Historians study the diversity of human experiences over time. We recognize that many aspects of these experiences—race, class, gender, religion, and disability, among others—have particular historical significance because they have served as vehicles for the expression of, and resistance to, power, profoundly affecting people’s daily lives and struggles for equality and justice. As a result historians study not history but histories: the differences, congruences, and dynamic interplay between a diversity of human lives.
The History Department acknowledges that these histories have not ended; we are still living them today. Any legitimate attempt to explore and understand the past thus requires the full, engaged participation of a diversity of perspectives and voices. We are committed to building an inclusive department by supporting members of our community across our rich differences of race and ethnicity, economic status, religion, politics, ability and disability, gender, sexuality, age, and citizenship status. Respect for and engagement with these differences is a shared and essential intellectual and community value.
We also acknowledge the many obstacles that challenge efforts to build such an inclusive and supportive community, and believe that overcoming such obstacles through purposeful action is an urgent need, especially in a public university dedicated to serving a diverse public. For this reason we are committed to recruiting faculty, students, and staff of varied life experiences; providing a full range of courses and pedagogical approaches that engage with a diversity of topics and learners; and cultivating an environment in which all feel that they belong, that they are valued, and that they can teach, work, and learn free from exclusions and inequities that inhibit the exchange of ideas. Through these and other actions history can realize its potential to bridge differences and contribute to a more just society.
The Department encourages students to explore the following diversity-related resources: