History at USC

María Elena Martínez-López, associate professor of history and American studies and ethnicity at USC Dornsife and a leading scholar of colonial Latin America has died. She was 47.

Martínez-López died at home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family and close friends on Nov. 16 after being diagnosed with cancer in late May.

“Professor Martínez-López was a brilliant scholar of Spanish American and colonial Mexican history,” said William Deverell, professor and chair of history, and director of the USC-Huntington Institute on California and the West at USC Dornsife. “Her historical insights on race, conquest and religion garnered richly deserved awards and praise, and her dedication to scholarship and her students was exemplary. We will miss her terribly.”

Please click here to view the entire article, posted on the USC Dornsife homepage. 


I am pleased to welcome you to the USC History Department and our website.  We are an ambitious department at an ambitious research university, and it is a pleasure to offer this brief guide to our work and our community.  Our faculty is a diverse group of talented scholars whose research and teaching explores countless facets of human history over millennia.  Our strengths as a faculty speak especially to European, Asian, American, and Latin American history, and our periods of study range from ancient to medieval history, and the early modern to the modern eras.  These fields constitute the major features of our graduate training as well; the department offers only the Ph.D degree, and we recruit and train students from all over the world.  Through a number of research and teaching institutes, we have established on-going and important collaborations with institutions such as The Huntington Library.  Our department offers a wide array of undergraduate courses ranging from small, in-depth seminars to large lecture courses and surveys. Our Honors program immerses history majors in primary research, and each year our Honors graduates produce excellent essays on the focus of their research.

Please consult the website’s faculty and graduate student pages for more information about our programs of study at undergraduate and graduate levels and for further introduction to our community of scholars.  Please feel welcome to contact me if you have questions about the department. You may make an appointment, or feel free to come by the department if you would like to meet in person.

William Deverell, Chair
History Department


Who we are

  One of the largest departments in the Humanities Division of USC's Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the Department of History is a dynamic community of undergraduates, graduates, post-doctoral scholars, and faculty, with a wide variety of interests and specializations, united by our shared passion for understanding all facets of the human past. We are located in the Social Sciences Building (SOS) on USC's University Park Campus.


What we do

   The faculty in the Department of History conducts research spanning the entire course of human history across every part of the globe.  Our scholars produce pathbreaking research on the cultures of the past, contribute to innovative academic collaborations, and are contributing members to the wider discipline of history.  We take this passion for new research and engagement into the classroom in a series of award-winning undergraduate programs.  Our department also trains the next generation of historical scholars in our PhD program.  As a teaching and research department, we also contribute to the growth of new scholarship by hosting several post-doctoral fellows every year.  As a part of our dedication to wider university and public engagement, the Department of History also hosts lectures and events for scholars and the public throughout the academic year. 


Upcoming Events:

For a full calendar of our upcoming events, click here.

For an archive of our past events, click here

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034