Welcome to the Department of History at the University at Albany.

Our undergraduate program prepares students for careers in fields as diverse as law, education, religion, journalism, business, and government. Our graduate programs prepare students for careers in higher education, secondary-school teaching, museums, history and media, and public policy.

Some of America’s most influential leaders were trained as historians. What explains their success? It’s simple. Historians learn to be careful problem-solvers and clear communicators. They learn to analyze evidence and differentiate the stuff that matters from the noise that doesn’t. In short, the study of history translates into diverse career options in high-paying fields.


Department News

New Faculty Publication by Alexander Dawson

The hallucinogenic and medicinal effects of peyote have a storied history that begins well before Europeans arrived in the Americas. While some have attempted to explain the cultural and religious significance of this cactus and drug, Alexander S. Dawson offers a completely new way of understanding the place of peyote in history. In this provocative new book, Dawson argues that peyote has marked the boundary between the Indian and the West since the Spanish Inquisition outlawed it in 1620. For nearly four centuries ecclesiastical, legal, scientific, and scholarly authorities have tried (unsuccessfully) to police that boundary to ensure that, while indigenous subjects might consume peyote, others could not. Moving back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border, The Peyote Effect explores how battles over who might enjoy a right to consume peyote have unfolded in both countries, and how these conflicts have produced the racially exclusionary systems that characterizes modern drug regimes. Through this approach we see a surprising history of the racial thinking that binds these two countries more closely than we might otherwise imagine.

Breaking New Ground in Women’s History in the Hudson River Valley

Congratulations to History doctoral student Danielle Funiciello, who during summer 2018 received the Happy Rockefeller Summer Graduate Research Fellowship from the Women's History Institute at Historic Hudson Valley, where she spent the summer using their archives to uncover untold stories of women in the Hudson Valley. She also received a highly competitive short-term Fellowship from the New York Public Library to work in their Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Collection, where she will continue her dissertation research on Angelica Schuyler Church and women's social networks in Revolutionary and Early National America. Ms. Funiciello presented some her findings at the Schuyler Mansion's "Book Bash" on July 15, discussing the Schuyler women and the meeting of historic research and historic fiction. On July 28 at the New York State Library she gave a public lecture about the five Schuyler sisters and the lives of girls in eighteenth-century Albany.

Prof. Carl Bon Tempo Explains Immigration for "Meet the Press”

History Professor Carl Bon Tempo recently discussed the history America’s asylum policies on the “1947: Meet the Press" podcast with Chuck Todd. An expert on American immigration, Professor Bon Tempo is author of Americans at the Gate: The United States and Refugees during the Cold War (Princeton University Press, 2008). To listen to Professor Bon Tempo’s interview, visit: nbcnews.to/2titSgC

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Social Sciences 145
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Albany, NY 12222

PHONE: 518-442-5300
FAX: 518-442-5301
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