Department of History

Yale history dissertations.

history phd thesis

During the late 1800’s, only a trickle of dissertations were submitted annually, but today, the department averages about 25 per year. See who some of those intrepid scholars were and what they wrote about by clicking on any of the years listed below.

UCLA History Department

Thesis Statements

What is a thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper.  It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant.  Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue.  Then, spend the rest of your paper–each body paragraph–fulfilling that promise.

Your thesis should be between one and three sentences long and is placed at the end of your introduction.  Just because the thesis comes towards the beginning of your paper does not mean you can write it first and then forget about it.  View your thesis as a work in progress while you write your paper.  Once you are satisfied with the overall argument your paper makes, go back to your thesis and see if it captures what you have argued.  If it does not, then revise it.  Crafting a good thesis is one of the most challenging parts of the writing process, so do not expect to perfect it on the first few tries.  Successful writers revise their thesis statements again and again.

A successful thesis statement:

  • makes an historical argument
  • takes a position that requires defending
  • is historically specific
  • is focused and precise
  • answers the question, “so what?”

How to write a thesis statement:

Suppose you are taking an early American history class and your professor has distributed the following essay prompt:

“Historians have debated the American Revolution’s effect on women.  Some argue that the Revolution had a positive effect because it increased women’s authority in the family.  Others argue that it had a negative effect because it excluded women from politics.  Still others argue that the Revolution changed very little for women, as they remained ensconced in the home.  Write a paper in which you pose your own answer to the question of whether the American Revolution had a positive, negative, or limited effect on women.”

Using this prompt, we will look at both weak and strong thesis statements to see how successful thesis statements work.

While this thesis does take a position, it is problematic because it simply restates the prompt.  It needs to be more specific about how  the Revolution had a limited effect on women and  why it mattered that women remained in the home.

Revised Thesis:  The Revolution wrought little political change in the lives of women because they did not gain the right to vote or run for office.  Instead, women remained firmly in the home, just as they had before the war, making their day-to-day lives look much the same.

This revision is an improvement over the first attempt because it states what standards the writer is using to measure change (the right to vote and run for office) and it shows why women remaining in the home serves as evidence of limited change (because their day-to-day lives looked the same before and after the war).  However, it still relies too heavily on the information given in the prompt, simply saying that women remained in the home.  It needs to make an argument about some element of the war’s limited effect on women.  This thesis requires further revision.

Strong Thesis: While the Revolution presented women unprecedented opportunities to participate in protest movements and manage their family’s farms and businesses, it ultimately did not offer lasting political change, excluding women from the right to vote and serve in office.

Few would argue with the idea that war brings upheaval.  Your thesis needs to be debatable:  it needs to make a claim against which someone could argue.  Your job throughout the paper is to provide evidence in support of your own case.  Here is a revised version:

Strong Thesis: The Revolution caused particular upheaval in the lives of women.  With men away at war, women took on full responsibility for running households, farms, and businesses.  As a result of their increased involvement during the war, many women were reluctant to give up their new-found responsibilities after the fighting ended.

Sexism is a vague word that can mean different things in different times and places.  In order to answer the question and make a compelling argument, this thesis needs to explain exactly what  attitudes toward women were in early America, and  how those attitudes negatively affected women in the Revolutionary period.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a negative impact on women because of the belief that women lacked the rational faculties of men. In a nation that was to be guided by reasonable republican citizens, women were imagined to have no place in politics and were thus firmly relegated to the home.

This thesis addresses too large of a topic for an undergraduate paper.  The terms “social,” “political,” and “economic” are too broad and vague for the writer to analyze them thoroughly in a limited number of pages.  The thesis might focus on one of those concepts, or it might narrow the emphasis to some specific features of social, political, and economic change.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution paved the way for important political changes for women.  As “Republican Mothers,” women contributed to the polity by raising future citizens and nurturing virtuous husbands.  Consequently, women played a far more important role in the new nation’s politics than they had under British rule.

This thesis is off to a strong start, but it needs to go one step further by telling the reader why changes in these three areas mattered.  How did the lives of women improve because of developments in education, law, and economics?  What were women able to do with these advantages?  Obviously the rest of the paper will answer these questions, but the thesis statement needs to give some indication of why these particular changes mattered.

Strong Thesis: The Revolution had a positive impact on women because it ushered in improvements in female education, legal standing, and economic opportunity.  Progress in these three areas gave women the tools they needed to carve out lives beyond the home, laying the foundation for the cohesive feminist movement that would emerge in the mid-nineteenth century.

Thesis Checklist

When revising your thesis, check it against the following guidelines:

  • Does my thesis make an historical argument?
  • Does my thesis take a position that requires defending?
  • Is my thesis historically specific?
  • Is my thesis focused and precise?
  • Does my thesis answer the question, “so what?”

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Home > USC Columbia > Arts and Sciences > History > History Theses and Dissertations

History Theses and Dissertations

Theses/dissertations from 2023 2023.

Cashing the Check of Democracy The American Revolution and Citizenship in the Black Freedom Struggle 1960-1970 , Zachary Earle Clary

“All the Rights of Native Cherokees”: The Appearance of Black People in Cherokee Society , Ayanna Goines

“We Are Created Inferior to Men”: Leveraging Horsemanship to Reinforce Gender Expectations, 1830-1861 , Gabrielle Marie McCoy

The Widened Hearthstone Urban Playgrounds as the Infrastructure of Public Mothering, 1900-1930 , Alexandra Miller

Piratical Transportation: Highlighting Silences in Carolina’s Enslavement and Exportation of Native Americans , Jordan Stenger

Lunatics, Liberals and Bloodthirsty Haters: The South in the 1972 Presidential Election , Thomas Clayton Strebeck

In Her Possession and Keeping Revolutionary War Widows and the Politics of Family Archives, 1820–1850 , Riley Kathryn Sutherland

Colored Lawyer, Topeka: The Legend and Legacy of Elisa Scott , Jeffery Scott Williams

Meditations On Modern America: The Ambiguous Worldview of Transcendental Meditation, 1967-1979 , Grant William Wong

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

The Presbyterian Exception? The Illegal Education of Enslaved Blacks by South Carolina Presbyterian Churches, 1834-1865 , Margaret Bates

Roy Acuff, Democratic Candidate , Henry Luther Capps III

Before the Storm: Youth Hockey in North Carolina Ahead of the NHL’s Arrival , Sarai ShareI Dai

Flying Saucer of the Smokies: The Debate Over National Park Architecture and Wilderness Values in Clingmans Dome Observation Tower , Michelle Fieser

“I Like a Fight”: Margaret Sanger and the First Birth Control Clinic in the United States , Rebecca Linnea Hall

Who Has the Right to Reproduce? Forced Sterilization in South Carolina in the Early Twentieth Century , Kathryn Pownall

Sex (Work) And the City: Sex Work in Columbia, South Carolina, 1860-1880 , Presley McKalyn Ramey

Resurrecting a Nation Through Silk and Diplomacy: American Material Culture and Foreign Relations During the Reconstruction Era , Paige Weaver

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

Building a New (Deal) Identity The Evolution of Italian-American Political Culture and Ideology, 1910–1940 , Ryan J. Antonucci

“It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon:” Southside Virginia’s Civil Rights Struggle Against The Virginia Way, 1951-1964 , Emily A. Martin Cochran

“We are Going to be Reckoned With”: The South Carolina UDC and the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum, 1986-2000 , Caitlin Cutrona

Enslaved Rebellion and Abolitionist Imperialism in Britain’s Atlantic World, 1807-1884 , Lewis Eliot

Religion, Senses, and Remembrance: Brooklyn’s Sumter Club in Postbellum Charleston, S.C. , Michael Edward Scott Emett

Praying Soldiers: Experiencing Religion as a Revolutionary War Soldier Fighting for Independence , Roberto Oscar Flores de Apodaca

Engraved in Prejudice: How Currency Displayed the Mindset of the South , Holly Johnson Floyd

The Governor’s Guards: Militia, Politics, Social Networking, and Manhood in Columbia, South Carolina, 1843-1874 , Justin Harwell

Patients’ Rights, Patients’ Politics: Jewish Activists of the U.S. Women’s Health Movement, 1969-1990 , Jillian Michele Hinderliter

Joshua Gordon’s Witchcraft Book and The Transformation of the Upcountry of South Carolina , E. Zoie Horecny

“The Once and Future Audubon:” The History of the Audubon Ballroom and the Movement to Save It , William Maclane Hull

A Culture of Control: Progressive Era Eugenics in South Carolina as a Continuation of Created White Supremacy , Hannah Nicole Patton

Shaping a Queer South: The Evolution of Activism From 1960-2000 , A. Kamau Pope

The Robber Barons of Show Business: Traveling Amusements And The Development of the American Entertainment Industry, 1870- 1920 , Madeline Steiner

Charlotte's Glory Road: The History of NASCAR in the Queen City , Hannah Thompson

Foxy Ladies and Badass Super Agents: Legacies of 1970s Blaxploitation Spy and Detective Heroines , Carlie Nicole Todd

Media Combat: The Great War and the Transformation of American Culture , Andrew Steed Walgren

“Hungering and Thirsting” for Education: Education, Presbyterians, and African Americans in the South, 1880-1920 , Rachel Marie Young

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

Gendering Secession: Women and Politics in South Carolina, 1859- 1861 , Melissa DeVelvis

The Chasquis of Liberty: Revolutionary Messengers in the Bolivian Independence Era, 1808-1825 , Caleb Garret Wittum

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

Learning Church: Catechisms and Lay Participation in Early New England Congregationalism , Roberto O. Flores de Apodaca

Useful Beauty: Tiffany Favrile, Carnival Glass, and Consumerism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century , Chelsea Grayburn

Restoring America: Historic Preservation and the New Deal , Stephanie E. Gray

For the Common Man: An Analysis of the United States Space and Rocket Center , Patrice R. Green

Made to Be Forgotten: The Chevalier DE Saint-Sauveur & the Franco-American Alliance , Katelynn Hatton

Leaders in the Making: Higher Education, Student Activism, and the Black Freedom Struggle in South Carolina, 1925-1975 , Ramon M. Jackson

Exclusive Dining: Immigration and Restaurants in Chicago during the Era of Chinese Exclusion, 1893-1933 , Samuel C. King

Complicating the Narrative: Using Jim's Story to Interpret Enslavement, Leasing, and Resistance at Duke Homestead , Jennifer Melton

“Unknown and Unlamented”: Loyalist Women in Nova Scotia from Exile to Repatriation, 1775-1800 , G. Patrick O’Brien

Raising America Racist: How 1920’s Klanswomen Used Education to Implement Systemic Racism , Kathleen Borchard Schoen

Learning the Land: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Southern Borderlands, 1500-1850 , William Cane West

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

Beyond Preservation: Reconstructing Sites Of Slavery, Reconstruction, And Segregation , Charlotte Adams

Reading Material: Personal Libraries And The Cultivation Of Identity In Revolutionary South Carolina , Gabriella Angeloni

Politics and the Built Environment: Civic Structures of Eighteenth Century Williamsburg, Virginia and Charles Town, South Carolina , Paul Bartow

The Lost Ones: The Cold War State, Child Welfare Systems, And The Battles Over The Rosenberg Children , Megan Bennett

“Catering To The Local Trade”: Jewish-Owned Grocery Stores In Columbia, South Carolina , Olivia Brown

If This Be Sin: Gladys Bentley And The Performance Of Identity , Moira Mahoney Church

“I Hope They Fire Me:” Black Teachers In The Fight For Equal Education, 1910-1970 , Candace Cunningham

Constructing Scientific Knowledge: The Understanding of the Slow Virus, 1898-1976 , Burke Hood Dial

Ayatollahs And Embryos: Science, Politics, And Religion In Post-Revolutionary Iran , M Sadegh Foghani

Of Cannonades and Battle Cries: Aurality, The Battle of The Alamo, and Memory , Michelle E. Herbelin

Anti-Sabbatarianism in Antebellum America: The Christian Quarrel over the Sanctity of Sunday , Kathryn Kaslow

A Divisive Community: Race, Nation, And Loyalty In Santo Domingo, 1822 – 1844 , Antony Wayne Keane-Dawes

“Remember Them Not for How They Died”: American Memory and the Challenger Accident , Elizabeth F. Koele

Garagecraft: Tinkering In The American Garage , Katherine Erica McFadden

Black Power And Neighborhood Organizing In Minneapolis, Minnesota: The Way Community Center, 1966-1971 , Sarah Jayne Paulsen

The Popular Education Question in Antebellum South Carolina, 1800-1860 , Brian A. Robinson

Perks Of Perkins: Understanding Where Magic And Religion Meet For An Early Modern English Theologian , Kyle Sanders

Black Men, Red Coats: The Carolina Corps, Race, and Society in the Revolutionary British Atlantic , Gary Sellick

Theses/Dissertations from 2017 2017

Skin Deep: African American Women and the Building of Beauty Culture in South Carolina , Catherine Davenport

Funding South Carolina’s Monuments: The Growth of the Corporate Person in Monument Financing , Justin Curry Davis

Sex and the State: Sexual Politics in South Carolina in the 1970s , Jennifer Holman Gunter

Within the House of Bondage: Constructing and Negotiating the Plantation Landscape in the British Atlantic World, 1670-1820 , Erin M. Holmes

Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Consciousness from Columbus to Emancipation , Andrew Kettler

From Rice Fields to Duck Marshes: Sport Hunters and Environmental Change on the South Carolina Coast, 1890–1950 , Matthew Allen Lockhart

Potential Republicans: Reconstruction Printers of Columbia, South Carolina , John Lustrea

Lamps, Maps, Mud-Machines, and Signal Flags: Science, Technology, and Commerce in the Early United States , James Russell Risk

Rebirth of the House Museum: Commemorating Reconstruction at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home , Jennifer Whitmer Taylor

Buy for the Sake of your Baby: Guardian Consumerism in Twentieth Century America , Mark VanDriel

Environmental Negotiations Cherokee Power in the Arkansas Valley, 1812-1828 , Cane West

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

A Call To Every Citizen: The South Carolina State Council Of Defense And World War I , Allison Baker

National Register Nomination for the Waikiki Village Motel , Jane W. Campbell

“Antagonistic Describes the Scene:” Local News Portrayals of the New Left and the Escalation of Protest at the University of South Carolina, 1970 , Alyssa Jordan Constad

Ahead of Their Time: Black Teachers and Their Community in the Immediate Post- Brown Years , Candace Cunningham

Deserts Will Bloom: Atomic Agriculture And The Promise Of Radioactive Redemption , Chris Fite

Restoring the Dock Street Theatre: Cultural Production in New-Deal Era Charleston, South Carolina , Stephanie E. Gray

In Search Of Granby: A Colonial Village Of South Carolina , Kathryn F. Keenan

Preserving The Architectural Legacy Of Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle & Wolff, 1948-1976 , Casey Lee

Looking for Remnants of Rice Cultivation at Manchester State Forest Through the Use of LIDAR , Sarah Anne Moore

Uncle Sam’s Jungle: Recreation, Imagination, And The Caribbean National Forest , Will Garrett Mundhenke

G.I. Joe v. Jim Crow: Legal Battles Over Off-Base School Segregation Of Military Children In The American South, 1962-1964 , Randall George Owens

Radioactive Dixie: A History of Nuclear Power and Nuclear Waste in the American South, 1950-1990 , Caroline Rose Peyton

A Culture Of Commodification: Hemispheric And Intercolonial Migrations In The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, 1660-1807 , Neal D. Polhemus

Rediscovering Camden: The Preservation of a Revolutionary War Battlefield , Gary Sellick

The “Forgotten Man” of Washington: the Pershing Memorial and the Battle over Military Memorialization , Andrew S. Walgren

Proslavery Thinking In Antebellum South Carolina: Higher Education, Transatlantic Encounters, And The Life Of The Mind , Jamie Diane Wilson

Colonialism Unraveling: Race, Religion, And National Belonging In Santo Domingo During The Age Of Revolutions , Charlton W. Yingling

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

"Very Many More Men than Women": A Study of the Social Implications of Diagnostics at the South Carolina State Hospital , Clara Elizabeth Bertagnolli

Forgotten Science of Bird Eggs: The Life Cycle of Oology at the Smithsonian Institution , Katherine Nicole Crosby

Shifting Authority at the Confederate Relic Room, 1960-1986 , Kristie L. DaFoe

Boundary Stones: Morbid Concretions and the Chemistry of Early Nineteenth Century Medicine , Edward Allen Driggers Jr.

Main Street, America: Histories of I-95 , Mark T. Evans

National Register Nomination for St. James the Greater Catholic Mission , Diana Garnett

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Georgetown University.

College of Arts & Sciences

Georgetown University.

Completed Dissertations

2020-present.

Broadus, Victoria Latin American History “ Vissungo: The Afro-Descended Culture of Miners and Maroons in Brazil’s Diamond District, 1850s-2020s “ Advisor: Bryan McCann

Mensah, Tracey African History “ ‘Shopping for All Pocket’: A Business History of Indians in Ghana, 1890–1980 “ Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Nanavati, Abhishek East & Central Asian History “ Co-Producing ‘American Dreams’: Dependents Housing, Hydroponic Farming, and the Militarization of Everyday Life in Occupied Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea, 1945-1950 “ Advisor: Jordan Sand

    2022-2023

Akgül, Önder Middle East & North African History “ Ecology, the Accumulation of Capital, and Dispossession in Late Ottoman Western Anatolia “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Chan, Paula Russia & Eastern European History “ Eyes on the Ground: Soviet Investigations of the Nazi Occupation “ Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Grams, Benan Middle East & North African History “ Damascus in the Time of Cholera: The Impact of Communicable Diseases on the Transformation of an Ottoman Provincial Capital 1840-1920 “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

La Lime, Matthew African History “ Land, Informality, and Security: A Material History of West Africa’s Futa Jallon Massif (1650-2019) “ Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Norweg, Emily United States History “ Mass(achusetts) Incarceration and Higher Education: the Deep Origins and Contested History of College Behind Bars in the Bay State “ Advisor: Marcia Chatelain

Steir, Kate Transregional History “ Provisions of Power: Food and Scarcity in Jamaica 1730-1790 “ Advisor: Alison Games

    2021-2022

Christensen, Robert Latin American History “Worlds in Conflict: Indigenous Peoples, Environmental Challenges, and the ‘Conquista del Desierto’ in the Making of Argentina, 1870-1900” Advisor: Erick Langer

De Vries, Jennifer European History “‘In the Manner of the Beguines’: Regulating Beguine Life in the Low Countries, 1200-1600” Advisor: Amy Leonard

Dingman, Jacob East & Central Asian History “‘The Unknown Country’: Tibet in the Western Imagination, 1850 – 1950” Advisor: James Millward

Hudson, Chelsea East & Central Asian history “‘To Absent Us from Humanity’: Ainu and Population Counts under Russian and Japanese Administration” Advisor: Jordan Sand

Loyd, Thomas Russian and Eastern European History “Black in the USSR: African Students, Soviet Empire, and the Politics of Global Education during the Cold War” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Proctor, Dylan Environmental History “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Infectious Disease History in Twentieth-Century Africa” Advisor: Timothy Newfield

Tarasov, Stanislav Russian and Eastern European History “Noble Feelings of Dissent: Russian Emotional Culture and the Decembrist Revolt of 1825” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Torres, James Latin American History “Trade in a Changing World: Gold, Silver, and Commodity Flows in the Northern Andes, 1780-1840” Advisor: Erick Langer

Thacker, Molly United States History “‘Are We Not Children Too?’: Race, Media, and the Formative History of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children in the United States Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Young, Cory United States History “For Life or Otherwise: Abolition and Slavery in South Central Pennsylvania, 1780-1847” Advisor: Adam Rothman

    2020-2021

Barraza Mendoza, Elsa United States History “Catholic Slaveholders, Enslaved People, and the Making of Georgetown University, 1792-1862” Advisor: Adam Rothman

DeLorenzo, Christopher Latin American History “Coca Substitution and Community Response in the Yungas of La Paz, Bolivia, 1920-1988” Advisor: Erick Langer

Eames, Anthony Transregional History “Public Diplomacy For the Nuclear Age: Anglo American Grand Strategy in the Late Cold War” Advisor: Kathryn Olesko & David Painter

Feldman, Benjamin United States History “Liberation from the Affluent Society: The Political Thought of the Third World in Post‐War America” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Gornostaev, Andrey Russia and Eastern European History “Peasants ‘on the Run’: State Control, Fugitives, Social and Geographic Mobility in Imperial Russia, 1649-1796” Advisor: James Collins

Holekamp, Abigail Russian and Eastern European History “Citizens and Comrades: Entangled Revolutions and the Production of Knowledge between Russia and France, 1905-1936” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Johnson, Matthew Environmental History “Temples of Modern Pharaohs: Environmental Impacts of Dams and Dictatorship in Brazil” Advisor: John McNeill

