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About Us

Historians are storytellers who reconstruct and reinterpret the events and experiences of the past for the present.

Our Mission

In keeping with the best practices of our discipline, the UMKC History Department serves our students, communities, cultures & society at large as:

  • cutting-edge researchers of the past,
  • teacher-mentors of future historians & citizens
  • critics providing historical context for public understanding

Our Vision

As an essential foundation for our democratic society, we strive to promote:

  • critical engagement with our shared pasts
  • inclusive & integrative interpretations of history

Our Approach

Our innovative approaches to historical engagement include:

  • traditional and interdisciplinary scholarship
  • academic, digital & public history
  • oral history & collaborative authorship
  • brick-and-mortar & online courses
  • internship opportunities

Fields

The Faculty of the UMKC History Department conduct research and teach in a wide range of fields.

General Fields
  • United States History (Early America/19th Century/20th Century/Contemporary)
  • European History (Early Medieval/Medieval/Early Modern/Modern)
  • World History (Early Modern/Modern)
Focused Fields
  • African-American History
  • American Midwest, South, West, & Civil War
  • British & Irish History (Medieval/Early Modern/Modern)
  • Dutch & German History (Early Modern/Modern)
  • Greek & Roman History (Ancient/Late Antiquity)
  • Japanese History (Medieval/Early Modern/Modern)
  • Latinx- & Latin American History (Colonial/Modern)
Interdisciplinary Fields
  • Borderlands
  • Business
  • Children & Youth
  • Everyday Life
  • Globalization
  • International Relations
  • Religion
  • Science, Medicine & The Body
  • Women & Gender
Topical & Methodological Fields
  • Cultural, Social, Economic, Environmental, Political & Diplomatic
  • Material and Visual Culture, Oral History, Public History, Public Humanities

Career Outcomes

Our focus on critical thinking, writing, research, collaboration, and communication prepares students for:

AHA Career Development Program

Historical thinking fosters creativity, insight, and analysis, the same in-demand skills needed at workplaces across the globe. At UMKC, our Career Development Program provides students with opportunities to leverage their skills into meaningful and productive careers.

Whether interning with the Chiefs, working for the Missouri Humanities Council, or creating award-winning documentaries in the Kemper Digital Lab, UMKC history students find success in unexpected places. Well, unexpected to the uninitiated. For our historians, success beyond the academy is the expectation, not the exception.

Learn more about our career-focused workshops, networking opportunities, and programs below.

Career Development Brown Bag Workshops

Targeted. Skills building. Outcome driven. Attend one of our workshops and leave with new skills the same day.

  • “Truth in Interpretation,” Steve Sitton, Historic Site Administrator, Missouri State Parks
    Friday, March 1, 1-2 pm, 101 Katz Hall
  • Making Meetings Productive, John Herron, Professor of History and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UMKC
    Tuesday, March 5, 12-1 pm, 215 Cockefair Hall
  • Careers in Academic Admin, Chelsea Dahlstrom, Grants & Contracts Administrator, UMKC
    Tuesday, March 12, 11 am-12 pm, 215 Cockefair Hall
  • Editing Workshop, Linda Mitchell, Professor of History, UMKC
    Thursday, March 14, 12-1 pm, 215 Cockefair Hall
  • Working in Consular Services, Tryg Has-Ellison, Consular Service Officer
    Tuesday, April 9, 3-4 pm, 215 Cockefair Hall
  • From CV to Resume, LaRae Vowiell, Employer Relations Coordinator, Career Services, UMKC
    Wednesday, April 17, 12-1 pm, 105 Cockefair Hall

Chatting with Curators

Kansas City is home to world-class museums, arts spaces, and cultural heritage sites. Interested in a career in museums and other public facing organizations? Join us as we greet, meet, and chat with movers and shakers in the metro’s museum world.

  • Chatting with the Live-in Curator, Steve Sitton, Historic Site Administrator at the Thomas Hart Benton Home, 3616 Belleview Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
    Tuesday, February 26, 5-6:30 pm
  • Chatting in the Suburbs with Mindi Love, Andrew Gustafson, and Anne Jones of the Johnson County Museum, 8788 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66212
    Tuesday, April 9, 5-6:30 pm

Career Development Cohort

Funded in part by the American Historical Association’s Career Diversity Initiative, our Career Development Cohort puts UMKC graduate students in contact with members of Kansas City’s business, cultural resources management, and academic community. In addition, members of the cohort work on personalized projects to improve their professional profile and skills. Look for future posts, videos, and a retrospective panel discussion at the department’s year end celebration.

Alumni Profiles

Alicia Lea

Music BA 2002; History MA 2010; editor at Scribendi

How has your college experience at UMKC inspired you?

There is nothing like the rigor of an academic discussion to challenge one’s beliefs and expand one’s knowledge. I like to recall those times and maintain that posture of curiosity. 

How did a history major help you in crafting a career?  What skills did you learn that made you competitive in the marketplace?

While earning my master’s degree in history, I read a great deal of scholarly articles and monographs. I wrote a thesis as well as shorter academic papers. This immersion in scholarly reading and writing taught me the forms of and expectations for academic writing—knowledge that enabled me to secure my current position as an editor.  

What advice would you give to a current history major?

Retain your childlike love of history. Certainly, the subject is useful to the world, but the pure delight that history provides should not be discounted in favor of pragmatic concerns.


Natalie Walker

History BA 2014; History MA with a concentration in Public History and Museum Studies, Colorado State University, May 2019; Museum/Archives Technician at the Truman Library Institute

How has your college experience at UMKC inspired you?

UMKC gave me direction and purpose. I loved history, but I had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree. Between internships and various public history courses, I discovered my love of museums and public history. I credit the UMKC History Department for instilling in me passion, dedication, and the confidence to pursue my dreams.

How did a history major help you in crafting a career?

My history degree taught me how to communicate clearly through research and writing, both of which are essential skills in my job. Moreover, the History Department’s emphasis on professional development outside of the classroom (internships, research opportunities, etc.) provided numerous opportunities to practice public history, hone my skills, discover my passion, and ultimately make me more competitive in the field.

What was the best piece of advice you received from a professor from UMKC’s history department?

Several of my professors echoed the same advice: take every opportunity you can.

What did you learn about yourself while in college?

I learned that I am a lot stronger than I ever believed. UMKC and the History Department gave me confidence in myself — the confidence to live and work in Europe, to pursue a Master’s Degree, and to take the kind of job I dreamed of having, but often doubted that I could do.


Marc Reyes

History BA, University of Missouri, 2006; History MA 2014; Ph.D. student, University of Connecticut; Fulbright-Nehru Fellow 2018-2019

What skills did you learn that made you competitive in the marketplace?

Time management, meeting deadlines, and being able to tackle projects, small and large. Plus, if you attend history conferences and workshops or just explore a large university, you meet a lot of interesting people. You should get to know them and think of them as future collaborators. Networking is not just for business majors.

What was the best piece of advice you received from a professor from UMKC’s history department?

I received a lot of good advice from UMKC professors, but maybe the best was from my advisor, Professor Dennis Merrill. He told me that over his career, he had applied for a lot of grants and fellowships, and had received his fair share of rejection. But it’s not the honors you didn’t win that matter, it’s what you made of the ones you did. Make sure what you win isn’t just another line on your CV. Make it something that ultimately improves your career and research.

What did you learn about yourself while in college?

Because of UMKC, I found my calling. I am never happier than when I am on campus, either teaching or doing research. I love the ebb and flow of semesters and seeing how students progress over the course of fifteen weeks. There is truly nothing else I’d rather be doing with my life.


Rebecca Egli Alumni

Dr. Rebecca Egli

History BA 2008; MA, King’s College London, 2010; PhD, UC-Davis, 2018; Postdoc at the Linda Hall Library 2018-19

Tell us about you!

I am a Kansas City native, and I just want to say that there’s a proud legacy of UMKC attendance in my family — at least 10 of us have called UMKC home since the 1970s and loved our time there. We found the university to be a welcoming environment that offered a chance to cultivate our particular academic strengths, while challenging us in new ways. I even met my husband Caleb at UMKC during move-in weekend in 2005. 

How has your college experience at UMKC inspired you?

UMKC is a great place to be. It opened up diverse and exciting academic experiences in distant places to me. It also provided ways to participate in numerous opportunities nearer to home. 

How did your history degree prepare your for an academic career? 

Studying history helps cultivate important habits of the mind that shape the way we see and understand our world. Not only does history provide students an opportunity to learn about the past, studying history teaches you to critically examine information. This involves building arguments, communicating effectively, and helping to educate others.

What skills did you learn that made you competitive in the marketplace?

For me, the most useful skills have been the ability to develop content, manage projects, and teach concepts to different audiences. These skills are as applicable within the academy as they are useful for careers beyond it.


History Alum Leah Palmer, National Frontier Trails Museum

Leah Astle Palmer

History BA/MA 2014/16; Event and Education Program Manager, National Frontier Trails Museum

How has your college experience at UMKC inspired you?

The History Department faculty develop innovative projects and unique community collaborations. It was a fantastic experience to be a part of new projects and partnerships and to make connections that would help me in my career.

How did a History Masters help you in crafting a career?

My graduate work at UMKC allowed me to break into a competitive field that often requires successful job candidates to be proficient in everything from collection management to grant writing. The Public History Program taught me both the academic skills needed to produce scholarly work and a myriad of related skills that prepared me for work in the museum field.

What did you learn about yourself while in college?

I learned to believe in myself. My time at UMKC gave me the opportunity to try a variety of things, and I learned that I could do much more than I thought myself capable of. It was a remarkable experience to discover what I wanted to do with my life, and then gain the confidence to pursue it.


Juan J. Betancourt-Garcia

Juan J. Betancourt-Garcia

History BA 2014; Ph.D. student, Brown University, studying colonial Latin America, the Atlantic world, and Africana studies

How has your college experience at UMKC inspired you?

My professors were gate-openers, rather than gatekeepers; they motivated me to ask questions that could spark creativity rather than follow formulas. Looking back, these moments were at times challenging, yet they were also moments of growth and exploration. They continue to inspire me to this day. 

How did a History BA help you in crafting a career?

As historians, we become comfortable with the rigor of analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data and turning these into arguments and captivating stories—stories that require great communication skills, as well as creativity. […] We do so with a great deal of imagination, which allows us to be flexible and innovative in just about any job setting or project.

What was the best piece of advice you received from a UMKC History professor?

My undergraduate advisor once told me that asking for help or guidance should not weaken our self-confidence. Rather, she said, these are moments where I had to be, on the one hand, humble and acknowledge my limitations, but, on the other hand, confident that my abilities, my objectives, and my curiosities should be discussed within a community.

What advice would you give to a current History major?

Make your work interesting by thinking of history and its methods in creative ways. Be bold. Go beyond ‘this is how it was’ to ‘let’s think of the past with a new vocabulary and new metaphors.’ [… Discover] what John Dewey once called ‘a new audacity of imagination.’

Alumnus Geoffrey Newman publishes article in Kansas History

Kansas History Journal - G. Newman_Page_02Congratulations to Geoffrey Newman (UMKC History MA ‘13) on the recent publication of his article “Forgetting Strength: Coffeyville, The Black Freedom Struggle, and Vanished Memory” in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Newman is a PhD candidate in American Studies at The University of Kansas.

Newman earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. His research into Coffeyville formed the basis of his master’s thesis while at UMKC. His work on that project was supervised by Drs. John Herron, Diane Mutti Burke, and Miriam Forman-Brunell.

Newman continues his study of race, ethnicity and memory. His doctoral dissertation investigates the changing racialization of Japanese-American citizens from their forced relocation and incarceration in internment camps during World War II to the payment of reparations to surviving internment camp victims in 1988.

Become a Student

The History Department focuses on teaching analytical skills, historical literacy, and cultural awareness in preparing students for a variety of careers.

With small classes and a focus on student research, students work closely with internationally renowned scholars.

Our public history program offers graduates and undergraduates numerous opportunities for real-world experience through internships in organizations throughout the Kansas City Metro area.

 

Career Preparations

We are not your grandparents’ History department.

Instead of simply memorizing dates of Civil War battles or names of long dead kings, at UMKC we use the study of history to build the in-demand skills needed for a variety of successful careers.

Of course, we share your passion for the past. If you are focused on a career in the academy, we will ensure that you are exceptionally well prepared with research skills. But UMKC history degrees also develop quantitative literacy as well as outstanding communication, collaboration, and digital literacy skills.

Most importantly, the study of history cultivates intellectual self-confidence and the ability to be a flexible and creative thinker. History degrees help you adapt to new professional challenges in a wide variety of occupations that range from business and economics, law and social policy, to educator and non-profit leader.

In keeping with our commitment to preparing students for success in a broad range of careers, the department is proud to announce that we won a competitive Career Diversity Implementation Grant from the American Historical Association in 2018. For the next two years, we will be using these funds:

  • to offer intensive training opportunities in career development for our students,
  • to host networking events connecting our students with the cultural resource management community in the Kansas City region, and
  • to showcase the talents of our students and graduates to business and community leaders.

Along the way, we will gather feedback from students and stakeholders that we can use to improve our curriculum. Check out additional information about this program and a schedule of upcoming events here.

We invite you to come to the department to see the many ways we prepare our students for life after graduation.

Community Partners

Building excellence through cooperation

The UMKC History Department collaborates with a number of other institutions and agencies in Kansas City and the surrounding area in organizing programming, funding internships, and promoting community involvement and awareness.  These include:

Clendening History of Medicine Library

With an outstanding collection of rare medical and anatomical books and manuscripts, the Library is housed at the nearby University of Kansas Medical Center. It has an active exhibition program and sponsors a variety of public lectures and forums.

Edgar Snow Memorial Foundation

The ESMF preserves the memory and legacy of Journalist Edgar Snow. The Foundation also fosters cross-cultural activities and exchanges between the citizens of the United States and China through a number of partnerships and programming. In 2014, the Foundation commissioned and supported The Edgar Snow Project, a digital exhibit created by UMKC Public History students.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area

The FFNHA have funded many programs and projects for UMKC.  We have collaborated with them on public programming such as the Border Wars symposium, the Wide Open Town symposium, the Interpreting Slavery workshop, and a Quindaro symposium.

