History Honours Program
If you're interested in graduate studies or would like to engage in a serious intellectual exercise, you should consider a Bachelor of Arts — History with Honours. It's an opportunity for you to select a topic, engage in systematic study under the supervision of a faculty supervisor and produce a scholarly finished project. Please note, the History Honours Program is not for everyone — you will have greater success if you have strong time-management skills, self-discipline and works well independently.
- Applications for admissions to the History Honours Program are accepted from March 1 to May 1 of each year. You must complete 20 courses by May 1 to apply.
- Completed forms must be submitted by May 1 to the Chair of the Humanities Department in EA3147.
- You will be notified by June 15 if you have been accepted to the program
- You have until June 30 to notify the History Advisor if you accept the offer to join the History Honours Program
DescriptionThe Honours Program is an in-depth experience with the discipline of History. You will complete a two-course sequence in your last year of study (HIST 5110 and HIST 5120). During these courses, you will define a topic, conduct a literature review, and produce a thesis or project based on original research. The completed thesis will range between 50 and 60 pages of text, not including footnotes and bibliography. Less commonly, you may — with the approval of a sponsoring faculty member — choose to do a project based on your research rather than a traditional thesis. In addition, the general graduation requirements for Honours vary somewhat from the general graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts — History. For instance, you must take a minimum of 20 History courses instead of a minimum of 16 History courses. If you are enrolled in the Honours Program, but fail to satisfy all the requirements for an Honours degree (for instance, you do not complete the thesis), but has satisfied all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts — History, you will receive a BA — History degree upon graduation.
EligibilityAdmittance to the Program is competitive, you must have a 3.0 GPA in your last ten courses to apply. History faculty members determine which of the qualified applicants will be admitted into History Honours Program. Once admitted, you must maintain a 3.0 GPA in your major courses, as well as an overall 3.0 GPA.
ApplicationStudents may apply to the History Honours Program after completing 20 courses. Your application must include the following items:
- The Mount Royal University Honours application form obtainable from the History major advisor.
- The History Honours application form obtainable from the History major advisor.
- An unofficial transcript of all college/university courses including courses completed at other post-secondary institutions.
Applications are due by May 1 — no exceptions. Application materials must be submitted to the Chair of the Department of Humanities located in EA 3147. You will be notified by June 15 if you have been accepted to the program and you will have until June 30 to notify the Associate Dean of Arts if you accept the offer to join the Honours Program in History.
Are you interested in many time periods in American and U.S. history, as well as numerous areas of historical inquiry (environment, technology, social, agricultural/rural, public history)? Joe Anderson's publications include: studies of post World War II farming in the American Midwest, the American Civil War home front, technology, food production and consumption, and the relationship between universities and the public. Should you work with Joe, you will begin your projects the summer before you enroll in HIST 5110.
You are expected to select your own Honours topic, however, here are some possible areas of study:
- Changes in land use and farming techniques
- Extraction, processing, and consumption of natural resources
- The American Civil War and Reconstruction
- Depictions of race and gender in popular media
- Conceptions of health, nutrition, and diet
- The Cold War and the American home front
- Historic sites, museums, and historic preservation
David Clemis is a historian of early modern Europe (1500-1800) with particular interests in the social, cultural and political histories of Britain and France. His current research focuses on medical, legal and moralistic perspectives on addiction and intoxication in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. David's other areas of scholarly expertise is in the history of early modern Britain and France are: the history of cities; the history of crime and morality; political history and theory; history of ideas about the self, the body, and personal identity; and history of emotions (the social, cultural and institutional contexts of the expression of emotions and human behavior).
Examples of subjects you might investigate include:
- The impact of the slave trade on eighteenth-century Bristol
- The insanity defense in eighteenth-century criminal trials
- The drinking culture of the British Army, 1650 to 1783
- The punishment of crime in France, 1760 to 1814
- The idea of ‘childhood’ in the Enlightenment
- ‘The Psychology of the Crowd’ in eighteenth-century London
- The justifications of war in the age of the Enlightenment
Shawn England's past research focused on civil-military affairs in Latin America, particularly Mexico during the tumultuous period between the outbreak of the Revolution in 1910 through the creation of the Institutional Revolutionary Party by the 1940s. Currently, he's examining various cultural and political challenges facing Indigenous populations of the Americas (including the United States) during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has taught courses on Latin America in both the colonial and national periods, as well as courses about US history. Shawn would be very pleased to help any Honours student interested in writing about various aspects of Latin American or US history, particularly in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries.
