Examining the Past to
Understand the Future

Studying history through today's lens

Who We Are


With an unparalleled location in the nation's capital, award-winning faculty and access to some of the most important research repositories in the world, the GW Department of History offers an ideal platform from which to explore our past. Undergraduate and graduate students are exposed to a diversity of topics, from the Africa diaspora to the Cold War, from imperialism to urbanization, from the founding of Islam to Jewish history, from race relations to labor, law and politics. Students graduate with the knowledge and analytical tools necessary for success in a wide range of careers.


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Where We Are

the national mall

The Washington, D.C., area offers a front-row seat to history. Students are immersed in their surroundings through trips to museums, battlefields and historical sites including the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Jamestown Settlement, the Gettysburg Battlefield, the Society of the Cincinnati and George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

Through the department's collaborative relationships with institutions throughout the region, students also have extraordinary access to historical documents at the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the National Security Archive and the Smithsonian Institution.

News and Events


Max Skidelsky

"Thanks to the History Department, I was able to learn fascinating subjects, conduct important research, conference with knowledgeable and attentive professors, and graduate feeling prepared for the future as a historian."

Max Skidelsky
BA '20

 History by the Numbers

100+ students in the major


50+ students in the minor


~40 full-time faculty members


Our Highlights 


Faculty Books

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Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separatism

Arie M. Dubnov, associate professor of history, and Max Ticktin, chair of Israel studies, co-edited this first collective history of the concept of partition.

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Said the Prophet of God: Hadith Commentary Across a Millennium

Joel Blecher, assistant professor of history, breaks open a brand new field in Islamic studies: how hadith (Muhammad’s sayings and practices) were debated and understood...

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Set in Stone: America's Embrace of the Ten Commandments

Jenna Weissman Joselit, Charles E. Smith Professor of Judaic Studies and professor of history, situates the Ten Commandments within the fabric of American history and...

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Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War

Winning the Third World examines afresh the intense and enduring rivalry between the United States and China during the Cold War. Gregg A. Brazinsky shows how both...