Our Mission

Mission Statement

Department of History, Rice University

In our research and our teaching, historians at Rice University seek:

  • to offer complex causal explanations of human events and processes and to challenge simplistic assumptions;
  • to describe human intentions in context in order to understand--though not necessarily to justify--human actions;
  • to evaluate evidence of various kinds, the product of multiple cultures and different languages, in order to broaden understanding of human experiences.

Historians at Rice exhibit and teach careful observation and thoughtful analysis; to reach this goal, we seek:

  • to produce distinguished scholarship that advances historical inquiry;
  • to educate undergraduate students, both history majors and non-majors, about history, encompassing content across geographical regions and time;
  • to help undergraduate and graduate students to think critically, develop comprehensive research skills and establish proficiency in written and oral communication;
  • to mentor the next generation of historians through our Ph.D. program.

The Department also fosters a commitment to the principles of academic self-government and professionalism, expecting from its members a commitment:

  • to engage in academic governance from the departmental to the university level;
  • to lead the university and the field in establishing a global curriculum that is challenging and inclusive;
  • to foster opportunities for outreach and communication with the broader public