Why study history?

The study of history begins with questions, not answers. We seek to know what happened in the past, and we also seek to understand why.

As our present-day context raises new challenges for our communities, historians are inspired to ask new questions about the past, seeking understanding of a broad variety of human experiences. Historians explore questions about past politics and economics, intellectual developments, social concerns shaped by race, gender and class, and facets of culture ranging from arts and languages to human spaces and emotions. As a result, the study of history is dynamic, rather than static, and those trained in this discipline develop valuable skills in gathering, evaluating, connecting and interpreting factual information, and in the use of evidence to argue persuasively for their conclusions.

Learn more about what historians do and why employers value these skills.


Miguel Torres Yunda

Nov. 10, 2022

Former VCU History Student Miguel Torres Yunda: Unafraid and Unstoppable

VCU history student Nyah Graham chatted with former VCU history student Miguel Torres Yunda to learn about his journey at VCU, his pursuit of a Ph.D. and his future plans.

greg smithers posing near statuettes of the letters v.c.u. on the v.c.u. campus

Nov. 7, 2022

From Two-Spirits to Long Man, Smithers brings contemporary understanding to Indigenous heritage

The professor of history works to provide “intellectual multivitamins” to students and readers, inspiring them to do their own research.

4 VCU students standing outside the Byrd Theatre for the movie

Sept. 19, 2022

History in Movies: Why Matt Damon’s hair matters

VCU history student Nyah Graham recaps the key lessons of our recent event, History at the Movies: The Last Duel.

History Spotlight


Collaboration and sharing are at the core of our mission.

Mary Sarah Bilder

Female Genius: Eliza Harriot and George Washington at the Dawn of the Constitution

Date: Tuesday, Mar 14, 2023

Society of the Cincinnati Lecture Series presents a talk by law professor and award-winning author Mary Sarah Bilder on her new book, "Female Genius: Eliza Harriot and George Washington at the Dawn of the Constitution."