History & Anthropology
A question about history is often posed: is it an art or a science? Defined simply as the record of the past, history can be viewed as a little of both. Research skills are essential for a historian to uncover appropriate documents, artifacts, and records of all kinds: governmental proceedings, memoirs, diaries, letters, economic analyses, business accounts, trade negotiations, diplomatic discussions, vital statistics, scientific findings, religious decrees, etc.
An Art and a Science
The systematic gathering of data to reconstruct past eras, therefore, is akin to the observations and testings of a pure scientist. The historian also has to analyze all materials gathered and make judgments about those which are the most influential, about those developments which truly shaped an era, produced far-reaching consequences, and had a lasting impact. Making sense of all the gathered information, presenting it in clear, concise, interesting fashion--that is an art.
Connection to the Past - Guidance for the Future
The study of history, therefore, requires an inquisitive mind, an interest in a wide range of topics, and the ability to be objective in analyzing cause and effect relationships. A study of history links an individual to the past of his/her own family, locality, nation, region, civilization, and the world. The study of history provides one with an understanding of how present conditions developed, of why certain problems exist in the world, and, perhaps, with lessons of how to avoid the mistakes of the past.
On a day-to-day basis, a knowledge of history is invaluable to appreciate art, sculpture, architecture, literature, to enjoy travels more thoroughly, to understand news reports in the papers or on radio and television. The study of history, the study of the record of the past, is all encompassing.
The department of History and Anthology offers several exciting degree programs where students can earn a complete bachelor's degree in one of the History/Anthropology disciplines, or include a minor with another degree program.