The History Department believes that students should garner an understanding of the broad historical forces that have shaped the modern world.
An important goal is to demonstrate how people perceived events in their own time as well as how historians have viewed them from a later vantage point. Through this study students are able to better examine and address contemporary problems with increased awareness of their role as both an individual and a citizen of the world. Each course is designed with overarching questions that help to guide students through their studies as they encounter a wide variety of sources and learn to think, speak and write critically within the discipline of history.
 
Courses examine the global forces and interactions that have shaped the modern world, as well as the evolution of institutions and ideas within United States history. In the second form, students are introduced to China and India through an investigation of each culture and an examination of the reasons why and how societies evolve and change over time. Later in their high school tenure students can choose from a variety of history electives, while at each level, students are introduced to research methods that culminate with an independent research project. The department also offers the opportunity for independent study to students with a strong interest in particular historical topics that may not be included in the curriculum.

Explore Our Courses

  • HU204 - Humanities - Cultural Studies

    Cultural Studies introduces students to China and India through an investigation of each culture's political institutions, economic and social structures, and philosophical and religious values. In the process, students examine the reasons why societies evolve as they do, and scrutinize the historical roots of current conflicts and controversies. An equally important objective of the course is to hone the skills historians use to make meaning of the past. Students learn to read primary and secondary texts strategically and critically; ask great questions; research honestly and effectively; and analyze, construct and present compelling arguments on paper and at the Harkness table. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: II
  • HI301 - Forces That Shaped The Modern World

    This course examines economic developments, ideas and cultural patterns that have contributed to the shaping of the modern world since 1400. Using the disciplinary skills and modes of inquiry of historians the course asks central questions. “How did the economic world order change from 1400 to 1700? What roles did Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas play in this transformation?” “How did Europe come to a position of global economic dominance by the 19th century?” “What were the global consequences of this dominance?” “What forces challenged and changed this dominance in the 20th century?” The goal of this course is to understand the advent and consequences of the “European moment” in world history, within a non-Eurocentric narrative. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: III
  • HI421 - Themes in U.S. History

    The United States History course traces the development of American political, social, economic, and cultural history from the colonial period to contemporary times. The course introduces students to the main issues that are necessary for understanding, interpreting, and analyzing modern society. Students will also complete a research paper pertinent to American history on a topic of their choice as a culminating exercise. You must sign up for HI422 and HI423 for Winter and Spring. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV Prereqs: HI301
  • HI422 - Themes in U.S. History

    Winter Class You must sign up for HI421 and HI423 for Fall and Spring. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV Prereqs: HI421
  • HI423 - Themes in U.S. History

    Spring Class You must sign up for HI421 and HI422 for Fall and Winter. Grants: NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV Prereqs: HI422
  • HI433 - Fact or Fiction? Understanding History Through Film and Literature

    Students will study the historical record of important events of the 20th century and examine how accurately those events are portrayed in films and literature. Some units will be short, with history readings provided. Others will require research papers to investigate the differences between the historical record and the film or book. Topics will include World War I, the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the siege of Leningrad during World War II, the Suez Crisis of 1956, and others. A final project will allow students to select their own work of fiction to read or film to watch and investigate the accuracy of its portrayal. Open to IV and V Form. Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI451 - Economics

    This one-term survey introduces general economic concepts and how they apply to everyday life. Students will look at how markets operate to reconcile supply and demand, the role of interest groups and government in forming economic policies, the importance of advertising and brand image, and the diversity of financial markets. Special attention is devoted to the causes and possible remedies for economic cycles as well as the consequences of increased globalization and international trade. Grants: NCAA; Terms: T1 or T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI508 - Modern Latin America: Continuities and Change

    This course is not a survey of modern Latin America (19th century to present), but rather an exploration of some major themes within the history of this region. We will focus on significant continuities as well as moments of change. Examples of topics we will take up are the continued pattern of lands rich in resources with persistent poverty; the place of Africans and African culture in different regions of the continent; the status of indigenous people and the role of elites in Latin American societies; the role of commodities in the development of Latin American economies, governments and societies, the Mexican Revolution, the Cold War, and the economic experiments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Students will complete a variety of written and creative assignments to better understand these themes. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI509 - Racism, Resistance, and Reconciliation: Stories of South Africa’s 20th Century

