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Master of Arts in History

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  • Objectives
    The Concordia History Department’s mission is both to train historians for careers in teaching and research and to produce articulate and informed graduates who share its commitment to serving the broader community. Our programs attract a stimulating mixture of students who reflect the cultural diversity of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada. In recent years qualified international students from Africa, Asia, Europe, New Zealand and the United States have been drawn to do graduate studies in history at Concordia. Because the M.A. program in History enables students to study on a part-time or full-time basis, our student body represents a wide cross-section of individuals, including younger students with recent undergraduate degrees, professionals and other working people who are returning to university from successful careers in the private and public sector. The diversity of our students is a constant reminder that historical scholarship can be enormously enriched by a breadth of background both vocational and geographic.
  • Academic Title
    Master of Arts in History
  • Course description
    Students may obtain a Master ofin Arts in History under one of two options: Option A with an Original Essay; and Option B with a Thesis. Option A provides broader training through additional course work while Option B includes a more extensive project of original research. Both options are of generally recognized value for students intending to pursue doctoral study.

    HIST 600/2 Section AA          Historical Theories and Methods (3 credits)

    INSTRUCTOR:  P. Gossage
    This course examines the history of the discipline and the nature of historical knowledge, as well as contemporary debates about the meaning and practice of history. The content varies from term to term depending on the instructor(s). The material covered may include the following: research tools (e.g. library resources, the archives and the Internet), major approaches to history (e.g. Marxist, Annaliste, feminist), the debate about objectivity and truth in history, public history (history in film, television, schools, museums), and the impact of postmodernism on historical practice.
     
    HIST 605/2 and 605/4 Section AA        Introduction to the Original Research Essay (3 credits)

    This course is required for all M.A. students in Option A and will be given as a tutorial by the faculty member who will supervise the Original Research Essay. The purpose of the course is to review the secondary literature that is relevant to the student's proposed area of research and to develop a formal research proposal.

    HIST 610M/810M/4 Section AA           Selected Topics in European History (3 credits)

    Seminar Subject:  EARY MODERN UTOPIAS
    INSTRUCTOR: T. McCormick
    This seminar examines early modern utopian writing as both a reflection of and engagement with the politics, society and culture of the sixteenth, seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  By examining some of the major "utopias" of the period -- such as More's Utopia and Campanella's City of the Sun -- alongside both lesser-known primary texts and relevant secondary works, we will explore what utopian writings tell us about the beliefs, values and ambitions of their authors and the problems and possibilities facing Europe in an era that witnessed the fragmentation of established religion, the transformation of natural philosophy, the commercialization of society and the creation of both colonial empires and modern states.
    NOTE:  This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 437M.
     
    HIST 620A/820A/2 Section A               Selected Topics in Canadian History (3 credits)

    Seminar Subject:  CANADIAN CULTURAL HISTORY
    INSTRUCTOR:  B. Lorenzkowski
    In this course on Canadian cultural history, we will explore "stories of migration" as they were told by the women and men who ventured across the oceans to come to Canada and by members of the Canadian host society that received them.  More specifically, we will listen to stories of migration that were told in a wide range of venues:  in the letters that immigrants penned to loved ones left behind; in the novels written by second- or third-generation immigrants; in the theatre plays that enjoyed such tremendous popularity among Chinese immigrants on the West Coast; in the documentaries which the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada produced in the mid-twentieth century; in the cookbooks that aimed to introduce the newcomers to the art of "Canadian" cooking; in museum exhibitions designed to capture "the" Chinese-Canadian or Irish-Canadian story etc.

    No previous knowledge of Canadian history is required.  However, the willingness to delve into a broad range of primary sources and to tackle some the key "theoretical" questions at hand (how to read letters as a transnational space, for instance, or how to examine the narratives structures of autobiographies and novels) will be essential.  As much as possible, we will venture outside of the classroom to work with the archival holdings of the NFB film collection, participate in a historical walking tour of Montreal's immigrant past, and critically view museum exhibitions on experience of migration.

    The course will culminate in your own research project on "stories of migration" in which you will convey your findings both in the traditional essay format and a format of your choice.  The latter could include a "soundscape" of migration, a historical walking tour, a mini-documentary, a website, a literary format, etc.
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level courses HIST 412A.
     
