The specialized track in Social Justice History (SJH) examines the origins of oppression, as well as the history of peoples who have struggled to create a more just world. Topics of interest include slavery, patriarchy, settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and the carceral state. Students also explore radical social justice movements (from abolitionism to LGBTQIA activism) and theories that explain the current world system founded on global inequality, systemic health inequities, environmental degradation, unlimited private wealth accumulation, and unrestrained economic expansion. This track will teach students the power of historical methods to understand the world and to change it.
The SJH track represents a reconfiguration of the History Department’s longstanding Social History and Policy (SHP) program, whose participating faculty have become increasingly oriented toward Social Justice topics and issues. From its launch in 1983, aided by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the program in Social History and Policy awarded more than 40 Ph.D. degrees, placing graduates in both academic institutions and a variety of policy-oriented nonprofit organizations. Over the years, graduates have received tenure at the University of Michigan, Kent State University, Oberlin College, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Western Ontario, the College of Wooster, and Cleveland State University. One graduate is executive director of National History Day.
For more detailed information concerning requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in the Social Justice History track, please consult the current edition of the Department of History Graduate Student Handbook: 2021 – 2022 Graduate Student Handbook