The discipline of History is dedicated to the understanding and imaginative reconstruction of past human activities, institutions, ideas, and aspirations in light of current knowledge, concerns, and hopes for the future. A knowledge of history is desirable for both its intrinsic worth and its illumination of the present problems and future prospects of particular societies and humankind in general. By its methodology and values, History belongs to both the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
With Benjamin Franklin, the history faculty believe that the study of history is central to acquiring a liberal education. First, it provides an introduction to all other liberal arts subjects. "If History be made a constant part of [a student's] reading," wrote Franklin, "may not almost all kinds of useful knowledge by that way introduced to advantage and with pleasure to the student?" Second, by illuminating our past, the study of history provides us with a sense of continuity and moral purpose. When we come to understand that those of the past have prepared the way for our present, we begin to appreciate the responsibility we have for the generations that come after.
Department of History
Cornell Social Science Building
1000 Holt Ave - 2762
Winter Park, FL 32789-4499