Guadalupe Centers

Since 1919, the Guadalupe Centers has provided a variety of social services to the Latinx community in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood and beyond. Sandra Enríquez, Director of the UMKC Public History emphasis, and UMKC Public History students are collaborating with the Centers in the creation and design of an exhibit celebrating the history and legacy of the Guadalupe Centers for its upcoming centennial commemoration.

Heritage League of Greater Kansas City

The League is devoted to preserving our cultural heritage and sponsors workshops and public events to increase community awareness of the importance of historical agencies.

Kansas City Museum

The Museum is currently closed for renovation, but it has in the past had an active affiliation with the History Department and will undoubtedly do so again when it is reopened.

Kansas City Public Library

KCPL offers a rich series of public programs at both the Downtown and Plaza branches, which often include nationally prominent historians and occasionally UMKC History faculty as speakers. We have partnered with them on two major public symposia that generated new research on the history of the KC region and consulted with them on their history websites: The Civil War on the Western Border and The Pendergast Years.

William T. Kemper Foundation

The Kemper Foundation supports a wide variety of educational ventures, including building projects that benefit higher education, and it has been very generous in support of History Department public programs by funding a Digital Lab in Cockefair Hall.

Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology

The LHL is the country’s foremost scientific and technical library, with an outstanding History of Science Collection.  There is a professional historian of science on staff, and a History Department faculty member, William Ashworth, serves as a permanent consultant to the Library.  The Library has an active series of public programs and regularly exhibits works from its collection. Some past collaborations, many of which are also available as print catalogues, include: The Grandeur of Life: A Celebration of Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species (2009);  Blade and Bone: The Discovery of Human Antiquity (2012); Ice: A Victorian Romance (2008); Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas (2007); The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo (1989); and Paper Dinosaurs, 1824-1969 (1996).

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

The MCHE sponsors workshops and roundtables, brings in speakers, and provides internships relating to the Holocaust and other mass atrocities. Its cooperation allows UMKC to offer a Graduate Certificate in Holocaust Studies. Drew Bergerson, a member of the UMKC History faculty, serves as the liaison with the MCHE and for the Certificate; and Dr. Shelly Cline, the MCHE’s Public Historian, is adjunct graduate faculty in our department.

Missouri Humanities Council

The MHC is based in St. Louis, but also has an office in Kansas City.  It supports museums, libraries, and public education throughout the state.  The MHC also runs traveling exhibits and heritage programs and maintains a speakers bureau. They have been funding partners for many projects at UMKC: workshops, exhibitions, historical dramas, and internships. The current manager of the KC office is a UMKC History graduate student.

National Archives at Kansas City

The Regional Center of the National Archives in Kansas City is one of 13 such centers nationwide and is an invaluable resource for U.S. historians.  The center also provides internships for both graduate and undergraduate history majors.

National Museum of Toys/Miniatures

The T/m Museum is a unique Kansas City resource, not only housing an incomparable collection of toys and miniature objects, but also sponsoring regular exhibitions on historical themes, such as the history of marble tournaments or toys from the Land of Oz.  The Museum is adjacent to the UMKC campus.

National World War I Museum

The WWI Museum is a national museum, dedicated to preserving memories, documents, and artifacts of the Great War, and showing the war’s impact on the global community.  It is housed in Kansas City’s famed Liberty Memorial.  History Department faculty and students are often involved in organizing exhibitions and frequently take part in public programs at the Museum.

Negro Leagues Museum

The Negro Leagues Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of African-American Baseball and is located in the historic 18th & Vine district.  History Department faculty and students have in the past been involved in designing exhibits for the Museum.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon

SH&B is one of the most prominent law firms in the KC area. They helped in the planning of a website still in progress, “Profiles in Kansas City Activism,” which is overseen by Rebecca Davis and Sandra Enríquez of the UMKC History Department.  The website should soon be operational.

State Historical Society of Missouri

The SHSMO operates six research centers in Missouri, including Kansas City.  The Kansas City Center is located on the UMKC campus and contains a number of important archives, including Kansas City architectural records and the J.C. Nichols company records.  The KC Center can also obtain records from any of the five other regional centers.

Harry S. Truman Library Institute

The Institute is the private arm of the renowned Truman Library and Truman Museum in Independence; it organizes a variety of public programs and symposia, and supports scholarship in the form of awards, fellowships, and internships.  Dennis Merrill, a member of the UMKC History faculty, sits on the Board of Directors of the Institute.

Wornall Majors House Museums

The John Wornall House and the Alexander Majors House are two of the very few remaining pre-Civil War residences in Kansas City.  The homes operate today as historical museums. They often engage UMKC history students as interns, and we have also partnered with them on programming and exhibitions. Diane Mutti-Burke, a member of the UMKC faculty and current Chair of the Department, sits on the board of the W/MHM. 

 

 

Contact Us

If you have questions about our programs or want to know more about studying history at UMKC, get in touch with us.

Campus Location

The Department of History is located on the second floor of Cockefair Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus. A map of Volker Campus can be accessed here.

Contact Information

Main Office
203 Cockefair Hall
Open Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm
Ph: 816-235-1631
Fx: 816-235-5723
history@umkc.edu

Administrative Assistant
Hannah Hohenstein-Flack

Department Chair
Diane Mutti Burke

Undergraduate Advisors
Rebecca Davis
David Freeman

MA Advisor
Massimiliano Vitiello

iPhD Advisors
Matthew Osborn

Public History Advisor
Sandra Enríquez

Mailing Address

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Department of History
203 Cockefair Hall
5121 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Degree Options

The Department of History at UMKC offers degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate level, combining the personal attention of a liberal arts college with the scholarship of a research institution.

Our department offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in History and a minor in History, including an online option for the BA and minor. Recently, we have expanded our online offerings through a course sharing arrangement with the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs.

Our department also has a robust graduate program. We offer a Master of Arts (MA) in History with either a traditional academic emphasis or an emphasis in public history. We also offer the Interdisciplinary PhD in conjunction with the UMKC School of Graduate Studies. History may be studied as a Primary Discipline or a Co-Discipline.

Learn more about our graduate programs.

Department News

    Alumnus Geoffrey Newman publishes article in Kansas History

    Kansas History Journal - G. Newman_Page_02Congratulations to Geoffrey Newman (UMKC History MA ‘13) on the recent publication of his article “Forgetting Strength: Coffeyville, The Black Freedom Struggle, and Vanished Memory” in Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Newman is a PhD candidate in American Studies at The University of Kansas.

    Newman earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. His research into Coffeyville formed the basis of his master’s thesis while at UMKC. His work on that project was supervised by Drs. John Herron, Diane Mutti Burke, and Miriam Forman-Brunell.

    Newman continues his study of race, ethnicity and memory. His doctoral dissertation investigates the changing racialization of Japanese-American citizens from their forced relocation and incarceration in internment camps during World War II to the payment of reparations to surviving internment camp victims in 1988.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    CAS Associate Dean Publishes Book About the Wartime Deeds of Henry Bloch

    Once upon a time, America’s Tax Man was America’s airman.

    Henry Bloch, founder of H&R Block, enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and was trained as a navigator for bomber missions. He flew 32 missions over Europe as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. His first mission was the third-ever raid over Berlin by the Allies.

    Bloch’s wartime experiences, and the impact those experiences had on shaping his postwar business career, is the topic of a new book from BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Ms. Annie Derrell (UMKC iPhD candidate) becomes Fellow in the SREB's Doctoral Scholars Program

    Congratulations to iPhD candidate Annie Derrell for being selected as a fellow in the Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP). According to the sponsoring Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), “the goal of the DSP is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities.”

    Since its founding in 1993, the DSP has supported over a 1000 scholars at numerous institutes across the country. It offers direct services for doctoral students such as academic, personal, and motivational support, career counseling, networking, job recruitment, and continued advocacy into their early careers as faculty members. Derrell will be a part of the inaugural cohort of scholars from the University of Missouri System.

    One of the most exciting aspects of DSP is the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, an annual meeting which serves as the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the country. The Institute provides workshops as well as recruitment and networking opportunities to give new scholars the tools to successfully complete their doctorates and enter into a faculty career in higher education.

    Annie Derrell NewsDerrell is “extremely honored and very excited for this opportunity to meet and collaborate with other minority scholars.”

    The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve education and provide policymakers with reliable data to make sound educational policy decisions. There website is: www.sreb.org.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Dr. Linda Mitchell Interviewed by Washington Post on Introduction of Queen to Medieval Times

    Medieval Times, a dinner theater experience loosely based on the 11th century Spanish court, featured a female ruler for the first time this year. Since its debut in the United States in 1983, the show, which includes a banquet, jousting, swordfights, and stunts on horseback, has been presided over by a king. This year, however, Doña Maria Isabella reigned.

    Professor of History Linda Mitchell, who also serves as affiliate faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and as President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, weighed in on this change in a recent Washington Post article. Check out her comments on women in the medieval world and the historical accuracy of Medieval Times here.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Dr. Rebecca Egli (UMKC History BA '08) receives Postdoctoral Fellowship at Linda Hall Library

    Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca (Mowry) Egli on receiving a post-doctoral Residential Fellowship at Linda Hall Library. During her two-month stay, she will conduct research for her current project, "Seeds of Misfortune: Food, Crop Diversity, and the Simplification of American Nature," a history of America’s plant explorers that examines the impact of plant introduction and breeding on agricultural biodiversity and innovation.

    Rebecca Egli FullRebecca grew up in Kansas City and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UMKC's History Department in 2008. She earned a Master of Arts degree in history from King’s College London in 2010 and a doctorate in history from the University of California, Davis in 2018.

    Exploring intersections between agriculture, science, and the environment, her dissertation, "The World of Our Dreams: Agricultural Explorers and the Promise of American Science," looks at federal scientists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring developments in plant biology and the ecological consequences of importing non-native plants into the United States.

    We are so proud to have Dr. Egli conducting research again in Kansas City!

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Dr. Sandra Enriquez lands Two Grants from the Texas State Historical Society

    The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Sandra Enriquez, who is also the Director of the Public History Emphasis, has been awarded two competitive fellowships from the Texas State Historical Association.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Fellowship Award Helps IPhD Student Broaden Vision of Life In Humanities

    UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student Matt Reeves recently received a pre-doctoral fellowship award from the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The fellowship award will pay for Reeves to participate in the organization’s Alternative Academic Careers Summer Workshop. The workshop aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside of the academy.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    UMKC History iPhD K. David Hanzlick publishes book with U. MO Press

    Congratulations to K. David Hanzlick, alumnus of the History iPhD program, on the publication of his book, Benevolence, Moral Reform, Equality: Women’s Activism in Kansas City, 1870-1940, with the University of Missouri Press.

    Hanzlick BookHanzlick traces the rise and evolution of women’s activism in a rapidly growing, Midwestern border city, one deeply scarred by the Civil War and struggling to determine its meaning. Over the course of 70 years, women in Kansas City emerged from the domestic sphere by forming and working in female-led organizations to provide charitable relief, reform society’s ills, and ultimately claim space for themselves as full participants in the American polity. Focusing on the social construction of gender, class, and race, and the influence of political philosophy in shaping responses to poverty, Hanzlick also considers the ways in which city politics shaped the interactions of local activist women with national women’s groups and male-led organizations.

    K. David Hanzlick is Director of Program and Development for Sheffield Place, a treatment and transitional living program for homeless mothers and children. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Rockhurst University and the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs at Park University.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    New UMKC Guest Professor studies German Aristocrats in the Modern World

    Tryg Has-Ellison newsThe University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce that Dr. John Trygve “Tryg” Has-Ellison will be serving as a Guest Professor for the 2018-19 academic year.

    Dr. Has-Ellison is the current Non-Immigrant Visa Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. Prior to this post, he was Vice-Consul in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Desk Officer for European Issues of Congressional interest in Washington D.C. His visiting appointment at UMKC coincides with his participation in the Command and General Staff Officers Course at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    History Department Wins Chancellor's Community Engagement Award

    The Department of History has been named the 2019 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Community Engagement in recognition of its efforts to make engagement with the community a central aspect of its approach to student learning and scholarship. In his award letter, Chancellor Agrawal commended the department for "exemplifying the very best of UMKC's values."

    The department has worked to establish relationships with cultural institutions and communities locally, regionally, and internationally and to produce and share historical knowledge. The department's community outreach initiatives include, but are not limited to, partnering with local institutions on public programming for a variety of audiences; helping to disseminate the history of African American, German, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities among many others both in Kansas City and Missouri and more broadly; and generating new historical research about the region through public symposia and edited volumes.

    History Department students and faculty will be honored at the Leaders in Learning Faculty Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. More information about the department's work is available on its public engagement and community partners pages.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Inscribing Yourself into a Nazi Future: Love Letters in the Third Reich

    Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann, Marlis Buchholz, Bianca Roitsch, Karl H. Schneider, Christiane Schröder, Hrsg. Der Ort der “Volksgemeinschaft” in der deutschen Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöning, 2018. https://www.schoeningh.de/katalog/titel/978-3-506-78648-7.htmlSince 2011, Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Professor of History & Public Humanities, has been one of the lead researchers for a project called Trug&Schein. It uses the correspondence of an ordinary German couple, Hilde Laube and Roland Nordhoff, to facilitate public engagement with everyday life over the course of the Second World War.

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    LGBTQ-Themed Student Exhibit Receives National Council on Public History Award

    In 1966, the NACHO planning meeting was held in the State Hotel, visible on the left in this view near 12th and Wyandotte. Courtesy: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.A University of Missouri-Kansas City student-produced LGBTQ-themed exhibit, currently being displayed at the UMKC Miller Nichols Library, has received a Student Project Award from the National Council on Public History. The exhibit can be viewed on the third floor of UMKC Miller Nichols Library through April 8, and is available online.

    The Student Project Award is given to an outstanding public history student venture initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history. “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights” was submitted by UMKC students Taylor C. Bye, Kathryn B. Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer (now an alumna), Kevin Ploth and Jennifer Tufts.

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    Six MA Students in the UMKC History Department win National Council on Public History Award for Student Project

    Making History MHC with AudienceThe UMKC Department of History is proud to announce that six graduate students in the Master of Arts in History with a Public History Emphasis program have been awarded the National Council on Public History's Student Project Prize for their project, Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights. The UMKC students receiving the award are: Taylor Bye, Kathryn Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts.

