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.

Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States

The NIU History Department endorses the American Historical Association’s June 2020 statement urging a reckoning with the United States' deplorable record of violence against African Americans, a record that stretches back centuries. The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers stands within this sordid national tradition of racist violence. It is past time for Americans to confront our nation's past, using insights from history to inform our actions as we work to create a more just society.


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In Memoriam

The History Department commemorates the life of Samuel Blackwell, Ph.D., who passed away Dec. 3, 2020. After earning his M.A. and Ph.D. from NIU, Blackwell went on to serve the department as an instructor in American history for many years. Alumni will fondly recall his classes on military history and the Civil War-era United States; these specialties were also reflected in his scholarly publications. Even after retirement, Blackwell remained a great supporter of the NIU History department. He will be missed. Read more about his life and his abiding connection to NIU.

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Department of History
Zulauf 715

Due to COVID-19, the History Department office in Zulauf 715 is closed. Faculty and staff are all working remotely and can be contacted by email.

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