This summer our faculty met to talk about our role in the core curriculum. What makes history essential to a St. Thomas education? That’s what we asked each other and although everyone had their own opinion, one common theme was that history provides “context.” History “joins past and present,” history “explains how humans are diverse yet interconnected,” history “teaches respect for other cultures,” history “provides a lens for understanding contemporary culture,” and history is “inherently interdisciplinary,” providing the common ground to bring together lessons from economics, sociology, political science, modern languages, geology, business, theology, health and human performance, justice and peace studies, geography, and communications…just to name a few.
Welcome to our new blog devoted to historical context. We look forward to using this space to explore the links between the past and present. This blog is our place to highlight the historical underpinnings of contemporary news and cultural trends. It’s our place to debate history’s lessons. And it’s our place to consider how we all help to create historical narratives – both literally and figuratively. The picture above is from my research trip to the Brazilian National Archive this past August. When I requested a patent application filed in 1903 in Rio de Janeiro, I received a folder full of scraps from the disintegrating document. “Piecing together” the larger history of Brazilian innovation and economic development brought on new meaning!
We look forward to using our blog to piece together history and we hope you’ll participate in this process. This blog is also our place to communicate with past, current, and future students. We promise to show you what we’re doing and how you can be a part of history on campus and beyond. Comment on our posts, send us your suggestions for topics and tell us how history shapes your every day life.
What is your role in the history core?!