LUMS offers a Major in History leading to a BA (Honours) in History. Students majoring in other subjects can also choose to complete a Minor in History. The HSS department offers a wide range of courses across a range of historical time periods, geographical regions, and approaches. The specialised faculty, all of whom have PhDs from leading universities in the world, have extensive research interests and teaching experience directly related to the undergraduate courses on offer.
The History courses at LUMS focus on offering a multifaceted approach to the past through primary and the latest secondary sources. Students encounter and engage with multiples discourses and multiple ways of looking at the past through a close study of these sources. Instructors use the latest and most appropriate pedagogical techniques. There is a focus on reading, analysis, and debate and discussion. Students learn to read historical documents and become attuned to the process of narrative construction. Currently LUMS offers courses which fall into the following areas: Asian History, European History, Global History, History of Art, Muslim History, and South Asia.
History is a core component of foundational training for all students in Humanities and Social Sciences. By studying History, students learn to understand competing narratives. It helps them appreciate how narratives are created by probing issues such as: What are the extant sources on which we base a claim to knowledge? Where is this information archived? Is there more than one way of reading a historical document? Do different readings contribute to multiple discourses? Are these discourses complementary or irreconcilable? These are thorny debates that explicitly or otherwise influence most disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences. History—with its emphasis on physical and documentary evidence, and its insistence on a careful reconstruction of chronology—offers a way to unravel these debates.
A BA in History equips a student with analytical tools. Besides a broad-based knowledge of the past, a student of History shall have read seminal historical texts, be knowledgeable about important scholarly contributions in her/his area of specialisation, have developed the skill to read carefully, and be able to argue—both orally and in writing—with power and conviction. A student of History would also be cognizant that the discipline requires patience, rigour, and great attention to detail before any substantive claim to knowledge can be made. Finally, appreciation of History inculcates a life-long love for learning that contributes to our individual and collective selves in ways that are impossible to quantify.