History & Literature concentrators may design their own subfields, which serve to redefine the boundaries of a field of study along geographic, temporal, thematic, or methodological lines. A subfield will consist of 2 or 3 courses that would not otherwise count toward the student's declared field of study. Students will be examined on their subfield during the senior oral exam, with at least one topic addressing the subfield. Once a subfield is proposed and approved, all courses contained within that subfield proposal are also approved and will count towards concentration credit when completed. Because the College allows only one course to double-count for concentration credit and a secondary field in the College, the subfield cannot duplicate a secondary field that the student is pursuing outside their work in the concentration. 

Proposing a Subfield

History & Literature concentrators may propose subfields at the start of one of three semesters: junior fall, junior spring, or senior fall. Students who study abroad and plan to use their coursework abroad as part of a subfield are encouraged not to propose the subfield until their return. In their proposal, students list the courses they will take (or have taken) for their subfield and write approximately 300 words defining their subfield in which they make a case for why the intellectual interests that the subfield explores cannot be met by coursework within the student’s field of study. Students also submit a field worksheet with their subfield proposal to demonstrate how the subfield will fit into their work in the field. Subfield Proposals are due at the same time as petitions, usually in the first week of classes.