Why study history?
Students and professors at the University of Utah describe why a history major is the most relevant degree students can get in the 21st century.
Dr. Elizabeth "Lil" Fenn, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in history for her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, gave this year's highly anticipated Kayser Lecture on February 18, 2016. The acclaimed University of Colorado Boulder professor discussed Sacagawea's Capture and the History of the Early West.
Hot off the press!
Recently published journal articles, book chapters, and media contributions.
Department of History
Christopher Klemek to deliver 2016 Trachtenberg Distinguished Teaching Lecture
As recipient of GW's Prize for Teaching Excellence, Prof. Christopher Klemek will deliver the 2016 Trachtenberg Distinguished Teaching Lecture on Thursday, October 13, 4:00pm at the George Washington University and Textile Museum (701 21st St NW). His talk is entitled "Urban Past, Public Present, and Digital Future: Teaching Civic Engagement through DC History.” A reception will follow the event. Free and open to the public, but registration is requested.
Professor Tom Long is now accepting applications for participation in the 2017 Price of Freedom: Normandy, 1944 course. This is a short-term study abroad course in which students learn about the D-Day landings in the Second World War and each research soldiers from their hometowns who died during the campaign. During Spring Break students travel to France to visit the landing sites and present eulogies for their soldiers at the Normandy American Cemetery. More information here.
Professor David Silverman publishes book with Harvard University Press
Congratulations to Professor David Silverman whose book, Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America, was just published by Belknap Press (Harvard University Press). The book "reframes our understanding of Indians’ historical relationship with guns, arguing against the notion that they prized these weapons more for the pyrotechnic terror guns inspired than for their efficiency as tools of war." Congratulations, Professor Silverman!
Congratulations to our 2016 Undergraduate Departmental Prize Winners!
The 2016 Special Departmental Honors for Undergraduate Seniors in History are awarded to:
The Jesse Fant Evans Prize for Excellence in Contemporary History is awarded to Madeline Crispell, Robert Hansen, Emily Niekrasz, and Jennifer Sherman.
The Gardiner G. Hubbard Memorial Prize for Excellence in American History is awarded to Nicholas Holy, Matthew Maresca, and Edward Rickford.
The Thomas F. Walsh Prize for Best Essay in Irish History is awarded to Ross Berry and Caley Donovan.
The Deixler/Swain Prizes for Best Undergraduate Theses are awarded as follows:
- Honors Thesis in an American History topic - Olivia Franklin and Robert Wasserstein
- Honors Thesis in a Non-American History topic - Caroline Sandri
- Senior Thesis in an American History topic - Charlotte Prenn and Farieha Shah
Fall 2016 Courses in History
Jisoo Kim earns GW a major grant from the Korean government
Professor Jisoo Kim's tireless efforts have resulted in GW's being awarded a major five-year Core University Grant by the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS), a division of the Ministry of Education, Republic of Korea. This grant will enable the university to establish the GW Institute for Korean Studies (GW-KIS). It will also fund conferences, workshops, lecture series, graduate fellowships, adjunct teaching, summer programs, Korean collection cataloging, staff support, and outreach. The new institute will be housed at the Elliott School. Thank you for making this incredible opportunity possible, Professor Kim!
Professors Denver Brunsman and Christopher Klemek were recognized at the GW Faculty Honors Ceremony on April 20. Professor Brunsman received the Bender Teaching Award while Professor Klemek received the Writing in the Disciplines Distinguished Teaching Award and the Trachtenberg Prize for Teaching Excellence. The annual Honors Ceremony recognizes a diverse group of talented GW faculty who have shown extraordinary dedication to teaching, scholarship, and the university. Congratulations to Professors Brunsman and Klemek on their outstanding achievements!
Professor Joel Blecher will be joining the department in Fall 2016 as our new specialist in the History of Early and Medieval Islam. Professor Blecher's current research focuses on the social and intellectual life of hadith commentary. His book project, In the Shade of the Hadith: Islam and the Politics of Interpretation across a Millennium, finds that the meanings of hadith (the collected sayings of the prophet Muhammed) were shaped as much by commentators’ political, cultural and regional contexts as by the fine-grained intellectual debates that developed over long periods of time. His next project, Profit and Prophecy: Islam and the Spice Trade from Venice to India, will explore how Muslim scholars and merchants in the Mamluk period (13th-15th centuries) mixed religion and business along trade and pilgrimage routes that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Sea and beyond. In the fall, he will be teaching History 3801: The Formation of Islam to 1500. Welcome, Professor Blecher!
Read more about Professor Blecher's work here.
On January 14, the Department of History co-hosted a double book launch in honor of Professor Jisoo Kim and Theodore Christov's two new faculty books, The Emotions of Justice and Before Anarchy, respectfully. The event was cosponsored by the Elliott School of International Affairs, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Universtiy Honors Program. Congratulations, Professor Kim and Professor Christov!
Featured Department News
Caitlyn Borghi ('15) has won a Gilder Lehrman Scholar Award, which covers an all-expense paid trip to New York City to participate in a week of seminars and archival visits with leading American historians. The prestigious national award "recognizes outstanding college juniors and seniors who have demonstrated academic and extracurricular excellence in American history or American studies as well as a commitment to public service and community involvement." Congratulations!
On February 10, Prof. Eric Arnesen was installed as the James R. Hoffa Teamsters Professor in Modern American Labor History.
Prof. Erin Chapman received a fellowship from GW's Global Women's Institute for her book project, Making Freedom Real: Gender and Emancipation in the African American Imaginary, 1865-1965. The book will investigate the thought of five exemplary black feminists and argue that the prevailing definition of freedom in patriarchal terms functioned at odds with black feminist critique.
Professor Dane Kennedy was appointed to a two-year term to head the National History Center. Founded in 2002 by the American Historical Association, the Center aims to reinforce the critical role that history and historical knowledge play in public decision-making and civic life. Among its many programs are its Congressional Briefings, its International Seminars on Decolonization, and its Washington History Seminar. Congratulations!
Meet the Chair
Professor Katrin Schultheiss specializes in the history of modern France, gender and women's history, and the history of medicine. She is currently finishing a book on the nineteenth century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, whose research on hysteria and hypnosis deeply influenced the work of Sigmund Freud.