Cornell University Department of History
|Cornell University Department of History|
|College||Arts and Sciences|
|Department Chair||Barry Strauss|
|Location||McGraw Hall, Ithaca, New York, United States|
The Cornell University Department of History is an academic department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University that focuses on the study of history. Founded in 1868, it is one of Cornell's original departments. Its first faculty included university president Andrew Dickson White and English historian Goldwin Smith. In 1881, the department named Moses Coit Tyler the first professor of American history in the United States. Three of Cornell's twelve presidents have been members of the department: Andrew Dickson White, Charles Kendall Adams, and Hunter R. Rawlings III. The longest teaching member of the faculty was Frederick Marcham who, upon completing his graduate work at Cornell in 1924, continued lecturing until a month before his death in 1992 – a total of 68 years.
The department was founded in 1868 by President Andrew Dickson White as one of Cornell's original departments as the Department of History and Political Science. White had already earned a reputation as an up-and-coming historian, having taught at the University of Michigan as a Professor of History and English Literature from 1857 to 1863 and as a Lecturer of History from 1863 to 1867, while serving as a New York State Senator. Employing his reputation as a well-regarded historian in his own right, White attracted other notable and rising historians of the day to his department. He convinced Goldwin Smith to leave his comfortable post at Oxford and travel across the Atlantic to rural, up-state New York. When Smith realized just how lacking the new university's library was for historical study, he promptly had his entire 3,400 book collection shipped from England for donation to the Cornell University Library and made a $2,500 bequest for the purchase of more historical works. From the College of Horace Mann (later known as Antioch College), White attracted their Department Chairman William Channing Russel. Russel would later serve as the Department Chairman, Cornell's Vice President and acting President during White's long periods abroad.
In 1881, the department notably hired the first, full-time chair of American history ever. In the spring of 1872, non-resident professor George Washington Greene, grandson of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene, offered a series of lectures on American history. Upon Russel's stepping down as the Department Chairman in 1881, the department attracted Moses Coit Tyler from the University of Michigan to take Russel's position. At Tyler's request, he exclusively taught American history .
In 1884, the department founded the American Historical Review in a joint effort with Harvard's Department of History in the model of the English Historical Review and the French Revue Historique. Also in 1884, Professors White and Charles Kendall Adams founded the American Historical Association with a handful of other leading historians of the day and both would later serve as its president. Other Cornellians to head the American Historical Association include faculty members Carl L. Becker and Mary Beth Norton, as well as alumnus Robert Roswell Palmer.
In 1887, the Department was renamed the President White School of History and Political Science in honor of Andrew Dickson White's service to the university and the donation of his large personal library. Over the summer, the board of trustees nominated White, who was no longer university president, to be Dean of the school and Honorary Lecturer on History and Political Science, but White declined the offer. Soon thereafter, president Charles Kendall Adams, White's protégé, sought a younger dean and interviewed Woodrow Wilson and Herbert Baxter Adams for the position. Adams notably did not interview the older Moses Coit Tyler, current department chairman, or Herbert Tuttle, an associate professor, to much annoyance of Taylor and the faculty in general. The trustees eventually overrode Adams and installed Tyler as Dean.
On June 18, 1891, the Cornell Board of Trustees resolved that steps be taken to form a "Department of History, Political and Social Science, and General Jurisprudence" and the following year, the faculty of economics and finance and political and social institutions broke off into a single department separate from the White School. As the history and government departments were moved around campus over the next few decades, the White School became a more informal grouping of the two departments. In September 1932, Cornell revived the White School by moving the two disconnected departments to Boardman Hall, allocating space for three classrooms, administrative offices, and graduate student areas.
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Many alumni and faculty members have won major awards for their work as historians. Alumnus Robert Fogel was the co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Economics, in recognition of his quantitative historical analyses. Walter LaFeber won the Bancroft Prize in 1996 and David Brion Davis won in 1976. LaFeber also won the Beveridge Award in 1962 and Davis received it in 1975. The French government awarded Steven Kaplan the Ordre national du Mérite and named Henry Guerlac Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. Anthony Grafton won the Balzan Prize.
Numerous people associated with the department have won Pulitzer Prizes. Current faculty member Fredrik Logevall was the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for History. Michael Kammen was the 1973 winner of the prize. Professor David Brion Davis won in the category of General Non-Fiction in 1969. Alumnus David Oshinsky won the award for History in 2006, and alumna Sheryl WuDunn won the award for International Reporting in 1990.
Two buildings at Cornell's main campus are named in honor of history department professors. White Hall, one of the original three buildings on the Arts Quad, named after Andrew Dickson White, and Becker House, a residential college named after Carl L. Becker in recognition of his pedagogical contributions to the Cornell community.
