The discipline of history is no longer about providing the ‘most accurate’ narrative of the past. Rather, it is about using the most up-to-date conceptual and theoretical frameworks and sophisticated methodologies to analyse and produce diverse narratives that are informed by a plurality of perspectives.
Recently, history has become more popular in literature, politics and the media, as well as in everyday life more generally. In order for this discipline to serve genuine democracy and peace, the latest developments in historical scholarship and methodology must be closely followed and implemented. One can hardly claim, however, that such developments have had an immediate impact on history education generally.
Thanks to our staff’s following closely the latest developments in their fields of research, the History Department at Istanbul Bilgi University offers students the opportunity to develop the conventional skills of historical craftsmanship and to master the key concepts of historiography. Students are taught with the most current literature and about the latest theoretical and methodological discussions in various fields. On the one hand, our department aims to give candidates who aspire to become successful historians a competent professional formation over four years. But it also grants a sound, multidisciplinary grounding to all students, so that they can continue their professional lives in a variety of areas.
Our department offers a range of courses to encourage students to develop interests across many topics in order to surpass the narrow confines of the rather dull history courses taught in high schools, which can often be sources of distress for pupils. Furthermore, semester projects, term papers and a final graduation thesis project in the fourth year give students the chance to develop areas of specialization. These projects often fall within the broad areas within which our academic staff conduct their research: History of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey within a comparative and global perspective. Our department’s relatively small size gives students the opportunity to work closely with their instructors and to speak with them on a regular basis.
Our students are offered the chance to take on a minor or double major during their four years of study, which allows them to receive second diplomas from different departments. They are also encouraged to take advantage of the international experiences offered through international exchange programs, such as the Erasmus Programme, which allow them to spend one or two semesters abroad.
Thanks to our determination to guide and support our students also after their graduation, our department has had a significant number of alumni continuing their studies in graduate programs at prominent universities in Turkey and abroad.