Chair: Associate Professor Jennifer Purcell
Professors: George Dameron, Susan Ouellette,
Associate Professor: Kathryn Dungy
Assistant Professor: Rowena Xiaoqing He
Fairbanks Scholar in Residence: Roberto Saba
Remembering the past is a fundamental human activity. The study of history seeks to understand and recapture the human past by the application of critical methods of investigation and analysis. Because the subject matter of history is so broadly rich and diverse, the discipline must attempt to order and unify the past so that the student may not only see what happened but also develop an informed perception of the significance of what happened. In its task of investigating the human past, the discipline of History must avail itself of other branches of learning, especially the social sciences, religious studies, philosophy and literature. History, therefore, is one of the most important of the liberal arts because it utilizes and integrates both the arts and the sciences in order to give meaning to past human experience.
To accomplish its goal of enlarging student awareness and perception, the Department of History has set for itself the following objectives: to impart to the student a general knowledge of the rich variety of human activity in the past, to acquaint the student with specialized areas in Western and non-Western history, to promote the student’s understanding of, and appreciation for, the present as a complex evolutionary product of the past; to strengthen the student’s critical faculties to synthesize and analyze so that an informed perception of the meaning of the past might result; and finally, to help the student develop the literary and rhetorical skills necessary for intelligent self-expression through discussions, research papers, and oral presentations.
The History Department also sponsors its own local chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international History Honor Society. Our chapter, Alpha Epsilon Nu, offers membership to all students who have attained high standards of scholarship in at least twelve credit hours of work in History. Special programs and activities are planned annually.
History Learning Outcomes:
Students will demonstrate the ability think, write, and speak critically and analytically about the past.
Students will conduct research into the past by producing research papers and will correctly document the primary and secondary sources that inform that research.
Students will be able to articulate the dynamic nature of historical change over time in several areas of the world and be able to interpret primary and secondary historical texts in an informed and critical manner.
Students will describe the significant currents and forces that have helped shape world history.
Students will use the tools and resources (digital, print, material) necessary to complete a significant research project in History.
Students will illustrate a broad understanding of the history of at least three of the four geographically-defined areas of the world offered by the department.
Students will be able to describe the major historiographical issues associated with the topics covered.