Department in popular culture
The Onion, a parody newspaper, featured an article about fictional History Department professor Wallace Schroeder on September 9, 1997, titled "Byzantine Empire Will Fall To Turks, Historian Warns".
The following is only a partial list.
|Name||Title||Field of study||Year joined department||Reference|
|Baptist, EdwardEdward Baptist||Associate Professor||19th-century United States, slavery, History of Capitalism|||
|Glickman, LawrenceLawrence Glickman||Professor||American consumerism||2014|||
|Hull, Isabel V.Isabel V. Hull||John Stambaugh Professor of History||Germany, political theory, sexuality, international law||1977|||
|Koschmann, J. VictorJ. Victor Koschmann||Professor||Japan|||
|Norton, Mary BethMary Beth Norton||Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History||United States||1971|||
|Rickford, RussellRussell Rickford||Assistant Professor||African-American history, American social movements||2014|||
|Sachs, AaronAaron Sachs||Associate Professor of History||American environmental history||2005|||
|Strauss, Barry S.Barry S. Strauss||Professor of History and Department Chair||Classics||1979|||
|Tagliacozzo, EricEric Tagliacozzo||Professor of History||Southeast Asia||1999|||
|Weil, RachelRachel Weil||Professor||Gender and culture in 17th- and 18th-century England|||
Former faculty and faculty emeriti
|Name||Title(s)||Field of study||Year joined||Year left/retired||Reference|
|Adler, FelixFelix Adler||Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature and History||Hebrew and Chinese literature||1874||1876|||
|Adams, Charles KendallCharles Kendall Adams||Professor of History, University President||Europe||1885||1889|||
|Baugh, Daniel A.Daniel A. Baugh||Associate Professor of History||Modern England, Maritime history||1969||?|||
|Becker, Carl L.Carl L. Becker||John Wendell Anderson Professor of History||The Enlightenment||1917||1941|||
|Biggerstaff, KnightKnight Biggerstaff||Professor of History, Department Chairman (1956–1963)||China||1938, 1946||1944, 1972|||
|Burr, George LincolnGeorge Lincoln Burr '1881||John Stambaugh Professor of History||Middle Ages||1888||1923|||
|Cochran, ShermanSherman Cochran||Hu Shih Professor of Chinese history||China||1974||2012|||
|Davis, David BrionDavid Brion Davis||Ernest I. White Professor of History||Slavery||1955||1969|||
|Fetter, FrankFrank Fetter '1892||Instructor, Professor in Political Economy (and Finance)||Political economy, finance||1895||1911|||
|Gates, Paul WallacePaul Wallace Gates||John Stambaugh Professor of History, Department Chairman (1946–56)||United States public land policy||1936||1971|||
|Grafton, AnthonyAnthony Grafton||Instructor in History||Renaissance||1974||1975|||
|Greene, George WashingtonGeorge Washington Greene||Non-resident Professor||United States||1871||1875|||
|Guerlac, HenryHenry Guerlac||Goldwin Smith Professor of the History of Science||Science||1946||1977|||
|Hall, D. G. E.D. G. E. Hall||Visiting Professor of Southeast Asian History||Southeast Asia||1967||1972|||
|Jenks, JeremiahJeremiah Jenks||Professor of Political Economy and Politics||Political economy||1891||1912|||
|Jian, ChenChen Jian||Hu Shih Professor of History and China-US Relations||Modern China, Chinese-American relations, Cold War history||2005||2017|||
|Kagan, DonaldDonald Kagan||Professor of History||Classics||1960||1969|||
|Kammen, MichaelMichael Kammen||Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture||American culture||1965||?|||
|Kaplan, StevenSteven Kaplan||Goldwin Smith Professor of History||France, bread||1969||?|||
|Koenigsberger, HelmutHelmut Koenigsberger||Professor||Early modern Europe||1966||1973|
|LaCapra, DominickDominick LaCapra '61||Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies||Intellectual history||1969||2013|||
|LaFeber, WalterWalter LaFeber||Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Department Chairman||United States foreign policy, Cold War||1959||2006|||
|Laistner, Max Ludwig WolframMax Ludwig Wolfram Laistner||John Stambaugh Professor of History, Department Chairman||Middle Ages||1925||1941|||
|Logevall, FredrikFredrik Logevall||John S. Knight Professor of International Studies||United States foreign relations||2010||2015|||
|Polenberg, RichardRichard Polenberg||Marie Underhill Noll Professor of American History, Former Goldwin Smith Professor of American History, Former Department Chairman (1977–1980)||United States constitutional law||1966||?|||
