History is not just a subject for classroom study at William Jewell. The entire college is steeped  in rich tradition from the foundations of Jewell Hall to the Civil War graves on campus. Here history majors and minors are challenged to consider past events as they relate to the present. They are encouraged to explore ethical and religious concerns as well as social issues. Through their investigation of topics in American history and world history, including the continuing Middle East crisis, students gain insight into a variety of disciplines, cultures, and current trends.

Degree program offered
Bachelor of Arts

The history faculty members at Jewell do more than prepare majors and minors for a single career; they give them a solid foundation in research, critical thinking, and analytical learning that students can use in a variety of jobs or in graduate study. Class sizes are kept small to encourage individual attention and the free exchange of ideas. At Jewell many other outstanding opportunities are open to those who enter the field of history:

  • Internships that provide practical job experiences at any one of several venues including local museums, genealogical libraries and law offices
  • 66 international study programs
  • A chapter of the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta that has been in existence at William Jewell for over 60 years
  • Colloquium, seminar and readings courses that allow students to explore topics of personal interest not specifically listed in the catalog
  • A capstone course in which majors conduct in-depth research on a project of their choosing
  • Ability to present student research papers to the college and community through participation in the annual David Nelson Duke Undergraduate Colloquium
  • A curriculum that incorporates the study of historiography
  • Meaningful assignments that involve not only research and book reviews but also counterfactual history (proposing what might have been)
  • Opportunities to visit places of historical interest such as local museums like the National World War I Museum and the Truman Library
  • Varied methods of teaching including multimedia presentations that allow students to view pictures of important sites and historical figures, maps, works of art and relevant movie clips as specific topics are discussed in class
  • Movie nights each semester featuring films of historical interest
  • Occasional on-campus addresses by noted historians like Niall Ferguson and Garry Wills
  • Outstanding area libraries including the regional branch of the National Archives in Kansas City and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
Are you ready to make some Jewell history? Drop us an e-mail, schedule a visit, visit the course catalog or call us toll free (1-888-2-JEWELL).

History Faculty

Thomas Howell, Ph.D
Professor of History
Dr. Howell, a former Fulbright lecturer at the University of Iceland, received his M.A. and Ph.D degrees from Louisiana State University with additional study at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, the Free University of Berlin, the University of Texas, and Rice University. His special interests include World War II, the Middle East, Religion in America, and modern America. His current areas of research involve propaganda efforts in the United States both before American entry into World War II and during the war. A particular focus is the Writers’ War Board, a group heavily involved in the use of propaganda.
Professor of History
Dr. Reynolds is a recognized expert in the field of British policing in the 18th and 19th centuries. She received an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in her native state of New York, and she was a Visiting Fellow at Harris-Manchester College, Oxford. Dr. Reynolds teaches a variety of courses in European history. In addition, she regularly offers a class on capital punishment as part of the General Education curriculum. The author of Before the Bobbies: The Night Watch and Police Reform in Metropolitan London,1720-1830, she is currently researching her second book, which concerns the Piccadilly police.
Assistant Professor of History and Department Chair

Dr. Wilkins earned his Ph.D. in 2012 and M.A. in 2006 from Stanford University. His fields of expertise are the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, nineteenth century U.S. history in a global context, and the history of U.S. foreign relations, with an emphasis on human rights, humanitarian interventions, and international law in U.S. foreign policy from the nineteenth century to the present. His current research and writing examine the influence of the Civil War and Reconstruction on the United States’ rise to global power at the end of the nineteenth century. He is also at work on a book project that examines the impact of anti-slavery concerns on U.S. foreign policy from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, ranging from the prosecution of trans-Atlantic slave trading during the Civil War to early twenty-first century campaigns to combat slavery and human trafficking. His broader scholarly interests include nationalism, digital and public history, and the connections between democracy, race, and post-war reconstructions.

Jane F. Woodruff, Ph.D.
Professor of Greek, Latin, and History
Dr. Woodruff received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln after an M.A. at the University of South Dakota-Vermillion, with additional study at the American Academy in Rome, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. She teaches ancient, medieval, and world history as well as all levels of Latin and classical Greek languages, and coordinates the interdisciplinary Classical Humanities minor. Special subjects of interest for Dr. Woodruff include Roman comic drama, the history and literature of the last century of the Roman Republic, and the survival of classical forms, characters, and themes in later literatures and histories.