History Department

Is everything history? Just about. History is the study of the human past. Does that rule anything out? To take an example, we don’t study dinosaurs. But the history of paleontology and paleontologists is fair game, and in studying that one will probably learn something about dinosaurs. Historians study all aspects of human history and are open to all the methods developed by various disciplines. It is a field for people with gargantuan intellectual appetites. (By the way, Gargantua was a fictional character created by the sixteenth-century French satirist François Rabelais. You may encounter him in HIS 106.)

At MCC our task is to provide courses that freshmen and sophomores would take at a four-year school, and that means most of what we do is offer broad, introductory surveys of large areas of history: African-American history (103, 104); the United States (111, 112); Western Civilization (105, 106, and 108); East Asia (253, 254); and Russia (225, 226). A student can meet three of the SUNY General Education requirements (American History, Western Civilization, and Other World Civilizations) by taking history courses. We also offer more specific 200-level courses. At present, most of them focus on the U.S. and on war. We are a relatively new history faculty, however, and we may expand our offerings--so keep your eyes open for new courses as we try them out. There are no prerequisites for any history course.