May 27, 2024  
2017-2018 Catalog 
2017-2018 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Without knowledge of the past, we are, as one writer has phrased it, like victims of collective amnesia groping in the dark for our identity. History as a discipline is rooted in that fundamental human urge, curiosity. It confronts and weighs the relative significance of chance, inevitability and choice in the passage of time.

History is humanistic in its emphasis on the influence of ideas and values, its capacity to both instruct and entertain, and as interpretive literature. In its investigation of social processes, groups and institutions, and the examination of human motivation, it is a social science. It acts as a bridge among disciplines, borrowing from all and contributing a sense of context and sequence to the perception of actions and individuals.

The American historian Carl Becker wrote: “The value of history is, indeed, not scientific but moral: by liberalizing the mind, by deepening the sympathies, by fortifying the will, it enables us to control, not society, but ourselves — a much more important thing; it prepares us to live more humanely in the present and to meet rather than to foretell the future.”


JOHANN N. NEEM (2004) Chair and Professor. BA, Brown University; MA, PhD, University of Virginia.
CHARLES W. ANDERSON (2014) Assistant Professor. BA, Oberlin College; MA, PhD, New York University.
PEDRO CAMESELLE (2015) Assistant Professor. BA, Fairfield University; MA, Boston University; PhD, Fordham University.
JOSHUA CERRETTI (2015)  Assistant Professor.  BA, Trinity College (CT); MA, UN University for Peace; PhD, University of Buffalo.
SUSAN E. COSTANZO (1993) Associate Professor. BA, MA, PhD, Northwestern University.
PETER D. DIEHL (1992) Associate Professor. BA, Yale University; MA, PhD, University of California-Los Angeles.
SUSAN AMANDA EURICH (1986) Professor. BA, Portland State University; MA, PhD, Emory University.
EMI FOULK BUSHELLE (2016) Assistant Professor. BA, Wesleyan University; MS, Columbia University; MA, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles.
CHRISTOPHER C. FRIDAY (1992) Professor. BA, Lewis and Clark College; MA, PhD, University of California-Los Angeles.
STEVEN J. GARFINKLE (2001) Professor. BA, Tufts University; MA, University of London; PhD, Columbia University.
JARED R. HARDESTY (2014) Assistant Professor. BA, Ohio Northern University; MA, PhD, Boston College.
RANDALL C. JIMERSON (1994) Professor. BA, Earlham College; MA, PhD, University of Michigan.
A. RICARDO LÓPEZ (2008) Associate Professor. BA, National University of Colombia; MA, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park.
HUNTER PRICE (2014) Assistant Professor. BA, Furman University; MA, PhD, Ohio State University.
JENNIFER SELTZ (2012) Assistant Professor. BA, Brown University; MA, PhD, University of Washington.
MART A. STEWART (1992) Professor. BA, Willamette University; MA, Portland State University; PhD, Emory University.
ROGER R. THOMPSON (2003) Professor. BA, Stanford University; MA, PhD, Yale University.
SARAH ZARROW (2017) Assistant Professor. AB, Vassar College; MA, Jewish Theological Seminary; MPhil, New York University; PhD, New York University.
SARAH ZIMMERMAN (2012) Assistant Professor. BA, Ohio University; MA, PhD, University of California-Berkeley.

Affiliated Faculty

KITTY FRIESEN, Archives and Records Management.
MARK I. GREENBERG, Dean, Western Libraries.
ANTHONY KURTZ, University Archivist/Records Manager.
RUTH STEELE, Archivist. Center for the Pacific Northwest Studies. 
MIDORI TAKAGI, Associate Professor. Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Other Departmental Information

Mid-Program Checkpoint

A student seeking to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in history within a four-year time span should have completed at least three courses from HIST 103, 104, 111, 112, 113, 121, 273, 274, 277, 278, 280, 281, 285, 286, 287 or EAST 201 or 202 by the start of the junior year. Major omissions from this list will make it difficult or impossible to complete this degree within two additional years.

Graduate Study

For concentrations leading to the Master of Arts degree and for information concerning the archival training program, see the Graduate School  section of this catalog.


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduate



      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog.

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