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

Spring 2021 History Courses-Selections

HIST 3060-WGST 4800

HIST 3060-WGST 4800

The medieval western European Christian past is being used as a weapon by extremist violent supremacist groups such as white nationalists, the KKK, and Nazi extremist groups to promote a false picture of medieval Europe as free of prejudice.

Read More about HIST 3060-WGST 4800

HIST 4910-01 Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Modern World- Research Seminar

HIST 4910-01

After a period of collective reading and discussion each student will work on an individual research project and write a paper. We’re using “culture” here broadly in the sense of the production of meaning1, but we’re particularly interested in tangible and visible forms of culture. Material culture such as textile, tiles, furniture, photographs and other forms of print culture, cuisine, fashion, film, sports, games, gardens, architectural styles and urban planning are all manifestations of culture, as much as forms of “high culture” such as paintings, classical music and literary works. We will be focusing on patterns of exchange—or cross-cultural influence—through trade, colonialism, missionary work, collecting, travelers’ observations and so on either within Europe or between Europe and Asia (Asia is broadly defined here to include “East Asia,” “Southeast Asia,” “South Asia,” “the Middle East,” “Central Asia” etc.), although students could potentially choose to focus on another continent.

Read More about HIST 4910-01 Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Modern World- Research Seminar

Clio Speaks: History Today

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

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

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

Read More about Stumbling upon a Revolutionary Monument during a Pandemic

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

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

Why Clio?

By Dr. Randall Souza. Clio has come to be identified as the Muse of History: in Greek mythology, she is one of the nine daughters born to Zeus and Mnemosyne (“Memory” personified).
Oct 4, 2019

Read More about Why Clio?

What's happening in the History Department?


  • H. Hazel Hahn, 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.

Video thumbnail

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.

Video thumbnail

Videos by Eric Becker.

Ready to Transfer to SU?