The Department of History and August 11-12

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.


Latest News

Balogh Speaks to Here&Now
Professor Brian Balogh has spoken to Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson about how presidents have often made controversial moves while public attention is focused elsewhere. Listen here

Graduate Students Write for The Slate
Graduate Students Sophie Abramowitz, Eva Latterner, and Gillet Rosenblith wrote a piece for The Slate on Charlottesville city planning and Confederate commemorations. Read the article here.

Undergrad DMP Gobar Writes for Washington Post
Wes Gobar, a Fourth-Year in the History Department's Distinguished Major Program has written a piece for the Washington Post on the events of August 12 and White supremacy. Read it here

Harold Film Screening at MIT List Visual Arts Center
We Demand, a short film directed by Kevin Everson and UVa History Professor Claudrena Harold, is screening at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center until October 29th as part of its Civil Disobedience exhibit. The daily screenings are 12:30. Read more, here.

[Read More]


"Civil War Memory: Charlottesville and Beyond" A Conversation with Gary Gallagher, John Mason, and Elizabeth Varon 


UVa student podcast Global Inquirer covers the events of Aug 11-12 in "A Tale of Two Towns"

Professor Justene Hill on “Truth, Politics and Power

Brian Balogh's BackStory First Draft 8.18 | Charlottesville: Our Town, Our Country

Grace Hale on "It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders" Charlottesville and White People

Past Events

The Recent History of the Alt-Right: What You Should Know"

  On Wednesday, October 11, the History department hosted a public conversation with Jamelle Bouie (Slate Magazine), Dahlia Lithwick (Slate Magazine), and Nicole Hemmer (Washington Post and Miller Center) about the roots and tactics of the Alt-Right in contemporary US politics and culture. View video of the event here.


"The Fascist Threat: What You Should Know" 

  On Wednesday September 27, Professors Manuela Achilles, William Hitchcock, James Loeffler, Kyrill Kunakhovich, and Sarah Milov spoke about Fascism, its rise in Europe in the early twentieth century, and its relevance to the events of August 11-12.. A lively question & answer session followed brief presentations by each professor. View photos of the event here.



  “Civil War Memory:  Charlottesville and Beyond”

   On Wednesday September 13, Professors Gary Gallagher, John Mason, and Elizabeth Varon spoke about the Civil War and its memorialization in Charlottesville and the University of Virginia. A lively question & answer session followed brief presentations by each professor. View video of the presentations, here. Audio of the Q&A session is forthcoming.


  "The Struggle for Racial Justice at the Unversity of Virginia

  On Wednesday, August 30th, the Department of History hosted a series of conversations that explore the ongoing struggle for social justice and racial equality at the University of Virginia (UVA) and  situates the racist events of August 11th and August 12th within a larger historical perspective. Professor Claudrena Harold began the event with a talk about how engagement with the history of civil  rights and social justice movements at the University and beyond can assist current efforts to make the UVa a more democratic and safe space for students, faculty, workers, etc. Faculty members,  including  Professors Grace Hale, Will Hitchcock, Andrew Kahrl, and Sarah Milov, then led breakout sessions to continue the discussion.



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