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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. As these indicate, the teaching, scholarship, and outreach of our department has returned to (just about) pre-pandemic levels—to the benefit of our academic and wider community. For more news of the History Department, please do see our website,, which is ably maintained by graduate students and Digital History Lab coordinators, Madeleine McGrady and Sarah Miles. It is no small feat to produce biannual editions of The …Read more here

Update from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Photo of Katie Turk

I am delighted to step into the role of Director of Undergraduate Studies, taking over from Brett Whalen. Thank you, Brett, for your excellent work in this capacity over the past several years. The History Department has been humming along this fall, propelled by our energetic faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Chief among those enthusiastic members are the History Undergraduate Association (HUA) co-presidents, Grace Godfrey and Cody Constantine. Grace and Cody organized several events focused on building community among History students and anticipating their future careers. HUA’s November event featured members of the Career Mentoring Coalition (CMC), the network …Read more here

Update from the Director of Graduate Studies
Photo of Eren Tasar

I’m pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself to our readers as the new Director of Graduate Studies. My predecessor as DGS, Professor Sarah Shields, steered our graduate program through the unprecedented challenges imposed by the pandemic. I thank Professor Shields for her tremendous service in this role, and am grateful that the department can continue to benefit from her experience as she transitions to the role of chair of the Committee on Teaching. As we all try to adjust to the “new normal” after the era of lockdowns and isolation, the life of the graduate program continues at …Read more here

New Faculty Spotlight: Professor K. Antwain Hunter

This Fall, the Department of History welcomed Dr. Antwain K. Hunter to its faculty. Professor Hunter is a historian of freedom and slavery, with a focus on North Carolina. In the midst of a busy teaching schedule in his first semester at Carolina, he kindly agreed to answer my questions about his research and background. Why did you decide to become a historian? Connected to this, when did you first encounter history growing up? As a kid, my dad was in the army, and I lived on a military base for part of my youth. As such, I grew up …Read more here

On Caroline Elkins’ The Legacy of Violence

This Fall, the Department of History and the Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies have launched a groundbreaking lecture series bringing cutting edge historians of the Middle East and Central Asia to campus. The series, entitled “Legacies of the Middle Eastern and Muslim Experience of the 20th Century,“ will extend across the academic year. Its first lecture, held in October, was delivered by Professor Elisabeth Leake of Tufts University on her new book, Afghan Crucible: the Soviet Invasion and the Making of Modern Afghanistan (Oxford, 2022). On November 14, 2022, Professor Caroline Elkins of Harvard University delivered the second …Read more here

The Carolina Russia Seminar

On Thursday night once a month, the Carolina Russia Seminar is one of the highlights of the calendar for the UNC History Department. Started by Drs. Donald J. Raleigh and Louise McReynolds, its leadership was handed to Eren Tasar in 2017. Dr. Tasar had long understood the value of seminars for his own intellectual development: “When I was in graduate school, my advisor ran a seminar, where Ph.D students usually presented.” Dr. Tasar stated that it is key for young scholars to follow the pulse of research: “It’s very important for our graduate students, especially those planning a dissertation, to …Read more here

Yusuf Sezgin: Historian of Liberation Theology, Rock Music Enthusiast

As one of the top graduate history programs in the world, UNC attracts a highly selective group of cutting-edge historians. Our graduate students are brilliant, creative, hard-working, and, unsurprisingly, eclectic. Yusuf Sezgin is a doctoral candidate conducting research for an ambitious history comparing liberationist formulations of Islam and Catholicism in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East in the 1960s and 1970s. Yusuf spends much of his time poring over the writings of Muslim and Catholic intellectuals, but I learned that he has another passion as well. I recently sat down with Yusuf to learn more about his love of …Read more here

Students Talk about their Involvement with Traces: The UNC Journal of History

Each year, UNC-Chapel Hill history students publish Traces: The UNC Journal of History. First created in 2011 by UNC students G. Lawson Kuehnert and Mark W. Hornburg and supported by the UNC-Chapel Hill Parents Council, the journal features the work of students currently studying history. After over a decade in operation, the award-winning journal – which won Phi Alpha Theta’s prestigious Gerald D. Nash History Journal Prize in both 2013 and 2017 – will be releasing its issue at the end of the Spring semester. For over a decade, Traces has been an important and unique collaboration between graduate and …Read more here

UNC-Kings College London Partnership: History at the Forefront of International Exchange

In 2005, amidst calls for more globalization on US campuses, faculty and administration at UNC began imagining how to expand and deepen our school’s intellectual partnerships abroad. Our own History Department, unsurprisingly, has been at the fore of such initiatives, working with international partners to develop connections overseas to enrich the experience of students, graduates, and faculty at UNC. The first official exchange began in 2007 when Christopher Browning and Chad Bryant traveled to London with Dr. Lloyd Kramer to present their work at a joint colloquium entitled “The Nazi Occupation and its aftermath in Central Europe.” Since then, the …Read more here

Graduate Student Profile: Alma Huselja’s USHMM Research
Photo of Alma Huselja

This past summer, third year Ph.D student Alma Huselja was given the opportunity to conduct research at one of the most significant institutions for Holocaust research, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C. From June to August, Alma conducted research on her PhD dissertation, which examines “Aryanization” in the Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska: NDH). After defending her MA in December 2021, Alma was eager to begin researching on a larger scale. “I knew that I wanted to continue on the topic for my dissertation. While I had valuable experience researching in a local archive, …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 Director of Development at the Arts and Sciences Foundation: or (919) 962-7266.