Welcome to the Department of History at Western Michigan University.

History majors and minors at Western Michigan University are well positioned for the 21st century job market. As a historian-in-training, you will learn to ask questions that matter. You will become a proficient communicator and researcher. You will develop skills to gather information independently, think and respond critically, and make thoughtful and accurate judgments all while developing a broad historical knowledge. As a prospective teacher educator, you will also develop as a creative problem solver able to overcome obstacles, master any responsibility and lead with confidence.

Video of WMU History Dept. 2020

The Department of History can help you achieve your professional goals.

Check out our undergraduate and graduate studies programs.

Find out what our undergraduate alumni think of their history education.

Our graduate alumni can give you a taste of career paths after your M.A. or Ph.D. degree in history.

Department News

Fall 2023

  • Dr. James Palmitessa was interviewed by FOX affiliate WXMI on the history of Halloween and his upcoming talk at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
  • The Department of History recognized Dr. Hanmo Zhang (right) with this year's Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Zhang graduated with an M.A. from Western Michigan in 2016. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China, in Beijing. He also holds a Ph.D from UCLA, where he went on to teach, as well as at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Since 2006 he has been a professor at the Institute of Chinese Classics at Renmin University of China, in Beijing, an institution that is a leader in the study of languages, social sciences, and the humanities. 
  • Dr. Ángela Pérez-Villa and students from her History 3160 course finished a digital humanities project titled The Women's Legacy Project.
  • Dr. Sally Hadden was recently awarded a fellowship from the National Humanities Center. Read the story on WMU News.

Spring 2023

Fall 2022

  • Check out our fall 2022 newsletter!
  • Dr. Linda J. Borish recently published the 3rd edition of her coauthored book, Sports in American History.
  • Thomas Stetzl (University of Passau, Germany), delivered his talk, “Conspiracy Theories in Germany and the United States” for the Passau Lecture on November 3, 2022
  • Dr. Q Edward Wang presented his talk, “Was 1492 a Turning Point in World History? An Analysis in Historiography” for the H. Nicholas Hamner Lecture Series on October 13, 2022
  • Dr. Sally Hadden presented her talk, "Transatlantic Justice in Early America" at the Constitution Day Celebration on September 19, 2022.

Spring 2022

  • Dr. George Beech, Professor Emeritus, recently passed away. Please click here to read his obituary.
  • Dr. Sally Hadden was recently interviewed by the Cleveland Heights Public Library in Cleveland about her book, Slave Patrols, in connection with reading more deeply into the recently published work, The 1619 Project.
  • Check out the results of the 2022 National History Day Contest. Our district had more top finishers than any other district in Michigan!
  • Dr. Ángela Pérez-Villa was profiled as one of three professors who inspire Latinx students in the Kalamazoo area by New/Nueva Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper in Southwest Michigan (pgs. 4-5).

  • Dr. Lewis Carlson, Professor Emeritus, recently passed away. He retired from WMU in 1999. Please click here to read his obituary.
  • Dr. Linda J. Borish was recently interviewed by WWMT about United States Women's National Team (in soccer) reaching a $24 million settlement.
  • Dr. David Benac was interviewed by WMU News regarding climate change disinformation.

Past news from the Department of History.