Chair's Letter

February 15, 2024

Dear Students, Colleagues, Alumni, and Friends of the History Department:

Greetings from Winthrop Hall. We’ve started this new tradition of sending out a Chair’s Letter at the start of each semester, to update you on some of the wonderful things happening in the history department.

Professor Garofalo is just back from a research leave funded by several prestigious fellowships, to support his work on the history of the African diaspora in Peru. I’m happy to share that the college has awarded him an endowed chair, the Virginia Eason Weinmann ’51 Professorship in International Studies. This honor acknowledges Professor Garofalo’s exemplary service to the college—please congratulate him when you bump into him on campus!

Professor Queen is also back this year from a sabbatical supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, during which she worked on a multi-year collaborative project translating important early Chinese texts into English.

Several of us have new books out. Professor Stock published not one but two books in 2020: The Conservative Heartland: A Political History of the Postwar American West, and Nuclear Country: The Origins of the Rural New Right. Last semester my co-edited anthology came out, Russian-Arab Worlds: A Documentary History. And Professor Forster’s new book is out this month, Keeping the Peace in the Village: Conflict and Peacemaking in Germany, 1650-1750.

In our classes, we continue to push students to ask how the world we live in turned out this way, and to imagine alternatives to the status quo by studying the past—from Professor Chhabria’s popular course “Globalization of Urban Poverty,” to Professor Swagler’s “Is Africa Poor?” Professor Hernandez’s “Borders, Empire, Immigration,” and Professor Accardi’s “The Muslim World.”

A highlight of this past fall semester was the student-faculty trip to Jacksonville, Florida, where Professor Desloge’s students presented their research at the 108th annual conference for the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH).

I could say much more but I’m running out of space. Thank you to the alumni who keep in touch, we love hearing from you. Wishing all of us a stimulating semester and lots of new discoveries.


  Eileen Kane Signature

Eileen Kane
Professor and Chair, Department of History