About Us

Duke’s History Department —among the top programs in the country —regards the creation of knowledge as one of the fundamental missions of a research university. Our world-renowned faculty, who work closely with our students and collaborate with colleagues across disciplines, are at the cutting edge of research in their fields as they address society’s greatest challenges. And our graduate and undergraduate academic programs —designed to help students critically think about the world around them —successfully prepare students for a wide range of careers.

We are committed to drawing upon our historical knowledge to collectively create and foster a more inclusive, just, and equitable society for all. We condemn racial violence and hatred, in all its forms locally and globally. We stand in solidarity with families who have lost their loved ones and all those who are exercising their constitutional right to assemble and protest against racial injustice and discrimination.


Statement of Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Violence

In the wake of the murderous attack on Asian American women in Atlanta, Ga., and incidents of hate that include physical assault, civil rights violations, and harassment of several thousand Asian Americans and Asians in the United States, the Duke History community condemns the scapegoating and ethnic-based and racial hatred that has proliferated in this country over the last year.

As historians, we have studied the emergence and reproduction of racist ideas in this country and across the globe. We know the long-enduring impact of bigotry and racism that have targeted Asians and Asian American people since the mid-nineteenth century, unleashing hurt and harm. Continue Reading

Undergraduate Programs

Our curriculum enables our Bachelor of Arts majors to: understand history as a discipline, build critical and analytic abilities, and enhance their written communication skills. Our students focus their studies in two ways:

  • Thematic Concentrations to explore contemporary issue and themes from historical perspectives, and
  • Geographic Concentrations to explore issues present in specific parts of the globe.

We also offer a History minor.

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Featured Courses

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This course is an introduction to the fascinating and tumultuous last two centuries of the history of Africa. It is divided into three chronological sections: Unit 1: Africa in the Nineteenth Century… read more about Introduction to Modern African History »

Course flyer with map of East Africa and Southeast Asian

New approaches to history of the world from ca. 500 to 1500 CE. Examines the world before European hegemony. Topics may include nature of autonomous centers of production around the globe;… read more about Old Worlds/New Histories, 500-1500 CE »

At Any Cost with Cinq-Mars teaching

Gateway Seminar. Exploration of human relationships with the natural world from prehistory to the present. Course examines the discovery of fire, the domestication of plants and animals, the… read more about Gateway Seminar: Environment, Energy, Climate Change »

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Graduate Programs

We offer graduate training leading to a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in a wide range of fields, including Early America, Modern America, African-American, Military, Medieval and Early Modern Europe, South Asia, Imperial and Soviet Russia, Traditional and Modern China, Modern Japan, Africa, History of Medicine, and History of Science and Technology.

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2020 Graduating Majors
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Published Books by Our Faculty
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Research Focus Areas

Selected Faculty Books