Search

History Program & Faculty

The study of the past and of human culture is essential to the creation of an educated mind. History courses are intended to give students a rich understanding of the past, an empathy for other cultures and peoples, and a civic awareness of the catalysts for—and consequences of—social, political, economic, and cultural change. Students explore and examine these ideas at the same time that they develop and refine their reading, writing, synthetic, and analytical skills.

Requirements in History

The Walnut Hill diploma requires two years of study in history, one of which must be United States History. Incoming 9th graders are also required to take The Medieval World. It is strongly recommended that students enroll in additional departmental offerings.

Courses in History

THE EARLY MODERN WORLD: ENCOUNTER & REVOLUTION, 1500–1800

Our contemporary challenges have roots in the encounters and revolutions of the early modern era. This course offers students an understanding of this era, including the origins, nature, and consequences of colonialism, mercantilism, ecological exchange, and political revolution. Writing is central to the work of the course, and students will practice historical writing, traditional historical research, and the skills of close textual observation and analysis.

Required for all grade 9 students.

THE MODERN WORLD: INDUSTRIALIZATION & THE RISE OF NATIONS, 1800–2000

We live in a world where governments and powerful corporations shape the lives of billions of people. Everyday items that we’ve come to rely on could be made on the other side of the globe. But how did this world come to be? In this course, students will explore the effects of colonialism, industrialization, globalism, nationalism, and socialism throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in order to better understand the forces that shape the world we live in. Our work includes examining primary sources in context, critiquing secondary sources, and collaborating on group presentations.

Recommended for all grade 10 students and open to grade 11 students by permission.

US HISTORY - THE EVOLUTION OF CULTURE AND IDENTITY IN AMERICA

How have American culture and identity been shaped through the years? Is there such a thing as a true American identity? In this course, students will explore these questions and the many dimensions of the American experience. Our studies of American identity will be richly informed by close readings of primary and secondary texts and careful attention to select images and films.

This course is in the standard history sequence and is most often taken in grade 11. This course fulfills the graduation requirement for US History.

CREATING AMERICA: US HISTORY FOR ELL STUDENTS

This course is designed for international students who are taking, or who have recently completed, ELL Advanced. Exploring essential questions, students will examine a range of factors that shaped America’s economy, politics, and culture. In addition to providing a rich introduction to America’s past, this course focuses on developing skills of reading comprehension, academic writing, and classroom participation that will support students as they pursue further study in mainstream English-speaking settings.

This course fulfills the graduation requirement for U.S. History.

TWENTIETH-CENTURY HISTORY THROUGH ART & MEDIA (HISTORY ELECTIVE)

How did people understand, shape, and participate in their society in the 20th century? Students in this course will examine 20th-century history through the lens of art and media, discovering how these reveal vital information about culture across different decades. Careful consideration will be given to the power of the arts and the media to both influence and reflect upon social movements, politics, and the shaping of various identities.

Elective courses are open to all seniors, and to juniors by permission.

POWER, POVERTY & GLOBAL JUSTICE (HISTORY ELECTIVE)

Why is there so much inequality in our world? What systems create and sustain these inequalities? Disease, migration, climate change, institutional racism, ethnic violence, labor exploitation - we cannot address these issues, even at a local level, without some understanding of the deep patterns of economic, social, and political development that drive them. In this course, students will choose a global justice issue as a focus and explore its origins, current dynamics, and potential solutions. This is not an economics course, but this course will empower students to view some of our world’s most challenging global issues through an economic lens.

Elective courses are open to all seniors, and to juniors by permission.

HISTORY LAB (HISTORY ELECTIVE)

How do we know what really happened in the past? And how do we tell stories about it that are important and true? In this course, we explore the art and science of history. Armed with the key theories and tools of the historian, students take a deep dive into a historical topic or period that is important to them. Through this work, students learn to be deliberate about viewing the past from many perspectives, particularly those of people whose voices and stories are often absent from the mainstream record. This course is for students excited to drive their own historical inquiry in a supportive environment.

Elective courses are open to all seniors, and to juniors by permission.

WOMEN, CULTURE & POWER (HISTORY ELECTIVE)

How does gender influence the stories we remember and tell about the past? Students in this course will explore ideas, events, and people who diagnosed the problem of being female in a world of patriarchy and found ways to understand, communicate, and celebrate female perspectives and experiences.  Students will explore women in history to assemble their own herstory portfolio of work by and about women leaders, writers, artists, and performers.

Elective courses are open to all seniors, and to juniors by permission.

History Faculty

Estye Fenton

Estye Fenton

History Teacher
Benjamin Gregg

Benjamin Gregg

Humanities Faculty
Colin Meiselman

Colin Meiselman

Humanities Faculty