Welcome to the Department of History!

We are a community of scholars engaged in cutting-edge historical research.  Our expertise spans many centuries and continents:  from Africa to Asia, Europe, and the Americas; from Ancient Greece and Rome to Byzantium; to 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 both 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 subject 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

Congratulations to Our 2013–14 History Graduates!

We are happy to announce that the University of Chicago granted twenty-five doctorate degrees to History students in 2013–14. Degrees were awarded in Byzantine, East Asian, European (British, early modern, medieval, and modern), Latin American, Middle Eastern, and US history.

A full 72 percent of graduates accepted academic positions (40 percent tenure-track, 20 percent postdoctoral fellowships, and 12 percent full-time researchers or lecturers) in universities across the United States, as well as in England, China, Japan, and Turkey.

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Betsy Wood Brings Historian's Perspective to Op-Eds

As a senior economic policy associate at the Institute for Policy Studies, D.C.’s first progressive think tank, Marjorie E. Wood, PhD '11, focuses on income and wealth inequality, minimum wage and worker justice, and higher education reform.

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Nirenberg Awarded Ralph Waldo Emerson Award by Phi Beta Kappa

David Nirenberg has been awarded the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award by the Phi Beta Kappa Society, for his book Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition (W.W. Norton, 2013).

 Established in 1960, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award honors scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity in the fields of history, philosophy, religion, and anthropology, among others. Previous award winners include such eminent authors as Timothy Snyder, Jill Lepore, David Levering Lewis, and Timothy Egan.

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Dipesh Chakrabarty Awarded Toynbee Prize

Congratulations to Dipesh Chakrabarty, recipient of the 2014 Toynbee Prize.  Named after Arnold J.Toynbee, the prestigious prize honors work that makes a significant contribution to the study of global history.The Toynbee Prize Foundation is an affiliate of the American Historical Association, and Professor Chakrabarty will receive his award and deliver a lecture on global history during the

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Tara Zahra Awarded 2014 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship

The John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has named Tara Zahra a 2014 Fellow. She is the fifth faculty member of the University of Chicago Department of History to receive this fellowship, joining Ramón Gutiérrez, 1983; Cornell Fleischer, 1988; Thomas Holt, 1990; and Noel Swerdlow, 1998.

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Auslander Awarded Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring

Leora Auslander, professor of modern European Social History, and a member of the Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, has been awarded the Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. 

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Writing a History of Passing Is Writing a History of Loss

Allyson Hobbs, PhD '09, speaks about the history of racial passing for TEDx Talks. Using the Emersonian idea of "coming up with the emphatic facts of history in our private experience," Hobbs tells the story of a cousin who passed for white, and how this story set her research in motion. 

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Rudnicki Awarded 2014 Gates Cambridge Scholarship

Tim Rudnicki is heading to the University of Cambridge in the autumn, all expenses paid by a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. Rudnicki is one of forty US scholars chosen from an initial field of eight hundred applicants for this highly competitive award.

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Mills Interviewed on Marketplace and on In Black America

Quincy T. Mills, PhD '06, was interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, host of public radio's Marketplace (January 28, 2014), and John L. Hanson Jr., host of KUT's In Black America (March 30, 2014), about his new book, Cutting Along the Color Line (Philadelphia, 2013), which chronicles the cultural history of black barber shops as businesses and civic institutions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States.

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Three History Faculty Honored

Alison Winter, professor of the history of science and medicine, has received the 2014 Gordon J. Laing Prize for her book, Memory: Fragments of a Modern History. The prize is awarded annually by the University of Chicago Press to the faculty author, editor, or translator of a book published in the previous three years that brings the Press the greatest distinction.

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Kenneth Pomeranz in the Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an interview with 2013 AHA President and new faculty member Kenneth Pomeranz (East Asia). In the article, Pomeranz explains the directions in which he would like to see the AHA go in the near future. For one thing, he notes his desire to see historians more frequently enter the the public conversation on important issues.

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Jan Goldstein Elected 2014 AHA President

In a November vote, Jan Goldstein, Norman and Edna Freehling Professor of History, was elected president of the American Historical Association for 2014. She will serve a one-year term, succeeding fellow faculty member Kenneth Pomeranz. Goldstein has been involved in the AHA since the 1970s, while she was a graduate student at Columbia University. She has previously served on the association's nominating committee, which suggests candidates for AHA offices, as well as on two book prize committees.

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