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.

photo of John Grabowski

John Grabowski Mentioned in Story on Cleveland Architectural History

John Grabowski, Krieger-Mueller Joint Professor in History, provided his expertise to WEWS news on Cleveland history for a story featuring the city’s brick-paved streets, including Murray Hill Road and Hessler Road, both near campus. Click here for full story.

Jonathan Sadowsky Featured in a New Salon Article on Depression

Jonathan Sadowsky, the Department of History Chair and Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History in the Department of History, weighed in on a new study suggesting that depression has a social and political cause. “The finding that there is little or no association between serotonin levels and depression is...

Ted Steinberg Heard on NPR’s All Things Considered

Ted Steinberg, the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History at the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of law, discussed on NPR whether lawns will survive in Los Angeles as the city faces the most severe water restrictions it has ever seen. Click here for full story

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox Cited in the Washington Post

Work by Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, an assistant professor of American history and women’s and gender history at the College of Arts and Sciences, was cited in a Washington Post article on a controversial school dress code change.   Click here for full article

Image of grad student Sara Gaines

History grad student Sara Gaines awarded the 2022 Inamori International Thesis Prize in Military Ethics

Congratulations to Sara Gaines for winning the 2022 Inamori International Thesis Prize in Military Ethics. She will be traveling to Budapest, Hungary to present her paper, "Artificial Intelligence as Clinician: An Argument for Ethical use of Future Technology in a Medical Setting at the Euro-ISME (International Society for Military...

Jonathan Sadowsky’s book mentioned in New York Review of Books

Jonathan Sadowsky's book, The Empire of Depression, was recently reviewed in the New York Review of Books in the essay "A Mind in Pain" by Gregory Hays. In his review, Hays wrote: "As Sadowsky shows, depression still holds many mysteries. Indeed, virtually everything we know about it is open to...

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