    HIST 640F/840F/2 Section A              Selected Topics in Nonwestern History (3 credit)
    Seminar Subject:  ATALANTIC REVOLUTIONS
    INSTRUCTOR:  C. Fick
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 457A.
     
    HIST 640H/840H/4 Section A              Selected Topics in Nonwestern History (3 credits)
    Seminar Subject:  THE IDEA OF RACE IN LATIN AMERICA
    INSTRUCTOR:  N. Jaffary
    Racial and ethnic identities, although they do not refer to natural or biological realities, have acted as powerful determiners of social status in Latin America throughout its history.  This course will examine how political, popular, and academic discourses have constructed the idea of race in colonial and modern Latin America.  Focusing in particular on the influential phenomena of mestizaje or race mixing, we will trace the historical evolution of the construct of race in various media through its changing associations with religion, science, nationhood, and culture and will study how different populations in Latin America have participated in and responded to ideas about race.
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level courses HIST 457B.
     
    HIST 640K/840K/4 Section AA            Selected Topics in Nonwestern History (3 credits)

    Seminar Subject:  POLITICS AND POWER IN THE MODERN ERA
    INSTRUCTOR:  W. Jacob
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 467A.
     
    HIST 670C/870C/4 Section AA            Selected Topics in History (3 credits)

    Seminar Subject:  SCHOLARSHIP AND CULTURAL ACTIVISM
    INSTRUCTOR:  E. Lehrer
    What is public scholarship?  Can academic research also be activism?  Is collaboration between university researchers and non-academic communities important?  Why is it often so difficult?  What do the bearers of "expert knowledge" have to offer -- and represent -- to marginalized communities?  What locations, histories, beliefs, practices, and modes of inquiry do those in and outside of the academy have in common, and where are these in conflict -- or productive tension?  How can we better connect university- and non-university-based "culture work" (and culture workers) to generate and nurture new communities of learning and practice?

    Through reading, writing, discussion, and engagement in individual or group projects, student in this seminar will:

        * explore the above questions;
        * assess how the personal and professional skills you posses (and are currently developing) shape your ability to develop public forums and activist projects;
        * consider how you might configure your own research projects and plans;
        * envision careers that bring scholarship and public cultural work together across multiple sites inside and outside the university.
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 481C.
     
    HIST 670F/870F/2 Section AA                 Selected Topics in History (3 credits)

    Seminar Topic:  COLD WAR SURVEILLANCE: UNITED STATES AND EASTERN EUROPE
    INSTRUCTOR:  E. Razlogova
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate course HIST 498F.

    HIST 670G/870G/2 Section AA                Selected Topics in History (3 credits)
    Seminar Topic:  TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
    INSTRUCTOR:  E. Reiter
    How are societies shattered by crisis -- war, mass atrocities, genocide -- to be rebuilt?  What are the roles of law, justice, reconciliation, and history in this rebuilding?  This seminar will evaluate the theory of transitional justice and will look to apply that theory to historical instances of transition.  Topics will include the theory of transitional justice, the role of national and international institutions (states, the United Nations, NGOs, truth commissions, etc.), gender issues, and connections between transition and development.
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 498G.

    HIST 670M/870M/2 Section AA                Selected Topics in History (3 credits)

    Seminar Topic:  ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
    INSTRUCTOR:  S. HIGH
    In this course you will learn the theory and practice of oral history.  Unlike other seminars, however, the "workshop" course has a strong applied dimension.  Class time will therefore be spent examining the practical and ethical dilemmas faced by the oral historian while working together in a digital oral history project of your own making, the outcomes of which might include an interactive website, a walking tour, or other public engagement.  One of the options that you might consider is to work with the Life Stories Project which is examining the life stories of Montrealers displaced by war, genocide and other human rights violations.  All students will get an inside look at this large-scale oral history project.  Too often oral interviews go into a box, on a shelf and in an archive -- never to be heard from again.  One of the challenges facing the oral historian is what to do after the interview is over.
    NOTE: This course is cross listed with the undergraduate level course HIST 485.

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