Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of History website, which we hope is a gateway to all our department has to offer, including exceptional courses and degree programs, cutting-edge scholarship, and diverse initiatives including world and environmental history, digital humanities, Asia and Pacific regional history, and more.

Studying History is a gateway to understanding both the past and the present. History offers opportunities for us to better understand our individual, collective, and global past, and offers insights into the trends that will carry us forward to the future. Nothing ever stays entirely the same, and History offers tools to understand, analyze, and even create change. Most fundamentally, historians look to documentary evidence to understand better the actual events, people, concepts, and data of the past. The tangible proof of where we have been informs our understanding of where we are, and where we are going. As we say, “I ka wā ma mua, ka wā ma hope (the future is guided by the past).”

Our faculty include award-winning teachers and researchers. Nine of our faculty members have won the UH Board of Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching while four others have received the President’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching. We have over 100 undergraduate majors, 30 graduate students, 25 full-time faculty members, and a supportive advising system.

Undergraduate History majors at UH Mānoa are exposed to a diversity of cultures, world regions, and eras. The skills learned in our classes help majors become successful, productive members of society. Students learn how to find and evaluate evidence, communicate clearly, and understand complex problems. Majoring in history is an excellent way to prepare for a career in teaching, research, library and information sciences, museum and historic preservation work, government service, journalism, law, or business. If you’re thinking of becoming a professional historian, you will want to pursue advanced degrees beyond the major. We can certainly help you there as well.

Majors also enjoy their careers. According to a 2018 report by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, almost 87% of all workers with a BA in the humanities reported they were satisfied with their jobs in 2015. For workers with a bachelor’s degree in the humanities and then an advanced degree (in any field), some 90% report being satisfied with their careers.

The History Department honor society is a chapter of the national History honor society Phi Alpha Theta. Our chapter has been awarded the national Best Chapter prize within our size division four times since its founding, most recently in 2018. Many History majors join PAT as a great way to make friends, gain leadership experience, expand their academic horizons, and travel to state and national conferences.

Please get in touch with me or individual faculty members if you want to learn more about our programs, our courses, and our scholarship.

Me ke aloha,

Shana Brown