Human Historical Context and Process

Historical studies focus on the context (physical, temporal, intellectual) in which the events of human history have taken place. Historical processes involve the impact these events have on human actions and events, and the ways in which societies evolve as a result. These processes affect not only peoples and societies, but also institutions, ideas, and beliefs and can be seen in intellectual, social, economic, religious, artistic, and political contexts. The historical process also involves taking the building blocks of historical knowledge, the largely undisputed "facts" such as names, dates, and places, and working these into defensible arguments about the meanings of these facts. While the facts may remain constant, their meanings undergo a constant process of rethinking and reinterpreting. Mastering the terms, issues, participants, theoretical orientations, methods, and methodologies of these discussions is the goal of this dimension of learning. Therefore, any course that fulfills the historical context and process requirement would be one that addresses all three components: the facts themselves, their impact on the development of cultures and societies, and an awareness of the evolution of their historical interpretation.