|Provine, WilliamWilliam Provine||Andrew H. and James S. Tisch Distinguished University Professor, Charles A. Alexander Professor||Science||1969|||
|Rawlings, HunterHunter Rawlings||Professor of Classics and History, President Emeritus||Classics||1995||?|||
|Shiraishi, TakashiTakashi Shiraishi '1986||Professor||Southeast Asia||1987||1998|||
|Sokol, JasonJason Sokol||Visiting Assistant Professor||American Civil Rights Movement (1896–1954)||2007||2008|||
|Smith, GoldwinGoldwin Smith||Professor of English and General Constitutional History||England||1868||1871|||
|Smith, PreservedPreserved Smith||Professor in History||Protestant Reformation||1923||1941|||
|Stephens, H. MorseH. Morse Stephens||Professor of Modern European History||Modern Europe||1894||1903|||
|Stephenson, CarlCarl Stephenson||Professor in History||Middle Ages||1931||1941|||
|Tierney, BrianBrian Tierney||Goldwin Smith Professor of Medieval History ; Bowmar Professor of Humanistic Studies||Middle Ages||1959||????|||
|Tuttle, HerbertHerbert Tuttle||Professor of Modern European History||Modern Europe||1890||1894|||
|Tyler, Moses CoitMoses Coit Tyler||Professor of American History, Department Chairman (1881–?1887), White School Dean (1887-?)||United States||1881||1900|||
|White, Andrew DicksonAndrew Dickson White||Professor, Department Chairman (1868–1881), University President||Science, warfare, religion||1868||1887|||
|Willcox, Walter FrancisWalter Francis Willcox||Professor of Political Economy and Statistics, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1901–1907)||Political economy, statistics||1891||1931|||
|Williams, L. PearceL. Pearce Williams '1948||John Stambaugh Professor of the History of Science, Department Chairman||Political economy, statistics||1960||?|||
|Wolters, O. W.O. W. Wolters||Goldwin Smith Professor of Southeast Asian History||Southeast Asia||1964||1990|||
|Wyatt, David K.David K. Wyatt '1966||John Stambaugh Professor of History and Asian Studies, Department Chairman||Southeast Asia||1969||2002|||
Note: Does not include those who have become faculty in the department, who are denoted by class year above.
|Alterman, EricEric Alterman||1982||B.A.||Liberal author and columnist|||
|Burr, George LincolnGeorge Lincoln Burr||1881||B.A.||U.S. historian, diplomat, author, and educator|||
|Conable, BarberBarber Conable||1942||B.A. Medieval History||United States Congressman New York 37th District, 1965–73; 35th District, 1973–83; 30th District, 1983–85; President of the World Bank, 1986–91|
|Coulter, AnnAnn Coulter||1984||B.A.||Conservative author and political commentator|||
|Daniels, EricEric Daniels||1973||B.A.||CEO of Lloyds Banking Group|||
|Dryden, KenKen Dryden||1968||B.A.||Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender; Member of the Canadian Parliament|||
|Fogel, RobertRobert Fogel||1948||B.A.||Nobel Prize-winning economic historian|||
|Folkenflik, DavidDavid Folkenflik||1991||B.A.||Reporter at National Public Radio|||
|Greenberg, KarenKaren Greenberg||B.A.||Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School|
|Hobbs, FredricFredric Hobbs||1953||B.A.||Artist and filmmaker|
|Kirk, MarkMark Kirk||1981||B.A.||Congressman, Illinois 10th District, 2001–2010, Senator, Illinois 2010–present.|||
|Krasner, Stephen D.Stephen D. Krasner||1963||B.A.||Former Director of Policy Planning at the United States Department of State, professor at Stanford University|||
|van Loon, Hendrik WillemHendrik Willem van Loon||1905||B.A.||Author of the first book to be awarded the Newbery Medal for an outstanding contribution to children's literature, historian, educator|
|Maher, BillBill Maher||1978||B.A.||Political pundit, host of Real Time with Bill Maher|||
|Mason, Linda A.Linda A. Mason||1976||B.A.||Co-Founder and President of Bright Horizons Family Solutions|||
|Mott, John R.John R. Mott||1888||B.A.||Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1946), YMCA and World Student Christian Federation leader|||
|Orwin, CliffordClifford Orwin||1967||B.A.||Professor of Jewish political thought at the University of Toronto|
|Oshinsky, DavidDavid Oshinsky||1965||B.A.||Historian, professor, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for History|
|Sale, KirkpatrickKirkpatrick Sale||1958||B.A.||Independent scholar and author who has written prolifically about political decentralism, environmentalism, luddism and technology|||
|Schwartz, Joseph M.Joseph M. Schwartz||B.A.||Political scientist and social theorist; professor at Temple University|
