Department of History

Our Values


Statement of Values

The Department of History at UNCW is committed to providing a safe and respectful learning, working, and social environment. In order to do so, we reject hateful rhetoric and actions that reflect racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and religious intolerance. These have no place in our department, at our university, or in our profession.

Our Commitments to Racial Justice
As teachers, we encourage students to appreciate and think critically about the deep and abiding history of racial injustice in this country and the efforts of heroic men and women to combat it. We believe that to study history is to create empathy, appreciate context, and gain an understanding that openness and inclusion provide the path to a better and more just society. Only by seeking and respecting diverse perspectives and varied experiences, both in how we approach history and among our faculty and students, can we further our understanding of the powerful complexities of the past. For these reasons we support the American Historical Association Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States. We embrace the values of anti-racism, the Black Lives Matter movement and support our students and colleagues as they fight against discrimination.

In the department, we share:

  • A tradition of high-quality research productivity.

    We are proud of the fact that history classrooms are filled with active researchers, beginning with the faculty themselves. Our last five books have all been published by top international presses-Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, The University of Wisconsin Press, Palgrave Press…the department is first and foremost a community of scholars who love to share their expertise with students.

  • A tradition of Global Engagement:

    Half of our faculty are experts in parts of the world that are NOT the United States. Our curriculum reflects an approach to history that is global. Our Public History program also emphasizes the benefits of a global approach. We have faculty from a half-dozen countries, and we are fluent (collectively) in a dozen languages.

  • A tradition of service to University Studies and UNCW's core curriculum.

    By department policy and practice, 2/3rds of our teaching is in this area. Our courses are featured in two other majors, twelve interdisciplinary minors and 7 of 17 "clusters."

  • A tradition of pedagogical innovation.

    A tradition of pedagogical innovation and close departmental connection to high-impact teaching practices. In our teaching, we have developed a rigorous curriculum that develops and hones critical skills in research and writing, but that also includes rich opportunities for students to engage in one-on-one research with faculty, study abroad, experience an internship, or to explore areas of particular interest. We are proud of the team-teaching our faculty engages in, the applied learning opportunities we provide, and the attention we give to each student and their development as historical thinkers and practitioners.

    • Half of HST faculty have taught online
    • Nationally unique online MA for working teachers launched in 2014
    • Implemented in 2013 a comprehensive undergraduate internship program
    • Half of the faculty been involved in team teaching in the last 3 years. We have recently developed two new thematic courses designed to facilitate team teaching (HST 377-Global Issues in Historical Perspective; HST 395: Themed Team-Taught Readings Colloquiums)
    • History faculty are currently heavily involved in honors teaching, learning community teaching, "linked" university studies courses, and interdisciplinary co-teaching.
    • Six different faculty members have had Applied Learning initiatives; two have served as "Applied Learning Teaching Community Fellows."
  • A tradition of leadership in University-Level service.

    In the past 5 years, History department faculty have served as: Faculty Senate President, chair of the University Studies Advisory Committee, chair of the Faculty Senate Research Committee, Associate Dean in CAS, and as Director of the Applied Learning Teaching Community. We are committed to the vibrancy of UNCW, and to supporting its leaders.

  • A tradition of fund-raising and community engagement.
    • We have three separate heavily-endowed programs that the department has built though our strong relations with the community. The Sherman Lecture Series, a University-wide talk and associated week-long programming every October, offered by an "emerging scholar" and aimed at the general public. The Block Endowed Professorship in Jewish History, together with the Rhine Endowment for programming, held by Dr. Jarrod Tanny. The Neal-McCaffray Research Fund, used to sponsor student research and travel to archives.
    • History faculty offered or sponsored some 70 public talks all over Eastern North Carolina last year. An estimated 4-5000 attended, including 300 at one talk on Irish History, 300 at another talk on the Battle of Fort Fisher, and some 300 at the Sherman Lecture on Slavery in the Atlantic World
    • We have a strong Public History Graduate Program. History Graduate and undergraduate students interned at six different regional historic sites and institutions last year, including Fort Fisher, The Bellamy Mansion, the Burgwin-Wright House, the Wrightsville Beach Museum, and the Battleship North Carolina.