Department of History
Understanding the Past to Shape the Future. Florida State University History Department.
Welcome to the History Department at FSU.
What do we do?
- Through research, we seek an improved and more accurate understanding of the past.
- Through reading, reflection, and debate, we develop new methods for understanding the past.
- Through lectures and seminars, we share our findings with students and colleagues.
- Through our public speaking and publishing, we bring these narratives to wider audiences.
Together, we are shaping the way history is understood today and practiced tomorrow.
What will you gain?
As an undergraduate:
- You will select a broad range of courses covering most areas of the globe, most periods of human history, and most areas of human experience (gender, politics, economics, sexuality, law, war, etc.).
- You will learn to do history: Frame a question. Seek out and evaluate sources. Interpret evidence. Craft a persuasive argument. Convey your findings across multiple media.
- You will acquire the crucial skills that employers seek and graduate schools require, particularly the ability to write clearly and persuasively.
As an FSU History major, you will learn how the world works. There is no understanding the present without understanding its origins in the past.
As a graduate student:
- Through a focused curriculum, you will develop deep subject knowledge.
- Through research-oriented seminars, you will learn the scholarly conventions of the modern historical profession.
- You will participate in formal training courses that will prepare you for future employment as a professional historian.
- Through coursework and extensive in-classroom experience, you will develop the skills to teach history at the college and university level.
Paul M. Renfro studies United States history since 1945, with specific interests in gender/sexuality, the carceral state, and childhood and the family. Before arriving at FSU, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University.