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    American University
    Feb 29, 2024  
American University Catalog 2015-2016 
American University Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Chair Pamela S. Nadell
Director of Graduate Studies Eric Lohr
Director of Undergraduate Studies Eileen Findlay

Full-Time Faculty

Distinguished Professor Emeritus/a B. Reagon, R. Breitman
Distinguished Professor A. Lichtman
University Professor A. Kraut
Patrick Clendenen Chair P. Nadell
Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair M. Brenner
Susan E. Lehrman Chair E. Lohr
Professor Emeritus/a R. Beisner, R. Brown
Professor M. Friedman, P. Kuznick, E. Findlay
Associate Professor Emeritus/a I. Klein
Associate Professor L. Beers, M. Curtin, A. Fedyashin, K. Franz, K. Haulman, D. Kerr, L. Leff, T. Runstedlter, A. Shelford
Assistant Professor M. Giandrea, J. Jacobs, P. Partovi, G. Rao, E. Stockreiter, K. Vester

Historians explore the past, but the pasts they uncover depend on the questions they ask, and historians keep discovering new questions appropriate to their moment in time. Exploring civilizations across time and space, historians study all the creations of men and women: politics and governments, the arts and the sciences, economic and technological changes, public and private lives, nations and their peoples.

The undergraduate history program introduces students to history broadly, requiring study of ancient, medieval, and modern histories in several geographic contexts before expecting students to specialize. The program’s lectures, seminars, and discussions facilitate student engagement. Master’s and doctoral students specialize in either United States or modern European history and hone research, writing, and analytical skills. The department also offers an MA in public history, and public history may be taken as an outside field in the doctoral program. Students in American University’s History Department have the opportunity to work closely with faculty experts who specialize not only in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, but whose research focuses on the history of women, the Holocaust, immigration, politics, and culture.

AU History faculty have close, ongoing relationships with major historical institutions in Washington, DC, such as the National Archives, Library of Congress, National Museum of American History, National Building Museum, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. These provide excellent opportunities for student internships and for their engagement with public history, which is the presentation of history outside of the classroom. During the summer, students may participate in the department’s popular Civil War and Nuclear Studies Institutes.

In addition to preparing students for graduate or law school, the Department of History’s emphasis on research, writing, and intellectual problem solving prepares its students for a wide array of careers in business, government, public interest fields, journalism, and other professions.

Special Opportunities

  • Anna Kasten Nelson Award for Excellence in History; Dorothy Gondos Beers Scholarship; James W. Mooney Award; Janet Oppenheim History Essay Prize; Janet Oppenheim Research Awards; Richard and Carol Breitman Award, Roger Brown Fellowship
  • Internships at Washington area museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, and government agencies


    MajorMinorMaster’s ProgramDoctoral Program