Feb 29, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog


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OFFICE: Arts and Letters 588
TELEPHONE: 619-594-5262 / FAX: 619-594-2210
WEBSITE: http://history.sdsu.edu/


Chair: Ben, Pablo E., Associate Professor of History (Lic., Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago)

Graduate Adviser: Frieberg, Annika E., Associate Professor of History (B.A., Denison University; M.A., Ph.D., University of North Carolina)

Undergraduate Adviser: Contact CAL Student Success Center via email: caladvising@sdsu.edu

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Asselin, Pierre, Professor of History, The Dwight E. Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations (B.A., York University, Canada; M.A., University of Toronto, Canada; Ph.D., University of Hawaii)

Beasley, Edward, Professor of History (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego; F.R.Hist.S.)

Blum, Edward J., Professor of History (B.A., University of Michigan; M.A., Ph.D., University of Kentucky)

Daddis, Gregory A., Professor of History, The USS Midway Chair in Modern U.S. Military History, Director of the Center for War and Society (B.S., United States Military Academy, West Point; M.A. Villanova University; Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

De Vos, Paula S., Professor of History  (B.A., Kalamazoo College; M.A., University of North Carolina; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley)

Edgerton-Tarpley, Kathryn J., Professor of History (B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington)

Kornfeld, Eve, Professor of History, Senate Distinguished Professor (B.A., Princeton University; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University)

Pollard, Elizabeth Ann, Professor of History, Senate Distinguished Professor (B.A., North Carolina State University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania)

Putman, John C., Professor of History (B.A., San Diego State University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego)

Boime, Eric I., Associate Professor of History, SDSU Imperial Valley (B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego)

Dumas, Raechel, Associate Professor of History (B.A., Florida State University; M.A., Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder)

Herrera, Carlos R., Interim Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley, Associate Professor of History (B.A., M.A., University of San Diego; Ph.D., University of New Mexico)

Cline, David P., Associate Professor of History, Director of the Center for Public and Oral History (B.A., Macalester College; M.A., University of Massachusetts; Ph.D., University of North Carolina)

Kazemi, Ranin, Associate Professor of History (B.A., Middle Tennessee State University; M.A., Ph.D., Yale University)

Passananti, Thomas P., Associate Professor of History (B.A., University of Aberdeen; M.A., Northern Illinois University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Chicago)

Penrose, Jr., Walter D., Associate Professor of History (B.S., California State University, Long Beach; M.Phil., Ph.D., City University of New York)

Yeh, Chiou-Ling, Associate Professor of History (B.A., National Chengchi University, Taiwan; M.A., Michigan State University; Ph.D., University of California, Irvine)

Additional Faculty:

Kuefler, Mathew S., Ph.D., 1998-2020, Professor of History Emeritus (B.A., University of Alberta, Canada; M.A., Ph.D., Yale University)


Abman, Zamira Y, Ph.D., History

Gastil, George C., M.A., History

Harris, Bonnie M., M.A., History

Hillman, Suzanne, Ph.D., History

Kaffenberger, Schorsch L., M.A. History

Lapp, Heidi Keller, Ph.D., History

Nathan, Geoffrey, Ph.D., History

Parker, Lindsay,  Ph.D., History

Sheehan, Kevin J., Ph.D., History

Stout, Mary E., M.A. History

Tarpley, John V., Ph.D., History

Weeks, William E., Ph.D., History

Young, Shahla, Ph.D., History

Zingheim, Karl, M.A., History


Baron, Lawrence, Ph.D., 1988-2012, Nasatir Professor of Modern Jewish History; Professor of History 

Bartholomew, Francis M., Jr., Ph.D., 1967-2001, Associate Professor of History

Cheek, William F., Ph.D., 1968-2004, Professor of History

Christian, David, Ph.D., 2001-2008, Professor of History

Chu, Paochin, Ph.D., 1967-2001, Professor of History

Cobbs, Elizabeth, Ph.D., 1998-2015, The Dwight E. Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations; Professor of History

Colston, Stephen A., Ph.D., 1977-2014, Associate Professor of History

Cox, Thomas R., Ph.D., 1967-1996, Professor of History

Cunniff, Roger L., Ph.D., 1967-2000, Professor of History

Dunn, Ross E., Ph.D., 1968-2003, Professor of History

Elkind, Sarah S., Ph.D., 2000-2021, Professor of History

Ferraro, Joanne M., 1984-2016, Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Professor of History

Filner, Robert E., Ph.D., 1970-1992, Associate Professor of History

Hamilton, Charles D., Ph.D., 1974-2001, Professor of History and Classics

Heyman, Neil M., Ph.D., 1969-2002, Professor of History

Hoidal, Oddvar K., Ph.D., 1967-2003, Professor of History

Kushner, Howard I., Ph.D., 1980-2002, Professor of History

Mahdavi-Izadi, Farid, Ph.D. 1990-2020, Lecturer in History

McDean, Harry C., Ph.D., 1971-2003, Professor of History

Polich, John L., Ph.D., 1969-1999, Associate Professor of History, SDSU Imperial Valley

Smith, Charles D., Jr., Ph.D., 1967-1992, Professor of History

Smith, Jr., Ray T., Ph.D., 1964-1996, Professor of History

Starr, Raymond G., Ph.D., 1964-1999, Professor of History

Stites, Francis N., Ph.D., 1968-2000, Professor of History, Senate Distinguished Professor

Stoddart, Jess L., Ph.D., 1966-1998, Professor of History

Vartanian, Pershing, Ph.D., 1968-2001, Professor of History

Webb, Charles R., Ph.D., 1949-1972, except 1965, Professor of History

The Dwight E. Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations

A gift from alumnus Dwight E. Stanford, who earned a bachelor’s degree in American history in 1936 from San Diego State College (now SDSU), established The Dwight E. Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations. The current appointee to the chair is Dr. Pierre Asselin, a distinguished scholar-teacher who is an expert on U.S. interventions in the Third World, Southeast Asia, and the global Cold War. He is a leading international authority on the Vietnam War and regularly travels to Vietnam for research.