Kang, Sukhwan European History “Between Peaceful Coexistence and Ongoing Conflict: Religious Tolerance and the Protestant Minority in Seventeenth-Century France” Advisor: James Collins

Kaymakci, Said European History “The Constitutional Limits of Military Reform: Ottoman Political Writing During the Times of Revolutionary Change, 1592-1807” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

McQueeney, Kevin United States History “The City that Care Forgot: Apartheid Health Care, Racial Health Disparity, and Black Health Activism in New Orleans, 1718-2018” Advisor: Marcia Chatelain

McRae, Douglas Latin American History “From Fluvial City To Hydro-Metropolis: Water, Sanitation, and Metropolitan Environment In São Paulo, Brazil (1850-1975)” Advisor: Bryan McCann

O’Neal, Jennifer United States History “Beyond the Trail of Broken Treaties: The International Native American Rights Movement, 1975‐1980” Advisor: David Painter

Patel, Trishula African History “Becoming Zimbabwean: A History of Indians in Rhodesia, 1890-1980” Advisor: Meredith McKittrick

Perry, Jackson Environmental History “The Gospel of the Gum: Eucalyptus Enthusiasm and the Modern Mediterranean, ca. 1848-1900” Advisor: John McNeill

Schwertner, Hillar Latin American History “Tijuandiego: Water, Capitalism and Urbanization in the Californias, 1848-1982” Advisor: John Tutino

Singh, Amarjot Transregional History “The Shadows of Command: Military Command in Ancient Sparta and Athens” Advisor: Alexander Sens & Jordan Sand

    2019-2020

Belokowsky, Simon Russian & Eastern European History “‘Youth Is to Live in the City!’: Rural Out-Migration in the Black Earth Region under Khrushchev and Brezhnev” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Cano, Daniel Latin American History “Frontiers of Education: The Making of the ‘Literate Indian’ in the Mission Schools of Chile and Bolivia, 1880-1950” Advisor: Erick Langer

Famularo, Julia East & Central Asian History “‘Fighting the Enemy with Fists and Daggers:’ The Chinese Communist Party’s Counterterrorism Policy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region under Xi Jinping, 2012-2019” Advisor: James Millward

Foley, Thomas United States History “An ‘Odious Aristocracy:’ Energy, Politics, and the Roots of Industrial Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Pennsylvania” Advisor: David Painter

Frazier, Chad United States History “From Subjects to Citizens: The University of Puerto Rico and the Citizenship Revolution in the Greater United States, 1898-1935” Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Hock, Stefan Middle East & North African History “Policing War and Sexuality in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, 1908-1938” Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Goffman, Laura Middle East & North African History “Disorder and Diagnosis: Health and Society in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Kondoyanidi, Anita Russian & Eastern European History “The Prophet Disillusioned: Maxim Gorky and the Russian Revolutions” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Macartney, Alexander European History “War in the Postwar: Japan and West Germany Protest the Vietnam War and the Global Strategy of Imperialism” Advisor: Anna von der Goltz

Ryzhkovskyi, Volodymyr Russian & Eastern European History “Soviet Occidentalism: Medieval Studies and the Restructuring of Imperial Knowledge in Twentieth-Century Russia” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Scallen, Patrick Latin American History “‘The Bombs That Drop in El Salvador Explode in Mount Pleasant:’ From Cold War Conflagration to Immigrant Struggles in Washington, DC, 1970-1995” Advisor: John Tutino & Joseph McCartin

    2018-2019

Al-Saif, Bader Middle East & North African History “Reform Islam? The Renewal of Islamic Thought and Praxis in Modern and Contemporary Arabian Peninsula” Advisor: Yvonne Haddad

Berry, Chelsea Transregional History “ Poisoned Relations: Medicine, Sorcery, and Poison Trials in the Contested Atlantic, 1680-1850 ” Advisor: Alison Games

Brew, Greg US History “ Mandarins, Paladins, and Pahlavis: The International Energy System, the United States, and the Dual Integration of Oil in Iran, 1925-1964 ” Advisor: David Painter

Cornwell, Graham H. Middle East & North African History “ Sweetening the Pot: A History of Tea and Sugar in Morocco, 1850-1960 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Dannies, Kate Middle East & North African History “ Breadwinner Soldiers: Gender, Welfare, and Sovereignty in the Ottoman First World War ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Horn, Oliver US History “ From Model to Menace: U.S. Foreign Aid, Development, and Drugs in Cold War Colombia, 1956-1978 ” Advisor: David Painter

Kates, Adrienne Latin American History “ The Persistence of Maya Autonomy: Global Capitalism, Tropical Environments, and the Limits of the Mexican State, 1880-1950 ” Advisor: John Tutino

Mellor, Robynne Environmental History “ The Cold War Underground: An Environmental History of Uranium Mining in the United States, Canada, and the Soviet Union, 1945-1991 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Porta, Earnest Middle East & North African History “ Morocco in the Early Atlantic World, 1415-1603 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Raykhlina, Yelizaveta Russian & Eastern European History “ Russian Literary Marketplace: Periodicals, Social Identity, and Publishing for the Middle Stratum in Imperial Russia, 1825-1865 ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov Shi, Yue East & Central Asian History “ The Seven Rivers: Empire and Economy in the Russo-Qing Central Asian Frontier, 1860s-1910s “ Advisor: James Millward

    2017-2018

Abbott, Elena Transregional History “ Beacons of Liberty: Free-Soil Havens and the American Slavery Debate, 1813-1863 ” Advisor: Adam Rothman Denning, Meredith Environmental History “ Connections and Consensus: Changing Goals for Transnational Water Management on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, 1900-1972 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Hull, Catherine US History “ The Machine has a Soul: American Sympathizers with Italian Fascism ” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Husain, Faisal Environmental History “ Flows of Power: The Tigris-Euphrates Basin Under Ottoman Rule, 1534-1831 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Kaplan, Isabelle Russian & Eastern European History “ The Art of Nation-Building: National Culture and Soviet Politics in Stalin-Era Azerbaijan and Other Minority Republics ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Maurer, John US History “ An Era of Negotiation: SALT in the Nixon Administration, 1969-1972 “ Advisor: David Painter

Mevissen, Robert European History “ Constructing the Danube Monarchy: Habsburg State-Building in the Long Nineteenth Century ” Advisor: James Shedel

Reger, Jeffrey Middle East & North African History “ Planting Palestine: The Political Economy of Olive Culture in the 20th Century Galilee and West Bank ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Smith, Jordan Transregional History “ The Invention of Rum “ Advisor: Alison Games

Taylor, Stephanie US History “ ‘I Have the Eagle:’ Citizenship and Labor in the Progressive Era, 1890-1925 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Walter, Alissa Middle East & North African History “ The Ba’ath Party in Baghdad: State-Society Relations Through Wars, Sanctions and Authoritarian Rule, 1950-2003 ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Yeaw, Katrina Middle East & North African History “ Women, Resistance and the Creation of New Gendered Frontiers in the Making of Modern Libya, 1890-1980 ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

    2016-2017

Amelicheva, Mariya Russian History “ The Russian Residency in Constantinople, 1700-1774: Russian-Ottoman Diplomatic Encounters “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Benton, James US History “ Fraying Fabric: Textile Labor, Trade Politics, and Deindustrialization, 1933-1974 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Biasetto, Bruno Latin American History “ The Poisoned Chalice: Oil and Macroeconomics in Brazil (1967-2003) ” Advisor: Bryan McCann

Calisir, M. Fatih European History “ A ‘Virtuous’ Grand Vizier: Politics and Patronage in the Ottoman Empire during the Grand Vizierate of Fazil Ahmed Pasha (1661-1676)” ” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Davies Lenoble, Geraldine Latin American History “ Filling the Desert: The Indigenous Confederacies of the Pampas and Northern Patagonia, 1840-1879 ” Advisor: Erick Langer

El Achi, Soha European History “ Children and Slave Emancipation in French Algeria and Tunisia, 1846-1892 ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Gettig, Eric Transregional History “ Oil and Revolution in Cuba: Development, Nationalism, and the U.S. Energy Empire, 1902-1961 ” Advisor: David Painter

Gungorurler, Selim European History “ Diplomacy and Political Relations Between the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Iran, 1639-1822 ” Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Megowan, Erina Russian & Eastern European History “ For Fatherland, For Culture: State, Intelligentsia and Evacuated Culture in Russia’s Regions, 1941-1945 ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

Mullins, Sylvia European History “ Myroblytes: Miraculous Oil in Medieval Europe ” Advisor: James Collins

Pitts, Graham Transregional History “ Fallow Fields: Famine and the Making of Lebanon, 1914-1948 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Polczynski, Michael Russian and Eastern European History “ The Wild Fields: Power and Space in the Early Modern Polish-Lithuanian/Ottoman Frontier ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski & Gabor Agoston

Rabah, Makram Middle East and North African History “ Conflict on Mount Lebanon: Collective Memory and the War of the Mountain ” Advisor: Osama Abi-Mershed

Shen, Yubin East and Central Asian History “ Malaria and Global Networks of Tropical Medicine in Modern China, 1919-1950 ” Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Sicotte, Jonathan Russian and Eastern European History “ Baku: Violence, Identity and Oil ” Advisor: Michael David-Fox

    2015-2016

Danforth, Nicholas Modern European History “ Memory, Modernity, and the Remaking of Republican Turkey:  1945-1960 ” Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Dixon, Patrick US History “ The Hamlet Factory Fire and the Political Economy of Poultry in the Twentieth Century “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

England, Christopher US History “ Land and Liberty: Henry George, the Single Tax Movement, and the Origins of the 20th Century Liberalism “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Gardner, Zackary US History “ Uniforming the Rugged: Gender, Identity, and the American Administrative State during the Progressive Era, 1898-1917 “ Advisor: Katherine Benton-Cohen

Gratien, Christopher Middle East & North African History “ The Mountains Are Ours: Ecology and Settlement in Late Ottoman and early Republican Cilicia, 1856-1956 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Gregory, Eugene John East & Central Asian History “ Desertion and the Militarization of Qing Legal Culture “ Advisor: James Millward

Hammond, Kelly East & Central Asian History “ The Conundrum of Collaboration: Japanese Involvement with Muslims in North China, 1931-1945 “ Advisor: James Millward

Johnson, Glen Russia & Eastern European History “ The Reflection of Byzantine ‘Political Hesychasm’ In The Literature of The Second South Slavic Influence ” Advisor: David Goldfrank

McCarron, Barry US International History “ The Global Irish and Chinese: Migration, Exclusion, and Foreign Relations Among Empires, 1784-1904 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Ngo, Lan, S.J. East & Southeast Asian History “ Nguyen-Catholic History (1770s-1890s) and the Gestation of Vietnamese Catholic National Identity “ Advisor: Sandra Horvath-Peterson

Pimenov, Alexei Russia & Eastern European History Dissertation Title: “ German Romantic Nationalism and Indian Cultural Tradition ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Roe, Alan Russian & Eastern European History “ Into Soviet Nature: Tourism, Environmental Protection, & the Formation of Soviet National Parks, 1950s-1990s “ Advisor: John McNeill

Veloz, Larisa Latin American History “ ’Even the Women Are Leaving’ Gendered Migrations between Mexico and the United States: Revolutionary Diasporas, Depression-Era Depatriations, and Wartime Bracero Controls, 1900-1950 ” Advisor: John Tutino

Wen, Shuang Transregional History “ Mediated Imaginations: Chinese-Arab Connections in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries “ Advisor: John Voll

Williams, Elizabeth Middle East & North African History “ Cultivating Empires: Environment, Expertise, and Scientific Agriculture in Late Ottoman and French Mandate Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

    2014-2015

Adler, Paul US History “ Planetary Citizens: U.S. NGOs and the Politics of International Development, 1965-1993 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Kueh, Joshua Eng Sin Transregional History “ The Manila Chinese: Community, Trade and Empire, 1570-1770 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Packard, Nathan R. US History “ The Marine Corps ‘Long March’: Modernizing the Nation’s Expeditionary Forces in the Aftermath of Vietnam, 1970-1991 “ Advisor: David Painter

Perez Montesinos, Fernando Latin American History “ Poised to Break Liberalism, Land Reform, and Communities in the Purépecha Highlands of Michoacán, Mexico, 1868-1913 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Perrier, Aurelie E. Middle East & North African History “ Intimate Matters: Negotiating Sex, Gender, and the Home in Colonial Algeria, 1830-1914 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Stewart Mauldin, Erin US Environmental History “ Unredeemed Land: The U.S. Civil War, Changing Land Use Practices, and the Environmental Limitations of Agriculture in the South, 1840-1880 “ Advisor: John McNeill

Taylor, Brian M. US History “ ‘To Make a Union What It Ought to Be’: African Americans, Military Service, and the Drive to Make Black Civil War Service Count “ Advisor: Chandra Manning

    2013-2014

Bowlus, John V. US History “ Connecting Midstream: The Politics and Economics of Oil Transportation in the Middle East “ Advisor: David Painter

Doucette, Siobhan Russia & Eastern European History “ Mightier than the Sword: Polish Independent Publishing, 1976-1989 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Fernandez, Rodolfo Latin American History “ Revolution and the Industrial City: Violence and Capitalism in Monterrey, Mexico, 1890 to 1920 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Gooding, Frederick W. Jr. US History “ American Dream Deferred: Black Federal Workers in Washington, D.C., 1941-1981 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Hill, Michael R. Transregional History “ Temperateness, Temperance, and the Tropics: Climate and Morality in the English Atlantic World, 1553-1705 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Hower, Jessica S. Transregional History “ Tudor Imperialism: Exploration, Expansion, and Experimentation in the Sixteenth-Century British Atlantic World “ Advisor: Alison Games

Hower, Joseph E. US History “ Jerry Wurf, the Rise of AFSCME, and the Fate of Labor Liberalism, 1947-1981 “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

İşçi, Onur Middle East & North African History “ Russophobic Neutrality: Turkish Diplomacy, 1936-1945 “ Advisor: Mustafa Aksakal

Puente Valdivia, Javier Latin American History “ Closer Apart: Indigenous and Peasant Communities and the State in Capitalist Peru, 1700-1990 “ Advisor: Erick Langer

Wiley, Christopher J. Modern European History “ Textbook Diplomacy: East German Student Exchange and the GDR’s Bid for Global Legitimacy, 1951-1990 “ Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Williams, Andrea Elizabeth Middle East & North African Environmental History “ Planting Politics: Pastoralists and French Environmental Administration in the Nineteenth-Century Mediterranean “ Advisor: John McNeill and Gabor Agoston Yoder, April R. Latin American History “ Pitching Democracy: Baseball and Politics in the Dominican Republic, 1955-1978 “ Advisor: Bryan McCann

    2012-2013

Corcoran, John M. Russia & Eastern European History “ Power in the Provinces: The Evolution of Local Government Practices in Imperial Russia, 1825-1917 ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Francis-Fallon, Benjamin US History “ Minority Reports: The Emergence of Pan-Hispanic Politics, 1945-1980 ” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Harrison, Jennifer Pish US History “ Teacher Unionism and Civil Rights in Boston, 1963-1981 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Hazelton, Andrew J. US History “ Open-Shop Fields: The Bracero Program and Farmworker Unionism, 1942-1964 ” Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Kern, Darcy A. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Political Kingdom: Parliamentary Institutions and Languages of Legitimacy in England and Castile, 1450-1520 ” Advisor: Jo Ann Moran-Cruz

Krache Morris, Evelyn F. US History “ Into the Wind: The Kennedy Administration and the Use of Chemicals in South Vietnam ” Advisor: David Painter

Landry, Marc D. Modern European Environmental History “ Europe’s Battery: The Making of the Alpine Energy Landscape, 1870-1955 ” Advisor: John McNeill

Lurie, Guy Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Citizenship in Later Medieval France, C. 1370- C. 1480 ” Advisor: James Collins

Scarborough, Daniel L. Russia & Eastern European History “ The White Priest at Work: Orthodox Pastoral Activism and Social Reconstruction in Late Imperial Russia ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Toprani, Anand US History “ Oil and Grand Strategy: Great Britain and Germany, 1918-1941 ” Advisor: David Painter

    2011-2012

Apel, Thomas A. US History “ Feverish Bodies, Enlightened Minds: Yellow Fever and Common-Sense Natural Philosophy in the Early American Republic, 1793-1805 “ Advisor: Adam Rothman

Connell, Tula A. US History “ Frank Zeidler and the Conservative Challenge to Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee “ Advisor: Joseph A. McCartin

Coral Garcia, Emilio M. Latin American History “ The Mexico City Middle Class, 1940-70: Between Tradition, the State, and the United States “ Advisor: John Tutino

Guenther, Rita S. Russia & Eastern European History “ One Local Vote at a Time: Electoral Practices of Kazan Province, 1766-1916 “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Gurkan, Emrah S. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Espionage in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean: Secret Diplomacy, Mediterranean Go-Betweens and the Ottoman Habsburg Rivalry ” Advisor: Ágoston, Gábor

Higuchi, Toshihiro US History “ Radioactive Fallout, the Politics of Risk, and the Making of a Global Environmental Crisis, 1954–1963 “ Advisor: David Painter

Hofmeister, Björn Modern European History “ Between Monarchy and Dictatorship: Radical Nationalism and Social Mobilization of the Pan-German League, 1914-39 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Johnston, Shona Transregional History “ Papists in a Protestant World: The Catholic Anglo-Atlantic in the Seventeenth Century “ Advisor: Alison Games

Maureira, Hugo A. Latin American History “ Los Culpables de La Miseria:’ Poverty and Public Health during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic in Chile, 1918-1920 ” Advisor: Erick Langer

McKenna, Catherine J. Russia & Eastern European History “ The Curious Evolution of the Liberum Veto: Republican Theory and Practice in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1639-1705 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Murphy, Curtis G. Russia & Eastern European History “ Progress without Consent: Enlightened Centralism vis-a-vis Local Self-Government in the Towns of East Central Europe and Russia, 1764-1840 ” Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Noorlander, Danny L. Transregional History “ Serving God and Mammon: The Reformed Church and the Dutch West India Company in the Atlantic World, 1621-1674 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Wang, Tao US History “ Isolating the Enemy: US-PRC Relations, 1953-1956 ” Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Yousef, Hoda A. Middle East & North African History “ Contested Knowledge: The Politics of Literacy in Egypt at the Turn of the 20th Century “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

    2010-2011

Al-Arian, Abdullah A. Middle East & North African History “ Heeding the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Egypt, 1970-1981 “ Advisor: John Voll

Bowman, Matthew B. US History “ The Urban Pulpit: Evangelicals and the City in New York, 1880-1930 “ Advisor: Michael Kazin

Campion, Corey J. Modern European History “ Negotiating Difference: French and American Cultural Occupation Policies and German Expectations, 1945-194 9″ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Engelke, Peter O. Modern European History “ Green City Origins: Democratic Resistance to the Auto-oriented City in West Germany, 1960-1990 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering and John McNeill

Gummer, S. Chase Modern European History “ The Politics of Sympathy: German Turcophilism and the Ottoman Empire in the Age of the Mass Media, 1871-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Robarts, Andrew R. Russia & Eastern European History “ A Plague on Both Houses?: Population Movements and the Spread of Disease across the Ottoman-Russian Black Sea Frontier, 1768-1830s “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Rotramel, Seth A. Modern European History “ International Health, European Reconciliation, and German Foreign Policy after the First World War, 1919-1927 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Vallve, Frederic Latin American History “ The Impact of the Rubber Boom on the Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian Lowlands, 1850-1920 “ Advisor: Erick Langer

    2009-2010

Brandow-Faller, Megan Modern European History “ An Art of Their Own: Reinventing ‘Frauenkunst’ in the Female Academies and Artist Leagues of Late-Imperial and First-Republic Austria, 1900-1930 “ Advisor: James Shedel

Fulwider, Benjamin Latin American History “ Driving the Nation: Road Transportation and the Postrevolutionary Mexican State, 1925-1960 “ Advisor: John Tutino

Mamedov, Mikail N. Russia & Eastern European History “Imagining the Caucasus in Russian Imperial Consciousness, 1801-1864” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Morrison, Christopher A. US History “ A World of Empires: United States Rule in the Philippines, 1898-1913 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Palmer, Aaron J. US History “‘ All Matters and Things Shall Center There’: A Study of Elite Political Power in South Carolina, 1763-1776 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Sakul, Kahraman Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ An Ottoman Global Moment: War of Second Coalition in the Levant “ Advisor: Gabor Agoston

Sexton, Mary D. US History “ The Wages of Principle and Power: Cyrus R. Vance and the Making of Foreign Policy in the Carter Administration “ Advisor: David Painter

