The study of history increases our capacity to think critically and to form independent judgments. Examination of various ages and cultures helps students understand the present world and intelligently anticipate the future.
The History program at Roger Williams University is designed to introduce students to the practice of history in both regional and national contexts. Among the courses are offerings on the histories of Europe (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Revolution, Modern), the United States (Colonial, Revolution, Civil War, Gilded Age, Great Depression), Asia (Modern East Asia, China, Japan, Korea), Africa (Modern Africa, South Africa, Egypt, Congo) and Latin America (Colonial Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, Andes).
History majors are encouraged to involve themselves in off-campus programs of study and internships, particularly the Great Cities Program, which gives students the opportunity to experience directly and to enjoy the history and culture of some of the great cities of the world such as London, Paris, Dublin, Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, Chicago and Quebec City.
The study of history is an excellent preparation for careers in law, business, government, education, library science and the national park service or as an archivist or local historian. Our History majors teach and practice law, co-author papers and present at international conferences and create independent research projects.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. Use and interpret a variety of sources, including:
a. primary documents
b. secondary monographs and scholarly articles
c. maps, graphs, and charts
d. visual media, including photographs, film, and video recordings
e. cultural artifacts
Think abstractly and theoretically about history, such as
a. understanding the difference between “history” as a disciplinary activity and “the past” as a collection of events
b. recognizing evolution and change as central to historical studies
c. recognizing that there are competing theories of history
d. accepting the possible validity of multiple points of view
Undertake historical research, including:
a. defining a topic appropriate to the nature of the assignment
b. locating appropriate resources
c. assessing the value of information
d. placing collected information in an appropriate context
e. extracting ideas from resources objectively and fairly
Present and defend interpretations in a variety of ways, including:
a. demonstrating respect for their own ideas through the quality of the work they present
b. writing coherent essays of various lengths
c. documenting work appropriately and consistently
d. speaking with clarity about their work in formal and/or informal venues
Demonstrate historical literacy for a specific historic period, including:
a. constructing valid chronologies for events or movements
b. using causation and casual chains to explain events
c. recognizing significant events and personalities
d. incorporating the concerns of marginalized and minority groups