Introducing the Department of History

The University of Missouri department of History has a reputation for excellence, both on the MU campus and beyond. The stellar teaching record of its faculty has been recognized numerous times by awards such as the campus-wide William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence–nine past and present History faculty members have received this prestigious teaching award. History faculty have also been recognized for outstanding teaching by winning over twenty-three different teaching awards, including the College of Arts and Science Purple Chalk Award which is student-generated.

The department averages between 350-450 undergraduate history majors. We nurture these aspiring young historians by, first of all, providing them with expert advising, delivered by a professional, full-time, advisor. Our majors are given a wide range of courses in American, European, and Developing World history. Required capstone and writing intensive courses provide the opportunity for our students to interact closely with faculty members and to develop their research and writing skills. Beyond the classroom, the department offers its majors the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working as interns in any one of our nine internship programs that range from the University of Missouri Archives to the Supreme Court of the State of Missouri Library.

Our graduate students come to us from a broad cross-section of colleges and universities. They are attracted to our MA and PhD programs by the reputation of our faculty, many of whom have been the recipients of prestigious research grant awards from, among others, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, The National Science Foundation, the National Library of Medicine, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research/Study Program. In addition, our faculty members have published an impressive array of books and articles, a number of which have won prestigious awards from the American Historical Association and other professional organizations. Our graduate students work closely with their faculty advisors as they develop and write theses and dissertations on a wide range of topics. One significant measure of the success of our graduate program is our placement record. In recent years, over fifty of our PhD recipients have found teaching position in colleges and universities throughout the country.

By using the resources provided by this web site, potential undergraduate students can browse our course offerings; view the requirements for a major in history and explore the scholarship opportunities. Those interested in pursuing a graduate degree (MA or PhD), might wish to start with the home pages of individual faculty to learn about their respective teaching and research interests. There is also a listing of the various fields in which the department offers graduate degrees. One can also generate a description of degree requirements and application forms for graduate study in history.

As a Land Grant institution, the University of Missouri offers the citizens of the state a valuable source of information, in this case, pertaining to history. The faculty home pages and research field pages can be used to identify and contact individual faculty members

We especially welcome our alumni/ae and friends of the department and ask that you explore our web site further. There you will find news of fellow alums as well as past issues of the department newsletter. If you wish, you can be included on our e-mail list to receive the newsletter as it appears in approximately three-month intervals.

Pease contact us and let us know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.

John Wigger, Chair
Department of History

department news:

The relationship between Christianity and constitutional democracy in America
The Kinder forum on Constitutional Democracy
Monday, October 27, 2014 7:00pm at 310 Middlebush

Put it on your calendar! The Asian Affairs Colloquium Series Open Dialogue, "The Umbrella Movement, Hong King Protests, Beijing's Power, and Democracy in Asia" Wednesday, November 5 at 3:30pm in 2206A/B Missouri Student Center. Moderated by Professor Harrison Kim - Dept. of History. [Flyer]

What is happening in the streets of Hong Kong is momentous. Is it a revolution? Will it change the status quo? What is this democracy the people are demanding? Why is Beijing opposed to this movement? What do the Hong Kong protests mean for democracy in Asia? Come to this open dialogue, the first Asian Affairs Colloquium. Share your thoughts and experiences. Please contact Professor Harrison Kim for more information (

Fordyce Mitchel Memorial lecture Series 2014
The department if pleased to present Prof. Emeritus Michael Gagarin, James R. Dougherty, Jr. Centennial Professor of Classics, University of Texas as this year’s Fordyce Mitchel Memorial lecture Series speaker. Prof. Gagarin will present lectures during the week of October 6. The theme of this year’s series is “Athenian Law in Action.” Please see the attached flyers for complete information. [Flyer 1] [Flyer 2]

The Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy Welcomes Two Scholars

Benjamin Park (CV)
Benjamin E. Park, PhD is our Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy Postdoctoral Fellow. Ben holds graduate degrees from the University of Edinburgh (MSc, historical theology) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil, political thought and intellectual history; PhD, history). He is currently working on a manuscript, The Interests of America: Cultivations of Nationalism in the Early Republic, 1783-1833, which explores the local practice, experiences, and ideas of nationalism in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina between the Revolution and the Nullification crisis. A second project, still in the early stages, explores the nexus of citizenship, religion, and gender in America and Europe during the Age of Revolutions. His interests include the cultural, political, and religious history of America during the 18th and 19th centuries, often within an Atlantic context, and his publications have ranged from Benjamin Franklin to George Bancroft, and from Mormonism to Transcendentalism. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Mormon Studies Review, and he is the founder and editor of The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History.

Armin Mattes Armin Mattes
We are pleased to welcome Armin who is joining the department as the Kinder Forum on Constitutional Democracy Research Fellow. Armin will use his year with us to devote his time to research and writing while contributing to Forum events.

Armin earned his PhD at the University of Virginia in August 2011 by successfully defending his dissertation titled “’Citizens of a Common Intellectual Homeland:’ The Transatlantic Context of the Origins of American Democracy and Nationhood, 1775-1840.”

Most recently Armin was a Gilder Lehrman Junior Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello.

Welcome to Our New Faculty

Cheehyung (Harrison) Kim Cheehyung (Harrison) Kim
Harrison Kim is the department’s new Assistant Professor and Korea Foundation Professor of History. Harrison earned his PhD at Columbia University in 2010. His research is historical, ethnographic, and transnational in approach and focuses on modern East Asia and in particular North Korea. He is currently writing his book, titled The Furnace is Breathing: Work, Everyday Life, and Industrial Modernity in North Korea, 1953-1961.

Victor McFarland Victor McFarland
Victor McFarland is an Assistant Professor of History. His teaching and research interests include the history of the United States and the world, U.S. relations with the Middle East, 20th century America, political economy, and the global oil industry. He is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Originally from North Idaho, Dr. McFarland received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University. Before coming to the University of Missouri, he was a Dickey Center Fellow at Dartmouth College.

Read the latest Viewed Historically, our friends and alumni newsletter (pdf).

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