Skip to main content
Greetings from the Chair

Dear Friends, Alumni, and Fellow Historians, Last spring, as our students, staff, and faculty convened in room 569 for our end-of-year reception, celebrating our achievements and reflecting on the year gone by, an interesting thing happened: the UNC-CH History Department felt normal again. It had taken three long years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that sense of comradery, collegiality, and community that has always defined UNC History was back on full display. Of course, it had never really left, but simply took other forms—Zoom meetings, hybrid instruction, outdoor gatherings. But as we stood around eating finger food …Read more here

Update from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Photo of Katie Turk

Our undergraduate program has thrived this year, and we are delighted to support and applaud our students’ achievements. Our department celebrates our undergraduates’ scholarship. The 2023 Joshua Meador Prize, which recognizes the best History 389 paper written in 2022, was awarded to Christiana Wayne. She wrote her prize-winning paper, “Billy Graham on the Cold War: Politics and Salvation,” in a seminar taught by Molly Worthen. Wayne also won the Frank Ryan Prize for the year’s best thesis, awarded by the History Department’s Prize Committee, for “A Music of Survival: The Prague Jazz Scene and Dissent in Communist Czechoslovakia,” which was …Read more here

Update from the Director of Graduate Studies
Professor Eren Tasar

The 2022-2023 academic year was full of accomplishments for our graduate students. It was a recovery year for our graduate program. We admitted 15 new students for our class of 2022. They come from five countries, including China, Germany, Greece, and the United States. Our new admissions system has taken account of changes in the profession and the evolving interests of our students. We have admitted applicants without regard to geographic fields, and each new student has two advisors. The coadvising model has led to novel advising relationships on research topics as diverse as Global Islam in America, disaster management …Read more here

A Summer with History and Olympic Games in London

Matt Andrews is an associate professor in the Department of History, specializing in American and sports history. He organized his first London: Olympics, A Burch Field Research Seminar in summer 2023 by offering the Olympic Games: A Global History (HNRS 390). He will continue to lead this program this summer. Q: How did this idea come up? A: The whole idea comes from the course I teach, History 220, which is a global history of the Olympic Games. That’s a course where I talk about the Olympics, but I use the Olympics to talk about politics from 1896 to the …Read more here

Meeting with a Promising Young Central Asianist, Winner of Newcombe Fellowship

Nurlan Kabdylkhak is a Ph.D candidate in History at UNC at Chapel Hill. His research focuses mainly on the social and cultural history of Central Asia. Q: Can you provide us with a short educational and professional background of yours? A: From my earliest memories, history has always captivated me. As a child one tends to have a very romantic understanding of history. As someone who was born and raised in Kazakhstan, my love for history was ignited and shaped by tales of mighty khans and legendary historical figures of Central Asia. Whether it was the indomitable Saka Queen Tomyris …Read more here

A Tar Heel in Bohemia

UNC History Ph.D Student Kevin Hoeper had an exciting journey to Czechia, where he attended a conference entitled: “Army, Society, and Warfare in the Bohemian Lands under the Habsburgs (1526-1918).” This conference was organized by an interdisciplinary team of European scholars working on different eras of Habsburg military history, focusing on what is modern-day Czechia. Kevin’s scholarship examines the history of the regiment in Habsburg service: “From the birth of the Habsburg standing army until its dissolution in 1918, the regiment was the army’s most basic administrative structure and the center of military life for soldiers and officers. It is …Read more here

Nationalism and the Power Grid

Zora Piskačová is a 5th-year Ph.D student in history at UNC Chapel Hill, where she studies interwar East-Central European history. In November of 2022, she received the Association of Slavic, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies Beth Holmgren Graduate Student Essay Prize for her piece “A ‘Common Enterprise?’: The Role of Utility Infrastructures in the Divided City of Teschen, 1920-1938.” This year, she won the Anthony Jung Award for Best Graduate Student Paper for the European Studies Conference held at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Zora’s research connects back to her own family’s history: “My mother’s parents came from a town …Read more here

Highlighting Carolina Graduate Historians at the 2023 Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Philadelphia, PA

Historians of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took on the 2023 Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in exceptionally strong numbers. Presenting their work, chairing panels, and commenting on new research of their colleagues, nine Carolina historians—three faculty members (Chad Bryant, Karen Auerbach, Eren Tasar) and six graduate students—participated in the total number of twelve panels. This year’s convention, which took place from November 30 to December 2 in Philadelphia, celebrated the 75th anniversary of ASEEES, the largest international scholarly society advancing knowledge about Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, and …Read more here

Bret Devereaux, 2018, engages with history through a new book and a booming social media platform

Dr. Bret Devereaux graduated from the UNC History Department in 2018 with a specialty in ancient and military history. Since graduation, he has developed a career in history that blends traditional teaching and research, social media, popular culture, and current events. Bret, who wrote his dissertation on Ancient Roman warfare, is gaining recognition not only within his field but also through a growing social media following. This social media platform has given him the opportunity to talk about his work and engage an audience in an innovative way. Bret’s engagement is one example how historians have adapted to changing digital …Read more here

PhD Candidate Emily Taylor: History meets community in Chapel Hill and Guatemala

UNC Ph.D candidate Emily Taylor has learned a lot over the course of her doctoral studies. She is an expert in the history of the Civil War in Guatemala, a conflict that spanned from 1960 to 1996 and continues to have a ripple effect on the country to this day. Emily has also become well-versed in many other aspects during her PhD, including community building and engagement in both Guatemala and here at home in Chapel Hill. She spoke to me about how her work in the community at home and abroad has enriched her studies. Emily’s research mainly focuses …Read more here

Professor Lloyd Kramer Retires

Longtime chair of the department and a fixture of the history faculty, Dr. Lloyd S. Kramer, plans to retire this year. It is fitting, then, that we take a moment to appreciate someone who has had a profound impact on this department, this university, and beyond. Dr. Kramer began his academic career as an undergraduate at Maryville College (1971) before going on to get his master’s at Boston College (1973) and his Ph.D. at Cornell University (1983). He served as a lecturer at Stanford University from 1983 to 1984 and then joined the faculty at Northwestern University from 1984 to …Read more here

Simulating the Cuban Missile Crisis with Dr. Morgan

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a major event in the Cold War, and it has also become a great teaching opportunity for Dr. Michael Morgan’s course, The Global Cold War. With a grant provided by the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs, Dr. Morgan introduced a simulation project into the course that gave students real-time experience with the difficult decision-making processes taking place behind the scenes during the major historical events students learned about. The grant gave Dr. Morgan access to funds to purchase the material needed for the simulation and to a graduate student teaching assistants, Mark …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.