On the Global Track, students travel the world broadly studying an array of different geographical regions and time periods. This track is designed for students seeking a wide understanding of major trends in global history. By studying the local histories of several regions, students will become familiar with four particular parts of the world while also gaining the tools to draw trans-regional connections across them.
On the Cultures and Ideas track, students approach history through the lenses of cultural and intellectual history. Ideas, grand narratives, and belief systems structure meaning that cultural historians explore in aspects as varied as religion, everyday life, clothing and cuisine. Ideas and ways of thinking have histories too.
On the Empires and Colonialism track, students engage with a dominant form of government from human history. Students will examine empires in a variety of regional and temporal contexts, asking questions such as: what is empire?, how did resistance to empires develop?, how did empires shape societies and interact with individuals in terms of gender, race and class?
On the Revolution, War, and Politics track, students examine the intersection of politics and conflict in shaping change. These courses challenge students to ask how radical change occurs, what is the relationship between revolution and ideas, can economic change be revolutionary and, of course, who wins and who loses with rapid shifts in politics and meaning?
On the Social Justice track, students gain a clear understanding of social movements, change and justice. Students ask questions such as: what are the sources of injustice? who makes that call and how does that change? how did resistance groups organize?, what are effective ways to institute change?, could justice be achieved within an oppressive regime?
On the Before Modernity track, students explore the patterns of life, thought and power that preceded the period now termed “modern.” Historians continually interrogate the meaning of the “modern” itself, along with its applicability to different regions of the world, and so these courses ask critical questions about continuity and change from the past to the present. Because pre-modern history often requires different methodologies than its modern counterpart, this track will expand the range of students’ historical skills.
Environmental history studies the interactions between humans and the natural world in the past. Understanding environmental influences on human society and vice versa means using historical evidence from scientists that go beyond the written record (studies of ice cores, tree rings, animal behavior, chemical processes, etc.) This highly interdisciplinary field also draws on artistic and literary sources to delve into nature’s cultural impact on human societies and illustrate changing attitudes towards the natural world both before and after the concepts of environmentalism and the anthropocene emerged. As an environmental historian, you will be able to better grasp the human condition as embedded in the broader environment through the ages. This leads to a deeper sense of the possibilities and limitations of humanity, how we have shaped our world and how the world has shaped us, from antiquity to our contemporary situation of environmental crisis.