Geographic and Thematic Fields for History PhD Students

The purpose of the comprehensive examination in History is to ensure that our PhD graduates have a strong grounding in the core historiography of their own area of study, and are also comfortable and competent reading beyond their own field and applying insights from other historical eras and areas in their own work.


Students will need to read for examination in:

One major and two minor fields (at least one geographic, one thematic)


Two major fields (at least one geographic, one thematic)


Major fields will consist of 60 books, or the equivalent in articles.

Minor fields will consist of 40 books, or the equivalent in articles.


Geographic Fields Responsible Faculty

Russia and Soviet Union Coleman, Marples, Kravchenko

Eastern/Central Europe Coleman, Kravchenko, Marples, Patrouch

Canada Carter, Ens, Fraser, Muir, Piper, Stunden Bower

US Ede, Romeo

Pre-Modern Europe Kitchen, Patrouch

Modern Europe Lemire, Moure, Patrouch, Sweeney

Africa Hendrickson, McDougall

South Asia before 1200 CE Dagmar Wujastyk, Dominik Wujastyk

East Asia before 1500 CE Dunch

East Asia after 1500 CE Dunch

Pre-Modern Middle East and North Africa Hendrickson

Modern Middle East and North Africa Gahan, Hendrickson, McDougall

Pacific World (minor only) Samson

Modern Latin America and Caribbean (minor only)Heilman


Thematic Fields

Race, Ethnicity, and Identity

Environmental History

History of Religion

Science and Technology

War and Society

Empire and Colonialism

Gender and Sexuality

Legal History

Indigenous History

Urban History

Material Culture

Digital Humanities

Public History

Cultural and Intellectual History

Social History, Labor History & Everyday Life

History of Medicine and Health