Insight into Our Identity
A detailed and critically examined knowledge of history grants us a candid insight into our identity, allows informed understanding of civic and public life, provides a guard against naivety and credulousness, and leads us to identify how our talents can find useful harness to serve our own and society’s interests.
We tell the stories of history in literary form to draw meaning from the evidence of the past, marking both high and low points in the human record. We guide students to examine dilemmas of conscience, values testing, and moral challenges in history’s narrative. We present a sequence of courses designed to organize students’ understanding of their place in the sweep of human experience.
We weigh the best available evidence for truth; when evidence is ambiguous, we admit the limits of our knowledge. Students learn how to reconstruct history’s story from its records in archeology, myth, epic poetry, historical chronicles and documentary evidence.
Students can candidly compare how diverse societies have answered the great challenges in human existence: relations between individual and state, especially in a democracy; the values of work, service, and personal and community development that confer meaning on each life; the role of artistic expression in ennobling human experience; and the social and cultural rituals by which we mark life’s chapters.
- know and understand the timeline of global and US history
- sympathetically yet critically examine the nature of religious, social, political, economic, and cultural differences among peoples, and trace how diverse peoples’ histories have shaped their values
- develop skill in identifying, analyzing and contextualizing documents and artifacts
- build skills in respectful, forthright, rhetorically refined discussion and debate
- develop their ability to write elegant and meaningful narratives analyzing the useful lessons of history
- efficiently carry out deep and balanced formal research and hone skills in crafting crisp, persuasive, and accurate expository writing
- learn to collaborate with others in guiding group projects toward their goals.
- What kinds of courses are offered?
- What does a typical day look like in a history classroom?
- How does the curriculum honor voices that are often omitted in the study of history?
- In what ways does the history department take advantage of Stevenson’s location?
- Is the curriculum organized chronologically?
- How does the department teach analytical writing and critical thinking?
- I love history and current affairs. What can I do outside of class?