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Department of History

Passionate faculty. Curious students. These are essential ingredients to the best history departments — like ours.

Our faculty members know their way around the world — from the Americas and Europe to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They’re also authorities on the issues — from the Renaissance and Reagan, slavery and samurais, women and war, and much more.

1TwitterLogo.gifOur students, inside the classroom and beyond it, are captivated by the events and cultures — from Russia and the Reformation to Native Americans and nationalism — that have shaped our world.

Away from the classroom, internships and our history club bring lessons to life — as does our annual Maymester course, which has taken students to Germany, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, and Japan in the past three years.

Whether you want to see the world from your classroom seat or travel it by the seat of your pants, we want you to take the journey with us.

​What's New?  


Please join us for a talk by Dr. Christine Eisel, of The University of Memphis, on “Gossip and the Performance of Gender in Early Virginia.”  It will be held on Monday, October 20 at 3:30pm in Ruane 105.  We hope to see you there! 

The History Department is delighted to host the first of three faculty presentations as part of our annual “Making History” fall lecture series.  Dr. Robin Greene is up first, and she will be speaking on “Globalizing the Past: New Histories in the World of Alexander the Great.”  Her talk is on Tuesday, October 21, at 3:45pm in Ruane 105.  All “Making History” lectures are generously supported by The Gladys Brooks Foundation, and we sincerely hope you may join us for this event.  Refreshments will be provided!  

The department would like to thank Adam Hochschild for delivering this year’s Reverend Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. lecture. Most famous for his book, King Leopold’s Ghost, Hochschild discussed some of his newer work on World War I. The talk, “The War Within the War: An Unknown Story from World War I,” was generously supported by the Gladys Brooks Foundation, The History Department, and the Development of Western Civilization Program. 

Also, Dr. Matt Dowling is organizing a Great War Film Series for the Liberal Arts Honors Program, but history students are invited as well! All films will be at 4 p.m., so please mark your calendars!  

Thursday, October 23: johnny got his gun (US, 1971) in Ruane 206
Thursday, October 30: Regeneration (British, 1997) in Ruane 206
Thursday, November 6: A Very Long Engagement (French, 2005) in Ruane 206
Thursday, November 13: War Horse (US, 2012) in Ruane 105

Recent Faculty Accomplishments  


​Let's offer a huge congratulations to our very own Dr. Fred Drogula, this year's winner of The Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award. The award is given out annually to the PC faculty member who "best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students' academic and personal growth." Well done, Dr. Drogula!

Dr. Toby Harper, our newest hire in modern British history, offered an insightful perspective on the recent vote on Scotland's independence.  It can be found here: 

Dr. Steven Smith recently published an essay titled “’A Rash, Thoughtless, and Imprudent Young Man’: John Ward Fenno and the Federalist Literary Network,” in Literature in the Early American Republic in May 2014. He also recently received the Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Fellowship from the New York State Archives & the Archives Partnership Trust.  Well done, Dr. Smith! 

Congratulations to Kevin Hooper!  


Kevin Hooper, our former departmental graduate assistant, master's student, and undergraduate here at PC, has recently been awarded The Nels Andrew Cleven Founder’s Prize from The Phi Alpha Theta National History Honors Society. Kevin won the award for his submission, titled "“By the Rivers of Babylon: Slavery, Religious Division and Decay in the Cherokee Nation.” Kevin is now at the University of Oklahoma, earning his doctoral degree in history, learning more about Cherokee language and culture, and making a name for himself just three weeks into his first semester there. Great work, Kevin!

The Ruane Center



Learn more about our new home.

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Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 137
Office Hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Chair: Dr. Margaret Manchester
Ruane 131
(401) 865-2846

Assistant Chair: Dr. Sharon Ann Murphy
Ruane 116
(401) 865-2380

Graduate Program Director: Dr. Paul O’Malley
Ruane 133
(401) 865-2192

Senior Administrative Coordinator: Mrs. Phyllis Cardullo
Ruane 137
(401) 865-2193

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