Research Overview

Overview of a library study area.

Faculty and graduate students in the Department of History are active, innovative and curious researchers. Our work spans both time and space, but centers on four general areas of specialization.

  • Race, Empire and Nation
    One of our strengths as a department is our focus on colonialism, imperialism and the nations that emerged from their long history. This area of specialization is energized by faculty collaboration, bringing together multiple threads of inquiry about the North and South Atlantic world. At its center, this field grapples with issues of social inclusion and exclusion based on constructed categories of race and ethnicity as well as the study of slavery and its many consequences.
  • Medicine, Disability and Science
    These interconnected fields examine the historical production of scientific and medical knowledge and its application and transformation in diverse social practices around the globe. This group of scholars focuses not just on the social and cultural meanings of medicine and science, but also the lived experiences of historical actors - especially those at the margins of society. This field is interdisciplinary by nature, fostering fruitful conversations between science studies, disability studies and the study of gender and sexuality. 
  • Early Modern Societies
    Our faculty has long specialized in the study of the period between 1450 and 1800, exploring the social, religious, political, and intellectual history of Early Modern societies from around the globe. The history of the Atlantic World, or the history of interactions between peoples and empires bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is a particular point of strength in our department, and has led to numerous fruitful collaborations between faculty. 
  • The Twentieth Century World
    Scholars and students working in this field combine deep knowledge of the history of one world region or nation within the broader context of the world in the twentieth century. Through international, comparative, and transnational historical approaches, we explore the spread of technologies, ideas, and practices across political borders. This field also grapples with the issues that marked the century, such as warfare and diplomacy, migration, trade and economic relations, gender and sexuality, race and the environment.