Skip to main content
Banner Image

HIST 493: Senior Seminar

This guide supports Prof. Gaughan's senior seminar [Fall 2017]

Picking a topic

There are many different lenses for examining history. If your topic is well-known and extensively written about, consider how you might add to the conversation. Can you examine the topic from an unusual lens?

  • Political history (the history of a nation, between nations, the history of government and power)
  • Economic history (trade, finance, taxes)
  • Social history (minority and marginal groups, gender, race, relations between social groups)
  • Intellectual history (of ideas, education, of disciplines)
  • Religious history (beliefs, practice, structures)
  • Cultural history (popular culture, material culture, consumption, art)
  • Environmental history (relations between humans + environment, history of natural environment, of industry)

Background information

Research topics

Made with Padlet

At the start of class, take five minutes to brainstorm topic ideas in this interactive map. You can display a bigger version by clicking the expand icon in the top right of the box. Pick an existing region (or create a new one) and add one or more topics underneath. Any of these combinations can be used in a search by joining terms with AND. 

Why start with a combined search? Search engines can't read your mind—you need to tell it what kind of content you're looking for. The search Ancient Egypt AND architecture gives the search engine multiple pieces of information: a time period (ancient), a geographic location (Egypt), and a research area (architecture).