The study of history in all its cultural, intellectual, material, social and spiritual diversity is essential to prepare students in the 21st century to become responsible global citizens.

We encourage students to ignite their curiosity and pursue their passion by exploring the endlessly fascinating stories of the human experience. At Villanova, the past isn’t what it used to be.

1. Knowledge

  • Demonstrate historical knowledge across a range of chronological, cultural and geographic areas.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the concept of historiography, including a sense of changing historical interpretations and an understanding of various approaches to historical explanation.
  • Describe how different aspects or types of human endeavor and experience may be connected.
  • Identify the historical roots of contemporary issues and challenges.

Analytical and Research Skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to reconstruct historical events from available evidence.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with contemporary historical tools including the use of primary and secondary source collections, print resources, visual and material artifacts and sources, computer databases and other computer-mediated resources.
  • Analyze and evaluate a variety of texts, data and interpretations in terms of credibility, authenticity, interpretive stance, audience, bias and value for answering the research question.
  • Synthesize evidence from research to support a historical argument.
  • Apply a critical perspective to evaluating historical arguments, including the quality of sources, the validity of the interpretations of those sources, and the soundness of the argument’s use of evidence to support that interpretation.


  • Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills, including the ability to summarize historical findings, arguments and interpretations; reconstruct historical events; formulate and support an argument in a well-focused, logically organized piece of historical writing.

The Discipline

One cannot understand the past without examining its diverse peoples. We also recognize that our disciplines have histories that have repressed and concealed that diversity. Therefore, the History Department and Art History Program vigorously affirm our commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

In both teaching and scholarship, we confront issues of identity, inequality and difference as keys to understand and appreciate diversity, and as a means to critically investigate power dynamics in societies. Specifically, we explore inclusions and exclusions as well as complicity and resistance. We believe it important to investigate those in power and those who are excluded from power. Thus, it is essential to consider the interactions between norms and centers, minorities and margins.

The Department

We respect and celebrate the diverse identities of our faculty, students and staff, and we strive to create an inclusive environment where we learn from one another and from our differences and the perspectives they provide. Our commitment to diversity shapes our historical investigations of gender, sexuality, class and race throughout Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe. This global focus is also expressed and embodied through our faculty and the diverse languages and cultures we speak and study. This intellectual commitment requires sustained engagement with power as it is experienced and represented, including the critical analysis of visual representations, which is a particular focus of the Art History Program.

Our Intellectual and Pedagogical Focus

Diversity rests at the heart of history as a scholarly discipline. It motivates our Department’s intellectual enterprise and informs our research and teaching:

All Core History courses address more than the European and North American world. They employ a “thematic or topical approach (as opposed to a survey) to a relatively broad period of time covering more than a century involving the interactions of several different cultures.” Our core course offerings each year typically include topics such as:  

  • Islam and the West
  • Atlantic Slavery
  • Soccer and the Making of the Modern World
  • British Empire
  • Philadelphia Global City
  • Global Africa
  • Commodities and Global Capitalism

The Department’s general course offerings build on the intellectual and methodological perspectives introduced by these Core classes and seek to equip students with the tools to better understand the present. Our graduate courses similarly explore and interrogate power, identity and difference in societies at different times and places.

St. Augustine Center
Room 403
800 E Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085