History is an encompassing discipline that examines the connection between historical events and human experiences. By studying the causes, contexts, and chronologies of individual events and larger historical developments, history provides an understanding of the nature of continuity and change in human experiences. History also seeks to place contemporary issues, ideas, and relationships in historical perspective. A historical perspective gives a sense of both the chronological ordering of events and the relationship of diverse events at a given moment. It also involves sensitivity to cultural differences and awareness of conflicting interpretations of the same occurrence.
The Department of History serves undergraduate and graduate students, the profession, community, and society in general. The undergraduate curriculum is designed to provide both majors and non-majors with
- an appreciation of the nature and importance of a historical perspective
- an understanding of the development of specific peoples and societies
- an awareness of conflicting interpretations of the past.
Additional goals for majors at the undergraduate and graduate level include achievement of an understanding of the nature of the discipline of history, and the research, writing, and analytical skills to pursue professional careers or to continue their education in graduate and professional schools. The department also has a strong commitment to the professional development of its faculty through the production of scholarly publications and participation in the programs and offices of professional associations. Finally, the department seeks to serve the community at large through work with local historical and professional organizations, lectures to local groups, and publications focusing on the history of the immediate area. In all these activities the Department of History seeks to maintain the integrity of history as a scholarly discipline within the liberal arts and to promote the highest professional standards. The Department is closely aligned with the College’s mission. Our programs are innovative, and include interdisciplinary research and scholarship to help students understand complex global problems, apply critical thinking, and advance the principles of a just and open society.