Share our enthusiasm for the study of past societies and cultures

History unlocks important insights into the world we inhabit. But we also find intellectual satisfaction, and wisdom, in understanding the past on its own terms. Because of the geographical breadth of our courses, history students develop a global consciousness as they develop key transferable skills such as critical thinking, communication, and empathy.

The World is Calling: History Majors

History is the centerpiece of a humanities education. It's about problem-solving, gathering evidence, and fitting that evidence together to understand what happened in past societies - and why those things happened.

Projects

Iowa Native Spaces

History Writing Center

History Corps

News and announcements

Stromquist Claiming the City

Shelton Stromquist wins the 2023 "Book of the Year" award from ILHA

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Professor Emeritus Shelton Stromquist won the 2023 “Book of the Year Award” for labor history from the International Labor History Association (ILHA) for his book, Claiming the City: A Global History of Workers’ Fight for Municipal Socialism.
Group photo of Bob Cargill, Paul Dilley, Sarah Bond, and Brenda Longfellow

Sarah Bond appointed Holtsmark Associate Professor

Wednesday, October 4, 2023
History Professor Sarah Bond is one of two faculty members appointed to the Holtsmark Associate Professorship. She was one of four CLAS faculty recently honored with new named professorships in classics.
Michaela Hoenicke Moore

History Professor to Serve as Academic Year Freiburg Director

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Professor Michaela Hoenicke Moore will serve as Academic Director for the Academic Year Freiburg (AYF) program during the 2023-24 academic year.

Upcoming events

Humanities for the Public Good Closing Symposium: A Celebration promotional image

Humanities for the Public Good Closing Symposium: A Celebration

Friday, March 1 10:00am to Saturday, March 2, 2024 3:30pm
Iowa City Public Library
This symposium is a culmination of the Obermann Center’s multi-year grant from the Mellon Foundation focused on the transformation of humanities graduate education, Humanities for the Public Good. During the last four years, over 100 faculty, staff, graduate students, and visiting speakers have envisioned and created a host of ways that graduates from humanities PhD programs can fuse their studies in specific disciplines with skills and learning experiences that prepare them to adapt the methods...
Out of the Archive Series: The Short Films of Aarin Burch promotional image

Out of the Archive Series: The Short Films of Aarin Burch

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 6:15pm to 9:00pm
FilmScene (Chauncey)
Please join us at FilmScene for the continuation of "Out of the Archive: Envisioning Blackness," a monthly screening and discussion series that celebrates the vibrant  tradition of Black cinema by featuring rarely screened, newly restored, and archivally engaged films. Tickets are pay-what-you-can (with students, in particular, encouraged to pick $0). Join us before each screening for a free dinner reception catered by local restaurants, and stay after each film for post-screening conversations...
Public Lecture: Tea vs. Whey: Cultural Rivalries in Medieval China’s North-South Divide  promotional image

Public Lecture: Tea vs. Whey: Cultural Rivalries in Medieval China’s North-South Divide

Friday, March 8, 2024 3:30pm to 5:00pm
University Capitol Centre
The Six Dynasties era (220–589) in Chinese history is marked by political fragmentation, upheaval, and social transformation, accompanied by a flourishing of arts, literature, philosophy, religion, and technology amidst widespread population mobility. This talk offers an overview of this captivating period, focusing on the intense cultural competitions that emerged in language, cuisine, fashion, and intellectual pursuits. By examining these contests, I demonstrate how they served not only as expressions of artistic prowess but, more importantly, as tools for asserting political legitimacy. Join me as we unravel the rich tapestry of cultural exchanges and rivalries that defined this pivotal period in Chinese history.
The Search for Race: Civil War Medicine and Science promotional image

The Search for Race: Civil War Medicine and Science

Thursday, March 21, 2024 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Biology Building East
Leslie uses the social and cultural history of Civil War medicine and science to probe the question of how and why anti-Black racism survived the destruction of slavery. Leslie's talk will describe how white Northerners—the U.S. Sanitary Commission and Army medical personnel—conducted wartime research aimed at proving Black medical and biological inferiority. She argues that this research not only led to the mistreatment of Black soldiers and civilians, it also promoted the notion of white...
Iowa Women's History Month Lecture: Demographic Fears and the History of Reproduction in the Midwest promotional image

Iowa Women's History Month Lecture: Demographic Fears and the History of Reproduction in the Midwest

Thursday, March 21, 2024 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Iowa City Public Library
Dr. Lina-Maria Murillo, assistant professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, History, and Latina/o/x Studies at the University of Iowa, will explore how the potential for demographic change has affected the legal and social environment for obstetrical care in Iowa and the Midwest. Dr. Murillo is Assistant Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, History, and Latina/o/x Studies at the University of Iowa. She is completing her first book...
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