History at Rowan University

The Department of History at Rowan University delivers high quality instruction and advising to both undergraduate and graduate students. Our faculty produce nationally and internationally recognized research and possess chronologically and geographically diverse specialties in areas such as the ancient Mediterranean, early modern Europe, colonial Africa, colonial North America, the Middle East, Russia, the Far East, and the modern United States.

The undergraduate and graduate curricula incorporate the latest scholarship and technology but are based on the time-tested and enduring values of the liberal arts. Our faculty teach courses in a wide range of courses including histories of ancient Egypt, medieval Europe, imperialism and colonialism, the American Revolution and Early Republic, the American Civil War and Reconstruction, World War II, the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Women in American History, the 1960s, and more!

Many of our graduates go on to teaching social studies at public and independent schools in New Jersey, and we are proud of our network of successful alumni teachers in the region. Beyond teaching, there are a wide variety of career options open for history majors. In addition to attending law school and graduate school, recent graduates work in a diverse range of fields in both the private and public sectors, including finance, entertainment, and public history.

Student Highlights

  • In May 2023, Joy Acheampong, Abbie Ealer, John Reres, and Emily Schmidt travelled with Dr. William Carrigan on a 12-day archival research trip through the South, visiting seven state archives and collecting information for his current research project on lynching in the. years immediately following the end of Reconstruction.  You can read here more about the trip.
  • We are very proud of Kaitlyn Ley who is the 2023 winner of the Edwin H. Sherman Family Prize for Undergraduate Scholarship in Force and Diplomacy at Temple University!  This is a very competitive award.  Past winners were undergraduates at Yale University, Harvard University, McGill University, the University of College London, the University of Virginia, Vassar College, the United States Air Force Academy, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and more!  Ms. Ley's paper examined  diplomatic relations with Guatemala under US President Ronald Reagan's administration.
  • Congratulations to Emily Schmidt and John Reres who, on April 22, presented papers on their research projects at the 2023 annual meeting of Phi Alpha Theta (Eastern Regional) at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania!  Both won prizes for their research, making the Department and University quite proud.
  • History major Gillian Moore set what the faculty believe to be a record by winning four separate Medallions in 2023.  In addition to the Gary Hunter Excellence in History Award, she won Medallions from the College of Education and the John H. Martinson Honors College.  Most impressive of all, she is the recipient of the Univeristy-wide Thomas E. Robinson Leadership Award.
  • History major Gillian Moore presented her paper, "Marching with the Madres: United States Governmental Perceptions of and Interactions with Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo" during the Argentine “Dirty War,” at the American Historical Association annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA., on January 7, 2023.
  • Master’s student Ahmad Kindawi has published an article entitled “Muhammad Surur and his work Wa jaʾa dawr al-Majus” in the journal Middle Eastern StudiesGo here to see the article: 

Faculty News

  • On September 20, 2023, Mikkel Dack discussed his first book before an audience of students and staff in Hollybush Mansion. Dr. Dack's book -- Everyday Denazification in Postwar Germany:  The Fragebogen and Political Screening during the Allied Occupation (London and New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2023) -- will be coming out in paperback in the Spring of 2024.  You can read more about this important work here.
  • Jen Janofsky's work at the Red Bank Battlefield continues to bring national attention to the Department of History and Rowan University.  Here is a short summary from a recent article:  The Washington Post - April 14, 2023.  Forensic anthropologists, archeologists and volunteers prepare the remains of an unidentified Revolutionary War soldier killed in the Battle of Camden in 1780 for reburial on Thursday, 14 soldiers were removed from the battlefield, studied and analyzed and will be buried in a ceremony. A similar project is underway in New Jersey, where the bodies of as many as 12 German soldiers, called Hessians, who fought for the British were found in a mass grave at the Red Bank battlefield. In-depth testing, including DNA, are taking place there as well.“History is an ongoing process. It’s not like we’ve written the Battle of Red Bank and we know everything that happened,” said Jennifer Janofsky, a public historian at Rowan University and director of Red Bank Battlefield Park. “We have a better opportunity to tell a more complete story of these individuals. Who were they? Why were they here? What was their fate?”
  • April 2023:  Faculty in the Department of History were leading members of teams that won two recent National Endowment for the Humanities grants!  You can read more about Chanelle Rose's work with Valerie Lee to help support the teaching of African American history in the public schools here.  You can read more about Debbie Sharnak's work with Julia Richmond to create a humanities-based minor exploring the relationship between sports and society here.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities was not finished with Dr. Sharnak, as they also awarded her ones of its very competitive summer stipends for her ongoing research studying the history of human rights discourse, Latin America, transnational networks, and international relations.  You can read more about all the stipend winners here.
  • In April of 2023, the University made James Heinzen just the second ever winner from the Humanities (following Edward Wang) of the Rowan University Research Achievement Award.  Last year, the College of Humanities and Sciences recognized him for his scholarly achievements by presenting him with the Excellence in Research Award.  You can see all the 2023 University winners here.
  • Melissa Klapper brought much attention to the Department and to the University through her successful appearance on the television game show, Jeopardy.  You can read more here.
  • Debbie Sharnak has published her first book, Of Light and Struggle: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Accountability in Uruguay (Philadelphia; University of Pennsylvania Press, 2023).  You can read about this exciting book here.
  • Janet Moore Lindman has won the Kenneth Carroll Prize for the best article appearing in Quaker History, in the six issues beginning Spring 2019 and ending Fall 2021.  Lindman’s article “‘Deluded Women’ and ‘Violent Men’: Women, Gender, and Language in the Hicksite Schism” (published in the Spring 2020 issue), extends the boundaries of both Quaker-Hicksite history and women’s history, shining new light on aspects of several familiar narratives within the history of the Religious Society of Friends. 
  • Dr. Josh Gedacht has published an article entitled "Exile, Mobility, and Re-Territorialisation in Aceh and Colonial Indonesia" in the journal Itinerario. It can be accessed through the Rowan libraries.