    Adopting Apartheid as its national policy between 1948 and 1994, the South African government paradoxically moved towards increased racial oppression in a historical moment that simultaneously witnessed liberation on a multitude of other fronts around the world. While Apartheid did not develop without equal and opposite sentiment among those whose laws it intended to dehumanize, the nature of that resistance shifted over time as Africans, Asians, Indians, and other peoples of mixed race negotiated their own needs, principles, and lives inside a system that constantly evolved to eliminate increasing opposition. The story of South Africa often comes to an end in the 1990s, when the repeal of significant Apartheid laws ushered in the next phase of challenges for the nation. But just what became of South Africa following those joyous days when millions flooded polling places to vote for the first time in the nation’s history? Did the efforts of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, designed to help South Africa come to terms with itself, have a lasting impact? Have conceptions of race, resistance, and reconciliation in South Africa changed since 1994? Examining a variety of sources, including newspapers and memoirs; short stories; excerpts of novels; poetry; music; accounts by historians, journalists, and politicians; and films, students in this course will explore the social, political, and economic reasons for the emergence of Apartheid, the causes of its eventual downfall, and the legacies Apartheid left behind for South Africans to grapple with as it moved into a new era of democracy. Grants Honors; Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI511 - Honors U.S. History

    The Honors United States History course traces the development of American political, social, economic, and cultural history from the Colonial period to contemporary times. The course introduces students to the main issues that are necessary for understanding, interpreting, and analyzing modern society. It includes exercises that will prepare students to take the AP® United States History Examination in the spring term. You must sign up for HI512 and HI513 for Winter and Spring.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI512 - Honors U.S. History

    WINTER CLASS You must sign up for HI511 and HI513 for Fall and Spring. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V Prereqs: HI511
  • HI513 - Honors U.S. History

    SPRING CLASS You must sign up for HI511 and HI512 for Fall and Winter. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: IV or V Prereqs: HI512
  • HI515 - Advanced Research Seminar

    The Heely Scholar program is an archival research for rising V formers that have demonstrated a keen interest and ability in their study of American History. In the summer the students will be introduced to primary research with the school's collection of archives and in the following fall the students will be enrolled in an advance research seminar class. The intent of the fall course is to give the Scholars the opportunity to expand their summer research into an individual senior thesis while being introduced to the conventions and the discipline of historical writing. Grants: Honors; Terms: T1; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI521 - Honors Government

    This is a yearlong course that introduces students to the fundamental principles of American Government. Topics include the philosophical and historical foundations of the American political system; its constitutional structure; and its major governing institutions. The course also includes a unit of study on landmark Supreme Court cases in the history of American Constitutional Law.  A unique aspect of this course is that the spring term is dedicated to internships and case projects promoting political activism, especially at the local level.  These opportunities allow for the students of Honors Government to apply their yearlong study of the fundamental principles of American government and political philosophy. Examples of past experiences include government internships at the Congressional, State and township level.  The students will also be able to gain exposure to nonprofit organizations, press agencies and political advertising firms. For students that do not have flexibility in their schedules there are a number of projects that have been developed to encourage Lawrenceville students to take local action in support of national policy.  An overriding theme for these projects is to consider whether there is a public purpose of private education? How should Lawrenceville focus on creating leaders for tomorrow?
    A secondary goal of the course is to compare America's system of government to alternative political models that exist in other nations, although students who are primarily interested in Foreign Policy, International Relations, and the study of regimes outside the United States should explore other course offerings in the History Department.
    Note: While the course is not explicitly designed with AP® test preparation in mind, some of the material we will cover is tested on the AP® American Politics exam. Students will be in a position to take that AP® Exam if they so choose after additional consultation with instructor.You must sign up for HI522 and HI523 for Winter and Spring.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI522 - Honors Government

    WINTER CLASS You must sign up for HI521 and HI523 for Fall and Spring. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V Prereqs: HI521
  • HI523 - Honors Government

    SPRING CLASS You must sign up for HI521 and HI522 for Fall and Winter. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V Prereqs: HI522
  • HI526 - Race and Mass Incarceration: A Historical Perspective

