The history department at McMaster University is a member of the Humanities Faculty. We are a small to medium-sized department with 20 full-time faculty in all. Each year we admit 5-8 new doctoral candidates, and up to 26 new M.A. students. At present, our total graduate enrolment is 63. This breaks down to 18 M.A.s and 45 Ph.D.s.
At the M.A. and Ph.D. minor field levels, we attempt to broaden our program by offering courses that transcend the tradiational areas and chronological divisions of Western history. Our diverse faculty approach the study of history in many ways. Some of us are political historians, others stress social, economic, or intellectual history. Several members of the department are also involved with interdisciplinary programs such as Women's Studies, Peace Studies, and Globalization.
You will find several important advantages to our program. Because of its smaller size, the McMaster history department has been able to develop a strong sense of collegiality and partnership between the graduate faculty and the student body. We believe that the cordiality which prevails within the department infuses faculty-student relations. The sense of a joint undertaking is enhanced through our teaching assistantships, which encourage regular contact between faculty and graduate students. All Teaching Assistants are provided with office space and e-mail accounts. Teaching responsibilities include leading undergraduate tutorials, marking assignments, and holding office hours. To assist undergraduates with their written assignments the department organizes an annual writing clinic led by graduate students. The department also prepares students for life after graduate school by offering several opportunities for professional advancement. For example, students can hone their conference presentation skills by giving papers at our Thursday Colloquium Series Lectures and the annual Graduate Colloquium. Two important student organizations are the Graduate Students Association, which organizes annual activities to enhance graduate student life; and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents graduate students with Teaching Assistantships.
As explained in the graduate program description, there are two roads to the M.A. degree: one by course work (seminars); the other by a combination of course work and thesis. In both streams a degree may be earned in roughly a calendar year (September to August).
Every student choosing the course work M.A. option will also take history 797, the "M.A. Research Paper." During the summer these students research and write a paper, to be submitted by the second Monday in August. The paper will be a substantial piece of work, approximately 9,000-10,000 words of text. (For the M.A. by thesis students, the required length of the thesis is 25,000 to 30,000 words of text.).
In exceptional cases, courses listed in the calendar but not offered this year may be taken on an independent study basis. Students are responsible for obtaining the approval of the appropriate faculty member and the Graduate Committee, and must do so before registering on SOLAR. Students may not take more than one course by independent study.
Both the masters and doctoral programmes are shaped and monitored by the Departmental Graduate Studies Committee. Presided over by the Graduate Chair, this consists of three faculty members, plus two elected student representatives (one M.A. and one Ph.D. student). Student representatives participate fully in the Committee's work, including all discussions (unless the work of a particular graduate student is at issue) and the drafting of graduate student regulations.
The McMaster history department sponsors many kinds of events to promote intellectual and social exchange. In the fall the department hosts a graduate students' reception, and in December the graduate students organize a holiday celebration. Each year the department holds a Graduate Colloquium and a lecture series. Featured speakers in the past have included Viv Nutton, Maria Tippett, Philippa Levine, Sander Gilman, Donald Smith, Michael Doucet, Joy Parr, and David Hackett Fischer. Graduate students from the department have often participated in these colloquia by presenting their own papers.
Ph.D.'s in Progress
Maintaining Mobility: Technology, Policy and the Management of Ontario's Roadways, 1901-1998
The Fight for Britishness: How Fascists and Anti-Fascists Competed for British National Identity, 1945-1979
Orphaned Cubs and Responsible Hunters: Conflicting Values and the Management of Black Bears in Ontario, 1900-1999
Idomitable Spirituality? Popular Religion and Belief in Britain, 1935-1955
Searching for the 'Right Way': the Party and Popular Conservatism in Britain, 1955-1974
Cooking up a Nation: Exploring the links between British food and identity within class, Empire, and Continental relationships
The Unemployment Insurance Commission and the Construction of Canadian Citizenship, 1940-1955
Global Expansion of the Canadian Insurance Industry
Interactions of Church and State Regarding Children's Education in Canada: 1860-1970
The Island's War: The PEI Homefront During World War II
Wayward Wives, Mothers and Daughters, Crime and Gender in the Seigneurial Courts of North-Eastern Burgundy, 1620-1650
The New Order of the 'Infidel Sultan': Ottoman State and Society During the Later Rule of Mahmud II (1826-1839)
"As long as I can live in peace:" Ethnic German Immigrants in Interwar and Immediate Post-World War II Canada
Franco-Yugoslavian Relations during the Cold War (1945-1974)
A March from Selma to Canada?: Canada and the Transnational Civil Rights Movement