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Historians explore the processes of change that cross societies, connect cultures, and link our increasingly complex and global present with the past. By offering a range of courses covering the diversity of historical experience across the globe and from ancient times to the dawn of our own century, our curriculum presents a rich field of narrative and analysis.

Students gain a deepening awareness and curiosity about the past, acquire the essentials of the historian's craft, and develop a sense of historical connection with the wider world. By exploring narratives and analyzing patterns of change, students will develop the skills of critical thinkers and writers: the independent identification and interpretation of sources, the construction of meaningful arguments, and the clear explanation and compelling expression of evidence and ideas.

The Department of History and Political Science offers a major and minor in History, as well as an Integrated Social Studies Teacher Licensure (grades 7-12).

History majors must take a 1000 level and 2000 level course, then required sophomore methods, plus a senior research seminar. Other requirements include electives in each of our four main geographic areas of specialty: American Europe, Asia, and Africa. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete History Major Requirements.

The History minor requires the completion of five courses. See the Otterbein University Catalog for the complete History Minor Requirements.

Areas of Specialty

European History

  • HIST 3100 - Medieval History 4 hrs
  • HIST 3150 - Renaissance and Reformation 4 hrs
  • HIST 3200 - The Industrial Revolution in a Global Perspective 4 hrs
  • HIST 3400 - Modern Russia 4 hrs
  • HIST 3450 - Nationalism and Internationalism in Europe, 1890-Present 4 hrs
  • HIST 4050 - European Intellectual History 4 hrs
  • HIST 4100 - The Holocaust and Contemporary History 4 hrs
  • HIST 4210 - Global Capitalism 4 hrs
  • HIST 4250 - Revolutions in the Early Modern Era: 1500-1815 4 hrs

American History

  • HIST 3501 - Special Topics in American History: Gender and Witchcraft in the Atlantic World 4 hrs
  • HIST 3502 - Special Topics in American History: The American Civil War 4 hrs
  • HIST 3503 - Special Topics in American History: History of Sexuality 4 hrs
  • HIST 3504 - Special Topics in American History: The Cold War in the U.S. and Abroad 4 hrs
  • HIST 3550 - Special Topics in American History: African American History 4 hrs
  • HIST 3580 - Special Topics in American History: Environmental History 4 hrs
  • HIST 3610 - Colonizing America 4 hrs
  • HIST 3800 - U.S. Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity 4 hrs
  • HIST 4310 - American Indian History 4 hrs
  • HIST 4350 - The Era of the American Revolution 4 hrs
  • HIST 4370 - Dissent in Early America 4 hrs
  • HIST 4400 - Riots, Reds, and Riffraff: A History of the American Working Class 4 hrs
  • HIST 4450 - History of U.S. Social Protest Movements 4 hrs
  • HIST 4460 - History of Poverty in the U.S. 4 hrs

Asian History

  • HIST 3330 - Modern China 4 hrs
  • HIST 3350 - The Rise of Modern Japan 4 hrs
  • HIST 4500 - Vietnam in the Twentieth Century 4 hrs
  • HIST 4560 - Discovering History in Korea 4 hrs

African History

  • HIST 3650 - African Business and Labor History Since 1800 4 hrs
  • HIST 3720 - The Islamic Golden Age (1000-1500 CE) 4 hrs
  • HIST 4630 - African Independence Movements: 1940s-1970s 4 hrs
  • HIST 4660 - African History: Era of New Nations 4 hrs

Faculty Expertise
Otterbein’s history faculty have a wide range of expertise and interests. Our areas of research and teaching span the globe to include Africa, America, Asia, and Europe and stretch across time from pre-modern to modern history. Professors’ individual areas of interest are diverse. Members of the history faculty have published on such topics as:

  • Early modern Dutch business history
  • Gender and African intercontinental empires
  • 20th Century Viennese psychoanalysis
  • Women in colonial British America
  • Labor conflict in the American West

In our scholarship and in our teaching, we show students what it means to consider issues through a variety of historical approaches including intellectual, economic, political, and social history perspectives.

Study and Internship Opportunities
Otterbein have many opportunities to experience history outside of the classroom:

  • Students can join the college’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society.
  • Students can make connections between class learning and the community by participating in service learning. For example, history students have collected oral histories from immigrant communities in the Columbus area and researched American Civil War soldiers connected to Otterbein.
  • Students can engage in firsthand, independent research through an independent study project or the Honors or Distinction Programs.
  • A range of internships can also be arranged at the local, state, or national level.

Career Opportunities and Future Paths
A degree in history provides students with the training and background needed to attain success in a variety of professions and pursuits, including teaching, working in public history (including museums), law school and government, business, library and information science, and community service.

  • Career Opportunities: Students majoring in history are prepared to enter a variety of occupations and professions. Career paths include working for archives, historical societies, museums, and public institutions as well as any job that values clear writing, strong communication skills, research experience, and analytical thinking. For further information about what you can do with a history major, we suggest you visit the American Historical Association’s Careers for History Majors web site. Faculty advisors in our department are available to help you develop an individualized career plan.
  • Teaching: For those interested in history education jobs, the history program cooperates with the Education Department to prepare students for careers in Social Studies education at the Middle Childhood or Adolescent to Young Adult level. Students seeking a license to teach Integrated Social Studies at the 4-8 grade level will have a major in Education. Those interested in a 7-12 grade level license major in History and apply separately for admission to the teacher licensure program through the Education Department once they are enrolled at Otterbein.

/ Department of History and Political Science

Richard Yntema
Towers Hall 219
p / 614.823.1884
e / ryntema@otterbein.edu


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