Research Profile

Research Profile

Since 2011, History Department faculty have…

  • Published a dozen books, including two that have won major national awards
  • Published over two dozen peer-reviewed single-authored articles
  • Presented papers on four continents

In the past dozen years, history faculty have been awarded numerous grants and fellowships from institutions and organizations around the country, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (3), the American Council for Learned Societies (2), the Huntington Library (2), and NASA, among many others.

History department faculty also direct CSULB interdisciplinary programs in American Studies, Jewish studies, Middle Eastern studies, and the Yadunandan Center for India Studies, all of which have been active in bringing in national speakers and garnering hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and private donations.

Student Research

The Graduate Program in History serves both traditional and non‐traditional students, including students planning to pursue doctoral work at other universities and teachers seeking to enhance their knowledge of historical methodology, theory, and content. Almost half of the more than 40 history students who have earned M.A. degrees in the last three years have done so by working intensively with a faculty mentor to produce a thesis based on original research in historical primary sources. For two of those three years, history students have won the College of Liberal Arts’ Best M.A. Thesis award, attesting to the high quality of both our student work and our faculty research mentoring. In addition, every year our Social Science Credential program, one of the largest of its kind in the country, annually places dozens of students in jobs at California K-12 schools.

  • In the past three years, several of our students have gone on to Ph.D. programs, both in the United States and abroad.
  • Six have presented work at academic conferences.
  • Two have published single-authored work (one article, one book review) in academic journals.
  • Three have been awarded Fulbright fellowships and one has won a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.
  • A dozen have been placed in internships in museums and historical societies in the greater L.A. area.
  • Two have received awards from the CSULB research competition.

Oral History

The Virtual Oral/Aural History Archive ( is a repository of oral histories with a special focus on California and Long Beach History. The oral history collections of VOAHA cover topics ranging from women’s social history, labor and ethnic studies to Long Beach Area history and the musical developments in Southern California. Some of the interviews in the Asian American, Mexican American and women’s history collections were recorded as early as 1972 and include interviews with narrators who were born in the mid to late 19th century. Presently, more than 1000 hours with 350 diverse narrators are available online.

Professor Igmen also recently directed a faculty-student research project to interview the survivors of the USA-Mexico Bracero Project of the 1920s-1960s. Working together with undergraduate history major Liliana Montalvo, Professor Igmen supervised sixteen students from History, Sociology and Spanish Language and Literature as they conducted interviews to preserve this underexplored chapter in transnational history. The results are in the process of being archived with the Smithsonian, and Ms. Montalvo parlayed her work with this project into a Fulbright fellowship to Mexico to continue her research.

The Elizabeth Murray Project

Portrait of Elizabeth MurrayInspired by the research for her book Elizabeth Murray: A Woman’s Pursuit of Independence in Eighteenth-Century America (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000) and the Seamless Education partnership of CSULB with Long Beach Unified School District, Professor Patricia Cleary, together with fellow faculty member Sean Smith, has created an award-winning website on the life and times of a remarkable eighteenth-century woman, who was an immigrant and shopkeeper caught up in the American Revolution. The Elizabeth Murray Project: A Resource Site for Early American History offers scholars, K-12 teachers, and students a rich body of otherwise unavailable primary sources from archives and museums, as well curricular materials for K-12, and interactive features, like a timeline. With funding and assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which designated the project part of its “We, the People” initiative, as well as CSULB and the National Parks Service, the site features the work of a team of scholars and teachers from Long Beach, including History Department colleagues Tim Keirn and Dave Neumann.

Educating Educators

The History Teacher, the journal of the Society for History Education, is now in its 46th year of publication. Editor Jane Dabel continues her work as editor for a journal that is the most widely recognized journal in the United States devoted to the teaching of history. It features peer-reviewed analyses of both traditional and innovative teaching techniques in the primary, secondary, and higher education classroom.

Professor Tim Keirn has been Principal Investigator for a number of major grants that involve professional development and outreach with local, national, and international teachers and teacher educators in history education. Over the past five years, these have included:

  • $950,000 US Department of Education Teaching American History Grant with Lynwood & Inglewood School Districts
  • $250,000 Freeman Foundation Grant for Raising the Visibility of Asia in History Teacher Preparation
  • $100,000 and $125,000 Ahmanson Foundation Grants “World History for Us All” – Middle & High School History
  • $15,000 grant from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for Pre-Service Teacher Education
  • $180,0000 NEH Grant, Landmarks Teaching Workshops: “The Cold War Home Front”
  • $930,000 Improving Teacher Quality Grant with Long Beach Unified School District, funded by the California Postgraduate Education Commission and US Department of Education.

Please click here for a downloadable copy of the Department of History Research Profile for 2013.