    The award is given to “an outstanding public history student project initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history.”

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    Marc Reyes History Alum (MA 2014) wins Fulbright Award

    Marc Reyes smOur hearty congratulations go to UMKC History Alum (MA 2014) Marc Reyes! Marc has been awarded a Fulbright Award to support his doctoral research in India. The title of his research is: "In the Circle of Great Powers: India, the United States, and the Postcolonial Atomic State, 1947-1974." Marc is currently a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Connecticut. You do us proud, Marc!

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    Drs. Matt Osborn & Makini King interviewed on Fox4 & KCTV5 in Blackface Debate

    Blackface refers to the cultural practice of covering the face of a white (or black) performer to create a caricature of a black person. Although usually associated with nineteenth-century minstrel shows, blackface can still be found today both in theatrical performances and sometimes also in Halloween costumes.

    The debate about the racist implications of blackface continues today. In national news, the NBC "Today" host Megyn Kelly's show was cancelled following her on-air remarks expressing acceptance of blackface. In local news, a registered nurse at St. Luke's was fired after she posted pictures of herself and a friend on facebook in blackface.

    UMKC Professor Matthew W. Osborn and UMKC Diversity Director Makini King were interviewed on 30 October 2018 for local television about the history, politics, and ethics of blackface. Their comments aired at 5 PM on KCTV5 and Fox4.

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    The Most Interested Man in Kansas City

    Bill AshworthScience, art, technology, history, space. Bill Ashworth wants to know about everything.

    If  you’re curious, there are many things that Bill Ashworth wants you to know.

    But here’s the main thing: Learning is fun.

    That optimistic aphorism is more than a casual one to Ashworth and his devoted admirers, who delight in the local educator’s indefatigable interest in not only his chosen academic field—the history of science—but anything else that might tickle his circuitously inquisitive mind.

    Ashworth is a longtime associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and consultant on rare books for the privately-funded Linda Hall Library, an independent research library of science, engineering and technology across the street from the UMKC campus.

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    UMKC/UMSL offer first Transnational Student Research Course with U. of Hamburg in FS18

    During the nineteenth century, large numbers of German migrants settled in the state of Missouri. In this three-credit online course in public history (HIST 400B/5500B), students from the universities of Missouri in Kansas City and St. Louis will collaborate with German peers from the University of Hamburg in researching and writing short interpretive essays on the everyday lives of German migrants before, during, and after their migration.

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    History Professor quoted in the New York Times

    Prof. Diane Mutti-Burke, Chair of the History Department, was quoted in an article in the New York Times on 6. August 2018 entitled "On a Civil Rights Trail" because of her research into the history of slavery in Missouri.

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    Two CAS Alumni Receive Fulbright Awards

    Fulbright US Student Program logoTwo College of Arts and Sciences alumni have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award to continue their research and scholarship. Sydney Harvey, who received her Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Film from UMKC in 2016, will study in the United Kingdom; and Marc Reyes, who received his Master of Arts in History from UMKC in 2014, will study in India.

    Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals and scientists the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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    UMKC History Professor Reconstructs the History of Surgery before Anesthesia

    The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88Lynda Payne publishes new book about "the best surgeon" in 18th century England.

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce the publication Professor Lynda Payne's new book, The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88, about the influential English surgeon Percivall Pott, whose practice of surgery was praised for being methodical, skilled and measured.

    Payne, a specialist in the history of science and medicine, challenges the belief that the practice of surgery prior to the invention of general anesthesia was “a realm of screaming patients and larger than life eccentric medical men whose primary aims were to operate as fast as possible.” The goal of her new book is to humanize and historicize medical practices by looking at the biography of this landmark teacher and practitioner.

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    Volume Coauthored by Dr. Andrew Bergerson Published in Paperback

    In December 2018, Berghahn Books published RUPTURES IN THE EVERYDAY: Views of Modern Germany from the Ground in paperback. The lead authors of this jointly written work are UMKC Professor of History Andrew Stuart Bergerson and Leonard Schmieding.

    Throughout the twentieth century, Germans underwent constant disruptions in their lives, and many struggled to integrate their experiences into coherent narratives. Ruptures in the Everyday brings together twenty-six interdisciplinary researchers in a collectively authored work of scholarship that explores how Germans conceived of the self, society, families, objects, institutions, policies, violence, and authority by investigating Alltageveryday life.

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Ms. Annie Derrell (UMKC iPhD candidate) becomes Fellow in the SREB’s Doctoral Scholars Program

Congratulations to iPhD candidate Annie Derrell for being selected as a fellow in the Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP). According to the sponsoring Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), “the goal of the DSP is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities.”

Since its founding in 1993, the DSP has supported over a 1000 scholars at numerous institutes across the country. It offers direct services for doctoral students such as academic, personal, and motivational support, career counseling, networking, job recruitment, and continued advocacy into their early careers as faculty members. Derrell will be a part of the inaugural cohort of scholars from the University of Missouri System.

One of the most exciting aspects of DSP is the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, an annual meeting which serves as the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the country. The Institute provides workshops as well as recruitment and networking opportunities to give new scholars the tools to successfully complete their doctorates and enter into a faculty career in higher education.

Annie Derrell NewsDerrell is “extremely honored and very excited for this opportunity to meet and collaborate with other minority scholars.”

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve education and provide policymakers with reliable data to make sound educational policy decisions. There website is: www.sreb.org.

Digital Humanities

Bringing history to a screen near you.

Digital history refers to the use of digital media technologies—the computer, the internet, and software—to further historical instruction, presentation, research, and interpretation. UMKC faculty and students are involved in a wide range of activities in digital history and the digital humanities more broadly:

Digital History Projects

Digital history provides global access to online archives, library collections, and museum exhibits, as well as a vast range of historical documents from newspapers and songs, movies and diaries, to letters, legislation, and court documents. Resources developed by UMKC History faculty include Children & Youth in History (Miriam Forman-Brunell) and  Trug und Schein: A Correspondence (Andrew Bergerson).

UMKC History Blogs

UMKC historians are involved in the production of a number of history-related blogs, including the Scientist of the Day and UMKC HistoryMakers, as well as podcasts like Archiver, which is a tour through the most important moments in Kansas history.

Online Courses & Major

In the UMKC History Department students may take a variety of online courses, either as part of an online History minor or to contribute toward a History major. Fostering historical as well as digital literacy, students in these courses learn 21st-century methods of communication in the form of blogs, magazines, newsletters, exhibits, video essays, etc.

The UMKC Digital History Lab

The UMKC Digital History Lab is supported by a generous contribution from the William T. Kemper Foundation.  The lab enables history students to explore the intersections of historical research and new media by producing innovative Public History, Digital History, and Digital Humanities projects, also in collaboration with community partners.

Community Collaborations

The Department of History actively seeks collaborations with historical institutions in the greater Kansas City community. Past projects include The Edgar Snow Project and The Ordinance Project. Current projects include the Latinx KC: Oral Histories of the Latinx Community in Kansas City, The Pendergast Years, and the Quindaro symposium, among many others.

Public History Class with Dr. Sandra Enriquez 2

Dr. Linda Mitchell Interviewed by Washington Post on Introduction of Queen to Medieval Times

Medieval Times, a dinner theater experience loosely based on the 11th century Spanish court, featured a female ruler for the first time this year. Since its debut in the United States in 1983, the show, which includes a banquet, jousting, swordfights, and stunts on horseback, has been presided over by a king. This year, however, Doña Maria Isabella reigned.

Professor of History Linda Mitchell, who also serves as affiliate faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and as President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, weighed in on this change in a recent Washington Post article. Check out her comments on women in the medieval world and the historical accuracy of Medieval Times here.

Dr. Rebecca Egli (UMKC History BA ’08) receives Postdoctoral Fellowship at Linda Hall Library

Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca (Mowry) Egli on receiving a post-doctoral Residential Fellowship at Linda Hall Library. During her two-month stay, she will conduct research for her current project, “Seeds of Misfortune: Food, Crop Diversity, and the Simplification of American Nature,” a history of America’s plant explorers that examines the impact of plant introduction and breeding on agricultural biodiversity and innovation.

Rebecca Egli FullRebecca grew up in Kansas City and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UMKC’s History Department in 2008. She earned a Master of Arts degree in history from King’s College London in 2010 and a doctorate in history from the University of California, Davis in 2018.

Exploring intersections between agriculture, science, and the environment, her dissertation, “The World of Our Dreams: Agricultural Explorers and the Promise of American Science,” looks at federal scientists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring developments in plant biology and the ecological consequences of importing non-native plants into the United States.

We are so proud to have Dr. Egli conducting research again in Kansas City!

Dr. Sandra Enriquez lands Two Grants from the Texas State Historical Society

The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Sandra Enriquez, who is also the Director of the Public History Emphasis, has been awarded two competitive fellowships from the Texas State Historical Association. Continue reading

Financial Support

Affordability is a top priority for students, which is why we offer a variety of scholarships and funding options to History students.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, the College of Arts and Sciences offered students more than $1.3 million in scholarships. Our department has several scholarship opportunities specifically for History students.

Available Scholarships

Dr. Stuart Bintner Scholarship in History

Qualifications: Undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in history. Student must be majoring in history and in good academic standing. Preference given to students interested in American history. Preference also given to students who demonstrate financial need.

Jim Falls Honorary Scholarship

Qualifications: Undergraduate student majoring in history with a GPA of 3.0 or above, with preference given to those who demonstrate financial need.

Carla L. Klausner Scholarship

Qualifications: Undergraduate junior or senior student majoring in history with a GPA of 3.2 or above, with preference given to those who demonstrate financial need.

Lee A. Takats Scholarship

Qualifications: Student majoring in history.

The Captain Harry S. Truman Prize

Qualifications: This prize is given annually to a UMKC undergraduate or graduate student for the best research paper focusing on any aspect of World War I. Preference is given to papers that include research that ties to materials housed at the National World War I Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. Students must submit their essay electronically to the College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship Office at umkcasscholarships@umkc.edu; please save files as LastnameFirstnameTruman.

The College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship Office has more information and a full list of department- and college-level scholarships available to current students.

The UMKC Financial Aid Office has more information regarding university-wide scholarships as well as resources about loan options, grants, work study awards, and other financial aid sources.

How to Apply

Current Students

Currently enrolled students must fill out the Continuing Scholarship Application by March 1 to be considered for all departmental scholarships, as well as many college- and university-wide scholarships.

Some scholarships are only for students who show a demonstrated financial need and require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is recommended that all students complete the FAFSA each year, regardless of their financial status.

Future Students

A variety of scholarships are available to new UMKC College of Arts and Sciences students thanks to gifts from UMKC alumni, the Kansas City community, and other generous donors. The CAS Scholarship Office has more information about freshman and transfer student scholarships.

Financial Support

The History Department offers several funding opportunities for graduate students.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

GTAships cover tuition and provide a stipend. History Department GTAs work with the faculty member teaching a particular course. As part of their responsibilities, GTAs

  • attend the class lectures,
  • teach smaller breakout or discussion sections,
  • hold weekly office hours,
  • grade students’ performance in their breakout sections.

The GTA application form can be found here.

Funded Internships

The History Department has negotiated a number of funded internships in the greater Kansas City area that cover tuition and provide a stipend. We often place students with the Missouri Humanities Council, the Kansas City Chiefs, Contemplace, American Public Square, and the William T. Kemper Foundation Digital History Lab, among others. Any student may apply for funded internships, but the Department gives priority to students who have declared a Public History Emphasis. The Declaration of Public History Emphasis Form can be found here. The internship application form can be found here.

Grader/Researcher Positions

Each year, the History Department hires graduate students to assist faculty on grant-funded projects and/or as graders for large undergraduate courses. These appointments are usually semester-by-semester on an as-needed basis and generally do not come with tuition assistance.

Prizes & Awards

The UMKC History Department awards two annual prizes for graduate student work: the Louis Potts Best Graduate Regional History Prize and the Carla Klausner Best Graduate Student Paper Prize. To apply, a student must submit an essay for consideration by May 1.

Other funding sources

UMKC’s School of Graduate Studies has a list of various funding opportunities and awards on their web page under fellowships and grants.

Students are also encouraged to seek external funding through internships, grants, or fellowships. Many local, state, and national historical organizations offer fellowships for graduate students, as well as travel grants to archives, presidential libraries, and so on. A few examples are: American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, The State Historical Society of Missouri, and Kansas Historical Society.

Get Involved

The History Department offers a number of ways for our students to get involved in campus life.

We participate in the university’s undergraduate research program, contribute to UMKC’s Honors College, and work with many interdisciplinary programs across campus. The Department also supports our students in Phi Alpha Theta (the History honor society), the History Student Association, and the History Graduate Student Association.

Many of our students have the opportunity to collaborate on faculty research projects and public programming. Students gain valuable experience through our internship program.

Graduate History Courses

Spring 2020

HISTORY 5500W Special Topics in History for Graduate Students

Topic: The British Empire Strikes Back
This course examines the British Empire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It focuses especially on the development of British political and economic interests in Asia and Africa, and the subsequent process of rebellion and decolonization as native populations fought for national self-rule.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 5507A The History of Christianity from the Middle Ages to the Present

This course examines the historical and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major social, institutional and intellectual force with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform. This course is based on the study of primary sources (both texts and objects) and modern scholarship.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 5511 Medieval Civilization I

This course covers the period between the decline of the Roman Empire in the West and the Investiture Controversy. Topics include the rise of Christianity and early church-state relationships; the barbarian invasions and the various Germanic kingdoms; the age of Charlemagne; monasticism and feudalism. There will also be special sessions on the civilizations of Islam and Byzantium.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello.

