American history has been one of the central fields within Chicago's graduate program ever since Hermann von Holst, author of one of the earliest scholarly histories of American slavery, was recruited from Germany to establish a history department for the new university in 1892. His broad cosmopolitanism, interdisciplinarity, and commitment to engaged, field-defining research remain hallmarks of our American history program today. Americanist faculty and student interests have converged in recent years on a number of particular themes, such as gender and sexuality, race, immigration, and ethnicity, African American history, urban life, the culture of the market, law and the American state, and western and rural development.