Department of History

by Paul B. Sturtevant

The Department of History

Curiosity inspires every generation to study the lives and societies of people who lived before them.  The discipline of history has been developed to help us do this in systematic, rigorous and critical way.  It is clear to us that we live in a contemporary age that benefits from historical perspective and analysis. History always was, and remains, a discipline essential for critically analysing and understanding the present world in which we exist. The history program offers a wide-range of fascinating courses about nations, social groups and special topics. Some of our students go on to graduate schools and become historians themselves, but many others pursue careers that demand these fundamental skills. Graduates of history programs work in museums, in libraries and archives, in government, as journalists and as lawyers, and in business, to name a few.

 Whether taking a few history courses or majoring in the field, here are the features that make St. FX an outstanding place to study history:

Top 3 Reasons to Study History at St. FX

Students touring the St. FX rare book room with Dr. Donna Trembinski (at far left).

1.   Student-centred courses taught by engaged and dedicated faculty

The St. FX history department has a distinguished research record. Whether it’s examining archival sources or collecting oral histories, faculty travel around the world to explore the past and their work is published widely. Their expertise is featured in courses that are engaging, analytical, and student-centred. Read more about the Faculty.

Paul Robeson, baritone, sings to lift morale of shipyard workers in California during WWII. (Credit: US National Archives [Public domain]).

2.  Wide range of fascinating courses

Interested in history from a global perspective? Perhaps you’d like to learn more about the Middle Ages, the British Empire, Latin America, Imperial Russia, or North America? St FX history offers this – and much, much more. Courses cover a range of geographic areas and time periods. See the complete Course Listing.

Students participate in seminar Contextualizing Ferguson, in Fall 2014.

3.   Extracurricular activity 

The St. FX history department is a vibrant and stimulating place to study. The department’s “Contextualizing…” series, for example, features fascinating discussions of the historical contexts of current events. Read more in our News & Events section.


For more information on programs and options, please visit the Programs page.


As an Alumnus of the History department at StFX, I consider it a great honour to be able to return to teach at my alma mater.
 - Dr. Barry MacKenzie
The skills that I learned through studying history have been very useful for law school, private practive, and government.  In particular, history has provided me with valuable research skills, with knowledge to understand the historical context for various legal rules and decisions, and with advanced writing skills.

- Ian MacIsaac, Barrister & Solicitor
Thank you for your guidance and for being professors who made a difference and made me appreciate and love history even more than I already did.
-Robyne Veillotte Ahmed, Acquisitions & Documentation Officer, Canadian War Museum
History is crucial to understanding the context of current events.  As a journalist, understanding where our country has come form has aided my abiliby to tell today's stories well and has given me a greater appreciation for the role journalists play in recording history for future generations.
- Danielle Webb, Interactive Online Editor, The Globe and Mail
I graduated from St. FX with his Bachelor of Arts with high honours in History in 2010. I went on to complete a Master’s in History at the University of Calgary, where I specialized in international relations and secret intelligence. At the moment I am considering undertaking my PhD at either the International Relations at the London School of Economics and War Studies at King's College London. I am appreciative of the tremendous support I’ve received from the St. FX History Department over the years toward my academic and professional successes.
- Matt Hefler
I decided to attend X after applying to schools all over the Maritimes, and when I visited it immediately felt like home. … The history program at X allows students to explore all different facets of world history, and with small class sizes and excellent professors, students who work hard are bound to succeed. Students are left with countless useful skills and lifelong connections. If you are interested in the program, I highly suggest it.
- Elizabeth Gunsinger
 I am currently completing the last few months of the Master of Public Administration Program at Dalhousie University… This past summer I completed a placement as a Junior Analyst with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, in the Strategic Policy and External Relations Branch. The basic research and analysis skills I developed at X have been absolutely essential in the projects I have worked on during my Master's. I owe much of current success to everything I learned back at StFX.
- Andrew Bucci
I am now completing a Masters of Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. In addition, I have completed internships at KPMG and Germany Trade & Invest where I focused mainly on health care advisory, outsourcing and Public Relations. Currently, I am doing Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at APCO Worldwide. History introduced me to the notion of policy making and the volatile relationship between government and business. My background has proven valuable at Hertie and the companies where I have worked.
- Sophia Cote