As a humanistic discipline, history increases our limited “here and now” understanding by expanding our experience to include all people past and present. Unlike most scholars, historians usually focus on long-range change, and strive to attain all-encompassing views of men and women. As a result, one can gain an enlarged perspective of human potential.
While an advanced degree in history will not provide all the answers, nor predict the future reliably, studies in history can clarify some options for the future by illuminating those past events and forces which effect one’s life. As the Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt said, history may make one “not merely smart for the next time but wise for always.” Recent history graduates have become successful in a variety of positions in education, industry, and government.
The Department of History offers both the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees. There are two programs of study for the master’s candidate. The thesis option includes the satisfactory completion of an extended essay based upon research in one’s area of concentration as well as 24 additional hours of course work. The non-thesis option requires the satisfactory completion of 30 hours including at least six hours in 600-level history seminars and a methodology seminar. A comprehensive examination based on the course work also must be passed.
A master’s degree candidate may concentrate in American, Canadian, European, Asian, sports, technology, environmental, or women’s history. In cooperation with the Department of Anthropology, the History Department offers a master’s with an emphasis in Historical Archaeology. The latter is a thesis degree which requires a field archaeology component and normally is completed in two years.
The Ph.D. candidate may concentrate in either American or Canadian history and must become knowledgeable in two areas of history and in a related discipline. A comprehensive written and oral examination in these areas usually is scheduled at the end of two years of preparation. The candidate also must submit a scholarly and substantial piece of original research (dissertation) and defend it before his or her committee.
Candidates at both the master’s and doctoral levels are expected to demonstrate competence in such languages and/or special skills (statistics, computer programming, etc.) as may be necessary to pursue their graduate programs. The determination of specific requirements is the responsibility of the student’s advisory committee.
The Raymond Fogler Library is the historian’s research center and contains collections of journals, books, and documents in Maine, and maritime history. The Maine Historical Society Quarterly is edited out of the Department and provides opportunities for graduate students to learn about the editing, layout, graphics, and printing of a journal. (See HTY 598.) Information for the study of the New England-Atlantic Provinces region also is available. Small travel grants often are available for thesis work at research centers in nearby cities. In recent years, topics of theses and dissertations have included community and environment of the Cold River Valley, Maine’s Canada road frontier, the war in the Lower MeKong Delta, New England’s only lynching, the life of ornithologist and photographer Cordelia Stanwood, and Jesse James and American history in motion pictures.
Admission to the graduate program in history is based upon the requirements of the Graduate School, including GRE scores. The History Department currently awards on a competitive basis several teaching assistantships annually which pay a stipend and include a waiver of tuition. Students also may compete for other University scholarships.
William H. TeBrake, Ph.D. (Texas, 1975), Professor and Chair. Medieval, West European environmental, European social.
William J. Baker, Ph.D. (Cambridge, 1967), Professor. Modern Britain, Europe, sports.
Richard Blanke, Ph.D. (California, 1970), Professor. Contemporary Europe, Russia, Modern Germany.
Jay A. Bregman, Ph.D. (Yale, 1974), Professor. Ancient, Intellectual, Jazz.
Jacques Ferland, Ph.D. (McGill, 1986), Associate Professor. Colonial Canada, French-Canadians, Native peoples.
Nathan Godfried, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980), Professor and Graduate Coordinator. 20th Century U.S., U.S. Labor and Economic, U.S. Mass Media and Popular Culture.
Alex Grab, Ph.D. (UCLA, 1980), Professor. Modern Italy, 18th/19th century Europe, Middle East.
Richard W. Judd, Ph.D. (California-Irvine, 1979), Professor. Maine, U.S. labor and environmental history.
Michael Lang, Ph.D. (University of California, Irvine, 1997), Assistant Professor. Modern Europe, historiography, international relations.
Elizabeth McKillen, Ph.D. (Northwestern, 1987), Associate Professor. U.S., diplomatic, 20th Century, Labor.
Martha McNamara, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1994), Associate Professor. New England cultural and intellectual history.
Stephen M. Miller, Ph.D. (Connecticut, 1996), Assistant Professor, British Empire, Modern Africa, military history.
Vinh-Long Ngo, Ph.D. (Harvard, 1975), Professor. Chinese, Japanese, Southeast Asian history.
Warren C. Riess, Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1987), Research Associate Professor. Early & modern America, Maritime Archaeology.
Liam Riordan, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania, 1996), Associate Professor. Colonial British America, American Revolution, and Early U.S. Republic, cultural and social history.
Scott W. See, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1984), Libra Professor and Professor. Canada, Canadian-American, U.S. History.
Howard P. Segal, Ph.D. (Princeton, 1975), Professor. Science and technology, American history.
Janet K. TeBrake, Ph.D. (Maine, 1984), Assistant Professor. Ireland, Britain, 19th century, Europe.
Marli F. Weiner, Ph.D. (Rochester, 1986), Professor. U.S. Women, South, Afro-American.