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Faculty & Staff

Vassar History professors are not only dedicated teachers but also noted scholars whose training and interests span continents and centuries. They have won awards for articles, books, and web sites; they serve on distinguished prize committees and editorial boards of major journals; they have been recognized with prestigious, coveted fellowships from many sources, including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. What brings them all to Vassar is a shared appreciation for and devotion to the liberal arts college environment of small classes, lively discussion, and one-on-one mentoring. 


View a list of History Department Faculty and Emeriti



For a list of emeriti, see Previous Faculty.

"Pathways to Vassar" lecture videos

An archive of lectures from Liberations and Contradictions: Moments in the History of Gender and Education, a sesquicentennial lecture series in connection with History/Women's Studies 285 (Fall, 2011) View lectures.

Select Honors & Awards

  • Robert K. Brigham
    • Selected to the Advisory Board of the Clinton Institute for American Studies University College, Dublin, September 2015-
    • Selected as the “Outstanding Faculty Member,” Spring 2014, 50th Anniversary Voyage of Semester at Sea, University of Virginia/Institute for Shipboard Education
    • Selected member of the London-based International Institute for Security Studies, the leading authority on global security issues
    • in 2014, elected to Council of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
    • Since 2012, served on the editorial advisory board of Eyes on the I.C.C., the only scholarly journal devoted to the study of the International Criminal Court.
  • Miriam Cohen, “Reconsidering Schools and the American Welfare State,”History of Education Quarterly 45.4 (2005), selected for the journal’s Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective (Fall, 2010)
  • Michael Hanagan, Member of the Editorial Board, Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics
  • Maria Höhn, with Martin Klimke, the NAACP’s Julius E. Williams Distinguished Community Service Award (2009), The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany, a research project and digital archive
  • James Merrell
    • The Douglas Southall Freeman Chair in History at the University of Richmond, awarded 2016, for Spring 2019
    • “‘Exactly as they appear’: Another Look at a 1766 Treason Trial in Poughkeespie, New York, with Some Musings on the Documentary Foundations of Early American History.” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 12, Number 1 (Winter 2014), pp. 202-237.
    • The Helen Wilkinson Reynolds Award, given by the Dutchess County Historical Society, 2013.
    • (Co-Editor.) American Conversations: From Colonization through Reconstruction; and American Conversations: From Reconstruction Through the Millennium (Boston: Pearson Education/Prentice Hall, 2013).
    • “Second Thoughts on Colonial Historians and American Indians.” William & Mary Quarterly 3rd series, 69, no. 3 (July 2012), 451-512
    • “Coming to Terms with Early America,” ibid., 535-540. Bancroft Prize and Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (W.W. Norton, 1999)
  • Lydia Murdoch, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Essay Award, “‘Suppressed Grief’: Mourning the Death of British Children and the Memory of the 1857 Indian Rebellion,” Journal of British Studies 51.2 (2012)

Recent Publications of Note

  • Tom Paterson, J. Garry Clifford, Robert K. Brigham, Michael Donoghue, and Kenneth Hagan, American Foreign Relations: A History, Volumes I & II, 8thEdition (Boston: Cengage, 2015).
  • Robert K. Brigham
    • Reckless: Henry Kissinger and the Tragedy of Vietnam (PublicAffairs, 2018).
    • “The War that Never Ends: Historians and the Vietnam War,” in Michael J. Hogan and Frank C. Costigliola, eds, America in the World: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations Since 1941 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
    • The United States and Iraq since 1990: A Brief History with Documents (Boston: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).
  • Nancy Bisaha, Europe, c. 1400-1458 by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, translated by Robert Brown. Introduced and annotated by Nancy Bisaha (Catholic University of America Press, January 2014)
  • Mita Choudhury, The Wanton Jesuit and the Wayward Saint: A Tale of Sex, Religion and Politics in Eighteenth Century France” (Pennsylvania State University Press, forthcoming)
  • Rebecca Edwards, New Spirits: Americans in the “Gilded Age,” 1865-1905 (Oxford University Press, 2006; second edition, 2010)
  • Julie E. Hughes, Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States (Permanent Black, 2012; Harvard University Press, 2013)
  • Quincy T. Mills, Cutting Along the Color Line: Black Barbers and Barber Shops in America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013)
  • Leslie Scott Offutt, “Defending Corporate Identity on New Spain’s Northeastern Frontier: San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala, 1780-1810,” The Americas 64, 3 (2008)
  • Michaela Pohl, “Anna Politkovskaya and Ramzan Kadyrov: Exposing the Kadyrov Syndrome,” Problems of Post-Communism 54, 5 (2007)
  • Ismail Rashid, “The Sierra Leone Civil War and the Remaking of ECOWAS”, Research in Sierra Leone Studies (RISLS): Weave 1, 1 (2013)
  • Joshua Schreier, Arabs of the Jewish Faith: The Civilizing Mission in Colonial Algeria (Rutgers, 2010)
  • Lydia Murdoch, Daily Life of Victorian Women Greenwood Press, 2014).
  • Miki Pohl,From White Grave to Tselinograd to Astana: The Virgin Lands Opening, Khrushchev's Forgotten First Reform,” in Denis Kozlov and Eleanor Gilburd, eds., The Thaw: Soviet Society and Culture During the 1950s and 1960s (University of Toronto Press, 2013).


  • In 2007-2008, Robert K. Brigham was the Mary Ball Washington Professor of American History as a Fulbright Chair at University College Dublin.