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Wake Forest University

Studying History offers you access, skills, and opportunity. Studying History provides access to the whole world—not just to the past (as fascinating as that can be), but to the present that grew out of the past. Studying History teaches you vital, widely applicable skills—research, analysis, and communication. And studying History will help you build a career—anything from business to government to education to the law, and beyond. The following links give various perspectives on the intellectual importance of history. For more on the various career options open to history majors, please see the linked essays on the Careers page.

Here are some good starting points for exploring in more detail why you should major in History.

•  A dozen leading historians try to answer the question, "Why Become a Historian?"
•  Gerald W. Schlabach, a professor of theology, lists the components that make up "A Sense of History."

Here are some more theoretical reflections on the significance and practice of history as a discipline.

•  Lord Acton, Inaugural Lecture on the Study of History (1906)
•  Roland Barthes, The Discourse of History (1981)
•  Natalie Davis, Any Resemblance to Persons Living or Dead (1987)
•  Louis 0. Mink, Modes of Comprehension and the Unity of Knowledge (1987)


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Department of History, Wake Forest University, P.O. Box 7806, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Department office: Tribble B-101
Phone: (336) 758.5501    Fax.(336)758.6130