|Urban, MattMatt Urban||1941||B.A.||The most decorated American serviceman, according to the Guinness Book of World Records|||
|WuDunn, SherylSheryl WuDunn||1981||B.A. European History||Journalist at The New York Times, co-winner in 1990 of the Pulitzer Prize for her coverage on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, winner of the George Polk Award in 1989, and winner of the Overseas Press Club in 1990|||
|Altschuler, Glenn C.Glenn C. Altschuler||1976||Ph.D. American History||Historian and administrator at Cornell|||
|Andaya, Barbara WatsonBarbara Watson Andaya||1975||Ph.D.||Historian of Southeast Asia at the University of Hawaii at Manoa|
|Andaya, LeonardLeonard Andaya||1969, 1971||Ph.D.||Southeast Asia Historian|||
|Chodorow, StanleyStanley Chodorow||1968||Ph.D.||Medieval historian; Academic administrator|||
|Fetter, FrankFrank Fetter||1892||Ph.M.||Influential Austrian School economist|||
|Finchelstein, FedericoFederico Finchelstein||2006||Ph.D.||Chair of the history department and professor at the New School for Social Research|
|Greenberg, DouglasDouglas Greenberg||1971, 1974||Ph.D.||Historian, academic administrator|
|Kasetsiri, Charnvit Charnvit Kasetsiri||1972||Ph.D.||Former Rector of Thammasat University|
|Kruse, Kevin M.Kevin M. Kruse||2000||Ph.D.||Professor of American history at Princeton University, focusing on urban and suburban history and the history of conservatism|
|Lui, Mary Ting YiMary Ting Yi Lui||2000||Ph.D.||Professor at Yale University focusing on Asian American Studies|
|Marsak, LeonardLeonard Marsak||1957||Ph.D.||Historian of Modern Europe|
|Milner, AnthonyAnthony Milner||Ph.D.||Historian of Southeast Asia at Australian National University|
|Minnich, L. ArthurL. Arthur Minnich||1948||Ph.D.||Eisenhower White House staff and historian|
|McNeill, William HardyWilliam Hardy McNeill||1947||Ph.D.||Historian, professor, author of The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community|||
|Osborne, MiltonMilton Osborne||Ph.D.||Australian historian, author, and consultant specializing in Southeast Asia|
|Palermo, JosephJoseph Palermo||1998||Ph.D.||Historian of U.S. 20th-century politics at Sacramento State University|
|Palmer, Robert RoswellRobert Roswell Palmer||1934||Ph.D.||Historian of 18th-century France at Princeton and Yale, winner of the Bancroft Prize, President of the American Historical Association|
|Rafael, Vicente L.Vicente L. Rafael||1984||Ph.D.||Professor of history at University of Washington|||
|Ricklefs, Merle CalvinMerle Calvin Ricklefs||1973||Ph.D.||Former Professor of history at National University of Singapore|||
|Stayer, James M.James M. Stayer||1964||Ph.D.||Historian of early modern Germany at Queen's University|||
|, WaziyatawinWaziyatawin||2000||Ph.D.||Author, activist, research on indigenous peoples at the University of Victoria|||
|Wyatt, David K.David K. Wyatt||1966||Ph.D.||Historian, professor, authority on Thai|||
- Selkreg, John H. (1894). Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York. Ithaca, N.Y.: D. Mason & Co.
- "Frederick Marcham, Cornell Professor, 94", New York Times, December 19, 1992
- "OBITUARY RECORD", New York Times, February 25, 1896
- "CORNELL'S HISTORICAL DEPARTMENT; Part Taken by It in the Founding of a New Magazine.", New York Times, April 14, 1895
- Poole, Murray Edward, A Story Historical of Cornell University: With Biographies of Distinguished Cornellians, The Cayuga Press, Ithaca, NY, 1916
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- "History Courses Get New Home: Boardman to be Rearranged to House Departments of History, Government". Cornell Daily Sun. June 17, 1932. p. 6. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2009.
- U.S. News and World Report. https://web.archive.org/web/20170610061853/https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/history-rankings. Archived from the original on 2017-06-10. Retrieved 2017-06-12. Missing or empty
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- "2013 Pulitzer Prizes for Letters, Drama and Music". The New York Times. 2013-04-15.
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- Member of the President White School of History and Political Science
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- Department homepage
- Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York, a history of the department
-  - a Cornell Daily Sun article from October 19, 1887 regarding the founding of the President White School of History and Political Science
- Another extensive history of the first 40 years of the department