Welcome from the Chair
In July 2020, I joined Loyola’s Department of History as Chair, and I’ve come to value the exceptional work of our talented faculty (29 full-time; 15 part-time), hard-working graduate students (~50), and engaged undergraduate history majors (~210). We continue to build on the department’s long tradition of distinguished scholarship and effective teaching. These activities are mutually reinforcing, so our faculty not only publish widely in books and articles but also bring their knowledge to students in the classroom and to wider audiences through lectures, exhibits, websites, podcasts, video courses, and op-ed pieces.
The pandemic has obscured several accomplishments and milestones in the department over the past two years. The department’s pioneering Public History Program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020 and won the Founder’s Award from the National Council on Public History for helping build the field. Similarly, Dr. Theodore Karamanski, director of the Public History Program, received the 2021 Herb Feis Award from the American Historical Association for his career accomplishments in public history.
Dr. Karamanski is not alone among faculty who combine outstanding scholarship and excellence in the classroom. Since 1992, Loyola historians have published more than 70 books, many of which have won significant prizes. Members of the department have won prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (9), the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (4), the National Humanities Center (2), the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (3), the American Council of Learned Societies (4), Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the National Science Foundation. Members of the department have won or been nominated for the Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence and other Loyola teaching prizes more than 15 times; some have been nominated for national awards including the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars Faculty of the Year Award. Three members of the department have been named Loyola Faculty Members of the Year or Graduate Faculty Members of the Year.
We do not rest on our laurels. Members of the History Department we continue to push boundaries with the history we write and with our leadership on campus. We take seriously the social justice mission of Loyola, and the powerful events of recent years beg for historical context. Everything has a history, and the work of historians is needed as much as ever. Our programs and curriculum provide students and the larger world with the rich historical contexts of global pandemics, structural racism, gender inequality, religious change, and political nationalism, among many topics we explore. Our faculty have spent their careers thinking critically about these topics in historical perspective. The History Department at Loyola University Chicago has much to contribute to these conversations – in the classroom, in print, and in national venues – and we look forward to doing so.
D. Bradford Hunt
Professor and Chair, Department of History
June 6, 2022