Department of History

The Department of History offers undergraduate and postgraduate coursework and research study in a variety of fields, primarily the history of Europe (from the Middle Ages to contemporary Europe and especially the history of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), Australia, the United States and the Atlantic world, and China. Particularly strong in the department’s research and teaching are the history of imperialism, colonialism and globalisation; international, trans-national and diplomatic history; urban history (Sydney, New York, London and Paris); social and cultural history; the history of gender and sexuality; the history of medicine and health; the history of war (the American Revolution, the US Civil War, the Spanish Civil War, colonial wars, the world wars); the history of genocide; and study of the ‘history wars’ and history and memory. Members of the department also work on such topics as the history of African-Americans, the history of South Africa and the South Pacific, China’s economy and politics, maritime history, the history of travel and tourism, Celtic history, the history of monasticism, biography and historiography. The department prides itself on its research-led and student-centred teaching, and on its outstanding record of international scholarly publication. Collaborative interests link the department to the disciplines of Classics and Ancient History, Gender Studies and Cultural Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, American Studies, European Studies, Jewish Studies, Arabic Studies and Asian Studies.

Founded in 1891, the Department of History at the University of Sydney is the oldest in Australia, and with almost forty members of the academic staff, it is also the largest. Each semester the department has over two thousand enrolments in History undergraduate units of study, and each year between fifty and sixty students complete honours degrees. At present, around eighty students are enrolled for postgraduate MA, MPhil or PhD degree.

Latest News

  • Supporting Our Future Historians

    The Department of History's Schools Outreach and Social Inclusion Program has held its History Presentation Day in the Oriental Room in the Quadrangle.

  • New Faculty Honours Research Fellowships for 2015

    The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the introduction of nine Honours Research Fellowships to be awarded to outstanding undergraduates intending to undertake an Honours year in 2015.

    The successful applicants will be offered supervision towards an Honours degree in the appropriate discipline. They will each receive a bursary of $3000 towards research costs, and the opportunity to take up a research internship with the supervising program.

  • International Research Award in Global History 2015

    The Universities of Heidelberg, Basel and Sydney are proud to announce the International Research Award in Global History, to be awarded for the first time in 2015. The successful applicant will receive up to €10,000 towards the organization of an international symposium on a topic of his/her choice at one of the participating institutions. 

    The International Research Award in Global History is jointly advertised by the Department of History and the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context' at Heidelberg University (Roland Wenzlhuemer), the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel (Madeleine Herren‐Oesch) and the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney (Glenda Sluga).

  • 2015 Departmental guides now available!

    Pick up the new 2015 Departmental guides for undergraduate students!

  • Professor James Der Derian discusses historian Barbara Tuchman's book on the WWI "The Guns of August" on ABC Radio

    Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August was a suprisingly popular book that won the Pulitzer prize after its publication in 1962. in it, Tuchman describes in great detail the opening events of the WWI conflict. So, what were the effects and lessons learned from this major world event? CISS Director, Professor James Der Derian, was interviewed about the significance of The Guns of August for contemporary global politics. Margaret MacMillan, Professor of History at St. Anthony's College in Oxford, and Anthony D'Agostino, Professor of History at San Francisco State University, were also among those interviewed.

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