John B. Henderson

The Department regrets to announce that William R. and Letitia Bell Endowed Professor of History John Henderson has died of an apparent heart attack. Prof. Henderson, recently retired, was a productive researcher and author as well as a longstanding and much-admired professor of Chinese and Japanese history, and former coordinator of LSU's Asian Studies program. Memorial service: Tuesday, May 14, 11:30 AM, University Methodist Church on Dalrymple Drive. Full obituary

Fall 2019 courses: From the history of amateur athletics to race, crime and the prison system, the Second World War, Archaic and Classical Greece: We've got it all! Check the new list of courses that will be offered in the coming semester, along with professors' descriptions of content and workload: full course list

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The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War

By Prof. Aaron Sheehan-Dean Cover of The  Calculus of Violence by Aaron Sheehan-Dean

This book demonstrates that the notoriously bloody Civil War could have been much worse. Military forces on both sides sought to contain casualties inflicted on soldiers and civilians. In Congress, in church pews, and in letters home, Americans debated the conditions under which lethal violence was legitimate, and their arguments differentiated carefully among victims—women and men, black and white, enslaved and free. Sometimes, as Sheehan-Dean shows, these well-meaning restraints led to more carnage by implicitly justifying the killing of people who were not protected by the laws of war. As the Civil War raged on, the Union’s confrontations with guerrillas and the Confederacy’s confrontations with black soldiers forced a new reckoning with traditional categories of lawful combatants and raised legal disputes that still hang over military operations around the world today.


Harvard University Press

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In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate classes, faculty members serve in a large number of campus and community outreach capacities, and do original research and writing on topics ranging from American pop culture to Chinese Confucianism and far beyond. LSU is one of the nation’s premier sites for research in Southern history, but it also has excellent faculty members and graduate students working in a host of other fields.

Faculty Members

Fields of Study


Research opportunities for students

Did you know that the word "history" actually means research? LSU offers many opportunities for undergraduate students to hone their skills and deepen their knowledge of history by working on their own research projects. Here are some possible ways to find the best fit for your interests:

  • Research Grants – students can apply each semester for funding to work on a research project.  Grants can be used for hourly  wages, supplies, and travel.
  • LSU Discover Day 2019, The annual LSU student research and creativity symposium, will be held on April 9th. 
  • Mentor database – Students and faculty can use the Mentor database to find each other to pair up for research projects.



Students of LSU's Geaux Teach program in history on graduation day

Graduates of Geaux Teach, the Major in History with a Concentration in Secondary Education, pose with program advisor Prof. Zevi Gutfreund (far right). For information on the Secondary Education history program: Geaux Teach

Studying History at LSU

If you are considering enrolling as an undergraduate major in History or as a graduate student, you may wish to explore the information provided here about Careers, Internships, Financial Aid and Fields of Study. Make sure to check out the background and specializations of the professors with whom you may be working. Most professors will also be happy to meet with you one-on-one, or communicate by email, to explore their passion for history and suggest avenues of study you may wish to pursue. The Undergraduate Advisor is Steven Ross,; and the Director of Graduate Studies is Alecia Long,