The Department of History was established in 1963 as the Calicut Centre of the Kerala University in the Guruvayurappan College, Kozhikode. Professor PK Karunakara Menon was the first head of this Post Graduate Study centre with Dr T K Ravindran to assist him. Dr M GS Narayanan joined the team in 1964. With the establishment of Calicut University, the centre became the History Department of the University with full-fledged research activities. After Professor P KKarunakara Menon, Dr T K Ravindran became the Head of the Department. When Dr T K Ravindran joined Kerala University in 1971, Dr M G S Narayanan became the Head of the Department at Calicut University.
Under the leadership of Dr M GS Narayan, the Department’s reputation grew and the research centre became a pioneer centre of a history research centre in India. Scholars of international reputation, Stephen Frederick Dale, Ronald Eric Miller, E P Thompson, Noboru Karashima, Romila Thaper, Bipan Chandra, Nurul Hassan, H D Sankalia etc., visited the Department many times for academic activity. There were occasions of national and international academic summits hosted by the Department. Summer Institutes, Workshops, Seminars, Conferences, field research etc., provided opportunities to young scholars to familiarize themselves with distinguished scholars as well as new areas of research. The department organized the Indian History Congress and the sessions of the South Indian History Congress several times.
The Department hosted the International Kerala History Congress in 2017 and the Thirty-Eighth South Indian History Congress in 2018