• History at Hamline

    History is a fascinating and versatile field of study. Drawing as it does upon the ideas and methods of a wide range of disciplines, a history major provides excellent preparation for graduate study in the humanities and social sciences as well as for many careers in the private and public sector, including law and politics.

    The Hamline history major emphasizes critical thinking and the analysis of texts and context. A Hamline history major teaches students to evaluate and gather evidence, and how to frame coherent and persuasive arguments and explanations of individual and social actions and events. The department emphasizes the development of excellent research and writing skills. Our many comparative courses offer students the opportunity to compare and contrast situations, events, and cultures.

    Whether you are intrigued by novelist L.P. Hartley’s famous comment that “the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” are more inclined to read the past as prologue, or join William Faulkner in insisting that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past,” the Hamline History Department has a lot to offer you. Faculty and fellow students will challenge your commonsense notions about what has come before and help you to develop the skills you need to understand and engage the intellectual and moral issues of the past as well as of the present.

    History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.

    -Napoleon Bonaparte

    The first method of history is to take an arbitrarily selected series of continuous events and examine it apart from others, though there is and can be no beginning to any event for one event always flows uninterruptedly from another.

    - Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1865-69

    his·to·ry: A narrative of events; a story.

    - American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000

    An account of facts respecting nations or states; a narrative of events in the order in which they happened with their causes and effects.

    - Noah Webster, Webster’s Dictionary, 1828