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Maxwell / Department of History
  • Department of History

    Understanding history — the record of what people have thought, said, and done — is essential in understanding the world of today. Undergraduate and graduate students explore not only events of the past, but their meaning and implications for our own lives.

    For undergraduates, the department focuses on the broad relevance of history to a variety of careers — given the discipline’s emphasis on research, writing, and critical thinking. All students complete an original research project, either through the required senior research seminar or the BA with Distinction. Our active chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, plans field trips and hosts graduate school and career workshops. Undergraduate majors have gone on to careers in law, politics, education, journalism, business, and medicine.

    Our graduate program is characterized by close intellectual and working relationships between students and faculty. Recent graduates have received appointments on college and university faculties, in libraries and archives, and in federal and state government agencies.

    The department includes 25 current and 11 emeritus faculty members, and many have received national and international recognition for their work. The faculty includes historians of the United States, Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and the Ancient World.  In addition to geographic and chronological focuses, our colleagues teach in fields such as political, social, military, and cultural history, with particular interest in political violence, empire, religion, law, women, gender and sexuality, labor, race and ethnicity, and intellectual history.

    The History Department is one of the oldest departments in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, having granted its first Ph.D. in 1883. 

  • History News

    McCormick quoted in Al Jazeera article on release of Gen. Cienfuegos

    "At the end of the day, arresting Cienfuegos jeopardized future collaboration between the two militaries because it meant that no one on the Mexican side was safe from possible prosecution, even after helping the Americans," Gladys McCormick, Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-U.S. Relations, tells Al Jazeera. "All in all, freeing Cienfuegos without any charges or penalties showcases that his arrest was a complete debacle for both the DEA and DOJ [Department of Justice]," she says. Read more in "Mexico denies deal to nab cartel leader in return for Cienfuegos."

     

    McCormick speaks to AP, Reuters about US case against Gen. Cienfuegos

    The United States dropped a high-profile drug trafficking and money laundering case against a former Mexican defense secretary, retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, an extraordinary reversal that followed an intense pressure campaign from Mexico. Gladys McCormick tells the Associated Press that prosecuting Cienfuegos would have been enormously fraught for the United States. "Following through on prosecuting Cienfuegos would have compromised intelligence gathering and joint military operations for years to come, which is part of the reason why the original arrest was so scandalous," she says. McCormick was also quoted in the Reuters article, "Mexico's president: we didn't threaten to expel U.S. drug agents over General Cienfuegos arrest."

     

    LA Review of Books reviews Lasch-Quinn's new book Ars Vitae

    Professor Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn's book, "Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living," was recently reviewed in the Los Angeles Review of Books. "Lasch-Quinn has set out in 'Ars Vitae' to embody the best of what true philosophical writing has to offer. She writes in a way that makes her readers better thinkers, more reflective and self-aware, and she does so by showing the development of her own thinking — who her influences are, the sources from which she draws her wisdom, and how philosophy informs her understanding of herself, the culture, and the world in which she lives," says Matthew Clemente.

     
  • Fall 2020 Office Staffing

    The History department office is closed to visitors. 

    For questions regarding the Undergraduate History Program please contact: 

    Director of Undergraduate Studies:

    Professor Albrecht Diem

    Office Coordinator: 
    Christina Cleason 
    315-443-2210

    All Undergraduate Forms should be submitted electronically for review to Christina Cleason.  All office hours and meeting with students will be conducted remotely.