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Department of History and Classics

Department of History and Classics

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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. 

Our 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.  Take a look at some "Fast Facts​" about our department to learn more!  

​What's New?​

Wishing all PC seniors, but especially our history majors and minors, congratulations on their commencement. You did it, and we are very proud of you!

Congratulations as well to Dr. Paul Quinlan, professor of history and internationally renowned scholar of eastern European history. Dr. Quinlan is retiring after 25 years of teaching, scholarship, and service at PC. He won't be totally absent, though ... he is staying on as emeritus faculty, so wish him congrats if you see him in the hallways of Ruane.

​It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dr. Donna McCaffrey, longtime member of the history department. Dr. McCaffrey was inspiring, passionate, brilliant, and dedicated. She was an amazing educator who influenced thousands of students and a generous colleague who will be dearly missed. PC offered a wonderful tribute online​, and we ask that you remember her and pray for her family.

The history department once again hosted a very successful Rev. Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. Making History Conference. ​Featuring student scholarship and faculty comments, the event was very well attended, and it was followed by our Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society induction. Congratulations to all the students who presented, as well as ​the students inducted into Phi Alpha Theta. Our "Making History" initiative is supported by a generous endowment from the Gladys Brooks Foundation. 

Recent Faculty Accomplishments   

Dr. Jeffrey Johnson​, associate professor of history and director of the American Studies Program, was recently interviewed​ by C-Span​ for its American History TV series. Johnson was interviewed at the 2016 meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Providence and talked about the rise and decline of socialism’s popularity in America. ​

Congratulations to Fred Drogula​, who recently published Commanders and Command in the Roman Republic and Early Empire with The University of North Carolina Press -- one of the top presses in his field. He discussed his latest project as part of PC's Faculty Author Series. Furthermore, Dr. Drogula has been serving faithfully as our Faculty Senate President. Great work, professor!  

Dr. Patrick Breen recently published his groundbreaking book, The Land Shall be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt, with Oxford University Press. The book has been chosen as an alternate in the highly selective History Book Club Series and was chosen for the Military and Library of Science book clubs. It may even come out as an audiobook in the future. Congratulations, Dr. Breen!  

Dr. Colin Jaundrill's Samurai to Soldier: Remaking Military Service in Nineteenth Century Japan will be published with Cornell University Press sometime this summer.        

Congratulations to Dr. Adrian Weimer.  Weimer’s “From Human Suffering to Divine Friendship: Meat out of the Eater and Devotional Reading in Early New England," was recently featured in Early American Literature, one of the top journals in the field. 

Dr. Sharon Murphy received a competitive Abroad Teaching Grant Award from The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) to teach for six weeks next summer in Rome.  She was also featured in a recent interview on "Backstory," which discussed the history of American insurance and gambling (she comes in at the 28 minute mark).  

​​Congratulation​s to Rebecca Marisseau! ​

Rebecca, history major and Valedictorian of the Class of 2016​, will be pursuing a doctoral degree in history at Brown University under Dr. Seth Rockman. Her scholarship focuses on the intersection of material culture and American nationalism, and she's presented her work at The McNeil Center for Early American Studies' Undergraduate Research Workshop at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the Making History Conference and PC's Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity. She was also inducted into the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society this spring. ​Way to go! 

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