    This course will examine the origins of the "prison industrial complex" through an analysis of its antecedents in slavery and in the prison systems of the nineteenth-century United States. It begins with history of indentured servitude in the colonial era, and then considers the intensification of the enslavement of blacks in the 19th century as well as the expansion of prisons in the 20th century. We will question together whether contemporary mass incarceration is indeed a new expression of an old racial caste system or something altogether different. The course will be enhanced by popular media, film, music, visits from a number of speakers, local field trips and a trip to New York City. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI527 - Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States, is a study in contradictions. Humble and self-educated, he left a legacy of enduring eloquence. A backwoods brawler in his youth, he became a solitary and melancholy figure as President. Politically pragmatic at the most common level, he put principle above all else when it counted most. Widely disparaged and reviled at the peak of his political career, he became in death a national hero. This course uses primary sources-Lincoln's own letters, speeches and reflections-in an attempt to extract the man from the myths that have encrusted him, and to examine the role of both man and myth in American history. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1 or T2; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI528 - Civil Rights and the American Constitution

    Civil rights – what a given society guarantees to each of its members to ensure a person’s meaningful engagement with the activities central to their membership in that society – have dramatically changed over time. Most people today consider “petitioning the government,” a right explicitly enumerated by the First Amendment, and voting, a right nowhere mentioned in the constitution, to be obvious and central to achieving meaningful political participation. However, protection from discrimination by private actors, securing legal recognition of the romantic union of one’s choice, and having access to publicly provided education, among others, are arguably important aspects of “full citizenship” that Americans have been arguing about since the founding of the republic. This course will examine how American civil rights have changed over time. From the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, to trial of the Amistad rebellion of 1839; from the Chinese Exclusion Acts of 1883, to the Obergefell v. Hodges case of 2014; from affirmative action in the 1960s to Black Lives Matter today; the course will put American history on trial. Grants: Honors NCAA; 1IN/1HI Cr.; Terms: T3; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI530 - European History: The Renaissance

    The idea that the Renaissance was an age of the rebirth of civilization has come under considerable historical revisionism. This course will focus on this historical question by examining the Renaissance context of the growth of trade, the rise of humanism, and the art of the Renaissance Masters. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI533 - Origins of the Totalitarian State

    This course is designed to enable students to gain a more complete understanding of totalitarianism and the modern totalitarian state. Initially we shall seek to understand the totalitarian state's historical origins and its ideological foundations through reading primary source materials. In the case of Germany and Russia, we shall determine when, how, and why their leaders took power; how they were able to maintain it; and in what ways the state systems they established were similar and different. In particular we shall examine the violent nature of these states and why they created so much havoc and misery, which eventually led to the most destructive conflict in history, the Second World War. In considering their development further, we shall also focus on their inherent weaknesses that would culminate in their ultimate failure. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI537, HI538 - Cases in American Democracy

    Today we often hear that American democracy is broken—but what does a healthy democracy look like? How has American democratic governance functioned in the past, and how has it changed over time? This is Harvard's most popular course and we are offering it here at Lawrenceville. The course uses the Harvard Business School Case Method to introduce students to a different critical episode in the development of American democracy. Through reading and debating the cases, students will challenge each other’s assumptions about democratic values and practices, and draw their own conclusions about what “democracy” means in America without a partisan narrative. This course is ideal for anyone interested in deepening his or her practical and historical understanding of the American political process, and for those interested in gaining experience with the case method of instruction frequently used in business and law schools. **This course may be taken in either or both terms. Different case studies will be covered.
    Grants: Honors; Terms: T2 and\or T3; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI551 - Honors Economics

    This course is limited to students with a strong academic record, particularly in mathematics. Candidates must have successfully completed calculus, or be taking it in their senior year, and must have demonstrated a degree of academic commitment consistent with honors-level demands. The course takes the students through a rigorous survey of microeconomics and macroeconomics. Consistent with an accelerated college-level approach to economics, the course relies on mathematical tools to explain theory. Students who complete this course will be prepared to take the AP®exams in both macroeconomics and microeconomics. You must sign up for HI552 and HI553 for Winter and Spring. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI552 - Honors Economics

    WINTER CLASS You must sign up for HI551 and HI553 for Fall and Spring. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V Prereqs: HI551
  • HI553 - Honors Economics

    SPRING CLASS You must sign up for HI551 and HI552 for Fall and Winter. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: All; Forms: V Prereqs: HI552
  • HI556 - Public Policy Economics

