The Department of History provides students with a broad range of historical viewpoints and events, problems and approaches to the societal, cultural, political, intellectual, economic, and global challenges and developments. Rigorous coursework coupled with a research component helps our students gain deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Majors:
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Faculty

History faculty and affiliated faculty are accomplished teachers, scholars, and writers who are well versed in a range of historical periods, peoples, languages, and cultures. They do extensive research in their area of expertise and present their findings in noted journals and periodicals, at conferences, seminars, and at other institutions.

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Department Overview

History is one of the largest academic departments at Oberlin. Interdisciplinary by design, we engage our students in numerous subjects approached through a variety of methodologies to help them become astute observers, practiced researchers, and critical thinkers. Our students study history and historical narratives in different cultures, and political and social institutions in order to become competent communicators, able to interpret information and express ideas in written and oral forms.

What else makes the study of history at Oberlin appealing?

  • We introduce our students to the joys of historical research, learning how to pose and answer significant and meaningful questions.
  • Our history faculty members are accomplished, widely published scholars, and committed teachers.
  • History faculty are involved in the life of the campus and community.
  • History courses provide entry points into many related fields of study, including comparative American studies, Jewish history, African American history, the classics, East Asian studies, and gender, feminist, and women's studies, among others.

History graduates are among the most well-rounded and satisfied Oberlin alumni. They also make our department the largest undergraduate source of students for doctoral degrees in history of any liberal arts college in the country.

History News

A woman conducts an orchestra.

This Week in Photos: March 11

March 11, 2020
Women’s suffrage is recognized, the Arts and Sciences Orchestra performs, entrepreneurs pitch business ideas for prizes, and a podcasting/journalism rockstar shares his recipe for success.
A row of seated students on a stage.

This Week in Photos: March 4

March 4, 2020
Alumni journalist and authors, the first black woman to stage an opera in the United States is honored, and TIMARA students who turn words of gratitude into works of audible art at a nearby hospital are just some of the features in this week’s photo series.
Two students look at  book with a picture of a large basket in it.

Winter Term in Oberlin: 2020

February 24, 2020
Winter Term is a time of year when Oberlin students are encouraged to conduct independent or group projects outside of courses related to their majors. Pursuits can be done on or off campus with students choosing to work almost anywhere on the map. This year we highlight some of the work by the more than 900 students who completed projects in Oberlin.

History Facilities

Rice Hall

Rice Hall

Rice Hall holds faculty and academic department offices for the social sciences and the humanities.