Modern World

History & Literature’s Modern World field encourages students to pursue transnational projects c. 1750 to the present. It allows students to connect the experiences of colonization to contemporary problems and possibilities of globalization. Students will craft and study individual topics of study, which might include themes such as migration and diaspora, movements of labor and capital, the rights and representations of minorities, and the negotiation of cultural differences. The field also encourages students to pursue thematic studies that cross national and cultural boundaries. All topics of study in the Modern World field must cover more than one century.

In addition to the requirements for all concentrators (5 tutorials and 1 course that satisfies the language requirement), students in the Modern World field complete the following requirements:

  • 1 HL90 seminar on a transnational topic or an introductory course on colonization, diaspora, or global history or literature;
  • 4 courses that define the student’s topic of study.
  • 3 elective courses related to the topic of study.

To declare the Modern World as your field of study, complete the Modern World Field Worksheet at the end of your sophomore year.

Then, at the beginning of junior year, complete the Modern World Proposal and attach an explanation of your topic of study. Strong proposals have straightforward topics, descriptions with specific details (places, texts, dates, etc.), lists of courses that include courses you have already taken as well as courses you plan to take, and coherence across the three parts of the proposal (topic, description, and course list). Joint concentrators should also explain what History & Literature's Modern World field adds to your studies. 

There is no pre-existing list of Courses That Count for concentration credit in the Modern World. The courses approved as part of a Modern World proposal constitute your unique list of courses that will satisfy your field requirements. 

The following sample field worksheets illustrate how students in the Modern World field have used the distribution requirements to create individualized plans of study on topics such as: