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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

    Thompson quoted in Times Union article on religious vaccine exemptions

    Debate over religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine is complicated, with employers having to determine if the objections are legitimate religious beliefs. Whether the religious belief is "sincerely held" is a primary metric used by employers when determining whether to grant the requests, says Margaret Susan Thompson, associate professor of history and political science. "The question is whether people are consistent," Thompson says. Read more in the Albany Times Union article, "How does religious exemption to vaccine work?"

     

    Art of Living, Virtual Memories Show podcasts feature Lasch-Quinn

    Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, professor of history, discussed her book, "Ars Vitae: The Fate of Inwardness and the Return of the Ancient Arts of Living" (Notre Dame Press, 2020), on the Art of Living podcast and the Virtual Memories Show podcast. In the book, Lasch-Quinn explores how different philosophies of the ancient Greeks and Romans continue to play out in our modern era.

     

    In Memoriam: Joseph Strasser, ‘forever an important figure in our history’

    Joseph Strasser ’53 B.A. (Hist)/’58 M.P.A./’20 Hon. was among the Maxwell School’s most generous supporters, having donated more than $7 million to benefit its students, faculty and Schoolwide priorities. He died at age 89 on Sept. 12 following a lengthy illness.

     
  •  Submitting Undergraduate Forms 

    All Undergraduate Forms should be submitted to Christina Cleason for review. 

    • Undergraduate Student Forms include: major/minor declarations, transfer credit petitions, petitions to faculty, independent study forms, etc.

    Director of Undergraduate Studies:

    Professor Mark Schmeller 

    Office Coordinator: 
    Christina Cleason

    315-443-2210