Shlala, Elizabeth Middle East & North African History “Mediterranean Migration, Cosmopolitanism, and the Law: the Italian Community of Nineteenth-Century Alexandria, Egypt”

Wilkinson, Xenia V. Latin Amerian History “ Tapping the Amazon for Victory: Brazil’s ‘Battle for Rubber’ of World War II “ Advisor: Erick Langer

    2008-2009

Abul-Magd, Zeinab A. Middle East & North African History “ Empire and Its Discontents: Modernity and Subaltern Revolt in Upper Egypt, 1700-1920 “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Byrnes, Melissa K. Modern European History “French Like Us? Municipal Policies and North African Migrants in the Parisian Banlieues, 1945-1975” Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Granados, Luis F. Latin American History “Cosmopolitan Indians and Mesoamerican Barrios in Bourbon Mexico City: Tribute, Community, Family and Work in 1800” Advisor: John Tutino

Lauziere, Henri Middle East & North African History “ The Evolution of the Salafiyya in the Twentieth Century through the Life and Thought of Taqi al-Din al-Hilali “ Advisor: John Ruedy

Otovo, Okezi T. Latin American History “ To Form a Strong and Populous Nation: Race, Motherhood, and the State in republican Brazil “ Advisor: Bryan McCann

Rosu, Felicia Russia & Eastern European History “ Contractual Majesty: Electoral Politics in Transylvania and Poland-Lithuania, 1571-1586 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Swanson, Ryan US History “Jim Crow on Deck: Baseball during America’s Reconstruction” Advisor: Michael Kazin

Wackerfuss, Andrew T. Modern European History “ The Stormtrooper Family: How Sexuality, Spirituality, and Community Shaped the Hamburg SA “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Wyrtzen, Jonathan D. Middle East & North African History “ Constructing Morocco: The Colonial Struggle to Define the Nation, 1912-1956 “ Advisor: John Voll

    2007-2008

Bulmus, Birsen Middle East & North African History “ The Plague in the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1838 “ Advisor: Kathryn Olesko

Elliott, Robin Gates Russia & Eastern European History “ Saddling the Cow: The Collectivization of Agriculture in Poland, 1948-1956 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Fedyashin, Anton A. Russia & Eastern European History “Auchtotonous and Practical Liberals: Vestnik Evropy and Modernization in Late Imperial Russia” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Lambert, Margo M. US History “ Francis Daniel Pastorius: An American in Early Pennsylvania, 1683-1719/20 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Lin, Catherine Kai-Ping East & Central Asian History “ Nationalism in International Politics: The Republic of China’s Sports Foreign-Policy-Making and Diplomacy from 1972-1981 “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Ma, Haiyun East & Central Asian History “ New Teachings and New Territories: Religion, Regulation, and Regions in Qing Gansu, 1700-1800 “ Advisor: James Millward

Oyen, Meredith US History “ Allies, Enemies, and Aliens: Migration and U.S.-Chinese Relations, 1940-1965 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Sbaiti, Nadya J. Middle East & North African History “ Lessons in History: Education and the Formation of National Society in Beirut, Lebanon, 1920s-1960s “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Vann, Martin E. Modern European History “ Encounters with Modernity: Jews, Music, and Vienna, 1880-1914 “ Advisor: James Shedel

    2006-2007

Ameskamp, Simone Modern European History “ On Fire: Cremation in Germany, 1870s-1934 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Carter, Karen E. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Creating Catholics: Catechism and Primary Education in Early Modern France “ Advisor: James Collins

Gruber, Isaiah J. Russia & Eastern European History “ The Russian Orthodox Church and the Time of Troubles, 1598-1613 “ Advisor: David Goldfrank

Keller, Tait S. Modern European History “ Eternal Mountains–Eternal Germany: The Alpine Association and the Ideology of Alpinism, 1909-1939 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Scalenghe, Sara Middle East & North African History “ Being Different: Intersexuality, Blindness, Deafness, and Madness in Ottoman Syria “ Advisor: Judith Tucker

Snyder, Sarah B. US History “ The Helsinki Process, American Foreign Policy, and the End of the Cold War “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Stoneman, Mark R. Modern European History “ Wilhelm Groener, Officering, and the Schlieffen Plan “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Uchimura, Kazuko US History “ Miners without Unions: Life and Work in West Virginia’s New River Gorge Mining Towns, 1900-1933 “ Advisor: Joseph McCartin

Zickafoose, Virginia Paige Russia & Eastern European History “ Virtuous Crown, Virtuous Res Publica: The Henrician Constitutional Declaration of Poland-Lithuania Interregnum, 1572-1574 “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminksi Zimmers, Stefan Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Wisdom, Kingship, and Royal Identity: An Examination of the Discourse on Kinship and Rulership in the Anglo-Saxon Era “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz

    2005-2006

Belli, Meriam Middle East & North African History “ Remembrance of Nasserian Things Past: A Window to the History and Memory of the Nasser Years ” Advisors: John Voll and James Collins

Du Quenoy, Paul Russia & Eastern European History “ Harlequin’s Leap: Performing Arts Culture and the Revolution of 1905 in Saint Petersburg ” Advisor: Richard Stites

Foley, Sean E. Middle East & North African History “ Shaykh Khalid and the Naqshbandyya-Khalidiyya, 1776-2005 ” Advisor: John Voll

Joseph, Sabrina E. Middle East & North African History “ The Islamic Law on Tenancy and Sharecropping in Late Sixteenth- through Early Nineteenth-Century Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Khachaturian, Lisa Russia & Eastern European History “ Cultivating Nationhood in Imperial Russia: the Periodical Press and the Formation of a Modern Eastern Armenian Identity ” Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Martin, Kevin W. Middle East & North African History “ Enter the Future! Exemplars of Bourgeois Modernity in Post-World War II Syria ” Advisor: Judith Tucker

Merrow, Alexander C. Modern European History “ The Catholic Historical Discipline in Imperial Germany, 1876-1901 ” Advisor: Roger Chickering

Negroponte, Diana V. US History “ Conflict Resolution at the End of the Cold War ” Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Norman, York A. Middle East & North African History “ An Islamic City? Sarajevo’s Islamization and Economic Development, 1461-1604 ” Advisor: John Voll

Roedell, Christopher A. Modern Europe “ The Beasts That Perish: The Problem of Evil and the Contemplation of the Animal Kingdom in English Thought, c. 1660-1839 ” Advisor: Kathryn Olesko

Shearer, Valerie J. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ A Good Deed is Never Forgotten: Credit and Mutual Exchange in Seventeenth-Century France ” Advisor: James Collins

Vrtis, George H. US Environmental History “ The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains: An Environmental History, 1700-1900 ” Advisor: John McNeill

    2004-2005

Andreassi, Anthony D. US History “ ‘Begun in Faith and Grit and God!’: The Sisters of the Divine Compassion, 1869-1954 “ Advisor: Emmett Curran

Ari-Chachaki, Waskar T. Latin American History “ Race and Subaltern Nationalism: The AMP Activist-Intellectuals in Bolivia, 1921-1964 “ Advisor: Erick Langer

Brooke, George Mercer III US History “ A Matter of Will: Sir Robert Thompson, Malaya, and the Failure of American Strategy in Vietnam “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

De Bryun Kops, Henriette (Rahusen) Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Liquid Silver: The Wine and Brandy Trade between Rotterdam and Nantes in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century “ Advisor: James Collins

Rouland, Michael R. Russian & Eastern European History “ Music and the Making of the Kazak Nation, 1920-1936 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

    2003-2004

Bryne, Daniel US History “ Adrift on a Sea of Sand: The Search for United States Foreign Policy Toward the Decolonization of Algeria, 1942-1962 “ Advisor: David Painter

Class, James N. Russia & Eastern European History “ Russian Messianism in the Napoleonic Wars “ Advisor: Catherine Evtuhov

Coventry, Michael T. US History “ ‘God, Country, Home and Mother’: Soldiers, Gender, and Nationalism in Great War America “ Advisor: Dorothy Brown

Drummond, Elizabeth A. Modern European History “ Protecting Poznania: Germans, Poles, and the Conflict Over National Identity, 1886-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Goldyn, Bartholomew H. Russia & Eastern European History “ Cities for a New Poland: State Planning and Urban Control in the Building of Gdynia and Nowa Huta “ Advisor: Andrzej Kaminski

Hill, Brendan L. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Puritans in the Public Sphere: The Societies for Reformation of Manners and the Continuity of Calvinism in Early Eighteenth Century England “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz

Ivey, Linda L. US Environmental History “ Poetic Industrialism: Ethnicity, Environment and Commercial Horticulture in California’s Pajaro Valley, from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression “ Advisor: John McNeill

Linford, Rebecca R. Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Women of the Quarter Sessions: A Study of Women’s Involvement in Crime in Lancashire County, 1590-1606 “ Advisor: Jo Ann Moran Cruz

Nichols-Busch, Tracy Russia & Eastern European History “ A Class on Wheels: Avtodor and the Automobilization of the Soviet Union 1927-1935 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

Schutts, Jeff Richard Modern European History “ Coca-Colonization, ‘Refreshing Americanization, or Nazi Volksgetrank’: The History of Coca-Cola in Germany, 1921-1961 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Zejmis, Jakub Russia & Eastern European History “ Belarus: Religion, Language and the Struggle for National Identity in a Soviet-Polish Borderland, 1921-1939 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

    2002-2003

Abi-Mershed, Osama Middle East & North African History “ Domination by Consent: The Bureaux Arabes and Public Instruction in Colonial Algeria, 1831-1870 “ Advisor: John Ruedy

Belmonte, Monica L. US History “ Reining in Revolution: The United States Response to British Decolonization in Nigeria in an Era of Civil Rights, 1953-1960 “ Advisor: Nancy B. Tucker

Brewer, M. Jonah Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh: French Consuls and Commercial Diplomacy in the Ottoman Levant, 1660-1699 “ Advisor: James Collins

Caffrey, Patrick Joseph East & Central Asian Environmental History “ The Forests of Northeast China, 1600-1960: Environment, Politics, and Society “ Advisor: Carol A. Benedict

Davenport, Lisa E. US History “ Jazz, Race, and American Cultural Exchange: An International Study of U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, 1954-1968 “ Advisor: David Painter

DeLong-Bas, Natana J. Middle East & North African History “ Muhammed Ibn Abd al-Wahhab: An Intellectual Biography “ Advisor: John Voll

Dorsey, Jennifer H. US History “ Free People of Color in Rural Maryland, 1783-1832 “ Advisor: Alison Games

Ludes, James M. Modern European History “ A Consistency of Purpose: Political Warfare and the National Security Strategy of the Eisenhower Administration “ Advisor: Aviel Roshwald

Semerdjian, Elyse Middle East & North African History “ Off the Straight Path: Gender, Public Morality, and Legal Administration in Ottoman Aleppo, Syria “ Advisor: John Voll

Zalar, Jeffrey T. Modern European History “ Knowledge and Nationalism in Imperial Germany: A Cultural History of the Association of Saint Charles Borromeo, 1890-1914 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

    2001-2002

Abugideiri, Hibba E. Middle East & North African History “ Egyptian Women and the Science Question: Gender in the Making of Colonized Medicine, 1893-1929 “ Advisor: John Voll

Alvaro-Velcamp, Theresa Latin American History “ Peddling Identity: Arabs, Conflict, Community and the Mexican Nation in the Twentieth Century “ Advisor: John Tutino

Caplan, Gregory A. “ Wicked Sons, German Heroes: Jewish Soldiers, Veterans and Memories of World War I in Germany “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Duggan, Michael F. US History “ Chauncey Wright and Forward-Looking Empiricism, a History of Ideas “ Advisor: Emmett Curran

Hamilton, Joanna Early Modern & Late Medieval European History “ The Merchants of Vannes: 1670-1730 “ Advisor: James Collins

Hoerle, Scott Modern European History “ Hans Friedrich Blunck: Poetry, Politics, and Propaganda, 1888-1961 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Janik, Elizabeth Koch Modern European History “ Music in Cold War Berlin: German Tradition and Allied Occupation, 1945-1951 “ Advisor: Roger Chickering

Law, Randall Russia & Eastern European History “ Humanity’s Workshops: Progressive Education in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1856-1927 “ Advisor: Richard Stites

McGillivray, Gillian Latin American History “ Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Power, and Politics in Cuba, 1868-1948 “ Advisor: John Tutino

McGinn, John US History “ Balancing Defense and Détente in NATO: The Harmel Framework and the 1968 Crisis in Czechoslovakia “ Advisor: David Painter Sampsell, Catherine M. U.S. History “ ‘To Grab a Hunk of Lightning’: An Intellectual History of American Depression-Era Photography “ Advisor: Emmett Curran

    2000-2001

Carafano, James J. “ ‘Waltzing into the Cold War’: U.S. Army Military Operations in Occupied Austria “ Hill, Richard F. “ Pearl Harbor Month: Why the United States Went to War with Germany “ Jackson, Maurice “ ‘Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands Unto God’: Anthony Benezet and the Atlantic Anti-Slavery Revolution “ Skinner, Barbara J. “ The Empress and the Heretics: Catherine II’s Challenge to the Uniate Church, 1762-1796 “ Socolow, Michael J. “ To Network a Nation: N.B.C., C.B.S., and the Development of National Network Radio in the United States, 1925-1950 “ Taffet, Jeffrey A. “ Alliance for What?: U.S. Development Assistance in Chile During the 1960s “ Wall, Michael C. “ Chinese Reaction to the Portrayal of China and Chinese in American Motion Pictures prior to 1949 “

    1999-2000

Brüggemann, Julia “ Through the Prism of Prostitution: State and Society in Hamburg, 1800-1914 “ Burch, Susan “ Biding the Time: American Deaf Cultural History, 1900 to World War II “ Cline, Ruth Harwood “ The Congregation of Tiron in the Twelfth Century: Foundation and Expansion “ Dale, Melissa S. “ With the Cut of a Knife: A Social History of Eunuchs During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and Republican Periods (1912-1949) “ Davis, Rebekah “ Development as a Tool of Diplomacy: The Domestic Models for U.S. Policy in the Jordan River Valley, 1939-1956 “ Heineman, Paul “ In Defense of an Anachronism: The Cossack Question on the Don, 1861-1914 “ Khalafallah, Haifaa “ Rethinking Islamic Law: Genesis and Evolution in the Islamic Legal Methods and Structures. The Case of a 20th Century ‘Alim’s Journey into His Legal Traditions. Muhammad Al-Ghazali (1917-1996) “ Pisiotis, Argyrios K. “ Orthodoxy Versus Autocracy: The Orthodox Church and Clerical Political Dissent in Late Imperial Russia, 1905-1914 “ Pujals, Sandra “ When Giants Walked the Earth: The Society of Former Political Prisoners and Exiles of the Soviet Union, 1921-1935 “ Reifowitz, Ian “ Civic Nationalism in a Multiethnic Society: Conceptions of a Supraethnic Austrian Identity, 1848-1918 “ Ritenour, Perry “ Chinese Banking and Foreign Trade (1949-1979) with a Focus on Guangdong “ Taylor, Karen “ Cher espoir de la nation sainte: The Maison Royale de Saint-Louis at Saint-Cyr “ Wiggers, Richard “ Creating International Humanitarian Law [IHL]: World War II, the Allied Occupations, and the Treaties that Followed “

    1998-1999

Arpaia, Paul “ Luigi Federzoni and the Italian Nationalist Association: From a Cultural Conception of Italy to a Neo-Conservative Political Program “ Foehr, Sherry “ Modernization for the Honor of the Estate: Die Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft, 1884-1914 “ Healy, Róisín “ The Jesuit as Enemy: Anti-Jesuitism and the Protestant Bourgeoisie of Imperial Germany, 1890-1917 “ Kawamura, S.J., Shinzo “ Making Christian Lay Communities During the ‘Christian Century’ in Japan — A Case Study of Takata District in Bungo “ Ke, Yan “ Scholars and Communications Network: Social and Intellectual Change in 17th-Century North China “ Jain, Asha “ Kumarapala Chaulukya (r. 1143-74) of Gujarat, India: A Convert to Jainism in Historical Perspective “ Vladimirov, Katya “ The World Of Imperial Provincial Bureaucracy, Russian Poland 1870-1904 “ Powers, Daniel “ All Roads Lead to Rome: French and German Christian Democrats, the Nation-State and the Reconstruction of Europe, 1945-1950 “ Qualls, Karl “ Raised From Ruins: Restoring Popular Allegiance Through City Planning in Sevastopol, 1944-1953 “ Slater, Joseph “ Down By Law: Public Sector Unions and the State in America, World War I to World War II “ Veidlinger, Jeffrey “ Soviet Politics on the Yiddish Stage: Moscow’s State Yiddish Theater, 1919-1949 “

    1997-1998

Carpenter, Kim “ ‘Sechs Kreuzer sind genug für ein Bier!’ The Munich Beer Riot of 1844: Social Protest and Public Disorder in Mid-19th Century Bavaria “   Enriquez, Jonmikel “ Theodore White and the Remaking of Political Journalism “   Goedde, Celia J. “ The Artisan’s Approach to Modernity: The Political Culture of the German Artisans in Vienna and Augsburg “   Long, Loretta M. “ A Fellow Soldier in the Cause of Reformation: The Life of Selina Campbell “   Pendzich, Barbara “ The Burghers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the War of 1654-1667: Resiliency and Cohesion in the Face of Muscovite Annexation “   Phillips, Steven “ Restoration and Conquest: The Taiwanese Elite under Nationalist Chinese Rule, 1945-1950 “

Russell, Mona Lisa “ Creating the New Woman: Consumerism, Education, and National Identity in Egypt, 1863-1922 “

Scholz, Norbert “ Foreign Education and Indigenous Reaction in Late Ottoman Lebanon: Students & Teachers of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut “   Tamari, Stephen “ Teaching and Learning in 18th-Century Damascus: Localism and Ottomanism in an Early Modern Arab Society “   Zehren, Maria “ The Dangling Scissors: Marriage, Family, and Work Among Italian Immigrant Women in the Clothing Industry in Baltimore, 1890-1920 “

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Understanding edward bruce in john barbour's the bruce: an exploration of chivalry, kingship, community and providence in fourteenth-century historical writing , monasticism in late byzantine constantinople (1261–1453): urban, social, and institutional history , witchcraft in scotland: emotions and strategy , after the persians: memories of the persian wars in the hellenistic period , “keep this unwritten history”: mapping african american family histories in “information wanted” advertisements, 1880-1900 , 'they are ultimately to feel the benefit of change': enslaved healthcare and amelioration in trinidad and british guiana, 1780-1834 , reception of isaac newton in the scottish enlightenment: causation, gravitation, and the transformation of natural philosophy , 'from partition to decriminalisation': homosexuality in northern ireland, 1921-1982 , itinerancy of health: jewish migrant encounters with health and medicine in britain, 1880-1914 , ‘the spanish are a wonderful people’: the international brigades and their cross-cultural encounters with civil-war spain, 1936-1939 , post-conflict settlement in the seleukid kingdom throughout the third and second centuries bc , phenomenon of jealousy in latin language and literature: metaphors, scenarios and embodied experiences , dynamics of power and artistry of arrangement in valerius maximus' facta et dicta memorabilia , magdalen life course: the lives of the inmates of the clewer and salisbury houses of mercy, 1830-1900 , esme stuart d'aubigny, first duke of lennox c.1542-1583: a french courtier in scotland , history of the sheriff's farm , honour in the oikos: reciprocity, respect, and recognition in fourth-century athens , 'what they call free in this country': refugees from slavery in revolutionary america, 1775-1783 , atimia: dishonour, disfranchisement, and civic disability in archaic and classical athens , non-physical cruelty and the divorce court in england 1857-1914: expectations and experiences of marriage .

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How to Research and Write a Compelling History Thesis

student works on history thesis in university library

The Importance of Research for Writing a History Thesis

Just as history is more than a collection of facts about past events, an effective history thesis goes beyond simply sharing recorded information. Writing a compelling history thesis requires making an argument about a historical fact and, then, researching and providing a well-crafted defense for that position.

With so many sources available—some of which may provide conflicting findings—how should a student research and write a history thesis? How can a student create a thesis that’s both compelling and supports a position that academic editors describe as “concise, contentious, and coherent”?

Key steps in how to write a history thesis include evaluating source materials, developing a strong thesis statement, and building historical knowledge.

Compelling theses provide context about historical events. This context, according to the reference website ThoughtCo., refers to the social, religious, economic, and political conditions during an occurrence that “enable us to interpret and analyze works or events of the past, or even the future, rather than merely judge them by contemporary standards”.

The context supports the main point of a thesis, called the thesis statement, by providing an interpretive and analytical framework of the facts, instead of simply stating them. Research uncovers the evidence necessary to make the case for that thesis statement.

