Maj
Min

History

About

“Remembering the past is a fundamental human activity.”

In his account of the violent conflict between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states, the ancient scholar Herodotus wrote that his purpose was “to preserve the memory of the past.” He called the work his “researches” or “inquiries” — his historia.

At Saint Michael’s College, you will work with professional historians to bring the past to life. You’ll be offered a diverse array of courses that focus on a variety of geographical regions and time periods, including the United States, Europe (modern, medieval, and ancient), Latin America, East Asia, and the Islamic world.

The faculty members of the Department of History are all active professional scholars in their fields of research, and they bring their expertise and their enthusiasm for their research into their classrooms and seminars. Among the fields in which faculty members have published are 19th century New England and New York, China and its politics in the 20th century, medieval Italy and medieval religion, 20th century US politics and culture, race and society in the Caribbean, and Britain before and during World War II.

Sample Four Year Plan

Fall

HI 101 or 103 U.S. History
Foreign Language 1
First Year Seminar
Liberal Studies Courese

Spring

HI 105, 107, or 108 European History
Foreign Language II
Liberal Studies course
Liberal Studies course

Fall

HI 141 or 143 East Asian History
Liberal Studies course
Electives

Spring

HI 161 or 163 Latin American History
Liberal Studies course
Electives

Fall

Study Abroad
History Seminar
History Elective
Elective

Spring

History seminar
History elective
Junior Seminar
Elective

Fall

History elective
Electives

Spring

HI 410 History Senior Seminar
Electives

In-Depth

You will develop skills in investigation, writing, and critical analysis, weaving together ideas from other disciplines, which will prepare you for a number of career and graduate school options.

The course topics we offer include:

  • The Vikings
  • The Black Death
  • African Slavery and the Atlantic World
  • Cuba
  • History of the American Family
  • Native Peoples
  • Public History
  • British Sit-Com and Society
  • Crime and Society in 19th Century Britain
  • World War II in Europe
  • Immigrant America
  • American Empire 1840-1950

In all of our courses we emphasize critical thinking, research skills, oral presentations, and good writing. These are necessary skills that are all applicable to a wide variety of professions and occupations in the economy today.

History Learning Outcomes

Special Opportunities

Travel and learn
Many of our students study abroad all over the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

Consider taking our study tour course to Selma, Alabama, where the Society of Saint Edmund (the founding religious order of Saint Michael’s College) played a significant role in the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1960’s. An academic study tour to Assisi, Italy, focusing on Saint Francis of Assisi, d. 1226, and the Franciscans) is also in the works.

Do an internship
Students have interned at a variety of places, including the Office of the Governor of Vermont, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Vermont Commission on Women, the Hinesburg Land Trust, Shelburne Museum and more.

Become a member of a national honor society
Our department has a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international Honors Society in History. Saint Michael’s College founded its chapter, Alpha Epsilon Nu, in 1991, and membership is open to all students, regardless of major. Special programs and activities are planned throughout the academic year. Phi Alpha Theta’s motto is “seek truth.” Every year the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Saint Michael’s College (Gamma of Vermont) also inducts several history majors and minors into its ranks.

Learn from visiting scholars
Our department sponsors the prestigious and annual Norbert A. Kuntz Memorial Lecture in History. The department established the lecture series to honor Dr. Norbert Kuntz, a long-time Saint Michael’s professor and chair of the History Department. This series brings a historian of international stature to Saint Michael’s College to address the community. Members of the department also work with other programs and honor societies to bring noted scholars to campus to interact closely with our students. For example, our department cooperated recently with the college Phi Beta Kappa chapter to bring a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to campus.

Become a double-major or minor
Our department is also closely associated with several interdisciplinary programs – American StudiesEast Asian StudiesGender Studies, Humanities, and Medieval Studies.

Many of our students choose to double-major or minor with one of these other disciplines to further enhance their academic experience. If you are thinking of becoming a teacher, History will prepare you well to work in the classroom. If you are thinking of becoming a lawyer, History will prepare you well to work in the courtroom.

Careers

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • History Teacher
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Law Clerk
  • Paraprofessional
  • Political Campaign Position
  • Community Integration Specialist

A degree in history is valuable for a variety of careers and workplaces, including:

  • Law
  • Marketing/Public Relations
  • Insurance
  • Teaching
  • Business
  • Banking
  • Education agencies and foundations
  • Museums
  • State or federal government historical programs
  • Libraries
  • Research institutions
  • Public research agencies
  • University research agencies
  • Foundations or philanthropic organizations
  • State councils on the humanities
  • Historic preservation
  • Restoration programs
  • State and federal departments of archaeology
  • Resident historians in state or national parks
  • Government service

For more information, see:
History Career Services
History Graduate School

Research

Every History major completes a senior thesis, a significant research project on a historical topic of interest.  Each senior works closely with a faculty mentor who serves as their thesis advisor and helps guide their research.  Each student also becomes a member of a senior seminar class that assists them with completing the project.  Recent senior seminar topics include:

Spring 2019

  • Border Lines and Racial Divides: On the Radical and Cultural Behaviors of the Ninth Cavalry Regiment
  • The First and Second Opium Wars: The Economics of the Conflicts
  • Ideas of the Middle Ages: How Perspectives of the Past are Shaped by One’s Present as Seen Through the Works of Petrarch, Voltaire, and Burckhardt
  • A Life of Unconventional Thought: Comprehending Hanna Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and Jewish Identity
  • Order in Revolt: Popular Organization and Consciousness from 1323-1381
  • Understanding the Middle Ages: Contemporary Reflections on Revolt and the Meaning of the Medieval Past
  • The Universality and Diversity of the Cinderella Tale
  • Who Lost China? The China Hands and the Demise of Sino-American Relations

Fall 2018

  • The Christian Conversion of Scandinavia
  • The Consequences of Racism in Education: A Case Study of American and South African School Systems
  • Denmark and the Problem of Middle Eastern Immigrants: A Case Study into the Phenomenon of Western Islamophobia
  • Does Place Matter?: The Conflict over the Aptuxet Trading Post Location
  • The Formation of the Kingdom of Portugal and a Portuguese Identity
  • How the Development of Urban America Impacted the Fire Service
  • The Iraq War and the Subsequent Expansion of Executive Power under the George W. Bush Administration
  • Medical Innovations: A History of Wartime Influence on the Profession of Nursing
  • O Museu Nacional: The Formation and Destruction of National Narratives

In-Depth

You will develop skills in investigation, writing, and critical analysis, weaving together ideas from other disciplines, which will prepare you for a number of career and graduate school options.

