Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Professor Neeti Nair published an op-ed at The Print (English and Hindi) and in the Ananda Bazar Patrika (Bengali) that seeks to situate the current protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act alongside a longer history of Indian secularism. The op-ed is available in English, Hindi, and Bengali

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Below is a collection of some of the History Department's news and announcements, gathered throughout the Fall 2019 semester. 

New Publications

Sarah Milov published a new book titled The Cigarette. Smithsonian Magazine named it one of the ten best history books of 2019.

James Loeffler published (co-edited with Moria Paz) The Law of Strangers: Jewish Lawyers and International Law in the Twentieth Century with Cambridge University Press. 

Alan Taylor published Thomas Jefferson’s Education with W.W. Norton.

Kyrill Kunakhovich published (with Piotr Kosicki) The Long 1989: Decades of Global Revolution with Central European University Press. 


James Loeffler's book, Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century, won the 2019 Association for Jewish Studies Jordan Schnitzer Award for Best Book in Modern Jewish History as well as the 2019 American Historical Association’s Dorothy Rosenberg Prize.

Andrew Kahrl’s Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline received the Connecticut Book Award for best non-fiction book for 2018 from the Connecticut Center for the Book. The book also won the 2018 Homer D. Babbidge Award from the Association for the Study of Connecticut History.

Philip Zelikow’s book, To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth, was #8 on the Washington Post’s non-fiction best-seller list

Forbes named Alan Taylor’s Thomas Jefferson’s Education one of the “Year’s Best Books About Higher Education.”

The Wall Street Journal named Liz Varon’s book, “Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War” one of the Best Books of 2019.


Articles & Book Reviews

Mel Leffler published an article in The Atlantic titled “China Isn’t the Soviet Union. Confusing the Two Is Dangerous.”

Philip Zelikow published an article titled “Self-Dealing in Ukraine: The Core of the Impeachment Inquiry,” for Lawfare.

Sarah Milov published an article on vaping in Time as well as an article on marijuana reform in The Atlantic.

Liz Varon wrote about UVA’s role in promulgating the Lost Cause creed for UVA Today’s series on the University in the age of segregation.

James Loeffler wrote a column in The Chronicle of Higher Education about human rights and the academic right.

Alan Taylor’s book, Thomas Jefferson’s Education was reviewed by The Atlantic.

The New Republic reviewed Sarah Milov’s book, The Cigarette: A Political History.

Neeti Nair reviewed Gyan Prakash’s book, Emergency Chronicles: Indira Gandhi and Democracy’s Turning Point in The New Rambler.    

Gary Gallagher (Emeritus Professor) reviewed Sidney Blumenthal's book, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1856-1860, in The Washington Post.  

The Los Angeles Review of Books featured Sarah Milov’s The Cigarette.


Media and Miscellaneous

Andrew Kahrl was named Interim Co-Director for Academic Affairs for the Democracy Initiative. He will serve with Melody Barnes, Co-Director for Policy and Public Affairs.

UVAToday highlighted John Mason in a faculty video series, focusing on his interdisciplinary research with the Eastside Speedway (Waynesboro) drag racing community. Watch the video here.

George Gilliam gave the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Virginia Association of Countries (VACo). His address focused on the 400th anniversary of the General Assembly.

Tom Klubock organized the University of Virginia Centro de las Américas’/Americas Center’s Fall Symposium, “From the Mouth of a Shark: Causes & Consequences of the Central American Refugee Crisis” with Micheline Marcom of the English department.

Black Bus Stop, a collaborative film project involving faculty and undergraduates in the departments of History and Studio Art, screened at the New York Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival. A short review of the film was published in Artforum.


Interviews & Quotes

Sarah Milov’s interview with David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, aired on CSPAN. Watch the program here.

Sarah Milov was interviewed by Jezebel about her new book, The Cigarette.

Neeti Nair was interviewed by the Telegraph India about the Ayodhya judgement and the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Max Edelson was interviewed by Forbes about Ken Fisher, dismissing the money manager's tweet arguing that slavery in the United States would have fallen on its own as “a fantasy." 

