The Department

History at Grinnell

The discipline of history poses complex questions about the experiences of humans over time. Historians develop, challenge, and revise narratives and interpretations of the past with an eye toward understanding both the subjects of their study and the implications of such knowledge for the present.

History classes are grounded in the careful analysis of texts and documents. Students develop fundamental skills in the framing of historical questions, the pursuit of independent research, and the eloquent and persuasive presentation of their ideas. Such skills place historians in dialogue with many other academic disciplines and are central to the experience of a true liberal arts education. History majors are therefore well-equipped for a broad spectrum of career paths including (but by no means limited to) public service, museum practice, teaching, scholarship, and the law.

While the members of the history department faculty vary widely in areas of expertise and classroom styles, we share a commitment to research, teaching, and learning in a collaborative environment, where students and faculty engage together in the processes of intellectual inquiry.