2018-19 Catalogs

History Overview

Chair of the Department of History and Political Science: Gary Johnson

Professor: Bischof; Associate Professors: Johnson, Rowe, Tuchinsky, Zhao; Assistant Professor: Sparks

Professors Emeritus/Emerita: Albee, Cole, Eagan, Holden, Whitmore

Associate Professor Tuchinsky is serving as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

With a synergy of two close disciplines, the History program and the Political Science program have joined together into the same department to expand their curriculum and course offerings to their students. The department offers two distinct majors: a BA degree in History and a BA degree in Political Science. The two programs deliver a variety of courses, often interconnected, that are of interest to students in both majors.

Additionally, the faculties in the department offer a minor in History, a minor in Political Science, and a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies. It is common for a student majoring in one program to be able to add a minor in the other program, as there is a well-coordinated schedule of classes that allow students to maximize their studies and earn their degrees in a more effective manner.

History, as a discipline and intellectual field, embraces all past human activity; there is no phenomenon without history. Historians apply various methodologies to discover and organize facts about people and events and to create from them meaningful explanations and narratives. History itself changes--through recognition of diversity, the use of new technology (e.g. digital history and digital humanities), and by focusing on new questions. One is: "Whose History is this, anyway?"

Through a series of introductory and advanced courses, history majors become familiar with past knowledge, the forces of change, and the varieties of historical scholarship dealing with societies and cultures throughout the world. They also learn to collect, evaluate, organize, and interpret evidence, and to present it in oral, written, and digital forms. Students with grounding in historical knowledge possess the central core of an excellent liberal arts education. The curriculum provides a basis for active citizenship, as well as for graduate schools, and employment. History majors are prepared for jobs in teaching, public history, journalism, and numerous other professions such as law, and public and private positions requiring research, writing, oral expression and critical thinking skills.

At USM, dynamic History faculty offer hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom and in the local community. The History major also includes pathways preparing students for K-8 and 7-12 Social Studies teacher certification.

Students who study History at USM can: engage in historical inquiry, research, and analysis; understand the dynamics of change over time; explore multiple historical and theoretical viewpoints that provide perspective on the past, and recognize where they are in history. History majors seek a variety of sources that provide evidence to support an argument about the past and develop a methodological practice for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence. They also recognize and practice historical thinking as central to engaged citizenship in their application of historical knowledge and analysis to contemporary social issues and contemporary dialogue.