To gather evidence that contributes to a deeper understanding of a given historical topic, students should reference both primary and secondary sources of research.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are firsthand accounts of events in history, according to Professor David Ulbrich, director of Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program. These sources provide information not only about what happened and how it happened but also why it happened.

Primary sources can include letters, diaries, photos, and videos as well as material objects such as “spent artillery shells, architectural features, cemetery headstones, chemical analysis of substances, shards of bowls or bottles, farming implements, or earth or environmental features or factors,” Ulbrich says. “The author of the thesis can tell how people lived, for example, by the ways they arranged their material lives.”

Primary research sources are the building blocks to help us better understand and appreciate history. It is critical to find as many primary sources from as many perspectives as possible. Researching these firsthand accounts can provide evidence that helps answer those “what”, “how”, and “why” questions about the past, Ulbrich says.

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources are materials—such as books, articles, essays, and documentaries—gathered and interpreted by other researchers. These sources often provide updates and evaluation of the thesis topic or viewpoints that support the theories presented in the thesis.

Primary and secondary sources are complementary types of research that form a convincing foundation for a thesis’ main points.

How to Write a History Thesis

What are the steps to write a history thesis? The process of developing a thesis that provides a thorough analysis of a historical event—and presents academically defensible arguments related to that analysis—includes the following:

1. Gather and Analyze Sources

When collecting sources to use in a thesis, students should analyze them to ensure they demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the materials. A student should evaluate the attributes of sources such as their origin and point-of-view.

An array of primary and secondary sources can help provide a thorough understanding of a historical event, although some of those sources may include conflicting views and details. In those cases, the American Historical Association says, it’s up to the thesis author to determine which source reflects the appropriate point-of-view.

2. Develop a Thesis Statement

To create a thesis statement, a student should establish a specific idea or theory that makes the main point about a historical event. Scribbr, an editing website, recommends starting with a working thesis, asking the question the thesis intends to answer, and, then, writing the answer.

The final version of a thesis statement might be argumentative, for example, taking a side in a debate. Or it might be expository, explaining a historical situation. In addition to being concise and coherent, a thesis statement should be contentious, meaning it requires evidence to support it.

3. Create an Outline

Developing a thesis requires an outline of the content that will support the thesis statement. Students should keep in mind the following key steps in creating their outline:

  • Note major points.
  • Categorize ideas supported by the theories.
  • Arrange points according to the importance and a timeline of events addressed by the thesis.
  • Create effective headings and subheadings.
  • Format the outline.

4. Organize Information

Thesis authors should ensure their content follows a logical order. This may entail coding resource materials to help match them to the appropriate theories while organizing the information. A thesis typically contains the following elements.

  • Abstract —Overview of the thesis.
  • Introduction —Summary of the thesis’ main points.
  • Literature review —Explanation of the gap in previous research addressed by this thesis.
  • Methods —Outline how the author reviewed the research and why materials were selected.
  • Results —Description of the research findings.
  • Discussion —Analysis of the research.
  • Conclusion —Statements about what the student learned.

5. Write the Thesis

Online writing guide Paperpile recommends that students start with the literature review when writing the thesis. Developing this section first will help the author gain a more complete understanding of the thesis’ source materials. Writing the abstract last can give the student a thorough picture of the work the abstract should describe.

The discussion portion of the thesis typically is the longest since it’s here that the writer will explain the limitations of the work, offer explanations of any unexpected results, and cite remaining questions about the topic.

In writing the thesis, the author should keep in mind that the document will require multiple changes and drafts—perhaps even new insights. A student should gather feedback from a professor and colleagues to ensure their thesis is clear and effective before finalizing the draft.      

6. Prepare to Defend the Thesis

A committee will evaluate the student’s defense of the thesis’ theories. Students should prepare to defend their thesis by considering answers to questions posed by the committee. Additionally, students should develop a plan for addressing questions to which they may not have a ready answer, understanding the evaluation likely will consider how the author handles that challenge.

Developing Skills to Write a Compelling History Thesis

When looking for direction on how to write a history thesis, Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program can provide the needed skills and knowledge. The program’s tracks and several courses—taken as core classes or as electives in multiple concentrations—can provide a strong foundation for thesis work.

Master of Arts in History Tracks

In the Norwich online Master of Arts in History program, respected scholars help students improve their historical insight, research, writing, analytical, and presentation skills. They teach the following program tracks.

  • Public History —Focuses on the preservation and interpretation of historic documents and artifacts for purposes of public observation.
  • American History —Emphasizes the exploration and interpretation of key events associated with U.S. history.
  • World History —Prepares students to develop an in-depth understanding of world history from various eras.
  • Legal and Constitutional History —Provides a thorough study of the foundational legal and constitutional elements in the U.S. and Europe.

Master of Arts in History Courses

Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program enables students to customize studies based on career goals and personal interests through the following courses:

  • Introduction to History and Historiography —Covers the core concepts of history-based study and research methodology, highlighting how these concepts are essential to developing an effective history thesis.
  • Directed Readings in History —Highlights different ways to use sources that chronicle American history to assist in researching and writing a thorough and complete history thesis.
  • Race, Gender, and U.S. Constitution —Explores key U.S. Supreme Court decisions relating to national race and gender relations and rights, providing a deeper context to develop compelling history theses.
  • Archival Studies —Breaks down the importance of systematically overseeing archival materials, highlighting how to build historical context to better educate and engage with the public.

Start Your Path Toward Writing a Compelling History Thesis

For over two centuries, Norwich University has played a vital role in history as America’s first private military college and the birthplace of the ROTC. As such, the university is uniquely positioned to lead students through a comprehensive analysis of the major developments, events, and figures of the past.

Explore Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History program. Start your path toward writing a compelling history thesis and taking your talents further.

Writing History: An Introductory Guide to How History Is Produced , American Historical Association     How to Write a Thesis Statement , Scribbr     The Importance of Historic Context in Analysis and Interpretation , ThoughtCo.     7 Reasons Why Research Is Important , Owlcation     Primary and Secondary Sources , Scribbr     Secondary Sources in Research , ThoughtCo.     Analysis of Sources , History Skills     Research Paper Outline , Scribbr     How to Structure a Thesis , Paperpile     Writing Your Final Draft , History Skills     How to Prepare an Excellent Thesis Defense , Paperpile

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Preparing a History PhD proposal

The carefully thought-out and detailed research proposal to be submitted with the formal application is the product of a sometimes prolonged negotiation with your potential supervisor. The supervisor may be enthusiastic about your project or might advise you to consider a different subject or change your angle on it; they may query aspects of your plan such as its breadth, the availability of primary sources or the extent to which you are familiar with the secondary literature. You may be asked to demonstrate the originality of your research question or be advised to consider applying to another institution which may have more appropriate expertise. During this process you will likely be asked to submit a specimen of written-up historical research, such as your Masters or BA dissertation. The sooner you start developing the structure that is expected in a research proposal, the more productive your exchanges with your potential supervisor will be.

You may find different advice for writing a research proposal across different OU webpages. Given that a research proposal can vary significantly across different disciplines, when applying to the History Department you should follow the guidance provided here.

The research proposal you submit in January should be approximately 1000 words, plus a bibliography, and should contain the following:

A title, possibly with a subtitle

The title should not take the form of a question and it may run to a dozen words or more. Like the title of a book, it should clearly convey the topic you propose to work on. A subtitle may explain the chronological or geographical focus of your work, or the methodological approach you will take. Choosing a title is a good way for focusing on the topic you want to investigate and the approach you want to take.

These are examples of poor titles and topics to research:

  • Captain Cook’s Third Voyage
  • Women in eighteenth-century England

These would be poor topics to research because they lack a strong question and it is not clear which approach they take to their already well-researched subjects. They are generic or merely descriptive. 

Examples of good research topics

  • Constructing the Eternal City: visual representations of Rome, 1500-1700
  • Rearing citizens for the state: manuals for parents in France, 1900-1950

These projects combine a sharp chronological and geographical focus with a clear indication of how the sources will be analysed to respond to a precise question. In the first case, for example, the premise is that visual representations are critical in the making of a city’s eminence. This indicates the type of sources that will be analysed (paintings, engravings and other visual sources). The chronology is particularly well chosen because in these two centuries Rome turned from being the capital of the Catholic world to becoming the much sought-after destination of the Grand Tour; interesting questions of change and continuity come into focus.

Brief summary of your argument

An acceptable PhD thesis must have a central argument, a 'thesis'.  You need to have something to argue for or against, a point to prove or disprove, a question to answer. What goes into this section of the proposal is a statement of your question and the answer you plan to give, even if, for now, it remains a hypothesis.

Why this subject is important

We expect originality in a thesis and so under this rubric we expect you to explain why the knowledge you seek on the subject you propose to work on is important for its period and place, or for historians’ views on its period and place. Finding some early-modern English laundry lists would not suffice  on its own  to justify writing a PhD thesis about them. But those laundry lists could be important evidence for a thesis about the spread of the Great Plague in London, for example.

Framing your research

Your proposal has to show awareness of other scholarly writing on the subject. This section positions your approach to the subject in relation to approaches in some of those works, summarising how far you think it differs. For instance, you could challenge existing interpretations of the end the Cold War, or you might want to support one historian or another; you could open up a neglected aspect of the debate - say by considering the role of an overlooked group or national government - and perhaps kick-start a debate of your own. All this is to show that you have read  into  your subject and familiarised yourself with its contours. We don’t expect you to have done all your research at the start, but it is essential for you to show familiarity with the key texts and main authors in your chosen field.

What sources might you need to consult in libraries and archives?

Here you should describe or at least list the primary materials you are likely to use in researching your thesis. This demonstrates your confidence that enough relevant sources exist to support a sustained scholarly argument. Many archival catalogues are available online and can be searched remotely, including The National Archives, the National Archives of Scotland, the National Archives (Ireland), the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and Archives Wales. You can search the London-based Historical Manuscripts Commission and the National Register of Archives, both of which provide access to local county record offices. Databases such as ‘Eighteenth Century Collections Online’ and the British Library’s ‘British Newspapers Online 1600-1900’ will help you identify and locate relevant sources.

What skills are required to work on the sources you plan to use?

You need to show that you have the linguistic competence to pursue your research. With few exceptions, original sources must be read in the original languages; if the principal historical literature is not in English, you must be able to read it too. Palaeographic problems aren’t confined to ancient writing. You might have to tackle early modern or other scripts that are hard to decipher. Even with fluent German, an applicant baffled by the Gothic script and typeface would flounder without undertaking ancillary study. Training is available at The Open University, or in some circumstances you can be funded to undertake training elsewhere, and you should demonstrate awareness of the skills that you need to acquire.

Do you have the technical competence to handle any data-analysis your thesis may require?

Databases, statistical evidence and spreadsheets are used increasingly by historians in certain fields. If your research involves, say, demographic or economic data, you will need to consider whether you have the necessary IT and statistical skills and, if not, how you will acquire them.

How will you arrange access to the libraries and archives where you need to work?

Although primary sources are increasingly available in digitised form, you should consider that important sources may be closed or in private hands. To consult them may require some travelling and so you should be realistic as to what you will be able to do, particularly if you are applying to study part-time as not all archives are open out of regular office hours.

A bibliography

This should come at the end and include a list of the primary sources you plan to use and the relevant secondary literature on the subject. While you should show that you are on top of recent work (and of important older studies) on the topic, there is no point in having a long list of works only marginally related to your subject. As always, specificity is the best policy.

Please follow this link to see an  example of a successful research proposal [PDF].

All this may seem daunting, as if the department is asking you to write a thesis before you apply. But that is not our intention; the advice is to help you perform the necessary spadework before entering the formal application process. Working up a proposal under the headings suggested above will, if your application is successful, save you and your supervisor(s) much time if and when the real work begins.

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You will work with a stellar faculty in the Department of History and neighboring departments as you acquire advanced skills in historical research, analysis, and writing, as well as teaching.

Nine research centers affiliated with the history program offer further programs in area studies, including The Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and The Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. You also have access to the largest university library system in the world, consisting of 80 libraries and 17 million volumes.

Examples of dissertations students have worked on include “Cold War Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Military Spending from 1949 to 1989” and “Imperial Schemes: Empire and the Rise of the British Business-State, 1914–1939.”

Graduates of the program have gone on to teach at Yale University, Princeton University, NYU, and the University of Maryland. Others have gone on to positions outside academia as startup founders, lawyers, policy analysts, and museum curators.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of History and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies .

Areas of Study

African History | Ancient History | Byzantine History | Early Modern European History | East Asian History | Environmental History | International and Global History | Latin American History | Medieval History | Middle Eastern History | Modern European History | Russian and Eastern European History | South Asian History | United States History

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of History .

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required. While there is not a specific length requirement, most writing samples are around 20 to 25 pages. If you are submitting a sample that is part of a larger work (a chapter from a thesis, for instance) you may include a brief abstract situating the piece in the larger work.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement of purpose should include why you want to study history in graduate school, why you want to study at Harvard, and indicate your research interests and potential advisors. The required writing sample should be of remarkable quality and ask historical questions. Reading ability in two languages other than English is helpful. Most statements of purpose are around 3 to 5 pages.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Optional

In coordination with Harvard Law School, students may pursue both a PhD in history and a JD at Harvard Law School. To learn more about this course of study consult the Coordinated JD/PhD program overview.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for History

See list of History faculty

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Questions about the program.

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Browse by phd thesis by university of warwick department.

