Welcome to History

Looking forward to the past since 1894


309 Gregory Hall, 810 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Office Hours: M - F, 8:00 AM - 12:00 and 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the History Department at Illinois!

Our goal for academic year 2016-2017, as always, is to foster critical understanding of our collective past and to instill our passion and curiosity in future generations.

Faculty in our department focus on a truly astounding array of questions. They study human interaction with the environment in pre-colonial America, early modern Japan and 20th century Bangladesh; they tell us about shifting notions of death, debt and darkness; and they investigate the emergence and evolution of racism, inequality, and imperialism in the United States and across the globe. (And that is just a small sample of the research conducted by our faculty and graduate students!)

Our undergraduate students have gone on to amazing careers, as educators, lawyers, entrepreneurs, scientists, activists, journalists, and a host of other occupations. Our Ph.D.’s are employed at institutions of higher learning around the country. All of our students gain impressive skills in locating and analyzing complex documents and in expressing their ideas with eloquence and conviction. They become the engaged and informed citizens so vital to our future.

We are delighted to welcome you to History at Illinois, whether for a one-time class, as a History major, Ph.D. student, lecture or workshop participant, friend of the Department, or in whatever form your engagement with the department takes. Follow us on Facebook for more information!


Clare H. Crowston
Professor and Chair



News & Announcements

Don't forget to check in on GRAD STUDENT SPOTLIGHT to read all the exciting news of our current and recent Grads.

ANNOUNCING our NEW MINOR in SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, & MEDICINE IN SOCIETY. Make an appointment with Wendy Mathewson today to talk about the requirements and how you can benefit from it.

FuTHE DAILY ILLINI recently posted this story in which Professor Poshek Fu and Professor Rod Wilson discuss their styles of teaching in a multicultural classroom ofWilson Chinese and American students. Professors balance American student, Chinese student classroom needs.



MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW for The SymesLECTURE. Thursday, October 20th Professor Carol Symes will be giving this speciallecture you don't want to miss. All are invited to attend.

The Lecture




Professor Adrian Burgos recently had an interview with WILL radio talking about African Americans in major league baseball.


Join us in welcoming the Fall 2016 Graduate Class. Adam LoBue, Adrian van der Velde, Lisa Mercer, Thomas Day and Taryn Vaughn. Nicholas Ortiz is not pictured.

Fall 16 grad class

THANK YOU to Professor Emeritus Richard (Chip) Burkhardt and Jayne Burkhardt for the generous donation to create the Burkhardt Scholarships of which four (4) $2500 awards will be given each year to deserving undergraduate History majors.


Chip Burkhardt is an emeritus professor of history and former chair of the department. He had a love for being in the classroom teaching history of science to undergrads and took on the challenge of trying to get students from a wide range of fields to think historically. He was well-liked by students and this was proven when he twice received the All-Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Chip's research focuses on the history of science and biology, especially evolutionary theory, mostly in eighteenth-century Europe. He is the author of The Spirit of System: Lamarck and Evolutionary Biology (1995) and Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen and the Founding of Ethology (2005).

Thank you to Chip and Jayne for their most generous donation that will benefit undergraduate students for the next ten (10) years.

ReaganA MINUTE WITH Professor Leslie Reagan comparing a 1960s epidemic with the current Zika scare.

HertzmanA MINUTE WITH Professor Mark Hertzman as he discusses Samba, the music of Brazil, just in time for the opening of the Rio Olympics.

Congratulations to Professor Bob Morrissey who has been selected as a Conrad Humanities Scholar by the College of LAS.Morrissey


Professor Bob Morrissey recently gave a lecture to the East Central Illinois Archaeological Society about some important Native Illinois artifacts, a group of decorated hide robes made sometime in the colonial period. His talk was called "Hiding in the Tallgrass: Painted Hide Robes from Contact-Era Illinois."

convocation 16

CONVOCATION 2016 was held on May 14th and it was a beautiful and joyous day! Pictures and the video can be viewed at the above link.

Professor Kevin Mumford mumfordwas recently interviewed by NBC NEWS about why he chose to write his newest book, NOT STRAIGHT, NOT WHITE: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis.

HertzmanProfessor Marc Hertzman recently wrote an article for NY Magazine regarding the impending impeachment of Brazil's President.

UPDATED: Watch the premiere of the Big Ten Burgos baseballNetwork's documentary on Professor Adrian Burgos' research on Latinos and Baseball on May 21st, approximately 6 pm.** In case you missed it, see it here.


WITH GREAT EXCITEMENT we announce our 2 newest courses being offered for the first time in Fall 2016! REACTING TO THE PAST is a great tool in supporting cross-disciplinary thinking, teamwork and problem-solving. Only 30 spots available per course - reserve your space now. HIST 102A and HIST 102B.


Professor Kevin Mumford recently spoke with a member of the Counter Narrative Project regarding his new book: MumfordNot Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis. The Counter Narrative Project is a nonprofit collective dedicated to social justice and visibility around black gay issues.

The news keeps coming! Join us in congratulating Barnes picProfessor Terri Barnes who has been awarded a Fulbright US Scholar grant for 2016-2017 with funding to go to Zimbabwe later this year and in 2017.

CONGRATULATIONS to Professor Harry Liebersohn who has been awarded the extremely prestigious Humboldt Research Award, a lifetime Liebersohnachievement prize in recognition of exceptional achievements in research and teaching. The award comes from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.

The Daily Illini reporter Samantha Jones Crowston picrecently spoke with our Chair, Clare Crowston, regarding the recent decline in Humanities majors.

The Dept of History celebrated the Annual Awards Reception on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Congratulations to all of the award recipients.

Tabrizi pic

IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE, that we are able to announce another award for one of our very own! Professor BEHROOZ GHAMARI TABRIZI 10has been chosen as a recipient of the LAS Humanities Council Teaching Excellence Award. 11Join us in congratulating Behrooz on this distinguished award.


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Recent Faculty Publications


Behroloz Ghamari-Tabrizi

Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment


Kevin J. Mumford

Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay men from the March on Washington the the AIDS Crisis


Behrooz Ghamari

Remembering Akbar: Inside the Iranian Revolution


Keith Hitchins

Ortodoxie si Nationalitate: Andrei Saguna si romanii din Transilvania


Antoinette Burton (editor)

How Empire Shaped Us


Lillian Hoddeson

Tunnel Visions: The Rise and Fall of the Superconducting Super Collider


Keith Hitchins

Romania: storia e cultura


Anoinette Burton

The Trouble With Empire: Challenges to Modern British Imperialism


Jimena Canales (author)

The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed our Understanding of Time


Robert Michael Morrissey (author)

Empire by Collaboration: Indians, Colonists, and Governments in Colonial Illinois Country

View other publications from our Faculty