What is History?
History is the study of our human the past. From the first murmurings of our primitive human roots, to the most recent complex negotiations in the UN, the object of history encompasses all human events. Central to the understanding of humanity is the study of these events. As Bertrand Russell said, “Of all the studies by which men acquire citizenship of the intellectual commonwealth, no single one is so indispensable as the study of the past. To know how the world developed to the point at which our individual memory begins; how the religions, institutions, the nations among which we live, became what they are; to be acquainted with the great of other times, with customs and beliefs differing widely from our own—these things are indispensable to any consciousness of our position, and to any emancipation from the accidental circumstances of our education” (On History).
Yet the number of events that take place in any location or historical epoch are near infinite. So which are the events that are to studied and presented as the history of that place and time? This is the perennial problem faced by all historians. Clearly, any historical account must be selective and interpretive and attempt to focus on the events which the historian deems to be crucial to an adequate understanding of the particular time and place in question. Since documents from the past—historians' usual source of information—typically emphasize events that are of interest or value to the writer of the document, often to the point of neglecting vital information or even giving false information, a crucial aspect of the historian will be to try to establish the truth of the documents under study. Part of the study of our human past, and thus part of history, therefore, is the search after truth.
History at the University of Guam
The Faculty of the History program seeks to prepare students for citizenship and leadership in the community. The general objectives are to gain an understanding of intellectual traditions in the humanities, to develop objectivity and the comparative point of view, to make inquiry into current problems of society and the individual, and to provide a further inquiry and study in the areas of research, social service, government service, and the professions. This Faculty also seeks to develop its programs to serve community needs in the areas of social and economic development, history, culture, and social problems.
Bachelor of Arts degrees may be obtained with a major or minor in History.
The History program offers courses for either a general knowledge of the history of civilization or for a special knowledge of particular topics and limited time periods. Indispensable to the educated individual, an understanding of history embraces both the development of states and social and cultural institutions. As the story and interpretation of human experience and achievements, the study of history gives perspective to related subjects in the humanities and social sciences.
Students may major in History to gain historical knowledge, to acquire the historical method, to pursue research interests, or to prepare for a career in teaching, the professions or government service.
No additional language requirement exists for students majoring or minoring in history. Majors, however, are encouraged to complete at least two years of a relevant language.
Dr. Anne Perez Hattori
Professor of History and Micronesian Studies
PhD, University of Hawaii
Dr. Donald L. Platt
Professor of History
PhD, University of Toledo
Dr. Michael R. Clement
Assistant Professor of History and Micronesian Studies
PhD, University of Hawaii
Prof. Mark Ombrello
MA Micronesian Studies, University of Guam
MA History, University of Hawaii
For further information on Guam visit
For more information on the History Program contact
Dr. Donald Platt
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
University of Guam
Mangilao, Guam 96923
Telephone: (671) 735-2813
Fax: (671) 734-7930
Or contact the Division of Humanities
Secretary, Jeff Umayam
Telephone: (671) 735-2800