History asks fundamental questions about the nature of change over time. History is our collective memory; studying the past reveals the enormous complexity of the human experience and highlights the contingency of our contemporary world. Because no contemporary political, cultural, or economic issue can be understood outside of its historical context, History offers an ideal foundation for students interested in law, medicine, international relations, public policy, and women’s studies, as well as an intellectual complement for students pursuing science and engineering. Indeed, the history major at CWRU, as nationally, is traditionally one of the preferred preparatory paths for admission to law school. Thinking historically means learning how to frame complex problems, sift through multifaceted evidence, and develop carefully argued writing. Our students carry these skills far beyond graduation, pursuing careers in the professions, business, government, as well as advanced doctoral study.

Our department has a long and prestigious tradition that stretches back to the origins of Western Reserve University in 1826. Today, our faculty specialize in a range of thematic and regional subjects. We have a strong tradition in the study of social, cultural, legal, policy, and political history, which together constitutes a major component of our graduate program. Our other focus of graduate study—the history of science, technology, the environment, and medicine (STEM)—has its roots in Case’s pioneering graduate program in the history of technology in the late 1950s (the first of its kind in the United States), as well as its role in founding the Society for the History of Technology. Our department also maintains a strong international focus with faculty who specialize in European, Asian, African, and Latin American history.

Professor Renee Sentilles interviewed for recent NY Times article

Professor Sentilles was featured recently in an article run in the NY Times on 12/25 titled "The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting" The article covers the many and varied ways modern parents, and in particular mothers, have increased the amount of time and money spent parenting their children. The article,...

Professor John Grabowski appears on “The Sound of Ideas”

Professor John Grabowski recently appeared on an episode on "The Sound of Ideas" to discuss the extremely deadly flu that swept the globe in the later months of 1918, killing as many as 100 million. Professor Grabowski spoke with "The Sound of Ideas" about the impact the pandemic had...

Professor John Grabowski on the closure of the Lordstown GM Plant

Professor Grabowski recently spoke with Rachel Abbey Mccafferty from "Crain's Cleveland Business" about the impact the Lordstown GM Plant had on the "ecology" of the automotive community in Cleveland and the surrounding area when it opened in the 1960's. With it's impending closure, projected to occur on March 1,...

Professor Renee Sentilles discusses predatory implications of Christmas classic “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

Professor Sentilles recently spoke with Mary Kilpatrick of cleveland.com to discuss the ways is which cultural context can shift how we interpret song lyrics, in particular, the Christmas classic "Baby It's Cold Outside." In the wake of the #MeToo movement, and ever-increasing awareness of gender-based power structures, the way...

Professor Einav Rabinovitch-Fox speaks with “On the Media.”

Professor Rabinovitch-Fox spoke with Bob Garfield of WNYC Studios' On the Media to discuss the long-standing media tradition of attempting to discredit outspoken women by obsessing over their clothes. Professor Rabinovitch-Fox spoke specifically about the recent criticism of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "fashion choices" as an echo of similar backlash against thousands...

Exploring the History and Popularity of Cleveland’s Guardians of Traffic

John Grabowski, the Krieger-Mueller Joint Professor in History and editor of the CWRU-supported Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, spoke about the history of the twin Art Deco statues framing Cleveland's Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. "Exploring the History and Popularity of Cleveland's Guardians of Traffic. Images of the larger-than-life Art Deco statues above Cleveland’s Lorain-Carnegie Bridge...

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