Featured News

Congratulations to Department Chair Karen Parshall, the Commonwealth Professor of Mathematics and History, on receiving the 2018 Albert Leon Whiteman Memorial Prize! This award is given by the American Mathematical Society in recognition of "notable exposition and exceptional scholarship in the history of mathematics." For more information, please see the full story here.


Leif Fredrickson, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia in May, has been awarded the 2017 Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities and Fine Arts for his dissertation, “The Age of Lead: Metropolitan Change, Environmental Health, and Inner City Underdevelopment.”  Read more about the award here.


A Statement from the Corcoran Department of History

The Corcoran Department of History condemns the hate and violence perpetrated by white supremacists in Charlottesville on August 11th and 12th.  We feel devastated that the Grounds where we teach and where our students live were hijacked to promote a message of white supremacy and anti-Semitism.  We reject these repugnant and backward ideologies, which could not be more opposed to the values we uphold as members of an academic community.  We champion diversity against prejudice, and choose reason over intimidation.

As historians, we recognize that the past weighs heavily on the present.  The appearance of a hateful, torch-wielding mob on our campus echoed some of the darkest chapters in history — including the University’s own history.  Spurred by this recognition, we renew our commitment to confronting issues of identity, inequality, violence, and memory in our teaching and scholarship.  Because our obligations to the University community extend beyond the classroom, we likewise renew our commitment to ensuring that everyone from historically marginalized groups is safe, respected, and included at UVa.

More on the department's response to the events of August 11-12

Faculty Publications


Why major in History? Click below!

                                       (Courtesy of the University of Utah)

About the Department

The University of Virginia's Corcoran Department of History has long been one of the anchors for liberal and humane education in the College of Arts & Sciences. Members of the Department are nationally and internationally recognized for their scholarship and teaching. As scholars, the faculty specialize in a wide range of disciplines — cultural, diplomatic, economic, environmental history, history of science & technology, intellectual, legal, military, political, public history, and social history.  Areas of interest span the globe from Africa, to East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States. As teachers, our faculty seek above all to lead students to reflect more deeply on the role historical forces and processes play in the human condition. Offering over 100 courses a year, the faculty teach introductory surveys as well as seminars and colloquia to undergraduates and graduate students.

The Department's intellectual breadth is enhanced by its close relationship with the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American & African Studies, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES), the Center for German Studiesthe Classics Department, the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History, an emerging Law & History nexus between the Department and the School of Law,  the Miller Center for Study of the American Presidency, the Committee on the History of Environment, Science, and Technology (CHEST), the Papers of James Madison, the Dolley Madison Digital Edition, and the Papers of George Washington. Members of the Department are also closely involved with several interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts & Sciences such as, American StudiesLatin American Studies,Middle-Eastern StudiesMedieval Studies Program, and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies.  Others work at the convergence of humanities and digital technology, both in research and in novel approaches to historical pedagogy.

Listen to the History Department's own Brian Balogh on:

This week's episode: "Wherever Green Is Worn: The Irish in America."

On this special St. Patrick’s Day episode of BackStory, Brian, Joanne and Nathan explore Irish American culture and identity.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts