Department of History
Bonnie and Ed, Journal of American History Editorial Assistants

Pictured above are Ph.D. student Bonnie Laughlin Schultz and Journal of American History editor Ed Linenthal.

IU’s history students take advantage of a supportive but challenging learning environment.  Graduate students benefit from a range of learning and working opportunities, including Teaching College History seminars, an annual graduate conference, and a number of teaching and editorial positions.  The department graduates about a dozen Ph.Ds per year, as well as a smaller number of joint-MA/MLS students.  Our 400 undergraduate majors benefit from face-to-face interaction with faculty who have won numerous teaching awards, and who continue to create some of the most popular courses on campus, including those on the Holocaust, popular music, The Black Death, and Vietnam.

Eric Sandweiss

Eric Sandweiss

It's all public.

It's no accident that many of today's top 25 graduate History programs are, like IU, situated in the great public universities of the Midwest. The constitutional delegates who met in the Indiana Territory village of Corydon 200 years ago this spring--and others like them across the old Northwest Territory in the early 1800s--considered public colleges important enough to merit a place in the constitution of their new state.

History, these delegates knew, was key to that public education. IU's first president, Andrew Wylie (whose home you can visit today at the edge of the IU campus), was an early member of the American Antiquarian Society. Today's IU History teachers carry on the work of exploring the past to help students understand better the challenge of bringing people together in a public body—from Eric Robinson's classes on Greek democracy to Marissa Moorman's study of independence movements in twentieth-century Africa.

Given this tradition, it's no accident that this year's National Council on Public History awards have an Indiana flavor. IU PhD Philip Cantelon, co-founder and CEO of History Associates, Inc., earned one of the NCPH's two prestigious Founders Awards for his pioneering work in the field. The other winner? Arnita Jones, former executive director of the Organization of American Historians,headquartered here on the IU campus. And the 2016 NCPH Book Award goes to another IU History PhD, Susan Ferentinos, author of Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites, and coordinator of IU History's career planning and internship efforts.

As IU prepares for its own 2020 bicentennial, History remains at the core of this public university.Whether you plan to be among the first to explore our redesigned History major or just seek a great class for GenEd credit, whether you hope to be the next Cantelon and Ferentinos or just want to compete for a paid internship, this department has what it takes to prepare you to go public.

Eric Sandweiss
Department Chair


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