    The course explores a range of public policy issues from an economic perspective. No formal economic training is required, although students will learn to approach problems from an economic perspective as the course unfolds. To that end, many of the readings will be classic papers by economists, and much of the analysis will require the students to run data through Excel spreadsheets. Given the complexity of some of the issues discussed, students are expected to generate good questions more often than solutions. At a minimum, the course seeks to introduce some gray into complex subjects that are too often reduced to black and white. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T2; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI575 - The American Presidency

    Heclo and Salamon in The Illusion of Presidential Government state, "Nothing about the presidency is as simple as it seems...the office is more than a man, but less than a fixed institution. It is a place where an uncommon person is expected to act on the concerns of the common people, to lead without being power hungry, to manage without seeming manipulative, and to speak for a nation that never expresses itself with one voice." This course will examine the constitutional origins of the office and the evolution of the presidency. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI579 - Civil War and Reconstruction

    This course seeks to examine America's most divisive war in considerable depth. In particular, we will try to answer key questions about the nature of the war, such as: Why did compromise between North and South fail in the 1850s? Was secession legal? Why did it take Abraham Lincoln until late 1862 to make emancipation a war goal? Why did the North win? Why did the South lose? To what degree was it a "total war"? Was it a just war? Various sources shall be employed in seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict, such as primary documents, historical essays, documentary and commercial films, music, literature, and art. The class may take a trip to the Gettysburg Battlefield if time and schedules allow. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T2; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI580 - Canadian Studies

    Canada often surprises Americans. The vast prosperous nation to our north is a monarchy with an aversion to deficit spending, free health care, and two official languages. Canada ended slavery and gained independence without violence. Canada is our largest trading partner and our number one foreign source of oil. Students in Canadian Studies will explore Canada’s rich history, its parliamentary system of government, its bilingual cinema, and its storied sports traditions as they seek to understand a surprisingly different North America. Each week, a Canadian film is screened and reviewed by students. Live telephone interviews are conducted with Canadian physicians, artists, and politicians. The course culminates with an independent research project.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI584 - The Athenian Century - The Rise and Fall of Athens

    The Fifth Century BCE is at the center of the Classical Age in ancient Greece, and Athens is at the center of the Classical Age. Athenians witnessed, among other things, the original experiment in democracy, the refinement of what we now call politics, the birth of the idea of inquiry into the real past, which we now call history, and the beginnings of medicine, geometry, philosophy, physics and drama. They put the Muse in music. They did not invent sculpture, but took it to classical heights, as they did with architecture. Theirs was not the first alphabet, but they vastly refined what they took from the Phoenicians, principally by adding vowels, and then wrote everything down in a wholly new style called prose. Yes, they invented prose. They were reflexively competitive (witness the PanHellenic games at Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia and Corinth and the dramatic competitions). They were united by language, religion and trade, but fragmented by geography into a thousand separate city states, or poleis, from which we get words such as politics and policy. The ambitious readings in this course will include a combination of essays, plays and historical texts in translation to answer questions such as: How do we know what the classical Greek world was like? What did it mean to be Greek? How do philology and archaeology bring us history? What makes the Fifth Century BCE central? Why did democracy emerge in Athens, and why did it ultimately fail? How did Plato and Aristotle respond to that failure? How does Athenian culture, from pottery to sculpture, reflect humanism? What did Athenian tragedy and comedy have to do with politics and competitiveness? What was the role of women and of religion and of the PanHellenic games? Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T1; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • HI585 - Topics in the History of Women and Gender

    This course examines some specific topics in American 19th and 20th century history through the lens of different women experiences as shaped by gender, race, and class. Topics vary, but have included the institution of slavery, the women’s suffrage movement, constructions of femininity and masculinity at different historical moments, the history of birth control, second-wave feminism and its limitations, and contemporary issues. Students will write a series of short papers, and a central part of this course will be an ongoing class blog project.
    Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T3; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • HI587 - Reporting Vietnam

