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.

Ted Steinberg on lawn manicuring during COVID-19 for CBS Sunday Morning

Ted Steinberg, the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke about the uptick in lawn manicuring during the pandemic. “You could argue that the perfect lawn is the perfect coping mechanism in a world that's been turned upside-down,” he said. Read...

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox on Black women and the fight for suffrage

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, discussed the suffrage movement in Cleveland, saying it was less segregated than in other locations around the country. "Black women fought for suffrage even if they were barred or not welcome...

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox commemorates the centennial of women’s suffrage

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox discussed the importance of fashion in the women’s suffrage movement in an online presentation, hosted by the Northeast Ohio Suffrage Centennial Committee in partnership with the Trumbull County Historical Society and Ohio Humanities. Read more in The Youngstown Vindicator here.

John Grabowski

John Grabowski featured in local News 5 special on the civil rights movement in Cleveland

John Grabowski discussed the history of the Sidaway Bridge, a structure that become a de facto symbol of racism in Cleveland, located on what is now the Kinsman neighborhood on the north side from the North Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood to the south of the bridge. Read more here.

John Broich on Spanish Civil War veterans who continued combat in World War II

John Broich, associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Sciences, penned a piece about a group of Spanish Civil War veterans who continued combat into World War II. The group hoped to bring representative freedoms to their country, but they found democracy was abandoned following the...

A Conversation on Race, Slavery and Freedom with Noel Voltz

Noel Voltz is an assistant professor of African American History and a scholar of African American and African Diasporic History. Her particular research interests focus on women of color in slavery and freedom in the United States and the Atlantic World. Her talk focuses on the meaning of Juneteenth...

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