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Greetings from the Chair

Dear Friends, Alumni, and Fellow Historians, Greetings from the UNC History Department! I am delighted to share with you some updates about the activities of our faculty, graduate students, alumni, and off-campus colleagues. For me, this is a bittersweet moment: I’m writing this on graduation day, at the end of my term as department chair, which began in 2018. Since then, we have all confronted multiple challenges—not least, the members of the class of 2023, whose undergraduate years were unexpectedly and dramatically altered. I congratulate the graduates, whose achievements and spirit are an inspiration; I commend my faculty colleagues, whose …Read more here

Update from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Photo of Katie Turk

Our undergraduate program has thrived this Spring, and we are delighted to support our students’ endeavors and honor their achievements. In the coming months, many of our majors will study abroad and travel for research with History Department funding. Five students received Fall 2023 Boyatt Awards: Charisma Stevens, for the Freie Universitaet Berlin (European Studies); Whitney Knotts, for Oxford University (St Edmund Hall); Ann Alexander, for the University of Edinburgh; Joshua Dolgoff for IES Abroad: Barcelona (Journalism & Communications); and Jordan Mundy, for a student-initiated program in Italy. History major Micah Morton-James will participate in the UNC Phillips Summer in …Read more here

Update from the Director of Graduate Studies
Professor Eren Tasar

The graduate program rounds out the 2022-2023 academic year with a list of impressive scholarship and awards. Even more significant are our students’ accomplishments in the classroom: as Teaching Fellows and Teaching Assistants, graduate students in the department taught hundreds of UNC undergraduates. Combining their deep historical knowledge and extensive scholarship with innovative methodologies, they conveyed to students the intrinsic excitement of the historian’s craft at a time when the profession, and discipline, face unprecedented challenges. The department celebrates our graduate students’ pathbreaking work in archives, libraries, in publishing, in the classroom, and in vital public-facing work. Among the many …Read more here

John Sweet’s New Book Wins Prestigious Awards
John Sweet

John Wood Sweet has received the distinguished honor of the 2023 Bancroft Prize for his book The Sewing Girl’s Tale, becoming the first UNC faculty member to receive the coveted prize since the 1960s. The Bancroft Prize is one of the highest honors in the field of American history, reserved for exceptional academic work in the discipline. It is awarded annually by Columbia University, which describes the prize as honoring works of “enduring worth and impeccable scholarship that make a major contribution to our understanding of the American past.” The book has also received the Book of the Year Award …Read more here

Stephanie Pierson ’24: History Major and “Jeopardy” Semifinalist
Stephanie Pierson

Students often confront us historians with the question: what are the benefits of getting a degree in history? Obviously, there are many, from understanding the present to mastering writing and communication skills. But now we can add even another: Jeopardy! Stephanie Pierson, Carolina senior and History major, won her first game in the quarterfinals of the popular show “Jeopardy!” in February 2023. Already four years earlier, Pierson advanced to the quarterfinals of the teen tournament in California. The 2023 high school reunion tournament brought back twenty-seven former teenage competitors for a chance to win a $100,000 prize and a spot …Read more here

Inaugural Genna Rae McNeil Lecture
Vincent Brown

February 22, 2023 marked the inaugural Genna Rae McNeil lecture event for Black History Month. While the lecture series has taken place for almost two decades at UNC, this year’s event is the first under a new name – honoring the History Department’s own Genna Rae McNeil. McNeil was the first African-American tenure-track faculty member in the History Department, specializing in African American history and U.S. social movements in the 20th century. McNeil retired in in 2021 after thirty-six years at UNC. She was presented with the namesake honor at the event by keynote speaker and close friend Dr. Vincent …Read more here

History Department Marks Lisa Lindsay’s Momentous Tenure as Chair

Professor Lisa Lindsay surely got more than she bargained for upon becoming department chair in summer 2018. Right before the first day of classes, student protestors toppled the “Silent Sam” monument. Graduate students in the department played a prominent role in the antiracist activism that compelled the university to remove the confederate statue. They were met with fierce intimidation and even online threats from far-right figures, not to mention violations of their civil rights. The agenda on Lindsay’s plate was like something out of a managerial nightmare, as former Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Brett Whalen, notes: “Lisa was dealt …Read more here

Alumni Profile: Professor Christina B. Carroll
Christina Carroll

Christina B. Carroll earned her BA in English and History at Vassar College, NY, in 2006. After her graduation, she started her Ph.D study in the History department at UNC Chapel Hill. She completed her thesis, “Defining the French Empire: Memory, Politics, and National Identity, 1860-1900,” under the supervision of Professor Lloyd Kramer in 2015. After completing her Ph.D, Carroll served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Colgate University from 2015-2016 and has taught in the History department at Kalamazoo College in Michigan since 2016. From 2018 to 2021, she held the title of Marlene …Read more here

Samuel Dolbee: A Glimpse into An Academic Journey of An Unconventional Historian
Samuel Dolbee

Samuel Dolbee ’08 is a history alumnus who has broken new ground in the profession. As editor in chief of the Ottoman History Podcast, he steers a prominent venue for showcasing cutting-edge scholarship in Ottoman and Middle Eastern history to a broader audience. Although the podcast features the work of established scholars, Dolbee has also used it to bring attention to the achievements of younger historians. The podcast holds interest for specialists, while successfully disseminating new developments in the field to the public. Dolbee, who is also an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt, explains that he took on the …Read more here

Ph.D candidate breaks new ground in holocaust studies
Alison Curry

UNC Ph.D student Alison Curry has had a busy year of research and traveling as a Saul Kagan Holocaust Memorial Fellow. Curry, who studies Jewish cemeteries in Poland between 1918 and 1945, lectured last October at Clemson University as part of a conference studying cemeteries. In April, she gave the Max Weinrich Fellowship lecture entitled “Between the Living and the Dead: Considering Tradition in the Jewish Cemeteries of Poland, 1918-1945.” This summer, she will be traveling to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. to present her research with the other fellows of her cohort. Curry’s work aims to …Read more here

Ousmane Power-Greene ’95: A Scholar, Novelist, Educator, and Sports Coach
Ousmane Power-Greene

“Being at Carolina in the early to mid-1990s was a very interesting time. There was a lot of activism among students and my peers, especially in African American student unions. It was great to see how the institution changed under the pressure of students.” Ousmane Power-Greene, Associate Professor of African American History at Clark University, very vividly remembers his time as a Carolina student and major in History. Disputes between a coalition of students, faculty and staff, and the UNC Chancellor Thomas Hardin over a freestanding Black Cultural Center dominated life on campus. In 1992, more than 7,000 African American …Read more here

The History Department is a lively center for historical education and research. Although we are deeply committed to our mission as a public institution, our “margin of excellence” depends on generous private donations. At the present time, the department is particularly eager to improve the funding and fellowships for graduate students.

Your donations are used to send graduate students to professional conferences, support innovative student research, bring visiting speakers to campus, and expand other activities that enhance the department’s intellectual community.

Make a Gift

To make a secure gift online, please click “Make a Gift” above.

The Department also receives tax-deductible donations through the Arts and Sciences Foundation at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please note in the “memo” section of your check that your gift is intended for the History Department. Donations should be sent to the following address:

UNC-Arts & Sciences Foundation
Buchan House
523 E. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Attention: Ronda Manuel

For more information about creating scholarships, fellowships, and professorships in the Department through a gift, pledge, or planned gift please contact Ronda Manuel, Associate Dean for Development at the Arts and Sciences Foundation: or (919) 962-7266.