Welcome to the Department of History

We are a community of scholars engaged in cutting-edge research.  Our expertise spans many centuries and continents: Africa to Asia, Europe and the Americas, ancient Greece and Rome to Byzantium, and modern nation-states around the globe.  We bring different approaches, methodologies, and analytical paradigms to these various places and eras, but share a firm belief that rigorous historical analysis can give us a better understanding of our place in time. 

As a foundational discipline in the humanities and social sciences, history offers a testing ground for assumptions and propositions about human actions, beliefs, and ideas. To study history offers a means to explore our shared humanity and to learn about the particularities of the human experience.

We invite you to explore our website and learn more about our department: the subjects matters that we study, the students with whom we work, the courses that we teach, and the engaging intellectual community that faculty and students have built and share here at the University of Chicago.


Latest News and Announcements

David Nirenberg Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

David Nirenberg, dean of the Division of Social Sciences and Deborah R. and Edgar D. Jannotta Professor of Medieval History, will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on October 8, 2016.  He is joined by four other members of the faculty at the University of Chicago, who were also elected this year.

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Jeremy Adelman to Lecture on "A Global History of Humanitarianism"

The Department of History and the Center for Latin American Studies invite you to a lecture by Jeremy Adelman, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History, Princeton University. He will speak on "The Witness and the Other: Towards a Global History of Humanitarianism" on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, at 4:00 PM in Harper 140, 1116 East 59th Street. The lecture is open to the public and a reception will follow.

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Conference Honors Thomas C. Holt

"Marking Race, Making History" is a two-day conference on the past, present, and future of African American history. April 29–30, 2016, 10 AM–6 PM, Regenstein Library, room 122, 1100 East 57th Street.

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Javier Moscoso Delivers Lurcy Lecture

The Department of History presents the Lurcy Lecture

Humble Mediocrity The Moral Treatment of Ambition during the Early Nineteenth Century

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Homer's Odyssey through Print

Students of Ada Palmer, assistant professor of history, have published a set of essays on the transmission of classical ideas through time. On Monday, February 29, 2016, Palmer and the students will celebrate this exciting accomplishment at a reception sponsored by the Renaissance Workshop and the Making History Work program.

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Food for Thought—Lunch & Conversation for Graduate Students & Faculty

I am very pleased to announce a new program to increase opportunities for History faculty and graduate students to meet and talk. A joint endeavor of the History Graduate Students Association and the Department of History, Food for Thought brings an invited faculty member together with graduate students for lunch and informal conversation. HGSA will invite faculty and organize the monthly gatherings, and the department will provide lunch.

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Chicago's Queer Clout: From the Margins to the Center

Timothy Stewart-Winter, PhD'09, assistant professor of history, Rutgers University, returned to Chicago to discuss his first book, Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics (Pennsylvania, 2016).

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Historians Launch Wide-Ranging Research

With funding from the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, four historians embark on ambitious research projects.

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Many Awards for History Graduate Students

History graduate students garnered many awards in 2015–16, including teaching prizes, internships through the Mellon Foundation's Making History Work pilot program, summer language and research grants, and dissertation fellowships.

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Prizes Awarded for Alumni Dissertations

The Fraenkel Prize and the Fritz Stern Prize go to Patrick Houlihan, PhD'11, and Sarah Panzer, PhD'15, respectively.

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John Boyer Writes a History of the University of Chicago

In the summer of 1996 John W. Boyer, AM'69, PhD'75, dean of the College, began what he thought would be a small summer research project, never imagining that his efforts would span nearly two decades and result in a history of the University of Chicago. He spent the summer investigating the university’s archives, piecing together the story of the College, its evolving size and demographics, and its ties to the wider university. Boyer presented his findings to the faculty that autumn—and even those who opposed the growth of the College were grateful for the context the report provided.

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