Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Today in Ukrainian History Dr. Payton mentioned that the history department at Redeemer is going to go through some changes. They're looking at the possibility of a HIS 103 and HIS 104 hybrid which would be a sort of super-Western history course. HIS 107 would still be an option and there'd be a new offering - HIS 105, World History.

The world is quite a large place and the amount of information the history of the world covers is dauntingly massive and complex. Therefore, a course which purported to cover the history of the world would either have to delve deeply into a few interesting civilizations or give an extremely superficial treatment to world events. (A course on European history is already complex, the world is that much larger) Whatever the case, I don't envy the person who has to attempt to create the outline for that course. Although I was thinking that a world history course could be tied together by an examination of the impact of European colonialism. This, of course, is still a Eurocentric way of looking at the world but it would help make the course easier (but still daunting) to organize. Also, such a course would help students see the historic roots of many of the developing world's problems.

I've always wanted more variety in Redeemer's history courses but I've also realized that Redeemer's size limits that possibility. While it would be superb to have entire departments dedicated to African, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Meso-American history, Redeemer just doesn't have enough students for those tantalizing departments. Besides, even if Redeemer were large enough, I would not be able to take all of those lovely courses. Hopefully Redeemer can begin to have sporadic courses in some of these areas as I'm sure they've attempted to do. For now, however, I'll just try to educate myself.

Dr. Payton mentioned that Redeemer is also considering hiring a historian to lead the study of North American history. Excellent. I may have to adjust my schedule.

Now, on a more somber note, Dr. Payton said that Dr. Van Dyke will be retiring at the end of the next school year. I could dedicated a whole blog to that professor, but I would feel like an apple polisher. Nevertheless, Dr. Van Dyke has become one of my favourite Redeemer personalities and a man I have a deep respect for. Fortunately, he's not gone yet, but Redeemer won't be the same without him.

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