Department of History and Classical Studies
PAGES FROM HISTORY
Welcome to the website of the the Department of History and Classical Studies! You will find here a wealth of information about the department, its programs, and its course offerings.
The teaching of history at McGill began in 1855, although the department itself was only formally founded at the turn of the twentieth century by Charles William Colby in association with Stephen Leacock and C.E. Fryer. In 1997 the Department of Classics was merged into the Department of History, and in 2010 the name was formally changed to the Department of History and Classical Studies.
Today the department is composed of 39 full-time faculty members as well as a strong complement of visiting professors, faculty lecturers, and post-doctoral fellows. This array of dedicated teachers and scholars supports high quality instruction and research across the periods of history and regions of the globe. Within this breadth, the Department has developed particular strengths in Canadian history, British & European history, East Asian history, the history of medicine, and the history of science, and it is building up newer fields, such as the history of gender and sexuality, the history of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds, and global history. The department is also home to programs in Classical Studies, which offer training in Greek and Latin languages and literature as well as a stimulating array of courses in ancient history. A minor concentration in Neo-Hellenic Studies has recently been added to the programs administered by the department.
The department takes its commitments to undergraduate and graduate teaching to heart. Students benefit from learning from scholars who conduct cutting-edge research in their fields. Our professors have won many prizes for their books and articles and their on-going investigations are supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the FQRSC, CFI, the Killam Trust, and the Mellon Foundation. Our involvement in research adds immediacy and excitement to our teaching through both lectures and seminars, and we hire students to participate as research assistants in our investigations.
Our department is also known within the Faculty of Arts for its teaching excellence. The standards are high and the readings are extensive, but over the years students in History classes have consistently appreciated the high quality of instruction they receive. Over the years, members of the History Department have taken numerous H. Noel Fieldhouse Awards for Distinguished Teaching, and the department's teaching evaluations rank amongst the highest in the university.