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 the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Why study history? Because it is the foundation of a liberal arts education whose critical engagement with the past teaches us how to confront the way we live today. Here at Illinois, we take great pride in the teaching we offer to undergraduates, in the training of graduate students to carry on the work of historians, and in the history writing produced by our renowned faculty members. Our website is your gateway to the department, whether you are interested in the careers history majors can pursue, or upcoming departmental lectures and conferences, or the work of our faculty, or how you can help support the department to maintain its excellence. We need the critical insights that studying history provides, now more than ever. Please join us!

Diane P. Koenker
Professor and Chair

News & Announcements

Come to HISTORY CAREERS NIGHT on September 18 for a special opportunity to listen to four distinguished History Alumni as they speak on the paths and strategies that led them to their successful careers. Click on the link above for details.

The Department of History faculty overwhelmingly voted to approve the following resolution at its meeting on September 3, 2014.

Whereas academic freedom and a commitment to fairness and transparency in all academic procedures and practices, including faculty hires, form the foundations of the American public higher educational system;

Whereas Chancellor Phyllis Wise, on August 1, 2014, summarily and without faculty consultation, informed Dr. Steven Salaita that she would not forward his contract to the Board of Trustees, thereby voiding every preceding review by faculty and administrative personnel;

Whereas Chancellor Wise’s August 22, 2014, explanation for her action in the name of “civility” threatens to undermine the protection of tenure and the right to free speech, and obscures the role played in this decision by political pressure;

Whereas President Robert Easter and the Board of Trustees endorsed this violation of shared governance, due process, and academic freedom on August 22, 2014;

Whereas the American Association of University Professors in an August 29, 2014, letter to Chancellor Wise expressed its “deep concern,” and stated that “Aborting an appointment in this manner without having demonstrated cause has consistently been seen by the AAUP as tantamount to summary dismissal, an action categorically inimical to academic freedom and due process and one aggravated in his case by the apparent failure to provide him with any written or even oral explanation”;

The faculty of the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign declares its lack of confidence in the leadership of the current Chancellor, President, and Board of Trustees. We call on the Chancellor, the President, and the Board of Trustees to reverse this decision by reinstating Dr. Salaita.

War is everywhere on our minds right now, war in the present and war in history. Here is our Peter Fritzsche's minute comment on the meaning of the Second World War.

A Minute With....Mark Steinberg. Our own Mark Steinberg, Professor of Russian history, talks about Vladimir Putin and today's Russia.

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Upcoming Events

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Recent Faculty Publications


Burton. The First Anglo Afghan Wars book image

Antoinette Burton (editor) The First Anglo-Afghan Wars (Duke University Press)



Oberdeck Empires and the Reach image Tony Ballantine and Antoinette Burton (authors) Empires and the Reach of the Global 1870-1945 (Harvard University Press)



Crowston McKay A History of Western Society

John McKay and Clare Crowston (authors) A History of Western Society (Bedford/St. Martin's Publishing)


Crowston book Credit Fashion Sex

Keith Hitchins(author) A Concise History of Romania (Cambridge University Press)



Crowston book Credit Fashion Sex Clare Crowston(author) Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France (Duke University Press)



View other publications from our Faculty