Why History?

What is history?

History is the study of past societies through the critical examination of available evidence including texts, words and objects. The Department of History offers students the opportunity to study both the distant and recent past by exploring a variety of different topics and themes. The analytical skills integral to studying history - essentially how people interacted with one another and their built and natural environments - provide students with opportunities to develop critical thinking and writing proficiencies in addition to an appreciation of past culture and societies.

What do historians do?
What do historians study? Some sample courses include:
  • HIST 2130 Seafaring Places and Seafaring Peoples; is a study of the places and people involved in maritime activities between Europe and Asia and in India, south-east Asia, China and Japan during the period of European expansion to the region.
  • HIST 2340 European Urban History; examines the development of urban networks and the growth of specific towns and cities in early modern and modern Europe. We will also study how these centres were perceived, and the roles of public spaces and public festivals. Much of this course is devoted to examining the conditions found in urban centres and the impact on local inhabitants. The course concludes with a study of nineteenth century urban boosterism.
  • HIST 2665 Sickness and Health in Western Society; examines changing understandings of disease causation and how the human body functions, the evolution of formal medical education, and the rise of medical institutions. Examples of fine art, literature, and popular culture will be integrated into lectures and seminars to help provide a comprehensive overview of what it has been like to be ill and well over the last three millennia.

What kind of jobs do history students get?

Stephen Lee graduated with a BA in History and French in 2006. He has also successfully completed the certified sommelier program from the Court of Master Sommeliers. His past professional experience includes key management positions at Raymonds Restaurant 2009 - 2011 (2011 – EnRoute Magazine’s Canada’s Best New Restaurant), Rifflin’ Hitch Lodge (Labrador), and Atlantica Restaurant (2007 – Canada’s Best New Restaurant). Stephen is co-owner, general manager & sommelier of Mallard Cottage restaurant and co-owner of The Inn by Mallard Cottage in Quidi Vidi Village.


Department of History

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000