Friday, February 26, 2021

Erik Linstrum’s essay,  “A History of Violence: Pursuing the Ghosts of the British Empire,” was recently published in the Berlin Journal. A Magazine from the American Academy in Berlin. In the essay, Professor Linstrum notes that “The traumas of the present have a way of reactivating those in the past, bringing neglected truths to light; these events might anger us but also help us to see our history more clearly. It is this kind of “presentism”—no longer, incidentally, the epithet among historians that it once was—which makes colonial violence such an urgent subject now."

To read the article, click the link below:


Friday, February 5, 2021

Mel  Leffler wrote an article for the Washington Post on the significant threats that climate change and pandemics pose to national security:  Mel also recently reviewed Robert Draper’s book, To Start a War: How the Bush Administration Took America Into Iraq in the November/December 2020 issue of Foreign Affairs:

Friday, February 5, 2021

The history department congratulates Adrian Brettle (UVA PhD c/o 2014) whose book Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post-Civil War World is one of the finalists for this year's Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize:

Friday, February 5, 2021

Read Andrew Kahrl’s  recent essay “More for Less: How Property Taxes Fuel Racial Inequality” in Tax Notes. The essay is part of Tax Notes’ series “The Search for Tax Justice.”  Readers can access the essay here:


Friday, January 29, 2021

In this live recording ( Thursday, January 21, 2021)  of the Mitchell Center for  Study of Democracy's Podcast, Professor Neeti Nair  discusses the state of free speech and secularism in India. To watch this riveting conversation, click the link below:

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Lawfare recently published Professor Philip Zelikow's essay,“ A Practical Path to Condemn and Disqualify Donald Trump." In the essay, Zelikow discusses how Congress might hold former president Donald J. Trump accountable for his role in undermining the recent election and inciting the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. Zelikow also highlights UVa law professor Cynthia Nicoletti’s 2017 book, Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis. To read his essay, click here:

Friday, January 22, 2021

Professor Liz Varon wrote for the Washington Post's "Made By History" series about the parallels between Presidents Andrew Johnson and Donald Trump. To read, click here:

Friday, January 22, 2021

Professor Carrie Janney was recently featured on the radio program, On the Media. Inan interview with Bob Garfield, Carrie explains how President Donald Trump and his followers are using the tactics and symbols of the Lost Cause to establish influence indefeat:

Carrie also co-authored an op-ed, "In a Civil War, accountability must precede healing" with Melody Barnes of UVa's Democracy Initiative for the Washington Post. To read, click here:

Friday, January 22, 2021

In the January 9th episode of their podcast, Democracy in Danger, hosts Will Hitchcock and Siva Vaidhyanathan reflect on the Capitol Hill riot of January 6th and how these events were not unprecedented or unpredictable. You can listen here:

Professor Hitchcock was also recently featured in a UVa Today article about his course, "Democracy in Danger." Co-taught with Siva Vaidhyanathan during J-Term, the course attracted over 300 students. To read the article, click here:

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.