Introducing the Department of History

The University of Missouri department of History has a reputation for excellence, both on the MU campus and beyond. The stellar teaching record of its faculty has been recognized numerous times by awards such as the campus-wide William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence–nine past and present History faculty members have received this prestigious teaching award. History faculty have also been recognized for outstanding teaching by winning over twenty-three different teaching awards, including the College of Arts and Science Purple Chalk Award which is student-generated.

The department averages between 350-450 undergraduate history majors. We nurture these aspiring young historians by, first of all, providing them with expert advising, delivered by a professional, full-time, advisor. Our majors are given a wide range of courses in American, European, and Developing World history. Required capstone and writing intensive courses provide the opportunity for our students to interact closely with faculty members and to develop their research and writing skills. Beyond the classroom, the department offers its majors the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working as interns in any one of our nine internship programs that range from the University of Missouri Archives to the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri Library.

Our graduate students come to us from a broad cross-section of colleges and universities. They are attracted to our MA and PhD programs by the reputation of our faculty, many of whom have been the recipients of prestigious research grant awards from, among others, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research/Study Program. In addition, our faculty members have published an impressive array of books and articles, a number of which have won prestigious awards from the American Historical Association and other professional organizations. Our graduate students work closely with their faculty advisors as they develop and write theses and dissertations on a wide range of topics. One significant measure of the success of our graduate program is our placement record. In recent years, over fifty of our PhD recipients have found teaching position in colleges and universities throughout the country.

By using the resources provided by this web site, potential undergraduate students can browse our course offerings; view the requirements for a major in history and explore the scholarship opportunities. Those interested in pursuing a graduate degree (MA or PhD), might wish to start with the home pages of individual faculty to learn about their respective teaching and research interests. There is also a listing of the various fields in which the department offers graduate degrees. One can also generate a description of degree requirements and application forms for graduate study in history.

As a Land Grant institution, the University of Missouri offers the citizens of the state a valuable source of information, in this case, pertaining to history. The faculty home pages and research field pages can be used to identify and contact individual faculty members

We especially welcome our alumni/ae and friends of the department and ask that you explore our web site further. There you will find news of fellow alums as well as past issues of the department newsletter. If you wish, you can be included on our e-mail list to receive the newsletter as it appears in approximately three-month intervals.

Pease contact us and let us know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.

John Wigger, Chair
Department of History


Department News

When Ballet Became French When Ballet Became French

Congratulations to Associate Professor Ilyana Karthas on the publication by McGill-Queens University Press of her book titled When Ballet Became French: Modern Ballet and the Cultural Politics of France, 1909-1939.


Lives of the Attic Orators Lives of the Attic Orators

Curators’ Professor Ian Worthington’s newest edited volume has just been published by Oxford University in their Clarendon Ancient History Series. It is titled Lives of the Attic Orators, Texts from Pseudo-Plutarch, Photius, and the Suda. Congratulations Ian!


The Department of History welcomes its incoming graduate student class for Fall 2015. Standing in the back are Andrew Olden (MA, Ervin), William Hopchak (PhD, Carroll), Nathaniel Brose (MA, Carroll), and Carl Monk (PhD, Pasley), Seated are Japheth Knopp (PhD, Pasley), Lawrence Celani (PhD, Pasley), and Lauren Dean (MA, Sperber).


Welcome to our New Faculty

Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang is an historian of modern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Chinese migration. His research looks into the great exodus of 1949—hundreds of thousands who left China and fled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and beyond when the Chinese Communists seized power. Different from the established narratives of Chinese revolution/civil war, the project seeks to understand how ordinary people came to grips with the profound loss of home and family, and how suppressed trauma of 1949 came to be articulated in recent decades, especially in Taiwan. Dominic is currently working on his first book titled, The Great Exodus: Trauma, Diaspora, and the Chinese Mainlanders in Taiwan.

New Post Docs on Board

The Department welcomes three new Post Docs this fall.

Keith Orejel recently completed his Ph.D. in History at Columbia University. His dissertation, titled Factories in the Fallows: The Political Economy of America’s Rural Heartland, 1945-1980, examined broad transformations in the rural political economy after World War II. He will teach undergraduate classes in US history while revising his dissertation for publication as a monograph. Keith is also developing his next research project, which will examine the New Democrat movement that emerged in the US after 1970.

Jeffrey A. Stevens completed his Ph.D. in Ancient History at UCLA with a primary field specialization in Roman history, as well as additional sub-fields in Greek history, late antiquity, and classical archaeology/material culture. Jeff’s dissertation, titled, Staring into the Face of Roman Power: Resistance and Assimilation from behind the Mask of Infamia,” is an exploration of the power of social identity utilizing the framework of infamia (dishonor, ill-repute) within the world of Roman spectacle. In addition to rich teaching experience, Jeff brings considerable experience in archaeological instruction and methodology. Over the past six years, he has participated in an ongoing excavation at the San Martino Archaeological Field School in Torano di Borgose,

Cassandra Yacovazzi completed her Ph.D. in history at the University of Missouri with a primary field specialization in early American history. Her dissertation So Many Foolish Virgins: Nuns and Anti-Catholicism from Maria Monk to the Know-Nothings offers a fresh exploration of anti-Catholicism and antebellum culture in America by examining opposition to nuns and convents and how this discrimination reflected wider cultural trends and values regarding religion, gender, and national identity.


Read the latest Viewed Historically, our friends and alumni newsletter (pdf).


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