The Different Concentrations of a History Major

While history is a broad subject, majors generally study past cultures, people, and events in order to learn about the world and how it is affected by change over time. History courses can cover different civilizations, focus on historical time periods, explore past social issues, and delve into the development of certain technologies and sciences. Since history is such a broad subject, many students choose to focus on a specific concentration within it. Typically, concentrations help students learn about history though focusing on different cultures or studying it in different contexts.

History majors can choose to concentrate on the history of different cultures, such as European or Asian, and learn about their development from their origins to modern day. European history majors learn about the history of countries, such as England, Russia, France, and Germany, and concentrate on major historical periods, such as the Age of Enlightenment, Dark Ages, and Renaissance. They also learn about important events, such as the French Revolution, Cold War, and Holocaust, that helped shape European countries into what they are today. Through reading and research, students utilize historical sources to learn about and think critically about European events, ideas, and politics. Asian history majors learn about the historical development of the largest and most populated continent in the world, focusing on countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and North and South Korea. They study specific periods, such as the Shang Dynasty, Imperial China, the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, and the Republic of China. These majors learn through reading the work of established historians that focus on Asian society from its ancient beginnings to its current development.

Majors can also choose to study history by choosing a concentration that focuses on it within a certain context, such as art or military. History majors who choose to concentrate on art, study the history and aesthetic ideology that makes up a work of art. Art History majors learn about art by studying the historical context it was created in, and learn about history by studying the social and political movements that influenced the artist. They study art movements, such as abstract, impressionism, surrealism, dadaism, and the artistic techniques that were popular during those movements. Majors who choose to concentrate on military history learn about armed conflict throughout history and how it impacted cultures, societies, economies, and relationships among countries. These majors study the causes of different wars, the social and cultural contexts they occurred in, and different military’s use of specific technologies, strategies, and tactics.

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