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.


Headshots of Maggie Goddard and Daniel Sunshine

Nov. 29, 2023

Righting Some of the Wrongs from the Past: East Marshall Street Well Project

Maggie Unverzagt Goddard, Ph.D. and Daniel Sunshine, Ph.D. each received a Postdoctoral Independent Research Award (PIRA), which will assist them in furthering their individual projects for the East Marshall Street Well Project.

Daniel Morales

Nov. 17, 2023

History professor brings innovation to department by helping to create the public history lab

Assistant professor of history Daniel Morales received funding to create a public history lab and accompanying research projects.

Natasha Lightfoot and Biruk Yigrem

Nov. 15, 2023

The Unfinished Afterlives of Slavery Recap

Alexandrian Society fall 2023 lecture featured Natasha J. Lightfoot, Ph.D. She presented “The Unfinished Afterlives of Slavery: Freedom and Reparations in the Caribbean." Read more about her lecture.

History Spotlight


Collaboration and sharing are at the core of our mission.

zena hitz

The Blake Lecture in the History of Christianity Series presents "God and the Search for Happiness"

Date: Tuesday, Mar 19, 2024

Save the date - March 19, 2024 - for the annual Blake Lecture in the History of Christianity featuring Zena Hitz.