May 2019 E-Term: History of the US West

Travel the American West aboard the California Zephyr from Denver to the Pacific with Dr. Tim Daniels. Visit national parks, museums, major cultural centers, and cities large and small.

What is an Experiential Course?

Experiential Term (E-Term) is a three-week term in the month of May, which offers a variety of experiential courses for all students enrolled at Ferrum College. Courses offered in E-Term reflect the breadth of our curriculum and cover a number of general education and major requirements. The intensity of the term (an entire course in three weeks) affords students the chance to take a hands-on, experiential approach and to break out of the traditional classroom course.

Every Ferrum College student is required to take at least one E-Term course. Many students take more than one.

HIS 376: History of Islam

For the Fall Semester of 2019, the history department is offering a new upper-division, writing-intensive (WI) course on The History of Islam. Through readings, discussions, and lectures, students will encounter an overview of the history of Islam from the Prophet to the aftermath of decolonization. Starting with the foundational texts of the religion, moving on to the works of the Golden Age of Islam, this background will fuel students’ exploration of the tumultuous twentieth century and the ongoing “long war” on terrorism and extremism following 9-11.

This course is designated Writing Intensive; a grade of “C” or higher in this course is required for this course to count toward the six-credit-hour Writing Intensive graduation requirement for Ferrum College.

HIS 344: History of Scientific Revolution

The History Department is offering a new upper-division, writing intensive (WI) course in the Fall Semester of 2019: A survey of the history of science in the West from Copernicus & Vesalius to Lavoisier. This course considers the transition from medieval, theocentric views of nature and its operation to secular and mechanistic views in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the transition from natural philosophy to science.

This course is designated Writing Intensive; a grade of “C” or higher in this course is required for this course to count toward the six-credit-hour Writing Intensive graduation requirement for Ferrum College.

About the Program

All Ferrum College students, regardless of major, receive an education in World and US history, honing critical skills such as source analysis and the crafting of evidence-based analytical arguments. Our majors and minors participate in seminar courses, practicing historical inquiry and marking how social context (race, class, gender, religion) and time have shaped history writing in the past. Graduating seniors complete their training by presenting their own research project under the guidance of their mentors on the Ferrum faculty.
There’s a reason the top-tier, Ivy League schools in this country produce more History majors than Business, Computer Science, or Engineering! A Bachelor’s Degree in History prepares the student for truly anything they desire to do: Pre-Law, Pre-MBA, Pre-Med, Pre-anything!

Student organizations on campus related to the study of History include:

  • Student Virginia Education Association
  • Model United Nations & Model Arab League
  • Phi Alpha Theta history honor society

Ferrum College offers a BA in History, two BS Degrees (one in History and the other in Social Studies), as well as two minors, in History and Public History & Museum Studies. Follow this link for a list of required courses and other degree requirements.

Dr. Tim Daniels, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator, History & Social Studies

Dr. Daniels teaches European History at Ferrum. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 2013. British history and the history of science are his areas of expertise, interests nurtured since taking his bachelor’s degree in biology and history at Hampden-Sydney College. He studies the intersection of resource management and culture in early-modern England.

Dr. Nicole Greer Golda, Ph.D.

Phi Alpha Theta advisor

Dr. Greer Golda teaches U.S. History at Ferrum.  She earned a Ph.D. in the joint program in History and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan in 2016. Shes teaches upper-division courses in many ‘histories,’ including women’s,  gender, African American, and crime. She is intrigued by how professionals, social workers, and reformers influenced and steered national campaigns concerning the behavior of the country’s immigrants and migrants.

Dr. Michael Hancock-Parmer, Ph.D.

Dr. Hancock-Parmer teaches World History at Ferrum. He earned a dual Ph.D. in Russian History and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University in 2017. His expertise is Early Modern Eurasian History, particularly the fringes of the Russian Empire. His research focuses on the use of the events of the 18th-19th centuries in the nationalist histories of the 21st century. At Ferrum, he teaches the world history surveys, in addition to courses on Russian History, the History of Islam, and the Early Modern period.

