Political History

Historians in the Corcoran Department of History working in political history understand it as an eternal human process of contests, cooperation, collaborations, and compromises over power and rights, broadly defined.  We study many and varied historical means for executing, exerting, and expressing power and rights. Within different temporal, spatial, cultural, and environmental constraints of historically researchable human experiences, political maneuverings occur among individuals, families, clans, tribes, ethnicities, states, cultures, nations, empires, international alliances, interest groups, and social categories based on age, class, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, and sectarian differences. Such maneuverings have sometimes been conceptualized as “elite” or “popular” in domestic settings and in terms of other binaries in global contexts.  We, however, investigate political relations as multi-layered and multi-dimensional phenomena. While we fundamentally value the power of the archives, we also appreciate and take advantage of research methodologies, tools, and theories that have been developed and deployed in other fields of history and branches of social sciences.


Assistant Professor of German and History, Director, Center for German Studies
Nau 255
Office Hours: W 11:00am-12:00pm, and by appointment
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Environmental History, Genocide & Violence, Intellectual History & History of Ideas, Jewish History, Political History, Race & Ethnicity, Transnational and Diplomatic History
Associate Professor of French
317A Cabell Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Empire & Colonialism, Labor History, Material Culture, Political History
David Dean Professor of East Asian Studies & Professor of History
Nau 438
Office Hours: Wednesday 3:40-4:40 pm & Tuesday/Thursday 2:00-3:00 pm
Themes: Political History, Race & Ethnicity, Spatial History, Frontiers, & Migration
Associate Professor of Law, Associate Professor of History
Themes: Legal History, Political History
Research Professor of History, Editor of The Dolley Madison Digital Edition
Themes: Cultural and Social History, Political History, Women, Gender, & Sexuality

Graduate Student

20th Century U.S., American Political Development, American Legal History, History of Capitalism
Themes: Economic History & History of Capitalism, Legal History, Political History