Dec 16, 2018  
Catalog 2018-2019 
Catalog 2018-2019


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Chair of the Department of History: Tillman Nechtman

Professor: Jennifer Delton, The Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies; Jordana Dym, Tillman Nechtman

Associate Professors: Erica Bastress-Dukehart, Matthew Hockenos, The Harriett Johnson Toadvine ‘56 Chair in 20th Century History; Eric Morser

Assistant Professors: Jenny H. Day, Murat C. Yildiz

* = part time

Department Overview

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”-Socrates

History is a way by which men and women come to understand who they are as human beings. It is the mission of the History Department to impart to students a solid knowledge of the past and to develop in them the ways of thinking they will need to make sense of broad patterns of change in different civilizations and cultures. The History Department prepares students to think critically about the world they live in and their place in it. We want them to engage with global events and have some context for understanding the importance of the past to their understanding of the present. We want them to make decisions in their careers and lives with an understanding of the moral and political issues that are at stake in those decisions. We believe that this is not merely a function of exercising a skill called “critical thinking,” but that it comes from, and actually requires, a specific knowledge of the past that has led to the events they are reading about and the moral and political quandaries they face. Thus the history department considers its main duty to be to give students the “historical literacy” they need in order to think critically about the world in which they live. The Skidmore History Department expects its students to acquire a broad knowledge of the past and to be able to work in depth in areas and at topics of an individual’s particular interest. Students should develop the capacity to identify major historical problems, interpret varying bodies of knowledge, deal critically with a range of historical sources, and present their ideas in a clear, vigorous, and graceful form. Courses offered by the department explore the pasts of the United States, England, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and range from the ancient world to the present. History students are encouraged to develop areas of interest in related disciplines and programs such as international relations, American and Asian studies, government, and philosophy as well as to study abroad.


Alpha Delta Tau Chapter. Founded in 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is an international history honor society and a professional society for students and historians. Phi Alpha Theta recognizes academic excellence in the study of history. Eligibility requirements include: completion of a minimum of four courses in history; a 3.400 cumulative GPA in history; and a 3.200 cumulative GPA or better overall, and placement in the top 35 percent of the class.

Major Requirements


Minor Requirements




Course Listing



HI 116H - Sea Changes: A History of the World’s Oceans  
HI 242 - China in War and Revolution  
HI 251 A-D - Topics in History  
HI 344 - China’s Last Empire: The Glorious Qing (1644-1911)  

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