About the History Major

General Statement of Goals

The History department seeks to cultivate a critical understanding and awareness of the past and the development of our students’ intellectual, analytical, and rhetorical abilities. In pursuit of the first objective, through its curricular offerings the department seeks both to expose students to the richness, diversity, and complexities of human history over long periods of time and in different geographic regions and to provide students with the opportunity to explore aspects of the past in depth. At the same time, the department endeavors to develop students’ ability to think historically and to foster in them an appreciation of the contested nature and the value of historical knowledge by confronting them with the variety of ways in which historians have approached and interpreted the past, engaging them in issues that provoke historical debate, and familiarizing them with the nature and uses of historical evidence. By engaging students in the critical study of the past, finally, the department seeks to develop their ability to formulate historically informed analyses and their analytical and rhetorical skills.