About the Department

Department News


September 28, 2017
CMU’s Center for Human Rights Science Receives $100K Grant From Open Society Foundations
Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of human rights advocacy. Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Human Rights Science (CHRS) is uniquely positioned to explore how new technologies could be harnessed in efficient an effective ways to advance accountability, transparency and justice without jeopardizing the mandate, sustainability or safety of the practitioners and organizations involved.

September 27, 2017
Event: Crossing Boundaries, Building Bridges: Joel Tarr’s First 50 Years at Carnegie Mellon UniversityTies
Few people know the history of Pittsburgh better than Joel Tarr—or better understand the relationships between cities, the environment and technology—or can tell you more about the history of Carnegie Mellon University.

September 7, 2017
DACA: A Long-held Dream With CMU and Pittsburgh Ties
The History Department’s Michal Friedman has been involved in several projects that focused on immigration reform, including the documentary film, “Dream Acts: Sueños en Vilo.” The film tells the story of undocumented minors in Pittsburgh who were not protected from any immigration laws and were living their lives in fear of deportation.

August 30, 2017
Introducing the Dietrich College’s Newest Faculty Members
The Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ community of scholars has grown by 16. Professors and researchers in a variety of disciplines are joining a world-class faculty with a shared passion for their students.

July 28, 2017
Group Travels To Witness Poland's Jewish Past and Present
CMU faculty and alumna Laurnie Wilson spent eight days in Poland, thanks to Classrooms Without Borders. They met people personally affected by the course of history who then demonstrate how the events resonated.

May 21, 2017
New Graduates: We Can’t Wait To See What You Do Next
Caps were tossed, tassels moved from right to left and now Carnegie Mellon University’s Class of 2017 will show the world what they’re made of.

View photos from the History Department's Diploma Ceremony on May 21st, 2017.

May 12, 2017
An Anthropologist in the 21st Century Classroom
Educational tools can make all the difference to the learner, but despite the availability of excellent new options, many of the best technology enhanced learning (TEL) resources are being left on the shelf. CMU researchers have been working to understand this quandary.

May 12, 2017
Global Studies Projects Examine Language, Education Policy
Seniors in the Dietrich College’s global studies capstone seminar develop independent research projects on topics that interest them. “I think that by their senior year, most CMU students are ready and eager to follow their intellectual passions and pursue a research project,” said John Soluri, director of global studies and associate professor of history.

April 24, 2017
Celebrating Excellence in Education
Every year CMU recognizes individuals who exemplify the highest standards of excellence and commitment to students. This year, Emily Half, academic program manager, and Ryan Tibshirani, associate professor of statistics, are among the recipients.

April 13, 2017
Examining Gender-Based Violence from Multiple Perspectives
Gender-based violence has been declared a global health crisis.

Beginning in Spring 2018, CMU’s Lisa Tetrault, Candace Skibba and Jess Klein will co-teach a course on the topic, part of the Dietrich College’s new Grand Challenges Freshman Seminars that tackle significant social problems using an interdisciplinary approach.

April 12, 2017
Carnegie Mellon Junior Wins Truman Scholarship
Mikaela Wolf-Sorokin, a global studies and Hispanic Studies major, has won a 2017 Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Selected from 768 candidates, Wolf-Sorokin is one of 62 recipients of the prestigious national scholarship designed to support the next generation of public service leaders. Wolf-Sorokin is the sixth overall CMU student to receive this award and the first since 2009.

April 3, 2017
Steven Schlossman Wins Dietrich College’s Top Teaching Award
Steven Schlossman, professor of history and director of undergraduate studies, has won the 2016-17 Elliott Dunlap Smith Award for Distinguished Teaching and Educational Service in the Dietrich College.

Since joining CMU, Schlossman has distinguished himself as a scholar in a wide range of social and political history studies including homework in American schooling, juvenile courts and delinquency and the rise of modern golf. He also helped to co-found the ethics, history and public policy major, offered jointly with the Department of Philosophy.

March 22, 2017
Looking Forward in Women's History
Browsing popular bookstores, Lauren Churilla can't help but notice the predominance of male figures in history books. She is one history scholar who sees an opportunity to reverse the trend.

Churilla joined the Department of History two years ago as a graduate student. She is also a full-time curator at St. Vincent College's Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery. She currently pursues a research interest in women empowerment and self-defense tactics from 1880-1930.

Febuary 23, 2017
Learn From Current Seniors: Honors Fellowship Program Offers Exciting Opportunities
The benefits of getting paid to initiate research projects and develop professional examples of their work — while working with faculty mentors — are just a few of the big motivators, according to this year’s Senior Honor Fellows. The application deadline is March 24.

