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History

History is not merely something we study; it is something we live and something we make. More than just the story of what happened in the past, it is the story of how that past has shaped the present and of how the ever-changing present continues to shape our understanding of the past. While we begin, of course, with the raw data — dates, names, facts and figures — the real work in the study of history comes when we assemble that data into a dynamic and complex story of what happened, why it happened, and why it matters.

The History major at Elmira College is rooted in a broad perspective on the history of the United States, Europe, and Asia. Upper-level electives offer more focused study of the cultural, political, diplomatic, and social history of specific periods and regions, including such topics as the Holocaust and European totalitarianism, the origins of feminism in the United States, the complexities of the modern Middle East, and issues in Environmental History. The major places heavy emphasis on writing, critical thinking, and original research, culminating in a senior research seminar in which students undertake a major research project involving primary sources.

Recent graduates have gone on to success in Law School, Graduate programs in History and related fields (such as Public History and Museum Studies), and teaching positions in elementary and secondary schools.