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The most important questions in a history classroom at Seattle University are “how” and “why.”

Equipped with these two questions, our students analyze the past in order to understand the present.

Our courses give students the theoretical, methodological, and research skills necessary to seek answers to the questions that matter today. We help students develop nuanced responses that are attuned to the intersections of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religious affiliation, time period, and geographic location. The department’s emphasis on historiography—studying the existing histories of a subject—is especially unique in undergraduate curricula. We teach students how to analyze a range of primary sources—myths, archeology, architecture, novels, poetry, paintings, photographs, diary entries, census data, treaties, and cartoons—for audience, message, and bias. Studying history prepares students to navigate a complex world.

Award-winning faculty teach courses in medieval and modern European, ancient Mediterranean, and U.S., Asian, Latin American, Caribbean, African, and Middle Eastern history. Women and gender history, global history, and the history of the African diaspora are some of the departmental strengths. Members of the department have been awarded Fulbrights and other prestigious fellowships to support their research, and they bring this research acumen to the research seminars and independent studies they direct.

Our Degrees

Fall 2021 HIST and UCOR Courses Announcements

For more information about the upcoming Spring 2021 History courses please see the 21FQ HIST Course Buletin


Fall 21 HIST Courses and UCOR Courses Taught by HIST Faculty Courses

HIST 3220-01/WGST 3910-02 Gender & Power in Early Modern Europe

Power cannot be measured in terms of horsepower or speed or even potential. It takes a variety of forms—political, economic, sexual, personal, just to name a few of the shapes—and it is most easily seen in external forms that signify its application: rituals (kowtowing, bowing), symbols (swords, crowns, headdresses), textual formulations (sir, madam, your honor), ceremonies (coronations, inaugurations), and possessions (houses, cars, art, clothing, jewelry).

Read More about HIST 3220-01/WGST 3910-02 Gender & Power in Early Modern Europe

HIST 3500-01 History of US Foreign Policy

This course is designed as a survey of how the United States has conducted American diplomacy from colonial times to the present. Equally important, it will also be a history of how other nation states have conducted diplomacy with the United States. The third element of the course will be consideration of how the domestic politics within the United States have influenced the conduct of its foreign policy.

Read More about HIST 3500-01 History of US Foreign Policy

HIST 3770-01 Honors: Directed Reading/HIST 3910-01 Culture & Power in a Global US

This course will approach the history of folk, counter, and pop cultures in the United States as disputed borderlands, political flashpoints where the idea of America has been debated, challenged, and ultimately reinvented. Our topics will range widely from exploring the creation of convict culture in post-Civil War prisons as expressions of inmate resistance to the emergence of the Flapper as a new cultural icon of 1920’s feminism and consumerism, to efforts by activists today to tear down public monuments to Confederate soldiers in an effort to refashion US public culture into a more inclusive space.

Read More about HIST 3770-01 Honors: Directed Reading/HIST 3910-01 Culture & Power in a Global US

UCOR 1400-01 Human Rights in Latin America

This Module I core seminar will focus on one of the major problems afflicting the modern world – the widespread violation of human rights – in the context of Latin America. What are human rights? What are the dimensions of human rights abuses in Latin America? What are the various factors behind the observance and nonobservance of human rights in the region? Who are the different actors involved in denying and defending human rights in Latin America?

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UCOR 1400-02/03/04 Great War as Global Conflict

This course examines the global dimensions and impact of the First World War, from the perspectives of Asians and Africans as well as Europeans, civilians as well as soldiers, women as well as men, and home fronts as well as military fronts. In addition to the well-known stories of military strategy and the technology of warfare, it offers new perspectives on the interaction of diverse peoples and cultures in the early twentieth century.

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UCOR 3400-01 Empire and Afro- Utopia

This course focuses on empire and Afro-utopian narratives of freedom and development in the Black Diaspora. We will study how institutions and legacies of the modern Atlantic slave trade and colonialism have been challenged, over the centuries, by counter-narratives from African indigenous, premodern, and modern perspectives inspiring utopian visions of an alternative and better future.

Read More about UCOR 3400-01 Empire and Afro- Utopia

UCOR 3600-02 Crime and Punishment: Modern Age

This UCOR 3600 examines social science and global challenges through the lens of punishment in modern society. This is the UCOR’s upper-level social science course for majors who are not in the social sciences.

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Clio Speaks: History Today

History is OUR Story Too

Dr. Tom Taylor. As a social historian I believe strongly that history is OUR story; it is not just the story of elites and the powerful but the story of our lives, the lives of our family and friends. It is the story the common, even the mundane because it is often in those experiences of the ordinary that we often find the true insights into the extraordinary events of human history. I had the opportunity to put this to practice this past fall when I wrote an article, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: Jan Kozlowski and the Russian Revolution. It has just come out on World History Connected.
Mar 8, 2021

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Asian History Through Asian Eyes: The Experience of an SU Alumna Teaching Overseas

Dr. Nu-Anh Tran. “Please come and teach us, professor. I love to learn!” As the student said this to me, her eyes beamed from under her headscarf. That was the line that convinced me to uproot my life and move halfway around the world. It was supposed to be my last year of graduate school, and the academic job market had tanked in the wake of the Great Recession. I sent out a slew of applications, including to several schools in Asia. One of the offers I received was from an international women’s university. The school provided an English-language liberal arts education to underprivileged women from across Asia. I admired the mission of the university, which had been founded just a few years earlier. But was I ready to move to a country that I had never visited?
Dec 16, 2020

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Stumbling upon a Revolutionary Monument during a Pandemic

By Dr. Hazel Hahn. During this period of the Coronavirus pandemic, I have been staying with my parents in Old Tappan, New Jersey, working really remotely, 2,900 miles away from Seattle. My parents have been living in this area for the last forty years, whereas after high school I have been mostly away and visiting several times a year.
Apr 29, 2020

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Move Left: Thoughts on Some Progressive Election Victories You May Have Missed

By Dr. Henry Kamerling. As Election Night November 5th came and went, most of the focus was on big Democratic and progressive victories on the east coast. Out here on the west coast, however, there were a few key local races that have gone largely unnoticed and/or undiscussed.
Nov 13, 2019

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What's happening in the History Department?



  • Tom Taylor, PhD


  • Melissa Poquiz

    Administrative Assistant

Phi Alpha Theta

An active group of Seattle U students participate the national history honor society, including a highly popular film series, coffeehouse discussions, a brown-bag lunch seminar, and student- led panel discussions. Recent SU history students have won national awards for research papers and conference presentations, and received Phi Alpha Theta graduate student fellowships. Contact Dr. Tom Taylor by email.

Public History Intern Program

Majors can earn course credits, under professional supervision, at public history agencies in the Seattle area, including museums, historical societies, archives, and more. Interns often find the experience helps them understand history from a perspective different from that gained in the classroom. For some, the internship has led to employment in the field. Contact Dr. Henry Kamerling by email.

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Our video offers more info on the internship program.

Scholarly Excellence

Go behind the scenes with some of Seattle U's most acclaimed faculty members.

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Videos by Eric Becker.

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