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Department of History

Peter Lorge, co-editor, Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870 (Routledge, 2015) Edward Wright-Rios, Searching for Madre Matiana: Prophecy and Popular Culture in Modern Mexico (University of New Mexico Press, 2014) Samira Sheikh, co-editor, After Timur Left (Oxford University Press, 2014) Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (left) presents the 2014 Earl Sutherland Prize to Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History. (Joe Howell/Vanderbilt) Leor Halevi, co-editor, Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900 (Oxford University Press 2014) Moses Ochonu, Africa in Fragments: Essays on Nigeria, Africa, and Global Africanity (Diasporic African Press, New York 2014) Julia Phillips Cohen, co-editor, Sephardi Lives: A Documentary History, 1700-1950 (Stanford University Press 2014)

History at Vanderbilt

History has been an integral part of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum at Vanderbilt since the University was founded, in 1873. The first undergraduate students of the discipline immersed themselves in subjects as various as the Roman Empire, English constitutional history, the history of religion (including Islam), political economy, and contemporary American politics. Graduate study came early—in the 1880s—to Vanderbilt. Taught in weekly seminars, a new instructional form, students were expected to master the standard texts—in ancient history and in legal history, for example—while the more advanced among them engaged in innovative research on such issues as the Civil War, local government in the South and Southwest, and the tariff, Henry George and socialism. Vanderbilt’s first PhD in history was awarded in 1899, one of only three awarded in the South before 1900.

Today, the Department of History’s 40 full-time faculty members offer courses that span the globe—from Africa and Asia to Europe, Latin America and the United States—and that introduce students to a range of historical questions and methodologies. The undergraduate program attracts over 200 majors, and the graduate program annually enrolls about 10  students in a variety of fields. Department faculty are at once devoted and skilled teachers on the one hand and innovative and accomplished researchers and writers of history on the other.


Chris Clark, Regius Professor of History, Cambridge University, presented the Annual Byrn Lecture, "How Europe Went to War in 1914. The Origins Debate Revisited," on April 8, 2015. See podcast here.

Jane Landers gave the Nathan I. Huggins Lectures, “A View from the Other Side: The Saint Domingue Revolution through Spanish Sources,” March 3-5, 2015 at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. To see the titles of Jane’s lectures link here.

David LaFevor (PhD 2011) Assistant Professor Latin American History and Digital Humanities at the University of Texas, Arlington.  His photographs of Cuba from the last decade have been on numerous venues including NBC news,

Leor Halevi has been awarded a combined fellowship from the European Institutes for Advanced Study and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He will reside at the latter during the 2015-16 academic year as a resident fellow.

Julia Cohen has received a National Jewish Book Award for her monograph, Becoming Ottomans, in the category of ‘Writing Based on Archival Material,’ and another, in the category of ‘Sephardic Culture,’ for her co-edited volume Sephardi Lives. Please see more here.

Peter Lorge , co-editor, Chinese and Indian Warfare – From the Classical Age to 1870 (Routledge, 2015). Also, Lorge established a new book series with Routledge, Asian States and Empires, in 2007. The tenth in this series has just been published, Warfare in Pre-British India, 1500 BCE to 1740 CE by Kaushik Roy (Routledge, 2015).

Marshall Eakin, Professor of History, was awarded $50,400 by the National Endowment for the Humanities to pursue research to complete his book  Shadows of the Soul: Brazilian Identity in the Twentieth Century.

Vanderbilt University faculty members Samira Sheikh , Tony Stewart , and David Wasserstein will be co-directing an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities on the theme " When the Fringe Dwarfs the Center:  Vernacular Islam Beyond the Arab World" during the 2015/2016 academic year.

updated April9, 2015

See many more announcements about Professors and Graduate Students here.