Aguilar-González, Ricardo (2023) Sustenance : a history of foods, drinks and bodies in the colonisation of Mesoamerica, 1470-1600. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ahmad, Malik Hammad (2015) The struggle for democracy in Pakistan : nonviolent resistance of military rule 1977-88. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ayres, Bryan John (2015) Navvy communities and families in the construction of the Great Central Railway London extension, 1894-1900. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Andrews, Emily Stella (2014) Senility before alzheimer : old age in British psychiatry, c. 1835-1912. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Allwright, Lucy (2011) The war on London : defending the city from the war in the air 1932-1943. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Acevedo-Rodrigo, Adriana (2004) Paying for progress : politics, ethnicity and schools in a Mexican Sierra, 1875-1930. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Armstrong, Catherine (2004) Representations of North American 'place' and 'potential' in English travel literature, 1607-1660. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Adams, Jane M. (2003) The mixed economy for medical services in Herefordshire c. 1770 - c. 1850. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Adams, Matthew, Ph.D. (2002) Imagining Britain : the formation of British national identity during the eighteenth century. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Arfaioli, Maurizio (2001) The road to Naples: Florence, the Black Bands and the army of the League of Cognac (1526-1528). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bowman, Jack (2023) Pan-African print, politics in action: a book history of the pan-African movement, 1930-1950. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Burrell, Robert Stanley (2021) Correcting the story of Iwo Jima : tragedy and triumph in the Pacific war. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Botcherby, Pierre (2021) Community, de-industrialisation, and post-industrial regeneration in a Merseyside town : St. Helens, 1968-2018. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bhayat, Sabera (2021) The problem of polygamy in modern India, 1861-1947. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bardgett, Suzanne (2021) History writing in a museum : practice, archives, art. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Biswas, Somak (2020) Passages through India : Indian gurus, western disciples and the politics of Indophilia 1890-1940. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bruzzone, Anna (2019) Territorial appropriation, trade, and politics in the Somalia-Kenya borderlands (c.1925-1963) : state formation in transnational perspective. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Baker, Tabitha (2019) The embroidery trade in eighteenth-century Paris and Lyon. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bennett, Melissa (2018) Picturing the West India regiments: race, empire, and photography c.1850-1914. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Burchell, Andrew David (2018) The adolescent school pupil, psycho-social theory and practice, and the construction of a pedagogy of discipline in Britain, 1911-1989. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Byrne, Alice (2018) The cultural and political significance of St George in England, 1509 – 1625. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Botre, Shrikant (2017) The body language of caste : Marathi sexual modernity (1920-1950). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bray, Thomas (2016) In the gaps and on the margins : social work in England, 1940–1970. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bramwell, William J. (2015) Loyalties and the politics of incorporation in South Africa : the case of Pondoland, c.1870-1913. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bates, Stephen (Researcher in history) (2013) Re-imagining the Virgin Mary in Reformation England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Briggs, Linda (2013) Representations of the monarchy and peace-making in the royal tour of France (1564-1566). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Beck, David (Researcher in history) (2013) Thoroughly English : county natural history, c.1660-1720. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Branch, Laura (2011) Faith and fraternity : the London Livery Companies and the Reformation c.1510-c.1600. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Brown, James R., Ph.D. (2007) The landscape of drink: inns, taverns and alehouses in early modern Southampton. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Brewster, Claire (2000) Political writing in times of crisis: the work of Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Carlos Monsiváis and Elena Poniatowska. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Beverley, Tessa (1999) Venetian ambassadors 1454-94 : an Italian elite. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Boa, Sheena (1998) Colour, class and gender in post-emancipation St. Vincent, 1834-1884. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Brewster, Keith (1995) Caciquismo in post-revolutionary Mexico : the case of Gabriel Barrios Cabrera in the Sierra Norte de Puebla. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bonsall, Penny (1990) The Somerset and Lothian miners 1919 - c.1947 : changing attitudes to pit work in the twentieth century. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Bennett-Ruete, Jackie (1987) A social history of bad Ems : spa culture and the welfare state in Germany. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Chen, Qiuyang (2023) Rural women and private credit: microcredit crises in southeast coastal China, 1987–1992. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Challoner, Adam (2023) A reading people : the sectional crisis and the common reader in the antebellum South. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Chick, Joe (2020) Cloisters and clothiers: the social impact of Reading’s transition from monastic lordship to self-governance, 1350-1600. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Creed, Fabiola Katrina (2020) Advertising, stereotypes, and "addiction" : understanding sunbed representation in England, 1970s-1990s. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Chou, Shengfang (2019) Re-imagining Chineseness: Chinese people, Chinatown, and British masculine chinoiserie ca. 1850- ca. 1920. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cutmore, Martyn R. J. (2019) Puritan affective culture: emotional identities and the publications of Samuel Clarke (1599-1682). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Crites, Rebecca (2016) Husbands' violence against wives in England and Wales, 1914-1939 : a review of contemporary understandings of and responses to men's marital violence. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cox, Natalie (2016) Armchair geography : speculation, synthesis, and the culture of British exploration, c.1830-c.1870. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Courtois, Denis (2016) Talking to France : radio propaganda from 1940 to 1942. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cox, Patricia J. (2013) Reformation responses in Tudor Cheshire c.1500-1577. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cadelo Buitrago, Andrea (2013) Luxury, sensibility, climate and taste : eighteenth-century worldwide racialisation of difference. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cowie, Helen Louise (2007) Colonizing science: nature and nations in the Spanish world, c.1750-1850. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cahill, Michael James (2001) The diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, 1603-1642. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Coupland, Philip M. (2000) Voices from nowhere : utopianism in British political culture 1929-1945. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Cowley, John (1992) Music & migration : aspects of black music in the British Caribbean, the United States, and Britain, before the independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Davies, Hugh Gareth (2018) Marriage strategies of Midlands ‘Lesser Gentry’, c.1660-1820. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Dyer, Serena (2016) Trained to consume : dress and the female consumer in England, 1720-1820. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Duche, Elodie (2014) A passage to imprisonment : the British prisoners of war in Verdun under the First French Empire. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Duncan, Josette (2014) Health, dominion and the Mediterranean : colonial medicine in nineteenth-century Malta, Cyprus and the Ionian Islands. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Daniels, Jason (Researcher in history) (2013) Atlantic contingency : Jonathan Dickinson and the Anglo-Atlantic world, 1655-1725. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Davies, Timothy, (Researcher in history) (2012) British private trade networks in the Arabian seas, c.1680-c.1760. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Doddington, David Stefan (2012) Hierarchies and honour among enslaved men in the antebellum South. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Dunkley, Daive Anthony (2008) The slaves, the state and the church: slavery and amelioration in Jamaica 1797-1833. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Denbo, Seth J. (2001) Speaking relatively: a history of incest and the family in eighteenth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Egan, Elizabeth Ann (2022) ‘Backra Country’ : Creole whiteness in Jamaica, 1865-1938. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ellin, Dan (2015) The many behind the few : the lives and emotions of Erks and WAAFs of RAF bomber command 1939-1945. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ewart, Henrietta (2012) Caring for migrants : policy responses to Irish migration to England, 1940-1972. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Elliott, Jack, (Researcher in history) (2012) Communicating advanced nationalist identity in Dublin, 1890-1917. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Eissa-Barroso, Francisco A. (2010) Politics, political culture and policy making : the reform of viceregal rule in the Spanish world under Philip V (1700-1746). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Easterby-Smith, Sarah (2009) Cultivating commerce : connoisseurship, botany and the plant trade in London and Paris, c. 1760 – c. 1815. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Earle, Rebecca (1994) The restoration and fall of royal government in New Granada, 1815-1820. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Evans, Eric J. (1970) A history of the tithe system in England, 1690-1850 with special reference to Staffordshire. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Fletcher, David (2023) Religion and restoration drama: the new plays of 1660-1720. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Filby, Liza (2010) God and Mrs Thatcher : religion and politics in 1980s Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Foxhall, Katherine (2008) Disease at sea: convicts, emigrants, ships and the ocean in the voyage to Australia, c. 1830-1860. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Falvey, Heather (2007) Custom, resistance and politics: local experiences of improvement in early modern England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Fowler, Denise (1998) Social distinction and the written word : two provincial case studies, Warwick and Draguignan, 1780-1820. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Flame, Michael John (1997) 'All the common rules of social life' : the reconstruction of social and political identities by the Dorset Gentry, c.1790-c.1834. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Fletcher, Stella (1991) Venetian cardinals at the Papal Court during the pontificates of Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII : 1471-1492. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Fitzpatrick, Brian (1977) Catholic royalism in the department of the Gard, 1814-1851. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Geraghty, Erin (2022) British feminists in Ireland internationalist solidarity or imperial ‘sisterhood’? 1900-1921. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gray, Aleema (2022) Bun Babylon : a community-engaged history of Rastafari in Britain, 1955-1992. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Greenway, Sophie Anne (2022) Growing well : dirt and health in the home and garden in Britain, 1930-1970. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Guthrie, Sofia C. (2022) Antoine de Garissoles' Adolphid (1649), a Huguenot Latin epic : an edited text, translation and historical commentary. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Galvin, Amy (2020) From suffragette to citizen : female experience of parliamentary spaces in long-nineteenth century Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Geall, Edward (2016) The palatinate of Durham and the Tudor state, c. 1485-1558. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gray, Steven, (Researcher in history) (2014) Black diamonds : coal, the Royal Navy, and British imperial coaling stations, circa 1870−1914. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gallwey, April (2011) Lone motherhood in England, 1945–1990 : economy, agency and identity. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Griffin, Rebecca Jane (2003) Iffen I doan love yo' den dar ain't no water in tar riber : courtship and love amongst the enslaved in antebellum North Carolina. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gould, Kevin (2003) 'Vivre et mourir en la religion ancienne romaine et Catholique'. Catholic activism in South-west France, 1560-1570. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gibbons, Geoffrey (1999) The political career of Thomas Wriothesley, First Earl of Southampton, 1505-1550. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Glant, Tibor (1996) Through the prism of the Habsburg monarchy : Hungary in American diplomacy and public opinion during the First World War. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Gleadle, Kathryn Jane (1993) The early feminists: radical Unitarians and the emergence of the women's rights movement, c.1831-1851. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hanley-Smith, Natalie (2020) The ménage-à-trois and other controversial relationships, c. 1780 – 1840. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hwang, Hye Jean (2018) Women and depression in interwar Britain : case notes, narratives and experiences. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Halford, Jacob (2016) 'Of dialogue, that great and powerful art' : a study of the dialogue genre in seventeenth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hutková, Karolina (2015) The British silk connection : the English East India Company’s silk enterprise in Bengal, 1757-1812. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hand, Jane (2014) Visualising food as a modern medicine : gender, the body and health education in Britain, 1940-1992. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Huxford, Grace (2014) 'Thinking soldiers' : the construction of subjectivity in the era of the Korean War. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hitchcock, David J. (2012) The experience and construction of the vagabond in England, 1650-1750. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hughes, Celia P. (2011) The socio-cultural milieux of the left in post-war Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hailwood, Mark (2010) Alehouses and sociability in seventeenth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hubbard, Philippa (2009) The art of advertising: trade cards in eighteenth-century consumer cultures. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Howman, Brian (2006) An analysis of slave abolitionists in the north-west of England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hug, Tobias B. (Tobias Benedikt) (2006) 'I come of to highe a bloode to be a roague for I am kynge of the Realme' : representations and perceptions of impostors in early modern England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Handley, Sasha (2005) 'Visions of an unseen world': the production and consumption of English ghost stories, c.1660-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Harper, Elinor (2004) Sharing intimacies: men's stories of love and the divorce reform debates in mid-twentieth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hudson, Sarah J. (2001) Attitudes to investment risk amongst West Midland canal and railway company investors, 1760-1850. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hall, Duncan (2000) A pleasant change from politics : the musical culture of the British labour movement, 1918-1939. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hayman, Mark (1999) The Labour Party and the monarchy. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hazareesingh, Sandip (1999) The colonial city and the challenge of modernity : urban hegemonies and civic contestations in Bombay City, 1905-1925. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Haggith, Toby (1998) Castles in the air : British film and the reconstruction of the built environment, 1939-51. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hart, Ian James (1992) Religious life in Essex, circa 1500 to 1570. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Hansen, Caroline Anne (1991) Conquest and colonization in the Colombian Choco, 1510-1740. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Howard, Sarah Lucy (1976) The new utilitarians? Studies in the origins and early intellectual associations of Fabianism. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ingram, Juliet Amy (2004) The conscience of the community: the character and development of clerical complaint in early modern England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Jaffer, Aaron (2013) Lascar mutiny in the age of sail, c.1780-1860. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Jones, Amanda Claire (2003) 'Commotion time': the English risings of 1549. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Jung, Young-joo (2002) A natural harmony?: government, business and British interests in Southeast Asia, 1945-1951. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Knott, Cherry Ann (2012) George Vernon and the building of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire : punching above his weight? PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Kelleher, John D. (1991) The rural community in nineteenth century Jersey. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Knight, Mark (1986) Religious life in Coventry, 1485-1558. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Knight, Patricia (1968) British public opinion and the rise of imperialist sentiment in relation to expansion in Africa, 1880-1900. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Luttrell, Thomas James (2021) Catholic hopes and Protestant fears : ‘toleration talk’ in Elizabethan and early Stuart England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Law, Susan Carolyn (2011) Public roles and private lives : aristocratic adultery in late Georgian England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Lussana, Sergio (2011) Band of brothers : enslaved men of the antebellum south. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Lockhart, Judith (2008) Women, health and hospitals in Birmingham : the Birmingham and Midland Hospital for Women, 1871-1948. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Long, Vicky (2004) Changing public representations of mental illness in Britain 1870-1970. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Lane, Penelope (1999) Women in the regional economy : the East Midlands, 1700-1830. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Lambie, George (1987) Poetry and ideology: the effect of the politics of the interwar years and the Spanish Civil War on the poetry of César Vallejo. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Lowry, Martin (1971) The church and Venetian political change in the later cinquecento. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Morton, Tara (2023) Redrawing boundaries: suffrage artists, spatiality, gender, and power. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Morgan, Louise (2023) ‘Eat better, not less’: clean eating and Orthorexia Nervosa in contemporary British history. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Molenaar, Sander (2022) ‘Greedy, ignorant people’ : the impact of recurring coastal violence on state-society relationships along the south coast of the Ming Empire, 1440-1570. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Mahé, Camille (2021) Des enfances ordinaires? une histoire comparée de la sortie de guerre des enfants d’Europe occidentale (Allemagne de l’Ouest, France, Italie. 1943-1949). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ma, Jinping (2019) Remoulding the Chinese mind : mental hygiene promotion in Republican Shanghai. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Mahoney, Kate (2017) 'Finding our own solutions' : the women's movement and mental health activism in late twentieth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Morton, Rachael (2017) The making and possessing of quality : the metalware trades in England, c. 1675-1785. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Marquis, Todd A. (2016) From penance to repentance : themes of forgiveness in the early English reformation. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Morgan, John E. (2015) Flooding in early modern England : cultures of coping in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Markiewicz, Emma (2014) Hair, wigs and wig wearing in eighteenth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Moore, Martin D. (2014) A question of control? : managing diabetes and its professionals in Britain, 1910-1994. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Martinez Saavedra, Beatriz (2013) Shaping the 'community' : Hindu nationalist imagination in Gujarat, 1880-1950. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Moran, Anna (2011) From factory floor to fine dining : making, selling and using glass in Ireland, c. 1730 - c. 1830. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Marchal, Martine Anne Claire (2009) A transnational study of antifascism and resistance to Nazi occupation in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany, 1922-1950. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Murray, Stephen (2009) Nineteenth-century trade union sponsored migration to and from North America, c.1850-1885, with special reference to the activities of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, a selection of other 'new model' trade unions, emigration schemes and return migration. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Moran, Christopher R. (2008) Never to be disclosed : government secrecy in Britain 1945-1975. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Miele, Kathryn (2007) Representing empathy : speaking for vulnerable bodies in Victorian medicine and culture. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Milner, Matthew (2006) A sensible reformation: the senses and liturgical life in Tudor England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

McShane Jones, Angela (2004) 'Rime and reason': the political world of the English broadside ballad, 1640-1689. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

McClive, Cathy (2004) Bleeding flowers and waning moons : a history of menstruation in France, c. 1495-1761. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas (1990) Pictorial sign and social order : L'Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture 1638-1752. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

McCoog, Thomas M. (1984) The Society of Jesus in England, 1623-1688 : an institutional study. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ni, Leiyun (2023) Food and drink as negotiation sites: Sino-western encounters in Canton and Macao, ca.1700-1845. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Nicoll, David G. W. (2020) Noble identity during the French wars of religion : Antoine de Crussol, the duc d’Uzès. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Narayan, Rosalyn (2020) Slavery in print : slaveholding ideology and anxiety in antebellum southern newspapers, 1830-1861. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Noble, Rebecca (2017) Madness and the regulation of the self in Bourbon Mexico. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Nicholls, Angela (Researcher in history) (2014) Early modern English almshouses in the mixed economy of welfare c. 1550-1725. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Nelson, Katie M. (2010) Thomas Whythorne and Tudor musicians. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Navarrete Gómez, Carlos David (2000) Agriculture and society in Central Mexico : the Valley of Tulancingo in the late colonial period (1700-1825). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Oswald, Ute (2022) Entertaining the insane : recreation in nineteenth-century British asylums. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ono-George, Meleisa (2014) 'To be despised' : discourses of sexual-economic exchange in nineteenth-century Jamaica, c.1780-1890. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

O'Connor, Daniel J. (2006) Sex signs: transsexuality, autobiography, and the languages of sexual difference in the United Kingdom and United States of America, 1950-2000. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ones, Synnøve (2000) The politics of government in the Audiencia of New Granada, 1681-1719. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Ogier, D. M. (1993) Reformation and society in Guernsey : c.1500-c.1640. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Osborne, Simon Charles (1993) Popular religion, culture and politics in the Midlands, c. 1638-1646. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Oldridge, Darren (1992) Conflicts within the established church in Warwickshire c. 1603-1642. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Patel, Josh (2021) Imagining the role of the student in society : ideas of British higher education policy and pedagogy 1957-1972. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Price, Jenny Helen (2020) Ost voices : local practices of the transformation in Eastern Germany, 1989-1991. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Parker, Cecilia (2016) Irish childcare, 1850-1913 : attitudes and approaches. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Pullin, Naomi Rebecca (2014) Female friends and the transatlantic Quaker community : 'the whole family and household of faith', c.1650 – c.1750. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Palfreyman, Harriet (2012) Visualising venereal disease in London c.1780-1860. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Plath, Lydia (2009) Performances of honour: manhood and violence in the Mississippi slave insurrection scare of 1835. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Paik, Shailaja (2007) Daughters of the lesser god: Dalit women's education in postcolonial Pune. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Pepper, Joanne L. (1991) The historical development of Pentecostalism in northeastern Brazil, with specific reference to working class women in Recife. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Qing, Qianwen (2021) Conflict and scandal in the British Caribbean, 1680–1720. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Quigley, Kevin Martin (2000) The evolving consensus : the development of U.S. China policy between 1959 and 1972 and the domestic influences on it. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Reyes Baztán, Maria (2021) ¡Arriba Los Pueblos Oprimidos! : Anticolonialism, race and violence in Basque radical nationalism (1892-1936). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Rautenberg, Uta (2021) Homophobia in Nazi Camps. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Reyes, C. Velasco (2019) The Kenyan banking system : from colonial expansion to independence uncertainty 1950-1970. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Redding, Benjamin (2016) Divided by la Manche : naval enterprise and maritime revolution in early modern England and France, 1545-1642. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Roberts, George M. (2016) Politics, decolonisation, and the cold war in Dar es Salaam c.1965-72. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Roy, Franziska (2013) The torchbearers of progress : youth, volunteer organisations and national discipline in India, c. 1918-1947. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Rupp, William H. (2011) A new perspective on British identity : the travel journals of John Byng, 1781-1794. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Rodgers, Thomas George (2011) The boundaries of coercion in the American Revolution ca.1760-1789. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Robilliard, Gabrielle (2010) Midwifery in early modern Germany, 1650-1810. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Rowe, Lesley Ann (2009) The worlds of Arthur Hildersham (1563-1632). PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Reinke-Williams, Tim (2006) The negotiation and fashioning of female honour in early modern London. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Root, Sheryl (2005) The healing touch: spiritual healing in England, c.1870-1955. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Rowan, Victoria Joanne (1999) La citoyenne bien renseignée : women, the newspaper press and urban literary culture in Paris, Rennes and Lyon 1780-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Roadnight, Andrew (1998) The greatest prize in Southeast Asia: United States' policy towards Indonesia in the Truman and Eisenhower years. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Raby, D. L. (1970) Rural teachers and social and political conflict in Mexico, 1920-1940 : with special reference to the states of Michoacán and Campeche. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Straw, Hannah-Marie (2023) ‘A good deal that’s bad and very little good’: the court wits and performance of scandal. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Steele, Dave (2023) The reputational power of English reform crowds 1816 – 1848. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Stylianou, Anastasia (2018) Martyrs' blood in Reformation England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Saberton, Ian (2015) The campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the southern theatre of the American Revolutionary War. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Sparkes, Hilary R. (2015) Shadow worlds and "superstitions" : an analysis of Martha Warren Beckwith’s writings on Jamaican folk religion, 1919-1929. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Sweeting, Spike (2014) Capitalism, the state and things : the port of London, circa 1730-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Soanes, Stephen (2011) Rest and restitution : convalescence and the public mental hospital in England, 1919–39. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Sen, Joydeep (2010) Astronomy in India, 1784-1876. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Smith, Kate Esther (2010) The potter’s skill : perceptions of workmanship in the English ceramic industries, 1760-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Sangha, Laura (2009) The significance of angels in English religious cultures c.1480-1700. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Scott, Zillah Abigail Amma (2007) The inquiring sort: ideas and learning in late eighteenth-century Birmingham. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Shaw, Anthony N. (2003) The Compendium Compertorum and the making of the Suppression Act of 1536. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Saether, Steinar A. (2001) Identities and Independence in the Provinces of Santa Marta and Riohacha (Colombia), ca. 1750 - ca. 1850. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Stone, Claire (2000) The cultural significance of interpersonal violence, with special reference to seventeenth-century Worcestershire. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Schulte, Theo J. (1987) The German army and National Socialist occupation policies in the occupied areas of the Soviet Union 1941-1943. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Sonenscher, Michael (1977) Royalists and patriots : Nîmes and its hinterland in the late eighteenth century. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Tam, Bobby (2022) Death and emotions in nineteenth-century British colonial China. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Taylor, Edward (2019) Commenting on the news : the serial press and political culture in Britain, 1641-c.1730. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Tierney, Josephine (2019) From design to consumption : the export trade in printed and dyed textiles to British West Africa, c.1870-1914. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Tang, Hui (2017) 'The colours of each piece' : production and consumption of Chinese enamelled porcelain, c.1728-c.1780. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Toulson, David (2016) Culture is a weapon: popular music, protest and opposition to apartheid in Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Thompson, Anne (2015) Parish clergy wives in Elizabethan England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Thévoz, Seth Alexander (2014) The political impact of London clubs, 1832-1868. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Tucker, Jameson (2011) Vrais Chrestiens : strangers in the martyrologies of Jean Crespin. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Thomas, Matthew (1998) Paths to utopia : anarchist counter-cultures in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain 1880-1914. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Tarver, Anne (1998) The Consistory Court of the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry and its work, 1680-1830. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Thorn, Gary (1983) The politics of trade unionism in a sweated industry : boot and shoemakers in late nineteenth century London. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Thompson, Charles David (1983) The Remscheid workers' movement from 1914 to 1945. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Underwood, Chloe Louise (2001) Exercising virtue: the physical reform of the leisured elite in eighteenth-century France. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Valerio, Liana Beatrice (2019) Scripts of confidence and supplication: fear as the personal and political among the elite male slaveholders of South Carolina and Cuba 1820 – 1850. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Von Brescius, Meike (2016) Private enterprise and the China trade: British interlopers and their informal networks in Europe, c.1720-1750. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Vernon, Christopher D. (2012) News, intelligence and 'little lies' : rumours between the Cherokees and the British 1740-1785. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Winter, Holly (2022) Militaristic masculinity and material culture in the armies in India, 1840-1900. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wilmot, John Fabian (2021) Medical dispensaries in Warwickshire : their place in local health care, 1820 –1880. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wright, Esther (2019) Rockstar Games and American history. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wells, Laurence Gregory (2016) Master John Hall's little book of cures: a critical edition. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Williams, Rebecca (Researcher in history) (2013) Revisiting the Khanna study : population and development in India, 1953-1960. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Whitehead, Andrew (Researcher in history) (2013) The Kashmir conflict of 1947 : testimonies of a contested history. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Williams, Christopher A. (2010) Caymanianness, history, culture, tradition, and globalisation : assessing the dynamic interplay between modern and traditional(ist) thought in the Cayman Islands. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Waddell, Brodie Banner (2009) Poverty, property and profit in English popular culture, 1660-1720. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Whitelaw, Brooke Emma (2009) Industry and the interior life: industrial 'experts' and the mental world of workers in twentieth century Britain. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Willis, Jonathan Peter (2009) Church music and Protestantism in post-Reformation England: discourses, sites & identities. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wright, Catherine (2002) The spatial ordering of community in English church seating, c.1550-1700. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

White, Jonathan (2001) Luxury and labour : ideas of labouring-class consumption in eighteenth-century England. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wiskin, Christine (2000) Women, finance and credit in England, c.1780-1826. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Woodcraft, David Robert (1997) A 'politick engine' : astrology and politics 1678-1715. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Wheeler, Joseph Russell (1995) The sestiere of San Polo : a cross section of Venetian society in the second half of the fifteenth century. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Weekes, Brian C. M. (1970) The Amalgamated Society of Engineers, 1880-1914 : a study of trade union government, politics, and industrial policy. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Yoon, Young Hwi (2011) The spread and transformation of antislavery sentiment in the transatlantic evangelical network : 1730s-1790s. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Yocelevzky, R., Ricardo A. (2000) Chile: political parties, democracy and dictatorship, 1970-1990. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

Zhao, Han (2016) Cultures of shame in Britain, c.1650-1800. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.

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History: writing a history dissertation.

  • Writing a History Dissertation
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  • Literature Search Plan

Starting a Literature Search

Conducting a literature search is a great way to find a viable topic and plan your research. It will also give you the opportunity to look for primary and secondary resources that can support the arguments you make in your dissertation. 

Starting your literature search early will help you plan your dissertation and give you an overview of all the resources you might want to consult. Below are examples of how you can start this process and how they can help.

Dissertation Books

history phd thesis

Define your Topic

Start your search by identifying a broad subject area, such as a country, period, theme or person. You might do this by looking at reference works, such as a Very Short Introduction , Cambridge Histories , or Oxford Handbooks . These books will give you an insight into the many areas you can investigate in greater depth and they will also provide references to peer-reviewed material on more defined topics. 

Next , look at material which focuses more on the area you have identified from reference works. These might be books, chapters or articles which focus on a more defined area of the subject you have identified. Use these to formulate questions that you can answer in your research.

Then ,  read resources that will help you form your argument and answer the questions you have set. This material should focus on the topic you have chosen and help you explain what has been written on this area before.

Search for Secondary Resources

In order to successfully search for resources relevant to your study, you will need to use search-terms which will retrieve the best results. The tips below will help you do this:

Terms you have found in your reading

Keep a note of terms you have seen when you have been identifying your topic. This could be anything relevant your topic, including: places, people, jobs, religions, institutions, objects, periods, or events. Also, take note of terms that are related to your topic and had an impact on the area you are studying. Write down all the terms which relate to your topic and note which ones provide the most relevant results.

It can also be useful to keep a note of what you are not looking at so that you stay focused on your topic and do not retrieve too many results.

Authors who are written about the topic

You will start to notice that some authors are mentioned as specialists on the topic you are researching. Search a variety of catalogues to find what they have written on the subject in different formats. They might have contributed to edited works, written articles, given presentations to conferences or annotated works. They also might lead you to others who have written about your topic or research groups which are relevant to your studies.

