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The History Department is deeply saddened and disturbed by the mass shooting in Georgia and the violence that has been directed against people of Asian descent throughout the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As historians, we recognize that anti-AAPI violence is nothing new—it has deep roots dating back to the 19th century and is part of systemic racism in this country. We recommit to our mission of teaching and learning about the histories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., and about racism’s intersectional ties to oppression based on gender and sexuality, indigeneity, immigration status, physical disability and difference, class, and other factors. The Stony Brook community must confront these connected forms of harm—and the plague of gun violence—directly.

In The Spotlight

Paul Gootenberg (Professor and Chair)

Paul Gootenberg

Chair of History  Paul Gootenberg, recently opened a roundtable on "The Past, Present, and Future of Drug History" with a talk " The Globalization of Drug History, 1990-2020."  The event was sponsored by Virginia Tech and the  Alcohol and Drug History Society (ADHS).  Gootenberg is President-elect of the ADHS, the world's largest body for the study of intoxicants in history.

Mohamad Ballan (Assistant Professor)

Mohamad Ballan

Assistant Professor  Mohamad Ballan was awarded a prestigious Mellon Fellowship at the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame.  He will have a year in residence to complete his first book,  Lord of the Pen and Sword, which examines the phenomenon of the “scholar-statesman”—litterateurs, physicians, and jurists who ascended to the highest administrative and executive offices of state—in Islamic Spain and North Africa.

Aishah Scott (PhD, 2019)

Aishah Scott

Congratulations to Aishah Scott (PhD, 2019) on her joint appointment as Assistant Professor in the Health Policy and Management Department and Black Studies at Providence College.

Sara Lipton (Professor)

Conspiracies Event

Professor Sara Lipton will be participating in a panel discussion moderated by NYT editorialist Bret Stephens, "Conspiracies Then and Now" hosted by the University of Southern California on March 18th.  For more information and registration see here.

Joshua Teplitsky (Associate Professor)

Teplitsky lecture

Associate Professor Joshua Teplitsky will present a lecture at Hebrew Union College, "Kashruth, Community, and Control: Shehitah Manuals and the Afterlives in Early Modern Europe" on Monday, March 1st, 1pm (EST).  To register go to:

Mohamad Ballan (Assistant Professor)

Mohamad Ballan

Read Assistant Professor Mohamad Ballan's short essay, " A Connected World: Exploring the Early Middle Ages with Ibn Faḍlān"  about how he uses the ancient text of Ibn Faḍlān, Mission to the Volga, to teach about travel in the medieval world.

Eric Beverley (Associate Professor)

Eric Beverley

Professor Eric Beverley recently co-edited a special section titled "Rethinking Sovereignty" and authored the introduction and the article "Old Borderlands: Sovereignty and Autonomy in the Hyderabad Deccan, ca. 1800–2014" in the journal Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East .

David Yee (PhD, 2019)

  David Yee

Congratulations to David Yee (PhD, 2019) on the publication of his article, " Shantytown Mexico: The Democratic Opening in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, 1969-1976" in  The Americas 78:1 (January 2021).

Matt Ford (Phd Candidate)

Matt Ford

Congratulations to  Matt Ford (PhD Candidate) for his recent publication of  "Indelible Divides and the Creation of Myths: Visions of the Ecuadorian Amazon" in the peer-reviewed journal, A Contracorriente 18:2 (Winter 2021): 63-91.

  Matías Hermosilla (PhD Candidate)


Matías Hermosilla   (PhD Candidate) has recently published his second poetry book:    Memorias incómodas de un mal viajero  (2020).    Find the book here. Congratulations Matías!

María Clara Torres (PhD, 2020)
María Clara Torres
Congratulations to María Clara Torres (PhD 2020) for winning the prestigious AHA-Conference on Latin American History's Lewis Hanke Prize for best dissertation, with support to transform it into a book.  The title of María Clara's dissertation is “The Roots of an Illicit Peasant Crop: Coca in Colombia, 1950–2010."  ¡Felicidades María Clara!


More In the Spotlight


News and Announcements

Book Launch and Talk

Academic's Handbook

Join Professor Lori Flores for a discussion about her recent co-edited book The Academic's Handbook. Register for the Zoom event here.

History Club Trivia Night!

Trivia Night

  Register here to participate.


Misuses of Epidemic History

Long Island Migrant Labor Camps: Dust for Blood


Join the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center for a book talk with Mark Torres on Tuesday, March 30. Register here.

