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Meet The GW Historical Review, our first Undergraduate Journal

The History Department is proud to announce a student-led effort to create an undergraduate journal has been approved! Submissions for the Fall 2017 Edition of the newly created The GW Historical Review will be accepted from GW undergraduate students and recent graduates. For more information about this exciting new endeavor and paper requirements, click here.


Senior Daniel Howlett digitally publishes groundbreaking Salem Witch Trial research as a website

Graduating senior Daniel Howlett has conducted groundbreaking research on the Salem Witch Trials over more than three years of work. In his research, he has graphed the residents of Salem and their interactions with one another through meticulous study of all known Salem court records from 1692 to 1693. He has identified 1,460 people and 9,870 unique relationships.and published them on his website, Salem Networks.

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Figure created by graduating senior Daniel Howlett in his Honors Thesis

Phi Alpha Theta undergraduates sweep regional conference!

Phi Alpha Theta, Phi Chi, the GW chapter of the National History Honor Society, swept the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference at the University of Baltimore on Saturday April 22. Our undergraduate history students took home three of the four available awards!

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Joseph Albanese, Kathryn White, and Samuel Pfister at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference

Tyler Anbinder wins Mark Lynton History Prize

Tyler Anbinder's book, City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York, has been awarded the Mark Lynton History Prize of the Columbia University School of Journalism. Congratulations, Professor Anbinder!

City of Dreams by Tyler Anbinder

Gregg Brazinsky publishes new book with UNC Press

Congratulations to Professor Gregg Brazinsky on the release of his new book, Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War from UNC Press! The book provides a "detailed narrative of the diplomatic, economic, and cultural competition between Beijing and Washington [and] offers an important new window for understanding the impact of the Cold War on the Third World." Read more here.

Winning the Third World by Gregg Brazinsky (UNC Press, 2017))

The History Department teams up with History News Network (HNN)

The History News Network (HNN)

The History Department is excited to announce a new partnership with History News Network (HNN), a website devoted to putting current events in historical context.  Among other things, HNN endeavors to expose politicians who misrepresent history; to point out bogus analogies; to deflate beguiling myths; and to remind us all of the complexity of history. Their mission states, "Because we believe history is complicated our pages are open to people of all political persuasions. Left, right, center: all are welcome."  Visit to see what it's all about! 



Other faculty publications

From Shame to Pride

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.


Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Recent events have heightened concern among many about tolerance for diversity in American society and at GW in particular.  The strong feelings and fears that many in our community have voiced—and the accounts of deeply troubling incidents that are now part of our daily reading—must not simply be acknowledged; they must also be taken very seriously.
While the History Department does not take positions on matters of partisan politics, we are very insistent on matters of principle, including those enunciated in the University's Statement on Diversity and Inclusion: “Leveraging diversity is rarely achieved by accident. As individuals and as an institution, we must intentionally act to create the diverse and inclusive community that enables everyone to flourish. All members and units of the George Washington University community must advance the institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority.”  

I write now to affirm that statement and to assure you that the History Department remains dedicated to the principles of inclusiveness and tolerance; we see them as essential to the scholarly mission of the university.
If you have any particular concerns that you wish to bring to our attention, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at  I also call your attention to the message from GW’s Vice Provost Caroline Laguerre-Brown, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement in which she says that members of our community should “know that we stand ready to support you with a variety of services should you need them." Her message contains a very helpful list of resources available to students on campus.

Katrin Schultheiss

Alumnus creates new annual scholarship for GW History Department

 Ron and Gail Denham
Ron Denham (Class of '67) and his wife Gail

The History Department is pleased to announce the creation of the Dr. Charles Herber Annual Scholarship. This scholarship, supported by alumnus Ron Denham '67, will be awarded to an undergraduate majoring in History with a preference for a student who is the first in their family to attend college. Providing this scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial strains facing our students, allowing the recipient to more thoroughly engage in the History curriculum and pursue their academic interests.

Dr. Charles Herber, Associate Professor Emeritus of History and International Affairs, has instilled lifelong learning in countless of his students. We are privileged to receive this support on behalf of our students and in honor of Dr. Charles Herber and his years of dedication to his students and the department.

Seniors present posters at Research Days

Two of our seniors, Joseph Albanese and Kathryn White, presented original research at GW Research Days. Check out their posters in the third floor Phillips hallways!

Joseph Albanese and Kathryn White at GW Research Days

Denver Brunsman teaches week-long course in São Paulo, Brazil


Professor Denver Brunsman traveled to São Paulo, Brazil as a visiting professor at São Paulo State University, Campus Franca. He gave the inaugural lecture entitled "Pirates vs. Press Gangs: The Battle for the Atlantic" to open a new term for the university's graduate program in history and also taught a week-long graduate course on "The American Revolution in Atlantic Context." 

Arie Dubnov Joins History Faculty

Arie Dubnov

Professor Arie M. Dubnov joined the department in Spring 2017 as our new Associate Professor of History and Max Ticktin Chair of Israel Studies. Professor Dubnov is a historian of twentieth century Jewish and Israeli history, with emphasis on the history of political thought, the study of nationalism, decolonization and partition politics, and with a subsidiary interest in the history of Israeli popular culture. Prior to his arrival at GW, Dubnov taught at Stanford University and the University of Haifa. His current research project seeks to trace the genealogy of the idea of partition in the British interwar Imperial context, and to uncover other alternative, neglected federalist political schemes that were circulating at the time. Welcome, Professor Dubnov!

Read more about Professor Dubnov's work here.

Summer 2017 History Courses

Courses in History

Check out the Summer 2017 graduate and undergraduate history course offerings here. Students can now browse syllabi and course descriptions for upcoming classes.