Professors emeriti

Dr. Richard Smith

Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1972

Ferrum College Professor of History, 1976-2018

Dr. Michael R. Trochim

Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1983

Ferrum College Professor of History, 1983-2016

Campus Presentations

  • April 4, 2019: Dr. Richard L. Smith
    • “The Endless Sabbatical: Writing History in the Age of Lies,” (Food for Thought)
    • 4:00 pm in the Saari House
  • February 27, 2019: Dr. Michael Hancock-Parmer
    • “Trump, Putin, and America’s Wars,” (Inquiring Minds)
    • 4:00 pm in the Stanley Library LEAP Studio
  • September 19, 2018: Dr. Nicole Greer Golda
    • “From Raising a Fist to Taking a Knee: Sports Protests in U.S. History,” (Inquiring Minds)
    • 4:00 pm in the Stanley Library LEAP Studio
  • September 7, 2018: Dr. Tim Daniels
    • “Contemplating Anatomy and Challenging Authority,” (NSM Seminar)
    • Garber Hall #106
  • March 14, 2018: Dr. Nicole Greer Golda
    • “Is #MeToo a Witch Hunt? Histories of Sexual Harassment in the US,” (Inquiring Minds)
    • 4:00 pm in the Stanley Library LEAP Studio
  • January 27, 2017: Dr. Tim Daniels
    • “2000 Years of Trying to Find Order in Nature,” (NSM Seminar)
    • Garber Hall #106

Faculty Scholarship

Michael Hancock-Parmer, “Running until Our Feet Turn White: The Barefooted Flight and Kazakh National History,” PhD Dissertation (Indiana University, 2017).

Nicole Greer Golda, “To Shape the Future of the Nation: Gender and Family Order in the Age of Americanization, 1890-1952 ,” PhD Dissertation (University of Michigan, 2016).

Michael Hancock-Parmer, “The Soviet Study of the Barefooted Flight of the Kazakhs,” Central Asian Survey 34, no. 3 (2015): 281-295.

Michael Hancock-Parmer, “Mapping a Non-European Habitat,” Central Eurasian Studies Society Blog (September 10, 2015)

Timothy Daniels, ““The Brazen Walles of this Kingdome:” The History of the First Year of the English Parliamentary Navy, 1642-1643,” PhD Dissertation (University of California-Santa Barbara, 2013).

Richard Smith, Premodern Trade in World History (New York: Routledge, 2009).

Richard Smith, Ahmad al-Mansur: Islamic Visionary (New York: Pearson Longman, 2006).

Why Major in History?

A focus on how to think, not what to think

History is a liberal art, a liberating art. In some languages, it is called Historical Science and connects directly to its original form in Ancient Greek (ἱστορία, Istoriya), meaning investigation, research, interrogation, the search for knowledge and understanding. The point of studying history in college is not to memorize what professors tell you to think, but for you to develop the skills to comprehend the ingredients of history and articulate your own convincing, sophisticated interpretations of the past.

What can I do with a Degree in History?

Anything! History coursework trains students broadly in the humanities and social sciences, opening a variety of possible career paths. Traditionally, history is a popular choice for those going on to Law School. Other professional schools, including medical schools, consider history majors highly competitive and welcome additions to their incoming cohorts. Graduates holding degrees in history have also pursued careers in government, education, business, public health, journalism, and the military.

But my parents don’t think I can get a job!

History is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data,” Paul B. Sturtevant (Apr 1, 2017)

Yale History Major’s Comeback,” Elizabeth Elliott (May 11, 2017)

Students are leaving history for better prospects. But they’re wrong.” Benjamin Schmidt (August 23, 2018)

Why worthless humanities degrees may set you up for life,” Amanda Ruggeri (April 2, 2019)

Find Out More

Contact Professor Tim Daniels at tadaniels@ferrum.edu.