Why Study History?

Historian and philosopher R. G. Collingwood observed that the value of history is that it teaches us what humans have done over time, and thus teaches us what it means to be human. Historian Eric Hobsbawm says that "we swim in the past like fish do in water...and cannot escape from it." Before being executed by the Nazis for his part in the French Resistance, the historian Marc Bloch wrote that the ability to understand the living is the "master quality of the historian."

All this is another way of saying that the past also belongs to the present and the future.

The History program at King’s has a long and proud tradition of enabling students to search the past and, in so doing, to find their future. We offer a wide range of stimulating and challenging courses at various levels on themes that are essential to understanding today’s world, including:

  • Major Issues in World History
  • The Development of Western Society and Culture
  • 20th Century Totalitarianism
  • Canadian, U.S. and European history
  • Religion in Modern History
  • Social Movements
  • Popular Culture in the Americas
  • War and Society
  • Slavery in the Americas and Africa
  • Philosophy of History and Historical Methodology

King’s History courses include activities that bring history to life, and help you apply your skills to professional contexts. Students can also literally immerse themselves in their learning, with experiential learning courses including the Two World Wars, Memory and Reconciliation, Hate Speech in Canada and Human Rights in Canada and in Latin America.

These courses, taught by our dedicated, award-winning faculty, help to acquaint you not only with knowledge of the past, but also to cultivate fundamental skills that are essential to success in any field: historical thinking, critical analysis, research methods, as well as effective verbal and written communication skills.

At King’s, our classes are small, and motivated students will find the kind of individual attention they’re looking for.