HISTORY 5521 Oral History

This course focuses on the methods, theories, ethics, practices, and applications of tools in documenting and recovering the experiences of people hidden from the “traditional records.” Through lectures, readings, discussions, and fieldwork, students will learn the various steps in developing a robust oral history project. Students will go out into the community to capture the histories of communities in Kansas City.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

HISTORY 5532 Tudor-England, 1485-1688

This course covers the history of England from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 to the crowning of William and Mary in the Glorious Revolution. Its main emphasis is the Tudor dynasty 1485-1603 with special reference to the transformation of England into a modern state, Re-Reformation, the role of Parliament, etc. The course concludes with the major characteristics of the early Stuart period.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 5534 History of Technology

This course examines technology as it shapes and is shaped by human society. Students will consider technology as a product of historically-specific and sometimes overlapping contexts shaped by culture, economics, natural environments, and social processes.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 5536 Modern German History: 1890-1990

This course traces the history of Central Europe from the fall of Bismarck to the reunification of Germany one century later. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society, elites and ‘ordinary’ Germans, in the various German-speaking regimes that existed over the course of this era: two empires, two interwar republics, two fascist dictatorships, and three post-fascist republics. All assigned readings will be in English; a background knowledge of European history is recommended.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 5557 The American West

This course deals with the relationship of the American West to the social and economic development of the United States. Major emphasis is placed on the role of the trans-Mississippi West in the economic growth of the national economy. Related cultural and political events are evaluated in the terms of the many Western frontiers. Emphasis will be placed on the Turner thesis, the Indian heritage, frontier violence, and the cow town experience.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 5585GR Colloquium in U.S. History

Topic: Early America
Students read broadly in the historiography of a particular historical problem, place, period, or specialization in U.S. History in order to master the relevant literature and hone their skills of historical criticism.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Matthew Osborn.

HISTORY 5591 Archival Methods

This combined discussion and research course will examine the research potential of primary-source materials in the custody of archival depositories and the methodology employed to utilize effectively these resources. An analysis of archival method, specifically in the areas of arrangement, description and preservation, will be emphasized during the discussion portion of the course.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Ms. Lucinda Adams (Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center) and Ms. Whitney Heinzmann (Archivist at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center).

Fall 2019

HISTORY 5500D Special Topics in History For Graduate Studies 

Topic: Digital Humanities
This course will focus on the following skills in the digital humanities related to the electronic publication and computational analysis of texts: XML markup of both texts and meta data according to the standards of the text encoding initiative, transformation of these texts for presentation in electronic environments, annotation of data such as named entities and geographic locations to help visualize texts and textual collections, and quantitative analysis of literary and linguistic features in texts. In the class, students will work with many different texts, but will repeatedly return to Herodotus’ History and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan. Although most of the work in this class will be computational, it does not require prior experience with coding or markup.

Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox

HISTORY 5500E Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: American Environmental History
This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis – as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself – and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology and the modern environmental crusade.

Instructor: Dr. Brian Frehner

HISTORY 5500GR Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: Decade of Dissent: The 1960s
The social movements and conflicts that developed during the 1960s continue to define American culture. Questions of racial and gender equity, a greater willingness to challenge authority, concerns about the environment, and a new openness about issues of sexuality all developed during the sixties and remain as arenas of debate today. This course will examine the origins, contexts, and major themes of the these social and cultural movements.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 5500RA Special Topics In History For Graduate Studies

Topic: ‘We Are The Dead’: The Great War Experience Through its Artifacts
World War One was the “war to end all wars”; all previous wars were indeed eclipsed by its scale of destruction. And yet, it was a war that initiated a century of continual bloodshed and crimes against humanity. This course will explore the causes, nature, and consequences of the Great War of 1914-18. It will be taught at the National World War One Memorial Museum at Liberty Memorial.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 5506 America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction

A survey of the political, social, and economic factors leading to the dissolution of the federal union is followed by a consideration of the major features and developments of the war period. This, in turn, leads to an analysis of the major factors and relationships involved in the “reconstruction” of the federal union. The course covers the years 1850 to 1877.

Instructor: Dr. Diane Mutti Burke

HISTORY 5506A History of Christianity to Middle Ages

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

Instructor: Dr. David Freeman

HISTORY 5526 Modern Latin America

This course studies social, political, economic and cultural trends in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discussion topics include nation building after independence with an emphasis on gender and race in the creation of national identities and new forms of social stratification; integration of national economies into the world economic system; the expansion of political participation and citizenship; immigration (national and transnational) and the tensions caused by the forces of modernization and tradition. Although the purpose of the course is to provide a general background for a large and diverse region (more than 20 countries), case studies from Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil will illustrate the above-mentioned themes and will provide the basis for a comparative regional perspective.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Viviana Grieco online.

HISTORY 5556 Rise of the City in the U.S.

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. It includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 5559 World War II Film and Propaganda

This course examines film and propaganda, including posters, political cartoons, speeches, and other media, created in prewar or wartime conditions by both the Allies and Axis powers from 1933 to 1945 as it affected World War II.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 5571R Ancient Greece

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social, and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander’s conquests and significance.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello

HISTORY 5579 Public History: Theory and Method

This course explores the theoretical and methodological challenges that surround the public preservation and presentation of history in spaces like museums and historical societies. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences and will grapple with the issues around expanding history’s stakeholders.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 5581GR How to History I

This foundational course in the doing of history will use the “great books” of historical scholarship to introduce graduate students to historical questions, methods, theories, and rhetorical strategies. The goal of the course is for the student to learn how to engage in historical criticism and formulate historical questions for themselves. This required course must be taken in the first year of graduate study in history.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 5586GR Colloquium in World History

Topic: Major Debates in European History—Medieval to Modern
Students will read broadly in the historiography of a particular historical problem, place, period, or specialization in world history in order to master the relevant literature and hone their skills of historical criticism.

Instructor: Dr. Linda Mitchell

HISTORY 5587RA Research Seminar

Students in this course will produce a major research paper under the direction of the instructor: a self-contained thesis chapter, an article for publication, or the equivalent.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello

Graduate Programs

Students in the UMKC History Department’s graduate programs develop an in-depth knowledge of historical scholarship in their areas of interest and master the skills of historical scholarship.

Each student develops a personalized research agenda. They are supported by a community of instructors who are leading scholars in their field.

Master of Arts in History

The Department of History offers two options leading to the Master of Arts degree:

Master of Arts in History

The Department of History offers a traditional MA with an academic focus that prepares students for careers in: business and government, education and law, publishing and public service, journalism and citizenship. The emphasis on traditional academics provides rigorous instruction in historical research while developing transferable, professional skills in research, analysis, contextualization, and communication. Requirements and tools for planning your degree can be found in the UMKC Catalog. For more information, contact the MA Advisor.

Master of Arts in History with a Public History Emphasis

The Department of History’s MA with a Public History Emphasis prepares students for careers in museums, historical organizations, parks, archives, and other cultural institutions. The emphasis combines rigorous instruction in historical research with a practical training in transferable, professional skills. The Public History Emphasis also provides students with several opportunities for real-world work experience, taking advantage of Kansas City’s many historical institutions to offer funded and unfunded internships. Requirements and tools for planning your degree can be found in the UMKC Catalog. For more information, contact the Director of the Public History Emphasis.

Doctor of Philosophy in History

The Department of History also offers the Interdisciplinary PhD in conjunction with the UMKC School of Graduate Studies. History may be studied as a Primary Discipline or a Co-Discipline.

Graduate Student Profiles

Our students do us so proud.

MA and iPhD candidates are already beginning their careers as professional historians by publishing articles, building websites, creating exhibitions, producing documentaries, and even writing books.

Current Students

Kristina Ellis
Kristina Ellis is an Interdisciplinary PhD student who looks at late nineteenth and twentieth century women’s history. She received a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Utah in 2004 and a master’s degree in History from UMKC in 2008. Her dissertation deals with women’s bodies in popular American magazines, but her interests include gender and print culture in the United States and the United Kingdom. She presented a paper entitled, “Eliza Lynn Linton’s (Anti)Feminism Across Genres,” at the annual Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Conference in Freiburg, Germany, in July 2017 after receiving grants from RSVP, the School of Graduate StudiesUMKC Women’s Council, the Women and Gender Studies Department, the English Department, and the History Department. She is working on an article about Linton and her article “Journalistic Activism: Lucile Bluford’s Fight for Rights in The Kansas City Call” is awaiting publication on the website “Profiles in Kansas City Activism” in partnership with Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  Kristina teaches History 102 online at UMKC.

Paula Hayward

Paula Hayward is a graduate student pursuing her MA in History. Originally from Kansas City, she received her BA in History with honors from Missouri Western State University in 2018. Her research interests include Anglo-Norman England, focusing on power and identity within the varying levels of society created by the Norman Conquest. She is particularly interested in exploring forest law and its effect not only on society but on the landscape. She currently serves as a graduate teaching assistant for U.S. History from 1877.

Brooke Leisinger

Brooke Leisinger is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts degree in History with a Public History emphasis. She graduated with a BA in History and Women & Gender Studies from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri in 2014. Her research focuses on Midwestern LGBT history. She currently works as a Collection Cataloger for the National Museum of Toys & Miniatures.

Emma Priesendorf

Emma Priesendorf is a graduate student pursuing her MA in History. A Kansas City native, she graduated summa cum laude from Rockhurst University with a BA in History in 2015. Her senior capstone project titled “Paracelsianism and the Theoretical Foundation for Chemical Medicine” was one of five papers nationwide chosen for publication in History Matters: An Undergraduate Journal of Historical Research. She continues to study the history of science, more recently presenting her paper “The Outlaw Antiquarian: Richard Verstegan and the Transformation of the English Origin Story” at the Midwest Junto for the History of Science. Her current research focuses on paleontology in nineteenth-century America. She worked at the Museum at Prairiefire and the National WWI Museum and Memorial before coming to graduate school. Currently, she is a graduate teaching assistant for History 102 at UMKC.

Matthew Reeves

Matt Reeves is a doctoral candidate at UMKC and special collections librarian at the Kansas City Public Library. His MA thesis examined how nineteenth-century physicians used newspaper advertising as a space to create contested professional identities, while his current doctoral project explores the early years of osteopathic medicine. In addition to his work on campus as a graduate teaching assistant, Reeves was an inaugural member of the UMKC HistoryMakers project, a public history initiative that places graduate students with public and private cultural institutions throughout the Kansas City metro. Reeves has also worked as a project manager and content developer for Eisterhold Associates, a nationally-known museum design firm, and was a guest curator for a major exhibit at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.

Michael Spachek

Michael Spachek is a graduate student seeking a Master of Arts degree in History with an emphasis in Public History. He is from Wichita, Kansas and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in History from Kansas State University. While there, he worked as an intern for the Chapman Center for Rural Studies under the guidance of Dr. M.J. Morgan and Dr. Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, completing three articles and an archival project while also serving as an assistant curator for the “Going Home” exhibit in partnership with the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas. He is an environmental historian whose research interests include riverine ecosystems, land and water use, conservation, and the Missouri River. His career goals include museum curation and educating the public on environmental topics. His articles “Animals for Profit: The Ecological and Economic Causes of the War on Coyotes in Kansas from 1890 to 1899”, “The People’s Blacksmith John Crisp and the Rural Farmers of Rock Creek Township: Chalk Mound, Wabaunsee County, Kansas, 1850 to 1950”, and “Tracking Success of African American Landowners in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, Circa 1900: A Case Study of African American Farmers at the Turn of the Century” are available online through the Chapman Center’s online archive.  

Debra K. Taylor

Debra K. Taylor is an historical sociologist interested in social stratification, most specifically, stratification brought about by the social constructs revolving around “race” and ethnicity.  Her current doctoral research is an examination of modern-day murals and monuments as remembrances of the American Civil War, in which she analyzes which groups are “remembered” and which are “forgotten.” Taylor has taught various courses in the social sciences, including American History 1865 to present. Born and raised locally, Debra completed her BA in Liberal Arts and her MA in Sociology at UMKC.

Recent Graduates

Alex Banks

Alex Banks is a 2019 graduate of the Public History master’s program at UMKC. Alex graduated from Truman State University with a BA in History with departmental honors. He is currently interested in European (more specifically German) imperialism in Africa in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More broadly, however, Alex is interested in modern European diplomatic history, ranging from the second half of the seventeenth century to the first half of the twentieth. 

Kathryn B. Carpenter

Kathryn B. Carpenter graduated with an MA in History in 2019. Her research interests include health and the environment, the American West, public land use, women and gender, and the history of science and technology. She is also interested in digital and public humanities. In 2017, Kathryn worked as a curator on the traveling exhibit Making History: Kansas City and the rise of Gay Rights, and designed and produced an accompanying digital exhibit. Kathryn was born in California and grew up in Spokane, Washington. She received her Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and worked as a reporter, copy editor, and freelance designer before returning to school. Twitter: @katebcarp

Seán Thomas Kane

Seán Thomas Kane completed his MA in History in 2019. Mr. Kane was born in Chicago and earned his BA at Rockhurst University in History and Theology in 2015. While at Rockhurst, Mr. Kane was Senior Editor of the 2015 edition of The Rockhurst Review. He earned his first MA in International Relations and Democratic Politics at the University of Westminster in 2016, where he specialized in the politicization of national identity in Ireland, Wales, and Australia and in the issue of democratic legitimacy in the European Parliament. Beyond academia, he is the author of three books – The Adventures of Horatio Woosencraft and Other Stories, Travels in Time Across Europe (both 2017), and Erasmus Plumwood (2018) – and is currently working on a number of other literary projects.

Sarah Rucker

Sarah Rucker graduated with her MA in History in 2019. A native of Ohio, she earned her undergraduate degree with honors at Ohio University in 2011. Her research focuses on the Cold War with an emphasis on the impact of international opinion on advancements in Civil Rights in the United States during the Cold War’s infancy, television news media’s influence on public opinion and Washington elites during the Vietnam War, and U.S. involvement in newly developing nations following decolonization after World War II.

Elizabeth Young

Elizabeth Young earned her MA in History in 2019. Her interests include Anglo-Norman power dynamics and colonization, the Crusade movement in Anglo-Norman England, and the use of religious propaganda. Ms. Young is a Missouri native. She received her bachelor’s degree in History and French from Missouri Western State University in 2016.

UMKC History iPhD K. David Hanzlick publishes book with U. MO Press

Congratulations to K. David Hanzlick, alumnus of the History iPhD program, on the publication of his book, Benevolence, Moral Reform, Equality: Women’s Activism in Kansas City, 1870-1940, with the University of Missouri Press.