    This discussion-based course asks: What is history, and how do we write it? It is less a history of the Vietnam War than a history of how the press covered it. Journalists often claim that their work is the first rough draft of history. In Vietnam, their work-both in print and on television-was controversial and influential. Students in this course will study that work in order to address questions such as: Was the press a spectator, or did it become part of the drama? Did journalists capture history's first rough draft, or did they leave behind a record that is ultimately tainted? Did the correspondents do what was right, and if so, right for whom? Were they professionals, or were they subversives? If their work was not the first rough draft of history, then what was it? Did the press "lose" Vietnam? Did the rise of television turn the role of the journalist more into the role of performer? What was the impact of photography? Students will study original source material. Their work will be judged by their skill conducting class discussions, the depth of their analysis in several essays, and a final paper. Grants: Honors NCAA; Terms: T3; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • IN513 - Poverty

    This is a unique course combining the study of poverty in the classroom with community service. Poverty is a two-trimester course that examines the historic, economic, and cultural roots as well as the impact of poverty in the developing world and in the United States. In particular we will try to understand the cyclical nature of poverty and the interaction between causes and effects. We will then study many of the different approaches taken to alleviating poverty—from big aid programs to microfinance, social entrepreneurship and more, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each and the lessons we can learn along the way about how to effectively alleviate poverty.  As we turn to the US, we will look especially at poverty in Mercer County, exploring how domestic issues are similar or different from those studied in the developing world.
     
    Integral to the course is our service learning work with Home Front during our extended block.  We learn about all the aspects of Home Front in their efforts to provide full-service assistance to homeless families in Mercer County. In addition, we will do various tasks at their Family Campus, from childcare and arts and crafts to cooking, programming and whatever they need us to do. In turn, this service will inform our understanding of poverty and the poor communities throughout the world. The course will culminate in students devising a plan of action for addressing a specific aspect of poverty in the world. Independent and group research are central components of the course, so students need to be able to research independently. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 2IN/2HI Cr.; Terms: T2 and T3; Forms:  V (IV Form only with permission of instructor)
     
  • IN515 - A Hero’s Journey: Lewis and Clark

    The Lewis and Clark Expedition offers us a real-life mythical tale full of adventure and danger as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark lead their ‘Corps of Discovery’ through the American West from 1804-1806. You’ll relive their experience in the Northern Great Plains, the badlands of the Dakotas/Montana, the rugged Rocky Mountains, and the Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest--and back--as you track their progress and consider the multiple primary source journals that have been preserved, full of detail and emotion that comes alive through their work. We’ll study this important expedition through the explorers’ and the Native Americans’ lens as this American epic comes alive through the fascinating and accessible academic research along with their incredible journal documentation. We’ll study the Corps’ contributions to science as they classify and catalogue new species while collecting scientific data daily as they search for a navigable route to the Pacific. You’ll have a parallel historical experience as we set forth to build our own canoe and paddles--by hand-- in the newly expanded Gruss Art Center to better understand the art and science of the North American canoe on this expedition, both in form, structure, and as Native American expressions of cultural identity. This epic journey will capture your imagination as you reconsider what you knew about Native American culture, the natural history or the West, and how a scientific body of knowledge comes to fruition. This three dimensional, interdisciplinary course will draw on the history, science, and visual arts disciplines so you can learn, ‘remake,’ and appreciate this piece of classic Americana in the epic tale of adventure of Lewis and Clark. You’ll leave the course with a deep understanding of the early 19th century west, a love of natural history, knowledge of the scientific discoveries of the Corp--and the experience of crafting a canoe and using it in a traditional style! Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary; 2IN/2HI Cr.; Terms: T2 and T3; Forms:  V (IV Form only with permission of instructor)
  • IN516 - Russia: History and Memory

    How has the Russian national identity been created by its culture? What is remembered? What is commemorated? What is preserved? How does what is remembered differ from the historical record? This course is an opportunity to explore not only the history of Russia, but also its rich culture, including Russian art, music, architecture, literature and language. The span of time covered will be from Kievan Rus in the 10th century through the present day, including the rule of the tsars of Russia, the Russian Revolution, the Soviet Union under Stalin, and the fall of communism. Particular attention will be given to the late 1800's, the time widely recognized as Russia's Golden Age, when Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov and the great Itinerant painters were all creating great works of Russian literature, music and art that represent an essential aspect of Russian national culture. A focus of the course will be to try to understand how Russians see themselves, through an examination of what they remember, value, and preserve and the implications of this in the current global community. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 1IN/1HI Cr.; Terms: T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • IN519 - Brazil: Order and Progress

