HSOC Featured Story

After a quarter of a century, the School of History, Technology, and Society is now the School of History and Sociology.


In the summer of 2015, the school assumed a new name. After a quarter century, the School of History, Technology, and Society (HTS) was rechristened as the School of History and Sociology (HSOC). Why make this change? Above all, we wanted to shed light on sociology, one of our two core disciplines. The new name signals clearly what has always been true: we are a collection of historians and sociologists.

And while many of us focus expressly on the history and sociology of technology and science, our expertise encompasses far more than that. As we see it, our faculty cluster around five broad topics:

  • History of Technology/ Engineering and Society
  • Global Cities and Urban Society
  • Agriculture, Health, and Environment
  • Modern Global History/Science, Technology, and Nationalism
  • U.S. Society and Politics/Policy Perspectives

Each of these clusters incorporates perspectives from both history and sociology, and each melds specialists in technology and science with generalists. Our goal is to create a space where students and faculty can cultivate their disciplinary skills and perspectives, while avoiding narrow silos. We look to meld our expertise to produce genuinely novel approaches to teaching and research, ones which will set our students apart and generate novel insights into the pressing challenges facing the world today.

Perhaps the best way to view the School of History and Sociology is as an umbrella, under which we offer a wide range of programs, from general education courses and our rich slate of undergraduate minors, through our distinctive undergraduate major (which remains a B.S. in HTS) and our master’s and doctoral degree programs in the History and Sociology of Technology and Science (HSTS). And lest you think our new name is nothing more than a cosmetic change, we are pleased to report that new faculty in sociology and African American history will be joining us this year.

In this and many other ways, HSOC is on the move and breaking new ground, as it forges a brand of history and sociology especially tailored for our dynamic times.