The Department of History
Welcome from Department Chair Katherine Pence, PhD
As Chair of the Department of History, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our web site, where you can find information about our department's activities and expertise.
The History Department is one of the gems of the Weissman School of Liberal Arts at Baruch. We train history students to gain knowledge of how global societies have changed over time in order to foster understanding of the historical contexts for current issues and problems. In addition, history students learn skills in research, writing, and critical thinking that will serve them in a wide range of future careers. Our professors insist on high standards, and our mission is to stimulate students to excel. Equipped with an appreciation of the past, our students graduate with an an essential grounding for success in any career, especially in positions of leadership in business, public affairs, and other professions.
The Department attracts both majors and minors in part due to the close personal attention of faculty, who have won awards both for scholarship and for teaching. Some professors teach at the CUNY Graduate Center, but their primary dedication is to Baruch undergraduates, and all full-time faculty teach all levels of undergraduate courses. In addition to survey courses introducing students across Baruch to either United States history or various themes in global history, the department offers a range of specialized and advanced courses on particular topics, on national histories, and increasingly on global or transnational issues. The department regularly offers an endowed Robert A. Friedman Seminar featuring field trips, special projects, and participation in an Annual Friedman Colloquium linked to course content involving nationally renowned guest speakers. Students may also enroll in a capstone course on historiography, a senior thesis independent study, or an internship.
Members of the history department are very active in innovative and interdisciplinary programs on campus, by teaching in the Honors Program, the team-taught interdisciplinary Feit Seminars, and freshman Learning Communities. Our history faculty are also leaders in developing interdisciplinary programs on campus, such as our new Global Studies Minor, and historians currently serve as directors for the Women’s Studies Program and for the Asian and Asian-American Studies Program. Our faculty participate in Baruch’s Jewish Studies Center, the Civic Engagement Initiative, the Baruch Task-Force for Stustainability, and other campus activities that bridge the classroom and extra-curricular arenas for learning and service. Our department’s active internship program allows students to gain course credit while exploring career paths in museums, archives, and other professions utilizing the historian’s research and writing skills.
Baruch College celebrates its mission to educate the most diverse student body in the nation. In line with this mission, the Baruch History Department is especially proud that in 2011 it became the first recipient of the American Historical Association’s annual Equity Award for an academic department committed to diversity in the historical profession. Our curriculum also promotes learning about diverse subjects.
Baruch’s history professors also shine in the area of scholarship, which has earned them international recognition. Each member of the department is very active publishing books and articles, for which many have won awards. Five Baruch historians have won Excellence in Scholarship Awards, two have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and several have been awarded the most prestigious grants in the nation from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright Commission.
Alongside their scholarly contributions to their fields of expertise, our faculty are dedicated to making history accessible to public audiences. This passion for both history and civic engagement has led some to produce documentary films, curate exhibitions, and give lectures to high school teachers and to the general public. Drawing on their scholarly expertise, several faculty members have appeared on the History Channel, PBS, C-Span Book TV, NPR, and the A&E Television Network.
The History Department strives to create a community among Baruch students interested in studying the past by maintaining an active History Club, in which students collaborate with faculty in organizing films, speakers, a city-wide historic scavenger hunt, and other activities related to history. Members of our department also regularly organize and participate in teach-ins providing audiences with historical perspectives on pressing current issues, such as the Iraq War, presidential elections, and police brutality, so that the campus as a whole can broaden their understanding of how history relates to their everyday concerns. Students also can get to know professors informally at our annual graduation reception and at other events.
All of these factors make the Baruch History Department an especially vibrant department on campus and a destination for students who love history as well as one-on-one attention from distinguished and dedicated faculty.
I invite you to learn more about us by examining our entire site. Additional information, including a list of courses, is given in Baruch's Undergraduate Bulletin. For further information, please telephone the Department of History at (646) 312-4310.