Department of History
Understanding the Past to Shape the Future.
Welcome to the History Department at FSU.
As an FSU History student, you will learn how the world works. There is no understanding the present without understanding its origins in the past.
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.
As an undergraduate you will
- Select a broad range of courses covering most of the globe, most periods of human history, and most areas of human experience (gender, politics, economics, sexuality, law, war, etc.);
- Learn to do history: Frame a question. Seek out and evaluate sources. Interpret evidence. Craft a persuasive argument. Convey your findings across multiple media; and
- Acquire crucial skills employers seek and graduate schools require, particularly the ability to write clearly and persuasively.
As a graduate student you will
- Develop deep subject knowledge - through a focused curriculum;
- Learn the scholarly conventions of the modern historical profession - through research-oriented seminars;
- Participate in formal training courses preparing you for future employment as a professional historian; and
- Develop the skills to teach history at the college and university level - through coursework and extensive in-class experience.
We mourn the passing and celebrate the life of our dear mentor, former colleague, and friend Jean Gould Bryant. Jean joined the FSU History Department in 1972. A leader and trailblazer, she became an inspiration to aspiring young women who dreamed of a career in academia. Jean introduced the first Women’s History courses at FSU, and was instrumental in the creation and development of what is now the University’s interdisciplinary Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.
In the 1960s, Black students began enrolling at Florida State University. Their presence challenged the prevailing racism in the student body and administration and began a permanent change in university life. After Southern states ignored or worked around Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce desegregation.
The desegregation of schools, public transport, and public areas in America began in the 1950s. Integration faced significant pushback. College students across America participated in various forms of protest. In Tallahassee sit-ins became an important way to protest.