History stands at the crossroads of the liberal arts. It belongs fully to two great academic families: Social Sciences and the Humanities. Studying history, reading, writing and arguing about history, questioning the past and our relationship to it, are fundamental questions that frame our understandings of ourselves as individuals and the societies we inhabit. History tells us who we are. Equally importantly, history is about sources and evidence—about how we sort through voices of the past and present, in order to understand more fully the society, culture, politics and economy of the world around us. King’s History students will emerge better able to understand the forces which have shaped our world, to address current problems based on historical thinking, and to communicate these understandings effectively.
History Department courses in the Core curriculum introduces students to a broad history of three main areas (History of the United States, Western Civilization, and Global History) while asking them to think about the nuts and bolts of history: to formulate historical theses, evaluate the relative merits of historical arguments, and to communicate effectively about historical ideas and problems. Upper division courses build on the work of the Core curriculum, empowering students to become both readers and writers of history. The department stresses historical research and writing. Students present original research during seminar courses (and have regularly taken research from the classroom to regional conferences). Service learning courses have resulted in the creation of new historical archives, and student research led to the erection of a State Historical Marker to commemorate the Baltimore Mine Tunnel Disaster. Students work closely with faculty on research internships. History professors have taken a leading role in designing and teaching in the Short Term Faculty Led Study Abroad Program “Geographies of Europe.” To date, these courses have taken history students (and students from other majors) to France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Bulgaria, and Turkey to think about the nature of “the West” and the way in which history and space structure identity.
Our majors have many opportunities beyond the classroom to apply history and historical study to their daily lives and career goals. Each semester, students pursue a variety of internships in local historical societies, museums, libraries, government offices, law firms, and businesses. To encourage excellence in history, the department sponsors a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Our extracurricular History Society is open to all students interested in the past, bringing them together in social and academic activities.
The skills students develop and hone in history department classes—to analyze insightfully, think critically, and express ideas clearly and persuasively—will serve them well on any career path. Recent King’s history graduates can be found in a wide range of vocations in business, government, and teaching. From the earliest days of King’s College, we have had great success in sending graduates to top law schools and other graduate programs in a wide range of fields. Majoring in history prepares students to make a living and how to live.