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Department of History and Political Science - History Program

The Department of History and Political Science is one of the oldest and most prestigious programs at Manchester University, housing the University's rigorous history and political science majors, as well as its demanding Mock Trial and Model United Nations organizations. Our well-known graduates include G. John Ikenberry '76 and Steven Shull '65, University Research Professor at the University of New Orleans. Our distinguished faculty have included such luminaries as Professor of Political Science Robert Johansen '62 (Faculty 1967-74), founder of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and President of the World Policy Institute (1978-1982); and Professor of Medieval History Andrew Cordier '22 (Faculty 1926-1944), one of the co-founders of the United Nations and President of Columbia University (1968-1970).

Manchester University as a whole benefited from Cordier's faculty position as, through its relationship with him, Manchester also became the only university in the United States to hold NGO status with the UN, a distinction we still hold. This has allowed Manchester to attract a number of renowned public figures and policy makers to our campus, among them: Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Barry Goldwater, Ralph Nader, and Jesse Jackson. These speakers, in turn, have helped provide perspective, depth, and experience to those at the University interested in history and politics.

Our history program provides a study of the past through analysis of the inter-relations of culture, social structures, economic conditions, and political institutions. Our program is grounded in the firm belief that history is more than a chronology of political events from "great" leaders. While such currents are taken into account, the study of history involves rigorous interrogation of ways of living, in order to better understand not only particular events, but a series of broader questions that contribute to a greater understanding of the human condition. History, in short, encompasses many things, and in its study one might examine the nature of literature, sport, medicine, science, festivals, and family, aside from the more traditional sphere of politics.

Thus, students in history courses explore a wide range of topics, including but not limited to the acts of governments; the effects of particular programs or policies on categories of race, class, and/or gender; socio-cultural movements, philosophies and theories; institutions, and the relations between and among groups.

Students interested in exploring career possibilities opened by an undergraduate degree in history should click here. Students interested in pursuing graduate study in history should click here to learn more.

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