Department of History | History | Arts & Letters | SDSU

Department of History

The whole of the past is ours to explore! SDSU historians carry out research and teach on a wide variety of topics, from Amazon warrior women in Ancient Greece to food and famine in modern China; from witchcraft in ancient Rome to the history of the Vietnam War; and from Aztec medicine to city life in modern Argentina. We have historians of Iran, Italy, Germany, and England. Our professors of the American history examine the family, religion, race, foreign relations, sports, suburbs, festivals and fairs, the environment, and Star Trek. Within all this diversity, the department prides itself on its thematic strengths: The history of gender and sexuality; the history of war and diplomacy; urban history; the history of race and ethnicity; oral history and the digital humanities; and world history, considered on a large scale. Our faculty have written nearly thirty books and have won many prizes for their research and teaching.

If you are curious about the past and you want to learn about the world, history is the major for you. Majoring in history helps prepare you for your future. In the history major you will do a capstone project where you might write the history of a topic you choose; do an internship in a museum or archive; or learn to present history with digital and web-based tools that you can take with you into you career. But the work you will do in all your history classes will prepare you to write and speak in a careful way and make you better informed about the world. And so whatever you may do once you leave SDSU – whether you wind up teaching, arguing cases in court, or making business presentations – you'll find that your history major will help you to use evidence clearly and effectively and to put things in their cultural context. Many students who major in history go on to become high school teachers or college professors; lawyers; government employees (whether civilian or military); business people; or librarians; or work in museums, archives, and cultural organizations.

Statement of Solidarity

The Department of History stands in solidarity with Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. We condemn the escalating violence and attacks on members of the AAPI community, and express our condolences to the families of the most recent victims. We call on our university, community, and political leaders to address this crisis. As a department, we stand against all forms of racism, sexism, white supremacy, and hate.
The Department of History stands in solidarity with the African American community to denounce violence against Black life and to reject and fight against all forms of racism in the United States. As a statement by the American Historical Association has stressed, “[e]verything has a history, including our nation’s deplorable record of violence against African Americans, committed either outside the law or in the name of law enforcement itself.” For decades, the faculty at the Department of History at San Diego State University have actively examined, critiqued, and celebrated the lived experiences of African Americans. As a community of university students, staff, and teachers, we commit to actively support and advocate for solutions to systemic racism and egregious forms of human-rights abuses in the country.

The center brings together scholars, students, and community members to support advanced research, teaching, and public engagement in the larger realm of peace, war, and armed conflict.

The center  serves as a regional hub for promoting public and oral history research and practice, and engages diverse, regional, community audiences with history while also supporting the training of students at all levels in a growing field.   

Learn More About Us

 Joe Olivieri

Meet alumni Joe Olivieri who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Virginia.
Read more about Joe.

Janie Collins

Meet graduate student Janie Collins, first-place winner for the best graduate student paper in the Humanities & Letters category at the CSU systemwide competition.
Read more about Janie.

Kayla Daniels

Meet graduating History major Kayla Daniels, recipient of a 2021-2022 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship! 
Read more about Kayla.

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