Here are just a few examples of possible thesis topics:
- US Military Interventions in Latin America
- Anarchist Movements in the Americas
- An Analysis of Indigenous Assimilationist Policies in Modern Nation States of the Americas
- Political Extremism in the United States
- Far Right Politics in Mexico during the Revolutionary Era
- Twentieth Century American Moral Panics and Anti-Vice Crusades
Liam Haggarty's scholarship investigates the history of Indigenous Peoples in western Canada and their relationship with non-Indigenous Peoples and governments. Specifically, his research explores how aspects of Indigenous Societies, such as economics and politics, functioned historically and adapted to the changes that accompanied colonialism. Liam's teaching focuses on Indigenous Studies and colonialism in Canada and other parts of the world, such as Latin America and the South Pacific, as well as Canadian history and the history of western North America. He is interested in supervising honours theses on a wide-range of topics related to the Indigenous history of specific communities in Alberta, western Canada and other select areas in North America.
Possible honours topics include:
- Indigenous Land and Resource Use
- Indigenous Self-government
- Indigenous-government Relations
- Government Policy Related to Indigenous People
- Representations of Indigenous People in Popular Media
- Approaches to Decolonisation
Jarett Henderson's research, broadly speaking, focuses on the history of colonialism in Canada and Quebec during the long nineteenth century (1763–1914). He is particularly interested in how ideas about gender, race and political engagement were connected to larger imperial events such as the abolition of slavery and convict transportation. Jarett has also conducted research on the role that archives play in shaping what historians are able to know about the past (1867–1920) and on the colonization of Western Canada (1867–1914). He would be more than willing to supervise honours theses in any of the following thematic fields: political and social reform; gender, family and sexuality; race, rebellion and responsible government; Canada, Quebec and the British Empire; and archives, historical methodologies and the uses of the past.
Some possible areas of inquiry:
- "Far From a Honeymoon": The 1841 Act of Reunion and the Metaphor of Family
- A History of the Making of the Makers of Canada Series
- Reporting Rebellion in the Colonial Gazette
- Representations of Canada at the 1886 Colonial and Indian Exhibition
- Debating Canadian Colonialism: How the Imperial Parliament Comprehended Canada
- Making Mount Royal French Canadian: Colonial History, Calgary, and the Re-branding of American Hill in the Early 20th Century
- Canada and the Abolition of Slavery
- Compensating the Disloyal and the 1849 Rebellion Losses Bill
- Lady Elgin and the Intimate Politics of Empire
- Louis Riel and French Canada: 1837–38 and 1885
- Company Colonialism: The 1857 Report on the HBC
- Social and Sexual Reform in late-19th Century Western Canada|
If there is a topic that you would like to pursue, and you think it fits one of the broad interests above but you do not see it on the list, please do not hesitate to contact Jarett.
Emily Hutchison specializes in the political culture of late medieval Europe, in particular, the political interactions and cultural dynamics of the early fifteenth-century French civil war. One dimension of her doctoral and published work has centred on the use of propaganda during the French civil war, including the integration of political thought with broader, more populist rhetorical themes, and the use of non-textual forms of propaganda and communication. The second dimension has centred on factionalism and identity during this same conflict. The monograph she is working on at present examines the wider patterns of factionalism and violence across the French realm among nobles and non-nobles alike, and the political engagement of the Third Estate (the non-nobles). Finally, her more recent work has focused on the cultural norms shaping acts of violence during war, such as honour and shame, reputation, and vengeance. Her teaching expertise ranges from Ancient Greece and Rome to fifteenth century Europe.
