Specialization in the History of Women and Gender

New York University’s Department of History MA program includes a field in the History of Women and Gender. The field encourages students to explore the social, cultural, and political meanings and uses of gender constructs and to challenge traditional narratives about men and women across history. Our field draws its strength from our faculty’s commitment to investigating the history of women and gender, and from a long tradition of feminist scholarship.

Our field brings together faculty and graduate students from a wide range of geographical, chronological, and thematic fields, and is strengthened by departmental fields in African Diaspora and Atlantic World. NYU also has a strong Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and our graduate students are encouraged to take courses with scholars of gender in other university departments. Admission to the program is highly selective.

Earning an MA degree in the History of Women and Gender field prepares students for a variety of careers, including working in museums, historical societies, and historic houses; working with archives and historical papers; working in film and television; and preparation for teaching at the secondary-school level. The degree can also serve as a foundation for graduate study at the PhD level.

Curriculum Requirements


MA Proseminar


4 pt

Approaches to History of Women and Gender HIST-GA.1763

4 pt

2 electives that focus substantively on gender

8 pt

3 topical history electives

12 pt

MA Thesis Writing Independent Study*


4 pt

B in a Seminar with a significant research paper

Total: 32 points

*All history students in the Women and Gender Program complete a master’s thesis under the supervision of a thesis director.  Once a field of specialization has been determined (normally by the end of the first semester) students should select a faculty advisor from among the program’s core faculty*.  To complete course requirements, students must register for an independent study course with the advisor as the thesis is being written.

General Information:

1.      All students write the M.A. thesis under the direction of their faculty advisor.  The faculty advisor is to be chosen from among the program’s core faculty.  By the end of the first semester, students should select an advisor whose research and teaching interests correspond with their own planned area of focus.

2.      Students should begin meeting with their advisor to plan the thesis a semester in advance (normally in the first semester of the second year).

3.      In the final semester, students must register for an independent study course (HIST-GA.3021) with their advisor (4 credits).  This is the thesis credit.  Students should schedule regular meetings (every 3 or 4 weeks as needed) with the advisor, who will serve as a sounding board during the research and writing process.

4.      Every M.A. thesis will be read by two readers.  Students should select a second reader in consultation with their primary advisor.  The second reader should normally be selected by the beginning of the final semester.  The MA

5.      Once the thesis has been submitted and read, a thesis-defense will be scheduled.  During this one-hour meeting, the student will present and explain the findings of the thesis while answering questions about content and argument from the two members of the thesis committee.

6.      At the thesis defense, the student will be responsible for providing each reader with a Master’s Thesis Reader Sheet.  Each reader must sign and date. At the conclusion of the defense the student is responsible for returning each signed reader sheet along with a signed copy of the thesis title page to the Department Administrator.

M.A. in History of Women and Gender Core Faculty

Brigitte Bedos-Rezak, Medieval history; France; prescholastic culture and society; sign theory; sigillography, diplomatics, and paleography.

Hasia Diner, American Jewish history, American immigration history and women's history.

Nicole Eustace, Eighteenth-century North America in the Atlantic world; gender, culture, and politics.

Linda Gordon, Twentieth-century U.S. social, political, and social policy history; women and gender; family; U.S. Southwest.

Manu Goswami, Nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asia, British Empire, political economy, nationalism and gender

Fiona Griffiths, Monasticism; medieval libraries and book production; twelfth-century Renaissance; friendship.

Martha Hodes, Nineteenth-century U.S., race in transnational perspectives, American Civil War; gender and sexuality.

Rebecca Karl, Modern China, theories of nationalism, Marxism, modernity; gender and radicalism in modern China.

Karen Kupperman, Early modern Atlantic history, especially encounters, and construction of new societies. 

Michele Mitchell, Gender and sexuality; U.S. history 1860-1940; African American history; African diaspora; nationalism; feminist theory.

Maria Montoya, American West, labor history, gender, Latina/o history.

Jennifer Morgan, Early African American history, comparative slavery, racial ideologies, gender and sexuality

Mary Nolan, Modern German history, European women’s history, post-World War II order.

Leslie Peirce, Early modern Ottoman history, gender, law and society, comparative empires.

Barbara Weinstein, Modern Latin America, Brazil, labor history, slavery and emancipation, race and gender, regionalism and nationalism.

Marilyn B. Young, U.S. foreign relations, U.S.-East Asian relations, Third World women and gender.