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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History


Why USC History?

Why study history at South Carolina?

Why USC?
While members of the department bring a wide variety of interests to the graduate program, we have made a collective effort to establish USC as one of the strongest schools in the country in several areas:

Southern History
Our faculty is especially deep in the field of southern history, including the experiences of African Americans and women in the region. Professors Thomas Brown, Bobby Donaldson, Don Doyle, Lacy K. Ford Jr., Kent Germany, Wanda Hendricks, Daniel Littlefield, Valinda Littlefield, Lauren Sklaroff, Mark M. Smith, Marjorie Spruill, Patricia Sullivan, and Robert Weyeneth provide USC with leading specialists who range from the colonial era to the contemporary era and who take interest in many different aspects of the South. The study of southern history at USC is further facilitated by convenient access to some of the richest research libraries on the topic, particularly the university's South Caroliniana Library and the state's Department of Archives and History.

Comparative Thematic Curriculum - "Culture, Identity, and Economic Development
While we cultivate the advantages of our location in the South, our curriculum is at the forefront of academic efforts to transcend geographic barriers and achieve a global perspective. This strategy helps to keep our students at the cutting edge of scholarship and introduces them to outstanding faculty members who work on geographic areas in which we do not specialize for doctoral training. Recent comparative courses have focused on the history of gender, consumerism, tourism, nationalism, and religion.

Latin American History + Language
Our faculty in Latin American and Caribbean history includes specialists who research and teach on the colonial and modern periods, and whose expertise covers a geographical range from Brazil to the Andes to the Caribbean. We have particular concentrations of strength in cultural history, race, ethnicity, slavery, and nation-state formation. The department's faculty in Latin American history serves to complement and reinforce the existing strengths of the University of South Carolina's programs in Southern history, African-American history, and transnational and comparative history. The Latin American history program also contributes to and builds on strengths and course offerings in other departments and programs, such as Anthropology, Spanish, and the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies. The History Department welcomes M.A. and Ph.D. applicants in Latin American history. This initiative ordinarily provides three years of M.A. funding to promising students who need extra time over the course of their degree program to improve their language skills.

Public History
USC offers one of the most successful public history programs in the country. It is the only graduate program to have received the Robert Kelley Memorial Award, presented by the National Council on Public History for outstanding achievement in the field, and the only program whose students have received three Student Project Awards from the NCPH. The master's degree program in Public History trains students for careers in museum administration and historic preservation. There is also a joint degree program for an MA/ Masters in Library and Information Science degree from the School of Library and Information Science. The public history program welcomes PhD applicants who can choose public history as a minor field (including an internship) or who can complete the MA in Public History en route to the PhD, which expands the skill set our graduates bring to the job market and prepares them to enjoy wide-ranging professional experiences.

History of Science, Technology, and the Environment
USC has supports graduate students in any area of the History of Science, Technology, Medicine, and the Environment (STE) in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, there are several more history faculty who help bring STE into broader cultural contexts by looking at gender, consumer society, warfare, and race and ethnicity. We are also actively cultivating an emerging strength in the public history of science - that is, using the history of STE to engage the public in science and engineering. We have weekly informal seminars to discuss both published work and faculty and students' works-in-progress. A monthly colloquium series brings scholars from around the world to USC to present cutting edge research. USC offers training in interdisciplinary science studies within a top-ranked history department.

Cultural History
USC supports graduate students in the study of Cultural History, with faculty strengths in popular culture, material culture, and the development of the mass media. Students working on Cultural History topics often intersect with departmental strengths in the History of Science and Technology, African American History, and Public History. Graduate study in Cultural History encourages interdisciplinary work with English, Film and Media Studies, Music, and the School of Visual Art and Design. Students working in this area may find inspiration in the University’s Moving Image Research Collections, a leading archive of newsfilm, home movies, and other unique audio-visual resources.