A major in History emphasizes the study of the past as central to the understanding of human experience. A focus on the past illuminates the complex origins of contemporary values and institutions, as well as the debates and conflicts that ultimately secured them and continue in our own time; it reveals the multiple possibilities of organizing political, economic, cultural, social, and intellectual relations around the world; and it privileges the critical import of distance, both in time and space, for continuing to think differently about the possibilities of human endeavor. The offerings of the Scripps History Department are especially rich in U.S., European, and Latin American History, and they highlight the importance of race, gender, sexuality, and critical theory for an understanding of human experience in the past. The requirements for the major combine introductory courses and specialized seminars and insist upon the critical reflection of historical methodologies for the production of historical knowledge. These goals are pursued through the careful reading and analysis of primary and secondary texts in both discussion and writing.
In order to enable students to devise a satisfying course of study, the department encourages students to benefit from the comprehensive offerings of the History departments at the other Claremont colleges. It also allows students to devise innovative concentrations beyond the history of nation states and societies and to take courses in neighboring fields such as gender and women’s studies, anthropology, queer studies, art history, literature, and politics to enrich their historical studies.
History Alumnae Spotlight
"Being a history major cultivated a deep interest in how human beings respond to their world in different places and times. This curiosity eventually prompted me to return to graduate school and pursue a PhD."
Kelly Feinstein-Johnson, class of 2002
History, focus in European History