Why study history video
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.”
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!
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
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.
Spring 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.
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.
Dr. Fred Cooper to give 2017 Kayser Lecture
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Fred Cooper, Professor of History at New York University, will be giving the 2017 Kayser lecture on March 2, 2017 at 5pm in the Gelman Library 7th floor Teamster's Room. His lecture, titled "Locating Citizenship: Empire, Nation, Federation," will look at conceptual issues in the study of citizenship and the historical question of where it has been located. Read more 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!
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
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 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.
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!
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.