Hanzlick BookHanzlick traces the rise and evolution of women’s activism in a rapidly growing, Midwestern border city, one deeply scarred by the Civil War and struggling to determine its meaning. Over the course of 70 years, women in Kansas City emerged from the domestic sphere by forming and working in female-led organizations to provide charitable relief, reform society’s ills, and ultimately claim space for themselves as full participants in the American polity. Focusing on the social construction of gender, class, and race, and the influence of political philosophy in shaping responses to poverty, Hanzlick also considers the ways in which city politics shaped the interactions of local activist women with national women’s groups and male-led organizations.

K. David Hanzlick is Director of Program and Development for Sheffield Place, a treatment and transitional living program for homeless mothers and children. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Rockhurst University and the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs at Park University.

New UMKC Guest Professor studies German Aristocrats in the Modern World

Tryg Has-Ellison newsThe University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce that Dr. John Trygve “Tryg” Has-Ellison will be serving as a Guest Professor for the 2018-19 academic year.

Dr. Has-Ellison is the current Non-Immigrant Visa Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. Prior to this post, he was Vice-Consul in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Desk Officer for European Issues of Congressional interest in Washington D.C. His visiting appointment at UMKC coincides with his participation in the Command and General Staff Officers Course at Ft. Leavenworth, KS. Continue reading

History Department Wins Chancellor’s Community Engagement Award

The Department of History has been named the 2019 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement in recognition of its efforts to make engagement with the community a central aspect of its approach to student learning and scholarship. In his award letter, Chancellor Agrawal commended the department for “exemplifying the very best of UMKC’s values.”

The department has worked to establish relationships with cultural institutions and communities locally, regionally, and internationally and to produce and share historical knowledge. The department’s community outreach initiatives include, but are not limited to, partnering with local institutions on public programming for a variety of audiences; helping to disseminate the history of African American, German, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities among many others both in Kansas City and Missouri and more broadly; and generating new historical research about the region through public symposia and edited volumes.

History Department students and faculty will be honored at the Leaders in Learning Faculty Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. More information about the department’s work is available on its public engagement and community partners pages.

Current Events at the History Department

Austin Williams, “The Ordinance Project: Commemorating Kansas City’s LGBT Landmark”

09/07/2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – On June 3, 1993, the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri added “sexual orientation” to its civil rights ordinance. The Ordinance Project seeks to capture the stories of Kansas City activists, community organizers, and politicians directly involved in fighting for the passage of this anti-discrimination legislation in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Film director […]

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“Belle da Costa Greene: A Medievalist Luminary and the Shadow of White Nationalism”

02/11/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Speaker: Sierra Lomuto, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of English Macalester College This lecture is part of a lecture series launched by the UMKC Medieval and Early Modern Studies program designed to reveal the true histories and explore the connections between contemporary issues and medieval concepts of race, gender and identity. Additional information on the series may be found […]

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Career Development Workshop for Humanities Graduate Students

10/04/2018 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm – Have you ever wondered how you’re going to build a rewarding career after graduation? Or what to do if you’re applying for an exciting job where your skills would work great, but you must help the potential employer make a few connections to see the fit? Graduate students in the humanities acquire many marketable skills […]

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Channy Laux, Short Hair Detention

Channy Chhi Laux, Short Hair Detention: Memoir of a Thirteen-Year-Old Girl Surviving the Cambodian Genocide

04/06/2018 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – In four short years from 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge killed an estimated two million Cambodian people. Surviving this genocide as a thirteen-year old, Channy Laux found safety as a refugee in Lincoln, Nebraska. After a successful career as an engineer in Silicon Valley, she is now breaking decades of personal silence with a […]

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Chatting with the Live-in Curator

02/26/2019 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Humanities graduate students, join us on Tuesday, February 26, for an informal networking event at the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site (3616 Belleview Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111). You will have the opportunity to discuss museum careers with live-in site administrator Steve Sitton. Steve Sitton has been at the Benton Home […]

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Edward E. Baptist, White Predators, Free States: From the Fugitive Slave Act to George Zimmerman

04/05/2018 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Edward E. Baptist, a historian of capitalism and slavery in the United States, is the author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism and Creating an Old South. His work highlights the central importance of slavery to the economic development of the United States. The discomfort caused by […]

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Fall 2018 History Student Conference

12/14/2018 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm – On Friday, December 14, the History Department will hold its fall semester student conference in the Miller Nichols Library, Room 325, from 8:30 am to 5 pm. Stop by to hear about the kinds of research projects that History graduate and undergraduate students have undertaken in their capstone courses. Undergraduate students will present in the […]

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Fall 2019 Welcome Back Event

10/01/2019 @ 11:30 am – 1:30 pm – The History Department will host a welcome back event on Tuesday, October 1, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in 215 Cockefair Hall. All students, regardless of major, are welcome to stop by, have a slice of pizza, and pick up a copy of our Spring 2020 course descriptions. We also will be unveiling our […]

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First Fridays: Lecture Series in New Historical Research

12/01/2017 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Latinxs in the Heartland:  The Political Economy of Placemaking Alejandro Garay-Huaman, Ph.D. candidate in Economics and Graduate Research Assistant at the Latinx and Latin American Studies Program, and Dr. Clara Irazábal-Zurita, Professor of Planning, and Director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies Program, UMKC The relationship between the processes of global capitalist accumulation and […]

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“Gender and Sexuality: How Medieval Are We Still?”

05/16/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Speakers: Virginia Blanton, Ph.D., Professor of English; Kathy Krause, Ph.D., Professor of French; and Linda Mitchell, Ph.D., Martha Jane Phillips Starr Missouri Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, UMKC. This lecture is part of a lecture series launched by the UMKC Medieval and Early Modern Studies program designed to reveal the true histories and explore the […]

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Fitzgerald Poster News

Gerard J. Fitzgerald, “Harvest For War”: CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANE

10/12/2018 @ All Day – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO NATURAL CATASTROPHE; IT WILL BE RESCHEDULED. Gas warfare came to personify, for many, the darkest and most sinister scientific legacy of World War I. The 1.3 million casualties and more than 90,000 combat deaths, not to mention the mass production and successful battlefield use of thousands of tons […]

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Graduate Student and Faculty Pizza Party

08/14/2019 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm – History graduate students, join us on Wednesday, August 14, for a back-to-school pizza party. You’ll have a chance to get to know your professors and other students outside of the classroom. At 5 pm, AHA Career Development Fellow Matthew Reeves will introduce the department’s Career Development Program. Hope to see you there!

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Sandra Enriquez, “Dreams of Our Mothers: Mexican American Grassroots Activism and the Creation of La Fe Clinic in South El Paso, Texas”

02/02/2018 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – In 1967, an unfortunate accident resulting in the death of a young girl rallied the community of South El Paso to bring accessible and quality healthcare to the area. In the midst of the Chicana/o Movement, a group of single mothers and grandmothers, organized the community of South El Paso to bring affordable care to […]

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FF Andrew Hurley Talk 03.18

Andrew Hurley, “Placing the Past in Community Landscapes: Insights from St. Louis”

03/02/2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Over the past fifty years, many urban neighborhoods in the United States have seized upon history and heritage as a means of projecting a distinctive identity, strengthening community pride, and stimulating economic revitalization.  Officially authorized mechanisms of commemoration and preservation, however, fail to accommodate the myriad ways in which different communities assign historical importance and […]

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Introduction to WordPress Workshop

11/14/2018 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Ever thought about starting your own blog? Or creating a virtual presence for your book, company, issue, or organization? For the past seven years, Professor Drew Bergerson has run a WordPress site focusing on a collection of letters from two ordinary Germans between 1938 and 1947. He will offer a basic introductory workshop on how […]

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Jonathan Casey on The World Remembers

04/05/2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – On Friday, April 5, Jonathan Casey, Director of the Archives and Edward Jones Research Center at the National WWI Museum, will discuss The World Remembers, an international public memory project attempting to compile as many fatalities from all combatant nations in World War I as possible. The project is based in Toronto, Canada, and was […]

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Marjorie J. Spruill, “Women’s Rights, Family Values, and the Polarization of American Politics”

04/11/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – On Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 pm, historian Marjorie J. Spruill will deliver the annual Richard D. McKinzie Lecture. Her talk, “Women’s Rights, Family Values, and the Polarization of American Politics,” will take place at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO). This event is free and […]

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Memorializing Mass Atrocities with Public Art: A Conversation with Luigi Toscano

10/04/2019 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – How should we memorialize mass atrocities? What role does public art play in the creation of critical memory cultures? Kansas City is the latest in a series of international cities to host the art exhibit and international Holocaust remembrance project Lest We Forget, a series of life-sized portraits of Holocaust survivors from around the world. […]

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Office Hours with the AHA’s Emily Swafford

09/05/2019 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm – Graduate students, come by Cockefair 215, have a piece of pizza, and help the department welcome Dr. Emily Swafford. This informal reception offers a valuable opportunity to learn more about the Career Development program and to speak with an expert on the variety of career paths open to professional historians. Drop-in visits are welcome! About […]

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Lynda Payne, “The Illustrated Travel Journals of the Surgeon Charles Bell (1774-1842)”

09/17/2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Come hear Professor Lynda Payne present on the nineteenth-century artistic travel journals of the surgeon Charles Bell at the Clendening Library at KU Medical Center (as part of the Ralph Hermon Major Luncheon Seminar Series) on Monday 17. September at noon. Bell’s works range from sketches of the wounded he operated on after the Battle of Waterloo to landscapes and […]

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Quintard Taylor Talk news

Quintard Taylor, Quindaro: The Coming of Freedom in the Decade of Civil War

04/19/2018 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – The symposium “Strength through Numbers” will begin with a keynote address by University of Washington historian Quintard Taylor. Quindaro, Kansas was a port town founded in 1857 as a safe harbor for free-state migrants and escaped slaves, after pro-slavery residents blockaded all other ports on the Missouri River. The community was home to Native Americans, whites, […]

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“She Nourishes Them According to Her Religion: Interfaith Marriage, Conversion, and Transmission of Culture in the Medieval Islamic World”

03/07/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Speaker: Janina Safran, Ph.D., Associate Professor Department of History Pennsylvania State University Co-sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library. Additional funding provided by the UMKC College of Arts & Sciences, the Departments of English, Foreign Langs & Lits, Sociology & Classics, LatinX, WGSS programs. This lecture is part of a lecture series launched by the UMKC […]

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Showing of Documentary Film “Big Sonia” at UMKC

09/23/2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – The University of Missouri-Kansas City will host two on-campus events in conjunction with Lest We Forget, an international Holocaust remembrance project. Lest We Forget is an art exhibit by German-Italian photographer and filmmaker Luigi Toscano, hosted by the National WWI Museum and Memorial and sponsored by Goethe Pop Up Kansas City as part of its […]

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Steve Sitton, “Truth in Interpretation”

03/01/2019 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Museums and nature centers are some of the most trusted organizations in American society. What can interpreters do to preserve that trust, yet still discuss difficult topics and conflicting conclusions? Steve Sitton, the administrator of the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site, will discuss why it is so important for the custodians […]

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strength through numbers news

“Strength through Numbers” Symposium on Quindaro, KS

04/20/2018 – 04/21/2018 @ All Day – The symposium “Strength through Numbers” will contribute to the process of designating the ruins of the Quindaro townsite as a National Historic Landmark. Quindaro, Kansas was a port town founded in 1857 as a safe harbor for free-state migrants and escaped slaves, after pro-slavery residents blockaded all other ports on the Missouri River. The community was […]

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Transkribus Workshop

05/14/2019 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Scholarship in the humanities often involves the painstaking work of reading and transcribing historical manuscripts. In the digital age, archivists, librarians, professors, and students have all dreamed of technologies that could not only scan but transcribe the full text of handwritten sources. Handwritten Text Recognition is now available and easily accessible. Transkribus allows users to […]

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Has-Ellison Aristocrats News

Dr. Trygve Has-Ellison, “Janus-faced Modernity: German Nobles and the Shaping of Fin-de-siècle Artistic Modernism 1890-1914”

11/02/2018 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm – How did the nobility – a politically and socially traditionalist cultural formation – produce members of their caste who embraced artistic modernism? Membership in the aristocracy does not preclude having individual tastes and interests; and aristocrats have been coopting new trends and ideas since the Renaissance. But modernists in German-speaking Central Europe went to great […]

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Walk-in Advising Hours

11/27/2018 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm – Not sure what classes to sign up for in the spring? Want to confirm that you are on track to graduate? Thinking of becoming a History major or adding a History minor? Then stop by the History Department between 11 am and 2 pm on Tuesday, November 27, for walk-in advising hours! The History Department’s […]

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“White Supremacy and the Alt-Right’s Middle Ages”

04/12/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Speaker: Cord Whitaker, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, Wellesley College This lecture is part of a lecture series launched by the UMKC Medieval and Early Modern Studies program designed to reveal the true histories and explore the connections between contemporary issues and medieval concepts of race, gender and identity.  Additional information on the series may be found […]

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Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era

01/09/2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm – On Wednesday, January 9, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library (4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112), Diane Mutti Burke, John Herron, and Jason Roe will discuss their edited volume, Wide-Open Town: Kansas City in the Pendergast Era.   During the 1920s and 1930s, Kansas City was ruled by political boss […]

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Inscribing Yourself into a Nazi Future: Love Letters in the Third Reich

Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann, Marlis Buchholz, Bianca Roitsch, Karl H. Schneider, Christiane Schröder, Hrsg. Der Ort der “Volksgemeinschaft” in der deutschen Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöning, 2018. https://www.schoeningh.de/katalog/titel/978-3-506-78648-7.htmlSince 2011, Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Professor of History & Public Humanities, has been one of the lead researchers for a project called Trug&Schein. It uses the correspondence of an ordinary German couple, Hilde Laube and Roland Nordhoff, to facilitate public engagement with everyday life over the course of the Second World War. Continue reading

HistoryMakers Internship Program

Get working on the past in the present.

The UMKC HistoryMakers Internship Program grants graduate students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills at one of the many historical and cultural institutions in the Kansas City region. HistoryMakers offers paid and unpaid internship opportunities on a year or semester basis.

In addition, it is often possible to intern with members of our faculty and work with them on one of their current projects.

Interns must have completed certain prerequisite courses. For more information about interning through HistoryMakers, contact Dr. Sandra Enríquez, Director of the Public History emphasis in our MA program.

