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Research Overview

Dive Deep. With nearly 40 full-time faculty members, the Department of History demonstrates a wide range of fields and methodological approaches. Our temporal and regional strengths span from antiquity to modern history, with faculty members and graduate students focusing on the Americas, Eurasia, or Africa, as well as interconnections across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean.

Faculty Publications

On Laudianism
Piety, Polemic and Politics
During the Personal Rule of Charles I

Cambridge University Press 2023
ISBN: 978-1009306829
Germany in the World:
A Global History, 1500-2000

Liveright 2023
ISBN: 978-1631491832
Children of the Soil:
The Power of Built Form in Urban Madagascar

Duke University Press Books 2023
ISBN: 978-1478025290
Peter LakeDavid Blackbourn Tasha Rijke-Epstein


  • Daniel Usner, Native American Women and the Burdens of Southern History (LSU Press, 2023)
  • Samuel DolbeeLocusts of Power (Cambridge University Press, 2023)
  • Ari Joskowicz, Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews and the Holocaust  (Princeton University Press, 2023)
  • Moses Ochonu, Emirs in London: Subaltern Travel and Nigeria's Modernity (Indiana University Press, 2022)
  • Nicole Hemmer, Partisans - The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s (Basic Books, 2022)
  • Michael BessPlanet in Peril: Humanity's Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them (Cambridge University Press, 2022)
  • Brandon R. ByrdIdeas in Unexpected Places: Reimagining Black Intellectual History (Northwestern University Press, 2022)
  • Emily GrebleMuslims and the Making of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2021)
  • Meng ZhangTimber and Forestry in Qing China - SUstaining the Market (University of Washington Press, 2021)
  • Yoshikuni Igarashi,  Japan, 1972: Visions of Masculinity in an Age of Mass Consumerism (Columbia University Press, 2021)
  • James Epstein and David Karr,  British Jacobin Politics, Desires, and Aftermaths: Seditious Hearts (Routledge, 2021)
  • Marshall EakinWhat is Latin American History (John Wiley & Sons), 2021
  • Brandon R. ByrdThe Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020)
  • Peter Lake and Richard Cust,  Gentry culture and the politics of religion: Cheshire on the eve of civil war (Manchester University Press, 2020)
  • Peter Lake, Hamlet's Choice: Religion and Resistance in Shakespeare's Revenge Tragedies (Yale University Press, 2020)
  • Thomas A. Schwartz, Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography (Macmillan, 2020)
  • Arleen Tuchman,  Diabetes: A History of Race & Disease (Yale University Press, 2020)
  • Helmut Smith,  Germany: A Nation in Its Time: Before, During, and After Nationalism, 1500 - 2000 (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2020)
  • Dennis C. Dickerson,  The African Methodist Episcopal Church: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
  • William Caferro,   Teaching History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)
  • Peter Lake and Michael Questier, All Hail to the Archpriest: Confessional Conflict, Toleration, and the Politics of Publicity in Post- Reformation England (Oxford University Press, 2019)
  • Leor HaleviModern Things on Trial: Islam’s Global and Material Reformation in the Age of Rida, 1865–1935 (Columbia University Press, 2019).
  • Daniel Usner, American Indians in Early New Orleans: From Calumet to Raquette (Louisiana State University Press, 2018)
  • Katherine Crawford, Eunuchs and Castrati: Disability and Normativity in Early Modern Europe (Routledge Press, 2019 – available beginning August 2018)
  • Thomas A.J. McGinnTable IV of the XII Tables (Naples: Jovene Editore, 2017 [2018]).
  • William Caferro, Petrarch's War: Florence and the Black Death in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Sarah E. Igo, The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America  (Harvard University Press, 2018)
  • Moses Ochonu, editor, Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Historical Approach (Indiana University Press, 2018)
  • Joel Harrington , Dangerous Mystic: Meister Echkhart’s Path to the God Within (Penguin Press, 2018)
  • Richard BlackettThe Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery (Cambridge University, 2018)
  • Michael Bess and Diana Walsh Pasulka, eds., Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks (Macmillan Cengage, 2018).
  • Kimberly M. WelchBlack Litigants in the Antebellum American South (The University of North Carolina Press, 2018). 



Vanderbilt’s Heard Library is one of the major research libraries in the South, with a system of eight divisions and over two million volumes, with access to the Center for Research Libraries, Interlibrary Loan, and various computer networks. The library has particularly strong holdings in the areas in which the department offers doctoral study; manuscript collections are especially strong on the Nashville Fugitive/Agrarian Movement and the History of the African-American Church.

Students of English history benefit from the college’s membership in the Folger Shakespeare Library consortium (Washington, D.C.) and the Newberry Library (Chicago), and from the department’s membership in the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London. The university library’s holdings in early modern and modern British history are excellent. Vanderbilt also has a flourishing Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies, with thirty faculty members drawing from seven departments, and a particularly strong library collection on Latin America.

The Nashville area is rich in historic artifacts and resources for U.S. historians. The city is a center for local history, with the national offices of the American Association for State and Local History, the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Tennessee Historical Society. Nearby Fisk University has rich manuscript and art collections in African American history. Nashville is one of three major centers for research in American church history; especially important are collections of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives. Last, but certainly not least, are the fabulous cultural-historical collections of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.