Will Hitchcock was interviewed by UVAToday about the GAGE (Governing America in a Global Era) initiative and its mission.

Carrie Janney was interviewed in a USA Today article exploring the representation of slavery at some of the nation’s most celebrated historic sites and monuments.  

Alan Taylor was interviewed in a Washington Post article about the brutal abuse endured by slaves at the University of Virginia.  

Elizabeth Varon was interviewed by Voice of America about the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson for a segment offering historical context to the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.

Justene Hill Edwards was quoted in a New York Times article about Attorney General Mark Herring’s recent announcement that couples in Virginia no longer need to declare their race as a requirement for a marriage certificate. 

Carrie Janney was quoted in The Washington Post in an article about recent efforts to restore the historic Frederick Douglass cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia.

Philip Zelikow was quoted in an article by James Fallows in The Atlantic and in a column by David Ignatius in The Washington Post.


Student and Graduate News

Amelia Wald, a recent graduate of our Distinguished Majors Program and former intern at the Nau Center for Civil War History, published a blog post that explores the wartime history of Charlottesville General Hospital.

DeAnza Cook, a recent graduate of our Distinguished Majors Program, participated in a panel (“Rethinking Police Power”) at the 104th Annual Meeting and Conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Graduate student Justin McBrien wrote an op-ed, “This Is Not the Sixth Extinction. It’s the First Extermination Event,” for Truthout.  

Former graduate student Shira Lurie wrote an editorial in the Toronto Star that argues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's “brownface” scandals are just a small part of a problem plaguing Canada. 

Former graduate student Melissa Gismondi wrote about Prime Minister Trudeau in a recent New York Times editorial.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Click here to read Prof. Nair's interview with The Telegraph India, covering the Citizenship Amendment Act and the ongoing protests in India. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Click here to watch History Professor John Mason discuss his research projects in photography and how watching drag races at Eastside Speedway led him to his work.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Click here to read the full interview with The Telegraph India. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

The American Historical Association recently announced the winners of its 2019 prizes, to be awarded at the 134th annual meeting in New York City on January 3–6, 2020.  Professor James Loeffler’s Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale University Press, 2018), won the Dorothy Rosenberg Prize. The Dorothy Rosenberg Prize for the history of the Jewish diaspora recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on the history of the Jewish diaspora published in English during the previous calendar year. Please join us in congratulating Professor Loeffler for this wonderful honor.

Friday, September 27, 2019

On September 19th, the University of Virginia Press held a launch event at the Rotunda Dome Room to celebrate the publication of the book, Educated in Tyranny: Slavery at Thomas Jefferson's University (UVA Press, 2019). Co-edited by Maurie McInnis and Louis P. Nelson, Educated in Tyranny also features an essay from history faculty affiliate Kirt von Daacke. Two stories are available here: UVA Today | NBC 29

In other news, Justene Hill Edwards was quoted in a New York Times article about Attorney General Mark Herring’s recent announcement that couples in Virginia no longer need to declare their race as a requirement for a marriage certificate. 

Our former graduate student, Shira Lurie (supervised by Alan Taylor), wrote an editorial in the Toronto Star. In her editorial, Shira argues that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's “brownface” scandals are just a small part of a problem plaguing Canada.  “We take pride in our liberal, multicultural identity” she notes “and ignore (and hope others ignore) the ways we have failed to enact it.” Shira is currently a University College Fellow in Early American History at the University of Toronto.

Another former graduate student in our department, Melissa Gismondi (supervised by Alan Taylor), wrote about Prime Minister Trudeau in a recent New York Times editorial. "Down here, Trudeau’s brownface and blackface episodes are bursting the Canadian exceptionalism bubble,” Gismondi notes. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Professors Claudrena Harold’s and Kevin Everson’s short film, Black Bus Stop, will screen in the Projections section of the 57th New York Film Festival on October 5th and 6th.

Black Bus Stop will also screen at the London Film Festival on October 5th.

