Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences


224 Warner Hall

181 White Street

Danbury, CT 06810

(203) 837-8484

Welcome to the website of the Department of History and Non-Western Cultures at Western! The department offers undergraduate and graduate students a range of courses on the human past. We currently offer courses in American, Latin American, Asian and European history. In addition to a major and minor in History, we also offer minors with specialized focuses: Urban Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Studies, European History, American History and Middle Eastern Studies.

Danbury, Connecticut is an ideal location for exploring the past. It has been the site of Native cultures for millennia. The city was a colonial outpost, Revolutionary War battle site, and center of the US hat-making industry. Today, the greater Danbury and New York City areas provide unmatched museums, historic sites, research centers, and internship opportunities for History students.

Western’s history majors receive a first-class liberal arts education and learn to think and read critically, write well, and plan and execute complex projects. A History degree prepares students ideally for a career in primary or secondary education or for graduate study in law, business, and humanities. Our alumni have succeeded in these fields and in others.

Our goals are:

  • To provide an interdisciplinary forum in which students can deal with political, social, cultural, religious, economic, and geographic aspects of history.
  • To introduce students to non-Western cultures and help them understand global political and cultural relations.
  • To help students develop their abilities to think critically, discuss, and explain clearly historical issues and problems.
  • To cultivate writing, research, and analysis skills that will help students lead successful professional and personal lives.
  • To provide a history/education curriculum that imparts a broad base of knowledge about historical events, principles, and theories, so that students have the foundational knowledge they need to educate others.
  • To facilitate our students’ understanding of their national and community heritage.


Our course expectations:

Course Level: 100 200 300 400
Description: These courses introduce content and source materials in history These courses also introduce content, but at a much more specific level, and encourage deeper engagement with a specific subject area. These courses prioritize questions of analysis, research, and interpretation, and focus on analysis of primary and secondary sources. These courses place historical ideas in advanced historiographical context.
Reading Expectation: No specific standard An introduction to close reading techniques of primary and secondary sources is expected. Students may expect reading assignments of up to 100 pages per week. Students can expect readings with a high level of complexity, similar to what might be expected in a 500-level MA class. Readings may be up to 200 pages per week.


Writing Expectation: Minimum of 10 pages, but writing can be informal (essay exams, in-class discussion prompts) Minimum of 10 pages, but writing can be informal (essay exams, in-class discussion prompts) Minimum of 10 pages of formal writing.* Minimum of 15 pages of formal writing.
Additional Notes: “Formal writing” is creative work conducted outside of class—it may take the form of research papers, position papers, multimedia projects, or curriculum design, but it is arrived at through careful consideration and revision.