Department of History
History is the study of humanity's recorded past. It encompasses all aspects of human behavior, social organization, and cultural development. The arts and the sciences, the development of technology, and changing economic forces are as much a part of history as is politics or social conflict.
Students of history are engaged in a journey through time in which they can witness and compare the development of a variety of cultures and the interrelations between people in many different circumstances. Through the study of past events, history provides a great storehouse of experience by which the theories of the other social sciences can be tested. And through its analysis of the development of institutions and cultures, it provides one of our best tools for understanding social phenomena.
History is also one of the broadest and most universal of the humanities. Just as the personalities of individuals are shaped through the totality of their past experiences, so cultures and institutions also develop in time. The study of history can help students understand themselves and their culture better and develop a more tolerant and humane spirit toward others. In this way, as in so many others, a knowledge of the past can help all of us meet the problems of today with greater understanding and compassion.