Historians explore the unfolding of human action through time. Students in Principia’s History Department explore historical thinking, master historical knowledge, engage in historical research and analysis, develop a global perspective, bridge the disciplines, practice ethics for historians, and learn to communicate effectively within the discipline of history.
The History Department offers programs of study in American, European, and Non-Western history in conjunction with courses offered in literature, languages and culture, economics, political science, religion, philosophy, and sociology that enrich and complement the course offerings in history.
Fundamental to historical thinking and the practice of history is the theoretical perspective of historians that the flow of human thought and endeavor through time is enduring, contingent, complex, eventful, and heterogeneous. Therefore historians, including the faculty and students in Principia’s History Department, give particular attention to chronology, sequence, and contextualization. Because much of what historians focus on today is global, and complex issues need to be analyzed through the lens of multiple disciplines, particular attention is given in our courses to developing a global perspective with cultural sensitivity, and to incorporating the thinking, methods, and findings from multiple disciplines into the historical narrative. Ethical issues within this narrative and the ethics of historians as they conduct and convey their research are also emphasized.