Greetings from the Chair
When I arrived fifteen years ago at the Department of History, they put me in the basement. From that position, I could see above me a vigorous group of senior scholars, some of whom had been publishing widely and molding young minds since the 1960s. They had shepherded the Department of History through its transformation into a modern, nationally recognized program. I looked up to them figuratively as well as literally. Below me, in the sub-basement of Wescoe Hall, I could observe the graduate students toiling quietly in their scholarly netherworld. I could not look down on them, for I had been a graduate student not so long before, and I knew that they, too, would someday emerge into the sunlight. And everywhere, I saw hundreds of eager, fresh-faced undergraduates hurrying to their classes. The Department of History was a vibrant place.
True to our understanding of historical change, we have conserved the best of that past, and built upon it. The Department of History now consists of about thirty-five tenured and tenure-track faculty, some eighty graduate students, and hundreds of undergraduates. While most of the names and faces have changed, we are as vibrant as ever. For proof, take a look at our terrific recent faculty hires: Marie Grace Brown in Middle Eastern history, Mariana Candido in African history, Devon Dear in pre-modern Chinese history, David Roediger in United States history, Erik R. Scott in Russian History, Benjamin T. Uchiyama in modern Japanese history, and finally, our new Hall Family Distinguished Chair in American History, Edmund Russell.
I invite you to click through the rest of the Department of History website and contact us about questions you might have. If you are a History student, or thinking about becoming a History student, follow the links to the Undergraduate Program or the Graduate Program.
Above all, I welcome you to keep before you the importance of History as a discipline – as a view unto a wider world, a method for analyzing changes large and small, and, though we don’t like to admit it, as a guide to a better future.