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

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

CONGRATULATIONS to our newest Dean's List and Bronze Tablet honorees. We have 58 students on the Spring 2014 Dean's List which is comprised of the top 20% of a college class or curriculum. We are also very proud of our five Bronze Tablet graduates: Holly Gooden, Steven Grosso, Neha Nigam, David Rahimi and Grant Snyder! The Bronze Tablet honors only the top 3% from each college's graduating class. You can see the complete lists here.

A Minute With......Sundiata Cha-Jua. Sundiata speaks of the significance of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Take a look at the June 13, 2014, "A Minute With..." . Our own Jerry Davila, LeMann Professor of Brazilian History, gives insight on Brazil and the World Cup. He also authored an article in The Huffington Post: "World Cup Protests Signal Democratic Progress for Brazil." and was cited in the NY Times article: "Brazil on Edge as World Cup Exposes Rift."

We are extremely pleased to announce the news that Kristin Hoganson and Erik McDuffie have both been named Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholars. Hearty kudos to both!

Join us July 10th for the Chicago Friends of History Book Club Event featuring a discussion with Professor James Barrett about his book, "The Irish Way: Becoming American in the Multiethnic City."

May 2014 Congratulations, graduates and new alumni! Best of luck for your brilliant futures! View Convocation photos here.

Bob Morrissey's article, "Kaskaskia Social Network: Kinship and Assimilation in a French-Illinois Borderland," has just won the Lester J. Cappon Award for Best Article in the William and Mary Quarterly in 2013.

On behalf of the CHI/programming committee and its "A Book in Common" (ABC) subcommittee we are pleased to announce the ABC book selection for 2014:

Marc Bloch, Strange Defeat (Norton, 1999; originally 1940).
This book is Marc Bloch's account of France's defeat in WWII, written in 1940 and first published in French in 1946. It raises interesting questions about the relationship between military events and deeper structures, the political investment of historians, the possibilities and limits of writing histories of the present, and the meaning of history when written from a perspective of loss and defeat.

Copies of the book are currently available in the History office (309 Gregory Hall) for those faculty and students planning on joining us for the meeting to discuss the book. Our discussion is scheduled for Wednesday August 27, 2014 (time and place TBA).

April 19, 2014, The Department of History held the Annual Awards Celebration and Reception. The day began with a Friends of History Board Meeting, followed by the Honors Colloquium (which showcased senior honors theses') and the Awards Ceremony. Click the link above to see pictures.

Please join us for our celebration of the history work done all over campus, our annual "Historians Among Us" lecture. This year, we feature Daniel Schneider, of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, speaking on Wednesday, April 16, at 3 pm in 307 Gregory Hall, on "Monopolizing 'Nature's Means and Methods': Sewage Treatment, Patents, and the Foundations of Modern Biotechnology."

Please join us in celebrating the announcement that Tariq Ali has won the Sardar Patel Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation written on South Asia in any institution of higher learning in the United States for 2012. He will be honored at a ceremony at UCLA in May. Congratulations, Tariq!

We are pleased and delighted to announce that Kristin Hoganson has been invited to hold the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professorship in American History at Oxford University for 2015-2016. Inaugurated in 1922, the Professorship has been held by many of the most eminent historians of America and is tenable on a year-long basis. Since 2001, holders of the Chair have been affiliated to both Queen's College, Oxford, and the Rothermere American Institute. She joins a list of fellows that reads like a Who's Who of American history.




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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)



The Feedback Loop

Antoinette Burton (editor) The Feedback Loop: Historians Talk about the Links between Research and Teaching (American Historical Association)

Hertzman Book

Marc Hertzman (author) Making Samba: A New History of Race and Music in Brazil (Duke University Press)

The Socialist Sixties

Diane P. Koenker (editor) The Socialist Sixties (Indiana University Press)

Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream

Diane Koenker (author) Club Red: Vacation Travel and the Soviet Dream (Cornell University Press)