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.
EMI BUSHELLE (2016), Assistant Professor. BA, Wesleyan University; MA, Columbia University; PhD, University of California, Los Angeles.
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.
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.
PETER PIHOS (2018) Assistant Professor, AB, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges; MA, New York University; PhD, University of Pennsylvania.
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.
HOLLY FOLK, Associate Professor, Department of Liberal Studies.
KITTY FRIESEN, Archives and Records Management.
MARK I. GREENBERG, Dean, Western Libraries.
ANTHONY KURTZ, University Archivist/Records Manager.
KIMBERLY LYNN, Professor, Department of Liberal Studies.
JONATHAN MIRAN, Professor, Department of Liberal Studies.
SCOTT PEARCE, Professor, Department of Liberal Studies.
RUTH STEELE, Archivist. Center for the Pacific Northwest Studies.
MIDORI TAKAGI, Associate Professor. Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies.
Other Departmental Information
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.
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.
ProgramsUndergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduate
- Archives and Records Management Certificate Program
- History, Archives and Records Management, Non-Thesis, MA
- History, Archives and Records Management, Thesis, MA
- History, Non-Thesis, MA
- History, Thesis, MA
Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.
- HIST 103 - Introduction to American Civilization: American History to 1865
- HIST 104 - Introduction to American Civilization: American History Since 1865
- HIST 111 - Introduction to Western Civilization: Prehistory to 476
- HIST 112 - Introduction to Western Civilization: 476-1713
- HIST 113 - Introduction to Western Civilization: 1713-Present
- HIST 121 - World History to 500
- HIST 123 - World History, 1500 to the Present
- HIST 131 - Going to College in America
- HIST 141 - History of the American West
- HIST 151 - Communities of the Ancient World
- HIST 158 - Race and Identity in Modern America
- HIST 232 - History of the Jews before the Modern Era
- HIST 233 - History of the Jews in the Modern Era
- HIST 262 - African American History to 1865
- HIST 263 - African Americans Since 1865
- HIST 265 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Experiences in U.S. History
- HIST 268 - Introduction to Asian-American History
- HIST 273 - Latin America: 1492-1824
- HIST 274 - Latin America: 1824 to the Present
- HIST 275 - The Indian in American History
- HIST 277 - Canada: A Historical Survey
- HIST 278 - Multiculturalism in Canada
- HIST 280 - Introduction to East Asian Civilizations
- HIST 281 - East Asian History in the Early-Modern and Modern Eras
- HIST 285 - African History to 1800
- HIST 286 - African History, 1800-present
- HIST 287 - Introduction to Islamic Civilization
- HIST 288 - History of the Modern Middle East
- HIST 289 - Islam in France
- HIST 290 - The Early Modern Atlantic World
- HIST 300 - Directed Independent Study
- HIST 310 - History of Ancient Mesopotamia
- HIST 311 - History of Ancient Egypt
- HIST 312 - History of Ancient Greece
- HIST 313 - History of Ancient Rome
- HIST 314 - The American and European Enlightenment
- HIST 315 - Europe in the Early Middle Ages: 300-1050
- HIST 316 - Europe in the High Middle Ages: 1050-1450
- HIST 318 - Medieval England
- HIST 320 - War in the Middle Ages
- HIST 321 - Reformation Europe and the Age of Religious Wars
- HIST 330 - Germany in the 20th Century
- HIST 331 - History of the Holocaust
- HIST 333 - Imperial Russia: 1689-1917
- HIST 334 - 20th Century Russia
- HIST 335 - Women and Gender in Judaism
- HIST 341 - France 1500-1815
- HIST 342 - France 1815-1945
- HIST 350 - American Colonial History
- HIST 351 - The Long Crisis: U.S. History 1865-1920
- HIST 352 - U.S. Civil War & Reconstruction
- HIST 353 - Latinas/os in the US West
- HIST 354 - Energy in American History
- HIST 355 - Health and Disease in American History
- HIST 356 - Gender and History
- HIST 357 - The United States in the Cold War
- HIST 358 - Women of Color in the U.S.
- HIST 359 - America and Vietnam
- HIST 360 - History of Religion in Early America
- HIST 361 - History of Religion in Modern America
- HIST 363 - The American Revolution
- HIST 364 - Film As History
- HIST 365 - History of Sexuality in the United States
- HIST 366 - The Early American Republic
- HIST 367 - US Women to 1865
- HIST 368 - US Women from 1865
- HIST 369 - Women, Gender, & Sexuality in African History
- HIST 370 - Chinese History to 600 AD
- HIST 372 - Chinese History: 1800 to Present
- HIST 374 - Premodern Japanese History
- HIST 375 - Modern Japanese History
- HIST 376 - French Colonial Canada: 1534-1763
- HIST 377 - Japanese History Through Film
- HIST 379 - Canadian American Relations
- HIST 380 - Food & Environment in America
- HIST 381 - Jewish Nationalisms
- HIST 382 - The U.S., Neoconservatism, and the Middle East
- HIST 383 - Modern Iraq
- HIST 384 - Palestine, Zionism, and Israel
- HIST 385 - West Africa and the Atlantic World
- HIST 386 - Southern Africa
- HIST 387 - Africa since the 1960s
- HIST 390 - Topics in History
- HIST 391 - History of the Pacific Northwest
- HIST 392 - Tribal Sovereignty and Washington History
- HIST 393 - Introduction to Public History
- HIST 400 - Directed Independent Study
- HIST 401 - Methods of Research and Analysis
- HIST 404 - Colonialism and the Middle East
- HIST 405 - The Traditional Middle East
- HIST 406 - Middle East, 1800 to the Present
- HIST 407 - History of the Israel/Palestinian Conflict
- HIST 408 - World War II: the European War
- HIST 409 - World War II: the Pacific War
- HIST 410 - The First Cities: Urbanization in the Ancient World
- HIST 412 - Ancient Rivers and Roads
- HIST 414 - The Carolingian Era
- HIST 421 - Gender in Early Modern Europe
- HIST 447 - History of the Sciences of Nature
- HIST 450 - Climate and Culture in America
- HIST 452 - U.S. Intellectual History, 1776-1900