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Engagement with the Human Past

Engagement with the Human Past



Learning about the human past is about more than reading the history, it is about discovering primary evidence and sources and applying the knowledge you’ve gained to modern problems. Learn and evaluate how the events shaping the world today have been shaped by the events of the past, and how to identify the patterns of human history that shape our lives.

Learning Outcomes

These are the learning outcomes that are expected of students after completing a course.


Develop knowledge of different spatiotemporal scales, patterns, ideas, figures, and events from the past.


Evaluate primary source material and/or other historical evidence of past conditions, for example, behaviors, events, and social, cultural, economic, and/or political structures, assess divergent or complementary methods, materials, and/or methodologies in interpreting the human past.


Assess conflicting historical narratives based on evidence and methodologies.


Generate and evaluate arguments based the analysis of primary and scholarly sources.


Apply historical methods and knowledge to make informed judgments about the past and the present.

Questions for Students

These are the types of questions you should be able to answer after completing a course.


What events, conflicts, and continuities shaped an era of the human past?


What distinctive kinds of evidence do we use to interpret and understand the human past?


How have people made decisions and acted in light of historical knowledge?


How does the material and historical past survive in the present and affect our perception of both the past and the present?


What conditions and processes shape our approach to the human past?

Course Offerings

There are a wide range of courses you can take to meet the Engagement with the Human Past focus capacity requirement. Here are a few examples:

AAAD 231

African American History since 1865


ARTH 160

Introduction to the Art and Architecture of Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica


CLAR 120

Ancient Cities


GSLL 212

“Game of Thrones” and the Worlds of the European Middle Ages


HIST 110

Introduction to the Cultures and Histories of Native North America


Faculty Resources

Any department may offer classes that fulfill any focus capacity as long as they meet the learning outcomes for that capacity.