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Department of History

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.

About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in our Department

Our department strives toward diversity, equity, and inclusion through education, curricular reform and updates, and through devoting time as well as resources toward creating inclusive and equitable spaces virtually and in physical spaces on campus.

As faculty of history, we are committed to honoring our intersecting socio-historical experiences with respect to diverse embodiments, lived experiences, and structural locations that include race, ethnicity, language, culture, social class, national origin, immigration status, religion, colonial status, age, ability, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, body diversity, as well as non-traditional, underrepresented, first-generation, and veteran status. 

Equity seeks to ensure that members of underrepresented, under-resourced, and otherwise vulnerable populations have similar opportunities and outcomes as other groups. Inclusion efforts challenge racism, sexism, classism, history of settler colonialism, and other forms of inequity, and to create spaces where members of all groups are visible, valued, and can freely contribute to the community. 

We affirm the University Senate resolution concerning anti-Semitism in our campus community.
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.   

Stay Up-to-Date with Us

Learn more about news and events in the Department of History.

Grace Dearborn

History undergraduate student, Grace Dearborn, was featured in SDSU NewsCenter. The article explores Grace's background in comics that lead to the inspiration for her senior thesis, “Shocking Tales of Domesticity in EC Comics: The Impact of a Code.” 
Read the story on SDSU NewsCenter.

Joanne Ferraro

Congratulations to Professor Emerita Joanne Ferraro whose book, "The Renaissance and the Wider World," was recently published.  The book examines how the Renaissance manifested itself through developments in the high culture of art, architecture, philosophy, science, technology, and education, as well as material culture in the form of worldly goods and consumption patterns. 
Watch her interview about the book.

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