“The past is never dead,” once wrote William Faulkner. “It’s not even past.” History
is not a static account of past deeds but a dynamic process of interpreting the past
— a process that constantly changes and shapes how we consider the present.
To be a historian is to critically analyze sources, to appreciate the complexity of
historical issues, to consider the multiplicity of historical views, to develop the
critical awareness that is a crucial tool in the ongoing search for truth, and to
communicate effectively. The intellectual discipline of history, then, prepares its
students for a diverse range of careers and makes us better citizens, better interpreters
of the world around us, better informed and more responsible members of the larger
Welcome to the Department of History at The University of Memphis. We teach courses
that cover all major geographic areas and time periods. Our faculty members produce
compelling research and engage themselves in both academic and teaching communities.
We offer graduate students specialized study in five major focus areas: African-American
History and Critical Race Studies; Egyptology; Southern History; Women, Gender, and
Family History; and Global History. Whether undergraduate, graduate student, or professor,
we interpret the past. We are all historians.