History Department Announces National Park Service Research Grants

National Park Service logo


The Department of History welcomes applications for grants to fund research in the parks, archives, and collections of the National Capital Region of the National Park Service. The NPS Research Grants will be awarded in the amount of $250.00 to GW undergraduate and graduate students on a rolling basis during the spring semester and summer terms of 2017. The grants are made available through a generous donation by Frances Kennedy in memory of her husband Roger G. Kennedy, director of the National Park Service from 1993 to 1997. Submissions should be sent to Denver Brunsman ( More information and application here


Quadruple book launch honors Diane Cline, Dane Kennedy, and Andrew Zimmerman

The History Department hosted a quadruple book launch honoring the recent releases of Diane Cline's book The Greeks: An Illustrated History (National Geographic), Dane Kennedy's two publications, Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press) and How Empire Shaped Us (Bloomsbury Publishing), and the new edition of  Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' book, The Civil War in the United States (International Publishers), edited by Andrew Zimmerman. Congratulations, Professors Cline, Kennedy, and Zimmerman, on these exciting achievements! 

        The Civil War in America, edited by Andrew Zimmerman

Bernie Sanders Chief Strategist Tad Devine speaks to students about history and politics

Tad Devine, Chief Strategist for the Bernie Sanders for President campaign

Chief Strategist for the Bernie Sanders for President Campaign Tad Devine spoke on "How to Break into Politics with a Degree in History" on Wednesday, Nov. 2. He discussed the skillsets he learned as a history student and how they have served him throughout his 35-year career in political campaigns. 

Jisoo Kim earns GW a major grant from the Korean government

Five-Year grant will establish the GW Institute for Korean Studies

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!

Meet the Chair

Katrin Schultheiss


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. MEDIA CREDIT: HATCHET FILE PHOTO BY DAN RICH | PHOTO EDITOR

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. Click the video below to find out more.

2016-17 Graduate Student Awards

Congratulations to our graduate student prize winners!

Herber Prize for Excellence in Graduate Student Instruction - Robert Isaacson

Herber Prize for Best Teaching Assistant - Brittany Lewis

Sachar Prize for Best Graduate Research Paper - Kieran O'Keefe, "The Loyalists of Newburgh, New York"

Kayser Prize for Best MA Thesis - Ashley Somawang, "A Russian Mennonite Nation in Ukraine, 1917-1926:  The Public Sphere and Strategies of Differentiation in a World of Coeval National Imaginings"

Undergraduate Research Symposium

On May 5 the History Department hosted an Undergraduate Research Symposium featuring presentations from seniors who completed History Honors Theses. Presentations were split into three panel sessions moderated by Professors Diane Cline, Tom Long and Tyler Anbinder. The topics ranged from the Salem Witch Trials to the Siege of Leningrad, and from Byzantium to Cajun soldiers during World War II. We are very pleased with our students and the exceptional work they produced.

Benjamin Desmarais presents his thesis, Aviation at the World War I Battle of Verdun

Andrew Zimmerman receives John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship

Andrew Zimmerman was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for his current book project, Conjuring Freedom: A Global History of the American Civil War. Read more here.

Andrew Zimmerman

Jennifer Bertolet receives 2017 Bender Teaching Award

Jennifer Bertolet

Professor Jennifer Bertolet has been awarded a 2017 Morton A. Bender Teaching Excellence Award! The Bender Teaching Awards recognize undergraduate, graduate, and professional teaching at GW. Endowed by Morton Bender and the George Washington University, each award provides a $1,000 prize to be used by the recipient for professional development. Congratulations, Professor Bertolet!

Bulgarian Ambassador presents Theo Christov at Library of Congress lecture

Ambassador of Bulgaria Elena Poptodorova introduced Professor Theo Christov at the Library of Congress where Christov delivered a lecture on “The 'Law of Nations' in America's Independence.” You can watch the video here.

Recent faculty books

The Greeks: An Illustrated History

Diane Cline's lavishly illustrated reference about ancient Greece presents the amazing history through gripping stories about the powerful legacy left by ancient Greece for the modern world.

City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York

Tyler Anbinder’s City of Dreams provides a vivid sense of what New York looked like, sounded like, smelled like, and felt like over the centuries of its development and maturation into the city we know today.

Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America

In Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America, David Silverman evaluates Native Americans' historical relationship with firearms.

Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction

Dane Kennedy's Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction aims to give readers a better understanding of the process of decolonization, as well as its impact on contemporary international relations.

How Empire Shaped Us

How Empire Shaped Us, edited by Dane Kennedy, tackles the subject of Britain's imperial past by bringing together some of the leading figures in the field, historians of different generations and nationalities, different methodological and theoretical perspectives and different ideological persuasions.

The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Choson Korea

Jisoo Kim challenges the typical portrayal of premodern Korean society.

Before Anarchy: Hobbes and his Critics in Modern International Thought

Theo Christov explains how the 'Hobbesian state of nature' and the 'discourse of anarchy' came to be seen as virtually synonymous.

The Scientific Revolution in Global Perspective

William Burns places the Scientific Revolution--and its causes and effects--in a global context.

Military Force and Elite Power in the Formation of Modern China

Edward A. McCord explores the intersection of military force and elite power in the formative years of modern Chinese history.

Innovative Partners: The Rockefeller Foundation and Thailand

Bill Becker explores the century-long relationship between the Foundation and Thailand.

Citizen Strangers: Palestinians and the Birth of Israel's Liberal Settler State

Shira Robinson chronicles the paradoxical status of Israel's Palestinian Arab minority after 1948, as citizens of a formally liberal state and subjects of a colonial regime.