Six MA Students in the UMKC History Department win National Council on Public History Award for Student Project

Making History MHC with AudienceThe UMKC Department of History is proud to announce that six graduate students in the Master of Arts in History with a Public History Emphasis program have been awarded the National Council on Public History’s Student Project Prize for their project, Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights. The UMKC students receiving the award are: Taylor Bye, Kathryn Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts.

The award is given to “an outstanding public history student project initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history.” Continue reading

Marc Reyes History Alum (MA 2014) wins Fulbright Award

Marc Reyes smOur hearty congratulations go to UMKC History Alum (MA 2014) Marc Reyes! Marc has been awarded a Fulbright Award to support his doctoral research in India. The title of his research is: “In the Circle of Great Powers: India, the United States, and the Postcolonial Atomic State, 1947-1974.” Marc is currently a PhD student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Connecticut. You do us proud, Marc!

Master’s Program Admissions

Requirements:

  • A BA in History or a related field
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Please note that GRE scores are not required.

Deadlines:

  • To be considered for financial aid, applications for Fall admission must be received by February 1st .
  • All applications must be complete at least six weeks prior to the desired semester of admission.

Application Process:

All UMKC applications for History graduate programs must be submitted online through the UMKC Admissions Office. Early applications are highly encouraged, but applications will be accepted and reviewed continuously.

As part of the online application, all applicants must submit the following:

  • A two-page statement of purpose that explains your academic and professional goals, describes your academic interests, and presents relevant academic and work-related activities.
  • A sample of your academic writing (minimum 15 pages).
  • Three letters of recommendation. Letters should be on official letterhead.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm the receipt of all materials.

Additional Contact Information:

  • Email: history@umkc.edu
  • Fax: 816-235-5723 (Please include cover sheet and number all pages.)
  • Mail: UMKC History MA Committee, Cockefair Hall 203, 5121 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110

Meet Our Students

History students at UMKC come together from all over the country. Get to know our students and you’ll know what the College is all about.


Ryan Nash SmRyan Nash, class of 2019, is a UMKC student double majoring in History and Chemistry.

Ryan believes that a better understanding of history leads to a better understanding of humanity.

Why did you choose to become a history major at UMKC?

“Despite continued advances in technology, human nature often doesn’t change with it; by understanding the motives, the sacrifices, and the important events in history, we are better positioned to make informed decisions in our lives, the voting booth, and our positions of employment and community.”

What words do you live by?

“Franklin D. Roosevelt famously stated, ‘Those who have long enjoyed the privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men died to win them.’ This quote inspires me to volunteer at veterans’ events, and continually reminds me that not only do we have great, unique lives and liberties, but that men overcame insurmountable odds to achieve them.  This inspires me to challenge myself and not to quit in the face of difficult odds.”

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a history professor?

“Pursue your passions despite adversity.  In school and in life, you are faced with impediments and resistance, but pursuit of your true interests leads to your best work and often can overcome even the greatest adversity.”

Organizations

Numerous organizations offer history students and professors opportunities for engagement with like-minded scholars, teachers, and public history professionals.

Academic organizations typically:

  • sponsor conferences that feature panels and presentations on research and teaching, and
  • provide settings for professional networking.

Some of the most popular academic organizations for UMKC historians include:

The American Historical Association

The AHA is the largest professional organization, serving historians in all fields and all professions. The AHA is a trusted voice advocating for history education, the professional work of historians, and the role of historical thinking in public life.  Its journal, The American Historical Review, is published quarterly.

The Organization of American Historians

The OAH is the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history. The mission of the organization is to promote excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history.  Its journal, The Journal of American History, is published quarterly.

The National Council on Public History

The NCPH inspires public engagement with the past.  It especially serves the needs of historical consultants, museum professionals, government historians, archivists, oral historians, film and media producers, and other practitioners who seek to engage the wider public in historical inquiry.

Phi Alpha Theta

ΦΑΘ is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history in all fields.  The society has more than 400,000 members nationwide.  It convenes regional conferences and an annual national meeting, and publishes the journal The Historian.  You may join the UMKC chapter through the RooGroups portal on the UMKC Student Government Organizations web site.

UMKC History Club

The UMKC History Club is open to undergraduate history majors and minors as well as honorary history buffs.  It is a social group looking for fun ways to indulge its members’ love of the past.  It is also a place where students exchange notes on history courses, graduate schools, and careers.  You may join the UMKC History Club through the RooGroups portal on the UMKC Student Government Organizations web site.

UMKC History Graduate Student Association
The UMKC History Graduate Student Association is open to MA and PhD history students. It is both a social and an academic organization that provides members with a sense of community and a source of professional and academic support. You may join the HGSA through the RooGroups portal on the UMKC Student Government Organizations web site.

In addition to the associations listed here, there are many others in many other fields—disciplinary or interdisciplinary in nature and on a regional, national, and international basis.

UMKC students are encouraged to identify and join appropriate associations in the academic subfields of their scholarship. They typically offer a student rate for membership.

Drs. Matt Osborn & Makini King interviewed on Fox4 & KCTV5 in Blackface Debate

Blackface refers to the cultural practice of covering the face of a white (or black) performer to create a caricature of a black person. Although usually associated with nineteenth-century minstrel shows, blackface can still be found today both in theatrical performances and sometimes also in Halloween costumes.

The debate about the racist implications of blackface continues today. In national news, the NBC “Today” host Megyn Kelly’s show was cancelled following her on-air remarks expressing acceptance of blackface. In local news, a registered nurse at St. Luke’s was fired after she posted pictures of herself and a friend on facebook in blackface.

UMKC Professor Matthew W. Osborn and UMKC Diversity Director Makini King were interviewed on 30 October 2018 for local television about the history, politics, and ethics of blackface. Their comments aired at 5 PM on KCTV5 and Fox4.

Public Engagement

We make use of the rich history available to us here in Kansas City.

Through our public programming, UMKC faculty and students help facilitate connections and conversations among scholars, students, K-12 educators, historical and cultural institutions, and the public.  Our diverse communities here in Kansas City serve as our bridges to a wider world.

Some of our programs have included:

Richard D. McKinzie Lecture Series
This annual lecture brings notable historians to the Kansas City Public Library to deliver lectures on aspects of American History with contemporary significance.  Past McKinzie speakers have included David Kennedy, Steven Hahn, David Blight, Leon Litwack, Daniel Walker Howe, Bruce Schulman, Stephanie McCurry, Stephen Aaron, and many others.

Crossroads of Conflict
Thanks to grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Landmarks of American History and Culture, the CMS has hosted the summer workshop Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom and the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars five times. This workshop brings K-12 teachers from across the country to spend a week interacting with historians and exploring historic sites throughout the region in order to enhance their understanding of the clash of cultures and differing definitions of “freedom” that played out on the Missouri-Kansas border during the era of the Civil War.

The Border Wars Project
In 2011, the CMS co-organized and co-sponsored the successful Border Wars Project with the Kansas City Public Library and the University of Kansas Hall Center for the Humanities. Additional support for the project came from Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the Barton P. and Mary D. Cohen Charitable Trust, and UMKC. An academic workshop on the border wars produced a public conference at the Kansas City Public Library and an edited volume: Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Western Border.  The book was named a “Best Read” of 2013 by the Kansas City Star and a 2014 Notable Book by the Kansas State Library. Many of the Border Wars scholars went on to work with the Kansas City Public Library on their multiple award winning Civil War on the Western Border website.

Wide Open Town Project
Modeled after the Border Wars project, the CMS and the Kansas City Public Library co-organized and co-sponsored the Wide Open Town Project in 2015 focusing on the history of Kansas City during the Pendergast Era (1920s-1930s). The project was co-organized and co-sponsored by the Center for Midwestern Studies and the Kansas City Public Library.  UMKC, the Missouri Humanities Council, and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area provided additional funding. A roundtable workshop for academics again led to a large public conference at the KCPL, an edited collection from the University Press of Kansas (2018), and the KCPL’s Pendergast Years website.

Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights
This 2017 traveling exhibit and website, Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights, documents the history of the first national meeting of LBGT activists in Kansas City in 1967.  The exhibit was researched and created by UMKC Public History students in cooperation with GLAMA and the LaBudde Special Collections.  The project was funded by Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Love in the Age of Hitler
Andrew Bergerson, K. Scott Baker, and Deborah Parker co-authored a new historical play, Love in the Age of Hitler: A Courtship in Letters, 1938-1940, based on the courtship letters of two ordinary Germans who fell in love during the era of the Third Reich.  These letters are transcribed on the Trug und Schein website. Scholars provided the audience with a framework for how to think critically about the play through a series of 6 YouTube lectures. The play was staged twice at UMKC in May-June 2017 and was followed by a one-day public workshop in which the audience, actors, and scholars had the opportunity to discuss the play and the letters in breakout sessions. The project was support by a number of community partners including the Missouri Humanities Council and the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education.

Interpreting Slavery Workshop for Museum Educators
 This day-long 2015 workshop, Interpreting Slavery Workshop for Museum Educators, provided tools to museum and historic site educators to help improve the interpretation of the history of slavery at their sites.  The program was co-organized and  co-sponsored by the Center for Midwestern Studies, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, and the Wornall-Majors House Museums. Additional funding was provided by the Kansas Humanities Council and the Missouri Humanities Council.

Our Department is also the proud host for the Center for Midwestern Studies: an intellectual hub for cultural organizations, K-12 educators, students, and members of the public interested in the history and culture of our region. Its mission is to encourage and disseminate innovative research, teaching, and public programming about the American Midwest

Public Programs

At UMKC, we bring history into our communities and help our communities to write their own histories.

Our faculty and students partner with a wide range of local museums and humanities agencies in the Kansas City metropolitan area to provide quality public programming, including continuing education opportunities for K-12 teachers and public history professionals.

Students work together with members of the faculty on exciting new initiatives in the digital humanities that connect us to communities around the world. Through oral history projects, UMKC history students learn valuable skills: to ask, to listen, and to tell the stories of others. Many also intern at local institutions as part of the UMKC HistoryMakers program.

Research Methods

Research stands at the core of everything we do as historians.

Students sometimes get overwhelmed when they begin to recognize the difficulty in making truthful claims about the past. But there are many resources available to you to learn the tools of the historian’s trade.

We recommend the fabulous resources created by the Research Librarians at Miller-Nichols Library:

  • General guides to research,
  • Guides to proper citations, including explanations of plagiarism and software that can make citations easier for you, and
  • Subject-specific Library Guides, including twelve specific LibGuides for fields in history, that can help you navigate the digital resources for finding primary and secondary sources.

There is not a scholar among us who has not struggled with the writing process: that challenge is part and parcel of learning to become a historian. But there are tools available to help you at the Writing Studio—another great, free resource at UMKC. And should you be ready to share your research with others, do not forget to consider questions of copyright.

Student Resources

Departmental Forms & Resources for History Students

Course Projection Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet lists the undergraduate and graduate courses likely to be taught by history faculty between Summer 2019 and Spring 2023. It is provided to help current and prospective students plan their degree.

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

College Forms & Resources for Students

The College of Arts and Sciences has a comprehensive list of academic and campus related student resources and forms.

CAS Student Resources and Forms

Student Research

New Histories Researched and Written by UMKC Students and Alumni

2019

Undergraduate Theses

Chicoine, Joshua, “The Dawn of Bronze: Kurgan, Hyksos, and the Rise of the New Kingdom in Egypt,” 2019.

Cline, Taylor, “The Militarization of the Dark Knight: Batman, the Police and Urban Decay in 1980’s America,” 2019.

Dungan, Savannah, “Our Social Construction and the Making of a Serial Murder,” 2019.

Garland, Cameron, “Opportunities Caused by the Great Fire of London,” 2019.

Greene, Alexander, “The Occult Nature of Language and Race,” 2019.

Gutierrez, Jonny, “Mendez vs. Westminster: The Unsung Case,” 2019.

Holliman, Jacob, “Missing Pages: What is in the missing pages of Darwin’s Transmutation Notebooks and what was he thinking?,” 2019.

Jennings, Jacob, “Unmaking Maya: Deconstructing the Illusion of the Thuggee Death Cult,” 2019.

Kovar, Carolyn, “Working Between the Lines; the Failure of Section 235 and the Role of the Government in Undermining Residential Integration in the 1970s,” 2019.

Lopez, Anthony, “The New Sun: Understanding Transition through Media,” 2019.

Maxwell, Joshua, “Early 1900s Black Migration to Kansas City and its Impact on Segregation and Suburbs,” 2019.

Noe, Emily, “Bloody Fanaticism vs. Virgin Tolerance: The Role the Religious Policies of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor Played in Forming Their Subsequent Reputations,” 2019.

Ouellette, Taryn, “Branching Out From Balanchine: The Americanization of Ballet in the United States during the Mid-Twentieth Century,” 2019.

Samaniego, Dana, “The Impact of American Drug Policies on the Methamphetamine Crisis,” 2019.

Schaible, James, “How Twentieth Century Urban Development Changed and Divided Kansas City,” 2019.

Trafton, Elizabeth, “English Gentleman: Soviet Spies Kim Philby’s and Guy Burgess’ Representation in British Popular Media,” 2019.

Usman, Ambroshia, “The African American Experience in Kansas City: How Racial Residential Segregation Negatively Affected African Americans,” 2019.

Walker, Tiffany, “Thomas J. Pendergast and the Pendergast Machine: How the Corruption of the Pendergast Machine Negatively Impacted the Kansas City Residents,” 2019.

Ward, Haley, “Race, Religion, Patriotism: How Missouri Newspapers Portrayed Barack Obama During the 2008 Presidential Election,” 2019.

Weis, Sam, “From Manly Heros, to Economic Stimulant: U.S. Soldiers in the Korean War,” 2019.

Williams, Leeann, “Analysis of the 1943 Bengal Famine,” 2019.

Zuniga, Andrew, “Emotional and Physical Responses to the Great Plague of 1665-1666 in England,” 2019.

MA Theses

Banks, Alexander, “Stories Untold: The Midwest Center for Holocaust Education’s Testimony Collection Practices,” 2019.

Carpenter, Kathryn, “Access to Nature, Access to Health: The Government Free Bathhouse at Hot Springs National Park, 1877 to 1922,” 2019.

Cline, Randi, The Work and the Glory: Historical Fiction and Cultural Narrative in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” 2019.

