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Department of History

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

Our 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?  


Mark those calendars!  The History Department is very excited to be organizing yet another Rev. Cornelius P. Forster, O.P. Making History Conference.  Last fall several faculty members presented their scholarship during our Making History Series, but this spring it is the students’ turn.  Please join us on Saturday, March 28 to hear some of our best students presenting their cutting-edge research.  The Conference is supported by a generous endowment from the Gladys Brooks Foundation.  The event will also be followed by our annual Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society Dinner and Induction Ceremony

The History Department offers its most sincere thanks to Taylor Branch, an internationally renowned and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian, for giving an inspiring and gripping talk on “From Selma to Ferguson - The Black Freedom Struggle and U.S. Democracy" on Tuesday, February 10.  In case you missed it, you can rewatch it here!  


Recent Faculty Accomplishments  


​Let's offer a huge congratulations to our very own Dr. Fred Drogula, this year's 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." Congratulations, Dr. Drogula!

Dr. Richard J. Grace, Professor Emeritus, recently published Opium and Empire: The Lives and Careers of William Jardine and James Matheson with the prestigious McGill-Queens University Press.  You can purchase it here.

Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, who has recently signed a contract to edit a 2-volume book titled, Reforming America: A Thematic Encyclopedia and Document Collection of the Progressive Era (forthcoming in early 2016 from ABC-Clio).   

Dr. Steven Carl Smith has published yet another article, this one titled “’Convicted of a Scandalous Offence against the Government’: Political Culture and the English Civil War in Colonial Maryland.”   You can find it in the Fall 2014 edition of the Maryland Historical Magazine, a quarterly peer-reviewed journal in publication since 1906.

Congrats again to Dr. Connie Rousseau, who published an article entitled "Neither Bewitched Nor Beguiled: Philip Augustus's Alleged Impotence and Innocent III's Response” in the April 2014 issue of Speculum, the premier journal in the field of Medieval Studies, published by the Medieval Academy of America. The article explores the French king's attempted divorce from Ingeborg of Denmark and Innocent's interpretation of impotence, consummation, and marital dissolution within the broader context of scripture, marital symbolism, theology, and canon law.

Congratulations to Andrew Sayer!    


Huge congratulations are due to Andrew Sayer, '15, who has been racking up the accolades. Just last week he found out that he had been accepted into the McNeil Center for Early American Studies' Undergraduate Research Workshop. The MCEAS is at the University of Pennsylvania, and it is arguably the most prestigious research institution for early American history in the world. And, last Saturday, Andrew was honored at PC's Annual Scholarship Luncheon, where he was invited to offer a few words to faculty, students, donors, and other invited guests. We're proud of you, Andrew...way to go!

The Ruane Center



Learn more about our new home.

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

Chair: Dr. Margaret Manchester
Ruane 131
(401) 865-2846

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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