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Professors Freund, Goldstein (Chair), Rosenthal
Visiting Assistant Professor Hollander
Adjunct Professors Mueller, Davis
In a society too often characterized by uncritical worship of the new-whether it be a new technology or the latest in intellectual fashions-the study of history both connects us to the human experience that has preceded us and shows how that experience has value, interest, power, urgency, and usefulness. Organized to reflect and demonstrate the idea that history matters, History Department offerings are designed to help students learn to interpret their world (present as well as past) and to help them gain an appreciation for the fullness of human experience. History courses emphasize a grasp of themes and context-the experience of people in the past rather than rote and tedious memorization. They also focus on helping students learn to write clearly and critically about primary sources as well as more complex historical issues.
Most history courses are divided among three geographically distinct fields of concentration: American History, European History, and the History of Asia and the Middle East. History majors choose to concentrate in one or more of these areas, while being required to take a minimum number of credits in each of the other fields. As a result, students majoring in history gain a working knowledge of world history, as well as in-depth knowledge of one of the world’s major geographical areas.
Students of high motivation and interest, who wish to get the most out of their undergraduate study of history or who plan to do graduate work of any kind, should strongly consider enrolling in the University Honors program and to consider undertaking a senior thesis. Faculty advisors help students develop programs of study emphasizing honors courses pertinent to the major and direct independent studies and honors theses.
The History Department encourages majors to consider taking a term abroad sometime during their junior or senior year. The opportunity to study a country’s or region’s history on site is almost invariably a broadening and deepening experience for history majors.
The Department requires two Writing Intensive courses, designated with a W, allowing students to complete the College of Arts and Sciences requirement (two Writing Intensive courses) with the Department. These are HIS 241W - History as Detection: Workshop , typically taken in the spring term of the sophomore or junior year (for transfer students), and HIS 441W - Making History , usually taken in the fall term of the senior year. We also expect students in upper-level history courses to complete substantial written work outside of exams; oral reports may not be substituted for written work. Faculty read, comment on, evaluate, and in some cases, return this work for revision and reevaluation. We emphasize helping students learn to write effective analytical and research papers.
We strongly encourage all history majors to complete an internship in their sophomore, junior, or senior year as a way to gain hands-on experience using their historical knowledge in an employment context. The History Department has ongoing relationships with area historical and cultural institutions that regularly have internship opportunities for undergraduate history majors. These include Connecticut Explored Magazine, The Old State House, The Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Historical Society, the Mark Twain House and Museum and the Stowe-Day Foundation. Some students intern at area middle schools helping teachers prepare students for History Day in Connecticut. Students considering an internship (HIS 341 , HIS 342 ) should consult their advisors.
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