Why study History at Mac?

The History Department serves an array of educational goals for both majors and non-majors. Department members encourage a broad interdisciplinary approach and develop students' analysis, writing, and speaking skills. Students who wish to explore discrete eras in time, the history of different parts of the world, or specific historical issues will find departmental offerings appropriate for their undergraduate education. Learn more about the History department by clicking here

The study of history in all its variations provides valuable background for a wide range of careers. In addition, graduate schools are particularly interested in students from a broad-based history department like Macalester's. Skills and perspectives developed through a history major, augmented by internship opportunities, prepare students for positions in professions such as teaching, law, business, international relations, and library and archival work; they may also contribute broadly to building successful careers in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. Work in history also prepares Macalester students to be better informed, active citizens in their community, nation, and world. Learn more about what our majors are doing with their degrees by clicking here

Macalester’s central Twin Cities location provides access to great internships, museums, archives, and other resources. Learn more about internship and job opportunities for history majors by clicking here

History majors:

  • Become acquainted with the many, often competing, ways in which historians construct accounts of the past;
  • Become conversant with different approaches to textual analysis, with diverse forms of historical representation, with a wide range of conceptual frameworks, and with varied ways of assessing and interpreting evidence from the past;
  • Become more proficient in a) using a variety of research and informational tools, b) analyzing and evaluating historical arguments, and c) writing and speaking clearly and concisely;
  • Come to appreciate the diversity in human experience through comparisons across time (different historical eras) and space (different geographic regions).

Find the latest History Opportunities (events, grad programs, jobs, more) here

History Current News

History is All Over - New Newsletter
The Spring 2017 issue of "History Is All Over: The Macalester History Department Newsletter," is available now, here.

History Professors Nominated for Educator of the Year Award
Each year Macalester students nominate professors for the Educator of the Year Award. This year, students chose to honor four Historians with nominations. Please join us in congratulating them: Katrina Phillips, Chris Wells, Cameron Bradley, and Jessica Pearson.

The East Side Freedom Library Named 2017 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award
The ESFL, co-founded by history professor Peter Rachleff and theatre professor Beth Cleary, was selected as the 2017 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award. The award, sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees AFL-CIO, recognizes the library's significant effort to work with the labor community. Read more

Tsione Wolde-Michael is a Macalester Alumna who was mentored by now-retired historians, Jim Stewart and Peter Rachleff.  Wolde-Michael became part of the team that curated the Slavery and Freedom exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.  She is also a PhD candidate in history at Harvard. Read More About Her Here.

History in China Guangzhou bridge.jpg
History professors Linda Sturtz, Yue-Him Tam, and Ernie Capello pose on a bridge in Guangzhou, China, where they traveled in mid-December to present at a conference.

History is All Over - New Newsletter
The Fall 2016 issue of "History Is All Over: The Macalester History Department Newsletter," is available now, here.

“Remembering Rondo A History Harvest” Website and Video
Rondo neighborhood community members, and Macalester history students and faculty collaborated on a course this spring that resulted in the creation of an online museum.
The “Remembering Rondo / A History Harvest” website can be found here.
Three students: Kelsey Fox, Lizzie Hutchins, and Heather Johansen produced a film about the day of the Rondo History Harvest. The video can be found here
The Remembering Rondo History Harvest project was also featured in a Macalester story here

"The Study of History" Students Attend Talk by History Alumna
Kim Nielsen.png
Students from Linda Sturtz's "The Study of History" class visited the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul. Kim Nielsen '88 (center) gave a presentation on her latest research, "Diagnosable: Money, Marriage, and Female Insanity in 19th Century America." Kim was a history major at Macalester and is a professor in the disability studies program at the University of Toledo.

Teresita Martínez Vergne Prize and Research Fund Inauguration
On April 9 the department inaugurated the Teresita Martínez Vergne prize and research fund, and celebrated the continuation of Teresita’s legacy made possible through these funds; allowing the next generation of Macalester students, who did not have the benefit of knowing her, to still be able to have her positive influence in their lives.
Read more about the prize here and about the research fund here.

Professor Ernie Capello Receives Burkhardt Fellowship. Read the full story here.  

Rondo History HarvestRondo History Harvest.jpg
Students in the "Public History in Action-Remembering Rondo" class, led by professors Amy Sullivan and Rebecca Wingo, hosted a digital and oral history gathering "History Harvest" event on March 5. Listen to the story that aired on Minnesota Public Radio's All Things Considered here.

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival Gala at U of M
Professor Yue-Him Tam gave a welcome speech and explanation of the Lunar New Year Festival at the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival Gala at University of Minnesota for the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

(From left: Eungyeong Shin, Economics and Asian Studies major, in her Korean dress; Lai-ping Tam; Yue-Him Tam in traditional Chinese scholarly gown; Shengdi Zhang, History & Political Science major; and Patrick Eickman, History major)

E-ssignment Applies Modern Tool to the Exploration of History
Read this article about a "StoryMap" assignment for students in the fall 2015 "Transatlantic Slave Trade" history class.

Opportunity Updates on the History Website
An "Opportunity Updates" section is now available on our website. It's a place to look for nice-to-know things that our department is often asked to share with our students: calls for papers, internship opening notices, recruiting, grad and study away program notices, and more. Find It Here.

Bassam M. Khawaja ’11, has been named a Sandler Fellow at Human Rights Watch. He is a graduate of Columbia Law school. He will work in the Children’s Rights division there documenting the denial of education to children seeking refuge from the civil war in Syria

Professor Linda Sturtz joined the history faculty this fall. She will serve as department chair, beginning this fall. We are very pleased to welcome her. To read more about Professor Sturtz, please see the Department News here.

2001 history major, Annie Silverstein, won the Cinefondation best student short film prize at Cannes.

Alumna Jemma Brown '11 has been hired as Associate Producer of Video & Social Media at The Moth.

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