The faculty of the Department of History offers programs of study leading to the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. The faculty has achieved distinction in research and teaching. Members of the faculty have been awarded theBancroft Prize, the Lillian Smith Prize, and the British Council Prize for their publications and four members of the faculty have received distinguished teaching awards. The curriculum covers nearly all the major areas of historical study. Students may select from a wide range of courses dealing with American, European, Latin American, African and East Asian history. At the graduate level the Department emphasizes American history, especially the history of the American South, European and Latin American history.
The Department is deeply involved in the activities of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the Croft Institute for International Studies, the McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College, the Sarah Isom Center for Women’s Studies and the Program in Afro-American Studies. The Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and two faculty members have joint-appointments with the Department, the Executive Director of the Croft Institute for International Studies and three faculty members have appointments in the Department and the international studies program offered by the Croft Institute. Three members of the faculty have joint-appointments with the Program in Afro-American Studies. The Interim Director of the McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College and the Interim Director of the Trent Lott Leadership Institute are from the Department of History.
The Department of History sponsors the annual Porter L. Fortune Symposium on History each fall. The Symposium brings to the campus well-known scholars for a three-day conference dealing with various aspects of southern history. Recent topics have included religion in the South, gender and politics in the South, the Civil Rights movement and the South in the Caribbean.
Within the University, the Department of History relies on the John Davis Williams Library which contains nearly 1 million volumes. Of particular interest to graduate students are the Mississippi Collection of books and manuscripts pertaining to the state, the Blues Archive and the depository of federal government documents.
The Department has approximately one hundred-fifty undergraduate history majors and approximately fifty graduate students pursuing graduate degrees.