Our prolific faculty publish research on subjects including modern Latin American history, East Asian history, the British monarchy and empire, and Native American history. Their areas of focus include Latino/a histories, the history of food and the history of racial formation, and they explore periods ranging from the Medieval period to the 20th century.
Join our department and produce unique undergraduate research with support from faculty and peers. As an undergraduate researcher, you'll learn from faculty members as you develop your unique senior project on a historical topic. Learn more about the new histories you'll discover in our department.
A Sampling of Faculty Interests
Food, Health and Politics
Our faculty explore how everyday cultural practices, like food and food histories, intersect with medical, social and political contexts. For example, Hilary A. Smith researches shifting perceptions of disease in Chinese society, including relationships between food and health. Carol Helstosky explores associations between food and politics, specifically how what people ate became a politicized topic in modern Europe.
Identity and Sovereignty
Faculty also research questions at the intersections of identity and sovereignty, of ethics and responsibility. Angela Parker's research focuses on 20th century Native American history, exploring how community identity is shaped by and interacts with place and space, specifically the relationships between oil extraction, tribal sovereignty and indigenous community activism. Elizabeth Campbell's work engages questions of sovereignty and support in very different contexts, specifically French protests of Nazi looting of Jewish art collections.
Exploring Unusual Sources and Methods
Daniel Melleno examines material evidence as well as textual sources to reconsider the place of Vikings in Medieval Europe, while Susan Schulten closely studies the way old maps both reflected and shaped the course of American history. Bill Philpott challenges us to consider interactions between humans and their environment as a central force on modern history and Ingrid Tague explores pet keeping in early modern Europe to ask larger questions about human-animal interactions across time.
Student Research Opportunities
Mentorship and Coursework
As a history major, you'll research and present a senior thesis in your final year. This project allows you to investigate a unique historical question or event that you're passionate about through a process that builds on your training in historical methods.
You'll be supported every step of the way through one-on-one faculty mentorship and intensive coursework. Three scaffolded courses offer a foundation for your research: What is History?, offered in the spring quarter of your junior year, and Senior Seminars I and II, offered in the fall and winter quarters of your senior year. You'll work closely with your faculty advisor throughout Senior Seminar I and II and they'll help guide and mentor you as you propose, research and present your unique project.
In addition to the thesis project, students have the opportunity to work alongside professors, community members and professionals. Our internship program places students in libraries, archives, museums and non-profit organizations, where they apply critical skills they have learned in their course work. We also offer unique research opportunities with individual professors or with the Veterans Legacy Program (VLP), a research-based curricular initiative for undergraduates. Students research and publish their work on the DU VLP website. Students may also pursue a research project of their own supported by the University's Partners in Scholarship Program.