Department of History focus areas
In terms of research and preparation of graduate students, we have identified five
focus areas. Click on the name of a focus area for more information about it.
- Two formerly separate focus areas are now combined in African-American History and Critical Race Studies. Four full-time faculty members specialize in African-American history and other
scholars in the department have researched and written on the African-American experience
in slavery, organized labor, the city of Memphis, as well as on the history of black
women. Critical Race Studies is an often-interdisciplinary field that examines the
historical evolution of race as a social category for discriminating, organizing,
regulating, and maintaining social differences along racial lines.
- Given our geographic location and academic holdings, The University of Memphis provides
unique opportunities for the study of Southern History.
- Crossing geographical and chonological barriers, our faculty also specialize in Women, Gender, and Family History, with scholarship in such diverse realms as the medieval images of female warriors,
the biography of anthropologist Ruth Benedict, women and family in Latin America,
and the dynamics of gender and race in the 19th-century American South.
- We boast an interdisciplinary program in Egyptology, which involves formal relationship with the art history departments to maintain
The Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology.
- Finally, we have a new focus area in Global History.
University areas of focus
In addition to its specific focus areas, the Department of History contributes to
several University areas of focus.
- While most of the university’s areas of focus are not specifically related to history,
the History Department is strongly engaged in augmenting Teacher Education and Development.
Many of the Social Studies teachers in the area have completed our programs as they
pursued their degrees in Education.
- The History Department has partnered with the Department of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences and Memphis City Schools on a U.S. Department of Education grant to enhance knowledge of American history
for the teachers in the Memphis City Schools. The Teaching American History Grant was funded for three years (2003-2005) at nearly one million dollars. Dr. Janann
Sherman served as academic director for two years, then project director on this grant;
seven other history faculty members offered courses, seminars and workshops under
this grant. The lectures by keynote speakers (Alan Taylor, William C. Davis, Eric
Foner, David Oshinsky, Robert Dallek, and Robert Buzzanco) were recorded and are available through Podcast Central.