As part of a public research university, the History Department has the primary mission to create and disseminate knowledge and research methods that promote the intellectual development of the people of Georgia and the nation. The faculty’s research and teaching seek to undermine the gross ignorance and untruths that have been used to inhibit effective participation in a democratic culture. The department’s stress on cross-cultural, transregional, transnational, global, and world history assists students and the reading public to avoid the dangers of parochialism. This involves not only learning the mechanics of research and teaching but developing such personal qualities as accuracy, honesty, thoroughness, and evenhandedness. The department demands active learning, involving the students in reading and participation in seminars, in research and analysis of primary sources, and in the presentation of the resulting findings in written and verbal formats that adhere to recognized professional standards. The department’s instructional mission is to prepare students for future careers, for the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society, and for the uncertainties that one encounters in relations with others.
The History Department’s nationally and internationally recognized faculty have produced outstanding research published by leading presses in the United States and Europe on topics ranging from the foundations of modern nationalism in the Caucasus, Europe, Egypt, Africa, and China, to economic development in the United States, Latin America, and Russia. Faculty research demonstrates the world context of European and United States history. The faculty’s emphasis in world, interdisciplinary, and cultural history has brought fresh perspectives to the study of political and intellectual history.
Graduates of Georgia State's history programs will have the ability to analyze conflicting information and viewpoints, write clearly and communicate ideas, find reliable evidence for judgments about human actions and motives, and place particular events in a wider context or historical pattern. Graduates are prepared not only to be competent historians and teachers but to function successfully in the larger community, both within and outside the academy. A knowledge of history makes possible the transmission of cultures and values from a world perspective, and it prepares students to comprehend the nature of governing bodies and foundations of economic theories. Our courses help students understand other societies as well as their own, and they give students an intellectual foundation upon which they may develop social policies that are grounded in reality.