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Department Chair

Lipton photo

Welcome to the History Department!

As we start a new academic year, our region, our country, and the entire world all seem to be experiencing rapid and sometimes disconcerting change, in areas as disparate as climate, gender identity, politics, society, technology, medicine, and culture. What better way to try to understand these developments, and our various reactions to them, than to study history, a discipline that examines and analyzes change over time?

As history departments go, we are relatively new, having been founded along with Stony Brook University itself in 1957. But we have rapidly established ourselves as an innovative, probing community of scholars and teachers. We work on a broad range of topics, places and periods, but share a commitment to a critical, theme-oriented approach to historical practice. Whether you are curious about the decline of civilizations, the role of women, the influence of trade, the impact of empire, the encounters of peoples, the nature of faith, the exercise of power, the impact of warfare, humans and the sea, or class conflict; in the long distant past or the events of last year; in South Asia, Central America, or Long Island…we can help you explore your interests. Our classes can provide essential context and help you learn how to locate and identify key sources and hone analytical tools that will stand you in good stead your entire life, whatever path you follow.

Sara Lipton

Professor and Chair