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 Sakagawea'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
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the George Washington University History Department is an intellectual community of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and many associates and friends. With more than 40 full-time faculty, varied both in specialization and research methods, GW is an ideal place to study fields as diverse as modern Africa, early modern Europe, the history of colonialism and imperialism, modern America, and the Cold War.
Home to some of the most important research repositories and archives in the world, Washington is a unique and exciting place to study history. Studying history at GW provides students with the knowledge and analytical tools necessary for success in a wide range of careers and professions.
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!
Spring 2016 Courses in History
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.