Friday, November 20, 2020

Prof. Will Hitchcock’s and Siva Vaidhyanathan’s Democracy in Danger podcast hosted a special live broadcast that featured Carol Anderson, Melody Barnes, Leah Wright-Rigueur, and Ian Solomon. The broadcast, “Aftermath: Democracy in the Wake of 2020,” examined the challenges facing Democracy in the wake of the election.  More post-election analysis can also be found on the podcast’s November 11th episode with guest commentators Jamelle Bouie and Dahlia Lithwick.

“What can Charlottesville’s forgotten Jewish past teach us about the American struggle for freedom?” This is a question Prof. James Loeffler explores in a recent essay, “The Jewish Grandchildren of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson.” Prof. Loeffler's essay is featured on The Thoughts From the Lawn (TFTL) blog, which is published by Lifetime Learning at the University of Virginia’s Office of Engagement.  

Prof. Carrie Janney delivered the Tracy W. and Katherine W. McGregor Distinguished Lecture in American History. In her lecture, "When the Monuments Went Up,” Carrie explored “the ways in which the Civil War generation, Unionists and Confederates, men and women, white and Black, crafted and protected their memories of the nation’s greatest conflict.”

Friday, November 13, 2020

Congratulations to Professor and Department Chair Claudrena Harold on her recent publication: "When Sunday Comes: Gospel Music in the Soul and Hip-Hop Eras." Read more here.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

The UVA Department of History offers a BA/MA program to a small number of highly qualified UVA undergraduates who seek an MA in History in addition to the BA in History or another discipline. The MA in History can be completed in one year after completion of the BA if the student has completed at least six graduate credits in History at UVA as an undergraduate. (Typically, this would mean taking two 5000-level History seminars that are not being counted toward the major or any college requirement.) Otherwise, the MA in History will take two full-time semesters plus one additional part- or full-time semester to complete after receipt of the BA.

Students who apply to this program are typically in the third year of undergraduate study, although second-year students are also eligible to apply.

The admissions process is streamlined, and there is no application fee or GRE requirement. The application consists of the following components:

1/ Biographical Cover Page, including the following information: Full name; email address; contact phone number; current year in college; current major(s) and minor(s); GPA within current major(s); overall GPA; proposed area of specialization*; name(s) of proposed History MA faculty adviser(s); and the names of both recommenders;

2/ List of History Courses taken at UVA, including the course number and title, semester taken, instructor last name, and grade received;

3/ Statement of Purpose of up to 500 words in length in which the applicant explains why s/he is seeking an MA in History;

4/ Unofficial UVA Transcript;

5/ Two Letters of Recommendation from UVA faculty with whom the applicant has studied. Ideally, at least one of the recommenders should be a member of the History faculty.


Items #1 - #4, above, should be emailed to Prof. Jeffrey Rossman ( as a single pdf titled “[Last Name]_4+1 app.” Each of the two letters of recommendation (Item #5, above) should be emailed to Prof. Rossman by the faculty member writing the recommendation.

The deadline for applying is May 1, 2021. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, and applicants are typically notified of the Graduate Committee’s decision within several weeks of submitting their application.

At this time, there is unfortunately no financial aid available for students who matriculate into the MA program after completing the BA.


*NOTE: Areas of Specialization are too numerous to list comprehensively. Examples include: colonial America; 19th- or 20th-century U.S.; modern, early modern, or medieval Europe; Ancient Greece and Rome; East Asia; South Asia; Latin America; Middle East; Africa; global history; international history; legal history; economic history; environmental history; Jewish history; gender and sexuality; war, genocide, and human rights; etc.


Questions about this program should be addressed to the department’s Director of Graduate Studies, Prof. Jeffrey Rossman (                          

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Course descriptions for the Spring 2021 semester are available here.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Recently, Professor Neeti Nair spoke at a virtual MIT Starr Forum on ‘Democracies on the Rocks?’ The event featured experts on democracy in the US, Europe, Latin America and India. Watch the webinar here

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Professor Philip Zelikow has been elected to the American Academy of Diplomacy. The American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) is “an independent, nonprofit association of former senior U.S. ambassadors and high-level government officials whose mission is to strengthen American diplomacy. AAD represents a unique wealth of talent and experience in the practice of American foreign policy, with over 300 members.” Please join us in congratulating Philip! 

Philip was also quoted in a recent article published in The New Yorker by Nicholas Lemann, “The Republican Identity Crisis After Trump.” You can read the article here.




