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.

Judith Cusack

History major Judith Cusack featured in The Daily

Judith Cusack, a history major and president of Spartans for Special Olympics, was recently featured in the Spartan Showcase. Read more about Cusack here.

Professor Peter Shulman featured in Washington Post article on history of racist parkway bridges

Peter Shulman, an associate professor of History at Case Western, weighed in on the truthfulness of bridges being purposefully constructed to be too low to allow for buses carrying people of color to access to predominantly white areas. Read more here.

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

Case Western Professor Jonathan Sadowsky's book, The Empire of Depression, was extensively referenced in an article published in the New York Review of Books concerning Robert Burton's Anatomy of Depression. Read more here.

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox on the history of school dress codes and the debate over mandating masks for schoolchildren

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, a teacher of modern American history, as well as women's and gender history in the College of Arts and Sciences, wrote a Washington Post article detailing the history of dress codes in schools, and wonders why masks aren't enforced the same way that clothes are. Read her...

PhD candidate Kimba Stahler named Social Justice Fellow by CWRU Social Justice Institute

To encourage innovation and scholarship, CWRU's Social Justice Institute has established a Social Justice Fellowship Program that, through grants, funds faculty and student activities that advance social justice work, from humanistic inquiry to action research. Kimberly Stahler's dissertation research examines social justice activism in Cleveland from 1960 to 1975, and...

Jonathan Sadowsky featured on NPR affiliate program “Inquiry”

When is sorrow a sickness? Why do so many people seem to suffer from depression today? Do all cultures suffer from depression? These are a few of the questions we will discuss tonight when we talk with JONATHAN SADOWSKY. He is a professor in the history of medicine at Case...

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