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Department of History
History spans across many different disciplines and asks students to consider any given region and its people in all its aspects—cultural, political, social, aesthetic, and economic. Most importantly, history teaches an understanding of change and continuity over time. Courses in history will help you develop skills in phrasing and communicating your ideas, as well as in assessing the arguments of others. No matter what focus you choose, you'll learn to form and to defend interpretations that are grounded in both fact and theory. Today, these skills are expected by many employers in teaching, law, business, government, and the media. While a background in historical analysis trains students for careers demanding the articulation and implementation of sound decisions, it also prepares its graduates for attentive citizenship in an increasingly globalized world.
The Department of History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies offers a range of courses designed to familiarize students with the past and foster your ability to think clearly and critically, to write effectively, and to read intelligently. Departmental courses cover the breadth of the human experience across the entire North American continent as well as the region’s interaction with the rest of the world—a complex subject matter that can be retraced in a wealth of archival sources, intricate literature and diverse teaching styles. You'll begin by taking introductory survey courses, later signing up for classes that will help you to narrow down a specific research interest. Courses focus on the history of United States, Canada, the Atlantic World, and the region’s interaction with Africa, the Middle East, Australia and the Pacific Rim. Subjects include politics, diplomacy, minorities, women, economics, intellectual ideas, and law.