Use subject searches

Most secondary resources have been indexed according to their subject. Through using these subject terms you can search catalogues more efficiently and find relevant resources without just searching the title or author. 

If you find a useful resources, try looking at its catalogue record. See if any of the subject headings look useful and note what terminology they use as this will be consistent across most databases. When you have found a useful term, copy and paste it into a subject search (or select the link) and see what other resources are available.

You can also use an online thesaurus to find search terms. The most commonly used terms are the Library of Congress Subject Headings  which provide uniform terms across international databases.

Use databases

The University subscribes to many databases that focus on different countries and topics. These will provide a comprehensive guide to what has been written in your area and may use different subject headings. Reference databases and bibliographies can be especially useful for finding citations of everything that has been written on a certain area of history. Biographical databases can also help find information about individuals and institutions. For a complete list of all the databases the University subscribes to, look at the A-Z of databases . 

Search for Primary Resources

There are plenty of primary resources that can be used in your dissertation. The University subscribes to many databases that provide access to primary resources and some of our libraries hold special collections which can be used in your research. Below are some examples:

The University subscribes to many newspapers from the past and present. They can be a really useful tool for finding contemporary accounts of events and provide more than just articles (including: advertisements, illustrations, family notices, sports, arts, court cases). Many newspaper databases will also include related content, such as pamphlets and newsbooks.

The University Library has a collection of print newspapers which can be consulted on site. The University also subscribes to electronic databases of national and local newspapers across the world. More information about the newspaper databases we subscribe to is available on our  dedicated website .

Special Collection Material

Many libraries and archives provide access to rare, unique and specialised collections of books and manuscripts. The University Library, for example, provides access to Manuscripts and Rare Books Departments , as do some of the colleges. Some of the more frequently used and important material is also available as part of an online library, such as Cambridge's CUDL .

Official Publications (Government Documents)

Documents produced by governmental and intergovernmental bodies can provide an insight into their decision making and governance. Several libraries in Cambridge have received official publications material and a lot of material is now available online. More information about the official material in Cambridge libraries is available on our Official Publications LibGuide .

Data and Statistics

Figures can be used to help illustrate a point and provide evidence as you answer the central question in your dissertation. You might chose to refer to census data, crime statistics, trade figures, or any other data set that relates to your area of history. This sort of information can be found in databases and replicated in secondary resources. 

Private Papers

If you are researching an individual (or someone who played a prominent role in the area you are focusing on) it is a good idea to see if they have deposited private papers in an archive. These might includes diaries, letters, draft works, or anything else that was kept and not published. These works are normally kept in an archive, so a good starting point is to look at a catalogue that might show where relevant papers are held (such as Archives Hub )

These can include maps, cartoons, paintings and photographs. Images are available both in print and online, but you need to be cautious of the copyright restrictions of images before you use them (check the information given by the source). Some databases will allow you to search images, like ARTstor , so use them as a good starting point for your search. 

Audio-Visual

Similarly to images, the University provides access to a variety of audio-visual resources, including interviews, recordings, radio and films. If there is a particular DVD you would like to use, try searching the title in iDiscover. For example, " Interviews with Historians " will take you to a comprehensive collection of DVDs available at the Seeley. Many films are also available online, such as British Pathe .

Organise and Save Your Research

You will be able to do a comprehensive and efficient literature search if you keep a record of what you have read, where you read it and what each item means to your research. The best way to achieve this is to:

1. Record the key ideas, themes and quotes from what you have read. Try to find a uniform way to do this as it will make it easier to find information when you come to write your dissertation. Some formats are freely available on the internet, such as the Cornell Note Taking System .

2. Save citations you have looked at so you do not struggle to find them again. Also, this will help you when you come to do your references. There are many reference managers available to help you store this information and create a fully formatted bibliography.

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Theses collections

The Wohl Library holds copies of many University of London PhD (and some MA) theses in history, from the early twentieth century to 2009. Since 2009 University of London theses are now only held by the relevant  college library . They are included in the  IHR catalogue , and can be requested from the IHR's onsite store.

Recent copies of IHR students' theses can be accessed on the  School of Advanced Study repository .

Most UK PhD theses are now only available through the British Library’s  EThOS (Electronic Theses Online) service . These can usually be digitised on demand if they are not already available, and some universities subsidise the costs. A list of participating institutions is available at  http://ethos.bl.uk/HEIList.do . Oxford and Cambridge aren't participating, so enquiries for their theses should be made directly to the institutions. MPhil/MA theses are not covered by EThOS, so enquiries should be made directly to the relevant university. 

The IHR published a listing of UK history theses until 2014. These lists of theses completed at UK universities between  1901 and 1970 and 1970 and 2014 are available as part of British History Online. A listing of 1260 MA and PhD theses relating to the history of London (completed 1960s-2010s) is also available from the IHR’s Bibliography of British and Irish History (subscription service). We do not hold copies of these theses, except where they fall into the collection described above. Enquiries for accessing copies can be made via EThOS or the relevant institution.

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Recent Ph.D.s and Placements

Summer 2023, anthony gaspar.

Dissertation : “Prey of All Nations”: Diplomacy and Empire During the Reign of Michael VIII Palaiologos (1259–1282) Placement : Adjunct Instructor, College of Charleston, Charleston SC

Jorge Puma Crespo

Dissertation : “The Only Correct Line”: A Transnational History of French Maoism in Catholic Mexico During the Late Sixties Placement : Assistant Professor of History, Hope College, Holland MI

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Dissertation : Violentology: Expert Knowledge and Government Peacebuilding in Late 20th Century Colombia Placement : Docente de Cátedra, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia

Emily Smith

Dissertation : Sanctifying Pregnancy: Motherhood and American Catholicism, 1930–1981 Placement : Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Wabash College, Crawfordsville IN

Tomás Valle

Dissertation : Socratic Learning in Lutheran Germany: Philosophy, Religion, and Politics in the Life of Johannes Caselius (1533–1613) Placement : Postdoctoral scholar, University of Hamburg, Germany

Spring 2023

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Dissertation : Unburdening the Beasts: The Equine Doctors of Early Modern Castile

Noe Pliego Campos

Dissertation : Crises, Rights, and Futurity: Youth in 1980s Mexico City Placement : Assistant Professor of History, Wabash College, Crawfordsville IN

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Dissertation : Unspoken Accommodations: A Century of Religious Coexistence in CatholicCologne, 1517–1617  Placement : Notre Dame 5+1 postdoctoral fellowship

Summer 2022  

Susanna destradis.

Dissertation : Making Democracy Safe for Religion: The Catholic Argument for the “Nation Under God” (1939–1965) Placement : Postdoctoral Fellowship, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University, St. Louis MO; Assistant Professor of History, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State MS  

Ian Van Dyke

Dissertation : Evangelical Multiculturalism in the Age of Fracture: U.S. Missionaries and Evangelicals’ Search for Diversity and Social Justice, 1974–2010 Placement : Visiting Professor of History, Grand Valley State University, Allendale MI  

James P. Breen

Dissertation : Fighting the Roman Corporation: How the American Protective Association Combined Anti-Catholicism and Antimonopolism in Gilded Age America Placement : Part-Time Lecturer, Social and Historical Studies, University of Washington, Tacoma WA  

Spring 2022   Jessica Brockmole

Dissertation : Pink Cars and Pocketbooks: How American Women Bought Their Way into the Driver’s Seat Placement : Independent Writer

Raymond Drause

Dissertation : “In Word and Deed”: Exiled Siberian Decembrists as Servants of the Russian Empire, 1826–1860 Placement : Visiting Researcher, Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland

Esteban Alfaro Salas

Dissertation : Making Portuguese Colonial Governance: Slavery, Forced Labor, and Racial Ideology in the Interior from Benguela, 1760-1860 Placement : Lecturer (equivalent to assistant professor) in African History, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Anna Holdorf

Dissertation : A Harvest for Heaven and Earth: Agricultural Missionaries and the Religious Roots of U.S. International Development in Latin America Placement : Rating Veterans Service Representative, U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration, Milwaukee WI

Nelia Martsinkiv

Dissertation : Unlikely Dissenters: Origins and Development of the Ukrainian Human Rights Movement from Khrushchev to Gorbachev

Summer 2021

Dissertation : Peace Education for the World: People-to-People Programs, American Youth, & U.S. Power, 1939-1961 Placement : Assistant Professor of Peace Studies and Black Studies, University of Missouri, Columbia MO

Dissertation : American Postcolony: Imperial Citizenship and the Rise of Garment Metropolis in the Pacific, 1944-1999 Placement : Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Studies Education, Gyeongin National University of Education, Incheon, South Korea

Spring 2021

Nicholas roberts.

Dissertation : A Sea of Wealth: Sayyid Saʿid bin Sultan, His Omani Empire, and the Making of an Oceanic Marketplace Placement : Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic World History, Norwich University, Northfield VT

Dissertation : Court Dusk, Country Dawn: The Ideological Formation of the First Earl of Shaftesbury Placement : Attorney at law, Dover-Foxcroft ME

Chris Temple

Dissertation : Fostering Elite Science at an American Catholic University: The Rise of a Research Culture at the University of Notre Dame, 1842-1967 Placement : Academic Support Program Director, Center for University Advising, University of Notre Dame

Summer 2020

Andrea castonguay.

Dissertation : "Have you a clear Authority?" Dynasties, da'was, and the rise of Islamic States in Medieval Morocco Placement : Assistant Professor of Ancient History, Western New England University, Springfield MA

Ashley Foster

Dissertation : Scotland’s Age of Reckoning: British Union and Enlightenment on a Covenanted People Placement : Education Administrator, Honors College Dean's Office, University of Alabama, Birmingham AL

Spring 2020

Eve wolynes.

Dissertation : Migrant Mentalities: Reconstructing the Community Identity and World of Venetian Merchants in the Late Medieval Mediterranean Placement : Librarian, University of Dayton, Dayton OH

Philip Byers

Dissertation:  How Firm the Foundation: The Lilly Endowment and American Christianity, 1937-1989 Placement: Halbrook Chair of Civic Engagement, Taylor University, Upland IN

Carla Villanueva

Dissertation:  The Politics of Repressive Education Reform: The Institutional Relationship between the Secretaría de Educación Pública and Escuelas Normales Rurales in Mexico During the Cold War

Placement: Union Organizer, United Auto Workers

Anna Vincenzi

Dissertation:  Imagining an Age of Revolution? Interpretations of the American Revolution in the Italian States, 1765-1799 Placement:  Assistant Professor in Modern European History, Hillsdale College

John Nelson

Dissertation:  The Geography to Command a Continent: Native Peoples, Europeans, and the Chicago Portage Placement:  Assistant Professor in Early American History, Texas Tech University

Nicholas Bonneau

Dissertation: Unspeakable Loss: New England's Invisible Throat Distemper Epidemics, 1735-1775 Placement:  Full-Time Lecturer in the History of Science and Public Health, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Consulting Scholar, Mütter Research Institute, College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Jillian Plummer

Dissertation:  Saving Latin America: Catholic Sisters, Communism, and Liberation theology, 1946-1985 Placement:  Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield CT

Natalie Sargent

Dissertation:  Peculiar Positions of Power: Laywomen as "Good Americans" and "Good Catholics," 1854-1907  Placement: Faculty Award Program Director, Provost Office, University of Notre Dame

Summer 2019

Suzanna krivulskaya.

Dissertation:  Disgraced: How Sex Scandals Transformed American Protestantism, 1832-1988 Placement:   Assistant Professor of History, California State University San Marcos

Danae Jacobson

Dissertation:  Spiritual Geographies: How Nuns Changed the U.S. West Placement: Assistant Professor of History, Colby College, Waterville ME

Taras Karaulshchikov

Dissertation:  A History of Georgian Scientific Intelligentsia: The Case of the Nikoladze Family 1860-1981

Christopher Flanagan

Dissertation:  Empire Remade: Refining Empire in the American Revolution, 1774-1795 Placement:  Postdoctoral Scholarship, University of Notre Dame (5+1, 2019-2020)

Dylan LeBlanc

Dissertation:  The Empire in Chains: British ‘Government Men’ in the Atlantic Slave Trade Placement: Social Science teacher, Oak Lawn Community High School, Oak Lawn IL

Andrew Mach

Dissertation:  Claiming America: Irish Catholic Memory and the Nation, 1865-1925 Placement: Coordinator for Advising Operations, Newnan Academic Advising Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Spring 2019

Jonathan riddle.

Dissertation:  Prospering Body and Soul: Health Reform, Religion, and Capitalism in Antebellum America Placement: Assistant Professor of History, Seaver College, Pepperdine University, Malibu CA

Heather Stanfiel

Dissertation:  Imperial Heritage: Empire and Commemoration in Pre-Independence Ireland

Aurelio Valarezo-Dueñas

Dissertation:  Para el bien universal y quietud de esta república y provincia: Political Culture, Representation and Policy Making in Seventeenth-Century Northern Andes

Elizabeth Baker

Dissertation : 'More Romance than Reality': Mary Carpenter, 'Native Gentlemen,' and Female Education Reform in India Placement :  Assistant Professor of Modern European History, Grove City College, Grove City PA

Jessica Fisher

Dissertation : The Rise and Fall of the Ribbonmen: Ribbonism in Ireland and Abroad, c. 1810-1858

Garrett Fontenot

Dissertation : Voluntarism and Imperial Supremacy: Politics and the Military Establishment in the Expansion of the British Empire in French North America, 1760-1775 Placement : Manager of Fellowships and Honorific Scholarships, Ogden Honors College, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge LA

Dissertation:  Teaching the  Secunda Lex : Deuteronomy and Church Reform at Lyon in the Age of Charlemagne  Placement:  Faculty Member, School of History, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

John Shanley

Dissertation:  Catholic Freedom, Protestant Slavery? Reconsidering Anti-Catholicism in Maryland, 1688-1776

Kathryn Vidrine

Dissertation:  Belief in Power: Building a National Church of Ireland, 1660-1689 Placement:  Assistant Director of Doctoral Studies, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Summer 2018

Maria cecilia ulrickson.

Dissertation : 'Esclavos que fueron' in Santo Domingo, 1768-1844 Placement : Assistant Professor of American Church History, Catholic University of America, Washington DC

Spring 2018

Jairo campuzano hoyos.

Dissertation : The Quest for Material Progress in Global Perspective: Colombia 1840s-1900s Placement : Profesor Titular, Eafit University, Medellin, Colombia

Bethany Montagano

Dissertation : Sites of Slavery: Gender, Race and Tourism in the Construction of America's Slavery Memory Placement : Director of University of Southern California Museums, Los Angeles CA

Felicia Moralez

Dissertation : From Immigrants to Citizens: Mexicans and Settlement Houses in Gary, Indiana, 1919-1965

David Morris

Dissertation : Apocalypse Now or Later: The Manuscript Tradition of the Super Prophetas (Super Essaiam) of Pseudo-Joachim of Fiore Placement : Director of the Souvay Memorial Library at Kenrick Glennon Seminary, St. Louis MO

James Strasburg

Dissertation : God's Marshall Plan: American Protestantism and the Democratization of Germany, 1910-1963 Placement : Associate Professor of History, Hillsdale College MI

Alexander Wimberly

Dissertation : Present Witness: The Confession of 1967 and the Travails of Presbyterians in American Society Placement : Leader of the Corrymeela Community (Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization), Belfast, Northern Ireland 

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Dissertation,   the dissertation.

After the successful completion of the general examination, a topic and adviser for the dissertation should be chosen. Students should discuss potential topics with several faculty members before beginning. The final prospectus should be approved not later than 3 months (within the academic calendar -- September through May) of passing the general examinations in order to be considered to be making satisfactory progress toward the degree. This is the time when the Thesis Reader and Dissertation Proposal form should be completed and submitted to the department office or DGS. Three signatures are now required on the thesis acceptance certificate. Two of the three signatories must be GSAS faculty. The primary adviser must be in the department of History of Art and Architecture; the secondary adviser need not be. In addition to the primary and secondary advisers the student may have one or more other readers. Two readers must be in the department.

Thesis Defense

The Department of History of Art and Architecture requires that all Ph.D. dissertations (of students entering in September 1997 and beyond) be defended. At the defense, the student has the opportunity to present and formally discuss the dissertation with respect to its sources, findings, interpretations, and conclusions, before a Defense Committee knowledgeable in the student's field of research. The Director of the thesis is a member of the Defense committee. A committee is permitted to convene in the absence of the thesis Director only in cases of emergency or other extreme circumstances. The Defense Committee may consist of up to five members, but no fewer than three. The suggested make-up of the members of the committee should be brought to the Director of Graduate Studies for approval. Two members of this committee should be from the Department of History of Art and Architecture. One member can be outside the Department (either from another Harvard department or outside the University). The Defense will be open to department members only (faculty and graduate students), but others may be invited at the discretion of the candidate. Travel for an outside committee member is not possible at this time; exceptions are made rarely.  We encourage the use of Skype or conference calling for those committee members outside of Cambridge and have accommodation for either.  A modest honorarium will be given for the reading of the thesis for one member of the jury outside the University. A minimum of one month prior to scheduling the defense, a final draft of the dissertation should be submitted to two readers (normally the primary and secondary advisors). Once the two readers have informed the director of graduate studies that the dissertation is “approved for defense,” the candidate may schedule the date, room, and time for the defense in consultation with the department and the appointed committee. This date should be no less than six weeks after the time the director of graduate studies has been informed that the dissertation was approved for defense. It should be noted that preliminary approval of the thesis for defense does not guarantee that the thesis will be passed. The defense normally lasts two hours. The candidate is asked to begin by summarizing the pertinent background and findings. The summary should be kept within 20 minutes. The Chair of the Defense Committee cannot be the main thesis advisor. The Chair is responsible for allotting time, normally allowing each member of the committee 20 to 30 minutes in which to make remarks on the thesis and elicit responses from the candidate. When each committee member has finished the questioning, the committee will convene in camera for the decision. The possible decisions are: Approved; Approved with Minor Changes; Approved Subject to Major Revision (within six months); Rejected. The majority vote determines the outcome. --Approved with minor changes: The dissertation is deemed acceptable subject to minor revisions. The dissertation is corrected by the candidate, taking into account the comments made by the committee. The revisions will be supervised by the primary adviser. Upon completion of the required revision, the candidate is recommended for the degree. --Approved subject to major revision within six months: The dissertation is deemed acceptable subject to major revisions. All revisions must be completed within six months from the date of the dissertation defense. Upon completion of the required revisions, the defense is considered to be successful. The revisions will be supervised by the primary adviser. --Rejected: The dissertation is deemed unacceptable and the candidate is not recommended for the degree. A candidate may be re-examined only once upon recommendation of two readers. Rejection is expected to be very exceptional. A written assessment of the thesis defense will be given to the candidate and filed in the Department by the Chair of the Defense Committee. Candidates should keep in mind the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences deadlines for submission of the thesis and degree application when scheduling the defense.

Submitting the Dissertation

Students ordinarily devote three years to research and writing the dissertation, and complete it prior to seeking full-time employment. The dissertation will be judged according to the highest standards of scholarship, and should be an original contribution to knowledge and understanding of art. The final manuscript must conform to University requirements described in the Supplement The Form of the Doctoral Thesis distributed by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Graduate students should negotiate with their readers the timing of submission of drafts prior to final revisions. However, the complete manuscript of the dissertation must be submitted to the thesis readers not later than August 1 for a November degree, November 1 for a March degree, and April 1 for a May degree (this in order to provide both the committee with time to read and the candidate to revise, if necessary). The thesis readers may have other expectations regarding dates for submission which should be discussed and handled on an individual basis. The student is still responsible for distribution of the thesis to the committee for reading. In cases where a thesis defense is scheduled, the thesis must be submitted to the primary adviser at least one month prior to the defense. The thesis defense must be scheduled at least two weeks prior to the university deadline for thesis submission.

A written assessment by dissertation readers must be included with the final approval of each thesis including suggestions, as appropriate, on how the dissertation might be adapted for later publication.

The Dissertation is submitted online.   The Dissertation Acceptance Certificate (original) must be on Harvard watermark paper and is submitted directly to the registrar’s office once it is signed.

Degree Application and Deadlines

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history phd thesis

Guide to Writing a Public History Thesis with a Public History Component

Nancy K. Berlage August, 2021

Table of Contents

Section 1: public history components.

  • Section 2: Sample Theses and Approaches by Practice or Methods or Topica Area
  • A. Component Option: Uses a Particular Methodological or Addresses a Public History Pratcie Area
  • B. Component Option: Illuminates the ways in which the public comes to understand historical information or interacts with the past
  • C. Component Option: Application of research or begins to develop application of research
  • D. Component Option: Internship Continuation.

The thesis/article should incorporate a public history component. Types of components are categorized and described below, with accompanying examples.

