About the Department

The Department of History offers exciting academic opportunities for its majors and minors. The history program seeks to develop a student broadly educated in the liberal arts who appreciates his or her own national heritage and understands the development and problems of other cultures as well. The person who is familiar with the roots of the past and the problems of the present is sensitive to the possibilities of the future. In its most comprehensive sense, history encompasses every aspect of human development since the beginning of written records. Thus, history is an excellent major to achieve a wide-ranging, general education. The 17 full-time members of the SFA history faculty hold advanced degrees from some of the nation's leading universities. The faculty consists of scholars in such varied fields as United States , Medieval and Ancient, Modern European, Latin American and Asian history with specialists in cultural, intellectual, social, diplomatic, military, scientific and gender areas. History courses emphasize both reading and independent research. The department is an institutional member of the American Historical Association.

Mission

The History Department, a community of scholars and teachers, serves a diverse undergraduate and graduate student body by offering a wide variety of courses, seminars, and independent studies and by pursuing and publishing historical research. In its teaching, the History Department seeks to help students achieve the following objectives:

  • Acquire the knowledge of history, the skill at historical analysis, and the sensitivity to historical and social forces needed for life-long intellectual and aesthetic enrichment;
  • Gain through the study of history an understanding of the human condition and an appreciation for all its diversity in order to become responsible citizens in a representative democracy;
  • Acquire through the study of history the skill, knowledge, and capacity for continuous learning in a constantly changing national and global environment. In its scholarly activities, the History Department seeks to foster research and creative projects.

In its outreach activities, the History Department seeks to expand its regional role by participating in historical associations, preservation activities, public speaking, research, and writing. Departmental members are available to the general public-especially to the public of the East Texas region-as a strong resource for historical matters.

Additional Information

  • The department sponsors the East Texas Historical Association and its publication, The East Texas Historical Journal. A member of the department serves as executive director and editor for the association.

  • The department is closely linked to the University's Center for East Texas Studies (CETS). A member of the department serves as director of the center. CETS promotes the study of all aspects of the East Texas Heritage. CETS is closely associated with the History Department and provides services, programs and resources to scholars, public schools, organizations, businesses, government entities and others interested in the East Texas region. CETS sponsors region-specific grants and contracts which propose to research, edit, collect, exhibit and distribute historical and cultural information on East Texas. For history students, CETS offers opportunities to research local and regional topics in a variety of history courses.

  • The department provides opportunities for honors work. A member of the department serves as director of the School of Honors and associate dean of Liberal Arts.

  • The department regularly brings renowned lecturers to campus through special programs, symposiums, and its Robert S. Maxwell Lecture Series. Visiting speakers have included Jimmy Carter (former U.S. President), Forrest McDonald (University of Alabama), Robin Winks (Yale University), Walker Lord (author and lecturer), Bill Mauldin (cartoonist), Peter Daniels (Smithsonian Institution) and John Costello (author and documentary director for BBC).

  • Several scholarships are available to undergraduate history students. For information about scholarships, please visit www.sfasu.edu/admissions/scholarships.

  • The department sponsors an active Phi Alpha Theta chapter as well as the Clio's Eye, an online historic film and book review.

Objectives

The History Department, a community of scholars and teachers, serves a diverse undergraduate and graduate student body by offering a wide variety of courses, seminars and independent studies and by pursuing and publishing historical research. The department plays an active role in historical associations, reservation, public speaking, research, writing and by being available to the general public as a resource in historical matters, particularly those relating to the East Texas region. The master's program continues and intensifies the study of history through seminars, readings, research, writing and close contact with the faculty.

The department is committed to providing students not only knowledge about past societies, but also an awareness of history's role in yielding insights into modern day life. The study of history teaches the value of critical thinking and the reflective mind and can be the framework for analysis and understanding of current affairs. Historical knowledge is a mark of the mature adult. "Not to know what happened before one was born," wrote Cicero , "is to always be a child."

The program for history majors is designed to enable graduates to enter a variety of careers. The discipline is closely tied to career opportunities in business, law, government service, library administration, public history (archival and museum work, historic preservation, etc.) politics, publishing and teaching.

For history minors, the program offers students an opportunity to broaden social and political perspectives in an ever more volatile domestic and international context.

Top of page

Become a Student Academics & Research Students Alumni & Friends Faculty & Staff Arts & Athletics A-Z List