However, Emily is primarily interested in supervising Honours theses relating to medieval Europe, and particularly topics connected to the list below:
- War and society
- Medieval communication
- Social tensions, rebellions and riots
- Political culture, including political thought and power politics
- Chivalric culture
- Gender and sexuality
Kirk Niergarth's research focuses on the relationship between culture and politics in Canada between 1920 and 1945. Most of his work concentrates on visual culture of the Depression era, but he has also published work on Canadian immigration policy in the early 20th century and on the development of political policing in post-Confederation Canada. He has taught courses focusing on Canada in the Cold War era, Canada in the 1960s, and the history of Canadian workers. He is interested in supervising honours theses on a wide variety of topics in 20th century Canadian history, particularly topics in political, cultural, labour, or intellectual history.
Just a few possible topics:
- Pulp fiction in Maclean's magazine, 1919–1939
- Cultural politics and the politics of culture in Western Canada during the 1930s
- Anti-semitism in Alberta: 1919–1947
- Calgary and the On-to-Ottawa Trek, 1935
- Canadian Intellectuals and the 1930s: The cases of Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, George Grant and Harold Innis
- 'Thanks to my wife': Academic wives and cultural production in Depression-era Canada
- Canadian Documentary Film and the Second World War
Jennifer Pettit’s research interests are concerned primarily with Native peoples, with an emphasis on education and government policies for First Nations. She is particularly interested in the ability of First Nations peoples to respond to attempts by church and state to assimilate Indigenous peoples, either in Canada or in the United States. Jennifer is also the co-director of the Donnelly website, part of the Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History project. This site encompasses a number of areas, including legal history and the study of violence. She is interested in supervising honours theses/projects on an array of topics in the following areas: First Nations history — Canada or US; social and/or cultural history; Canadian Studies; digital history; popular culture; and public history (historic sites and museums).
Though you are able to choose their own area of study, the following is a list of examples of specific topics you might focus on if you were to work with Jennifer:
- Governmental ability to regulate mandatory attendance laws at residential schools
- Portrayal of First Nations peoples at historic sites in Alberta/Calgary
- Numerous aspects of the Donnelly murders in Ontario in the 1800s — legal, gender, role of competing newspapers, etc.
- Canadian vs. American education policies for Indigenous peoples
- History of a specific residential school in Canada — e.g. High River or the McDougall Orphanage
- Violence in colonial society
- Public entertainments such as the circus, sideshows or amusement parks
- Popular culture topics such as Canadian television programming or music
- Aspects of daily life at residential school such as diet, gender, abuse
Feel free to contact Jennifer to discuss these or any other areas that might interest you.
Specific Graduation Requirements
You must meet the general graduation requirements for the Bachelor of Arts — History with Honours, as indicated in the Mount Royal University calendar. In addition, as a History Honours student, you must meet the specific History course requirements outlined below:
- You must take at least four introductory (1000-level) HIST courses, including one 1000-level course each in Canadian, American and European History. If you declared a major in History as of Fall 2011 and onwards, you must take HIST 1100 — Introduction to History and at least three other introductory (1000 level) HIST courses, including one1000-level course each in Canadian, American and European History.
- You must take at least 14 HIST courses at the 2000 level or higher. In satisfying this requirement, you must also satisfy the following requirements:
HIST 2202 — The Historian’s Craft
HIST 5110 — Honours Project I
HIST 5120 — Honours Project II*
Minimum six HIST courses at the 4000 level or higher (including HIST 5110 and HIST 5120)
*You are strongly advised to select a topic for your Honours Project from subject areas in which you've taken a minimum of four courses, at least one at the 4000 level.
You must take a minimum of 20 HIST courses (not including courses taken in the fulfillment of the General Education requirements).
- You may take a maximum of 24 HIST courses (including electives, courses taken in the fulfillment of the General Education requirements, and non-HIST courses** specified as satisfying the requirements of the History program).
**The following courses can be used to satisfy HIST course requirements: CNST 1131, CNST 2233, HUMN 2219 and HUMN 2221.
- You must achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last eight History courses completed in the program.
If you are enrolled in the Honours Program but fail to satisfy all the requirements for an Honours degree (for instance, maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA in your last eight History courses), but has satisfied all requirements for a Bachelor of Arts — History degree you will receive a BA — History degree upon graduation.