Thursday, October 22, 2020

Last week, Professor Justene Hill-Edwards was a featured guest on VPM’s four-part series, Racism: Challenging Perceptions. On the show, Justene and the other guests discussed how systemic and racist policies have affected wealth building in Black communities for generations and still affect the financial growth and stability of communities today. This discussion was recorded and will broadcast on VPM PBS and stream on VPM Facebook at 9 PM on October 29th. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Professor Will Hitchcock recently published an op-ed titled "How Paranoia in Presidential Politics Went Mainstream" with CNN. Click here to read. 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Professor Sarah Milov has been awarded the 2020 Willie Lee Rose Prize for her book, The Cigarette: A Political History. The Willie Lee Rose Prize, which is sponsored by the Southern Association for Women Historians, is awarded annually for the best book on any topic in southern history written by a woman (or women). Please join us in congratulating Sarah!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The Toynbee Prize Foundation recently posted an interview of our colleague Brian Owensby and Richard Ross about their edited volume, Justice in a New World: Negotiating Legal Intelligibility in British, Iberian, and Indigenous America (2018). In the interview, Brian and Richard discuss the genesis of their work and its key concepts. They also explore the different comparative axes along which we may examine both indigenous and settler notions of intelligibility. To access the interview, click here

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Washington Post published an article by Professor William Hitchcock, “Politics, Not Public Good, Will Guide What We Know About Trump’s Health.” In the article, Hitchcock discusses the connections between the disclosure of details regarding President Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, the handling of President Dwight Eisenhower’s illnesses, and the 25th Amendment’s provisions for presidential disability and transfer of power. 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Congratulations to Professor Ellen Zhang on the publication of her new book, Performing Filial Piety in Northern Song China: Family, State, and Native Place (University of Hawaii Press). More information is available here

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Dr Jennifer Sessions was featured in UVA's Learning Tech Blog for its first Faculty Spotlight. In this feature, Professor Sessions discusses her use of Peerceptiv in her classes, describing its "magical" effects on students' reading and editing skills.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Click here to read the Faculty Spotlight on Professor Grace Hale. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Professor Jennifer Sessions was interviewed for the WGBH/PRX radio program The World for a story about the French interior minister's recent adoption of the far-right term "ensauvement."

Thursday, October 1, 2020

História, Ciências, Saúde – Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro recently published an article by Professor Christian McMillen, “Water and the death of ambition in global health c. 1970-1990.” The article explores the effects of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade and the Blue Nile Health Project on water development. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

On Wednesday, September 9, UVA Clubs hosted a webinar featuring Professor Kevin Gaines called “Understanding the Global Protests: The African American Freedom Struggle and the World.”

Professor Neeti Nair's book, Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India, was quoted and discussed in an op-ed published by Faizur Rahman in Daily O titled ‘Are Indian Muslims victims of their “victim mindset”?’

This week the Washington Post published an article by Professor Liz Varon, “Trump’s 2020 playbook is coming straight from Southern enslavers.” In the article Varon traces connections between the current framing of the 2020 election by President Trump and the rhetoric deployed by southern enslavers against abolitionists. She writes, “In short, the slavery debates established an enduring pattern in American politics, one in which reformers have been met by hate and violence, perpetrated by reactionaries who cynically tell the American people that the only way to dispel hate and violence is by rejecting reform that challenges their power and privilege. That pattern has been sustained by White Americans’ stubborn incapacity to learn the lesson the abolitionists began preaching so long ago: that racism is the root of America’s culture of violence, and only racial justice can bring true fidelity to the law, social coherence and moral order.”

The Washington Post also featured an article by Gillet Gardner Rosenblith, a 2020 graduate of our PhD program and current postdoctoral research associate with the Memory Project at the Democracy Initiative. In her article, “Covid-19 has exposed the consequences of decades of bad public housing policy,” Rosenblith considers the enduring impact of public housing policies including the 1996 One Strike Act and efforts to transform public housing into mixed income developments on public housing residents navigating the current pandemic and public health crisis. She writes, “Rather than recognizing tenants’ power and enabling community control, politicians’ focus became the “empowerment” of individual tenants through the increasingly popular political ideas of personal responsibility or self-sufficiency. In practical terms, this shift — which also permeated education, health care and welfare policies — resulted in Democratic and Republican politicians alike touting empowerment as a key policy goal for public housing reform but seeing it as something that they had no responsibility for facilitating. Instead, they could withdraw resources from public housing under the auspices of helping residents to gain self-sufficiency.”

The College of Arts and Sciences featured an article, “How Did We Get Here?” UVA Podcast Explores the Rise of Illiberalism,” on Will Hitchcock and his new podcast, Democracy in Danger. A collaboration with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the podcast can be found on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher and on the Democracy in Danger website.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Click here to read Prof. Neeti Nair's op-ed titled "Mindless devotion to Congressi politics is no substitute for a thoughtful reckoning of the past." 

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The History department is temporarily switching to electronic major and minor declaration forms for the Fall semester. The PDF fillable forms are now available on our Major and Minor pages. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Last week, TIME published Chad Diehl’s article, “‘Hiroshima' Has Become Shorthand for the Atomic Bombings. Here's Why We Shouldn't Overlook Nagasaki.” In the article, Chad argues that “‘Hiroshima’ has become shorthand for the historical experience of both cities, eclipsing the unique story of Nagasaki’s rise from the ashes. Moreover, “Hiroshima” has muffled the voices of the Nagasaki hibakusha (“the bombed,” the term for atomic-bombing survivors), who have struggled for more than seven decades to gain equal attention for the trauma and aftermath of their bombing.”