The Department of History has long been an important institution at Auburn University. Hired in 1891, George Petrie (1866-1947) was a professor of both history and Latin. His position was the first non-scientific professorship at the Agricultural and Mechanical College. Petrie founded Auburn's history department and helped establish other enduring Auburn traditions. In his first year, Petrie introduced football to the school. Half a century later, he wrote the Auburn Creed.
We excel in the following research areas:
- Southern history
- History of technology
- Public history
- Race, rights and inequalities
We create a nurturing environment for creative and insightful historical research. We do this through research seminars ranging in topics from early American history to European studies. This sense of community allows our faculty and students to produce work publishable in notable journals and with leading academic presses. We serve the broader university community through engaging undergraduate core curriculum courses. As members of a land-grant institution, our faculty participate in public outreach and community engagement.