Chairperson: Dr. Christopher J. Olsen
Department Office: Stalker Hall, room 104
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/history
The Department of History offers undergraduate and graduate programs and courses which lead students to knowledge of the human past, to ways of understanding that past, and to an appreciation for the great variety of uses of the past. The rewards of historical study include a disciplined intellect, a well-furnished imagination, and recognition of both the unity and diversity of the human experience. The broad liberal arts foundation available through a major in history deepens students’ understanding of the complex world in which they live. This knowledge stimulates effective participation in contemporary society, and enables students to cultivate those mental skills required for success in a wide range of employment areas. A major or minor in history provides an excellent background for a career in law, theology, business, government service, writing, or college and secondary teaching, and for specialized work as a museum curator, librarian, archivist, editor, archeologist, historical society administrator, historic site specialist, or research historian.
In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and of Indiana State University, the Department of History participates in the Social Science Education, African and African American Studies, Foundational Studies, Honors, International Studies, Latin American and Latino Studies, Liberal Studies, and Women’s Studies Programs.
All history majors write a significant research paper (20-25 pages) as a culminating experience to the curriculum. This requirement is part of most 400-level courses in United States and European history. Each major selects one culminating research paper to have displayed on the department’s Web site in the semester before their graduation.
African and African American Studies
Program Office: Stalker Hall, room 109
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/afri
The African and African American Studies Program is also housed in the Department of History. An interdisciplinary program that began in 1972 at ISU, African and African American Studies draws on the expertise of faculty from a variety of departments and disciplines, including history, English, political science, sociology, psychology, and music. The program is administered by a committee composed of all faculty appointed in African and African American Studies as well as associated faculty from other departments.
The faculty in the African and African American Studies Program provides students with a clear understanding of African and African American perspectives on issues relevant to the education of all people, and especially people of African ancestry. The program enables students to contribute through research, teaching, and service to the quality of life in society, particularly in urban America and throughout the African Diaspora. It also serves as a forum for academic inquiry into the vast range of the Black intellectual tradition. Program objectives include the enhancement of knowledge that furthers the growth of the field, and the cultivation of an appreciation of African and African American life and development.
A degree in African and African American studies prepares students for professional careers in many areas, including human services, education, law, business, community development, and journalism. More generally, course work in African and African American studies prepares students for careers in the public sector, particularly urban institutions, and for leadership roles in intercultural relations, business, and international affairs. Majors and minors in African and African American studies are also equipped to pursue graduate studies in the humanistic, social, and behavioral sciences, especially where the focus of study is the African Diaspora.