Research Efforts





The Department of History's faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students maintain active research agendas that appear in traditional international and national academic venues (peer-reviewed publications, academic conferences, and public lectures). The individual research efforts of faculty are shared on faculty profile pages. Regionally, our university students present at The Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum (CSURF) and graduate students at the Evening of History, a student conference where each fall and spring students present papers crafted in our HIST 7XXX-series research courses.

In addition, the Department initiates and supports a number of interdisciplinary research initiatives that focus on the digital humanities. Our present initiatives include:

deciphering secrets


The Deciphering Secrets Project

Deciphering Secrets is about scholars and the public collaborating to better understand Jewish, Christian, and Muslim coexistence during the Spanish Middle Ages (500-1500 CE). Since summer 2014, we have delivered Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to share the interreligious history of Spain (also known as Islamic al-Andalus and Jewish Sefarad). We work alongside of museums like the Museo Sefardi (Toledo). the Museo de Santa Cruz (Toledo), the Museo de Burgos, and the New Mexico History Museum to present compelling cultural knowledge. Further, our research efforts energize current and former MOOC students to assist with transcribing and investigating medieval manuscripts pertaining to medieval/early modern Jewish, Christian, and Muslim interrelations. We teach introductory, intermediate, and advanced Spanish paleography (or, reading old handwriting) to our students so that they can “decipher secrets” from medieval manuscripts. Through our collaborations with Spanish cathedral, municipal, and national archives we are making new collections available for investigation. Presently, our research is focused on interreligious affairs in the cities of Plasencia, Burgos, Toledo, and Granada, and their broader connections to the Iberian Peninsula.

Deciphering Secrets has received funding from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement nº 600371, el Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (COFUND2013-51509) and Banco Santander. The Deciphering Secrets, Global Citizen Scholars, and Revealing Cooperation and Conflict Project are the non-profit, educational, research efforts guided by Roger L. Martínez-Dávila. Dr. Martinez and his colleagues are pleased to share these materials via Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

Augmented Reflections logo

Augmented Reflections: Experiencing Spanish, Indigenous, And Anglo Relations In Mexico, New Mexico, And Colorado From The 16th Through 20th Centuries

Augmented Reflections is a multi-year research project funded by the 2018 UCCS College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences’ Innovative Research Initiative. Our endeavor reshapes interpretation, understanding, and knowledge by generating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality worlds (AR, interactive digital projections placed over the real world). We are creating an interpretive digital experience that places participants within the narratives of Spanish conquest and exploration, Pueblo and Plains Indian life, Indian-Spanish interchange, and the Hispano settlement of New Mexico and Colorado. We are presently creating four virtual worlds (using the Unity game engine) to evaluate:

  • Spanish conquistador Coronado’s mid-1500s exploration of New Mexico and Colorado.
  • Spanish-Pueblo Indian interchange in northern New Mexico during the 1700s.
  • The Spanish colonial “Miracle of San Acacio” in the San Luis Valley.
  • Spanish-Plains Indian colonial relations along the Purgatoire River in Colorado.

The project, directed on a day-to-day basis by Roger Martinez-Davila (History), is led by four co-principal investigators including Minette Church (Anthropology), Fernando Feliu-Moggi (Languages and Cultures), Michael Larkin (GES), and Suzanne MacAulay (VAPA). To facilitate the cross-fertilization of ideas and extend our reach within LAS, our team includes two part-time collaborators: Samantha Christiansen (History) and Jane Rigler (VAPA). The technical director of the project is Mr. Sean Wybrant of Palmer High School, D-11, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

More information at