“In Black Bus Stop, Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold resurrect an informal meeting ground for black students at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville....In a collaboration with members of the student body, the filmmakers stage a nocturnal celebration of this sacred and historic space through an exuberant display of choreographed song and dance.” -- New York Film Festival

Monday, August 19, 2019

This article by UVA Today contains an interview from Professor Grace Hale. Click here to read the full "Woodstock at 50: 'The Dream Is Over Yesterday'" article

Friday, April 5, 2019

Please join us in congratulating Professor Elizabeth Varon on her recent publication: Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War (Oxford University Press). 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Professor of History and Law emeritus, Chuck McCurdy, delivered the fifth annual Salmon P. Chase Distinguished Lecture, sponsored by the Supreme Court Society and Georgetown Law, at the Supreme Court of the United States.  His lecture was entitled “The Problem of General Constitutional Law: Thomas McIntyre Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, and the Supreme Court 1868-1878.” The lecture took place on November 30. 

History department student, Shira Lurie, published “Liberty Poles and the Fight for Popular Politics” in the Journal of the Early Republic (accessible here).  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Below is a recap of recent important department news. 

Professor Will Hitchcock's book The Age of Eisenhower (2018) was recently named one of the top twenty history books by Amazon's editorial board. 

Professor Fahad Bishara's book A Sea of Debt: Law and Economic Life in the Western Indian Ocean, 1780-1950 (2017) won the Peter Gonville Stein Award from the American Society for Legal History. This is the book's third award. 

Professor Cynthia Nicoletti's book Secession on Trial: The Treason Prosecution of Jefferson Davis (2017) won the Cromwell Book Prize from the American Society for Legal History. 

Professor David Singerman won the inaugural 1500 Penn Prize of the Treasury Historical Association (THA) for his paper, "Science, Commodities, and Corruption in the Gilded Age." For more information, please see THA.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Tom Butcher (recent PhD and current lecturer for the History Department) has published a piece in The Washington Post. The piece, titled "The bad science behind the Trump administration’s anti-trans policy," can be read in full here.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Spring 2019 course descriptions are now available. You can download the PDF here.

Tutorial descriptions are also available for download here. Current tutorial offerings are listed on SIS/Lou's List. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Philip Zelikow was recently named an Advisory Board member of the new Sine Institute of Policy and Politics at American University. You can read the full story here

Monday, October 22, 2018

The History Department's own Professor Kevin Gaines has been featured in a piece for UVA Today. You can read the full piece here!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Department News

UVA Today published a piece about Claudrena Harold and Louis Nelson's new book, Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequality. You can read the piece online here, and you can find out more information on the book here

Prof. John Mason participated in an interview for the Washington Post along with Vogue's Creative Director, Andre Leon Tally, discussing how it took the magazine 125 years to feature a cover photo shot by an African American photographer. 

Prof. Waitman Beorn contributed this op-ed to the Washington Post about the toppling of "Silent Sam" at UNC. 

Upcoming Events






Friday, August 3, 2018
Opening for Digital Humanities Graduate Research Assistant

The Digital Humanities program seeks a Curriculum Research Assistant. This is a paid position beginning in mid to late August. The expected time committment is 25 hours a week in August and 10-20 hours a week during the school year. The position is open to graduate students and pays $15 an hour. To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to

Please see the attached flyer for more information. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Congrats to grad student Chris Halsted, who has won a Gerda Henkel Stiftung Scholarship for 2018-2019 to support his research on 10th-century Slavic state formation!

You can find out more about the Gerda Henkel Stiftung here.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Congratulations to history grad students Monica Blair, Brian Neumann, and Abeer Saha, who have won 2018 Jefferson Scholars Foundation GSAS Fellowships! Funding from this fellowship will enable them to spend more time concentrating on their dissertation research.

In related news, grad student Justin McBrien has won a 2018 JSF National Fellowship, which will give him support for his final year of dissertation writing. Congrats everyone!

You can check out more about the Jefferson Scholars Foundation here.