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United States History

The UCSB graduate program in U.S. history offers a wide variety of intensive reading and research seminars. The program covers traditional chronological fields, with especially strong coverage of modern U.S. history (1865 to the present). At the same time, the U.S. field has a number of strengths that cross traditional chronological boundaries. These thematic strengths include gender history, race and ethnicity (Native American, African American, Asian American and Chicano history), political economy, and public policy history. Many field members also participate in the history department’s special comparative clusters, including gender history, Cold War history, and the joint UCSB/California State University Program in Public History. Other departments at UCSB-Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Chicano Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies-have faculty members that work in related fields.

All entering graduate students in U.S. history are expected to take the 292 series during their first year of study. The 292 series provides an intensive overview of the U. S. history field as a whole, with particular emphasis on the strengths of the UCSB faculty.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with any of the faculty listed below. They will be happy to provide you with more information about the graduate program in American history.


  • Randy Bergstrom: My research and teaching interests are in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century U.S. history, particularly the history of public policy and law, and public history.
  • Sarah Case: My research and teaching interests are US women’s history, history of the US South, history of education, and public history. I am the editor of The Public Historian
  • Verónica Castillo-Muñoz: I am a historian of the Mexico-U.S. borderlands. I study how gender, migration, and race intersect in northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest.
  • Miroslava Chávez-García: My research and teaching interests include Chicana/o history, Immigration, the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, Race, Eugenics, & Juvenile Justice, and U.S. Women of Color. My graduate students in history include Laura Voisin George and Isidro Gonzalez. In LAIS, they include Emma Zamora Garcia.
  • Lisa Jacobson:  I am a cultural historian of the late nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S., with research and teaching interests in the histories of consumer culture and popular culture; food, alcoholic beverages, and drugs; gender, families, and childhood. She situates her research at the intersections of business, politics, and culture.
  • John Majewski: My research and teaching interests are in nineteenth-century U.S. history, with an emphasis on slavery, political economy, and the Civil War.
  • Katie Moore:  I am a historian of early American political economy and the Atlantic world, with particular interests in money, debt, and finance.
  • Alice O’Connor: My research focuses on the 20th and early 21st-century United States, with an emphasis on the history of political economy, social policy, social and economic thought, the dynamics of wealth and poverty, and intersectional inequalities.  
  • Giuliana Perrone: I am a historian of North American slavery and abolition. I have just completed my first book, Nothing More than Freedom, which offers a legal history of slavery and abolition in post-emancipation American law. 
  • Paul Spickard: My research centers on race and ethnic theory, immigration and citizenship, Black history, and Asian American history.
  • David Stein: My research and teaching focuses on the interaction between social movements, public policy, and political economy in modern U.S. history.
  • Salim Yaqub:  I write and teach about modern U.S. history and the history of U.S. foreign relations, supplementing analysis of official policies with studies of popular culture and political activism. My graduate students are Addie Jensen and Mattie Webb.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Eileen Boris
  • Chris McAuley 
  •  Leila J. Rupp
  • Mireille Miller-Young 
  •  Stuart Smith 
  •  Jeffrey Stewart 
  • Xiaojian Zhao


Our Recent Alumni/ae

  • Paul Barba, Assistant Professor of History, Bucknell University
  • Francisco Beltrán, Assistant Professor of History, Oklahoma State University
  • Niccole Leilanionapae’aina Coggins, Journal production editor at American Psychological Association
  • Sasha Coles, Assistant Teaching Professor of History, Penn State University
  • Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, Professor of History, University of LaVerne
  • Susan Falck, Director, Rancho Camulos Museum, Piru, California
  • Sarah Griffith, Associate Professor of History, Queens University of Charlotte
  • Brynna Hall (MA), Assistant Manager of Program Delivery, Sacramento Museum of Science and Curiosity
  • Laura Hooton, Assistant Professor of History, Angelo State University
  • Ken Hough, Lecturer in History and Engineering, UCSB
  • Alison Rose Jefferson, Public historian and consultant, Los Angeles
  • Matt Kester, formerly Associate Professor of History and University Archivist, BYU-Hawai’i, Hollywood producer and writer on shows such as Animal Kingdom, Forever, Outsiders, and Ke Nui Road
  • Pablo Landeros, Professor and Chair of History, Estrella Mountain Community College
  • Chrissy Lau, Assistant Professor of History, California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Christopher MacMahon, Nevada State Railroad Museum Director
  • David McIntosh, Assistant Professor of History and Anthropology, Southeast New Mexico College
  • Laura Moore, Instructor in World and United States History and Girls’ Basketball and Swimming Coach, Cate School
  • David Rouff, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Wollstenhulme Presidential Chair in History, UC Merced
  • Holly Roose, Director of the Promise Scholars Program, UCSB
  • Brandon Seto, Senior Floor Consultant, Office of the Speaker, California State Assembly
  • Travis Smith, Professor, and Chair of History, Yuba College
  • Isaiah Helekunihi Walker, Academic Vice President and Professor of History, Brigham Young University – Hawai’i
  • Lily Anne Y. Welty Tamai, Assistant Professor of History, Sacramento State University
  • Rachel Rains Winslow, Associate Professor of History at Westmont College, Director of Westmont’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Co-Director of the Westmont Center for Dialogue and Deliberation
  • Ben Zulueta, Lecturer in Asian American Studies, UCSB

The following courses are in this field

  • History 200AM Historical Literature: America
  • History 201AM Advanced Historical Literature: America
  • History 219A Research Seminar in Gender and History
  • History 219B Research Seminar in Gender and History
  • History 259A Seminar in American Social History
  • History 259B Seminar in American Social History
  • History 264IA American Immigration
  • History 264IB American Immigration
  • History 265A Seminar in American Political and Social History
  • History 265B Seminar in American Political and Social History
  • History 266A Research Seminar in Recent U.S. History
  • History 266B Research Seminar in Recent U.S. History
  • History 268A Seminar on Ethnicity and Community
  • History 268B Seminar on Ethnicity and Community
  • History 268CA Seminar in Chicano History
  • History 268CB Seminar in Chicano History
  • History 272A Seminar in American Political and Intellectual History
  • History 272B Seminar in American Political and Intellectual History
  • History 274 Biography and U.S. Political History
  • History 275A American Cultural History
  • History 275B American Cultural History
  • History 290 US-Soviet Relations in the Cold War
  • History 290B US-Soviet Relations in the Cold War
  • History 292A Foundations of U.S. History to 1846
  • History 292B Foundations of U.S. History, 1846 to 1917
  • History 292C Foundations of U.S. History, 1917 to Present
  • History 294 Colloquium in Work, Labor, and Political Economy