The Ida Pilling Welch '30 History Book Award is given each spring to a senior "whose interest in and commitment to historical study reaches beyond the ordinary reaches of the classroom." The award is accompanied by a monetary prize, to be used for the purchase of books.
Every year the history department awards the Charles E. Payne Scholarship to the outstanding history major in the prospective senior class. The Payne Scholarship was established in 1967 by Ina Chatterton Payne in honor of her husband Professor Charles E. Payne, who was for many years an eminent scholar, teacher and chairman of the history department at Grinnell. Mrs.
Each year the Lura Camery Prize, established through the bequest of Lura Camery ’24, honors with a cash award the “outstanding work of historical interpretation (concerning the non-English-speaking world) submitted during the year to the Department of History by a full-time student at the College.” Any student—and not necessarily a history major—is eligible. Students completing significant essays this year might consult with their instructors to see if their essays qualify for the Camery Prize.
The Russell J. Linnemann '65 Travel Fellowship is a new prize which offers financial support to Grinnell College students who would like to travel to conduct historical research or to prepare themselves to conduct historical research on an international topic. The prize honors Russell Linnemann, who graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in history in 1965, earned a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan, and enjoyed a 36-year career at the University of Tennessee (Chattanooga), during which time he taught and published on the British Empire and African history.
The Alan R. Jones '50 Travel Fellowship offers financial support to Grinnell College students to travel to conduct research on a topic of American history connected to their work in a history course, an independent study, or a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP). The prize honors Alan ("Al") Jones '50, a legendary professor of history at Grinnell College, whose passionate teaching, scholarship, and civic engagement left an indelible mark on the character of the College as well as generations of students.
A history MAP normally follows work begun in a 300-level history seminar, so that the student can undertake exhaustive research on a precisely defined topic to produce a paper as close as possible in quality to the articles published in history journals. MAP proposals unrelated to a seminar will be considered, but in that case students must demonstrate that they are already familiar with the most important scholarly works published in their proposed field of inquiry.
The basic requirement is 32 credits of work in history with a grade of C or higher, 20 of which must be earned within the History Department of Grinnell College, with at least two 300-level history seminars taken at Grinnell (each taught by a different professor). All students must take HIS 100, as well as courses at the 200-level in at least three different geographic regions. With permission, four of the 32 credits may be taken in related studies.
The discipline of history poses complex questions about the experiences of humans over time. Historians develop, challenge, and revise narratives and interpretations of the past with an eye toward understanding both the subjects of their study and the implications of such knowledge for the present.
Underrepresented students interested in teaching tomorrows’ college students earn mentoring from second-year to tenure.
Jon Cohen ’14 describes the path he took to his independent major in Middle Eastern studies as a happy accident.