Department of History

The Department of History is dedicated to the humanistic study of the past for a better understanding of the present. This discipline requires the ability to analyze complex issues, events and ideas. The history major also requires skill in written expression. 

In addition to satisfying the goals of the Core Curriculum, the program in history equips students with a broad historical background and intellectual skills needed in a wide variety of professions, including those in government service, law, business, museum and archival careers, college teaching and professional research. 

An undergraduate focus in history - either minor or major - prepares students to take on a wide variety of pursuits. In addition to graduate school in history, the major also provides a solid foundation for law school, museum and historic preservation studies, and education programs. History majors make excellent educators, politicians, foreign service officers, editors and journalists, just to name a few of the fields history majors can enter. 

The History Department at Xavier University is a diverse group of professors and dedicated students set within an intimate atmosphere. Our areas of expertise range from the United States to the Ancient Mediterranean, from modern Latin America to Nineteenth-Century France, and from Twentieth-Century Africa to colonial and post-colonial African Diaspora Studies. In addition to the required core course, faculty members offer classes that include such diverse themes as "Gandhi and King: Nonviolent Philosophy of Conflict Resolution," "The Black Atlantic World," "Women in Latin America" and "The History of Louisiana."

"History has thrust something upon me from which I cannot turn away." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Student News

Our Xavier Students are High Achievers

Edward Wiggins (History, 2020) has been awarded an internship at the Atlanta History Center this summer. The Center boasts several locations including the Swan House, where Hunger Games: Catching Fire was filmed, and the Margaret Mitchell House, which memorializes the author of Gone with the Wind. Edward will have the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of a museum and archive, not unlike his experience working with the primary sources in the Historic New Orleans Collection during his course, HIST 2415: Introduction to Historical Research and Writing.

Corinne Williams (Recent Graduate) was selected to participate in the eight-week, Summer 2016 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Congressional Internship Program in Washington, DC where she participated in various leadership and professional development seminars, educational forums and networking events while simultaneously learning about the day to day operations of the United States Congress. She was placed in representative Al Green’s office (TX 9th Congressional District) for the duration of the program. Williams in currently a graduate assistant with the Center for Continuing Studies and Distance Education.

Ashley Gragg (Recent Graduate) was awarded a Rachel Robinson International Fellowship and selected to participate in Operation Crossroads Africa 10-week Summer 2016 Program in Ghana. In addition to working with a community outside Cape Coast, Ashley spent time in Accra performing research - including interviews - for a project on tattoo culture in West Africa that looks at tattooing as an aspect of individual and group identity formation, and as a form of resistance against dominant generational and gender structures. Gragg is currently conducting an internship at the Whitney Plantation.

Peyton E. King (Recent Graduate) recently completed an internship with the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). She assisted in the preparation of an art exhibit called the Essence of Things. Her role was to research some of the different artists that were part of the exhibit including Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams, and Le Corbusier. The purpose of the exhibit was to demonstrate the art and beauty within everyday objects. She also helped facilitate a kids event with Friday Nights at NOMA. 

Internships and Employment

Internships are a great opportunity for students to get an idea of the possible careers available to them. See what opportunities are available through the History Department and what former Xavier students have to say about their experiences!


Xavier University's Department of History and the Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC) are please to announce a collaboration for internships at the collections storied French Quarter location. As the Collection's website notes, interns will "benefit from completing professional work assignments, taking advantage of educational opportunities, and immersing themselves in the day-to-day workings of a busy museum, research center, and publisher. The internship program is managed by the internship director, and interns are supervised, mentored, and coached by staff members who ensure that the interns have a solid professional and educational experience."

For more information, please see the HNOC's internship page or contact Dr. Elizabeth Manley at


Student interns work under the supervision of the Director of Processing in the arranging, preservation and description of archival records, papers and collections. In the Spring of 2009 the History Department saw the fulfillment of a long deferred dream of an agreement with the Amistad Research Center for an internship program for Xavier Students. Since that time, six Xavier history majors have completed internships at Amistad and, without exception, they have said their internship was among their most rewarding experiences as a Xavier student. Our first intern in 2009, Chianta Dorsey, was assigned to a manuscript processing project in which included the arrangement, preservation and description of the papers of Homer McEwen who was a minister in the United Church of Christ, member of the Board of Trustees of Dillard University, and played an active role in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the Civil Rights Movement. Chianta's internship experience led her to pursue a career as an archivist. Today she holds a dual master's in History and Library Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA and is Reference Archivist at the Amistad Research Center.

For more information, please contact Sr. Barbara Hughes at or see the Amistad Research Center's Website.

We also support internships at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the World War II Museum, among others! For more information, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Manley

For more information about the Department of History, click here.

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