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Dr. Lisa Lindsay
Chair, Department of History

Greetings from the Chair – Spring 2022

Dear Friends, Alumni, and Fellow Historians,

Greetings from the UNC History Department! As those of us who work on an academic calendar transition to summer pursuits of research and less regular teaching, I hope this finds you healthy and engaged in something similarly restorative.

Our university’s spring commencement speaker this year was New York Times columnist and author Frank Bruni, who graduated from UNC, as he put it, “back in the Mesozoic era, by which I mean 1986.” Bruni “did many questionable things, many foolish things” as a UNC student, he said in his speech; and in an interview with the Daily Tar Heel, he specified: “I wish I’d taken more history courses.”

This late spring issue of The Department Historian gives a sense of why even someone as accomplished as our commencement speaker might wish to have taken better advantage of our department’s offerings. You can read here about faculty and graduate student research, undergraduate achievements, teaching, and public engagement. For more news of the History Department, please do see our website,, which has been ably maintained by graduate students Craig Gill and Madeleine McGrady.

For producing this newsletter while engaging in his own research and teaching, I deeply appreciate our faculty editor, Dr. Eren Tasar. He was ably assisted by graduate student writers Mira Markham and Nicole Harry, whom I thank as well for this important work of public communication.

As we continue to maintain our mission through this tumultuous era, we depend more than ever on the generous backing of our friends and alumni. Private contributions enable us to fund research opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty; participate in and coordinate national and international conferences; and maintain our connections to the general public. Thank you for your continued interest and support.

I hope you will consider making a gift today and help us continue our tradition of excellence that is History at UNC. And please stay in touch—we’d love to hear from you.

Lisa Lindsay