Faculty Profile

Matthew Pinsker

Associate Professor of History, Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History (2002)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 218


Pinsker teaches courses in U.S. political, legal and diplomatic history. His research focuses on the career of Abraham Lincoln, partisanship in the Civil War era, American constitutionalism, the Underground Railroad and the history of U.S. campaigns and elections.


  • B.A., Harvard University, 1990
  • D.Phil., University of Oxford, 1995

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

HIST 117 American Hist 1607 to 1877
This course covers colonial, revolutionary, and national America through Reconstruction. Include attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

HIST 404 US Constitution
This seminar will explore advanced topics in US constitutional history, including questions about original intent, freedoms of the press and religion, civil rights and liberties, criminal procedure, the separation of powers and the electoral process.

Spring 2016

HIST 118 American Hist 1877 to Present
This course covers aspects of political evolution, foreign policy development, industrialization, urbanization, and the expanding roles of 20th century central government. Includes attention to historical interpretation. Multiple sections offered.

HIST 282 Diplomatic History of the U.S.
Description and analysis of the nation's role in world affairs, from the earliest definitions of a national interest in the 18th century, through continental expansion, acquisition of empire, and world power, to the Cold War. This course is cross-listed as INST 282.

HIST 288 Civil War - Reconstruction
A study of the political, economic, social, and intellectual aspects of 19th century America from 1848 to 1877. Attention is given to the causes and course of the Civil War and evaluates the results of Reconstruction.

HIST 311 Digital History
This advanced history methods class offers students a chance to study principles and best practices of those engaged in digitizing history and presenting history online in various multi-media formats. Students in this course will also build their own digital history projects for presentation online. No previous technical skills are required, but students should be prepared to experiment with a variety of new digital tools.