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 about diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and beyond.
- 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 Beatrix Hoffman has a new exhibition with the National Library of Medicine on the history of immigration and health care in the US.
- In January 2021, Professor Ismael Montana assumed the role of a Managing Editor for the Journal of Global Slavery (JGS). JGS is an international, peer-reviewed journal that aims to advance and promote a greater understanding of slavery and post-slavery by publishing interdisciplinary scholarship from comparative, transnational, and/or global perspectives.
- Professor Anne Hanley was awarded NIU’s 2021 Board of Trustees Professorship for her internationally recognized scholarship on Brazil, service within the NIU community, and passion for helping students. The professorship is the top university honor reserved for faculty members who demonstrate excellence in all facets of teaching, service, leadership and research or artistry.
- Professor and department chair Valerie Garver received the 2021 University Honors Great Professor Award. This university-wide award, which was established in 2001, recognizes a faculty or staff member who has, over time, contributed significantly to honors education at NIU through teaching as well as advising, research, artistry or service.
- Professor Garver was also awarded a Mercator Fellowship to spend the fall 2021 semester at the University of Heidelberg sharing her expertise in early medieval material culture.
- Professor Beatrix Hoffman received a 2021 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award from NIU. This award recognizes not only her outstanding work in the classroom but her history of impacting the lives of Huskies as an advocate and mentor. Since 2016, Professor Hoffman has worked closely with Dream Action NIU to increase awareness of issues facing undocumented students on campus and advocating for the right to higher education.
- Professor Trude Jacobsen received a 2021 Outstanding Mentor Award from NIU’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women as well as a Certificate of Excellence in Online Teaching.
- 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.
- Ph.D. candidate LeNie Adolphson was awarded the 2021 Karyn and Terrance Holm Visiting Scholar Award from the Midwest Nursing History Research Center at University of Illinois Chicago. Earlier in the year, she also won the WTTW Fellowship from the Judy and John McCarter Family Fellowship Program. She worked as a research intern on the documentary “Ida B. Wells: A Chicago Stories Special,” which began airing in May 2021.
- Ph.D. candidate Alex Craver was awarded a 2021 Understanding Modern Russia Grant from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies for research on his dissertation, “The Roots of Empire and Industry: The Soviet Union and the Global Political Economy of Rubber.”