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Welcome to History at NIU! We are a community of scholars committed to studying the past in all its diversity. Our award-winning faculty excels in teaching, research, and engagement. Our students are deeply involved in historical study in and out of the classroom, and our alumni use their historical studies in a wide variety of careers. Our undergraduate program offers a fascinating, flexible major that permits study of the broadest possible range of human experience, while our graduate programs support advanced study at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. Aspiring and current teachers advance their careers through our educator licensure program in history and social sciences. 


Latest Faculty Books

Dr. Damián Fernández has published Aristocrats and Statehood in Western Iberia, 300-600 C.E. with University of Pennsylvania Press.

Dr. Andrea Smalley has published Wild By Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization with Johns Hopkins University Press.


Latest Awards


  • We sadly announce the passing of our former colleague David Wagner on January 17, 2018. Professor Wagner taught at NIU for 42 years, founded and coordinated the Concentration in Medieval Studies, and served as faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta. He also created a Medieval Studies Endowment Fund to support student research in the Concentration. He is survived by his wife Renie B. Adams. Contributions can be made to the David L. Wanger Distinguished Leadership and Symposium Fund for Humanistic Inquiry at the Newberry Library.
  • Professor Andrea Smalley was interviewed about her recent book Wild By Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization on the Ben Franklin's World podcast.
  • Professor Valerie Garver has just been elected to the Council of the Medieval Academy of America, the largest organization in the world promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies, representing more than 3500 medievalists in North America and worldwide. Founded in 1925, the Academy publishes the quarterly journal Speculum and awards prizes, grants, and fellowships.
  • Professor Eric Hall and doctoral candidates BJ Marach and J. Mark Reynolds have just published a timely essay in the International Social Science Review, “Do African American Athletes Have an Obligation to Fight Against Racial Injustice?”
  • Professor Rosemary Feurer, director of the Mother Jones Museum and Heritage Project, presided over the dedication of a Mother Jones historical marker at Coalfield Rest Area on December 11, 2017. The Edwardsville Intelligencer reported on the ceremony.
  • Rachel Jacob, a double-major in History and Political Science, has been named the 2017 Lincoln Laureate.
  • Mathieu Billings, who received his Ph.D. in December 2016, has received NIU's 2016-17 outstanding dissertation award in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and education. Mat's dissertation was entitled "Potent Legacies: The Transformation of Irish and Irish-American Politics, 1815-45" (Sean Farrell, director). He is currently a full-time lecturer at the University of Indianapolis.

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Northern Illinois University
Department of History
Zulauf 715
DeKalb, IL 60115
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