A lot of colleges and universities with breadth requirements for undergraduates have "Science for non-scientists" courses.

This morning I found myself wondering why there are no "History for non-historians" courses.
This is somewhat facetious: *most* history courses are taken, most of the time, by students who have no plans to become historians.

But I think the question flags some points worth thinking about -- especially now that "erasing history" is again fodder for public debate.
For one thing, the framing is significant. Science for non-scientists implies that an expert discipline is being simplified for non-initiates. On one hand this may seem patronizing; on the other it demarcates an area of specialist expertise.
History, being just "history", meanwhile, is implicitly for everyone. Its presentation is more democratic, in this sense; it is public property and should be accessible.

On the other hand, "just history" appears less a matter of expert knowledge, and more a matter of opinion.
This democratic and public construction of history as part of the general curriculum (and as a component of citizenship or identity) colours what history is perceived to consist of, to be.

Rather than a set of disciplinary practices or methods, it is seen as a shared narrative.
This is not necessarily wrong; but it is partial.

As others have noted, the term "history" links and often conflates several different things: the ways we come to know about the past, the stories we tell about the past (based in various ways of knowing it), and the past itself.
Elevating one meaning of "history" -- most often a narrative of the nation or "civilization" -- at the expense of others (historical thinking, methods of source criticism and interpretation) in curricular framing has consequences for how educated publics think about history.
Specifically, it makes changes to the narrative seem like threats to "history" itself -- even when these changes are, as they usually are, the results of historical research into historical sources.

Hence the spectacle of academic historians being charged with "erasing" history.
Whereas anyone who does historical research knows that any narrative, any story about the past, is the outcome of a complex series of choices -- selections, and by the same token omissions -- decisions about which questions, sources, events and figures matter and why they matter.
So while I do think history is and must be public property, I am not sure that identifying it chiefly with a narrative of the nation is useful. Certainly it is not "true" in any complete sense. To the contrary, it often makes new research harder rather than easier to disseminate.
Consider the situation in science.

Yes, new scientific research can be forcefully resisted, but this is often down as much if not more to coordinated corporate, media and political campaigns against it in given areas (tobacco, climate change) as to what people learn in college.
People associate science with discovery, with pictures becoming more refined but also with knowledge sometimes being revolutionized.

And many if not most are quite comfortable in practice with this being a matter of professional expertise, the details of which elude them.
Of course this too has costs as well as benefits; consider the enthusiastic uptake of harmful tech. I'm not lauding public ignorance of science here, but pointing up its differences with public ignorance of history. Because their bases and implications are not, I think, the same.
But consider how this is debated.

People critiquing the racist roots of some science or effects of some tech are painted as luddites: opponents of progress, even of civilization. Those opposing new historical research paint themselves, effectively, as civilization's defenders.
Teaching "History for non-historians" won't solve the problem of lack of curiosity or fear of discovery in history, any more than beefing up science education will result in greater critical engagement with the claims of tech bros.

But reading over that I wonder... might it not?
I mean, I'd like to think that emphasizing history as a set of complex methods and ways of thinking rather than just a collection of stories -- something good historians already do, *and have long done*, but which largely fails to register in public discussions -- might help.
But at the very least, as I suggested, thinking about a "History for non-historians" course -- both as an analogue to "Science for non-scientists" and as something we mostly don't *explicitly* do -- is a way of teasing out and thinking about some aspects of current debates.
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