The Department of History offers two Masters of Arts degrees. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you.
Boise State History Graduate Students in Action
Second year MA student Iñaki Sagarna participated in field work on an archaeological campaign on the site of a classical Roman settlement called Iturisa, located in Navarre, near the frontier between Spain and France. This particular campaign has taken place since 2011, and in 2013 partnered with the Museum of London Archaeology. Excavation has largely been focused on the center of the ancient city, specifically on the site of a substantial masonry building.
Iñaki, sponsored by the Department of History, participated in this work over the Summer of 2018. During this particular campaign, archaeologists worked to understand the history of the conglomerate of structures. Many potteries were discovered, including two perfectly preserved Roman lamps. The discovery of many nails suggests that most of the structures were made of wood, and are therefore most archaeologically untraceable. But the best finding from this excavation seems to be the unearthing of large stones, which match typically with the ones found in the context of Roman baths.
Third year MAHR student Hayley Noble recently completed an internship with the Old Idaho Penitentiary, where her work culminated in the opening of an exhibit examining the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice. Read about her experience below!
“As an MAHR student I am always eager for hands-on public history experience. I was fortunate enough to land an internship at the Old Idaho Penitentiary under the direction of Amber Beierle. The Old Pen stadd had a number of jobs I could undertake and I chose to create a new exhibit for them, since that is one of my history interests. With the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice we thought it would be a good idea to connect the prison to the war effort. The majority of my time as an intern was spent researching, both in newspaper online databases and inmate files in the Idaho State Archives, and compiling a variety of images from the Library of Congress website. The most difficult part of creating the panels was the editing process since there was so much information, and so many images obtained. I spent hours configuring the layouts on the computer, while continuing to pare down my content until I had something that wasn’t overwhelming. When my internship was done at the Old Pen, they worked out the printing and the hanging of the panels, and were nice enough to install them for public viewing at the end of August, as well as to throw an exhibit opening event.”
In 2017, MA student Alisha Graefe spent a week in the archives at Idaho State University, University of Idaho, and North Idaho College, looking through newspaper articles and collected pamphlets and newsletters from the Aryan Nations. Her thesis, “American Hatred: Wild West Myths, Color Coded Rhetoric, and the Shaping of the Aryan Nations,” revolves around the white separatist group, formed in Northern Idaho in the 1970s. It discusses the impact of Wild West mythology and color-coded language of Conservative politicians on their formation and identity. She says traveling alone to these archives was nerve wracking, but exhilarating.
Graefe says Morris Dees’ 1996 publication The Gathering Storm drew her to the project, opening her eyes to how little historians and Americans talk about and know about the predecessors to the current Alt-right.
Alisha used her thesis to compete in the Three Minute Thesis event in the spring of 2018, and was awarded the Dufty Travel Award.
Mischa Brady, a second-year graduate student, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, completing two combat tours in Iraq, before seeking a Masters in Applied Historical Research at Boise State. He studies military history and currently holds an internship as the Curator of Collections at the Idaho Military Museum. He builds and maintains exhibits and artifacts and works with and manages docents, volunteers, and other interns. He also helps the museum’s educational outreach to the public, local schools, and the military. He even helps run a historic rifle shoot for Boise State University ROTC classes using antique firearms.
“My job allows me to get hands-on experience with historic preservation of artifacts and equipment,” and his graduate history coursework in research, historical writing, grant writing, and preservation prepared him well, Mischa says. “My service at the museum has confirmed that I made the right decision on what I want to do with history education. I get to handle and preserve priceless pieces of military history, that up until now, I only got to look at in books or behind glass. The people I work with help feed my enthusiasm and are very supportive in increasing my knowledge and experience in public history.”
Dean Hagerman, a second-year student in the Masters of Applied Historical Research Program, turned his summer research into an enthusiastically recieved public history display and presentation last October. As an intern working for the Episcopal Diocese of Idaho, Hagerman was charged with sifting through archival materials — including parish registers, city maps, newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, croziers, and banners — held in the Boise State University archives to produce a display worthy to commemorate the 50th statewide Diocesan Convention and the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Episcopal Church of Idaho. In addition to a poster and tabletop display, Hagerman spoke for twenty minutes, telling stories and sharing images with over 100 people, including the Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the national Episcopal Church. As Hagerman noted afterward, “Digging into the church archives in the Special Collections at Boise State University to learn the personal stories of those who established the Episcopal Church in Idaho was fascinating. How my presentation was received be those in attendance at the annual convention of the Episcopal Church was gratifying. Overall it was an enriching learning experience.”
History Thesis Wins Award
Adam Behrman’s thesis “Selling Narratives of a Mexico in Crisis: Environmental Reporting in Excelsior and Uno mas Uno, 1984-84,” was selected as last year’s winner of the Boise State University Distinguished Thesis Award for the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business. Behrman explored the national debate over the Mexican government’s effectiveness in protecting the environment during Mexico’s economic crisis of the 1980s — a dialogue involving journalists, environmentalists, researchers, rural peasants, the urban poor, and government administrators. Along with awarding Behrman a certificate and money award, the Graduate College submitted Behrman’s thesis as the Boise State nominee to the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) distinguished thesis award competition. Behrman is currently a Ph.D. student in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Department of History
Boise State University
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Boise, ID 83725-1925