History

Brian Caton (department head)

The objectives of the history program at Luther College derive from our understanding of the discipline of history as defined by the American Historical Association, the largest professional organization for historians in the United States:

History is an encompassing discipline. Its essence is in the connectedness of historical events and human experiences. By examining the causes, contexts, and chronologies of events, one gains an understanding of the nature of continuity and change in human experiences. Contemporary issues, ideas, and relationships take on new meaning when they are explored from historical perspectives.

Thus as historians, we can investigate any element of the past we choose, but we are guided in our study by a set of questions that are applicable across time and place; why and how does change occur over time? How do the local, national, and global contexts affect particular groups of people and influence events? What causes specific events to occur (and when does something that happens prior to such an event have no causal link to it)? The ability to research and answer such questions imparts vital skills for career paths both in teaching (Plan II) and in the broad spectrum of occupations our graduates have undertaken.

Required for a major:

Plan I (non-teaching). The major normally consists of eight courses (32 hours, excluding senior project) of history, including at least one course in U.S. history, one course in European history, and one course in non-western history. Each student must complete two courses at the 300 level, a writing intensive course (HIST 485: Jr/Sr seminar), and senior project. Writing requirement completed with HIST 485. Double majors may elect to complete their senior project in another discipline. Students select remaining history courses based on their interests with the approval of and consultation with history faculty.

Plan II (teaching in U.S. and/or world history). Same as Plan I requirements. Students planning to teach in secondary education must also complete at least one certification area (U.S. history, world history, or both) for teaching history in the state of Iowa; a minimum of four courses in U.S. history (for certification in U.S. history) and/or four courses in world history (for certification in world history). Writing requirement completed with HIST 485. See education department for secondary education minor requirements.

Required for the history minor: The minor normally consists of five courses. Students must have at least one course in U.S. history, one course in European history and one course in non-western history. One of the five courses must be at the 300 level or above. Students select other history courses based on their interests with the approval of and consultation with the history faculty.

Required for a second teaching area in history, grades 5-12: See education department for specific requirements. The second teaching area license is offered only in the state of Iowa.