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History is the discipline of active inquiry into the human past. The range of topics taught here, and the lines of inquiry followed here, are diverse and complementary. Earlham's History Department asks students to undertake that inquiry through the comparative study of different regions and different periods. Moreover, Earlham's history courses teach the careful, critical study of evidence and give practice in the reflective reading of sources.
There are several good reasons to study history. One of these is intellectual pleasure. Another is to understand the present through the past (as well as the past through the present). Furthermore, history provides indispensable context for other disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs. History also invites students to imaginative inference through use of museums, electronic media and the College's Quaker Archives. It is fair to add that the study of history is fine training for citizenship and for a life of thoughtful action.
Earlham's History Major prepares students for a variety of careers. According to records kept by the American Historical Association, history majors at Earlham College have a 20-year average that ranks them 16th out of more than 1,000 institutions in the completion of Ph.D.s. Graduates find employment as history professionals in college or high school teaching, in archival, library or museum settings or in public history. Most, however, use history to prepare themselves for other careers. Recent graduates also have made successful careers in business, law, management, medicine, politics, foreign service, publishing, political advocacy, ministry, law enforcement and public service.
Early in her teaching career when she was newly pregnant, Alice Almond Shrock went to Academic Dean Joe Elmore, to inquire about the Earlham's maternity leave policy. It turns out the College didn't have one.
Rob Strobel '95 came to Earlham after serving in the U.S. Army during the Gulf War. He worked in management for the Kessler’s Sporting Goods chain and with the consulting firm Deloitte and Touche before joining Lithko in 2003.
Simon Levine ’12 is passionate about bread. This tall, smiling history major talks about his studies, about his interests and many other topics, but somehow the conversation always winds back around to his love for bread-making.