The Department of History faculty is doing compelling, innovative work. Their instruction, mentorship, and successes are integral to turning students’ curiosity into fruitful results.
History faculty work closely with other campus departments and interdisciplinary programs, including English, Anthropology, Political Science, Modern Languages, African and African American Studies, Latina/o and Latin American Studies, Native American Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Judaic Studies, 19th Century Studies, the Center for Great Plains Studies, the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, and the program in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs.
The department sponsors or co-sponsors many visiting speakers, and every two years hosts the Carroll R. Pauley Symposium, a major event at which several significant scholars from around the country present their work on a common theme.
"The life of a professional historian is a great life. We spend our days with queens, kings, presidents, revolutionaries, writers, painters, artists, sports icons, activists, assassins, heroes, victims, villains, and the oppressed and their tyrants from whatever historical time and place we choose. We have been trained to use our dialogical imaginations to converse with history’s great women and men, with known and marginalized leaders. We travel to archives, visit historic sites, collect material; we interview the famous and the forgotten and the unstudied out of a belief that our labors matter. We love what we do and we do what we love because we were once inspired by great teachers. This is our universal truth. Ours is a profession – a vocation – that underscores how teaching is about handing an intellectual torch to a new generation in search of its own future and understanding of the past. In this sense, our great undergraduate teachers and mentors travel on our shoulders with us each time we step into a classroom. We try to inspire through teaching because we remember the thrill of classroom inspiration."
Dr. James Le Sueur, Chair, from his University-wide Departmental Teaching Award speech, March 6, 2017.