Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Transnational Urban History

One of the main reasons that I decided to apply to Loyola was the Transnational Urban History concentration offered by the history department. Transnational history expands the study of urban history beyond municipal boundaries to include multi-sited research (as opposed to studying one city in isolation), unconventional subjects (such as the Tuskegee Institute’s experiment in Togo), and the circulation of people, goods, and ideas between different locales. This makes for a truly illuminating study of the urban experience, tying together far-flung locales and making it clear that no city develops in a vacuum.

                                                         ~Jeremy Bucher, M.A. 2018

The History Department offers a concentration in transnational urban history that extends the study of cities and metropolitan areas beyond the traditional geographic or regional fields of specialization characteristic of most PhD programs. Loyola University Chicago has a particularly deep concentration of specialists in North American, European and Mexican urban history after 900 C.E. while the larger faculty provides a complementary context for understanding broader tendencies in urban development. The Department’s excellence was acknowledged by the high rankings in the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index in 2007 and in the National Research Council in 2010.

The concentration in transnational urban history enables doctoral students with an interest in European and American urban history to place their study of cities in a broader comparative framework. This curriculum specifically integrates urban history into the U.S. and European history doctoral programs. This global approach reflects current trends in urban history scholarship. The thematic-based concentration also represents one example of how global awareness is an institutionalized part of the doctoral program. The transnational urban history concentration also complements the well-established minor field in women and gender history.

The primary course for the concentration is HIST 410 (to be revised to HIST 422): Transnational Urban History which is taught at least every two years (ideally once every three semesters) and required of all students concentrating in any form of urban history. Other courses that contribute to the concentration are HIST 460: American Urban History and HIST 410 (to be revised to HIST 435 or 423): European Urban History.

All students in the US doctoral program take History 460 (Urban America) as part of their program of study, which serves as an anchor for the study of U.S. urban history and introduces graduate students to the seminal debates and issues in the field.