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.

John Grabowski on the Cuyahoga River fire

Professor John Grabowski was recently featured in an article published on popularmechanics.com titled "Smoke on the Water: 50 Years After the Cuyahoga River Fire." Professor Grabowski, who serves as the Historian and Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society, as well as a...

Professor Jay Geller in Newsweek

In an article recently published in Newsweek, Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies Jay Geller commented on the controversy surrounding Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calling the U.S. migrant detentions centers concentration camps. The article lays out the history of the term, and looks to several other academic experts for their professional...

Professor John Grabowski featured in Distillations podcast

Professor Grabowski, Krieger-Mueller Joint Professor of History at Case Western Reserve University and Historian and Senior Vice President for Research and Publications at the Western Reserve Historical Society, was recently featured in Science History Institute's podcast "Distillations" in an episode titled "The Myth of the Cuyahoga River Fire." Professor...

Ted Steinberg on the commercialization of the American lawn

Professor Ted Steinberg was recently featured in an op ed article published on middletownpress.com, written by Robert Miller. Professor Steinberg, Davee Professor of History and professor of law at Case Western Reserve University and author of American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, commented on the history...

Einav Rabinovitch-Fox on political couture

Professor Einav Rabinovitch-Fox was featured in an article published on medium.com about the recent controversy surrounding fashion designer Desi Allinger, who has designed dresses with overtly political messaging. Although Allinger says her political leanings should be compartmentalized from her commissioned work, Professor Rabinovitch-Fox offers her historical expertise to the...

Professor Sadowsky featured in Vox article about ECT

Professor Jonathan Sadowsky was recently featured in an article written by Alexia Underwood for Vox.com titled "My great-grandmother’s struggle with mental illness — and the therapy that saved her life." Professor Sadowsky offered his expertise on the history of medicine to contextualize the historical and contemporary use of Electroshock...

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