Roundtable: After Trump

After Trump

Join us on March 19 as the History Club hosts a roundtable about the historical significance of the Capitol Riots. Register here.

History Department Colloquia

Spring 21 Colloquia

 We're featuring two presenations this semester, by José Miguel Munive Vargas on March 5, and Zinnia Capo-Valdivia on March 23. Click on the dates for the Zoom links. 

Maurie McInnis (University President)

President McInnis

The History Department welcomes as our newest Professor of History, Dr. Maurie McInnis, the sixth president of Stony Brook University.  A renowned cultural historian and author, McInnis’ academic scholarship has focused on race, slavery, and power in the American South. She has published extensively on American art history, including five books, most recently Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's University (2019). McInnis recently served as executive vice president and provost for the University of Texas at Austin, after teaching Art History for two decades at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

Zoom Talk: Career Options for History Majors

Career Talk

Register here via Zoom.

Upcoming History Club Event

History Club Talk

Register here via Zoom.

MLA presentation

Hosted by the Library, short presentations from scholars in History, English, and Hispanic Languages & Literature based on their participation in the 2021 meetings of the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association.  Participants from the History Department include Herman Lebovics (Emeritus) and Eric Zolov.  Please register here for Zoom link

Talk by Professor Tomes!

Pandemic Talk

Let's participate! Logo Contest

Catherine Lugar (PhD alumni) 
Sadly we note and celebrate the life of alumna Catherine Lugar (PhD, 1980) who passed away from Covid-19.  A remembrance can be read  here.

The Mexican Restaurants of New York City website is ready!

This project, put together by professor Lori Flores and PhD candidates Ximena López and Fernando Amador, maps the presence of Mexican cuisine in NYC during the last couple of decades. Visit the site here

Read More News





In The Media

Jonathan Garcia (History Minor) recently published his independent research paper from last fall, "The History of the Census as a Political Tool," in the   Stony Brook Undergraduate History Journal .  Congratulations Jonathan on a fine piece of writing!

Shobana Shankar

Associate Professor Shobana Shankar will be commenting on the new Netflix movie, Namaste Wahala, a love story set in Nigeria, which stars Nigerian and Indian actors and draws on the popularity of Nollywood and Bollywood.  For more information see here.


Richard Tomczak  (PhD candidate) published the essay,   "Writing Histories of Witchcraft in a Pandemic: The Power of Publishing Student Writing Online"  in the American Historical Association blog,  Perspectives Daily.  The essay discusses the project that Tomczak and his students worked on last summer in collaboration with the graduate student-run journal,  Crisis & Catharsis.

Rob Chase

Professor Robert Chase contributed to an article in The Statesman on proposals to rename buildings and the need for deeper understanding of African-American history across campus, "Does it surprise me? No: Members of the SBU community comment on lack of Black memorialization." 

Student-created history journal seeks to fill gap at Stony Brook

The Statesman recently published an article about the new Stony Brook Undergraduate History Journal and the hard-working history students behind it, including Joshua Berkowitz, Peter Lupfer, Kyle O’Hara, and Brandon Chavez. Check out what our students have been up to!

We are not slaves

Join a weeklong, online roundtable discussion of Professor Robert Chase's recent publication, We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners' Rights in Postwar America  hosted by Black Perspectives , official forum of the African American Intellectual History Society. See more information here

Richard Tomczak
Richard Tomczak (PhD candidate)
has been a Research Assistant and member of the Advisory Committee for the Long Island-based, Dyckman Farmhouse Discovered initiative, "Generations of Slavery in Inwood."  See  here  for a recent article about a public art installation by Reggie Black and   here  for an article in   The Guardian  that incorporates his research assistance.   In the coming year 2021, he will be collaborating on a material culture exhibition, an interactive "soundscape," and a 10-episode podcast series on the enslaved people owned by the Dyckman Family.

Read an article in  The Statesman  about the History Department-sponsored debate this fall, "How Do We Decide?: Monuments in the Era of Black Lives Matter" featuring History faculty Robert Chase, Donna Rilling, Eric Zolov, and affiliate Zebulon Miletsky.

Sara Lipton

Prof. Sara Lipton recently published  "Life, Death, and the Levys"  in the December issue of   The New York Review of Books . 

Given the recent changes in the composition of the Supreme Court, Professor Chris Sellers has written an Op Ed commenting on the environmental history of this Judicial institution. Read the text here.

Nancy Tomes

Distinguished Professor Nancy Tomes was interviewed by CBS News. There, she discussed the varied responses to the uses of masks during the pandemic of 1918. For more, click here.

In the Media