The thesis should do at least one of the following:

  • Demonstrate good knowledge and use of a particular methodology, public history practice area, or topic inherent to public history.
  • Show evidence of knowledge of best practices as identified by methods course and/or professional organization.
  • Discuss (briefly) the methodology used or practice area drawn upon to accomplish the aim of the thesis. Discussion might include the importance, history, legitimacy, or purpose of the methodology. This discussion is typically situated in the introduction. Discussion can also occur in the chapter or section that uses the methodology.)

A: Component Option: Uses a Particular Methodology or Addresses a Public History Practice Area

The public history program offers methods and practice field courses that can provide a frame for the thesis. The methods and practice areas can shape the whole thesis or chapters and sections can focus on application of the method to the topic.

The entire thesis/article does not need to be grounded in the methodology. For example, a thesis might draw on material culture or oral history methods in only one chapter/section.

Suggested Methods & Practice Areas

  • Architectural History
  • Community Engagement Cultural Landscapes

Cultural Resource Management

  • Digital History
  • Heritage Tourism
  • Immediacy of Topic that has contemporary resonance and has potential for current impact Interpretation and Public Programming
  • Local and Community History Material Culture
  • Memory Studies Museum Practice Oral History Preservation
  • Public History Administration of Historical or non-profit entities
  • Diversity and Inclusion

B: Component Option: Illuminates the ways in which the public comes to understand historical information or interacts with the past

The thesis helps illuminate the ways in which a public comes to understand historical information or interacts with the past.

  • Analysis of a park’s public programming on a particular topic and change over time.
  • Analysis of the development of a local history society and what it chose to include or exclude from the narratives it promoted.

C: Component Option: Application of research or begins to develop application of research

Keeping questions about interpretation and ideas about practical applications of thesis research at the forefront can help develop competency in practice areas. It can open doors to careers and professional contacts. And it can provide a set of skills and knowledge that can be listed on the resume.

  • Makes recommendations (typically in the last chapter or section), on how to engage the public on the historical findings of the thesis. Or, how to improve an existing presentation, e.g., at a park, museum, or site, on the topic examined by the thesis.
  • Discusses specific suggestions for public outreach on the topic, perhaps through digital exhibit, museum, signage, community meetings, etc.
  • Prepares pop-up exhibit and describes the process in a chapter or section.
  • Develops suggestions for a preservation plan.
  • Suggestions for future public programming and interpretive practices.
  • Analyzes or develops a new interpretation of a landscape following appropriate methodology.
  • Writes a grant proposal related to thesis findings –as a chapter or appendix.
  • Writes text of an exhibit related to thesis findings—as a chapter.
  • Suggests archival or records management practices in creating a new physical or on-line collection related to the topic and discussed the methodology and problems for doing so in the practice area.

D: Component Option: Internship Continuation

The topic and approach can develop out of an internship or project with a constituency, stakeholder, or community beyond the academy. The student continues and expands the project on their own, or they work with the organization to develop a product—to the extent the chair advises.

  • A student who worked at a National Battlefield writes a thesis on how the National Park Service has interpreted that battle, paying attention to change over time.
  • A student who helped collect oral histories for a site continues and elaborates the project in conducting, analyzing, curating additional oral histories.
  • A student who assisted with an exhibit on the history of education at a local museum writes a thesis on how museums nationwide or locally interpret the history of education and then gives suggestions for improvement.
  • A student who worked for a history museum in Austin writes about how the museum handled a controversy.
  • A student who interned on the preservation of an adobe building writes a history of how Portland cement came to replace lime plaster as an outer coating on adobe buildings in the 1930s.
  • A student who interned at a historic site conducts research and writes a comprehensive guide for new interpretations of subjects previously ignored by the site.
  • A student who worked at a national historic site that included a Civil War battlefield writes on the significance of women soldiers in the Civil War and suggests public interpretation and/or programming.
  • I student who interned at an archive writes a history of a topic based on an archival collection they processed.
  • A student who wrote a history of a site for the National Park Service turns one chapter— based on original research on a hitherto unknown part of that history—into an article.

Section 2: Sample Theses and Approaches by Practice or Methods or Topical Area

Architecture, cultural landscapes, digital; spatial, heritage, tourism.

  • Interpretation & Public Programming

Local History and Community History

Material culture, memory and film, military and public history.

  • Military History and Cultural Landscape & CRM

Museums: Pop-up Exhibit

Music and application, oral history, preservation, race: public history and heritage, section ii: sample theses and approaches by practice or methods or topic area.

Theses were completed at leading public history programs and incorporate a public history component. Abstracts and hyperlinks.

  • Mosley, Keneisha Diane. “ Volunteer Traditions: Neoclassical Architecture and Its Racial Impact on Fraternity and Sorority Houses at the University of Tennessee ,” 2021.
  • Gamble, Bonnie L. " The Nashville and Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad 1845-1880: preservation of a railroad landscape .” MTSU MA Thesis, 1993.
  • Fredericks, Katelyn V. " Back to the land and all its beauty": managing cultural resources, natural resources, and wilderness on North Manitou Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan ." MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2014.
  • Ramsey, Ginger. " Cedars of Lebanon State Park: a preservation plan ." MA Thesis, MTSU,1999.
  • Schneider, Sarah. “ Searching for Home at Château de la Guette and Beyond: Social and Spatial Dimensions of Jewish German and Austrian Children's and Spatial Dimensions of Jewish German and Austrian Children's Journey to Flee Nazi Persecution via Children's Homes in France .” MA Thesis, University of Central Florida, 2018.
  • Laney, Mackenzie Elizabeth. “ Doing Digital History as a Public Historian: The Implications and Uses of the Growing Digital History Field For Public History .” BA Thesis, Central Florida University, 2018.
  • Bailey, Heather. Hillbilly skits to Buford sticks: sustainable heritage tourism in Tennessee . MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • McMahan, Andrew Wayne. “ Urgent and Necessary”: Tennesseans and Their Competing Visions of the Interstate System .
  • Morrill, Benjamin. Public History and America's Pastime: The Use of History and Sports Heritage in Marketing and Community Relations in Minor League Baseball in Tennessee .
  • O'Dell, Joey Lena. VULNERABILTY DURING COVID-19: AN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT .
  • Stringer, Mary Kate. Enriching the Public History Dialogue: Effective Museum Education Programs for Audiences with Special Needs . MA Thesis, MTSU.

Interpretation & Public Programming

  • Allison, David B. “ Entertaining the Public to Educate the Public at Conner Prairie: Prairietown 1975- 2006 ." IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2010.
  • Akins, Martha D. " Implementation of heritage education at Historic Carnton Plantation ." MTSU MA Thesis, 2000.
  • Highfield, Elaura. Public History and the Fractured Past: Colonial Williamsburg, the Usable Past, and the Concept of an American Identity . MA Thesis, MTSU, 2014.
  • Andrews, Jenny. Public History to Public Policy: Using Historic Resources to Inform Park Interpretation and Community Preservation . MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Bailey, Heather L. “ Conflict and tension: saving the history of Middle Tennessee villages .” MTSU MA Thesis, 2005.
  • Knight, Callie. Nashville Copts: Cultural Identity, Community Collaboration, and Cultural Institutions .
  • Receveur, Garrett Wayne. “ Commemorating Indiana at the 1916 Statehood Centennial Celebrations: An Examination of the Memory of Colonization and its Lingering Effects on the Indiana State Park System .” IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2021.
  • Wernicke, Rose. " The Farmland Opera House: culture, identity, and the corn contest ." IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2013.
  • Badgley, Benjamin Joseph. " The making of a historical consciousness in Henry County, Indiana: a case study of the Henry County Historical Society, 1887-1950 .” IUPUI, MA Thesis.
  • Abdallah, Jaryn Elizabeth. More to the Story: Historical Narratives and the African American Past in Maury County, Tennessee .
  • Betterly, Richard. Using historic rural church cemeteries as a material culture resource in heritage education .
  • Rainesalo, Timothy C. “ Senator Oliver P. Morton and Historical Memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Indiana .” IUPUI, MA Thesis.
  • Kane, Alissa. “ Countering the Lost Cause: Examining Civil War Commemoration in Murfreesboro, Tennessee .” MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Haire, Stefanie Morgan. “ Memorialization of Forgotten Steps: Native American Participation in the American Civil War .” MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Jackson, Danielle. “ REPRESENTATIONS OF GENOCIDE: A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE SCHOLARLY AND PUBLIC INTERPRETATIONS OF THE CONESTOGA MASSACRE .” MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Born, Jennifer D. “ A Survey of Indiana Military Monuments .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2000.
  • Seager, Brenda Mary. “ Memory Retrieved: The Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2004.
  • Rainesalo, Timothy C. “ Senator Oliver P. Morton and Historical Memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Indiana .” MA Thesis, IUPUI.
  • Rippel, Elena Marie. “ Festive expressions of ethnicity: national German-American festivals in Indianapolis at the turn of the twentieth century .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2014.
  • Abercrombie, Brent S. " How America Remembers: Analysis of the Academic Interpretation and Public Memory of the Battle of Tippecanoe ." MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2011.
  • Receveur, Garrett Wayne. “ Commemorating Indiana at the 1916 Statehood Centennial Celebrations: An Examination of the Memory of Colonization and its Lingering Effects on the Indiana State Park System .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2021.
  • May, Cinda Ann. “ On Becoming a Valued Member of Society: The Childhood of Famous Americans Series and the Transmission of Americanism, 1932-1958 .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2005.
  • Johnson, Nicholas K. “HBO and the Holocaust: conspiracy, the historical film, and public history at Wannsee .” MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2016.
  • Mitchell, Amber N. " Playing patsy: film as public history and the image of enslaved African American women in post-civil rights era cinema .” IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2017.
  • Savarino, Malia Dorothy. “ Historical Film and the Assassination of President Lincoln: The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) and The Lincoln Conspiracy (1977) .” IUPUI, MA Thesis.
  • Pfeiffer, David Michael. " From Revolutionary War heroes to navy cruisers: the role of public history and military history in Vincennes, Indiana ." MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2012.
  • Hankins, Melanie Barbara. " Fort Benjamin Harrison: From Military Base to Indiana State Park ." MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2020.
  • Jones, Amanda Christine. “ The Greatest Outrage: Military Park, Long Hospital, and Progressive Era Notions of Urban Space .” MA Thesis, IUPUI.
  • Lynch, Doria Marie. “ The Labor Branch of the Office of Strategic Services: An Academic Study from a Public History Perspective .” MA Thesis, IUPUI.

Military History and Cultural Landscape & CRM

  • Quigg, Gary Francis. “ JB-2: America's First Cruise Missile .” MA Thesis, IUPUI.
  • Miller, Brittany L. A MECHANISM OF AMERICAN MUSEUM-BUILDING PHILANTHROPY, 1925-1970 .” IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2010.
  • Wilson, Morgan Lee. " Threshing the Grain: Revealing the Lived Experience of a Late Nineteenth Century Hoosier Farm Woman to an Early Twenty First Century Audience ." MA Thesis IUPUI.
  • Sproul, Kate. “ Interpreting Grassmere's Enslaved Community: Archaeological Approaches to Public History at the Nashville Zoo .” MA thesis, MTSU.
  • Peterson, Erik C. " Playing, learning, and using music in early Middle Indiana ." MA Thesis, IUPUI, 2014.
  • Crawford-Lackey, Katherine. “ PUBLIC PROTEST AS A CLAIM TO CITIZENSHIP: TWENTIETH-CENTURY OCCUPATIONS OF WASHINGTON, D.C. AND THEIR ROLE IN PUBLIC MEMORY .” MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Cole, Ashley Daniel. “ I WANTED TO BE JUST WHAT I WAS:” DOCUMENTING QUEER VOICES IN THE SOUTH .” MA Thesis, MTSU.
  • Alley, Jesse L. " Buffalo Valley School: preservation and adaptive reuse in a rural Tennessee community . MTSU MA Thesis, 2011.
  • Benac, David. “ Hoosiers, Timber, and Conservation: The Timber Industry's Role in Indiana's Conservation Movement, 1890 to 1920 .” IUPUI, MA Thesis
  • Brady, Carolyn M. “ The Transformation of a Neighborhood: Ransom Place Historic District, Indianapolis, 1900-1920 .” MA Thesis, IUPUI .
  • Holder, Laura Stewart. " Natchez Street then and now: the evolution and preservation of Franklin's historic African American neighborhood ." MTSU MA Thesis, 2005.
  • Price, David L. " City planning and historic preservation in Nashville, Tennessee, 1931-1985 ." MTSU MA Thesis, 2005.
  • Reichard, Ruth Diane. “I nfrastructure, Separation, and Inequality: The Streets of Indianapolis Between 1890 and 1930 .” IUPUI, MA Thesis.
  • Ryan, Jordan B. " How Others Have Built": A Sketch of Indianapolis Construction and Demolition Patterns ." IUPUI, MA Thesis, 2018.
  • Stewart, Taylor. True to Small Town Roots: A Case Study of Adaptive Reuse in Prattville, Alabama .
  • Gautreau, Abigail Rose. The Past is Political: Race, Cultural Landscapes, and the Case for Community- Driven Heritage in Selma and South Africa . PhD Diss.

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Course closed:

History is no longer accepting new applications.

The PhD in History is an advanced research degree, awarded on the basis of a thesis and an oral viva voce examination. The primary purpose of the PhD is the preparation and presentation of a substantial piece of independent and original academic research, completed in three or four years if studying full-time and five years if studying part-time.

Every PhD student in the Faculty of History is supported by a supervisor (or in some cases, supervisors). Supervisors are experts in their field of study and support students throughout the PhD. Students will also benefit from the advice and support of other academic members of the Faculty who will be involved in progression through the various stages of the PhD, from the registration assessment exercise at the end of the first year through to the completion of the thesis.

Most of our PhD students study here full-time but each year we admit a number of students who wish to study on a part-time basis. Part-time study can be ideal for those who are looking to gain a postgraduate qualification without leaving employment and wish to develop their careers while they continue earning, or for those who are home-based for whatever reason and wish to develop their skills. However, it’s important to note that the part-time PhD at Cambridge is not a distance-learning course. Part-time students are expected to fully engage with the Faculty, to integrate into the research culture of the University and to attend the University on a regular basis for supervision, study, skills training, research seminars and workshops.

Throughout their time at the Faculty, PhD students are encouraged to attend one or more of the Faculty’s postgraduate workshops in their subject group or area of research. These workshops are spaces for PhD students to share their work and collaborate with visiting speakers, academic and peers. 

Learning Outcomes

The Cambridge PhD is designed as structured, flexible and individual preparation for becoming a professional researcher. It will help students develop the core skills needed by arts, humanities or social sciences professional researcher of the future, which are valued by both academic and non-academic employers.

The Faculty’s MPhil programmes provide excellent preparation for doctoral study and many of our MPhil students choose to stay at Cambridge to pursue a Cambridge PhD.

Students wishing to continue to the PhD are normally expected to achieve an overall average of 70 in their MPhil with a mark of at least 70 in their dissertation.

Admission to the PhD is always subject to the availability of a suitable supervisor.

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the  Postgraduate Open Day  page for more details.

See further the  Postgraduate Admissions Events  pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

3-4 years full-time, 4-7 years part-time, study mode : research, doctor of philosophy, faculty of history, course - related enquiries, application - related enquiries, course on department website, dates and deadlines:, michaelmas 2024 (closed).

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Funding Deadlines

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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  • Education (Critical Approaches to Children's Literature) PGCE entry only MEd
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Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

The Harvard University Archives ’ collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University’s history.

Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research institution as well as the development of numerous academic fields. They are also an important source of biographical information, offering insight into the academic careers of the authors.

Printed list of works awarded the Bowdoin prize in 1889-1890.

Spanning from the ‘theses and quaestiones’ of the 17th and 18th centuries to the current yearly output of student research, they include both the first Harvard Ph.D. dissertation (by William Byerly, Ph.D . 1873) and the dissertation of the first woman to earn a doctorate from Harvard ( Lorna Myrtle Hodgkinson , Ed.D. 1922).

Other highlights include:

  • The collection of Mathematical theses, 1782-1839
  • The 1895 Ph.D. dissertation of W.E.B. Du Bois, The suppression of the African slave trade in the United States, 1638-1871
  • Ph.D. dissertations of astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (Ph.D. 1925) and physicist John Hasbrouck Van Vleck (Ph.D. 1922)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of novelist John Updike (A.B. 1954), filmmaker Terrence Malick (A.B. 1966),  and U.S. poet laureate Tracy Smith (A.B. 1994)
  • Undergraduate prize papers and dissertations of philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson (A.B. 1821), George Santayana (Ph.D. 1889), and W.V. Quine (Ph.D. 1932)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (A.B. 1940) and Chief Justice John Roberts (A.B. 1976)

What does a prize-winning thesis look like?

If you're a Harvard undergraduate writing your own thesis, it can be helpful to review recent prize-winning theses. The Harvard University Archives has made available for digital lending all of the Thomas Hoopes Prize winners from the 2019-2021 academic years.

Accessing These Materials

How to access materials at the Harvard University Archives

How to find and request dissertations, in person or virtually

How to find and request undergraduate honors theses

How to find and request Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize papers

How to find and request Bowdoin Prize papers

  • email: Email
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Related Collections

Harvard faculty personal and professional archives, harvard student life collections: arts, sports, politics and social life, access materials at the harvard university archives.

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  • Public History Practicum
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Theoretically sophisticated, comparative, and interdisciplinary approaches are a hallmark of the doctoral program at the University of Chicago. The Department of History offers a comprehensive range of fields of study. We strongly encourage students to take courses outside of History and to compose one of three oral fields in a comparative discipline. A rich series of  interdisciplinary workshops  and conferences bring together students and faculty from throughout the university for intellectual exchange.

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famous phd theses in history

60 Famous Ph.D. Theses In History

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Obtaining a PhD is a huge undertaking that requires endless hours of research, testing, and writing. In the end, a thesis is written and if defended successfully a PhD degree is awarded. If it is not successfully defended, all of the time and effort you put into it was for nothing – in most cases.

famous ph.d. theses

Here are 60 famous Ph.D. theses throughout history. Some were successfully defended, while others were rejected and mocked. Yet somehow they have still made history. Take a tour through history!

1. Marie Curie

Curie wrote a PhD thesis titled “ Radioactive Substances ” in 1903 for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics. Her handwritten thesis and other documents are kept in a lead-lined box to this day because they are too radioactive to be touched.

2. Albert Einstein

Einstein’s PhD thesis titled “A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions” was completed in 1906 and is the world’s most cited work.

3. Bernhard Riemann

Riemann’s PhD thesis titled “On the Hypotheses Which Lie At the Basis of Geometry” was completed in 1968 and gave rise to Riemannian geometry, which was used by Albert Einstein to explain the concept of relativity.

4. Kim Eric Drexler

When Drexler completed his PhD thesis titled “Molecular Machinery and Manufacturing with Applications to Computation” in 1991 he had discovered and invented the field of molecular nanotechnology.

5. Karl Marx

Marx’s PhD thesis titled “The Difference Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature” was completed in 1841 and debated between freedom and determinism.

6. Claude Shannon

Shannon’s PhD thesis titled “A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits” was written in 1937 and laid the groundwork for all digital technology.

7. Stephen Hawking

Hawking’s PhD thesis Properties of Expanding Universes laid out his theory of how the universe was created.

8. John Nash

Nash and his beautiful mind wrote a mere 27-page PhD thesis titled “Non-Cooperative Games” in 1950 which led to him being awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

9. de Broglie

de Broglie wrote a PhD thesis titled “On the Theory of Quanta” in 1924 which became one of the core ideas of quantum mechanics. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1929.

10. Richard Feynman

Feynman wrote a PhD thesis titled “The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Mechanics” in 1942 which introduced the now-famous Feynman diagrams.

11. Max Weber

Weber’s PhD thesis titled “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” was completed in 1905. Weber is known as one of the founders of sociology.

12. Ivan Sutherland

Sutherland completed a PhD thesis in 1963 titled “Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System” and created Sketchpad, which with the first GUI (graphical user interface) program.

13. Hans Rutger Bosker

Booker won the 2014 AVT/Anéla Dissertation Prize for the PhD thesis titled “The Processing and Evaluation of Fluency in Native and Non-Native Speech” completed at Utrecht University.

14. Michael P. Mendenhall

Mendenhall won the 2015 Dissertation Award in Nuclear Physics for the PhD thesis titled “Measurement of the Neutron Beta Decay Asymmetry Using Ultracold Neutrons” written at California Institute of Technology.

15. John Criswell

Criswell won the 2014 Doctoral Dissertation Award for the PhD thesis titled “Secure Virtual Architecture: Security for Commodity Software Systems” written at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

16. Shayan O. Gharan

Gharan won the Doctoral Dissertation Award 2013 for the PhD thesis titled “New Rounding Techniques for the Design and Analysis of Approximation Algorithms” written at Stanford University.