January 31, 2017
10 Things To Love About CMU’s Dietrich College
The Dietrich College is home to world-class researchers who do foundational and deep research and collaborate across many disciplines to take on problems that are important to humanity. Students become involved in research early in their CMU careers and work alongside their top-rated professors. They emerge from their academic careers able to communicate, think, learn and understand the world in ways that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

January 10, 2017
Vacant No More: CMU Students Present Urban Development Solutions
Media outlets continue to honor Pittsburgh as being a "most livable" city, and CMU Ethics, History and Public Policy students have equipped city officials with a tool and research to build on this reputation by tapping into the potential of empty city lots.


December 6, 2016
Behind the Scenes at The HistoryMakers
The HistoryMakers is the largest African-American oral video archive in the world. CMU has many connections to the project, including alumnus Dionti Davis who works for the non-profit.

November 18, 2016
DUC Helps Students Talk About Their Work
The ability to explain complicated information is often the key to landing a job or a promotion or securing funding.

Dietrich College students are lucky that the Dietrich Undergraduate Colloquium (DUC) gives them an outlet to practice presenting and sharing their work.

November 8, 2016
CMU’s Lisa Tetrault Reacts to Women Placing "I Voted" Stickers on Susan B. Anthony’s Grave
As the U.S. heads to the polls today to perhaps elect the country’s first female president, it was reported that women were lining up to place "I Voted" stickers on the Rochester, N.Y., grave of Susan B. Anthony, the nation’s most prominent women’s suffrage activist.

October 31, 2016
Alumni Returning for Under Construction: Building Your Future
Nearly 40 Dietrich College alumni will return to campus on Nov. 19 for Under Construction: Building Your Future. They will share their experiences on how they used their CMU education to build successful careers in almost every industry and field imaginable.

October 21, 2016
Seven Andrew W. Mellon Fellows Selected
CMU’s Dietrich College has selected seven Andrew W. Mellon Fellows. The Ph.D. students are preparing to start ambitious projects that blend research from the English, History, Modern Languages and Philosophy Departments with cutting-edge technology to create new applications for humanities work.

October 19, 2016
Digital Archive Shares In-Depth Stories of Black America
The HistoryMakers is the largest African-American oral video archive in the world. Thanks to a longtime partnership with CMU, the online database is searchable and available for students and scholars at subscribing institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, among many others.

October 17, 2016
Against the Grain: Edda L. Fields-Black and the History of Rice
For CMU’s Edda L. Fields-Black, every grain of rice tells a story. The tiny seed is the centerpiece of all her work, including her role as an adviser at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

October 14, 2016
Center for Human Rights Science Adds Staff in Statistics, Media Analytics
Robin Mejia and Enrique Piracés will help advance the state of human rights documentation and build collaborations between scientists and human rights advocates.

September 8, 2016
Who Owns the Dead? CMU’s Jay D. Aronson Brings a New Perspective to the 9/11 Recovery Process
In a new book, Jay D. Aronson details the reasons why a promise was made to identify all victims of the September 11th World Trade Center terrorist attack and why living up to the task has been so challenging.

September 1, 2016
“Savage Strife and Stresses”
Keynote Address, Carnegie Mellon University Convocation by Scott Sandage

July 21, 2016
Honors Fellows Confront Fear of Failure
Scott Sandage knows failure. Throughout the 13-year process of writing “Born Losers: A History of Failure in America,” the CMU historian experienced personal and professional setbacks that intersected with his research.

He recently spoke with the Dietrich College Honors Fellows about his own struggles with failure and how to confront their fears.

June 8, 2016
2016 U.S. Open
The storied, elegant and luring Oakmont Country Club, the site of this year's U.S. Open, is one of golf's greatest treasures. No one knows that better than Carnegie Mellon University History Professor Steve Schlossman.

May 16, 2016
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
Congratulations to the Department of History class of 2016! Our Diploma Ceremony was held on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Many parents, families, and friends showed up to support their loved ones as as they graduated!

May 11, 2016
Phi Alpha Theta Inducts Eight History Students
This spring, eight students with majors or minors in CMU’s Department of History were inducted in Phi Alpha Theta (PAT). The national honor society was established in 1921 to promote quality research and learning experiences in history.

“We are proud that among the class of 2016 there are 15 members of this honor society,” said PAT faculty adviser Naum Kats.

March 10, 2016
Black Women’s History Pioneer to Deliver Lecture
Darlene Clark Hine, a leading historian of the African-American experience who helped found the field of black women’s history, will speak at Carnegie Mellon University’s 10th annual Margaret Morrison Distinguished Lecture in Women’s History.

February 23, 2016
Marijuana: Past, Present, Future
Although cannabis is still classified by the federal government as a Schedule I drug (the category for all banned substances that have no recognized medical value), more and more states are legalizing large-scale commercial production for medical and, in some cases, non-medical use.

February 19, 2016
Joe Trotter and the Effects of CAUSE
When Joe William Trotter, Jr. joined CMU’s Department of History in 1985, he saw an opportunity to solve real social problems through his specialties in 20th century U.S. and African American urban and labor history.

January 14, 2016
Wendy Goldman receives the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professorship of History
The Department of History congratulates Wendy Goldman as she receives the Paul Mellon Distinguished Professorship of History.

