History Department

History is a way of understanding the whole of the human condition as it has unfolded in time. Without history, nothing makes sense, from the meaning of words to the formation of identities, to institutions, states, and societies. History straddles the boundary between the social sciences and humanities. Like the other social sciences, it has established methods of investigation and proof, but it differs from them in that it encompasses, potentially, every area of human culture from the beginning of recorded time. Like the other humanities, it uses ordinary language and established modes of telling its stories, but it is constrained by evidence left us from the past.

The History Department is home to a distinguished group of scholar-teachers whose work ranges from the medieval to the post-modern, from the Middle East to the Midwest, from gender and sexuality to science and economics, from micro-history to world history.  

KSU’s ‘Year of Russia’ Has Guarded View of Improved U.S.-Russian Relations

Participating in Kennesaw State University’s “Year of Russia” program, Assistant Professor of History Victoria Smoklin presented on the current state of US-Russia relations. KSU’s “Year of Russia” invites academics, artists and dignitaries “to promote a deeper appreciation for and understanding of Russia and its people.”

You can learn more about “Year of Russia” online here.

Grimmer-Solem Delivers Talk at Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences Meeting

Associate Professor of History Erik Grimmer-Solem presented a talk, “The Wehrmacht Past, the Bundeswehr, and the Politics of Remembrance in Contemporary Germany,” at the meeting of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences (CAAS), April 12.     read more...

The History Interview #1:

David Perry, class of 1995--"Go, learn!"

David Perry is a freelance journalist, author, and history professor at Dominican University in Chicago. He visited Wesleyan to give a lecture on his current work as a disability rights journalist. I sat down with him, and asked him some questions about history, journalism, and the merits of a liberal arts education.     see more

Paper Technologies: The Materiality of Empire and State Formation in Latin America

This two-day conference, May 4-5, 2017, examines the political, legal, and cultural processes of empire and state formation in Latin American in relation to concrete, quotidian practices of inscription. Through the creation of artifacts such as printed books, manuscripts, passports, and other kinds of paper technologies, Iberian empires and post-colonial states took on tangible forms as they worked to regulate social relations on the ground. At the same time, subjects actively shaped empire and state making by engaging with paper in pursuit of their own hopes and dreams.