    The largest country in South America defies easy generalizations. Brazil’s national flag reflects its imperial past while proclaiming “ordem e progresso” (order and progress), to be the country’s future-oriented vision. One of the largest economies in the world, Brazil is a thriving democracy of over 200 million people spread over a territory larger than the continental United States. Multiracial, multicultural, home to millions of immigrants, politically open, economically vibrant, and socially tolerant, Brazilian civilization has emerged from the crucible of political instability, military dictatorship, hyperinflation, religious syncretism, and racial discrimination. The course will explore Brazil’s history, economics, national ideology, language, music, religions, sense of space, and aesthetic sensibility through the lenses offered by four cities; Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Curitiba. Students will learn that while scars from the colonial past are still visible today, a future of sustainable development and urban renewal is already part of Brazil’s present. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 1IN/1HI Cr.; Terms: T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • IN520 - Africa: Then and Now

    This course will evaluate recent events and the current state of Africa and to look at the themes and issues which have contributed to the history of the continent. This course can be taken as a one  or  two term course.  Students begin the 1st term course by acquiring a general sense of Africa today through a study of geography, resources, and current events.  Our exploration of Africa will highlight the greatness of its history as we begin chronologically with a study of Africa in the Middle Ages, a time of great power and world influence. This study of Africa's history is necessary to further evaluate and debate the impact of the transatlantic slave trade and further understand it in the context of the indigenous as well as Arab slave trade.  We will also celebrate the continent’s rich diversity as we explore the arts: visiting museums, working with our own collection of masks and visual art, and drumming and dance lessons utilizing local instructors.  Chronologically the 1st term course ends with a study of colonial rule and the legacy of imperialism.  Content studied in the second term includes decolonization and independence, the influence of the Cold War, genocide studies, and modern topic debates focused on environmental, social, economic, and political issues.  Both terms end with independent research projects which are shared within the class as final presentations. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 2IN/2HI Cr.; Terms: T1 and T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • IN522 - The Middle East - Myth And History

    This course will focus on common misunderstandings and misperceptions of the cultures and religions that meet at the complex crossroads of the Middle East, through an examination of the historical record and cultural interactions from varying points of view. By taking this course focused on the history, religions and cultures of the Middle East, the students will gain a broader world view of this critical and complex region of the world. For students to more fully understand the modern Middle East, they must investigate the roots of conflict and misunderstanding by understanding the historical memory of the peoples that coexist in this complex region and looking through various cultural lenses. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA; 1IN/1HI Cr.; Terms: T1 or T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI301
  • IN523 - Civil Liberties and the American Constitution

    Civil liberties – the choices and actions individuals are entitled to embrace even in the face of great social opposition – are ultimately claims about the meaning and limits of morality and justice. Claims about what is moral, good, or right have become embedded in the fabric of American law because, in its the efforts to contract, preserve, or expand civil liberties, the Supreme Court has relied on such claims to limit the powers of the state. What competing conceptions of justice do our laws embrace? What ideas about human nature, politics, and morality have guided the Supreme Court in its adjudication of claims? By critically examining court opinions as well as readings in moral philosophy and science, students will explore what have been – or should be – the boundaries of governmental regulation of contested areas such as freedom of speech, religious liberty, and personal privacy. We will discuss hate speech, flag burning, exemptions from the law based on religion, abortion, pornography, privacy, and assisted suicide, among others topics, as we explore the confluence of liberty, justice, and the law. Grants: Honors NCAA; 1IN/1HI Cr.; Terms: T1; Forms: V; Prereqs: HI421 or HI511
  • IN524 - Immigration Stories/Theories

    “There is a limit to our powers of assimilation, and when it is exceeded, the country suffers from something very much like indigestion,” bemoaned a The New York Times editorial in 1880, in response to the greatest wave of immigration our country had ever seen. Since then, the United States has become the refuge, the workplace and the home to millions more immigrants, legal and not, from countries near and far. What explains this massive influx of people? And what are its implications - both for the immigrants who leave home, family and history behind to reinvent themselves in America - and for America itself? Can this nation of immigrants continue to absorb, economically and socially, wave upon wave of newcomers? Can we afford not to? And how will a new administration’s immigration policies affect our nation, our national identity, and our position in the world? In this two-term interdisciplinary course, students will explore these questions through the lenses of history, economics, memoir and literature. Grants: Honors Interdisciplinary NCAA 2IN/1HI/1EN Cr.; Terms: T1 and T2; Forms: IV or V; Prereqs: HI423 or HI513
  • HI599 - Ind. Study: History

