Welcome to the Ferrum College Department of History!
Because of the complementary academic backgrounds of our faculty, we are able to offer a diverse selection of history courses drawn from major regions of the world over varying time periods. We use our expertise in those areas to foster critical thinking and an understanding of the historical development of different cultures, which are essential skills for both work in history and informed citizenship.
Coursework in History
At Ferrum, our students begin with coursework focused on the histories of western civilizations and the United States, honing fundamental skills such as source analysis and the creation of evidence-based analytical arguments. They build on that foundation by taking a variety of courses in US, European, and world history to demonstrate a breadth of understanding about how historical processes can be evaluated in varying geographic and chronological contexts. Majors and minors participate in a seminar-style historiography course as upperclassmen, learning how the processes of historical inquiry have been shaped by context and how they have evolved over time. As a cumulative project, majors complete their undergraduate history training by developing and presenting their own research projects under the guidance of mentors in a capstone course and senior research presentations.
Check out a preview for History 101
Our graduates go on to pursue a variety of important professions. Although some aspire to occupations as professors or research historians, many find a history major to be an excellent foundation for careers in business, teaching, law, and public service. Because of the centrality of history in Ferrum’s liberal arts curriculum, many minors and students who have taken significant coursework within the history department cite the skills they learn there as central components to successful careers in the sciences and social sciences.
There are over 50 clubs and organizations available to students at Ferrum College. These are specifically related to History:
- Student Virginia Education Association
- Student Government
- Model United Nations
- Phi Alpha Theta history honor society
Experiential & hands-on learning opportunities
Ferrum College’s focus on investigation-based learning lead to the development of E-term (with the E standing for “experiential”) courses offered the three weeks after commencement each year, in which roll up their sleeves and engage in historical inquiry firsthand. These courses bring students into direct contact with the subject matter they study – in museums, archives, heritage centers, and battlefields, to name just a few of the venues our students have visited. Courses on the American Revolution and American Civil War have been biannual favorites, and the addition of new professors with foci in US, European, environmental, and scientific history promises to add many engaging classes open to majors and non-majors alike.
Other experiential opportunities are available through individual study courses, both on and off campus, as well as a variety of internship opportunities.
Assistant Professor of History
Program Coordinator of History & Social Studies
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
- Teaching Areas: European, British, and World history
- Research Specialty: Tudor-Stuart British history and history of science and technology
- Teaching Areas: Asian and African history
- Research Specialty: Trade and Commerce in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds
- Teaching Areas: US History, Race, Gender
- Research Specialty: 20th Century Immigration
Click on Dr. Smith’s book cover to read an excerpt!
Dr. Daniels’ talks to students and faculty in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics about how ancient, medieval, and early-modern Europeans conceptualized our world’s organizing principles