Department of History
The Department of History is 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.
Read our statements on the history of racist violence in the United States.
- History major Jeremy Knoll will be publishing his original research on Illinois Civil War monuments in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, the leading historical journal for Illinois history.
- Professor Rosemary Feurer co-authored an opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune titled “Chicago Played a Big Role in Mother Jones’ Life. Why No Statue for Her?” and another in the Chicago Sun-Times titled “A Statue for Mother Jones Would Remind Chicago that Workers Built This City.”
- Professor Stanley Arnold shared insights from his research in a Philadelphia Tribune article about Jewish and Catholic support for the Civil Rights movement.
The History Department commemorates the life of Professor Emeritus Albert (Al) Resis, who passed away on March 10, 2021, at the age of 99. A specialist in Soviet history who earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University, Resis was a professor in NIU's History department from 1964 until his retirement in 1992. His research focused on foreign policy, and his many publications included the notable 1988 book Stalin, the Politburo and the Onset of the Cold War: 1945-1946. Former colleagues remember Resis as a warm and gracious presence in the department, a supportive ally for women on the faculty, and a great lover of books: "Towering library shelves lined the walls of his house," recalls Professor Emerita Elaine Spencer. Resis was also a classical music aficionado. He will be missed by the many NIU colleagues and students whose lives he enriched.
- Professor Emma Kuby’s book Political Survivors: The Resistance, the Cold War, and the Fight Against Concentration Camps After 1945 has won the 2020 George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association for the best work on European international history since 1895. The book was also awarded the 2020 David H. Pinkney Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies; and the 2020 European Studies Book Award from the Council for European Studies.
- Recent History Ph.D. Heeyoung Choi has been awarded the 2020 Deborah Wong Research and Publication Award from the Society for Ethnomusicology.
- Professor Valerie Garver was awarded a Mercator Fellowship to spend a semester at the University of Heidelberg, where she will share her expertise in early medieval material culture with the research group on medieval material text cultures. Her edited volume, A Cultural History of Work: the Medieval Age (800-1450) (Bloomsbury Press), which includes her own piece on "Work, Skill, and Technology," is part of the multivolume work which won the 2020 Prose Award for multivolume reference in the humanities.
- Professor Beatrix Hoffman has received the 2020 Wilma Stricklin Award. The award recognizes exemplary leadership/service resulting in a more favorable campus climate for women.
- History Ph.D. candidate LeNie Adolphson has been awarded the Judy and John McCarter Family Fellowship from Chicago PBS station WTTW. She will be assisting in the production of a documentary about journalist and Civil Rights movement leader Ida B. Wells.