Chair, Department of History; Paul V. McNutt Professor, Department of History
Department of History, August 2021
History is a beautiful and exciting discipline, one that covers not only the whole chronology of humankind but also the full diversity of human experience. As you will see, our courses deal not only with war, politics, empire, and revolution but also with birth, popular music, soccer, and the environment. In History classes, you will meet a stunning range of historical figures: Nazis, Spartans, Medieval heroes, Indigenous peoples, enslaved people, Black women, Asian Americans, Hoosiers, the rich, and many more. Click here to browse our undergraduate courses.
History is also a practical discipline. We believe that the study of the past is essential to understanding the present and planning for the future. Historians focus on three crucial skills: explaining complex, long-term change; understanding the minds and hearts of people different from ourselves; and studying the nature of power. To build these skills, historians acquire three important, transferable skills: how to conduct sophisticated research; how to organize that research into well-supported arguments; and how to present those arguments in writing and in person. The skills of history are the crucial skills that drive all kinds of careers. For a description of our undergraduate major and minor, please click here.
Focusing on the broadest range of historical subjects, we emphasize as well our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our departmental community. Just as faculty and students are free and encouraged to pursue their interests, so we seek diverse faculty and students. For more on this department’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, click here.
Across this website, you’ll also discover my many colleagues. They’ll be happy to hear from you and to have you in class. I’m happy, too, to answer any questions you may have about the department and the study of history.