The course topics we offer include:

  • The Vikings
  • The Black Death
  • African Slavery and the Atlantic World
  • Cuba
  • History of the American Family
  • Native Peoples
  • Public History
  • British Sit-Com and Society
  • Crime and Society in 19th Century Britain
  • World War II in Europe
  • Immigrant America
  • American Empire 1840-1950

In all of our courses we emphasize critical thinking, research skills, oral presentations, and good writing. These are necessary skills that are all applicable to a wide variety of professions and occupations in the economy today.

History Learning Outcomes

Special Opportunities

Travel and learn
Many of our students study abroad all over the world, including Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

Consider taking our study tour course to Selma, Alabama, where the Society of Saint Edmund (the founding religious order of Saint Michael’s College) played a significant role in the struggle for Civil Rights in the 1960’s. An academic study tour to Assisi, Italy, focusing on Saint Francis of Assisi, d. 1226, and the Franciscans) is also in the works.

Do an internship
Students have interned at a variety of places, including the Office of the Governor of Vermont, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Vermont Commission on Women, the Hinesburg Land Trust, Shelburne Museum and more.

Become a member of a national honor society
Our department has a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international Honors Society in History. Saint Michael’s College founded its chapter, Alpha Epsilon Nu, in 1991, and membership is open to all students, regardless of major. Special programs and activities are planned throughout the academic year. Phi Alpha Theta’s motto is “seek truth.” Every year the local chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Saint Michael’s College (Gamma of Vermont) also inducts several history majors and minors into its ranks.

Learn from visiting scholars
Our department sponsors the prestigious and annual Norbert A. Kuntz Memorial Lecture in History. The department established the lecture series to honor Dr. Norbert Kuntz, a long-time Saint Michael’s professor and chair of the History Department. This series brings a historian of international stature to Saint Michael’s College to address the community. Members of the department also work with other programs and honor societies to bring noted scholars to campus to interact closely with our students. For example, our department cooperated recently with the college Phi Beta Kappa chapter to bring a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar to campus.

Become a double-major or minor
Our department is also closely associated with several interdisciplinary programs – American StudiesEast Asian StudiesGender Studies, Humanities, and Medieval Studies.

Many of our students choose to double-major or minor with one of these other disciplines to further enhance their academic experience. If you are thinking of becoming a teacher, History will prepare you well to work in the classroom. If you are thinking of becoming a lawyer, History will prepare you well to work in the courtroom.

Careers

After graduation, our majors go on to careers like:

  • History Teacher
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Law Clerk
  • Paraprofessional
  • Political Campaign Position
  • Community Integration Specialist

A degree in history is valuable for a variety of careers and workplaces, including:

  • Law
  • Marketing/Public Relations
  • Insurance
  • Teaching
  • Business
  • Banking
  • Education agencies and foundations
  • Museums
  • State or federal government historical programs
  • Libraries
  • Research institutions
  • Public research agencies
  • University research agencies
  • Foundations or philanthropic organizations
  • State councils on the humanities
  • Historic preservation
  • Restoration programs
  • State and federal departments of archaeology
  • Resident historians in state or national parks
  • Government service

For more information, see:
History Career Services
History Graduate School

Research

Every History major completes a senior thesis, a significant research project on a historical topic of interest.  Each senior works closely with a faculty mentor who serves as their thesis advisor and helps guide their research.  Each student also becomes a member of a senior seminar class that assists them with completing the project.  Recent senior seminar topics include:

Spring 2019

  • Border Lines and Racial Divides: On the Radical and Cultural Behaviors of the Ninth Cavalry Regiment
  • The First and Second Opium Wars: The Economics of the Conflicts
  • Ideas of the Middle Ages: How Perspectives of the Past are Shaped by One’s Present as Seen Through the Works of Petrarch, Voltaire, and Burckhardt
  • A Life of Unconventional Thought: Comprehending Hanna Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and Jewish Identity
  • Order in Revolt: Popular Organization and Consciousness from 1323-1381
  • Understanding the Middle Ages: Contemporary Reflections on Revolt and the Meaning of the Medieval Past
  • The Universality and Diversity of the Cinderella Tale
  • Who Lost China? The China Hands and the Demise of Sino-American Relations

Fall 2018

  • The Christian Conversion of Scandinavia
  • The Consequences of Racism in Education: A Case Study of American and South African School Systems
  • Denmark and the Problem of Middle Eastern Immigrants: A Case Study into the Phenomenon of Western Islamophobia
  • Does Place Matter?: The Conflict over the Aptuxet Trading Post Location
  • The Formation of the Kingdom of Portugal and a Portuguese Identity
  • How the Development of Urban America Impacted the Fire Service
  • The Iraq War and the Subsequent Expansion of Executive Power under the George W. Bush Administration
  • Medical Innovations: A History of Wartime Influence on the Profession of Nursing
  • O Museu Nacional: The Formation and Destruction of National Narratives