In the Department of Western History, students study the histories of the Western world, namely Europe and North America, and of the regions strongly influenced by the Western world, from ancient to contemporary times. Through training in the department, they are ultimately expected to develop their ability to understand the diverse value systems that underlie our contemporary international society. The Department of Western History focuses on the disciplinary methodologies and foreign language skills needed for students to gather and analyze information on their own.
A strong emphasis is placed on learning foreign languages, and second- and third-year students are trained, as part of our compulsory curriculum, to read technical books in English and other European languages. Finally, taking a two-year seminar beginning in their third year and writing a graduation thesis will enable them to practice these methodologies and language skills, to gather source materials independently, to make their theoretical analysis, and to integrate their findings into a thesis.
The tenured faculty members specialize in a variety of regions and eras, but non-tenured lecturers also offer many lectures on a broad range of topics, so students have opportunities to learn histories and cultures of a wide array of regions.