History

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Melady Hall 235B
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield CT 06825

Department Chair

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Tel: 203-396-8463
Fax: 203- 365-7587
history@sacredheart.edu

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Many people "love" history because it offers them a chance to step outside their immediate surroundings and find enjoyment in a different time and space. Historians also enjoy history, yet they add a distinctive critical thinking and writing dimension to their study. Taking elective or required courses leading toward a major and minor in history or, for non-majors, simply taking elective courses, allows students to greatly improve their ability to understand our multicultural and global world, improve their research skills, critically analyze documents, and solve problems requiring a breadth of knowledge. A major in history is an excellent preparation for careers in teaching, research, law, government service, management, and a variety of graduate programs.

Our faculty oversee a 36-credit major within which some 90 students are currently enrolled, and they administer a number of ancillary programs in area studies, service learning, and study abroad as well as a chapter of the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. In addition, the department encourages and offers support for internships and independent study projects that offer students opportunities to refine their research and writing skills while pursuing specialized learning objectives, and numerous study abroad opportunities to enhance their global perspectives. The Department of History is an affiliate member of The American School for Classical Studies at Athens.

The Department of History offers students the following programs:

In addition to the major and minor, multi-disciplinary minors are available in:

An Associate's Degree with an emphasis in History is also available.

Mission

History is the systematic, critical study of the past. It seeks to understand and explain the course of human development, that we may better comprehend the path that has led to the present, with the understanding that the present itself is inextricably linked to the past and future. Historians gather, evaluate, and organize evidence, creating a coherent explanatory narrative. The craft of history develops a variety of abilities, including research, critical thinking, problem-solving, and the clear presentation of ideas. These skills have general application to many fields of endeavor. In addition, the breadth of knowledge imparted by a major in history creates a cosmopolitan perspective much sought after in today's interconnected world.

Latest News

Bells Across the Land Will Commemorate Civil War Anniversary

April 8, 2015

Fairfield, Conn. - Sacred Heart University will join national parks and communities across the country on Thursday, April 9, in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War at Appomattox Court House. Bells will reverberate throughout the land as the country marks the symbolic end of the Civil War and the pivotal beginning of freedom and civil rights. At 3:15 p.m., the bells at SHU's Chapel of the Holy Spirit will ring for four minutes – one minute marking each year of the war.

Professor Jankowski Examines Battle of Verdun in Annual History Lecture

March 30, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Conn. –“A Paradoxical Icon of the Great War: Verdun, 1916” was the topic of Sacred Heart University’ Department of History Annual Lecture. The Battle of Verdun, one of the longest battles of WWI, is the subject of Professor Paul Jankowski’s newest book, which was awarded the 2014 Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Prize by the World War One Historical Association. Jankowski has been praised by critics for taking a different approach in his writing, as his book includes both the German and French perspectives.

Annual History Lecture to Feature Brandeis’ Paul Jankowski: The Battle of Verdun

February 25, 2015

Fairfield, Conn. - Sacred Heart University will host “A Paradoxical Icon of the Great War: Verdun, 1916” as its Department of History Annual Lecture on Thursday, March 19, at 5 p.m. in University Commons. Interminable, indecisive and seemingly pointless, the battle of Verdun quickly acquired its status as one of the three or four iconic battles of the Great War on the Western Front. But even before it ended, French and Germans began remembering it in ways often at odds with its realities and with one another. Any understanding of war should encompass the construction as well as the experience of battle, never confusing the two but always attentive to their rich and reciprocal ties. This talk offers a tentative attempt to do so.