The study of history at Blackburn is limitless…there are no boundaries. Students will learn who we are, what we were, and the human behavior that explains why things happened in the past, and how the past affects the present and future.
History majors have the ability to analyze the world around them on the whole – not in segments. They also have the ability to make reasoned arguments, express themselves both orally and in writing, and identify relevant issues in both past and current events.
Current topics in history are emphasized at Blackburn, and courses are discussion-based. Ideas are shared, and topics are openly analyzed among faculty and students. Special topics and seminars are also introduced to address current topics and student needs. Film and video are integrated into many Blackburn history courses, creating new mediums for discussion and analysis.
Blackburn history majors build versatile skills in research, communication, and critical reasoning. Students have informal, relaxed interactions with faculty, who have open-door policies. The study of history can open doors to lifelong learning, and many Blackburn history graduates have enjoyed productive careers.
The History Department continues to tailor its curriculum with new courses that focus on current issues. Environmental studies, gender studies, imperialism, Latin American history, Illinois history, and 19th – 20th century American history are areas of focus at Blackburn, while
proposed new courses will study film in history.
Awards and Events
Blackburn history majors are eligible for a variety of honors to celebrate their academic success. The best students may also earn some of the College’s most prestigious opportunities.
- Beginning Scholar Award
- The Baird-Ziegler Prize: For the graduating senior with the highest average in the Social Sciences
- Senior seminar: The Blackburn History Department takes great pride in its senior seminars. Students present a research proposal, followed by in-depth research that emphasizes primary sources and critical reasoning. Well-organized oral and written presentations are the final result. Seminars prepare students for both careers and postgraduate study. Topics for senior seminars broadly interpret history, and have included political and social subjects, sports, culture, and gender. Blackburn history faculty proudly note that there are no limits to historical research ideas from students.
- Mueller Humanities Fellowship: History majors are eligible for Mueller Fellowships, one of the most prestigious honors in the Blackburn academic curriculum. The fellowship provides annual funds to Blackburn students to create, develop, and pursue special projects in their specific fields of interest. Over the years, Blackburn history students have received Mueller Fellowships that have a legacy of creativity and impact.
- Illinois History Conference: Blackburn faculty and students attend the annual Illinois History Conference in Springfield, where researchers from around the state present lectures and discuss ideas. The two-day event is one of the premier gatherings for students and teachers of history in the state, and features famous authors, professors, and scholars from around the nation.
The following scholarships are offered to History majors:
- Daniel Huddleston Scholarship Fund
Blackburn History majors gain the critical thinking, research skills, and collaborative skills to prepare for a variety of career fields. Students of history have found many positions with Fortune 500 companies, while others choose smaller career settings. Whatever the choice, there are plenty of opportunities.
- Museum positions
- Corporate historian
- Government historian
Work Program Opportunities
In the Work Program, history students have multiple job opportunities that relate to their studies. Students may apply to work as:
- History tutor
- Department assistant
- College library / archives
- The student newspaper, The Burnian
- Disc jockey with Blackburn’s online radio station