History is more than a trivial pursuit. The scholarly study of history provides insight into the human condition and the challenges facing the contemporary world.
As a History major, you will explore the cultural, economic, political, and social conditions of earlier eras and an understanding of how historical forces have shaped personal and community experiences. History students develop the ability to articulate clear and persuasive historical arguments that foster effective oral and written communication skills. The critical thinking skills you acquire will provide an important foundation for lifelong learning in any field.
History majors at Bryant work closely with a faculty advisor to choose a program tailored to their interests and career plans. Learn to recognize and understand cross-cultural historical parallels between peoples, as well as how to identify and explain significant differences. The program will enhance your ability to think critically and understand your own experiences as they relate to the broader world. You will also complete a required minor in business, giving you a competitive edge as you lay the foundation for a career.
All three programs in history – the major, the concentration and the minor – emphasize personal resourcefulness, the ethical dimensions of the human experience, and the differences between human societies and cultures over time. Each program gives you a historical foundation and coursework that expands and develops skills and knowledge. History majors are required to participate in faculty-supported primary research. Concentrators and minors also have opportunities to complete original research projects in their areas of interest.
Future careers, post-grad opportunities
The study of history benefits a wide range of career paths and graduate school options. Employers seek greater emphasis on oral and written communication, enhanced critical and analytical skills, and the ability to be innovative and creative - all qualities fostered by historical study. Teaching, public policy, museum and archival administration, publishing, and documentary film production are careers that directly utilize historical knowledge. Experience with history's dimensions and approaches also prepares you for career paths in business, media, politics, law, foreign relations, education, human services, journalism, marketing, and government. Bryant's History program offers the perspectives and analytical skills needed to build a fulfilling life and career.
The history faculty represent a wide array of expertise with extensive publications in the fields of American women’s history, war and society, and contemporary culture and politics. They are invited to speak at prestigious national and international forums and serve on numerous advisory boards. They are the recipients of national and international awards and honors, as well as fellowships from Hanban, the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. They include members of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the New England Historical Association, and Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. They also include winners of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award, the James Madison Award, the New England American Studies Association Lois B. Rudnick Book Prize, and a member of the Global Seventies Study Group.
INSIGHT INTO WAR
Judy Barrett Litoff, Ph.D.
Professor of History
One of the preeminent historians of American women and World War II, Litoff is the author of 14 books and recipient of numerous awards and honors. She is sought after by media and as a public speaker.
Litoff led an independent research project that included the collection of oral histories from Bryant WWII veterans by eight of her students. This followed the discovery of 1,400 letters in library archives that were sent to students in the Bryant Service Club by alumni and students fighting overseas.
Litoff and her students presented their findings at the 25th annual conference of the National Social Science Association in Las Vegas.
Kurt Spear ‘10
Associate national bank examiner, Office of the Comptroller of Currency
An associate national bank examiner, Spear assists in full-scope regulatory examinations of national banks and federally chartered thrifts.
Bryant gave him the skills to succeed in the financial field, but the former quarterback also attributes his smooth transition to being a student-athlete, where he learned the importance of teamwork and accountability.
As part of his History major, Spear interviewed Bryant alumni who served in World War II, collaborating with fellow students and Professor Judy Barrett Litoff, a renowned historian. “It was an amazing experience for me to tell the stories of heroes who served our country,” he says.