17. Eric A. Vandre

Vandre’s PhD thesis titled “Onset of Dynamics Wetting Failure: The Mechanics of High-speed Fluid Displacement” written at the University of Minnesota won the 2014 Andreas Acrivos Dissertation Award in Fluid Dynamics.

18. Ezgi Akpinar

Akpinar wrote a PhD thesis at Erasmus University Rotterdam titled “Consumer Information Sharing: Understanding Psychological Drivers of Social Transmission” which won the McKinsey Marketing Dissertation Award 2014.

19. Keith N. Snavely

Snavely’s PhD thesis titled “Scene Reconstruction and Visualization from Internet Photo Collections” written at the University of Washington won the 2009 Doctoral Dissertation Award.

20. Susannah Taylor

Taylor wrote a PhD thesis at the University of Ottawa titled “Effacing and Obscuring Autonomy: the Effects of Structural Violence on the Transition to Adulthood of Street Involved Youth” which won the 2018 Joseph De Koninck Prize.

21. Carl Friedrich Gauss

Gauss wrote a PhD thesis titled “ A new proof of the theorem that every integral rational algebraic function of one variable can be resolved into real factors of the first or second degree ” in 1799 and is sometimes called the Prince of Mathematicians.

22. Arthur Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer wrote a PhD thesis titled “ On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason ” in 1813 which influenced many other philosophers since.

23. Ludwig Büchner

Büchner’s 1848 PhD thesis was titled “ Contributions to the Hallerian Theory of an Excitomotor Nervous System ” and proved that irritability causes muscle contractions rather than consciousness.

24. Johannes Diderik van der Waals

in 1873 Diderik van der Waals completed a PhD thesis titled “ On the continuity of the gas and liquid state ” which gave a semi-quantitative description of the phenomena of condensation and critical temperatures.

25. Hans Vaihinger

in 1877 Vaihinger completed a PhD thesis titled “The Philosophy of ‘As If'” which explained his philosophy, based on his study of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche, that while sensations and feelings are real, the rest of human knowledge and logic consists of “fictions” that can only be justified pragmatically.

26. Svante Arrhenius

Arrhenius’ 1884 PhD thesis titled “Investigations on the Galvanic Conductivity of Electrolytes” which was initially not well received by his professors, but eventually earned him the 1903 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

27. Émile Durkheim

Durkheim’s PhD thesis titled “The Division of Labour in Society” was completed in 1886 and is a fundamental statement of the nature of human society and its development.

28. Poul Heegaard

Heegaard’s 1898 PhD thesis titled “Preliminary Studies Towards the Topological Theory of Connectivity of Algebraic Surfaces” that introduced ‘Heegaard decompositions’ and the associated ‘Heegaard diagrams’ that are still relevant today.

29. Louis Bachelier

Bachelier completed a PhD thesis titled “The Theory of Speculation” in 1900 which modeled the stochastic process now called Brownian motion.

30. Henri Lebesgue

Lebesgue’s 1902 PhD thesis titled “Integral, Length, Area” made his theory of integration famous.

31. John Augustine Ryan

Ryan was a Catholic priest who wrote a PhD thesis titled “A Living Wage” in 1906 which argued for a minimum wage.

32. Lev Vygotsky

Vygotsky’s PhD thesis titled “The Psychology of Art” was completed in 1925 but not published until the 1960s.

33. Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein’s 78-page PhD thesis titled “Logical-Philosophical Treatise” was completed in 1921 and published as a book, which was his only published work.

34. Brian May

Queen guitarist Brian May finished his PhD thesis titled “A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud” in 2008. He started his research in 1970 but took a long break to tour with the band and enjoy being famous.

35. Peter Higgs

Higgs’ PhD thesis was titled “Some problems in the theory of molecular vibrations” and he became famous in 2013 for his discovery of the Higgs Boson (the God particle) and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

36. Jim Al-Khalili

Al-Khalili’s PhD thesis was about “Immediate energy deuteron elastic scattering from nuclei in a three-body model” and he went on to present science topics on radio and television.

37. Rosalind Franklin

Franklin’s PhD thesis studied the molecular structure of coal and other organic materials , but she is best known for creating the X-ray diffraction images of DNA that led to the discovery of its double-helical structure.

38. Jocelyn Bell Burnell

While researching and writing her PhD thesis, Burnell discovered radio pulsars . These pulsars were famously visualized on the cover of Joy Division’s album Unknown Pleasures.

39. Kurt Gödel

Gödel first presented his PhD thesis “On Formally Undecidable Propositions of ‘Principia Mathematica’ and Related Systems” in 1929 and it was published as an article in 1930. The thesis presented a theorem of the first-order predicate calculus.

40. Jacques Lacan

Lacan’s PhD thesis “On Paranoiac Psychosis in its Relations to the Personality” completed in 1932 presented the post-structuralist theory rejected the belief that reality can be captured in language, which made Lacan a specialist in paranoia.

41. Edward Franklin Frazier

Frazier’s 1932 PhD thesis “The Negro Family in Chicago” analyzed the cultural and historical forces that influenced the development of the African-American family from the time of slavery. It was later published as a book that was awarded the 1940 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for the most significant work in the field of race relations.

42. Lars Onsager

Onsager completed his PhD thesis “Solutions of the Mathieu equation of period 4 pi and certain related functions” in 1935 but was not granted a PhD. He went on to work as a theoretician in the physical sciences and won the 1968 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

43. Alan Turing

Turing’s 1938 PhD thesis “On Computable Numbers, With An Application to the Entscheidungsproblem” suggested a theoretical machine that became the basis of modern computing.

44. Paul Samuelson

Samuelson became known as the Father of Modern Economics after his 1941 PhD thesis “The Observational Significance of Economic Theory: A Study in the Foundations of Analytical Economics” was published. The thesis provided the framework of “Foundations of Economic Analysis,” the best-selling economics textbook of all time.

45. Claude Lévi-Strauss

Lévi-Strauss’ PhD thesis was the foundation of the 1948 book “The Elementary Structures of Kinship” which is widely regarded as one of the most important anthropological works on kinship.

46. Kenneth Arrow

Arrow’s 1951 PhD thesis “Social Choice and Individual Values” led to “Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem” for which he and John Hicks were awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.

47. Noam Chomsky

Chomsky completed his PhD thesis “Transformational Analysis” in 1955 and is now known as the “father of modern linguistics.” Today he remains a major figure of analytic philosophy.

48. Hugh Everett III

Everett completed his PhD thesis “Theory of the Universal Wave Function” in 1957 and was ridiculed by his peers. It was not published until 1973 as part of an anthology about the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. It was only then that Everett gained some respect for his contributions to mathematics and quantum theory.

49. Stephen Jay Gould

Gould completed his PhD thesis titled “Pleistocene and Recent History of the Subgenus Poecilozonites In Bermuda” in 1967 which led to his theory of punctuated equilibrium.

50. Robert Allen “Laud” Humphreys

Humphreys completed his controversial PhD thesis titled “Tearoom Trade” in 1968. He studied anonymous male-male sexual encounters in public toilets and confirmed that over 50% of the men were heterosexual.

51. Kate Millett

Millett’s PhD thesis “Sexual Politics” was published as a book in 1970 and became a cornerstone of radical feminism.

52. Michael Spence

Spence’s PhD thesis “Market Signalling” in 1972 led to him being awarded the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

53. Harry Binswanger

Binswanger’s PhD thesis “The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts” was completed in 1973 presented a new theory of the goal-directedness of living action.

54. Camille Paglia

Paglia’s 1974 PhD thesis “Sexual Personae: The Androgyne in Literature and Art” was the basis of her first book, which became a best-seller.

55. Edwin Earl Catmull

Catmull’s 1975 PhD thesis titled “A Subdivision Algorithm for Computer Display of Curved Surfaces” made four key computer graphics discoveries: Z-buffering, texture mapping, subdivision surface, and the fast rendering of bicubic patches.

56. Paul Milgrom

Milgrom completed his PhD thesis titled “The Structure of Information in Competitive Bidding” in 1979. He is an expert in game theory and pricing strategies.

57. Robert “Bob” Anton Wilson

Wilson earned a PhD in 1979 with his thesis “Prometheus Rising” from the unaccredited and now closed Paideia University in California. However, Prometheus Rising was published in 1983.

58. Irene Heim

Heim produced her PhD thesis titled “The semantics of definite and indefinite noun phrases” in 1982 and is now a linguist and specialist in linguistics.

59. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

Goldhagen’s PhD thesis titled “The Nazi executioners: A study of their behavior and the causation of genocide” was completed in 1992 and was the basis of his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners.”

60. Rebecca Mercuri

Mercuri’s PhD thesis titled “Electronic Vote Tabulation: Checks and Balances” was completed in 2001 and is of particular interest during voting years.

Sources: https://www.document-centre.co.uk/marie-curie-her-world-changing-phd-thesis/ https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/examples/ http://www.mrgeek.me/lists/12-most-famous-phd-theses-in-history/ http://dissertation.com/top_dissertations.php https://blogs.bl.uk/science/2016/12/9-famous-scientists-and-their-phd-theses.html

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How to write a PhD thesis: a step-by-step guide

A draft isn’t a perfect, finished product; it is your opportunity to start getting words down on paper, writes Kelly Louise Preece

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Congratulations; you’ve finished your research! Time to write your PhD thesis. This resource will take you through an eight-step plan for drafting your chapters and your thesis as a whole. 

Infographic with steps on how to draft your PhD thesis

Organise your material

Before you start, it’s important to get organised. Take a step back and look at the data you have, then reorganise your research. Which parts of it are central to your thesis and which bits need putting to one side? Label and organise everything using logical folders – make it easy for yourself! Academic and blogger Pat Thomson calls this  “Clean up to get clearer” . Thomson suggests these questions to ask yourself before you start writing:

  • What data do you have? You might find it useful to write out a list of types of data (your supervisor will find this list useful too.) This list is also an audit document that can go in your thesis. Do you have any for the “cutting room floor”? Take a deep breath and put it in a separate non-thesis file. You can easily retrieve it if it turns out you need it.
  • What do you have already written? What chunks of material have you written so far that could form the basis of pieces of the thesis text? They will most likely need to be revised but they are useful starting points. Do you have any holding text? That is material you already know has to be rewritten but contains information that will be the basis of a new piece of text.
  • What have you read and what do you still need to read? Are there new texts that you need to consult now after your analysis? What readings can you now put to one side, knowing that they aren’t useful for this thesis – although they might be useful at another time?
  • What goes with what? Can you create chunks or themes of materials that are going to form the basis of some chunks of your text, perhaps even chapters?

Once you have assessed and sorted what you have collected and generated you will be in much better shape to approach the big task of composing the dissertation. 

Decide on a key message

A key message is a summary of new information communicated in your thesis. You should have started to map this out already in the section on argument and contribution – an overarching argument with building blocks that you will flesh out in individual chapters.

You have already mapped your argument visually, now you need to begin writing it in prose. Following another of Pat Thomson’s exercises, write a “tiny text” thesis abstract. This doesn’t have to be elegant, or indeed the finished product, but it will help you articulate the argument you want your thesis to make. You create a tiny text using a five-paragraph structure:

  • The first sentence addresses the broad context. This locates the study in a policy, practice or research field.
  • The second sentence establishes a problem related to the broad context you have set out. It often starts with “But”, “Yet” or “However”.
  • The third sentence says what specific research has been done. This often starts with “This research” or “I report…”
  • The fourth sentence reports the results. Don’t try to be too tricky here, just start with something like: “This study shows,” or “Analysis of the data suggests that…”
  • The fifth and final sentence addresses the “So What?” question and makes clear the claim to contribution.

Here’s an example that Thomson provides:

Secondary school arts are in trouble, as the fall in enrolments in arts subjects dramatically attests. However, there is patchy evidence about the benefits of studying arts subjects at school and this makes it hard to argue why the drop in arts enrolments matters. This thesis reports on research which attempts to provide some answers to this problem – a longitudinal study which followed two groups of senior secondary students, one group enrolled in arts subjects and the other not, for three years. The results of the study demonstrate the benefits of young people’s engagement in arts activities, both in and out of school, as well as the connections between the two. The study not only adds to what is known about the benefits of both formal and informal arts education but also provides robust evidence for policymakers and practitioners arguing for the benefits of the arts. You can  find out more about tiny texts and thesis abstracts on Thomson’s blog.

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Write a plan

You might not be a planner when it comes to writing. You might prefer to sit, type and think through ideas as you go. That’s OK. Everybody works differently. But one of the benefits of planning your writing is that your plan can help you when you get stuck. It can help with writer’s block (more on this shortly!) but also maintain clarity of intention and purpose in your writing.

You can do this by creating a  thesis skeleton or storyboard , planning the order of your chapters, thinking of potential titles (which may change at a later stage), noting down what each chapter/section will cover and considering how many words you will dedicate to each chapter (make sure the total doesn’t exceed the maximum word limit allowed).

Use your plan to help prompt your writing when you get stuck and to develop clarity in your writing.

Some starting points include:

  • This chapter will argue that…
  • This section illustrates that…
  • This paragraph provides evidence that…

Of course, we wish it werethat easy. But you need to approach your first draft as exactly that: a draft. It isn’t a perfect, finished product; it is your opportunity to start getting words down on paper. Start with whichever chapter you feel you want to write first; you don’t necessarily have to write the introduction first. Depending on your research, you may find it easier to begin with your empirical/data chapters.

Vitae advocates for the “three draft approach” to help with this and to stop you from focusing on finding exactly the right word or transition as part of your first draft.

Infographic of the three draft approach

This resource originally appeared on Researcher Development .

Kelly Louse Preece is head of educator development at the University of Exeter.

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Tisbe Rinehart: Getting Personal about Wilderness

Tisbe Rinehart

Soon-to-be CHID graduate Tisbe Rinehart was recently the subject of an ArtSci featured story, "Getting Personal about Wilderness," chronically her journey leading to the completion of her novel (and senior thesis), "Desert(ed) Destinies: Wilderness Therapy as Settler Colonial Violence". Check out the story here: https://artsci.washington.edu/news/2024-05/getting-personal-about-wilde… Congratulations Tisbe! We're glad to have known you the last few years 💜

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    Yale History Dissertations. The dissertation represents the culmination of years of graduate training. For many, the pages of the dissertation are stained with blood, sweat and tears. And coffee. And more tears. Since 1882, when the first dissertation was presented to the history department for doctoral qualification at Yale, hundreds of ...

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    Your thesis statement is one of the most important parts of your paper. It expresses your main argument succinctly and explains why your argument is historically significant. Think of your thesis as a promise you make to your reader about what your paper will argue. Then, spend the rest of your paper-each body paragraph-fulfilling that promise.

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    Theses/Dissertations from 2021. Building a New (Deal) Identity The Evolution of Italian-American Political Culture and Ideology, 1910-1940, Ryan J. Antonucci. "It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon:" Southside Virginia's Civil Rights Struggle Against The Virginia Way, 1951-1964, Emily A. Martin Cochran.

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  5. History and Classics PhD thesis collection

    Esme Stuart d'Aubigny, first Duke of Lennox c.1542-1583: a French courtier in Scotland . This thesis is a study of the life and careers of Esmé Stuart d'Aubigny, First Duke of Lennox, from his birth in the early 1540s to his death in May 1583, providing discussion of his legacy through his descendants.

  6. How to Research and Write a Compelling History Thesis

    2. Develop a Thesis Statement. To create a thesis statement, a student should establish a specific idea or theory that makes the main point about a historical event. Scribbr, an editing website, recommends starting with a working thesis, asking the question the thesis intends to answer, and, then, writing the answer.

  7. Preparing a History PhD proposal

    An acceptable PhD thesis must have a central argument, a 'thesis'. You need to have something to argue for or against, a point to prove or disprove, a question to answer. What goes into this section of the proposal is a statement of your question and the answer you plan to give, even if, for now, it remains a hypothesis.

  8. History

    JD/PHD. In coordination with Harvard Law School, students may pursue both a PhD in history and a JD at Harvard Law School. To learn more about this course of study consult the Coordinated JD/PhD program overview. Theses & Dissertations. Theses & Dissertations for History. Faculty. See list of History faculty

  9. Browse by PhD thesis by University of Warwick Department

    A. Aguilar-González, Ricardo (2023) Sustenance : a history of foods, drinks and bodies in the colonisation of Mesoamerica, 1470-1600. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. Ahmad, Malik Hammad (2015) The struggle for democracy in Pakistan : nonviolent resistance of military rule 1977-88. PhD thesis, University of Warwick. Ayres, Bryan John (2015) Navvy communities and families in the construction ...

  10. History: Writing a History Dissertation

    The best way to achieve this is to: 1. Record the key ideas, themes and quotes from what you have read. Try to find a uniform way to do this as it will make it easier to find information when you come to write your dissertation. Some formats are freely available on the internet, such as the Cornell Note Taking System.

  11. Theses

    The IHR published a listing of UK history theses until 2014. These lists of theses completed at UK universities between 1901 and 1970 and 1970 and 2014 are available as part of British History Online. A listing of 1260 MA and PhD theses relating to the history of London (completed 1960s-2010s) is also available from the IHR's Bibliography of ...

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    Alexander Wimberly. Dissertation : Present Witness: The Confession of 1967 and the Travails of Presbyterians in American Society. Placement : Leader of the Corrymeela Community (Northern Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation organization), Belfast, Northern Ireland. Notre Dame's Department of History offers a graduate Ph.D. program in ...

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    Thesis Defense. The Department of History of Art and Architecture requires that all Ph.D. dissertations (of students entering in September 1997 and beyond) be defended. ... The final manuscript must conform to University requirements described in the Supplement The Form of the Doctoral Thesis distributed by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

  14. Guide to Writing a Public History Thesis with a Public History

    The public history program offers methods and practice field courses that can provide a frame for the thesis. The methods and practice areas can shape the whole thesis or chapters and sections can focus on application of the method to the topic. The entire thesis/article does not need to be grounded in the methodology.

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  16. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    The Harvard University Archives' collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University's history.. Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research ...

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    PhD Study. Theoretically sophisticated, comparative, and interdisciplinary approaches are a hallmark of the doctoral program at the University of Chicago. The Department of History offers a comprehensive range of fields of study. We strongly encourage students to take courses outside of History and to compose one of three oral fields in a ...

  18. PDF PhD Theses in History of Science by Year 1941 through 2015

    Jones, Matthew Avicenna and Aquinas on Individuation. Mobilizing for War, Engineering the Peace: The State, the Shop Floor and the Engineer in Japan, 1935-1960. Technical Subjects: Natural Philosophy and Mathematics as Spiritual Exercises in Descartes, Pascal and Leibniz Sabra, A.I. Galison, Peter.

  19. Shodhganga@INFLIBNET: Department of History

    The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre provides a platform for research students to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. ... Department of History : [115] Collection home page. Browse Subscribe to this collection to receive daily e-mail notification of new additions Collection's Items ...

  20. 60 Famous Ph.D. Theses In History

    Obtaining a PhD is a huge undertaking that requires endless hours of research, testing, and writing. In the end, a thesis is written and if defended successfully a PhD degree is awarded. If it is not successfully defended, all of the time and effort you put into it was for nothing - in most cases. Here are 60 famous Ph.D. theses throughout history.

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    Thesis Title. Supervisor. 2019. Dunsworth, Edward. The Transnational Making of Ontario Tobacco Labour, 1925-1990. Radforth, I. 2019. Rowe-Mcculloch, Maris. The Holocaust and Mass Violence in the German-Occupied City of Rostov-on-Don, 1941-1943.

  22. Shodhganga@INFLIBNET: Department of History

    The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre provides a platform for research students to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. ... Department of History : [343] Collection home page. Browse Subscribe to this collection to receive daily e-mail notification of new additions Collection's Items ...

  23. How to write a PhD thesis: a step-by-step guide

    Time to write your PhD thesis. This resource will take you through an eight-step plan for drafting your chapters and your thesis as a whole. Image. Organise your material. ... This thesis reports on research which attempts to provide some answers to this problem - a longitudinal study which followed two groups of senior secondary students ...

  24. Shodhganga : a reservoir of Indian theses @ INFLIBNET

    The Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre provides a platform for research students to deposit their Ph.D. theses and make it available to the entire scholarly community in open access. The repository has the ability to capture, index, store, disseminate and preserve ETDs submitted by the researchers.

  25. Tisbe Rinehart: Getting Personal about Wilderness

    Soon-to-be CHID graduate Tisbe Rinehart was recently the subject of an ArtSci featured story, "Getting Personal about Wilderness," chronically her journey leading to the completion of her novel (and senior thesis), "Desert(ed) Destinies: Wilderness Therapy as Settler Colonial Violence". Check out the story here: