Department of History

106 Mather House
Phone: 216.368.2625; Fax: 216.368.4681
Jonathan Sadowsky, Department Chair

The Department of History offers comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in all fields of history, with particular strengths in American history; the history of science, technology, environment, and medicine; and social history and policy. Historical studies are sometimes categorized among humanistic studies and sometimes among the social sciences. Allied with both traditions, historians seek an understanding of the past by analyzing societies and how they change over time.

The Department of History offers instruction within the customary frameworks that have formed the basis of historical studies, and it also has developed special emphases in social, cultural, political, and economic perspectives that allow instruction and research on such topics as the African-American experience, the environment, business and economy, technology and science, medicine, women’s history and gender studies, legal history, and comparative social history. Courses in history, or a formal major or minor in history, traditionally have been attractive to students as preparation for a wide variety of career and professional interests, including teaching, law, government, medicine, and journalism, and such public history activities as archival administration, historical museum administration, restoration and preservation of historic sites, and writing.

Advanced Placement Credit

The Department of History will grant credit for one 3 credit hour elective to any student who has scored a 5 on any of the AP History tests, has been invited to participate in the 1 credit hour HSTY 100, and has successfully completed that course. That 3 credit hour elective cannot be applied to the GER Breadth Requirement or to the major or minor in history.


Case Western Reserve University, the other institutions in University Circle, and the Cleveland area, in general, offer excellent facilities for historical research. These facilities are especially strong in the fields of social history and policy and in the history of medicine, health care, nonprofit organizations, technology, and science. The university library’s extensive collections in these fields are significantly augmented by the holdings of the nationally ranked Allen Memorial Library in the history of medicine and health care and of the equally distinguished Western Reserve Historical Society in regional economic, social, nonprofit, ethnic, African-American, and Jewish history. Both the Allen Memorial Library and the Western Reserve Historical Society Library are adjacent to the campus. The Cleveland Public Library, just five miles from campus in downtown Cleveland, is the third largest public library in the U.S.; it maintains excellent research collections in Ohio, U.S., and British history, technology, and business. The university has also pioneered the development of electronic connections to other libraries and to research resources in general; Ohio’s many colleges and universities have one of the nation’s leading interlibrary loan programs.

Department Faculty

Jonathan Sadowsky, PhD
(Johns Hopkins University)
Theodore J. Castele Professor of Medical History, Department Chair
Medical history; African history; comparative history

John Bickers, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Assistant Professor
Native American history

John Broich, PhD
(Stanford University)
Associate Professor
British history; British empire; environmental history; history of public health

Daniel Cohen, PhD
(Brandeis University)
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Colonial America; U.S. cultural history

Ananya Dasgupta, PhD
(University of Pennsylvania)
Associate Professor
History of modern South Asia; secularism in South Asia; gender and community in South Asia

John H. Flores, PhD
(University of Illinois at Chicago)
Associate Professor
Mexican American history; immigration; labor

Jay Howard Geller, PhD
(Yale University)
Samuel Rosenthal Professor of Judaic Studies
Jewish history, modern European history, modern German history

John Grabowski, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Krieger-Mueller Joint Professor of History; Associate Professor
United States history; immigration and ethnicity; local history

Maysan Haydar, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Assistant Professor
U.S. history; immigration; history of Islam; Middle East; military history; public/digital history

Kenneth F. Ledford, PhD, JD
(Johns Hopkins University; University of North Carolina)
Associate Professor
Modern Germany; modern Europe; European legal history; history of the professions

Aviva Rothman, PhD
(Princeton University)
Dean's Associate Professor
History of science; intellectual history, early modern Europe

Renée M. Sentilles, PhD
(College of William and Mary)
Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History; Director of Undergraduate Studies; Co-Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
American women’s history; U.S. cultural history; American studies; children's studies

Peter Shulman, PhD
(Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Elizabeth and Raymond Armington Associate Professor
History of science, technology and American politics; environmental history and the history of energy; United States foreign relations

Theodore L. Steinberg, PhD
(Brandeis University)
Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History
U.S. environmental and legal history

Noël M. Voltz, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Assistant Professor
African American history; African diasporic history; women of color in slavery and freedom in the United States and the Atlantic world

Gillian L. Weiss, PhD
(Stanford University)
Early modern France; comparative slavery; the Mediterranean

Secondary Faculty

Rachel Sternberg, PhD
(Bryn Mawr College)
Professor, Department of Classics
Greek language and literature; Greek social history; history of emotion; reception of the classical tradition in the age of Jefferson

Adjunct Faculty

Virginia Dawson, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Adjunct Associate Professor
History of science and technology

Amanda L. Mahoney, PhD
(University of Pennsylvania)
Chief Curator, Dittrick Medical History Center
History of health and social policy; history of nursing


Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, PhD
(New York University)
Full-time Lecturer
Modern American history, women's and gender history

Elizabeth Todd, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Medieval history; Reformation Europe

Emeritus Faculty

Molly Berger, PhD
(Case Western Reserve University)
Associate Dean and Instructor of History Emerita
19th-century American technology

David Hammack, PhD
(Columbia University)
Hiram C. Haydn Professor of History Emeritus
American social and urban history

Miriam Levin, PhD
(University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History Emerita
History of industrial societies and cultures; history of modern France; women in science

Carroll Pursell, PhD
(University of California, Berkeley)
Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus
History of technology

Alan Rocke, PhD
(University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Distinguished University Professor and Henry Eldridge Bourne Professor of History Emeritus
History of science; science, technology, and society