About us

The History department teaches students to think critically about the past and how it influences the present, and to conduct research, synthesize information and communicate complex ideas clearly and persuasively.

We are a research-intensive department with a strong profile in both scholarly publishing and the public humanities. Our faculty specialities are loosly organized into three teaching and research clusters:

  1. Social and economic history (urban history, labor and working-class history, the history of Detroit, the history of capitalism and of work)

  2. Gender and women's history and the history of the family (gender ideology and constructions of femininity and masculinity, women and men in the past, family patterns and ideology)

  3. Political history (formal and social politics, state formation, foreign and domestic policy, law and legal culture, human rights)

Into each of these clusters is interwoven the history and historical construction of race and ethnicity. We also have a concentration of faculty in the history of science, medicine, environment, and technology. 

Our mission

In an ever more diverse and globalizing world, and in concert with the University's mission, the mission of the Department of History is:

  • to maintain and develop a national and international reputation for excellence in interdisciplinary historical research and scholarship

  • to teach undergraduate students historical perspectives that help them better understand the past and the fundamental research, analytical, and writing skills necessary to prepare them for a wide range of careers

  • to prepare graduate students to succeed in a variety of career paths for which historical knowledge is relevant

  • to engage in service that enables the Department to fulfill its research, teaching, and public missions to educate and communicate about the past


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