The first Degree Course to be taught in the erstwhile princely state of Cochin was the B.A. Course in History Group offered by the St. Thomas’ College, Trichur, with which the College became the earliest First Grade College in the State of Cochin, affiliated to the University of Madras in March 1925. The academic history of the College had already begun six years back in 1919, when with the teaching of History as the main subject ( i.e. Group III History) in the Intermediate Class the St. Thomas’ College was raised to the rank of a Second Grade College in Arts. The College presented the first batch of students for the B.A. Examinations on 27-3- 1927.The Professors who taught History included Chev. Joseph Pettah, the initiator of the Village Economic Survey, and Mr. S.F. Nunez, an expert in Constitutional History (both of them were Members of the Legislative Council of the State of Cochin), Sri. R Narayanaswamy, Chev. C. J. Varkey (who was a member of the Senate of the University of Madras, was instrumental in convincing the University of the necessity of organising a Department of Publications, a University Magazine and courses in Journalism in the University, and who subsequently became Minister for Education in Madras) and A. Sreedhara Menon (the noted historian, who was, afterwards, the Editor of the Kerala State Gazetteers and Registrar of the University of Kerala). Among the alumni of the Department who subsequently made history in Indian politics was Sri. E.M.S. Namboothiripad, the first Chief Minister of Kerala. From 1967 onwards, the Dept. is offering, along with the Deptartment of English, B.A. in History & English Language and Literature of equal status, and students of this course have consecutively won the top three ranks in the University examinations conducted during the last quarter of the century. The Department has been publishing an interdisciplinary journal entitled Advances in Arts and Ideas (ISSN 0973- 2372). The Medlycott Foundation at the Dept., consisting of researchers from different disciplines and academic institutions, has instituted the Medlycott Lecture in honour of Rt. Rev. A.E. Medlycott, the founder-historian of the St. Thomas’ College. The Medlycott Lecture for 2005-06 was delivered by Prof. R. Champakalakshmi, noted historian and former Chairperson of the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; Prof. M. G. S. Narayanan, former Chirman, ICHR, New Delhi; and Dr. Bettina Baumer, Visiting Professor, University of Austria, Vienna.
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY
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St.Thomas' College (Autonomous) Thrissur - 680 001, Kerala, India