“The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.”
-Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
During the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962, JFK cited the example of August 1914 to his advisers, reminding them how easily nations had slipped into World War I, as well as the difficulty in ending the bloody struggle. Bluffing into a war was easy— bluffing out of it all but impossible, and JFK reminded his advisers that great powers like the British in the Boer War and the Soviet Union in Finland had become mired in protracted and difficult campaigns with great loss of life with little to show for it. Guided by his knowledge of history, JFK found a face-saving way for both sides to avoid war during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
History, as it did for JFK, provides the context in which we make all of our decisions. In order to understand history as a subject and as a discipline built on critical thinking, Mississippi College offers its history majors a variety of courses in American, European, and World history. Students may choose from the following:
- History, B.A.
- History, B.S.
- History with Pre-Legal Emphasis
- Social Studies Education
- Three-Three Law/History Program
All of our history courses emphasize close reading, clear writing, and critical thinking about the past, and are a cornerstone of the liberal arts core curriculum at Mississippi College.
At the graduate level, we offer the following:
Our faculty are accomplished teachers as well as productive scholars. They are active in professional organizations and regularly attend and present at conferences. The members of the department have also published books, monographs, and articles, in addition to garnering several teaching awards. The department offers courses on topics ranging from the Ancient World to Sports and American culture to the Mississippi Delta. Our faculty are specialists in the Civil War, the American South, Social Science instruction, World War II, and British imperial history. Our graduates are currently enjoying successful careers as lawyers, professors, and teachers.