    Students with special interests they wish to explore outside the regular program of courses may apply for an independent study. This may involve research or creative work; normally it will culminate in a paper, exhibit, or performance of some kind. Work in such projects is treated exactly like work in regular courses: a final grade is given; students must meet regularly (at least once a week) with their advisor; they must have tangible progress to report at each meeting. Grants: Honors; Terms: T1 or T2 or T3; Forms: All Prereqs: HI421 or HI511 and Department Approval

Our Faculty

  • Photo of Marisa Hedges

    Marisa Hedges

    Chair of the History Department
    Boston College - M.Ed.
    Providence College - B.A.
  • Photo of Erik Chaput, Ph.D.

    Erik Chaput, Ph.D.

    Co-Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program
    Providence College - B.A.
    Providence College - M.A.
    Syracuse University - M.Phil.
    Syracuse University (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs) - Ph.D.
  • Photo of Kayla Corcoran

    Kayla Corcoran

    History Master
    University of Pennsylvania - M.S.Ed.
    Georgetown University - B.A.
  • Photo of Alison Easterling P'20

    Alison Easterling P'20

    Assistant Dean of Faculty; History Master; Co-Chair of Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    University of California, Los Angeles - M.A.
    University of York, UK - M.A.
    Wesleyan University - B.A.
  • Photo of David Figueroa-Ortiz P'18

    David Figueroa-Ortiz P'18

    History Master
    Columbia University School of Law - J.D.
    New York University - M.A.
    Princeton University - A.B.
  • Photo of Lawrence Filippone

    Lawrence Filippone

    History Master
    Dartmouth College - M.A.
    George Washington University - M.A.
    Temple University - B.A.
  • Photo of Harry Flaherty

    Harry Flaherty

    Admission Interviewer; History Master
    Princeton University - A.B.
    University of Tennessee College of Law - J.D.
  • Photo of Clare Grieve

    Clare Grieve

    History Master
    Lehigh University - B.A.
    Lehigh University - M.A.
  • Photo of Michael Hanewald '90

    Michael Hanewald '90

    Associate Director of the Harkness Travel Programs; History Master
    Framingham State College - M.Ed.
    University of Vermont - B.A.
  • Photo of Cara Hyson P'14 '16 '21

    Cara Hyson P'14 '16 '21

    History Master; Capstone Course Leader
    Bard College - M.A.T.
    Yale University - B.A.
  • Photo of Andrew Inzer

    Andrew Inzer

    History Master
    Brown University - A.B.
    Dartmouth College - M.A.L.S.
  • Photo of Regan Kerney H'49 '95 '98 '99 03 '11

    Regan Kerney H'49 '95 '98 '99 03 '11

    History and Economics Master
    Princeton University - A.B.
  • Photo of Amethyst King

    Amethyst King

    History Teaching Fellow
    Columbia University - B.A.
  • Photo of Dana Kooistra H'14 P'20

    Dana Kooistra H'14 P'20

    Director of Teaching, Learning, & External Partnerships
    Columbia University Teachers College - M.A.
    Wellesley College - B.A.
  • Photo of Emilie Kosoff H'88 '96 '00 '18 P'19

    Emilie Kosoff H'88 '96 '00 '18 P'19

    Assistant Dean of Students; History Master
    Colby College - B.A.
    St. John's College - M.A.L.S.
  • Photo of Kim McMenamin

    Kim McMenamin

    History Master
    Columbia University - B.A.
    Columbia University - M.A.
  • Photo of Jessica Pine

    Jessica Pine

    History Master
    Wheaton College - B.A.
    Harvard University - A.L.M.
  • Photo of Kristina Schulte P'15

    Kristina Schulte P'15

    History Master
    New York University - M.A.
    Princeton University - A.B.
  • Photo of Anne Louise Smit P'10 '13

    Anne Louise Smit P'10 '13

    History Master
    Vanderbilt University - B.A.
  • Photo of Annie Wilcox P'15 '18 '19

    Annie Wilcox P'15 '18 '19

    Writing Specialist; History Master
    Princeton University - A.B.
    Stanford University - M.A.
Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.