Department of History
Brenda Jackson-Abernathy (chair), Douglas Bisson, Cynthia Bisson*, Peter Kuryla, Daniel Schafer .
Through the study of history, our students gain a deeper understanding of the human condition and an enlarged capacity to engage in critical thinking and to make informed and ethical judgments. The study of history prepares graduates who, through a variety of professional careers, can participate as effective leaders in the interdependent world in which we live.
History is the study of human change over time. Recognizing that human experience is continuous, historians seek to understand how people lived in the past and how their actions, institutions, and leadership shaped their world and our own. As an intellectual discipline, history fosters students’ abilities to read critically, think analytically, communicate ideas effectively, and to examine human problems in light of ethical values and religious traditions. As part of the university’s general education program, historical reflection strengthens students’ understanding of the variety of human ideas, cultural perspectives and conceptual frameworks which make up the interdependent world in which we live.
- History students will acquire detailed knowledge of major events, institutions, turning points, and historical periods in non-Western history and the history of the United States and Europe.
- History students will develop an awareness of history as an on-going discourse about the meaning of the past, and engage in this discourse through critical evaluation of historical documents.
- History students will examine interconnections among the major aspects of human society (political, legal, social, religious, economic, and cultural, including the perspectives of race, class and gender).
- History students will develop an understanding of the concept of change over time and learn to inquire into the forces that encourage and inhibit historical change.
- History students will investigate the role of human agency, ethical values, and moral choices in historical change.
- History students will develop skills as critical readers and thinkers, writers, speakers, and researchers.