January 4, 2016
EHPP Students Analyze Risks & Benefits of Marijuana Decriminalization
Cities and states across the U.S. are changing laws on marijuana, and Pittsburgh has joined the movement.

Drawing inspiration from Philadelphia’s attempts to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug, City Councilman and Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Dan Gilman (DC’04), commissioned a study on the feasibility of doing the same in Pittsburgh. Gilman turned to Dietrich College students to examine the issue, and five seniors majoring in Ethics, History and Public Policy (EHPP) rose to the challenge.


September, 17 2015
Celebrating 20 Years of CAUSE and Black Urban Life Scholarship
To link the history of race with how it has impacted work and economic opportunities over time with current analyses of the politics, urban labor force and employment policies that shaped black urban lives, Carnegie Mellon University established the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE).

September, 11 2015
Moneyball Throws a Curve
What does medicine share with baseball and the law? According to Christopher J. Phillips, a new assistant history professor in CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the answer may be Moneyball.

September 11, 2015
In this in-depth look at the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage, Tim Haggerty reflects on LGBTQ history and Kristina Straub discusses gender studies.

July 7, 2015
Pittsburgh Celebrates “Caroline Acker Day”
Independence Day was extra special this year. The City of Pittsburgh declared July 4, 2015 “Dr. Caroline Acker Day” to recognize the longtime CMU history professor for her outstanding scholarship and many contributions to the Pittsburgh community.

July 3, 2015
The Carnegie Mellon University History Department announces the Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington Fellowship in History
The Milton A. and Nancy D. Washington Fellowship in History provides financial support for a Carnegie Mellon History Department graduate student

June 25, 2015
Spring 2015 Dean’s List Announced
Congratulations to all of the undergraduate students who have been named to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s List for the Fall 2014 semester.

May 22, 2015
Congratulations, Class of 2015!
Dietrich College alumni are impacting education policy and teaching in many different ways — thanks to their own Carnegie Mellon training and experience.

May 21, 2015
Two Recent Grads Receive Fulbright Awards
FullbrightsAlexandria Hernandez and Erin Kiekhaefer will be making a global impact through this year’s Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

May 11, 2015
Phi Alpha Theta Inducts Nine History Students
Nine students with majors or minors in the Department of History have been inducted into Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. They were selected for demonstrating exceptional academic achievements.

April 27, 2015
Passion for Teaching
Marie AvilezMarie Avilez did not realize how spending one semester abroad two years ago would influence the trajectory of her future plans.

April 20, 2015
“The Myth of Seneca Falls” Named 2015 Most Original Book in U.S. Women’s History
History Professor Lisa Tetrault’s book has won the Organization of American Historians' (OAH) inaugural Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s History.

March 27, 2015
American Society for Environmental History Honors Joel Tarr with Distinguished Service Award
Joel Tarr, who has spent his career studying the environmental history of cities and the history and impact of their technological systems, was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Service Award by the ASEH.

March 23, 2015
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
The popular image of Rosa Parks, often called the “first lady of civil rights,” is that of a quiet seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus helped end public segregation.

February 6, 2015
Donna Harsch To Head History Department
CMU has selected Donna Harsch to head its Department of History, effective July 1. Harsch, a professor of history, succeeds Caroline Acker, who has led the department since 2011 and is retiring from CMU.

February 5, 2015
CAS Selects "The Requiem for Rice" as Final Performance Initiative Project
Edda Fields-BlackEdda Fields-Black's "The Requiem for Rice," a modern take on "Verdi's Requiem," has been selected as the third and final project in Carnegie Mellon University's Center for the Arts in Society's (CAS) Performance Initiative. Fields-Black, associate professor of history, will use the project to bring the records, stories and lives of Africans enslaved on low country rice plantations to life.

February 3, 2015
Dietrich College Announces Dean’s List for Fall 2014
Congratulations to all of the undergraduate students who have been named to the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean’s List for the Fall 2014 semester.


December 3, 2014
EHPP Students To Present Surveillance Policy Recommendations to Pittsburgh City Council
From drones to traffic cameras to body cameras, technology is giving law enforcement officials many new options to watch and protect citizens. However, their use raises legal and ethical questions, including potentially violating the privacy rights of innocent people. CMU students will present their recommendations on the issue to Pittsburgh officials from 1:30 - 3 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 10 in City Council Chambers.

September 16, 2014
History Course Inspires Carnegie Mellon Alumnus To Reproduce Great-Grandfather's World War I Photo Album
When Carnegie Mellon University graduate Dean Putney (DC'11) saw his family for Thanksgiving in 2011, his mother showed him what she thought was just a family heirloom that had been hiding in his grandmother's closet. Putney's great-grandfather, Walter Koessler, was a lieutenant in the German army during World War I and had carried a camera throughout his service. Looking at the album Koessler had made after the war, Putney recalled what he had learned in his History of Photography class at Carnegie Mellon and knew it was something special.