The Department of History is one of the oldest Departments of the University founded in 1961 with an emphasis on teaching and research activities in Medieval and Modern Indian History. The Department has had an illustrious faculty and many areas of Indian History/Regional History have been defined by the researches done by them. Those who rendered invaluable services in the Department include Prof. V.N. Datta, Prof. Buddh Parkash, Prof. Romila Thapar, Prof. H.A. Phadke, Prof. Deepak Kumar, Prof. R.C. Jauhri, Prof. S.B.P. Nigam, Prof. K.C. Yadav and Prof. S.C. Mittal, Prof. G. Khurana, Prof. K.L. Tuteja, Prof. Sunita Pathania, Prof. Raghuvindra Tanwar and Prof. Chattar Singh. We may boast of the fact that Prof. V.N. Datta and Prof. Romila Thapar were among the founding faculty members of our Department. Our faculty has been committed to the highest standards of historical research and they have published some of the best historical researches in their field with some of the top publishers and institutions. The Department has maintained a long tradition of research excellence in History.
Our research-active faculty teach students about the latest discoveries and theoretical approaches in a wide range of historical subjects, including medieval societies, Islamic world, colonialism through modern world history with relation to medieval, early modern, and modern Indian history. Our faculty` also teach a range of thematic fields including gender and sexuality, science and medicine, race, caste and ethnicity, global history, popular history, big history, environmental history, history of ideas, history of cinema and history of architecture etc. Our curriculum encourages broad interdisciplinary engagement with allied disciplines. Methodologically, we are broad and inclusive and encourage students and scholars to conduct historical studies and research of interdisciplinary nature. The Department also fosters close interaction between students and teachers. Our class room teaching provides students with a level of individual attention that is basically in accordance with Indian pedagogical traditions.
The Department has been offering highly specialized courses, namely M.A. (History), M. Phil (History) and Ph.D. So far above 125 Ph.D. and nearly 1000 M.Phil. Degrees have been awarded to the scholars of the Department. At the moment, 26 scholars are pursuing their research for Ph.D. degree. A sustainable numbers of students of the Department have qualified NET and SLET tests and have also awarded the prestigious JRF of the Indian Council of Historical Research and University Grants Commission. The Department has executed about a dozen important projects on regional and national history in the past. Some of the publications produced by the members of the teaching faculty have won national as well as international appreciation. Besides, the Department has organized a number of international and national seminars on important themes particularly related to Indian national and social movements and regional history. Visiting faculties are invited from time to time from different Universities and special and guest lectures are also conducted regularly. For the last two and half decades the Department has been successfully conducting the refresher courses for the college and university teachers.
Notably, some of the faculty members have earned prestigious Research Awards/ Fellowships and other Awards/Positions/Recognition for their research contribution by different Institutes, Agencies and Government etc. For instance, Prof. Raghuvindra Tanwar and Prof. S. K. Chahal (present Chairman) have got the prestigious U.G.C. Research Award during their academic careers. Prof. K.L. Tuteja and Prof. S. K. Chahal have been awarded the prestigious Fellowship of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Recently, Prof. Raghuvindra Tanwar, who is still a Professor Emeritus in the Department, has been conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award by the Government of India. Prior to it, he was appointed Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), New Delhi on 5 January 2022. He has also taken additional charge of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR), New Delhi w.e.f. March 2022.
The Department of History aims to educate students in the complexities of historical inquiry, to develop their critical thinking skills, and to improve their understanding of the world around them through teaching, research and extension activities with special emphasis on Medieval and Modern Indian History in the context of Global History.
The Department seeks to translate its vision into action in four simple steps:
History is a wonderful and exciting discipline, one that covers not only the whole chronology of humankind but also the full diversity of human experience. As you will see, our courses deal not only with elites, empires, politics, wars and revolutions but also with peoples, popular cultures, gender and environment. In History classes, you will meet a stunning range of historical themes like medieval societies, modern west, colonial India, south & east Asia, popular history, peasants, Dalits, women and many more. (Visit KUK Website to browse our post graduate courses).
History is also a practical discipline. It is believed that the study of the past is essential to understanding the present and planning for the future. Historians focus on three crucial skills: explaining the complexities of past, ; understanding the minds and hearts of the people different from ourselves; and studying the nature of historical change and its implications to past and present societies. To build these skills, historians acquire three important, transferable skills: how to conduct sophisticated research; how to organize that research into well-supported arguments; and how to present those arguments in writing. The skills of history are the crucial skills that drive all kinds of careers.
As historians, we love narrating the stories, processes and developments of human societies during past. As educators, we love to work with students who are likewise drawn to drama of the human narrative. Focusing on the broadest range of historical subjects, we emphasize as well our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our Departmental community. Just as faculty and students are free and encouraged to pursue their interests, so we seek diverse faculty and students. Our goal as a history faculty is to train our students with the skills of historical enquiry. Grappling with multiple sources and practicing using written and oral evidences enable our students to understand better the workings of human societies and to apply that understanding to their lives in today’s world.
Across our page on KUK Website, you’ll also discover my colleagues. They’ll also be happy to hear from you and to have you in class. I invite you to become a part of our community of the practitioners of history. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Department and the study of history; I would be very happy to help in any way I can.