Investigating the Human Experience

A Global Reputation

Imaginative encounters with the past, interpreting who people are, how they lived across a range of times and spaces, and how they got to where they are today, remains an urgent task and the BU History Department is dedicated to original research—by its award-winning faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate majors–that spans three millennia and all the regions of the earth.  

By any metric, the BU History Department ranks among the most productive and accomplished in the nation. History faculty members have published widely, engaged in public outreach through the mass media, consulted on museum exhibitions, documentary films and archival acquisitions, and edited field-defining collections and academic journals. Their recent scholarship has won major book prizes and other honors from the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, the African Studies Association, the Asian Studies Association, the Society for French Historical Studies, the North American Conference on British Studies, the Center for Eighteenth Century, the Society for the History of Technology, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Pushkin House, and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute. They have also received numerous prestigious awards and fellowships, including those from the ACLS, the American Philosophical Society, the Camargo Foundation, DAAD, the Earhart Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Fulbright, Gilder-Lehrman, the Guggenheim, the Humboldt, the Japan Foundation, the Mellon, and the NEH.

The department has developed an international reputation for innovative research in several key areas, particularly African History (one learned journal described the BU African History program as a “powerhouse”), United States History (with a distinctive concentration of expertise in the 20th century), environmental history, urban history, and the study of political, intellectual and cultural exchanges across geographic boundaries (both between the West and the non-western world and within these regions). 

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