PhD student Kate Densford receives 2016-17 Fulbright Fellowship

Kate Densford

PhD student Kate Densford has been awarded a 2016-17 Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Austria and the Czech Republic for her dissertation on "The Collapse of Provincial Austria in the First World War." Congratulations, Kate!

News and Events

 News and Events about the George Washington University History Department

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: 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!

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

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.

Frederick Cooper gives 2017 Kayser Lecture

Dr. Fred Cooper

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," tackled the topic of citizenship. Dr. Cooper's discussion evaluated conceptual issues in the study of citizenship and the historical question of where it has been located.

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.

Joel Blecher Joins History Faculty

Joel Blecher

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

Marcy Norton receives Guggenheim Fellowship

Congratulations to Marcy Norton, who received the 2016-2017 Guggenheim Fellowship! The fellowship will support the completion of her upcoming book about the history of human-animal interactions in Western Europe and indigenous America between 1500 and 1800. Read more here.

Professor Dane Kennedy publishes book with Oxford University Press

Professor Dane Kennedy's latest book, Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction, has been published by Oxford University Press. Congratulations, Professor Kennedy, on this recent publication!

Two history professors receive major teaching awards!

Congratulations to Professor Denver Brunsman and Professor Christopher Klemek who have recently been awarded multiple distinguished teaching awards through the George Washington University! 


Professor Brunsman has been awarded this year's Morton A. Bender Teaching AwardProfessor Klemek was awarded both the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Teaching Excellence and the WID (Writing in the Discipline) Distinguished Teaching Award. Congratulations, Professors Brunsman and Klemek on these three outstanding achievements! 

Pulitzer Prize winner gives 2016 Kayser Lecture

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.

Prof. Ussama Makdisi

2015 Kylan Jones-Huffman Lecture

September 23, 2015

The department was delighted to welcome Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History and the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University, to present the 2015 Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture on the American and Ottoman Civil Wars. Read more.

Nick McGrath

History alum Nick McGrath publishes in the Online Journal of Army History

April 09, 2015

Nick McGrath ('14), has published an article on the history of Fort Devens, Massachusetts in the Spring 2015 issue of On Point: The Journal of Army History.

Caitlyn Borghi

Caitlyn Borghi ('15) wins Gilder Lehrman Scholar Award

April 09, 2015

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!

Eric Arnesen

Eric Arnesen installed as Hoffa Teamsters Professor in Modern American Labor History

February 12, 2015

On February 10, Prof. Eric Arnesen was installed as the James R. Hoffa Teamsters Professor in Modern American Labor History.

Erin D. Chapman

Erin Chapman receives fellowship from the Global Women's Institute

February 11, 2015

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.

Dane Kennedy

Dane Kennedy named head of the National History Center

February 11, 2015

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!

Faculty Awarded Prestigious Research Fellowships

September 05, 2014

David Silverman will be the Barra Sabbatical Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for the 2014-15 academic year. The fellowship will support Professor Silverman's current project, entitled Thundersticks: Firearms and the Transformation of Native America, which is forthcoming with Harvard University Press.


Benjamin Hopkins has received a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Professor Hopkins intends to use the fellowship, which runs from January-August 2015, to finish his current book project which is a comparative history of frontier governance in the late nineteenth century.

Banner Year for Department Research Funding

September 05, 2014

Faculty of the department have enjoyed an extremely successful year winning research funding.

Prof. Ussama Makdisi

Ussama Makdisi delivers Kylan Jones-Huffman Lecture on the American and Ottoman Civil Wars

The department was delighted to welcome Ussama Makdisi, Professor of History and the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University, to present the 2015 Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture on the American and Ottoman Civil Wars. Read more.

Elmer Louis Kayser Lecture

The Elmer Louis Kayser Lecture began in 2001 with the creation of an endowment by members of the class of 1951, led by Tad Lindner, in honor of their fiftieth reunion and GW's longtime dean of students, historian Elmer L. Kayser.  Prof. Kayser, a native of Washington, got both his B.A. and M.A. from GW.   He received his Ph.D in history from Columbia in 1932.   He was a Professor of History for many years at GW and dean of students from 1930 to 1962. 

Past Kayser lecturers have included William Cronon, Barbara Weinstein, Anthony Grafton and Eric Foner.  The 2015 Kayser Lecturer was given by Prof. Lynn Hunt of UCLA who spoke on “Globalization and History: New Paradigm or Trojan Horse?”



Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture

The Kylan Jones-Huffman Memorial Lecture honors Kylan Jones-Huffman, who was admitted to GW’s PhD program in Middle Eastern history. Sadly, Jones-Huffman was killed in 2003 while on assignment with the First Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq.  In his memory, family and friends contributed gifts to endow the Kylan and Heidi Jones-Huffman Fund, in support of graduate students in Middle Eastern history.  The lecture is supported by the Fund.

The 2015 lecturer was Ussama Makdisi of Rice University. Professor Makdisi spoke on "American and Ottoman Civil Wars and the Question of Sovereignty in the Middle East."