• Protest with military tank
    • Banner image of a factory
    • Map of the world
    • Image of a bridge


The Center for Historical Enquiry & the Social Sciences (YaleCHESS) highlights the interplay between history and the present. Its work spurs new collective thinking about large-scale social transformations and solutions to seemingly intractable social crises and problems. Taking intellectual risks is actively encouraged.

This cross-disciplinary center, headquartered at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center, spans the divide between the social sciences and humanities, bringing together a diverse complement of scholars to answer large questions that help us better understand the world we live in. Scholars learn from one another’s methodological expertise and substantive knowledge. CHESS’s key events are open to the public.

The centerpiece of CHESS is a Friday lunchtime workshop in which pre-circulated papers are discussed. In addition the Center hosts regular conferences, including a Spring gathering focused on a general topic of interest and a biannual graduate student conference. The Center also supports occasional scholarly gatherings aimed at specific topics, and courses organized around both significant scholarship in the historical social sciences and the variety of methods available to those pursuing scholarship in social science history.