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Detain from the Battle of Anghiari, a 15th century Italian painting,
Faculties and schools_

Department of History

Exploring the variety of human experience
Encountering other times and other cultures helps us understand change and see the world from different perspectives.

Studying history helps us understand the origins of the modern world and to uncover forgotten people and their paths. History encompasses every aspect of human life in the past. We work with diverse kinds of evidence and each valuable skills in interpretation and analysis.

We are the largest history department in Australia, with units of study on particular cities, nations and regions, especially Europe, Australia, China and North America, as well as thematic and comparative units on topics ranging from scandal to epidemics. Each year we offer a rich array of study options and we continually review and renew our curriculum.

Many of our staff have won awards for their teaching and research. We are committed to giving our students a highly regarded education and a gateway to life beyond university.

Our study offering

The study of history equips you to understand change, to look at things from different perspectives, and to assess diverse kinds of information. It offers a variety of topics, from war to politics, culture and sexuality, the history of ideas and the history of food; and it spans the Middle Ages to the present, from Australia to China, the United States and Europe. 

Undergraduate

*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of EconomicsBachelor of Visual Arts as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.

Research

International and Global Studies gives you a rigorous understanding of the paradoxes and complex interconnections of globalisation. This degree will equip you with the ability to work in global society. 

Undergraduate 

The History Department, one of the largest and most dynamic in Australia, has developed long-standing expertise in teaching and research across a wide range of geographical areas, including Australia and the Pacific, Asia, Europe and the United States. The Department also possesses a number of research strengths across burgeoning thematic and comparative fields such as global and Indigenous history, the history of race, science, medicine and public health and the history of ideas, as well as social, cultural, political, economic, labour and urban history. With over 50 postgraduate students currently enrolled and a large number of external grants awarded to members of the Department, History is a research powerhouse.

 

  • Australia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Americas
  • Cultural 
  • Intellectual 
  • Political 
  • Social
  • International 
  • Imperial and colonial 
  • Legal
  • War and conflict 
  • Science and medicine
  • Urban 
  • Gender and sexuality 
  • Religion 

Research centres

Our people

Undergraduate coordinator
Professor Penny Russell

Honours coordinator
Dr Andres Rodriguez

Higher Degree Research coordinator
Associate Professor Nicholas Eckstein

International and Global Studies Director
Professor James Curran

  • Professor David Armitage, FAHA
  • Professor Alan Atkinson
  • Dr Robert Austin
  • Professor Alison Bashford
  • Dr Catherine Bishop
  • Dr Judith Bonzol
  • Dr Alexander Cameron-Smith
  • Professor Ann Curthoys, FASSA, FAHA
  • Professor John Docker, FAHA
  • Emeritus Professor Helen Dunstan
  • Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick
  • Professor Brian H Fletcher OAM, FAHA
  • Dr Catie Gilchrist
  • Dr Judith Godden
  • Professor Janet Golden
  • Dr Peter Hobbins
  • Associate Professor Judith Keene
  • Dr Claire Lowrie
  • Emeritus Professor Roy MacLeod FASSA, FAHA
  • Emeritus Professor Iain McCalman
  • Dr Jim Masselos FAHA
  • Assoc Prof Neville K Meaney
  • Dr Janet Merewether
  • Dr Marianna Moustafine
  • Dr Briony Neilson
  • Dr Geoffrey A. Oddie
  • Dr Lynette Olson
  • Dr Jayne Persian
  • Emeritus Professor Roslyn Pesman AM, FAHA
  • Professor Peter Read
  • Dr Anne Rees
  • Dr Kathrine M Reynolds
  • Dr David Robertson 
  • Dr David Rollison 
  • Dr Ricardo Roque
  • Dr Ben Silverstein
  • Dr Julie Smith
  • Dr Daniel Spence
  • Dr Toner Stevenson
  • Dr Lynne Swarts
  • Dr Blanca Tovias de Plaisted
  • Professor Richard Waterhouse FASSA, FAHA
  • Dr Paul Werskey
  • Assoc Prof Richard White
  • Associate Professor Christine Winter
  • Emeritus Professor John Wong FASSA, FAHA
  • Dr Zdenko Zlatar


Our events

The Department's seminar series

Like all the Departments and Programs in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, the Department of History has a lively research program.

2020 Sydney Higher Education: History of University Life (HUL) research seminar series

See the SOPHI Events page for more information on the HUL series

printers letters

In Print or Prospect

For more information on the Department's In Print or in Prospect series, please see the SOPHI Events page.

Outreach program

We conduct an outreach program to increase the number of students from low socio-economic and diverse backgrounds studying history at the University of Sydney.

The program initiates and strengthens connections between partner schools and the University. We work with high school students from Mount Druitt, Parramatta, Granville, Campbelltown, Auburn, Liverpool, Coonabarabran and Broken Hill to familiarise them with university life and foster the aspirations within these communities to pursue and excel in tertiary studies. 

Some of our activities include:

  • Historical Investigation Program for Year 11 students
  • Workshops on historical investigations for Year 11 students
  • Workshops on studying history at university
  • Essay prizes
  • Parent talks on studying history and the arts at university
  • Parent talks on subject selection at high school.
More information

If you are a history teacher or school principal interested in a partnership with our department, please email Professor Mike McDonnell, or phone 9351 6733.

Department Chair

School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

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