History | Capital University, Columbus Ohio



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    • The ability to interpret history allows us to acquire insights into patterns and trends so that the past can be made relevant to the present.

      History is the study of the record of the human past. At Capital, students acquire knowledge of a wide range of historical eras and then develop the analytical ability to assess and synthesize historical data and historical interpretations.

      What You'll Learn

      Course Offerings and Faculty Expertise

      The history faculty is dedicated, caring and committed to excellence in teaching and academic advising. The department offers a wide range of history courses and specialists to teach them. Explore our program and course listings in our online course bulletin.

      Capital offers a variety of programs for students who wish to pursue the field of history, including the standard history major and the history major and education through the social studies licensure program. By completing the history major, taking additional social studies courses and fulfilling education requirements, you could become licensed by the state of Ohio to teach in grades 7-12. 

      Our courses and faculty expertise include American history, Civil War, Constitutional history, 1960s and Vietnam history, African-American, Native American and women’s history, European history, ancient and medieval history, Renaissance and Reformation, English history, Russian history, and international course offerings of the histories of Africa, Middle East, Latin America, China and Japan.

      We also offer minors in art history and historic preservation. These include an internship with a historical society, art gallery, museum or archive, many of which are located in Downtown Columbus, just a few miles from Capital's campus. All history majors are encouraged to take advantage of the excellent internship opportunities in Columbus or through The Washington Center in the nation’s capital. A semester overseas also is available through the International Education Office.

      Where You'll Go: Careers and Placement

      Employers value history majors because they are capable of organizing and analyzing information. With a degree in history from Capital, our graduates are prepared to enter many fields, including business, education, museums, archives, historical society work, politics, journalism and foreign service. They're also well-prepared to pursue advanced degrees in professions such as law (Did we mention we have a Law School?), or to go into government work.

      Here's what some of our graduates are doing now:

      • Teacher
      • Librarian
      • Editorial Assistant
      • Senior Trust Officer
      • Lawyer
      • Professor
      • Pastor
      • Archivist
      • Administration: State Government


    • Andrew J. Carlson, Ph.D.

      Professor and Chair


      Renner Hall


      • Biography

        Andy Carlson has been at Capital University since 1995, teaching surveys and special topics courses in U.S. and African history as well as interdisciplinary seminars focused on race, ethnic, and gender relations, development, and food security. Carlson is author of three books; a dozen articles and reviews; 15 successful grant proposals; and more than 40 conference papers. He has also held administrative posts as department chair, assistant dean, associate dean, program director, and board member. Often accompanied by students, Carlson spends several weeks every year at the University of Gondar in northern Ethiopia where he serves as director of the Kossoye Development Program.

      • Teaches

        U.S. History Survey
        Civil War and Reconstruction
        The Vietnam War and the 1960s
        Ohio History
        African History
        Cultural Pluralism (General Education)
        Global Awareness (General Education)
        Research Seminars

      • Degrees

        Doctor of Philosophy, Brown University
        Master of Arts, Brown University
        Bachelor of Arts, Johns Hopkins University

      • Recent Publications

        Who Owns the Nile? Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia’s History-Changing Dam, published in Origins Current Events in Historical Perspective, Vol. 6., Issue 6 (March 2013).

        Scaling Up: Extension strategies for household vegetable production for improved nutrition and food security in the Amhara Regional National State of Ethiopia, an invited plenary speech at the University of Gondar's 23rd Annual Research Conference, June 21, 2013.

        Kossoye: A Village Life in Ethiopia, published in 2010 by the Red Sea Press, of Trenton, N.J., and co-authored by DG Carlson.


    • Jonathan Loopstra, Ph.D.

      Assistant Professor of History


      Renner Hall


      • Biography

        Dr. Jonathan Loopstra teaches courses in the history of the Mediterranean and Middle East from antiquity through the middle ages. As a specialist in the history of Christianity in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, Dr. Loopstra is able to help students better understand the complex history of these regions.

        His research interests include work with ancient manuscripts in many Middle Eastern languages. In particular, he works frequently with texts in the Syriac language, a dialect of Aramaic used by Christians in the Middle East for well over a millennium. These texts are a largely untapped resource for our knowledge of the history of this part of the world.

        Much of Dr. Loopstra’s current work is focused on preserving the heritage of Middle-Eastern Christianity in the face of the present violence in the region. His most recent book is An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac ‘Masora’ Dated to 899 CE (Georgias Press, 2014, 2015), a two-volume reproduction and study of a ninth-century manuscript kept in the British Library. This is the only surviving copy of a textbook used to teach students how to recite and interpret the Bible in Syriac. He also has a forthcoming translation of the Syriac version of the biblical book of Job, a version that is quite different from either the Hebrew or Greek.

        Prior to coming to Capital, Dr. Loopstra taught at Reformed Theological Seminary as well as overseas in Granada, Spain and in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. He has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and is regularly invited to speak at continuing education events and in churches. In his classes at Capital, Dr. Loopstra seeks to challenge his students to develop and improve their understanding of history and the contemporary world around them.

      • Teaches

        Global Awareness (General Education class)
        Religious Foundations and the Bible (General Education class)
        World Civilization I: Antiquity to the Renaissance
        Age of the Renaissance
        Ancient World
        Medieval Mediterranean
        Middle Eastern History
        History of Islam

      • Degrees

        Ph.D., The Catholic University of America, Washington DC
        Master of Studies in Syriac, Oxford University
        Master of Arts, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
        Bachelor of Science in History, Northwestern College

    • Alexander “Sasha” Pantsov, Ph.D. 

      Professor of History

      Sasha Pantsov

      1 College and Main
      Capital University Main Campus

      (614) 236-6288

      • Biography

        Winner of Capital's Praestantia Award for Excellence in Teaching, and among the most widely published scholar at Capital University, Dr. Alexander "Sasha" Pantsov is a professor of history and holder of the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities.

        Born in Moscow, Pantsov graduated from the Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Studies. He has published more than 10 books, including The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution, 1919-1927. His biography of Mao Zedong is the current standard.

        MAO: The Real Story, published in 2012 by Simon & Schuster, by Pantsov and historian Steven Levine, received critical acclaim for its detailed examination of Mao Zedong’s political and personal life. 

        Chronicling Mao’s peasant background, Pantsov and Levine recount the leader’s determination to succeed, his role in the upcoming Communist Party of China, and his architecture of the People’s Republic of China. The book explores Mao’s personal life, and with Pantsov’s exclusive access to the closely held archives of the Chinese Communist Party, undertakes a thorough reinterpretation of the legendary politician, who “lived and behaved” as China’s last emperor.

        Kirkus Reviews says of the book, “comprehensive, authoritative new study that challenges the received wisdom regarding Mao’s relationship with Stalin and the Soviet Union … The Great Helmsman fully fleshed, still complicated and ever provocative.”