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Department of History

Passionate faculty. Curious students. These are essential ingredients to the best history departments — like ours.

linkedin.jpgOur faculty members know their way around the world — from the Americas and Europe to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They’re also authorities on the issues — from the Renaissance and Reagan, slavery and samurais, women and war, and much more.

1TwitterLogo.gifOur students, inside the classroom and beyond it, are captivated by the events and cultures — from Russia and the Reformation to Native Americans and nationalism — that have shaped our world.

Away from the classroom, internships and our history club bring lessons to life — as does our annual Maymester course, which has taken students to Germany, Poland, Hungary, England, Ireland, and Japan in the past three years.

Whether you want to see the world from your classroom seat or travel it by the seat of your pants, we want you to take the journey with us.  Take a look at some "Fast Facts" about our department to learn more!  

​What's New?

We are very excited to continue our "Making History" lecture series. For those of you who don't know, it entails faculty lectures in the fall and a major undergraduate research conference in the spring. We recently heard 
Fr. John Vidmar offer a fascinating look into a little-known yellow fever epidemic in late nineteenth century Memphis. The next one will be Tuesday, October 27th, at 3pm in Albertus Magnus 137.  Dr. John Lawless will be giving a lecture entitled "Hunted by Love: An Explication of a Greek Poem."  Refreshments will be provided, and we hope you can join us! 

Our department would also like to extend a hearty welcome to our recent addition, Dr. Alex Orquiza, who will be teaching classes in Modern American History and, of course, The Development of Western Civilization. Dr. Orquiza earned his doctorate from The Johns Hopkins University and has spent the last few years teaching at Wellesley College and Harvard University. We're lucky to have him on board!


Recent Faculty Accomplishments  


Fred Drogula has had quite a year. He recently published Commanders and Command in the Roman Republic and Early Empire with The University of North Carolina Press, one of the top presses in his field. Drogula also published "Who Was Watching Whom: A Reassessment of the Conflict between Germanicus and Piso" in the American Journal of Philology in April. Last year he was selected as the winner of The Joseph R. Accinno Teaching Award. The award is given out annually to the PC faculty member who "best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for students' academic and personal growth." Furthermore, Dr. Drogula has also been serving faithfully as our Faculty Senate President. Great work, professor! 

Dr. Patrick Breen will soon publish his groundbreaking book, The Land Shall be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt, with Oxford University Press. The book has already been chosen as an alternate in the highly selective History Book Club Series and was chosen for the Military and Library of Science book clubs. It may even come out as an audiobook in the near future. Congratulations, Dr. Breen! 

Dr. Colin Jaundrill received a book contract from Cornell University Press for the publication of From Samurai to Soldier: Remaking Military Service in Modern Japan, 1841-1894. The book will be out sometime next year.   

Professor Tobias Harper’s article, “Voluntary Service and State Honours in Twentieth-Century Britain,” was recently published in the June 2015 edition of The Historical Journal. 

Congratulations to Dr. Adrian Weimer.  Weimer’s “From Human Suffering to Divine Friendship: Meat out of the Eater and Devotional Reading in Early New England," will soon be published in Early American Literature, one of the top journals in the field.

Fr. John Vidmar’s Catholic Church through the Ages recently came out in a second edition from the Paulist Press.

Dr. Sharon Murphy received a competitive Abroad Teaching Grant Award from The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) to teach for six weeks next summer in Rome.

Congrats as well to Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, who was awarded a James and Sylvia Thayer Fellowship at UCLA.  His article, “Comrade Johns: Oregon’s Socialist Presidential Candidate,” will appear in the Winter 2015 issue of Oregon Historical Quarterly.  

Finally, Dr. Edward Andrews recently published a short piece, titled “From Freedom to Slavery in Revolutionary Rhode Island,” an invited introductory essay for Cherry Bamberg, “Bristol Yamma and John Quamine in Rhode Island,” in Rhode Island History

Congratulations to George Morganis!    

George Morganis, a graduate of our department's undergraduate and graduate programs in history, is doing some big things! Right now he is teaching English and American culture at Midorigaoka Junior High School in Suzu, Japan as part of the illustrious JET Programme. He was also recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State to establish a pen-pal program between his students and students in Central Falls, Rhode Island. What was he doing this summer, you ask? Oh, just excavating the Agora with the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. Way to go, George!

​The Ruane Center


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Ruane Center for the Humanities, Room 137
Office Hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Chair: Dr. Raymond Sickinger
Ruane 215
(401) 865-2190

Assistant Chair: Dr. Sharon Ann Murphy
Ruane 116
(401) 865-2380

Graduate Program Director: Dr. Paul O’Malley
Ruane 133
(401) 865-2192

Senior Administrative Coordinator: Mrs. Phyllis Cardullo
Ruane 137
(401) 865-2193

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