The Department of History focuses on historical themes of “Empires, States, and Borders.” This builds on current Department teaching and research strengths, as faculty regularly engage topics such as nation building, civil wars, and state formation and disintegration in a variety of geographic settings and across historical eras. It also fits with trends in the profession that deemphasize the study of nations and states as static entities in favor of a perspective that places them within comparative frameworks and highlights the fluidity of border regions.
Within this thematic area, the Department gives special emphasis to the rich and complex history of the Spanish and Mexican Borderlands, including San Antonio and South Texas. The Department is well positioned to become a leader in the study of this region’s deep and contested history owing to our proximity to unique local resources and the increasing prominence and significance of this region’s history in today’s interconnected world. Indeed, San Antonio is an ideal place to study Empires, States, and Borders given the city’s long history, its diverse population, its strong military presence, and its wealth of local historical resources.