Foyer, Jean-Charles, “La France au bord de l’Amérique (France on the edge of America): Saint Pierre and Miquelon in the Twentieth Century,” 2019.

Gipple, Justin, “Pursuing a United Memory: Harry Truman’s Construction of a Collective Memory of the Western Hemisphere,” 2019.

Kane, Seán, “Margaret Roper and Mary Basset: The Influence of Christian Humanism on the Education of Thomas More’s Daughter and Granddaughter,” 2019.

Lyle, Kylie Elizabeth, “Living in Fear: An Analysis of Writings by Elizabeth Tudor, 1544-1565,” 2019.

Rucker, Sarah, “The United States of Embarrassment: How Concerns about the World’s View of America Propelled Justice Department Action in Civil Rights,” 2019.

Young, Elizabeth, “O, Beastly Jew!: Allegorical Anti-Judaism in Thirteenth Century English Bestiaries,” 2019.

Alumni Publications

Poston, Brook, James Monroe: A Republican Champion, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019.

Spring 2019 Capstone Program

2018

Undergraduate Theses

Albright, Hunter, “You Came Here Seeking Freedom: World War I Propaganda Posters and Jewish American Identity,” 2018.

Anderson, Nick, “The Plebian Influence on the Marian Reforms,” 2018.

Bilyeu, Zachary, “Survive! Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One as a Reflection on 1970s America,” 2018.

Burton, Sarah, “The Dependents: Women on Their Own in 18th Century London,” 2018.

Culp, Brittany, “The Humanist Influence: Opposition and Affirmation among Preachers in Renaissance Florence,” 2018.

Erikson, Holly, “The Vestal Virgins: An Analysis of the Influence and Power of Female Religious Figures in Ancient Rome,” 2018.

Fanciullo, Jordon, “Imperial Virtus: A Numismatic Study of Emperor Hadrian’s Coinage and Representations of Roman Gender Dynamics,” 2018.

Freiermuth, Samuel, “Facing the Iron Brigade: 10 Years of Conflict and Its Effect on the Kansas Militia,” 2018.

Fulbright, David, “Florentine Historians’ Depictions of the Guelph-Ghibelline Conflict,” 2018.

Greenberg, Matthew, “Huey Long and Anti-Semitism: How Huey Long Masked His Anti-Semitic Views through Anti Banking Rhetoric,” 2018.

Griffin, Ashley, “Prosperity of the 1930s & 1940s: The Success of Nelly Don & the Donnelly Garment Company,” 2018.

Hanson, John, “The Rise of Charter Schools in Kansas City,” 2018.

Holman, Chris, “‘Get Down, You Damn Fool!’ The Birth of the Sniper: How the Whitworth Rifle Helped to Change the Battle Field Forever,” 2018.

Juknevicius, Gaile, “Trimming Down Anglo-Norman History: How the Rise of the Irish Anglo-Norman Aristocracy Was Reflected in the Architecture and Archaeology of Trim Castle in Trim, County Meath, Ireland,” 2018.

Klint, Alyson, “Eugenics—Positive, Negative or Both? The Case of Dr. Florence Sherbon,” 2018.

Laney, Kaija, “Suicide in the Executive Mansion: How the Death of Thomas Reynolds Led to the Creation of Missouri’s First Asylum,” 2018.

Loya, Luis, “The Mexican Urban Experience in Kansas City,” 2018.

Martinez, John, “Winds of Empire: The U.S. Response to Hurricane Disaster in Puerto Rico, 1928,” 2018.

Mason, Andromeda, “Junius Groves: Potato King,” 2018.

Piatt, Joshua, “The Whiskey Rebellion: The First Watershed of Infant American Politics,” 2018.

Prado, Erika, “The Creation of an Icon: The Bolivian Cholita’s Role in Identity Formation In Eighteenth-Century Bolivia,” 2018.

Provo, Zachary, “After Stonewall: Gay Political and Sexual Expression through Dance,” 2018.

Sicola, John, “The Veteran Artist: Max Beckmann,” 2018.

Valdivia, Ray, “Ambrose’s Letters: Blessing and Chastisement,” 2018.

Winkler, Elijah, “Gompers Goes to War: The AFL, the International Workers of the World, and the First World War, 1913-1918,” 2018.

MA Theses

Bye, Taylor, “‘On the Side of Freedom and Loyalty:’ Reconstruction in Western Missouri, 1865-1875,” 2018.

Mika, Joshua Christopher, “Constructing Comanche: Imperialism, Print Culture, and the Creation of the Most Dangerous Indian in Antebellum America,” 2018.

Ploth, Kevin, “When Cultures Collide: How Primitive Masculinity and Class Conflict Derailed the Patrick J. Hurley Diplomatic Mission to China, 1944-1945,” 2018.

PhD Theses

Pingelton, Timothy James, “Three Paths To Religious Integration In Ernest Hemingway’s War Fiction,” 2018.

Alumni Publications

Egli, Rebecca, “‘The World of Our Dreams’: Agricultural Explorers and the Promise of American Science,” PhD diss., University of California, Davis, 2018.

Hanzlick, K. David, Benevolence, Moral Reform, Equality: Women’s Activism in Kansas City, 1870-1940, Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2018.

Fall 2018 Capstone Program

Spring 2018 Capstone Program

2017

Undergraduate Theses

Carmona, Jude, “The History of ‘Hiroshima Is a Lie’: The Dissemination of the Nuclear Weapons Hoax Conspiracy Theory,” 2017.

Hampton, Tyler, “The Influence of Pedagogical Practices on Government in Ancient Sparta and Rome,” 2017.

Olson, Maria, “Wife, Mother, Mistress: The Formation of Identity by English Gentry Women in the Late Medieval Period,” 2017.

Pacubas, Mara, “U.S. MASH Nurses in Korea, 1950-1953,” 2017.

Stenger, David, “A Final Quest Concerning the Rectification of Principles,” 2017.

MA Theses

Brown, Kenan Aaron, “Loving all People Regardless of Race, Creed, or Color”: James L. Delk and the Lost History of Pentecostal Interracialism,” 2017.

Peile, Kaylee M, “Building Bridges: An Anthology of the War on Prostitution and the Greater Women’s Movement in Kansas City,” 2017.

Scheil, Luke Slater, “From Pop Culture to Nuclear Debate: The Impact of The Day After in Lawrence and Kansas City,” 2017.

Smith, Gregory S, “The Laboring Irish: Developing Community and Industry in Early Kansas City,” 2017.

PhD Theses

Davis, Justin Allen, “The Theological Edifice of Modern Experiential Protestantism: Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, and Palmer’s Reconstruction of Nineteenth Century Pietism,” 2017.

Kateusz, Allisyn, “An Inquiry into the Relationship between Community and Text: Narratives and Iconography Depicting Christian Women with Authority in Late Antiquity,” 2017.

Kelley, Tanya, “World to Word: Nomenclature Systems of Color and Species,” 2017.

Smith, Dale Warren, “The Victorian Preacher’s Malady: The Metaphorical Usage of Gout in the Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon,” 2017.

Fall 2017 Capstone Program

UMKC/UMSL offer first Transnational Student Research Course with U. of Hamburg in FS18

During the nineteenth century, large numbers of German migrants settled in the state of Missouri. In this three-credit online course in public history (HIST 400B/5500B), students from the universities of Missouri in Kansas City and St. Louis will collaborate with German peers from the University of Hamburg in researching and writing short interpretive essays on the everyday lives of German migrants before, during, and after their migration.
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Undergraduate History Courses

Spring 2020

HISTORY 101 U.S. History to 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about the early formation of the colonies, the American Revolution, the National Period, slavery, territorial expansion, and the beginnings of industrialization. The clash of cultures that produced the United States and subsequently affected its development will be emphasized. The course will close by examining the Civil War that nearly destroyed the republic and the attempts to mend the nation’s wounds afterwards. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by Mr. Matthew Larson.

HISTORY 102 U.S. History Since 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about industrialization, western migration, imperialism, progressivism, world wars, depression, the cold war, and the emergence of the equal rights movements. The course will close with an examination of the United States on the world stage and the emerging war on terror in the wake of September 11th. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by Ms. Kristina Ellis.

HISTORY 201 European History to 1600

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of Europe from ancient times to 1600. Beginning with a brief description of the riverine civilizations of the ancient Near East, the course then examines the political and cultural evolution of classical Greco-Roman civilization, the medieval world, the rise of the national state, and the essential characteristics of the eras of the Renaissance and Reformation.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello. 

HISTORY 206 World History to 1450

This course surveys the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the world to 1450. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 208 World History since 1450

This introductory course in modern world history focuses on the period from 1450 to the present. It explores themes of global interactions and exchange in terms of economic, social, political, and cultural history. Students will learn about the global past through both secondary and primary sources, and they will learn how to write informed, historical interpretations about that past as a foundation for more advanced work in history and related disciplines.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore. 

HISTORY 300HW Special Topics in World History

Topic: The British Empire Strikes Back
This course examines the British Empire from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It focuses especially on the development of British political and economic interests in Asia and Africa, and the subsequent process of rebellion and decolonization as native populations fought for national self-rule.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: Baseball in US History

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Laura Westhoff (Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis) and Dr. Raymond Doswell (Curator/Education Director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum).

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: U.S. Foreign Relations and Military History
This course surveys the development of American land, sea, air, space, and cyber power from the start of the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on the interrelationship between U.S. foreign and military policies and between diplomacy and force.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Kevin Fernlund (Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis).

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300US through Pathway, but will be taught by Dr. Kevin Fernlund via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300US Special Topics in United States History

Topic: Military History

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Mr. Christopher Johnson.

HISTORY 301WI Historiography and Method

All history majors must take this course, ideally at the beginning of their junior year. Its content includes: 1) what history is; 2) its value and usefulness; 3) the diversity of historical fields, approaches, and methods; and 4) the techniques of preparing and writing history papers.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Lindsay Moore.

HISTORY 307A History of Christianity from the Middles Ages to Present

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from the High Middle Ages to the present. The main themes follow the development of foundational Christian theological thought and practice into what are now mainstream Western Christian theologies, the institutional histories of Western Christianity, and the cultures of Western civilization.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 334 History of Technology

This course examines technology as it shapes and is shaped by human society. Students will consider technology as a product of historically-specific and sometimes overlapping contexts shaped by culture, economics, natural environments, and social processes.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 343 Oral History

This course focuses on the methods, theories, ethics, practices, and applications of tools in documenting and recovering the experiences of people hidden from the “traditional records.” Through lectures, readings, discussions, and fieldwork, students will learn the various steps in developing a robust oral history project. Students will go out into the community to capture the histories of communities in Kansas City.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

HISTORY 356R Kansas City: History of a Regional Metropolis

This course uses Kansas City as an urban laboratory to help students better understand the dynamics of the urbanization process in America. It features lectures and discussions on such subjects as early settlement patterns, the battle for the first bridge over the Missouri River, the development of an economy based on agricultural pursuits, the City Beautiful Movement, the social fabric, the Pendergast Machine, and the impact of World War II and after. The course fits Kansas City into the larger framework of the American urban mosaic.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Mr. Kory Gallagher.

HISTORY 357 The American West

This course deals with the relationship of the American West to the social and economic development of the United States. Major emphasis is placed on the role of the trans-Mississippi West in the economic growth of the national economy. Related cultural and political events are evaluated in the terms of the many Western frontiers. Emphasis will be placed on the Turner thesis, the Indian heritage, frontier violence, and the cow town experience.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Brian Frehner.

HISTORY 375 Successes and Failures in 19th Century America

This course traces the social history and cultural significance of success, failure, and poverty in nineteenth-century America. The class will investigate how diverse Americans made sense of the rapidly growing disparities of wealth that accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Matthew Osborn.

HISTORY 391 Archival Methods

This combined discussion and research course will examine the research potential of primary-source materials in the custody of archival depositories and the methodology employed to utilize effectively these resources. An analysis of archival method, specifically in the areas of arrangement, description and preservation, will be emphasized during the discussion portion of the course.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Ms. Lucinda Adams (Associate Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center) and Ms. Whitney Heinzmann (Archivist at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Kansas City Research Center).

HISTORY 404 Women and Gender in Latin America

This course studies gender in Latin America from the eve of conquest by the Portuguese and Spanish in the fifteenth century to the present. It examines how ideas about gender affected the lives of Latin American men and women. This course additionally analyzes how gender and race contributed to the creation of a hierarchical social order. Finally, it discusses the exercise of authority within and outside households and its impact on private and public spaces.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. Viviana Grieco.

HISTORY 411A Medieval Civilization

This course covers the period between the decline of the Roman Empire in the West and the Investiture Controversy. Topics include the rise of Christianity and early church-state relationships; the barbarian invasions and the various Germanic kingdoms; the age of Charlemagne; monasticism and feudalism. There will also be special sessions on the civilizations of Islam and Byzantium.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello. 

HISTORY 432R Tudor England, 1485-1603

This course covers England from the accession of Henry VII, the first Tudor, to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. Topics to be covered are: transformation of England into a modern state, the Reformation, the role of Parliament, conflicts with European powers, especially Spain, etc.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. David Freeman.

HISTORY 436R Modern German History

This course traces the history of Central Europe from the fall of Bismarck to the reunification of Germany one century later. It will ask students to think critically about the relationship between state and society, elites and ‘ordinary’ Germans, in the various German-speaking regimes that existed over the course of this era: two empires, two interwar republics, two fascist dictatorships, and three post-fascist republics. All assigned readings will be in English; a background knowledge of European history is recommended.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson.

HISTORY 498WI Senior Capstone

This is the capstone course in the department and is required for majors. It consists of tutorial sessions with a regular faculty member and independent research leading to a major paper using original source materials.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Diane Mutti Burke.

Suggested Anchor Courses

ANCHOR 214 European Cultures, Histories & Ideas

Topic: Nazi-Occupied Europe
The Second World War was not just an attempt by the Axis nations to create new military empires in Europe and the world. With the collaboration of many other nations, the Nazis attempted a genocidal war to systematically colonize, relocate, and annihilate entire social groups. In this interdisciplinary course, we will study how attitudes about culture and diversity informed this genocidal war. We will take an intentionally cosmopolitan look at these tragic events, though at the center of them stands Poland, Germany, France, and the annihilation of the Jews.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Andrew Bergerson and Dr. Gayle Levy.