The USS Midway Chair in Modern U.S. Military History

The USS Midway Chair was established by a major donation from the USS Midway Foundation in 2019 to support scholarship and teaching on the role of the American military as an instrument of state power around the world since 1940. The inaugural holder of the chair is Dr. Gregory A. Daddis, Col. USA (ret.). He is the author of a number of works on the American war in Vietnam. His most recent book is on war and gender in Cold War popular culture.

The Nasatir Professor of Modern Jewish History (ended in 2012)

The Nasatir Professorship was established in honor of the late Professor Abraham Nasatir, a specialist in European colonial history in North America. Nasatir taught history at SDSU for 46 years and was active in the community as an advocate of Jewish education. The Professorship was held by Dr. Lawrence Baron, Professor Emeritus, and a distinguished scholar of European intellectual history and Holocaust studies, from 1988 until 2012.

Undergraduate Information

The Major

History is the study of humanity’s past, encompassing aspects of human existence from play to politics, religion to revolution, war to the arts. History matters because it increases knowledge and develops intellectual skills, including collecting and evaluating evidence, analyzing and interpreting historical behavior, recognizing the diversity of human experience across time and place, and applying historical insights to self-transformation and civic participation. Students learn to convey information to diverse audiences, to do collaborative work and independent research, to question creatively, to read closely, to think critically, and to write effectively. Graduates are equipped for careers in archival work, business, diplomacy, government, journalism, law, museum and curatorial work, politics, and publishing. History prepares students for an active, engaged, and informed life. Opportunities in teaching from the primary to university levels exist for history majors who continue their education in graduate school.

The specialization in history for teachers is intended for students who aspire to become masterful teachers of history/social science. This specialization provides the broad expertise necessary to teach the modern U.S. and world history that is taught in California high schools, and the earlier world history taught in junior high schools, combined with skills in research, writing, contextualization, and analysis of evidence worthy of a history major. This specialization prepares students for graduate school and other history careers while grounding them in the historical knowledge and skills necessary for admittance to credentialing programs in education.

The specialization in public histories develops expertise in the transformative effects of history on communities and public understandings of the past. It integrates cutting edge digital technology with advanced methods in oral history, spatial history, museum studies, archives and preservation, and public engagement. This specialization prepares students for careers in community, local history, and public service organizations, museums, archives, and historic sites, including state and national government park and historical services, as well as for graduate programs in public history, archival and library sciences, and other fields.

The specialization in U.S. history offers the opportunity to explore in depth the history of the society around us and its links to the rest of the world. This specialization trains graduates who are prepared to apply historical skills and understanding to the complex challenges of U.S. society, past and present. It prepares students for careers in law, public service, charitable foundations and non-profit organizations, journalism, and public history settings, and serves as preparation for graduate studies in history, political science, and other fields.

The specialization in world history and global affairs offers a pragmatic and intellectually engaging curriculum for students interested in transregional affairs, past and present. This specialization produces graduates who are true global citizens, by exposing them to diverse cultural legacies and to a range of comparative and transregional world historical approaches. This specialization prepares students for careers in international affairs, diplomacy, the military, intelligence, journalism, and government and non-profit organizations, as well as for entry into graduate programs in world history, anthropology, political science, and other fields. In addition to satisfying the general requirements for history majors, students who select the specialization in world history and global affairs must complete 12 upper division units in a coherent geographical, temporal, or thematic field, in consultation with a faculty adviser; for example, the Mediterranean, the nineteenth century, war and human history, or international relations history.


All College of Arts and Letters majors are urged to consult with their department adviser as soon as possible; they are required to meet with their department adviser within the first two semesters after declaration or change of major.

Graduate Information

General Information

The Department of History offers graduate study leading to the Master of Arts degree in history.

The Master of Arts degree is designed to provide advanced training for (1) students who plan to terminate their graduate studies at the master’s level, (2) those who anticipate further study leading to a doctoral degree in history or related fields, and (3) those who plan to teach history at the secondary or community college levels.

Research facilities include a substantial library of more than two million titles and an impressive periodical collection. Library databases include many historic newspapers, all British government documents from the nineteenth century, United Nations documents, and materials on slavery, the eighteenth century, modern China, race relations, and women’s history. The Special Collections and University Archives department (SCUA) houses more than 500 manuscript and archival collections, including science fiction, comic books, and the letters of World War II soldiers, as well as audiotapes, films, late-nineteenth century lantern slides, oral histories, and photographs of the greater San Diego area. The College of Arts and Letters houses the Social Science Research Laboratory, which includes a well-equipped data processing center. The Command Museum at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, the Lambda Archives of San Diego, the San Diego Historical Society, and the San Diego Public Library contain many archival collections pertinent to local history. Located north of San Diego is the National Archives and Records Administration at Riverside.

Admission to Graduate Study

All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing, as described in Admission and Registration . As an additional requirement, the student must have completed a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major in history or have taken enough units in history and related fields to demonstrate sufficient preparation for the program. The minimum grade point average required for application to the M.A. program in history is 2.85 in an acceptable earned baccalaureate degree or in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted and 3.0 in the major (not necessarily history), plus a satisfactory score on the GRE General Test. Applicants holding an acceptable post-baccalaureate degree earned at an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association also meet minimum qualifications.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at http://www.calstate.edu/apply along with the application fee.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and to the Department of History.

See https://history.sdsu.edu/graduate/how-to-apply​​ for information on application instructions and materials.


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