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History

“[History is] not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.”
- Lord Acton

HISTORIANS study the past, yet they never become disconnected from the present. What we are and will be is rooted in what we were. In uncovering the past, historians reveal to us the political, cultural, and economic elements that have shaped our world. This is how we write and teach history at Lewis & Clark. Our curriculum is global in scope, inviting students to compare the traditions of various cultures and countries. We offer sufficient depth in the history of the Americas, Europe, and Asia to allow students to develop sophisticated knowledge of these regions in the modern and premodern eras. Moreover, our emphasis on research and writing equips our students with skills appropriate to a wide range of pursuits.

See the Lewis & Clark Catalog and Footnotes, our newsletter, to learn more about the department and the history major.

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Lewis & Clark College Oral History Project

The Lewis & Clark Oral History Project seeks to document and celebrate the rich history of the college through the collection of spoken memories by its faculty, staff and students. Created in cooperation with the History Department, Alumni and Parent Programs, Emeriti Office, and the Watzek Library Special Collections and Archives, the program has been adopted as a primary component of the Historical Materials class curriculum and has run continuously since Spring 2014.

In addition to documenting college history from a variety of sources, a primary goal of the project is to provide students with the skills needed to act as curators of history, and perform research and writing that contribute to projects of permanent value. Throughout the project each student performs preparatory research, conducts a 1.5 hour interview, prepares an abstract of the entire interview, writes a brief biography on the interviewee, and performs a partial transcript to accompany the original audio recording for inclusion in the Oral History Archive.

The project includes both alumni and emeriti narrators, and strives to capture memories from those who attended both the Lewis & Clark predecessor school, the Albany Collegiate Institute in Albany, Oregon, and from the post 1942 renamed Lewis & Clark College, Portland campus. In addition to collecting the personal experience and observations of the narrators, special attention has been given to documenting specific programs including academics, athletics, fraternal organizations and overseas travel experiences.

Please contact Special Collections and Archives or the office of Alumni and Parent Programs if you are interested in contributing to the Oral History Program. Audio recordings and partial transcripts for oral histories can be accessed here.

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Events

February 27th, 2020

  • 5:30pm: 57th Annual Arthur L. Throckmorton Memorial Lecture
    Jane Hunter was professor of history at Lewis & Clark, where she taught U.S. social and cultural history beginning in 1990. Her first book, Gospel of Gentility:  American Women Missionaries in Turn-of-the Century China, won the Governors’ Award from Yale University Press at its publication and came out in translation in China in 2014. She has spent over four years living in East Asia, first teaching English in Hong Kong from 1971-73, and then in 2003-4 teaching American studies as a Fulbright lecturer in Shanghai, and again in 2012-13 at Sichuan University in Chengdu. This fall, she was a fellow at Shanghai Normal University’s Guangqi International Center working on this project.  (Another book, How Young Ladies Became Girls:  The Victorian Origins of American Girlhood won the 2004 outstanding book prize from the Society for the History of Education.)

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History

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