• Current Courses

  • Contact Us

    General Admission Contact
    The New School for Social Research
    Office of Admission
    72 Fifth Avenue, 1st floor
    New York, NY 10011
    212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411
    [email protected]

    Admission Liaison
    [email protected]

    Committee on Historical Studies
    80 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
    New York, NY 10011
    Tel: 212.229.5100 x3385
    Fax: 212.229.5929

    Federico Finchelstein

    Department Secretary
    Tahera Tajbhai

    Historical Studies Student Handbook

  • Admission

  • Courses in the Department of Historical Studies explore what happened in the past to understand what's happening now. Students study the most important theories of the discipline and learn to rethink accepted foundations through a modern lens. Ideas are explored through research, reading, writing, and discussion.

  • Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of courses. Fall 2024 courses include:  

    Here, There, and Everywhere: The 60’s as Global History, GHIS5009
    Jeremy Varon
    , Professor of History and Chair

    No recent decade has been so powerfully transformative in the United States and much of the world as have the 1960s. The era's protest movements dramatically changed the politics in the West; decolonization struggles altered the balance of global power; and in communist Europe democracy movements set the stage for full-scale revolutions ending the Cold War. We will explore foundational philosophical and theoretical critiques which helped define the global New Left; challenges to empire through struggles for national liberation; the challence to bureaucratic rationality in the Communist World; the world of "policy" and elite agency; numerous "local" arenas of struggle and their implication in international and transnational structures and cultures of dissent. Special focus will be given to the United States, West Germany, France, and Mexico. Readings will be drawn from across disciplines and will include: Marcuse, Katsiaficas, Suri, Klimke, Jameson, Herzog, Joseph, Varon, Ross and Bourg, as well as period documents. The 1960s was also a time of great experimentation in art, music, film, literature and language. Exploring each of these media, the class seeks also to capture the era's experimental spirit, and engage the Sixties as "living history."

    Settlers, Natives, Migrants: a Global History of Racialized (Im)Mobilities, GHIS5106
    Emmanuel Guerisoli
    , Postdoctoral Fellow, Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility

    This course explores how settler colonialism and imperial formations have shaped citizenship and migration regimes. Throughout the course, we will compare, by adopting a global historical perspective, the way that colonial regimes developed differential legal rights legitimated by racial discourses, and how settler societies and empires incentivized and limited human mobility and immigration. The course will look at how racial capitalism and settler colonialism led to the displacement, dispossession, and segregation of indigenous populations, migrants, and other racialized subjects, and how former colonies and imperial metropoles developed inclusionary and exclusionary citizenship regimes. We will focus on the development of tribal and indigenous jurisdictions, and legal pluralism in United States, Canada, and Australia; the transition from transatlantic slavery to Indian and Chinese indentured labor migration; the emergence of anti-immigration laws in the Americas; the rise of eugenics, whitening policies, and racial systems of domination; the internal colonization of Brazil, Russia, and China; the effects of the world wars and their respective population transfers in the setting up of the modern refugee system; how decolonization shaped European citizenship; the impact of globalization and neoliberalism in reproducing racialized global labor supply and extractivist processes; and the reemergence of white nationalist and nativist forces. The course will draw from politics, sociology, anthropology, critical geography, and intersectionality to offer an interdisciplinary perspective complementing its global historical framing.

    Historiography & Historical Practice, GHIS6133
    Oz Frankel
    , Associate Professor of History

    This course focuses on US history to explore current permutations of historiographical interests, practices, and methodologies. Over the last few decades, US history has been a particularly fertile ground for rethinking the historical although many of these topics and themes have shaped the study of other nations and societies. American history has been largely rewritten by a generation of scholars who experienced the 1960s and its aftermath and have viewed America's past as a field of inquiry and contestation of great political urgency. Identity politics, the culture wars, and other forms of organization and debate have also endowed US historiography with unprecedented public resonance in a culture that had been notoriously amnesic. We examine major trends and controversies in American historiography, the history of the historical profession, the emergence of race and gender as cardinal categories of historical analysis, popular culture as history, the impact of memory studies on historical thinking, the recurrent agonizing over American exceptionalism, as well as the current efforts to break the nation-state mold and to globalize American history. Another focus will be the intersection of analytical strategies borrowed from the social sciences and literary studies with methods of historicization that originated from the historical profession. This course should be taken during a student's first year in the Historical Studies program.

    Politics of Violence: A History, GHIS5167
    Federico Finchelstein
    , Professor of History

    This course focuses on recent historical approaches to the relationship between violence, politics and context in modern and contemporary history with special reference to transnational history. This graduate seminar also examines the contextual role of violence and violence in critical theory from a historical perspective.

    Power & Domination in the Middle East, GHIS5193
    Benoit Challand
    , Associate Professor of Sociology 

    This graduate course, mixing lectures and seminar discussions, will assess how notions of power and authority have been diachronically conceived, exercised, and debated within Muslim majority societies of the Middle East. The focus will be placed on the Arab worlds, with passing references to Turkey and Iran. In the vein of historical sociology, the course engages with theories of empire and state-formation in the region and of incorporation into the world system. The course will offer an in-depth comprehension of evolving forms of domination, and claims over conflicting religious and secular legitimacy from the 19th century (nascent capitalism; solidification of positive law; internal debates around Islamic modernity) to the 21st century (neo-imperialism, return of the Caliphate). The course will explore various arguments putting the stress on forms of power and domination specific to the region as opposed to the lasting impact of external forms of domination over the region. What does it mean to have power “in” or “over” the “Middle East? What have been historical forms of bottom up political participation? What are epistemological issues that need being tackled to follow these questions? How do classical sociology and its theories about forms of authority and power (e.g. Max Weber; Karl Marx; Pierre Bourdieu) fare when applied to the Middle East? Assignments include a couple of class presentations on weekly readings and a final paper.

    Wealth & Power in US History, GHIS5322
    Julia Ott
    , Associate Professor of History

    Decades ago, historians Eugene and Elizabeth Genovese advised that the discipline of history should focus on the questions of “who rides whom, and how?” In this readings seminar, we will examine how power operated, how it felt, and how it has been negotiated and challenged — on both the personal and institutional levels — throughout U.S. history. The actualization, accumulation, and transmission of wealth — and its translation into political power — will be central questions in our seminar discussions and in the projects that students will devise. As students use history and historiography to develop their own approaches to the study of power and wealth, they will consider how that study might inform their political engagements in their own daily lives.

  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.