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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in History

There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in history through independent research, off-campus study, and internships.There are ample opportunities to enhance your studies in history through independent research, off-campus study, and internships. These programs are integral to a Knox education, teaching you how to apply your skills in real world situations.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Research means posing a question and systematically pursuing possible answers -- this is what doing history is all about. Several College programs provide research fellowship support for students to work on their own projects in conjunction with a faculty mentor during the summer of their junior year. Some faculty employ students as research assistants, working with them in their own ongoing research projects. Independent research is also possible through one-credit independent study courses. Examples of recent student research projects include:

  • "War Crimes: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Unit 731 in China," Mike Herbert '10, history major.
  • "The Harvey Girls: A National Railroad Hall of Fame Project," Margaret Spiegel '10, history major.
  • "Women in the U.S. West," Elena Gleason '09, history major.
  • "Chinese Immigrants to the U.S. West," Lauren Moody '09, history major.
  • "The Abolition of Discriminatory Clauses in Knox Fraternities: 1953-1966," Grand Forsberg '09, history major.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. Examples of recent Honors projects include:

  • "Crafting a Conversation: A Complication of Orientalism in Bakumatsu Japan," Jessa Dahl, '10.
  • "'And They Brought the Railroad With Them': The Irish American Experience in Galesburg, Illinois, 1850-1870," Margaret Spiegel, '10.
  • "Louis 'the Last'?: The Continuity of Monarchy in France, 1792-1795," Gillian Clare Chisom, '07.
  • "'Loving Them as Well as Ourselves,': Finding Middle Ground between the Dakota and the Missionaries at Lac Qui Parle, 1835-1845," Johanna Margaret Blume, '07.
  • "Invading the 'Perfect Enclave': The Formation of an Irish Catholic Community in Galesburg, 1854-1894," Allison O'Mahen, '03.
  • "Gender and Botanical Writing in England, 1760-1830," Rebecca Kuglitsch, '02.
  • "Wartime America: A Case Study in Oral History," Gregory Kupsky, '02.
  • "'The Door is Shut:' Selected Documents from the Carlisle Peace Commission, 1778," Erick Plumb, '02.

Off-campus Study
Many of the off-campus programs in which Knox participates are superb supplements to the on-campus course work. Study abroad is highly recommended for students interested in history beyond the United States; programs are available in England, Germany, Spain, Japan, India, Russia, France, Costa Rica and elsewhere around the globe. The Newberry Library Program in the Humanities offers an intensive, semester-long seminar and research experience at a premier research library in Chicago.

History-related activities abound at Knox and in the surrounding region. Students and faculty members have traveled to a variety of places, including the Amish religious colonies in Iowa and to the early Mormon settlement town of Nauvoo, Illinois, on the Mississippi River.

Lincoln Studies Center
Two nationally-renowned Lincoln scholars, Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson, direct a number of Lincoln-related research projects at the Lincoln Studies Center, headquartered at Knox. Their work has been featured in news articles and on television programs on PBS and the History Channel. The Center also sponsors several lectures a year at Knox by Lincoln experts -- recent speakers have included Michael Burlingame and Cullom Davis.

Few experiences can prepare you better for life after Knox than conducting an internship. As a Knox history student, you can conduct an internship for course credit either during the academic year or the summer, working closely with a faculty supervisor while engaging in fieldwork and completing an academic paper. Recent internships by history students include:

  • Intern, Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois. Brenna DeGan '12, history and political science major.
  • Intern, Audubon Society, Damariscotta, Maine. Andrea Gammon '08, history and environmental studies major.
  • Intern, Congressman Lane Evans Office, Galesburg, Illinois. Jeremy Lin '06, history and international relations major.
  • Research Intern, C & A Mode AG, Munchen, Deutschland. Matthew Travis '05, Russian area studies and history major.
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