Senior Faridah Laffan '18 Travels Internationally to Conduct Senior Thesis Research
As a PIIRS Undergraduate Fellow, she visited Lisbon, in Portugal, and Rio de Janeiro and Salvador da Bahia, in Brazil, to learn more about the Portuguese influence on Brazilian religious objects.
History Concentrator Selected for 2018 Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI)
Ten students, including one history concentrator, Mikaela Gerwin, have been selected.
Students discuss what drew them to study history and what paths they plan to pursue after Princeton.
The History Department offers forty different undergraduate courses each year. A combination of lecture classes and limited-enrollment seminars, History courses cover two thousand years of human experience in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The faculty approach these areas from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: Cultural, Economic, Environmental, Ethnic, Gender, Intellectual, Labor, Political, Social, and Urban history.
The History Department has structured its undergraduate concentration both to encourage breadth of knowledge and to allow concentrators to focus their studies on what most interests them. Concentrators must take at least one course in each of four areas: American, European, Non-Western, and Pre-Modern history.
By the senior year, undergraduates in the History Department select a field of concentration. Fields of concentration include Africa; Ancient Greece and Rome; East Asia; Europe; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Latin America; Middle Ages; Russia; United Kingdom; United States; Science and Technology; and War, Revolution, and the State.
Central to the undergraduate concentration are the two junior papers and the senior thesis. All newly-declared History concentrators are enrolled in a research seminar in the fall of their junior year that offers an introduction to the skills of historical research and writing. In stages, concentrators advance toward the writing of the 75-page senior thesis based on original historical research. The Davis Center awards the Stone / Davis Prize to rising seniors who travel to conduct archival research. In past years, the Department has supported travel to Germany, England, and South Africa, among other places. Thesis titles in recent years include "Navigating Space and Media in LGBTQ+ Japan: A History of LGBTQ+ People and Their Representation in Media"; "Producing the Family in Egypt: Mass Media, Family Planning, and Egypt's Population Crisis, 1977-1994"; "'Is this all that Melville has to say about America?' Re-reading Moby-dick in the 20th Century"; "The Books of Angelópolis: A Study of the Book Culture and Libaries in Puebla de los Ángeles: 1531-1640"; "Fog, Fog, Fog, and Smoke: The Environmental Effects and Societal Change from Coal Use in 19th-Century Britain."