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 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.
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.
Graduating senior Daniel Howlett has conducted groundbreaking research on the Salem Witch Trials over more than three years of work. His history honors thesis, "Salem Networks," is a unique website rather than a research paper. 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.
Daniel will continue his Salem studies and degree by joining George Mason University's M.A. program in History this fall. His website, Salem Networks, is now live. We encourage everyone to check out Daniel's amazing work!
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: Best Paper in European History by Joseph Albanese (B.A. '17), Best Paper in World History by Samuel Pfister (B.A. '18), and Best Paper in U.S. History to 1865 by Kathryn White (B.A. '17)! The faculty advisors are Tom Long and Denver Brunsman. Congratulations to all!
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!
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.
The History Department teams up with 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 historynewsnetwork.org to see what it's all about!
Why study history video
Dr. Fred Cooper gives 2017 Kayser Lecture
Dr. Fred Cooper, Professor of History at New York University, gave the 2017 Kayser lecture on March 2, 2017 in the Gelman Library 7th floor Teamster's Room. His lecture, titled "Locating Citizenship: Empire, Nation, Federation," looked at conceptual issues in the study of citizenship and the historical question of where it has been located. Read more here.
Tyler Anbinder has released his latest book, City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York (2016), with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The book, praised as "A defining American story of millions of immigrants, hundreds of languages, and one great city," has already received critical acclaim. Read more here.
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!
Department of History
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 email@example.com. 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.
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.
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!
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
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
History Department Announces National Park Service Research Grants
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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!
Bernie Sanders Chief Strategist Tad Devine speaks to students about history and politics
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
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!
Professor Joel Blecher joined 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.
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. MEDIA CREDIT: HATCHET FILE PHOTO BY DAN RICH | PHOTO EDITOR
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"
Jennifer Bertolet receives 2017 Bender Teaching Award
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!
Christopher Klemek delivers 2016 Trachtenberg Distinguished Teaching Lecture
As recipient of GW's Prize for Teaching Excellence, Christopher Klemek delivered the 2016 Trachtenberg Distinguished Teaching Lecture on Thursday, October 13 at the George Washington University and Textile Museum. His talk was entitled "Urban Past, Public Present, and Digital Future: Teaching Civic Engagement through DC History.”
Recently published journal articles, book chapters, and media contributions.