Guardians of Traffic
Flag Making
Diego Rivera
ENIAC
Schoenen Gruss
March on Washington
Bauernführer Jäcklein Rohrbach
Napoleon Banner
Coaling Station
Berlin 1900

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 inthe 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.

To learn more about the department and the value of history, check out this interview with CWRU History faculty Marixa Lasso and John Broich.

Faculty Publications

"Hero Strong" And Other Stories: Tales of Girlhood Ambition, Female Masculinity, and Women's Worldly Achievement in Antebellum America


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Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York


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Mitos de armonía racial: Raza y republicanismo durante la era de la revolución, Colombia 1795-1831


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A Versatile American Institution: The Changing Ideals and Realities of Philanthropic Foundations


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Helmut K. Anheier

Cleveland from Startup to the Present: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the 19th and Early 20th Century


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Michael S. Fogarty, Gasper S. Garofalo

American Foundations: Roles and Contributions


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The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 25: The American Hotel


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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History


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David D. Van Tassel

Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany, 1945-1953


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Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace: New England Crime Literature and the Origins of American Popular Culture, 1674-1860


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From the Molecular World: A Nineteenth-Century Science Fantasy


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Hermann Kopp

Image and Reality: Kekulé, Kopp, and the Scientific Imagination


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Globalization, Philanthropy, and Civil Society: Projecting Institutional Logics Abroad


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Steven Heydemann

Urban Modernity: Cultural Innovation in the Second Industrial Revolution


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Sophie Forgan, Martina Hessler, Robert H. Kargon, Morris Low

Captives and Corsairs: France and Slavery in the Early Modern Mediterranean


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Teaching the American Civil Rights Movement: Freedom's Bittersweet Song


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Julie Buckner Armstrong, Susan Hult Edwards, Houston Bryan Roberson

Identity, conflict, and cooperation: Central Europeans in Cleveland, 1850-1930


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Diane L. Grabowski

Cleveland: A History in Motion


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Diane Ewart Grabowski

Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America


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Cultures of Control


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Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness in Colonial Southwest Nigeria


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Making the Nonprofit Sector in the United States: A Reader


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American Surgical Instruments: The History of Their Manufacture and a Directory of Instrument Makers to 1900


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From General Estate to Special Interest: German Lawyers 1878-1933


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Slide Mountain, or, The Folly of Owning Nature


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Nature Incorporated: Industrialization and the Waters of New England


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The Quiet Revolution: Hermann Kolbe and the Science of Organic Chemistry


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Power and Society: Greater New York at the Turn of the Century


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Republican art and ideology in late nineteenth-century France


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When The Eiffel Tower Was New: French Visions of Progress at the Centennial of the Revolution


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The Female Marine and Related Works: Narratives of Cross-Dressing and Urban Vice in America's Early Republic


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Nationalizing Science: Adolphe Wurtz and the Battle for French Chemistry


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Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929


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Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History


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Performing Menken: Adah Isaacs Menken and the Birth of American Celebrity


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The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles Against Urban Inequality


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Defining Women's Scientific Enterprise: Mount Holyoke Faculty And The Rise Of American Science


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Myths of Harmony: Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia, 1795-1831


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Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1930


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John Harley Warner

American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn


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