History is the study of the richness, diversity, and complexities of human existence over long periods of time and in different geographical regions.
Through it, we seek to understand why events happen, how people experienced them, and how they remade the societies in which they lived. At the same time, by studying history, we come to know ourselves by discovering the ways in which the past has shaped us and the present in which we live.
A corner stone of the liberal arts education, history at Wells is less about the accumulation of data than an interdisciplinary investigation into the contexts within which people have lived and tried to make sense of the world around them. Our courses also emphasize the variety of ways that historians have approached and interpreted the past; they foster an appreciation of the contested nature of historical knowledge; they engage issues that provoke historical debate and make clear the nature and uses of historical evidence, as students pursue historical questions in depth. Through the study of history at Wells, one not only learns to research and write effectively, but also develops the immensely valuable analytical skill of thinking historically, of seeing the fluidity and evolution over time of women, men, their attitudes and values, and the societies they have created and which contain them.
The number of courses required for the major is 14 (36-42 semester hours). At least six of these courses must be at the 300-level or above.
Internships and Study Abroad Opportunities
Numerous internship choices exist for students with the research and writing skills of the Wells history major. Wells alumnae/i who are established leaders in their fields often provide internship opportunities for current students. In recent years, Wells history majors have held a number of internships including the following by Wells students:
- Ithaca College library archives, Ithaca, NY
- National Archives, Washington, D.C.
- National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
- New York City Landmark Preservation Commission
- Rochester Historical Society, Rochester, NY
- Rockingham Historic Sites, Kingston, NJ
- Wells Fargo Historical Services, San Francisco
- Women’s Hall of Fame, Seneca Falls, NY
Professor of History Michael Groth makes a point in his classes to avoid one-sided lectures and unengaging lists of historical facts; instead, he encourages discussion among his students, bringing history to life through analysis of primary source material, dynamic and personal interpretations of history, and in-class group exercises. Read more.
Share your love of history and understanding of struggles with others. Practice your leadership skills by getting involved with one of many active groups on campus. Below are just a few that might catch your interest:
- Amnesty International
- Campus Greens
- College Democrats
- College Republications
- Collegiate (student government)
- The History Society
- Model United Nations
- P.O.W.E.R. (Praising Our Work, Ethnicity, and Race)