USA Home Web Index Search Directories FAQ
Department of History


Home > Welcome from the Chair
Welcome from Clarence L. Mohr, History Department Chair
Dr. Clarence L. Mohr
Clarence L. Mohr, at left
As Chair of the Department of History let me take this opportunity to welcome you to our web site where you will find a wide array of information about our curriculum, our faculty, and our programs of outreach and instructional support. If you are new to the study of history a word about our discipline may be in order.
For at least 500 years history has been a key part of the humanist educational program. Writing early in the fifteenth century, the Renaissance scholar and teacher Petrus Paulus Vergerius identified the subjects "which might rightly be included under the name of ‘Liberal Studies.’ Amongst these,” he declared, “ I accord the first place to History, on grounds both of its attractiveness and of its utility. . .” Since that time history has occupied a leading place in the liberal arts curriculum, alongside the modern counterparts of the medieval trivium of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.

Now, as in Medieval times, the discipline of history is recognized to be highly ‘practical’ as preparation for advanced professional study and for intelligent engagement with the problems of contemporary life.
Today’s historians are investigators who strive to create and disseminate knowledge that connects the present with the past. Toward this end the History Department at the University of South Alabama pursues a steadily expanding program of teaching, research, and community outreach. The principles that guide our efforts today were ably set forth in a 1971 self-study completed in connection with the University’s initial accreditation. Now, as then, the professors in our department agree that history should be taught as a “method of inquiry” in which intellectual skills are honed as students go about the work of acquiring basic knowledge. We also endorse the view expressed in 1971 that “research directly improves our effectiveness as teachers in the service of students and of the community at large.”
Perhaps most important, we share the conviction that historical studies “are unique in their ability to reveal the complexity of human affairs” and to illuminate the deeper meaning of contemporary events. While we recognize history’s value as career preparation, we believe that our teaching succeeds most fully when students become active learners capable of questioning their own assumptions and interrogating the world around them.
Simply stated, we believe in the liberating capacity of the liberal arts and we look upon history as fundamental to the education of free people and global citizens.
The History Department prides itself on offering challenging courses at the introductory and advanced level to majors and students from all university divisions. Our rigorous M.A. program prepares graduate students for doctoral study or careers in a number of applied fields. Since 1998 our graduates have been admitted to doctoral programs at Auburn University, The University of Mississippi, Florida State University, Rice University, Northern Illinois University, Rutgers University, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
As you explore our web page I invite you to learn about the research interests of individual professors and to become familiar with programs such as the Howard F. Mahan lecture series as well as our highly successful program of learning skills seminars.
Students interested in majoring in history should contact our secretary, Michelle Cagle, who will help you choose a faculty advisor. If you are already a history major I hope you will become familiar with Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society. Advanced undergraduate students of proven accomplishment may also have opportunities to work with individual professors as peer tutors.
If you have questions about our program please feel free to contact me at any time. Our office telephone is 251-460-6210

Clarence L. Mohr
Professor and Chair

University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 460-6210
For questions or comments Contact Us
Last date changed: August 12, 2013 11:27 AM
University of South Alabama text only