Department Head's Message

“What’s past is prologue.”

This phrase appears in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and it also is engraved on the National Archives building in Washington D.C.

Simply put, it tells us that our past, individual and collective, sets the stage for our present and our future. It contextualizes and, in one way or another, creates the present that we occupy.

While the past certainly is...past, we continue to grapple with the manner in which it determines and affects the world in which we reside. To that end, we try to explore our past in creative and challenging ways. We do this by offering a variety of teaching method and courses. From the traditional lecture format to the flipped classroom, from role-play to digital projects, from Hip Hop History to the History of Modern Japan, we approach and explore history through a variety of ways in the effort to better understand our past. We ate excited about new developments in the department such as Oral History, Public History, the digital humanities and a greater role in connecting with the community around us.

Likewise, the Foreign Languages faculty not only immerse you into new languages they also, through cultural and historical exploration, show you how language and culture has developed to bring us two of the most spoken languages in the world—Spanish and French. Both romance languages developed over many centuries and require a cultural understanding for you to not only speak the language with confidence but also to understand the beauty and structure of each and the cultures from which they came. From study abroad immersion programs in Central and South Africa to explorations of the film and music of romance language nations, we endeavor to give you a complete and deep exploration of these beautiful languages.

Whether you study Languages or History, you will leave our department with a set of skills in high demand by employers in all industries. These” soft skills”— critical analysis, communication, collaboration, research, writing, and persuasion—are taught in humanities courses like ours. So no matter what you want to do upon graduation, you will be prepared to succeed in any field.

We are excited to join you on this journey.

Paul Beezley, Ph.D.
Department Chair, History and Foreign Languages