ANCHOR 220: We Shall (All) Overcome

This course examines the fight for civil rights in America in the 20th and 21st centuries in order to emphasize the importance of culture and diversity in American society. Using interdisciplinary methods, the course addresses various local and national movements among the African American, Latino/a, LGBT, and Native American communities, as well as the women’s rights movement.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and Dr. Sandra Enríquez.

Fall 2019

HISTORY 101 U.S. History to 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about the early formation of the colonies, the American Revolution, the National Period, slavery, territorial expansion, and the beginnings of industrialization. The clash of cultures that produced the United States and subsequently affected its development will be emphasized. The course will close by examining the Civil War that nearly destroyed the republic and the attempts to mend the nation’s wounds afterwards. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by staff.

HISTORY 102 U.S. History Since 1877

Through lectures, readings, and class discussions, students in this course will learn about industrialization, western migration, imperialism, progressivism, world wars, depression, the cold war, and the emergence of the equal rights movements. The course will close with an examination of the United States on the world stage and the emerging war on terror in the wake of September 11th. This class will explore a wide variety of historical readings and perspectives encompassing political, economic, social, cultural, racial, military, diplomatic, and gender-related issues.

Instructors: This course will be taught in person by Dr. Rebecca Davis and online by staff.

HISTORY 206 World History To 1450

This course surveys the cultural, social, economic, and political history of the world to 1450. It studies the development of civilizations in isolation as well as the origins, nature, and consequences of global forms of interaction and exchange.

Instructor: This course will be taught in person by staff.

HISTORY 208 World History since 1450

This introductory course in modern world history focuses on the period from 1450 to the present. It explores themes of global interactions and exchange in terms of economic, social, political, and cultural history. Students will learn about the global past through both secondary and primary sources, and they will learn how to write informed, historical interpretations about that past as a foundation for more advanced work in history and related disciplines.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by staff.

HISTORY 215 Getting High: Alcohol & Drugs in American History

This class will investigate historical transformations in how American society has defined and responded to problematic drinking and drug use. The class will analyze what controversies surrounding various forms of intoxication indicate about the nature of American society and culture.

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Osborn

HISTORY 300C Special Studies

Topic: Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present
This course serves as an introduction to the humanities, social science, and science disciplines through a sweeping overview of natural and human history from the Big Bang to the present.

Instructor: Dr. Kevin Fernlund, Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300C through Pathway, but will be taught by Dr. Kevin Fernlund via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300SS Special Studies

Topic: War and Violence in Modern Times
This eight-week course examines the connections between warfare and resistance, gangs and poverty, and state and non-state officials as enactors of violence. It explores the effects of war and violence on the poor in Brazil and the United States, prisoners of war in Asia, and resistance fighters in Latin America.

Instructor: Dr. Deborah Cohen, Associate Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

*This is a course share course. UMKC students will enroll in History 300SS through Pathway, but will be taught in the first eight-week session by Dr. Deborah Cohen via UMSL’s Learning Management System.

HISTORY 300WY Decade of Dissent: The 1960s

The social movements and conflicts that developed during the 1960s continue to define American culture. Questions of racial and gender equity, a greater willingness to challenge authority, concerns about the environment, and a new openness about issues of sexuality all developed during the sixties and remain as arenas of debate today. This course will examine the origins, contexts, and major themes of the these social and cultural movements.

Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Davis

HISTORY 301WI Historiography and Method

All history majors must take this course, ideally at the beginning of their junior year. Its content includes: 1) what history is; 2) its value and usefulness; 3) the diversity of historical fields, approaches, and methods; and 4) the techniques of preparing and writing history papers.

Instructor: Dr. Matthew Osborn

HISTORY 306 America, 1850-1877: Civil War and Reconstruction

A survey of the political, social, and economic factors leading to the dissolution of the federal union is followed by a consideration of the major features and developments of the war period. This, in turn, leads to an analysis of the major factors and relationships involved in the “reconstruction” of the federal union. The course covers the years 1850 to 1877.

Instructor: Dr. Diane Mutti Burke

HISTORY 306A History of Christianity to the Middle Ages

This course examines the cultural, historical, and theological development of Christianity from its origins to the High Middle Ages. The main themes follow the mechanisms and conditions shaping Christianity’s expansion into a major cultural, social, institutional, and intellectual force in Western Europe with a focus on patterns of crisis and reform.

Instructor: Dr. David Freeman

HISTORY 356 Rise of the City in the U.S.

This course treats the background and major developments of the urbanization of the United States. It includes the American urban tradition, the scope of urbanization, colonial beginnings, urban rivalries, promotion, case studies of cities, the growth of urban services, the slum, problems of government, population trends, urban planning, and suburban growth. Consideration is also given to the methods and techniques of urban research and history of the development of this field.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 365A American Environmental History

This course examines the changing relationships between human beings and the natural world through time. The main argument of this course will be that American History looks very different through an environmental lens. Nature is an important category of historical analysis – as well as a topic worthy of historical study itself – and this course will examine themes as diverse as Native American ecology and the modern environmental crusade.

Instructor: Dr. Brian Frehner

HISTORY 379 Museums, Monuments, and American Life: An Introduction to Public History

This course will investigate the ways America commemorates, invokes, and misremembers its history—what scholars call public history. Students will learn the skills professionals use to communicate historical scholarship to wider audiences, and will grapple with the political and ethical issues that arise when we expand the discipline’s stakeholders.

Instructor: Dr. Sandra Enríquez

HISTORY 400C Special Studies

Topic: German Film
This course introduces students to the important contributions of German films to the development of movies as a unique literary art form. The class will cover important terms and concepts in film theory, the specifically German context of film, and important themes and periods in German film history. Taught in English with subtitled films.

Instructor: Dr. Larson Powell

HISTORY 400D Special Studies

Topic: Digital Humanities
This course will focus on the following skills in the digital humanities related to the electronic publication and computational analysis of texts: XML markup of both texts and meta data according to the standards of the text encoding initiative, transformation of these texts for presentation in electronic environments, annotation of data such as named entities and geographic locations to help visualize texts and textual collections, and quantitative analysis of literary and linguistic features in texts. In the class, students will work with many different texts, but will repeatedly return to Herodotus’ History and Jane Austen’s Lady Susan. Although most of the work in this class will be computational, it does not require prior experience with coding or markup.

Instructor: Dr. Jeffrey Rydberg-Cox

HISTORY 406 Modern Latin America

This course studies social, political, economic and cultural trends in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discussion topics include nation building after independence with an emphasis on gender and race in the creation of national identities and new forms of social stratification; integration of national economies into the world economic system; the expansion of political participation and citizenship; immigration (national and transnational) and the tensions caused by the forces of modernization and tradition. Although the purpose of the course is to provide a general background for a large and diverse region (more than 20 countries), case studies from Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil will illustrate the above-mentioned themes and will provide the basis for a comparative regional perspective.

Instructor: This course will be taught by Dr. Viviana Grieco online.

HISTORY 430RA ‘We Are The Dead’: The Great War Experience Through its Artifacts

World War One was the “war to end all wars”; all previous wars were indeed eclipsed by its scale of destruction. And yet, it was a war that initiated a century of continual bloodshed and crimes against humanity. This course will explore the causes, nature, and consequences of the Great War of 1914-18. It will be taught at the National World War One Memorial Museum at Liberty Memorial.

Instructor: Dr. Andrew Bergerson

HISTORY 471 Ancient Greece 

This course begins with a survey of the pre-classical Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and then describes the rise of prominent Greek city-states (with particular emphasis upon the evolution of Sparta and the political, social, and cultural contributions of Athens). The course concludes with the rise of Macedon and Alexander’s conquests and significance.

Instructor: Dr. Massimiliano Vitiello

HISTORY 498WI Senior Capstone

This is the capstone course in the department and is required for majors. It consists of tutorial sessions with a regular faculty member and independent research leading to a major paper using original source materials.

Instructor: This course will be taught online by Dr. David Freeman.

Suggested Anchor Courses

ANCHOR 204 Women in the Ancient World

This course focuses on women in the ancient Mediterranean world, particularly ancient Greece and Rome from about 2500 BCE to the end of the Roman Empire in the West. Through lectures and reading assignments, students will learn about a wide variety of aspects of women’s lives, status, and representation in the ancient world. Using primary and secondary sources, students will assess issues such as women’s social, legal, and economic status; their depiction in male-authored works of literature, history, philosophy, science, and art and how those depictions differ from those of female-authored works and the archaeological evidence; and the roles of women in the family, the household, and the public milieus. Given the broad range of topics and the long timeline, these issues will be analyzed in a comparative context.

Instructors: Dr. Linda Mitchell and Dr. Cynthia Jones

ANCHOR 209: World Cultures, Histories, and Ideas

Topic: Myths of the Spanish Conquest
This course studies the societies of central Mexico, the Andes, and the Iberian Peninsula on the eve of their encounter, the ways in which each of these distinct societies impacted one another, and the hybrid societies that emerged. Students will study historical and literary works, images and films that have reimagined the Spanish conquest and addressed its complexities, myths and enduring legacies. An examination of the historical and literary production from the 1970s will serve as a basis for discussing past to contemporary ways of thinking as well as marginal to dominant realities.

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Viviana Grieco and Ms. Kelley Melvin.

ANCHOR 318 From Oil Gushers to Fracking: A History of American Petroleum

This course asks students to consider civic engagement by studying how the history of oil production and consumption has influenced people’s relationships to their communities and environments at the local, regional, and global scale. Bringing together the fields of geology and history, this interdisciplinary course explores how carbon fuels shape life on the planet.  A fundamental component of the way humans have engaged with each other and the natural world has been to seek and burn fossil fuels, but this has created unintended consequences (both good and bad) throughout time and across the planet.  Students will use civic engagement as a lens to examine how the use of fossil fuels has impacted societies and to learn how their actions as individuals and community members presently leave carbon footprints.

Instructors: This course will be taught online by Dr. Brian Frehner and Dr. Tina Niemi.

 

Undergraduate Programs

Studying history teaches you how to think, not what to think.

A wide variety of courses gives you the opportunity to focus on what interests you in history while you develop skills that will allow you to analyze and articulate your own interpretations.

Bachelor of Arts in History

The Bachelor of Arts in History is designed for students with a general interest in history, as well as those students who plan on pursuing a career in history-related fields.

Learn more about the History Major

More fascinating than fiction, the study of the human past with all of its achievements and tragedies is the centerpiece of a History BA. Completing one at UMKC allows you to explore topics of your own interest while simultaneously preparing you for any career that involves understanding and communicating with other people. Requirements and tools for planning your degree can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog. A list of the department’s projected course offerings through Spring 2023 is available here.

Learn more about the Online History Major

More fascinating than fiction, the study of the human past with all of its achievements and tragedies is the centerpiece of a History BA. Completing one online allows you to explore topics of your own interest, on your own schedule, while preparing you for any career that involves understanding and communicating with other people. Requirements and tools for planning your degree can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog. A list of the department’s projected course offerings through Spring 2023 is available here.

History Minor

The history minor provides students with a thorough history background in combination with a major in another academic subject. The online history minor provides students juggling hectic schedules and family obligations with the flexibility to develop an expertise in history. Students can attend courses either online or in a traditional classroom.

Learn more about the History Minor

A minor in history allows students to obtain a strong background in the discipline. The minor is open to all UMKC students and is beneficial to any student wishing to understand more about history. Requirements and tools for planning your minor can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog. A list of the department’s projected course offerings through Spring 2023 is available here.

Learn more about the Online History Minor

Providing a valuable opportunity to develop intellectual passions, interests, abilities, and skills, an online history minor expands educational portfolios and employment opportunities across a wide range of professional careers from education to public service, journalism to law, entrepreneurship to the arts. Requirements and tools for planning your degree can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog. A list of the department’s projected course offerings through Spring 2023 is available here.

Undergraduate Advising

The College of Arts and Sciences has a dual advising system of general/professional advisors and department advisors designed to help undergraduate students achieve academic success.

Have questions about History courses,  degree requirements, or career and post-graduate goals? Our faculty advisors are here to help History majors and minors succeed at UMKC. We advise students on the specifics needed for their History major or minor, chart a path towards academic success, and explore career and post-graduate goals. Come see either one of the Department’s Undergraduate Advisors:

CAS Student Services

General UMKC advising and pre-professional program advising is handled by CAS Student Services. Current students should schedule appointments through Connect.

Volume Coauthored by Dr. Andrew Bergerson Published in Paperback

In December 2018, Berghahn Books published RUPTURES IN THE EVERYDAY: Views of Modern Germany from the Ground in paperback. The lead authors of this jointly written work are UMKC Professor of History Andrew Stuart Bergerson and Leonard Schmieding.

Throughout the twentieth century, Germans underwent constant disruptions in their lives, and many struggled to integrate their experiences into coherent narratives. Ruptures in the Everyday brings together twenty-six interdisciplinary researchers in a collectively authored work of scholarship that explores how Germans conceived of the self, society, families, objects, institutions, policies, violence, and authority by investigating Alltageveryday life.

Why History?

Many students think studying history means mindless memorization of boring facts, dates, and names. In fact, historians approach the past more like detectives, making sense of what happened by interrogating stories and investigating evidence.

Why does history matter? History is critical to understanding people and places, societies and cultures, ideas and events in the past. History also provides important perspective on the present and makes planning for the future possible. By learning how to think—rather than what to think—history students develop analytic skills, historical literacy, and cultural awareness, enhancing careers and citizenship in a national and global context.

By providing students with valuable skills upon which more specialized knowledge can be built, history prepares students for careers in: business and government, education and law, journalism and public history (e.g. museums, archives, historical societies), publishing and public service.

Why UMKC?

  • UMKC History faculty are expertly trained, widely published, internationally recognized scholars, and award-winning teachers who are accessible to students and enthusiastic about teaching the craft of history.
  • Our low student-teacher ratio fosters opportunities for the exchange of ideas and individualized attention, enhancing student performance and proficiencies while contributing to student engagement.
  • UMKC history graduates have successfully pursued nationally recognized graduate and professional programs in history, law, education, journalism, museum studies, and government.
  • With its many museums, archives, historical sites, libraries, and industries, Kansas City provides history students with numerous and varied internship and employment opportunities. Through researching, writing, archiving, and curating, history students contribute to the community beyond the classroom.