider what we think we already know. Thus, courses in history encourage students to analyze documents critically, to evaluate historical arguments thoughtfully, and to examine theories of history and culture. Far from being a simple chronicle of facts, history demands that students consider how the past is used and remembered.
Pitzer Advisers: C. Johnson, S. McConnell, H. O'Rourke, D. Segal, A. Wakefield.
Requirements for the Major
A major in history requires the successful completion of at least 11 courses in history. Included among these must be the following introductory courses:
• History 11 (The World Since 1492)
• History 12 (History of the Disciplines)
• Either History 25 (U.S. History, 1620-1877) or History 26 (U.S. History, 1877-present).
With the approval of a history major adviser, students may substitute one of the following courses for History 25/26: History 17CH (Pomona) Chicana/o History; History 111aAF (Scripps) African American History to 1877; History 111bAF (Scripps) African American History Since 1877; or History 125AA (CMC) Asian American History, 1850-Present.
It is preferable that students take these required introductory courses during their first two years at the College. In addition to the three introductory courses, students must complete:
- • History 197 (Seminar in History, normally taken in the junior year or fall of the senior year).
- • At least one (1) course focusing on a geographic region outside of the United States and Europe. At Pitzer, courses fulfilling this requirement include:
• History 24 (History of Modern Africa), History 33 (Caribbean Cultures, Societies and Histories), History 40AF (History of Africa to 1800), History 134 (Empire and Sexuality), and History 170 (Hybrid Identities: Spanish Empire). Certain courses offered at the other Claremont Colleges also may fulfill this requirement; students should consult with a history major adviser in selecting appropriate courses.
- • At least one (1) course focusing on a temporal period before 1600. At Pitzer, courses fulfilling this requirement include:
• History 20 (Greece and Rome), History 73 (The Problem with Profit), History 74 (Holiness, Heresy and the Body), History 170 (Hybrid Identities: Spanish Empire), History 173 (Religion, Violence and Tolerance, 1450-1650), History 175 (Magic, Heresy and Gender, 1400-1700), and History 178 (Women and Gender, 1300-1650). Certain courses offered at the other Claremont Colleges also may fulfill this requirement; students should consult with a history major adviser in selecting appropriate courses.
- • Five (5) additional courses in history.
Finally, each student is expected to develop a coherent thematic or topical focus comprised of at least three (3) courses in history; of these three courses, at least one must involve producing a significant research paper. For example, a student might construct a thematic focus on labor and economic history by taking U.S. Labor History, Marx in Context and The Great Depression; or a focus on knowledges and sciences by taking Schooling, Early Modern History of Science, and History of the Police State. Many other configurations are possible: students should consult with their history major advisers in developing appropriate thematic clusters.
While the history major does not require the study of a foreign language, students are strongly encouraged to develop language skills relevant to their thematic or topical foci. Students hoping to pursue graduate study in history (other than U.S. history) are especially urged to acquire a competence in a relevant language as early as possible.
Double Major: Students must complete the requirements for both majors, including any theses or honors requirements. Normally, no more than two courses can be counted to fulfill the requirements in both fields.
Minor in History: The history minor requires the student to complete six (6) graded courses in History. These must include at least two (2) of the following courses: History 11, History 12 and History 25 or 26. Students should consult with a member of the history field group to design a topical focus for the minor.
AP Credit: Students scoring a 5 on the AP History exam will receive credit for one history course, which may be counted as one of the eleven courses required for the major. The AP credit, however, will not be accepted as a substitute for History 11, 12, 15, 26 or 197 in meeting the major requirements designated above, nor can it be used in the development of a student's thematic or topical focus within the major.
Honors: Students whose overall GPA equals or exceeds 3.5 may be nominated by the history faculty to write theses, which will be considered for honors by the field group. Independent study courses taken in order to write honors theses (typically History 199) will be counted as additions to the 11 courses required for the major.