student and faculty at an archeological dig

Hands-on Experience

Many Kohawks have accompanied Assistant Professor of History Angela Ziskowski to Greece for a six-week archaeological excavation in collaboration with an international team of students, archaeologists and specialists.

"It still seems unreal when I realize I was holding pottery that predates Christ," said D.J. Stanec '18, a communication studies major and history minor. "The connections that Coe faculty are able to provide to students are amazing, and they uncover opportunities for us literally across the world."

Why History at Coe?

History, the most comprehensive of the liberal arts, covers just about everything: art and ideas, technology and religions, politics and putting food on the table. Every human endeavor has a history and, as a history student, you have the opportunity to study all of these ideas and more as they've unfolded around the globe and over time.

History is about the past, but it is more than the dusty record of events written in books. History is about ideas and arguments; it is about how we know what we do and about analyzing the evidence of what happened in the past in order to understand it, both on its own terms and as a guide to comprehending where we find ourselves today, as people of different backgrounds, races, sexes and identities.

While historians do concern themselves with questions of who, when and where, they also love the question why: What motivated people to do what they did? How can we make sense of the connections between various influences, ideas and people? In other words, studying history at Coe is much more than names and dates — it is about understanding human beings, indeed, understanding ourselves, through time and across space. The study of history is truly one of the most exciting areas of inquiry that you can choose, and it is a wonderful major or minor at Coe.

In the Coe History Department, you get the opportunity to study history broadly, while also focusing on your specific interests. The classes are small and lively, with plenty of opportunities to know your professors and peers. You'll learn to read, and you'll learn to think. You'll learn how to make connections, and you'll learn how to express yourself, both orally and in writing. And after an exciting four years in college, you'll also be ready to make your future, prepared in the liberal arts tradition to learn quickly, communicate clearly and build a rewarding career and life in whatever field you choose.

student (Lotukalafi) sitting in a chair

Engaging Professors

Lotukalafi Ahomana ’19

“Assistant Professor of History Angela Ziskowski and Associate Professor of History Bethany Keenan are both very passionate about their jobs, and it shows in their teaching. They make material engaging, and they add personal flair to their classes.”

Lotukalafi came to Coe for the small community and great opportunities. He had no idea he would become a history major and classical studies minor until taking a course in classical studies and finding his passion here at Coe.