Columbia University's MA in History and Literature (HiLi) is an innovative program that explores the interconnections and intersections between history and literature, both as categories of cultural production and as scholarly disciplines. Students are introduced to archival, bibliographical, and philological work, with hands-on sessions in libraries and archives. In contrast to many Masters programs that extend over two years, the HiLi program is completed in a calendar year.
Students take classes at the Center, which are taught in English by eminent scholars of Columbia University from numerous departments and research areas. Professors who have recently participated in the program include: Eric Foner, Carol Gluck, Gregory Mann, Carl Wennerlind, all from the Department of History; Pierre Force, Elisabeth Ladenson, Emmanuelle Saada, and Joanna Stalnaker from the Department of French; Brent Edwards, Marianne Hirsch, Dorothea von Mücke, and Joseph Slaughter from the Department of Comparative Literature; and Kathy Eden from the Department of Classical Studies. To round out their academic schedule, students also choose from a vast array of courses offered at France's two top-tier graduate schools in the Humanities and Social Sciences: the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).
The program emphasizes academic rigor while allowing for great flexibility in essay research topics. With the support of the Associate Director of Studies, Christine Valero, and visiting Columbia faculty, students can choose a research topic with primary sources in any language and originating from any geographical area. They are paired with an advisor specialized in the field from a leading French graduate school.