Human beings are born storytellers, constantly engaged in an attempt to understand our personal pasts through the stories we tell ourselves and others about what we have done and what has happened to us. In the discipline of History we try to interpret the larger, collective past through a more thoughtful, critical practice of storytelling and analysis. The result is a multitude of diverse narratives about societies, institutions, groups, cultures, and the ways individuals operate within them.
Understanding and constructing these narratives of the past helps us make sense of the complex world in which we live today. The study of History is not about memorizing names, dates, and events, but rather a dynamic, interpretive encounter with the whole range of human ideas, emotions, creations, and activities. It is as diverse as humanity itself -- past and present -- and grows with every moment. History helps us understand how and why change happens. Interpreting it well is essential to shaping our future. Armed with this understanding of the past, History students become curious, informed, active citizens of the world.
History at UNB
The Department of History at UNB offers students a range of courses and areas of study normally found only at much larger universities. We have award-winning teachers, and scholars whose work is at the cutting edge of research in their fields. But History at UNB is, above all, a community of individuals passionate about teaching and learning. The classes are small, the professors friendly and accessible, the students smart and motivated, and the atmosphere warm and welcoming.
What can History do for me?
Many students come to the study of History because they are fascinated by the "raw material" of the past -- European fascism, women's rights, medical innovations, Hollywood's Golden Age -- but through lectures, seminars, and independent research into such topics they gain something much more valuable. History students learn how to think critically, read carefully, analyze and argue judiciously, and write and speak effectively.
These skills and sensibilities are useful for nearly all aspects of modern life, and are highly valued in many occupations. History graduates pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, including education, administration and management, the law, politics and public service, business, journalism, the military, advocacy and activism, and library and muscum work. See our Career Connections page for more information.
How does History relate to other disciplines?
The essence of history is its comprehensiveness. While other disciplines carve out particular aspects of humanity or society to focus on, History boldly them all. Indeed, historians even study the history of other disciplines -- such as medicine, the law, or psychology -- and in the process become specialists in these fields in their own right. The distinction between History and other forms of knowledge lies particularly in its insistence that the best way to understand any human experience is through a thorough appreciation of its historical context.