History Department


SUNY Cortland’s History Department offers two majors, a minor, and a graduate program. Browse our department webpage to explore options. We have a world-class faculty offering classes ranging from Revolutionary America to Ancient Greece; from Medieval Europe to Modern China; from the Spanish Civil War to Native American History; from World Environmental History to Public History; and dozens more. In our history courses, students don't just study the past---they become historians.

Check out these additional resources on why majoring in history brings a lifetime of opportunity, career choice, and excitement:

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Department News

  • Dr. Laura Gathagan published a new co-edited volume, A Companion to the Abbey of Le Bec in the Central Middle Ages (11th-13th Centuries). She also edited the latest volume of the Haskins Society Journal.
  • Dr. Judith Van Buskirk appeared on the "Ben Franklin's World" podcast to discuss her newest book --- Listen here
  • Dr. Scott Moranda appeared on the New Books Network's podcast to discuss his book, The People's Own Landscape: Nature, Tourism, and Dictatorship in East Germany (University of Michigan Press, 2014) --- Listen here
  • Welcome to our newest colleague, Dr. Bekeh Ukelina! An expert of African history, Dr. Ukelina will offer courses on early and modern Africa, world history, and imperialism.
  • We are saddened by the death of Dr. Leonard F. Ralston, professor emeritus of history. Dr. Ralston taught in the history department from 1957 to 1987. He is best known on campus for writing Cortland College: An Illustrative History
  • Dr. Judith Van Buskirk published her latest book, Standing in Their Own Light: African American Patriots in the American Revolution (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017). Praising her work, Edward Countryman calls Standing in Their Own Light a "thoughtful, deeply researched, well-written book [that] makes a big contribution to understanding the Revolution in its liberating but tragic ambiguity.” 


Non-Traditional Path Leads to Cool Career

Future experimental archeologist Kelly McKenna tried other disciplines first.

Speaker to Discuss the Devadasi and Human Rights in India

The Brooks Lecture Series continues with Shalini Aiyappa discussing the Devadasi system in India.

CROP Hunger Walk Set for Oct. 22

Annual event raises money for hunger relief both locally and around the world.

SUNY Cortland Hosted SUNY-wide History Conference

"Tuning Talks" drew history faculty from across New York state.

College to Host ‘Incllusion’ Series in 2017-18

Starting Sept. 13, the “Incllusion” series will focus on equity and human rights.


The History Club is one of SUNY Cortland’s fastest growing organizations on campus! Its goals are to provide a social setting for developing interests in historical topics and to establish a better relationship between faculty and students.

Read More About History Department Clubs